Science!



  • Reporting on:

    "Researchers took a beam of neutrons and separated them from their magnetic moment"

    Oh that's interesting. Do you have a suitable analogy to help explain this to a lay audience?

    "like passengers and their baggage at airport security."

    *Smashes face into table repeatedly*


    I find two things annoying about this:

    1. Researchers feel the need to come up with stupid names to get press coverage, obscuring the real value of the discovery.
    2. If any of the people reading this article will benefit from the analogy above, the whole article isn't going to mean anything to them. Who is this being pitched at?


  • @Keith said:

    If any of the people reading this article will benefit from the analogy above, the whole article isn't going to mean anything to them. Who is this being pitched at?

    The people who are supposed to pay for research. Any kind of positive media coverage is very valuable in a bureaucracy. It's probably the only currency these people will have when it's time to talk promotions or further funding. Also, it makes them politically more costly to get rid of.



  • @Keith said:

    Who is this being pitched at?

    You've quoted from a BBC 'news' site. This is clearly a rhetorical question, no?



  • I thought the BBC was supposed to have fairly high standards. If it's impossible to simplify something to the point that a lay person can understand it, making a completely inaccurate analogy isn't going to help anyone.



  • @Keith said:

    I thought the BBC was supposed to have fairly high standards.

    Oh my sides!!

    No. Seriously, as a news source? No.



  • What's an acceptable news source for future reference?



  • @Keith said:

    What's an acceptable news source for future reference?

    I don't know if one exists. It's all clickbait and political out-of-context quotes combined with retarded partisan analyses, with the occasional "science" article written by a journalist who flunked 4th grade science class.



  • See @mott55's response.

    The BBC is alright for finding out that stuff exists, or is (or is not) a thing , just don't go relying on it for all your information and/or reliable facts. Most of their news stuff, for example, isn't long enough to even hit paragraph 19 unlike that other paragon of UK news reporting, The Daily Mail.



  • Researchers took a beam of neutrons and separated them from their magnetic moment

    Oh that's interesting. Do you have a suitable analogy to help explain this to a lay audience?

    Yes. It is as if somebody took a spinning top and moved the top but left the spinning behind.



  • The Caveat in Paragraph 19. Good to know there's a name for that phenomenon. I haven't actually seen one of those in a while.

    My main source of news is Yahoo, most of which is just republished straight from Reuters and the AP. Lately they post little 1 - 2 paragraph articles that don't really tell you anything. Many times the title mentions a video or picture that they don't even include in the article! Also seen a lot of bait-and-switch "mishaps" where you see a really interesting headline, click on it, and it sends you to the wrong article about something totally different.

    I lost all faith in any news starting about 10 years ago. There have been a few national news stories that happened in my area so I had firsthand knowledge of what really happened. And the stories in the news were so inaccurate or overblown they might as well have been fiction "inspired by" real events.

    A good example was the Missouri River flooding a few years ago. There was an article up on Yahoo News about how Hamburg, Iowa had been totally flooded and was now under 10 feet of water, and thousands of families were now homeless. The problem? I lived close to Hamburg and had just driven through the day before. The interstate highway a few miles west was underwater (barely), but the town was untouched. Also it's a tiny town and there aren't even enough people to leave "thousands of families" homeless. The best part was when I let myself get sucked into the comments discussion below the article. People actually believed the article over those who lived in the area.



  • @Keith said:

    What's an acceptable news source for future reference?

    You mean an English language one, aren't you? Then FILE_NOT_FOUND.



  • I'm happy to use Google Translate if necessary.



  • @Keith said:

    I'm happy to use Google Translate if necessary.

    Then try www.nzz.ch - The "Neue Zürcher Zeitung". It's in German, but it's swiss and what I would call a solid, unbiased newspaper.



  • @faoileag said:

    Then try www.nzz.ch - The "Neue Zürcher Zeitung". It's in German, but it's swiss and what I would call a solid, unbiased newspaper.

    I'm not sure about the quality of their writing:

    "For decades looking for ways to keep sharks away from people in the water. Only recently is also the protection of animals plays a role. There are such successful approaches."



  • @mott555 said:

    People actually believed the article over those who lived in the area.

    Yes. Because it's been "in the paper, so it must be true, mustn't it?"

    This is no new behaviour, though - Karl Kraus, a satirists from Vienna born in the year 1874 once remarked: "How is the world ruled and how do wars start? Diplomats tell lies to journalists and then believe what they read."



  • @Keith said:

    Only recently is also the protection of animals plays a role. There are such successful approaches."

    Well, Roy Sheider is dead, isn't he?



  • This one has potential:

    The people behind Snowden stuff trying to make things better.



  • @cartman82 said:

    This one has potential:

    @cartman82 said:

    The people behind Snowden stuff

    Yyyyeah... there's absolutely no way they're going to be preaching to the choir about how evil, tyranical and corrupt all the world's governments are, and instead they're going to be a neutral, unbiased news source.

    As I’ve written many times before, “terrorism” is, and from the start was designed to be, almost entirely devoid of discernible meaning. It’s a fear-mongering slogan, lacking any consistent application, intended to end rational debate and justify virtually any conduct by those who apply the term. But to the extent it means anything beyond that, it typically refers to the killing of civilians as a means of furthering political or military goals.

    Below are two charts reflecting the deaths of civilians, soldiers and “militants” in both Gaza and Israel since the July 8 Israeli attack began. The statistics used are unduly generous toward Israel, since “militants” in Gaza are often nothing more than residents who take up arms to defend their homes against an invading and occupying army. Even with that generous interpretation, these numbers, standing alone, tell a powerful story:

    Yyyeah.


    Filed under: terrorism doesn't exist unless it's Israel, fuck, they even have comments



  • @Maciejasjmj said:

    Yyyyeah... there's absolutely no way they're going to be preaching to the choir about how evil, tyranical and corrupt all the world's governments are, and instead they're going to be a neutral, unbiased news source.

    Yup they have a political axe to grind.

    But they are the only ones who have a chance to approach mainstream, yet are outside the multinational corporate gridlock (as far as I know).



  • @Captain said:

    Yes. It is as if somebody took a spinning top and moved the top but left the spinning behind.

    Bender: They usually come up with a complicated plan and explain it with a simple analogy.
    Leela: [plan]
    Fry: Like letting the air out of a balloon!

    [plan doesn't work]
    Fry: Like letting the air out of a balloon and... then something bad happens!



  • More like

    Fry: Usually on the show, they came up with a complicated plan, then explained it with a simple analogy. Leela: Hmmm... If we can re-route engine power through the primary weapons and configure them to Melllvar's frequency, that should overload his electro-quantum structure. Bender: Like putting too much air in a balloon! Fry: Of course! It's all so simple!
    Leela: It's not working! He's gaining strength from our weapons! Fry: Like a balloon, and... something bad happens!

    Filed under: What's this badge I keep hearing about?



  • News Room on HBO is pretty good. You just might have to wait six months to a year to hear it.

    Personally, I like The Daily Show and the Colbert Report. And I believe a lot of Americans agree with me.


  • :belt_onion:

    @hungrier said:

    Filed under: What's this badge I keep hearing about?

    The first rule of Badge Hunting?
    Don't talk about Badge Hunting.



  • You must love the "God" particle.



  • *shudder*


  • BINNED

    @chubertdev said:

    You must love the "God" particle.

    Why do I get a feeling that one has similar origins to "Big Bang"? As in, someone opposed to the hypothesis mocked it by giving it a stupid name that actually caught on.



  • @Keith said:

    Who is this being pitched at?

    People with a 5th grade reading level.



  • @Keith said:

    Researchers feel the need to come up with stupid names to get press coverage, obscuring the real value of the discovery.

    heh


  • BINNED

    With that amount of thrust, I'm gonna pull out my scientist glasses, raise one eyebrow, and point towards a measuring error as the first suspect.

    At least we won't get as much hype as we got with neutrinos that "traveled faster than light". I hope.



  • Does the Impossible Drive let you travel at Ludicrous Speed?


  • BINNED

    I'm still waiting for the infinite improbability engine myself.


  • SockDev

    @Onyx said:

    I'm still waiting for the infinite improbability engine myself.

    I think you'll find Bistromathics makes all that tedious mucking about with probabilities irrelevant.


  • SockDev

    @Onyx said:

    With that amount of thrust, I'm gonna pull out my scientist glasses, raise one eyebrow, and point towards a measuring error as the first suspect.

    At least we won't get as much hype as we got with neutrinos that "traveled faster than light". I hope.

    I'm skeptical however separate experiments have yielded similar-seeming results, which seems to suggest there might be something to it.



  • @Arantor said:

    I think you'll find Bistromathics makes all that tedious mucking about with probabilities irrelevant.

    It, at the very least, becomes Somebody Else's Problem.


  • SockDev

    Low level SEP fields are everybody's problem.


  • BINNED

    @Arantor said:

    Bistromathics

    THAT is what it's called! Had a brainfart and couldn't be arsed to flip through 900ish pages to find it. Thanks.


  • SockDev

    Anytime 😄



  • @Onyx said:

    With that amount of thrust, I'm gonna pull out my scientist glasses, raise one eyebrow, and point towards a measuring error as the first suspect.

    You're probably a Solar Freakin' Rodways Denier too.


  • BINNED

    @boomzilla said:

    You're probably a Solar Freakin' Rodways Denier too.

    😭 I tried to believe, I swear!



  • @boomzilla said:

    Solar Freakin' Rodways

    That is far more worrisome than Solar Roadways (or did I miss something in one of the discussions I dropped out of?).



  • Ooops. That was like a speak-o, but done while typing.



  • @boomzilla said:

    Solar Freakin' Rodways

    Good name for a band.



  • I wonder if there's a name for those...


  • BINNED



    +



    ?


  • SockDev



  • Am I just that terribly malinformed or is the near-geriatric Hubble telescope still our bestest space-looker that provides fresh insights every time it's pointed at something?



  • @dhromed said:

    Am I just that terribly malinformed or is the near-geriatric Hubble telescope still our bestest space-looker that provides fresh insights every time it's pointed at something?

    Yup. Far more important to dream about going to mars.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @dhromed said:

    Am I just that terribly malinformed or is the near-geriatric Hubble telescope still our bestest space-looker that provides fresh insights every time it's pointed at something?

    The JWST is scheduled to launch in 2018. The other telescopes currently in space are more specialised (e.g., Kepler's a planet hunter, so it doesn't really do imaging as such, but rather spectra and time series).



  • @dhromed said:

    near-geriatric Hubble telescope still our bestest space-looker

    Depends on type of looking. For example we have orbital radio telescopes, other specialized kinds of opticals, and so on.



  • @dhromed said:

    Am I just that terribly malinformed or is the near-geriatric Hubble telescope still our bestest space-looker that provides fresh insights every time it's pointed at something?

    Other people have already said this, but the difference is that Hubble is actually much closer to being a telescope in the classical sense (that is, the stuff it measures is generally the way things would look to your naked eye through an Earth-based telescope. More or less.) That makes the data coming out of it much prettier than other space-based telescopes.

    BTW, the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. has all of the original Hubble modules they've removed over its lifetime. They brought them all back down, and you can go there and actually touch them-- it's pretty cool. I didn't take a photo of the parts, but here's their life-size replica:

    If you ever want to be depressed, think about this: we (meaning humanity) have literally no way of launching anything Hubble-sized at the moment.


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.