thoughts from the infield

thoughts from the infield

About the blog

This blog contains various thoughts that has occurred to me. The topics will vary.


GeneralPosted by Thinker 2008-05-06 16:18
Last night I got into a discussion about the myth that "science says bumblebees can't fly". Unfortunately the discussion derailed into a minor train crash from that point on, but my lesson is also that this myth still lives.

And amazingly, even the most basic research would bring about evidence against this myth! Yes, "amazingly" was sarcastic.

A repetition of the myth, from an apparently respectable media
Possible origin of the myth
The Straight Dope
A little on the harm this myth is causing
Yet more on the subject and how some people refuse to use their brain for thinking

Anyway, here's a quick checklist if you hear someone make a claim like this: If the claim (e.g. "bumblebees can't fly") does not correspond to observable facts (e.g. bumblebees flying), then either 1) the claim is an old theory which has now been disproven or 2) the claim is false. The claim could be false in general but true in specific scenarios or under specific conditions. For instance the claim could be that if only a specific set of conditions are considered then something specific holds true (e.g. "according to present knowledge of aerodynamics we cannot explain how a bumblebee can fly").

Return to that last example and count how many modifiers to the claim there are...

EDIT: Of course there's at least a third option: 3) The observation is wrong :-)

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Perl advocacy

PerlPosted by Thinker 2008-05-06 09:40
Andy Lester has a great article on PerlBuzz about Perl and how one might influence how it is perceived.

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A few links

GeneralPosted by Thinker 2008-05-05 13:29
A busy weekend, as no doubt they are bound to be for the coming months. So I'll link to two clips I suggest you watch.

Both are from TED. First is Brian Cox, astronomer, explaining what will go on in the Large Hadron Collider (link from Bad Astonomy Blog). The other is Jill Bolte Taylor, talking about how it felt when her brain went wild (link from O'Reilly Radar).

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Blog software and Feedreader

GeneralPosted by Thinker 2008-04-29 14:01
Just noticed that the order of the posts are wrong when you read this blog through at least one RSS reader, namely Feedreader. I'm not saying there's something wrong with Feedreader, it may very well be the blogging software used to run this blog.

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Perl programmer

PerlPosted by Thinker 2008-04-29 12:14

To my own amusement and in the spirit of keeping Michael Schwern happy, I'd like to state that this is also a perl blog. I've been a perl programmer for almost 12 years now and feel I owe many years of joy at work to perl, to Larry Wall and all those other that have contributed to perl.

What is this all about? Well, Tim Bunce's blog may hold clues to that ;-)

# added - followed that last link, just to make sure it worked, and found a link to "is perl still worth learning?" And I agree.

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GeneralPosted by Thinker 2008-04-29 11:01

The obvious first post on a blog. Well, obvious after the term blog became mainstream and almost everyone has one.

So ... welcome to my blog :-)

Those who know me know what topics I may write about here. Others will have to read a few posts to get the idea.

Currently the top image is from a vacation in Morocco in 2004

The other contender for top image was also from Morocco:

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