14 January 2011

Readers digest: alethiophile style

For any of you who are parents, there are some interesting bits to read through.

First up, an article from the BBC on children with imaginary friends.

From the Guardian, an article on a new book about strict parenting (after skimming through the comments, it seems the average Grauniad commenter doesn’t agree with strict parenting).

Back to the BBC, and an iPlayer programme (so limited to those with the right software, with a UK IP address, for a limited period of time) on the sexualisation of young children, with some great evidenced research, looking at the basis for many a parent’s concern.

Moving on from the world of parenting to the world of science.

Apparently, if you get drunk and start pouring your inebriating liquids into your superconductors, you can improve them, as one group of Japanese students found out recently.
Make sure to look at the paper for the full detail.

It has been revealed that the universe looks like a bad carpet from the 1970s.

In fairness, when you think about the detail it’s pretty amazing, but at first glance you can be forgiven for thinking “so what’s with all the brown dots?”

If you are fan of normal people coming up with silly ideas, then you can do little better than look at the latest campaign from the British Humanist Association. With the 2011 census upon us fairly soon, there is a question regarding a person’s religion. According to their website:
“The census data on religion produced by the 2001 census gave a wholly misleading picture of the religiosity of the UK.”
So what is the basis for thinking it was wrong? A survey commissioned by the BHA themselves which covered a far smaller sample than the 2001 census.

Yeah – me neither.

I’d just be interested as to whether the paid up members of the BHA put “humanist” in their box. In a quite extraordinary statement, they then go on to say:
“In order to strengthen our case, we also need evidence showing the difficulties created by data from the 2001 Census. So you can also help by looking out for for information in your locality which justifies ‘faith-based’ practices by public bodies based on Census results.”

“In order to strengthen our case” – I think perhaps they have forgotten about confirmation bias.

It will be very curious to find out how much money is donated and spent on a campaign whose message is, in essence “do what you were going to do anyway.”

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