Archive for 'Arts and science'

Vi Hart’s Mobius Fruit Foot

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

Vi Hart plays with mathematics and her food—in this case a treat called Fruit by the Foot:

BONUS: The book Cubed Foot Gardening

BC Prof explores new immortal legal/financial powers of dead people

Friday, August 8th, 2014

The United States is a very good place to be dead; better than almost anywhere, legally speaking. Ray Madoff, a professor at Boston College Law School who specializes in trusts and estates, lays out evidence for that in her book called Immortality and the Law: The Rising Power of the American Dead. Other nations have their own strong points, many of which Madoff discusses. But in choosing a place to live when you’re dead, “USA forever” is the slogan for you.

Madoff is a detective on the trail of a curious question…

—so begins another Improbable Innovation nugget, which appears in its entirety on BetaBoston.

Why do we dig the beach (with bucket and spades)?

Friday, August 8th, 2014

“The bucket and spade holds more significance than its role as a sandcastle-building tool; seen through the tidal changes and the different angles of photography, and especially through their relational engagement with the beach, the agency of the bucket and spade is revealed.”

- explains Adrian Franklin MA Kent, PhD Brist, (Professor of Sociology at theUniversity of Tasmania, Australia) in a newly published paper for the journal Tourist Studies, entitled: ‘On why we dig the beach: Tracing the subjects and objects of the bucket and spade for a relational materialist theory of the beach


With the aid of a series of historical photos documenting bucket-and-spade culture spanning more than 100 years, the author points out that the beach is :

“[...] a place where clear lines between the human and non-human world do not exist, where sensual, muscular and mental engagements are mediated by extensions of the body, the spade and the bucket. It is a choreography of failure for humanity, in which nature, the sea, triumphs every time, even though the child has an opportunity to struggle against it and to reimagine such relation­ships anew.”

Also see: An Improbable short series on ‘Sandcastles in Academia’.

Sandscastle_Small  Sandscastle_Small  Sandscastle_Small
BONUS (cited in the paper) ‘Castles Made of Sand’ by Jimi Hendrix

Wandhekar’s sleep note

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

You must get unusual mail, people sometimes remark. Yes, we do. Here’s a note that arrived this past weekend:

what is this? This is a sleeping position. Sleep at this position near about one hour … When asthma people sleep at this position near about one hour then they get more powerful result. Please sleep more asthama people  at this position near about one hour and see reasult. If you get something reasult then tell him to sleep dialy near about 2-3 hour. Near about 4-5 month asthama people cure asthama permanantly more than 80 percent. I am created vishnu wandhekar google profile. I am vishnu eknath wandhekar,

vishnu eknath wandhekar also created this video, in which he demonstrates his unusual perspective:

Extensions of Differences in Differences (statistics) 1985 – 2011

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

DiDThe Difference-in-Differences (DiD) statistical method has now been in use for almost 30 years. see:Using the Longitudinal Structure of Earnings to Estimate the Effect of Training Programs‘ by Orley Ashenfelter; David Card, The Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 67, No. 4. (Nov., 1985), pp. 648-660. (page 5 in the .pdf).

And the Difference-in-Differences (DiD) method was extended, in 1994, with the addition of the the Difference-in-Difference-in-Differences (DiDiD) technique. See: Jonathan Gruber : ‘The Incidence of mandated Maternity benefits’ The American Economic Review, Vol. 84, No. 3 (Jun., 1994), pp. 622-641 (page 7 in the .pdf)

Improbable will of course attempt to inform readers if and when the Difference-in-Difference-in-Difference-in-Differences method makes an appearance.

Click to continue reading “Extensions of Differences in Differences (statistics) 1985 – 2011″