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A future worth fighting for

14 Apr

(Hat tip to BoingBoing)

Werner Herzog Reads Where’s Waldo

26 Dec

“78 Surprising Authors of Psychological Publications”

28 Sep

Scott Lilienfeld and Steven Jay Lynn have a great paper in the most recent Perspectives on Psychological Science: “You’ll Never Guess Who Wrote That 78 Surprising Authors of Psychological Publications.” From the abstract:

One can find psychological authors in the most unexpected places. We present a capsule summary of scholarly publications of psychological interest authored or coauthored by 78 surprising individuals, most of whom are celebrities or relatives of celebrities, historical figures, or people who have otherwise achieved visibility in academic circles, politics, religion, art, and diverse realms of popular culture. Still other publications are authored by individuals who are far better known for their contributions to popular than to academic psychology.

Here’s my favorite entry:

Natalie Portman (1981– )
Baird, A. A., Kagan, J., Gaudette, T., Walz, K. A., Hershlag, N., & Boas, D. A. (2002). Frontal lobe activation during object permanence: Data from near-infrared spectroscopy. NeuroImage, 16, 1120–1126.
Academy-Award-winning American actress Natalie Hershlag, who later adopted the stage name of Natalie Portman, was a psychology major at Harvard University when she coauthored this article with several prominent researchers, including psychologist Jerome Kagan, on brain imaging correlates of the development of object permanence in humans. The authors reported that prefrontal cortical activity is related to the emergence of object permanence.

Who knew that Natalie Portman was a developmental psychologist!

 

The most interesting thing I learned in last Sunday’s New York Times

13 Jul

It turns out that you can buy silicone substitutes for pizza dough to practice dough tossing. You can purchase this product at throwdough.com.

 

 

 

Survival bias

6 Jul

People sometimes remark “my parents let me do x and I turned out OK.” While comments like these often cause heads to nod in agreement, I always think, of course you say that, the ones who didn’t turn out OK aren’t here to tell their stories. Along these lines here is a useful video about survival bias and success advice:

 

Bayesian reasoning and the South Park Hypothesis

3 Jun

There were many good presentations at APS this year, but by far the best was the three hour workshop I attended on JASP and Bayesian analysis run by Eric-Jan Wagenmakers. This led me to look up some of his writings including this great paper: “Bayesian Benefits for the Pragmatic Researcher.”

As way of illustration, the paper test the South Park Hypothesis: the contention that there is no correlation between the box office success and the quality of Adam Sandler movies. Quality is operationalized as freshness rating at Rottentomatoes.com.

Sandler

It is called the South Park hypothesis from this bit of dialog:

“Producer: Watch this. A.W.E.S.O.M-O, given the current trends of the movie going public, can you come up with an idea for a movie that will break $100 million box office?
Cartman: [as A.W.E.S.O.M.-O] Um… Okay, how about this: Adam Sandler is like in love with some girl. But it turns out that the girl is actually a golden retriever or something.
Mitch: Oh! Perfect!
Executive: We’ll call it “Puppy Love”.
Mitch: Give us another movie idea, A.W.E.S.O.M.-O.
Cartman: Um… How about this: Adam Sandler inherits like, a billion dollars, but first he has to become a boxer or something.
Mitch: “Punch Drunk Billionaire”.”

When did acting become channeling?

4 May

I was reading the most recent issue of AARP magazine (yes, I’m that old) and came across these words on page 10:

“HE STARRED IN The Wire, Treme and Selma, but channeling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (…)

No big deal until I came to page 11 where I read:

“Cheadle Channels Miles Davis”

On the same page:

“Michael Shanon channels the King.”

On page 63:

“Spacek channels Lynn,”

This raises a question (besides doesn’t the editor actually read this thing?): When did acting become “channeling?”

Apparently some people take this very seriously:

 

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