Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Interesting Articles of the Week

Daily Show/Colbert Report viewers have more knowledge of current events than viewers of any other news show.

Chimpanzees outperform humans in immediate memory tests.

Dinosaur soft tissue sequenced; Similar to chicken proteins.

The prospect of all-female conception.

Wal-Mart Backs Down from Organics.

Every household in the UK will be able to request a free device that shows how much electricity is being used in the home at any one particular moment.

Yahoo goes carbon neutral including employee commuting.


al fin said...

The idea of all-female conception has fascinated me for many years. When I read about the mesenchymal stem cell to germ cell research, that was my first thought. I was not aware that this idea was being discussed by the researchers themselves.

The Pew survey about listener/viewer knowledge of current events by news source is infinitely manipulable. You can move one news source up or down simply by setting the stratification set points at different levels. That is why any survey worth its salt will give the raw scores, not just stratified scores.

In addition, no one restricts their information access to one source. There is too much room for manipulation and confounding in this survey, in my opinion.

Do you really believe that Rush Limbaugh listeners know more about the world than regular readers of newspapers?

Audacious Epigone said...


Actually, if you consider "moderate" knowledge of current events as equidistant from "high" and "low", O'Reilly Factor viewers fare better than the Colbert crew.

Notice how poorly NPR does. I guess a lot of that subsidized outfit's listeners are professors, so how surprised can we be? :)

Also, notice how clueless women are.

Fat Knowledge said...


Yes the all female conception is really interesting. The other thing I would like to know if you could create sperm cells from a dead person, such as Einstein or Newton if you got a hold of their DNA, or maybe some other tissues/cells.

I am with you on the manipulability of those surveys. Just something fun to discuss, but not one to take very seriously. I mean did they even have a margin of error in the results? With one I think lots of the values would have been a tie. And how do they make sure they get a representative sample of viewers?

And yes I was quite surprised to see how Limbaugh listeners rated. If I was him, I would be trumping that result up for years. :)


Yeah, I noticed the same thing on the O'Reilly Factor. Could have changed the title of the post, but that wouldn't have served my bias as an avid Colbert fan and a detester of O'Reilly (mainly because he is always angry and makes my blood pressure go up, even if I agree with what he is saying). I think Colbert got dragged down on the low end by the "stoned slacker" demographic. :)

As for the women, I had read an article by a self proclaimed feminist a couple of months ago who said that in general women are less informed on political matters, so if she said it I figure it is probably true.

Audacious Epigone said...


Hehe, I'll always have a soft-spot in my heart for O'Reilly. He single-handedly broke me out of the silly sci-fi competitive haze (Warcraft, Magic: The Gathering, etc) that ate up all of my junior high and most of my high school years. While he still seems to give the predictable neocon line on most issues (at least from the couple of times each month I catch a couple of segments), I still think his advice on how to conduct yourself in personal matters, with friends and co-workers, etc, is top notch for a media figure.

Audacious Epigone said...

mainly because he is always angry and makes my blood pressure go up, even if I agree with what he is saying

It's the unctuousness I hear on most NPR programming that does that to me. It seems as though its reporters must be as ridiculously lugubrious as possible to rise to the top (I do like Steve Inskeep, however).

Fat Knowledge said...


I am glad to hear that some good has come from all of O'Reilly's bloviating.

As for NPR, I just find that they speak in a monotone voice with an odd cadence. I really don't know how they do it.

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.