Cleveland Plain Dealer on the Kindle (Fail Edition)

27 Jul

I read my newspapers on my Kindle. My New York Times subscription works pretty well, but the Cleveland Plain Dealer is a disaster. I have to read the PD, it’s my local paper, but every issue is filled with strange errors, such as obituaries appearing with editorials. Yesterday’s issue included an article where all upper case Cs were replaces with 7s and Es were replaced with 6s.

Here’s what it looked like:





The Amazon reviews suggest that problems like this have been around for years and the PD has not bothered to fix them.

(Dis)Honesty – The Truth About Lies

27 Jul

All last week at ChautauquaDan Ariely, presided over a fantastic series about behavioral economics. Among other things he showed this film.



You can find out more about the Dishonesty Project here.

Ask Ariely: On Reading Labels, Regulating Risks, and Reproducing Compliments

25 Jul


I had the great pleasure of seeing Dan Ariely last week at the Chautauqua Institution.

Originally posted on Dan Ariely:

Here’s my Q&A column from the WSJ this week  and if you have any questions for me, you can tweet them to @danariely with the hashtag #askariely, post a comment on my Ask Ariely Facebook page, or email them to


Dear Dan,

Whenever I go to the pharmacy or the supermarket, I find myself veering almost uncontrollably toward products that say “All Natural” on the label. Why?


Some time ago, my Duke University colleagues and I carried out experiments on the appeal of natural medications. The results showed that when we see the word “natural,” we don’t necessarily think that the product works any better, but we do tend to believe that it works more harmoniously with our bodies, with fewer side effects. By contrast, when we tested this preference with other products (such as glasses, cars or desks made from natural materials), people clearly preferred the…

View original 478 more words

The false promise of fish oil

24 Jul

I have been blogging a lot about diet lately and I should move onto other topics, but I think this Washington Post story is important:

“People in the United States spend about $1.2 billion annually for fish oil pills and related supplements even though the vast majority of research published recently in major journals provides no evidence of a health benefit.”



Cooperate or Defect?

23 Jul

“Flame Retardant Pollutants and Child Development”

22 Jul



“Preventing Brain Loss with B Vitamins?”

20 Jul

From the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association:

“Project Description: Low vitamin B12 and folate status are common conditions in the elderly and have been linked to a greater risk of Alheimer’s disease. Our objective was to examine the association of plasma vitamin B12 and red blood cell (RBC) folate status with cerebral volumes in a longitudinal population-based cohort of older adults. 501 dementia-free subjects at baseline (aged 60-97 years; 298 women and 203 men) from the Swedish National Study of Aging and Care in Kungsholmen (SNAC-K), with repeated structural brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans at 2-3 occasions over 6 years, were recruited. The association of baseline vitamin B12 and RBC folate with the rate of brain volume loss was examined with the use of linear mixed models. After adjusting for several potential confounders including age, sex, education, the use of vitamins supplements, RBC folate levels, chronic conditions, hemoglobin, and plasma albumin, higher baseline plasma vitamin B12 concentrations were associated with decreased rate of total brain tissue (TBT) and grey matter (GM) volume loss over 6 years. β coefficient and standard error (SE) were 0.0020 (0.001), p = 0.002 for TBT; and they were 0.0013 (<0.001), p = 0.016 for GM. These associations remained significant even after excluding 28 incident dementia cases [β (SE): 0.0019 (<0.001); p = 0.003 for TBT and 0.0014 (<0.001); p = 0.010 for GM]. RBC folate levels had no longitudinal relationship with cerebral volumes. These results indicate that higher plasma concentrations of vitamin B12 are associated with decreased rate of brain volume loss. Randomized controlled trials are needed to determine the impact of vitamin B12 supplementation on preventing cognitive decline in older adults.”


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 270 other followers

%d bloggers like this: