versatilism
Switch Port: A dry-erase light switch.
What a brilliant idea. Nick Bain was 12 when he came up with the idea - he’s now 16 and running a kickstarter campaign to move things forward.
I would definitely have one of these. Very handy. The only extra thing I’d want to see is a neater place to stash the marker.

Switch Port: A dry-erase light switch.

What a brilliant idea. Nick Bain was 12 when he came up with the idea - he’s now 16 and running a kickstarter campaign to move things forward.

I would definitely have one of these. Very handy. The only extra thing I’d want to see is a neater place to stash the marker.

PROBLEM: You are a web programmer. You have users. Your users rate stuff on your site. You want to put the highest-rated stuff at the top and lowest-rated at the bottom. You need some sort of “score” to sort by.

WRONG SOLUTION #1: Score = (Positive ratings) - (Negative ratings)

WRONG SOLUTION #2: Score = Average rating = (Positive ratings) / (Total ratings)

CORRECT SOLUTION: Score = Lower bound of Wilson score confidence interval for a Bernoulli parameter

We need to balance the proportion of positive ratings with the uncertainty of a small number of observations. Fortunately, the math for this was worked out in 1927 by Edwin B. Wilson. What we want to ask is: Given the ratings I have, there is a 95% chance that the “real” fraction of positive ratings is at least what?

Click the link for detailed examples of wrong solutions and maths behind the right solution.

SQL to implement this:

Here is an illustrative SQL statement that will do the trick, assuming you have a widgets table with positive and negative ratings, and you want to sort them on the lower bound of a 95% confidence interval:

SELECT widget_id, ((positive + 1.9208) / (positive + negative) - 1.96 * SQRT((positive * negative) / (positive + negative) + 0.9604) /
(positive + negative)) / (1 + 3.8416 / (positive + negative))
AS ci_lower_bound FROM widgets WHERE positive + negative > 0
ORDER BY ci_lower_bound DESC;

If your boss doesn’t believe that such a complicated SQL statement could possibly return a useful result, just compare the results to the other two method described above:

SELECT widget_id, (positive - negative)
AS net_positive_ratings FROM widgets ORDER BY net_positive_ratings DESC;


SELECT widget_id, positive / (positive + negative)
AS average_rating FROM widgets ORDER BY average_rating DESC;

You will quickly see that the extra bit of math makes all the good stuff bubble up to the top. (But before running this SQL on a massive database, talk to your friendly neighborhood database administrator about proper use of indexes.)

Incredible. The Aussie Prime Minister has said he’s going to do this to Vladimir Putin.

Now that’s diplomacy.

There’s no such thing as reptiles any more – and here’s whythe conversation

What if I told you reptiles don’t exist.
I am not suggesting that you imagined seeing scaly creatures [at the zoo], but the group of animals we refer to as “reptiles” does not exist – at least not anymore.
It all has to do with our (humans, that is) penchant for categorisation. We just love putting things into boxes, and those boxes into bigger boxes. Scientists have even turned this activity into an entire field of biological research, called taxonomy.
Several methods of classification have been used throughout the history of taxonomy. The current, most widely accepted method – cladistics – is considered to be the most objective as it takes into account an organism’s evolutionary history.
All pretty straightforward – but, this is where the reptile label runs into a problem.
I have circled the group of animals we normally refer to as reptiles. If you trace their paths back, you will arrive at junction [C], the last common ancestor of those groups. So, if we are to consider all animals from junction [C] onwards as reptiles, then we must also label birds as reptiles. We could do this I guess, but it would be redundant. The group of animals from junction [C] onwards are already referred to as sauropsida.
Hence, reptile is dead.

There’s no such thing as reptiles any more – and here’s why
the conversation

What if I told you reptiles don’t exist.

I am not suggesting that you imagined seeing scaly creatures [at the zoo], but the group of animals we refer to as “reptiles” does not exist – at least not anymore.

It all has to do with our (humans, that is) penchant for categorisation. We just love putting things into boxes, and those boxes into bigger boxes. Scientists have even turned this activity into an entire field of biological research, called taxonomy.

Several methods of classification have been used throughout the history of taxonomy. The current, most widely accepted method – cladistics – is considered to be the most objective as it takes into account an organism’s evolutionary history.

All pretty straightforward – but, this is where the reptile label runs into a problem.

I have circled the group of animals we normally refer to as reptiles. If you trace their paths back, you will arrive at junction [C], the last common ancestor of those groups. So, if we are to consider all animals from junction [C] onwards as reptiles, then we must also label birds as reptiles. We could do this I guess, but it would be redundant. The group of animals from junction [C] onwards are already referred to as sauropsida.

Hence, reptile is dead.

Stourbridge’s wikipedia page scraping the bottom of the barrel…

Stourbridge’s wikipedia page scraping the bottom of the barrel…

runofthemillsocialist:

hufflepuffintp:

class-struggle-anarchism:

wow, the ten poorest places in Europe are ALL in Britain

i was genuinely surprised by the lack of anywhere in scotland on there and I can’t help but think it’s because they’ve decided to count scotland as one region.

Yeah, it counts Scotland as a region. Unfortunately that tends to happen a lot.

Not true - while in many reports Scotland is often treated as a single region comparable to Wales, NI, London, West Midlands, North West, North East etc, for this analysis Scotland is broken down into 4 regions:
Eastern Scotland (Edinburgh, Dundee, Perth, Falkirk etc)
South Western Scotland (Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire etc)
North Eastern Scotland (Aberdeenshire only)
Highlands & Islands.(What you’d expect)
The data in this graphic from Inequality Briefing comes from Eurostat. Detail on how the regions are made up can be found on the ONS site.
Here’s a screengrab of the data table for this map, showing all the regions used in the UK. Look in the right-most column to see how your region compares to the ridiculousness of Inner London.
hufflepuffintp, your gut was right that Scotland should be in the top 10 though - in 10th poorest position Inequality Briefing have chosen East Yorks & North Lincs but they could just as easily have chosen Highlands & Islands instead - both areas score an identical 80 relative to the average across the EU28 indexed to 100.

Sorry, can’t help digging up the facts on this stuff :)

runofthemillsocialist:

hufflepuffintp:

class-struggle-anarchism:

wow, the ten poorest places in Europe are ALL in Britain

i was genuinely surprised by the lack of anywhere in scotland on there and I can’t help but think it’s because they’ve decided to count scotland as one region.

Yeah, it counts Scotland as a region. Unfortunately that tends to happen a lot.

Not true - while in many reports Scotland is often treated as a single region comparable to Wales, NI, London, West Midlands, North West, North East etc, for this analysis Scotland is broken down into 4 regions:

  1. Eastern Scotland (Edinburgh, Dundee, Perth, Falkirk etc)
  2. South Western Scotland (Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire etc)
  3. North Eastern Scotland (Aberdeenshire only)
  4. Highlands & Islands.(What you’d expect)

The data in this graphic from Inequality Briefing comes from Eurostat. Detail on how the regions are made up can be found on the ONS site.

Here’s a screengrab of the data table for this map, showing all the regions used in the UK. Look in the right-most column to see how your region compares to the ridiculousness of Inner London.

hufflepuffintp, your gut was right that Scotland should be in the top 10 though - in 10th poorest position Inequality Briefing have chosen East Yorks & North Lincs but they could just as easily have chosen Highlands & Islands instead - both areas score an identical 80 relative to the average across the EU28 indexed to 100.

Sorry, can’t help digging up the facts on this stuff :)

resiststance:

thesubversivesound:



Boycott Workfare





It’s the Week of Action Against Workfare. Share to make sure every one you know who might face workfare knows their rights!
More detailed info on workfare schemes here: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?page_id=1820



Also v useful: http://refuted.org.uk/https://jobseekersanctionadvice.com/





Might come in handy for me soon.

Employers: Don’t exploit people on Workfare. If the work is worth doing, it’s worth paying a fair wage that’s enough to live on. 
Everybody else: Try not to use the organisations listed here that take advantage of unemployed workers.

resiststance:

thesubversivesound:

It’s the Week of Action Against Workfare. Share to make sure every one you know who might face workfare knows their rights!

More detailed info on workfare schemes here: http://www.boycottworkfare.org/?page_id=1820

Might come in handy for me soon.

Employers: Don’t exploit people on Workfare. If the work is worth doing, it’s worth paying a fair wage that’s enough to live on. 

Everybody else: Try not to use the organisations listed here that take advantage of unemployed workers.

langvolution:

Days of the Week: English

Days of the Week: French

Days of the Week: German

Wednesday. Officially the least important day of the week in Western languages.

Worst Polluted Air in the World (selected cities based on my whims)
I’m off to Beijing next year to see friends who’ve just moved there from the UAE. One thing you always hear about Beijing is how bad the smog and air pollution is. I decided to check the facts, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Not what I was expecting, I’d been led to believe Beijing was right up there as one of the worst in the world (although, of course by any objective measure it is still terrible.)
Good job I’m going to Beijing from Melbourne. I’ll try and hold my breath.

Worst Polluted Air in the World (selected cities based on my whims)

I’m off to Beijing next year to see friends who’ve just moved there from the UAE. One thing you always hear about Beijing is how bad the smog and air pollution is. I decided to check the facts, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Not what I was expecting, I’d been led to believe Beijing was right up there as one of the worst in the world (although, of course by any objective measure it is still terrible.)

Good job I’m going to Beijing from Melbourne. I’ll try and hold my breath.

XKCD 1431: Marriage
Incredible stats from XKCD. I had no idea interracial marriage wasn’t legal everywhere in the States until as late as the time of the moon landings (well, nearly).
I know Civil Rights and race relations were terrible in many states for so long, but never realised this extended to literally making interracial marriage illegal. For it to be frowned upon I would have expected, but specifically banned?! And that’s important - it wasn’t that couples didn’t yet have the right because nobody in power had got round to legislating for it - the problem was they were outright banned from marrying. This article on wikipedia is fascinating. 

It has been argued that the first laws banning all marriage between whites and blacks, enacted in Virginia and Maryland [in the 1660s], were a response by the planter elite to the problems they were facing due to the socio-economic dynamics of the plantation system in the Southern colonies.
However, the bans in Virginia and Maryland were established at a time when slavery was not yet fully institutionalized. At the time, most forced laborers on the plantations were indentured servants, and they were mostly white.
Some historians have suggested that the at-the-time unprecedented laws banning interracial marriage were originally invented by planters as a divide-and-rule tactic after the uprising of servants in Bacon’s Rebellion.
According to this theory, the ban on interracial marriage was issued to split up the racially mixed, increasingly mixed-race labor force into whites, who were given their freedom, and blacks, who were later treated as slaves rather than as indentured servants. By outlawing interracial marriage, it became possible to keep these two new groups separated and prevent a new rebellion.

And look at that approval rating when these laws were struck down in 1967. Appalling, yet reassuring that despite apparent* US hatred of anything “liberal” they’ve made leaps and bounds over the last half-century.
Well done Americans, don’t let the crazies steer you off course.
*apparent to the average European who probably hears too much of the crazy things said in the US by rent-a-quotes on Fox News, and less of the reasonable things said by normal people in real life.

XKCD 1431: Marriage

Incredible stats from XKCD. I had no idea interracial marriage wasn’t legal everywhere in the States until as late as the time of the moon landings (well, nearly).

I know Civil Rights and race relations were terrible in many states for so long, but never realised this extended to literally making interracial marriage illegal. For it to be frowned upon I would have expected, but specifically banned?! And that’s important - it wasn’t that couples didn’t yet have the right because nobody in power had got round to legislating for it - the problem was they were outright banned from marrying. This article on wikipedia is fascinating

It has been argued that the first laws banning all marriage between whites and blacks, enacted in Virginia and Maryland [in the 1660s], were a response by the planter elite to the problems they were facing due to the socio-economic dynamics of the plantation system in the Southern colonies.

However, the bans in Virginia and Maryland were established at a time when slavery was not yet fully institutionalized. At the time, most forced laborers on the plantations were indentured servants, and they were mostly white.

Some historians have suggested that the at-the-time unprecedented laws banning interracial marriage were originally invented by planters as a divide-and-rule tactic after the uprising of servants in Bacon’s Rebellion.

According to this theory, the ban on interracial marriage was issued to split up the racially mixed, increasingly mixed-race labor force into whites, who were given their freedom, and blacks, who were later treated as slaves rather than as indentured servants. By outlawing interracial marriage, it became possible to keep these two new groups separated and prevent a new rebellion.

And look at that approval rating when these laws were struck down in 1967. Appalling, yet reassuring that despite apparent* US hatred of anything “liberal” they’ve made leaps and bounds over the last half-century.

Well done Americans, don’t let the crazies steer you off course.

*apparent to the average European who probably hears too much of the crazy things said in the US by rent-a-quotes on Fox News, and less of the reasonable things said by normal people in real life.

txchnologist:

These gifs depict the moment a mineral forms. Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory trained a powerful microscope on the birth of calcium carbonate crystals, a process called nucleation.

To see the unpredictable moment when the seed of a crystal starts rapidly growing, they mixed high concentrations of sodium bicarbonate and calcium chloride in water. They then focused a transmission electron microscope that produces images in real time on the solution.

"This is the first time we have directly visualized the formation process," said materials scientist James De Yoreo. "We observed many pathways happening simultaneously. And they happened randomly. We were never able to predict what was going to come up next."

Read More

camwyn:

spread-hope-inspire:

Saving dauphins is expected, but this guy saves a shark!!!
Thank you sir, for showing us there’s still some hope for humanity!

more amazing people«

I had a look at the original video and news articles about this. Apparently the man was fishing and accidentally hooked the great white shark, but cut it loose; then he realized the poor thing was beached. What you don’t see here is what’s possibly the most awesome part: he realized the shark still had his hook in its mouth and went to the effort of removing the hook.

From the mouth of a live, distressed great white shark.

Which he then got back into the water and set free.

His name’s Shane Cox, and he’s a pretty damn awesome Australian for that.

huffingtonpost:

This Man With Severe Cerebral Palsy Created Mind-Blowing Art Using Just A Typewriter

Last year, 22-time Emmy award-winning reporter John Stofflet posted this news video he created for KING-TV in 2004, featuring Paul Smith and his artistic talents.

See the full video to see more of Smith’s artworks and to learn more about his inspiring story go here. 

think-progress:

What happens when there isn’t enough sea ice.