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A great example of gender neutrality, triggered by a 6 year old!

From http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-culture/7yearold-girl-writes-letter-ends-companys-sexist-marketing-strategy-20141205-120pcu.html Parker Dains, a 7-year-old schoolkid/bookworm from California, was enjoying a book about insects, when she got to the back page and found that it was part of an ongoing series featuring monsters, dinosaurs and pirates called ‘Biggest, Baddest Books For Boys’. “Dear Publishers: I am a 6-year-old girl and I just read the ‘Biggest, … Continue reading

A good reason to make lists

From MakeUseOf [I]t turns out that the Zeigarnik effect is not, as we assumed for decades, a reminder that continues unabated until the task gets done . . . Instead, the unconscious is asking the conscious mind to make a plan . . . Once the plan is formed, the unconscious can stop nagging the … Continue reading

Research has found Australian babies can pick the different vowel sounds in a Canadian accent better than Aussie accents.

Researchers in Sydney have found that Australian babies sometimes struggle with a broad local accent and find it easier to comprehend someone from Canada. Continue reading

Sphygmomanometers not regularly tested

From http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2011/10/19/3342649.htm “Up to 70,000 Australians may have undetected high blood pressure because of errors in the devices that measure blood pressure, according to an Australian expert.” “Furthermore, 84,000 Australian adults may be incorrectly diagnosed as having high blood pressure, and are possibly being unnecessarily treated with blood pressure medications, he says.” “… once sold, there is … Continue reading

Effective oxygen versus altitude

When I was much younger, I suffered altitude sickness by over exerting myself at about 3.5km altitude at the top of Jungfraujoch. I assumed that the problem was lower oxygen levels at altitude, but I was surprised to learn recently that the percentage of oxygen is pretty much constant, irrespective of altitude (at least for the … Continue reading

Google self-driving cars adopt “bad behaviours” to drive better

From http://au.pcmag.com/cars-products/26675/opinion/making-robot-cars-more-human “… Google has begun programming its fleet of self-driving cars to inch forward at four-way stops, lest the vehicles defer to more aggressive human drivers and sit too long at a stop sign.” {Emphasis mine} I think that this is a very clever and sensible adaptation by Google, but it says a lot about … Continue reading