Archive for 'Arts and science'

The cause of 85% of homosexuality, according to the SSRF

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

spirit-org-logoThe vast majority — approximately 85% — of cases of homosexuality in humans are caused by ghosts, says a report by the Spiritual Science Research Foundation (also known as “the SSRF”). The organization does not say what percentage of its reports are written or otherwise caused by ghosts. Their homosexuality/ghosts report says:

Spiritual research has shown that the cause for homosexual preferences lie predominantly in the spiritual realm.

  • Physical causes (5%): Due to hormonal changes.
  • Psychological causes (10%): Having an experience with a person of the same sex as a teenager or young adult that was pleasurable and therefore wanting to experience it again.
  • Spiritual causes (85%): Mainly ghosts.

This finding is interesting if true.

The organization produced a lengthy video about many of their other discoveries, all of which may have as much merit as their discovery that the vast majority — approximately 85% — of cases of homosexuality in humans are caused by ghosts:

The LGBTQ Nation web site offers an informed appreciation of the study.

(Thanks to Scott Langill for bringing this to our attention.)

Correct measurement of the wing-length of waders (recommendation)

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Those involved in research projects often need to take measurements of some kind, and usually, the more accurate the better – leading to the question ‘Can any measurement ever be taken without some margin of error?’ As an example, see the work of Professor P R Evans, writing in the Wader Study Group Bulletin, (69, Special Issue):97-98, 1993. Correct measurement of the wing-length of waders

“It has been drawn to my attention that there is some confusion as to the most reliable method of measuring the wing-length of waders, i.e. the method that minimizes differences in measurements obtained from the same bird by different workers on the same occasion, or by the same worker on different occasions.”


Also see: Curiosity: “ZERO margin of error”?

NEXT POST: Do the winners show up on TV?

Did His Orgasm Lead to Blindness? (podcast #93)

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Can a man’s orgasm cause him to go blind, at least temporarily? A medical report explores that very question, and we explore that medical report, in this week’s Improbable Research podcast.

SUBSCRIBE on, iTunes, or Spotify to get a new episode every week, free.

This week, Marc Abrahams discusses a published orgasm/blindess study, with dramatic readings from Yale/MIT/Harvard biomedical researcher Chris Cotsapas.

For more info about what we discuss this week, go explore:


The mysterious John Schedler or the shadowy Bruce Petschek perhaps did the sound engineering this week.

The Improbable Research podcast is all about research that makes people LAUGH, then THINK — real research, about anything and everything, from everywhere —research that may be good or bad, important or trivial, valuable or worthless. CBS distributes it, on the CBS web site, and on iTunes and Spotify).

NEXT POST: Is every measurement wrong?

A mathematician’s happy diatribe about what happens when mathematicians gather

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Doron Zeilberger cast a wary glance at the social gathering habits of his fellow mathematicians. He wrote a little, gleeful diatribe about it:

Opinion 104: The Shocking State of Contemporary “Mathematics”, and the Meta-Shocking Fact that Very Few People Are Shocked

I just came back from attending the 1052nd AMS (sectional) meeting at Penn State, last weekend, and realized that the Kingdom of Mathematics is dead. Instead we have a disjoint union ofnarrow specialties, and people who know everything about nothing, and nothing about anything (except their very narrow acre). Not only do they know nothing besides their narrow expertise, they don’t care!

The “meeting” was not really a meeting. It was many mini-meetings! 22 of them, running in parallel and in complete oblivion of each other. All that they shared was the coffee, tea, and donuts. That’s a little reassuring that an algebraic combinatorialist has at least one thing in common with an algebraic geometer, a q-serieser, and a Heat-kernel group theorist: they all drink coffee (or tea), and eat donuts! But that’s about it….

Each speaker had a special session associated with his narrow specialty, so naturally between 20 to 30 people for each talk were a captive audience. It would be really in bad taste to play hookey on the talk of the organizer of your special session….

You can’t really blame the audience for not showing up, since they were probably burnt out from countless previous invited talks where they didn’t understand a word, or from reading the very technical abstracts of the current talks. Most speakers have no clue how to give a general talk. They start out, very nicely, with ancient history, and motivation, for the first five minutes, but then they start racing into technical lingo that I doubt even the experts can fully follow.

Please! Expand these first five minutes into fifty minutes, tell us about the history, background, motivation, and you don’t have to even mention your own results.


BONUS (possibly related): Claire Kamp Dush’s “How Structural Equation Modeling is Ruining Family Research

NEXT POST: Is every measurement wrong?

Words can possibly have meanings

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

We have been advised that this published study possibly says something:

Bill Denison photoshoot graduate brochure Widener Widener Widener

Contesting Essentialist Theories of Patriarchal Relations: Evolutionary Psychology and the Denial of History,” by Jesse Crane-Seeber and Betsy Crane [pictured here], The Journal of Men’s Studies, October 2010, vol. 18, no. 3, 218-237. The authors, at Widener University, write:

“This essay emerges from an ongoing mother-son dialogue about contemporary gender relations and their genesis in the history of patriarchy. In order to reframe patriarchy as a relational construct, rather than a simple group-based oppression, a performative notion of identities grounds the paper. It offers a critique of the body of literature that has developed under the broad heading of “evolutionary psychology,” insisting that gendered relations are not outcomes of genetic selection, divine mandate, or historical inevitability. An antidotal, millennia-spanning history of gender is offered as an epistemically and politically preferable explanation for patriarchal relations.”


(Thanks to Ilse Weil for bringing this to our attention.)

NEXT POST: Dirty, dirty money?