Color me surprised that the Republican-led House is poking its nose into NSF research again, looking for stuff it can mock. On his list of stuff “no taxpayer benefits from” is research into bicycle design. The grantee, Mont Hubbard, defends the research:
This is Weight Stigma Awareness Week, and today’s post is my participation. I know, I know. I tend to give awareness campaigns the side-eye, too. It’s not clear to me, for example, how increasing breast cancer awareness is constructive, let alone possible. I mean, we’re all pretty aware of breast cancer.
Earlier this month I went to the doctor for a checkup. I left with medications that I will probably take for the rest of my life. Most were cheap, but one — a statin — costs $2 a dose. As near as I can tell, I don’t need it and am better off without it. My cholesterol numbers are quite good. Even the doctor said so. But he prescribed the statin any way, because why not? I can think of about 720 reasons annually.
Textbook companies are eager to replace their paper books with electronic ones, but apparently it is harder to learn from an ebook than it is a paper one. Stavanger University researchers, for example, find it is harder to put plot points in order when the text is read through an electronic device. They say it might be the haptic qualities of paper that improve memory:
[The differences for Kindle readers] might have something to do with the fact that the fixity of a text on paper, and this very gradual unfolding of paper as you progress through a story, is some kind of sensory offload, supporting the visual sense of progress when you are reading. Perhaps this somehow aids the reader, providing more fixity and solidity to the reader’s sense of unfolding and progress of the text, and hence the story.
The source material for the study was only twenty-eight pages, though, so how much physicality plays into it is debatable. And with only fifty people in the study, even significant differences could be statistical noise.
I was wading in the New River this weekend when I got an automated email message saying my web site was down. The New River is huge and ancient. It’s the third oldest river in the world. And it’s been in my metaphorical back yard for about eleven (non-continuous) years, but this weekend was the first time I had actually ever touched the water while it was still in the actual river.