Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Awesome DIY #7 Hover Shoes!

What’s a million times better than an awesome DIY?

Convincing your friends a fake DIY is real.

Watch it carefully one more time. This needs a second viewing because nothing is in there by accident…


Comedians talk sense #4 Tim Minchin (Yep, I’m being lazy)

I don’t like the title “Comedians talk sense” but I haven’t thought of a better one that says roughly the same thing.

Tonight I am being seriously lazy because just about everyone in the skeptic community knows how awesome Tim Minchin is. He can talk (sing!) about anything he wants and it will be profound.

I love Tim.
You love Tim.

Tim is possibly the only comedian who justifies such a long video. It really captures him in a nutshell.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mothers make awesome fathers and vice versa.

Today in The Age newspaper I read an article about fathers that I instantly wanted to correct. Re-write in fact. This feeling is not new when it comes to The Age actually.

It annoys me when someone tries to demonstrate that a family isn’t complete without a mother and a father. More specifically, a man and a woman. Almost always this opinion is based on the false assumption that all mothers (women) have one type of personality and all fathers (men) have another complimentary personality type. Sigh.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Find something other than appearance to compliment little girls on. Or you will do them harm in the long run.

Sadly, thoughtful articles like this one are a rare sight on The Age these days. I will vent my frustration about that some other day.

I have blogged in the past about why I think compliments on appearance are never a good idea (unless looking good is actually the recipient’s profession). Now Lisa Bloom explains why we should refrain from complimenting the appearance of little girls as well. Regardless of how adorable they might look.

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Misinformation Watch.

Every once in a while I encounter a factual news story that I just know is going to be used and abused by uninformed extremists. In this case I am expecting the pro-life crowd to step up.

I spotted an initial report on the (Australian) ABC news website. Read the full article here

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Comedians talk sense #3 That Mitchell and Webb look discuss the God delusion with “Richard Dawkins”

I stumbled across this video accidentally while browsing through Mitchell and Webb’s other excellent skits. I haven’t encountered a single clanger yet. The following clip has a go at sketicism and Richard Dawkins. In a good way :-)

I do like the idea that Richard Dawkins could turn out to be so successful in his mission that he would be left arguing against free lunches and whatnot.

tee hee


Awesome Engineer. Asshat Engineer.

I have blogged about engineers and their lack of skepticism not so long ago and may have given the impression that engineers can’t help but rattle on and on about crap they don’t fully understand. So I am starting a new blog series called “Awesome Engineer. Asshat Engineer”. From now on I will present you with two engineers, one that has stuck to what they are good at and excelled, plus one that has drifted into babbling mindless bullshit. I wont be telling you which is which because it will be bloody obvious.

Today we have Nikola Tesla and Henry M. Morris.

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A brief history of chiropractic “therapy” in cartoon form.

I didn’t know the full history of chiropractic “therapy” until now. This is a great TL:DR version for all those impatient types. Impress your skeptic friends at parties…


Continue on to read the rest at Darryl Cunningham’s excellent blog

Well worth it.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Catch em young. Four year olds show first signs of skepticism.

Four year olds show first signs of skepticism. My words, not necessarily that of the researchers who conducted this insightful study into children and their ability to judge information sources.

For their study, Einav and Robinson used puppets and a teddy bear to test children. A child would hold up a picture of an elephant, cow, or rabbit for each puppet to identify. Both puppets labeled all animals correctly but one puppet always knew the answer without any help, whereas the other puppet always relied on help from Ted. Then, Ted was removed so he couldn’t help the puppets anymore and the child was given a picture of an unfamiliar animal—a mongoose—and asked which puppet could tell them what it was.

Three-year-olds were equally likely to choose the puppet who’d known the answers on its own and the puppet that got help from Ted. But four- and five-year-olds were more discriminating: They invested more trust in the puppet whose accuracy reflected independent knowledge rather than being dependent on an external source.

Very cool.

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Returning to work after a career gap is tough going. Babies or not.

Firstly, before I begin, I can really only speak for women in engineering here. This is mostly based on my personal experience as well with a tiny bit of research that appears to back up my observations. As for women in non-science and engineering fields, please feel free to contact me and let me know what your experiences have been!

Back to the topic.

I don’t have any children yet but I have taken a hiatus from my career for 3 years and then attempted to return. I imagine my experience would be similar to a woman returning from a long stint (a couple years) raising her children. The key similarity here is that what you do during your hiatus is completely unrelated to your chosen career. Even if it is related, it really depends on how you go about leaving. If you are flipping desks over and storming out in a huff your boss wont want you back no matter what. Obviously.

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Feasibility is an engineering based blog designed to reach other STEM people. Non-STEM people are also welcome! I try to give good advice and well-reasoned opinions but please don’t hesitate to disagree with me. This blog exists because I realised that I live in a metaphorical bubble and that simply wont do. Nup.


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