May 1st, 2009


I Do Not Think 50-50 Means What You Think It Means

Oh Come On Give Me A Fucking Break

There are always idiots out there who try to get attention to themselves on science issues -- but turn out not to know a lot about science. Trust Jon Stewart and Comedy Central to put one of these guys forward. You simply have to watch The Daily Show's piece of 30 April 2009 on the Large Hadron Collider -- I'm doing the direct link because other sites have had problems with the embedded video link.

How NOT To Do Statistics

If you have two possibilities, that either A or B could happen, the odds of B happening are not fifty-fifty. What kind of moron would claim that? What utter sheer nonsense.

Which makes you wonder why CNN, the BBC, 60 Minutes on CBS and others have given this guy even one second of air time -- which effectively gives this guy some credibility in the eyes of gullible viewers around the world.

The Disclaimer

Could CERN's LHC create a microscopic black hole that could get out of control and devour the Earth? The odds are vanishingly small, but as I am not an LHC scientist, I am not going to pontificate and say they are absolutely zero. If they're not zero, shouldn't they shut the damned thing down? Hmm... let's see. If we were to shut down everything that could adversely impact life on Earth, or even life in my neighborhood, then there's a helluva lot higher priority things I'd want my government to concern itself with than this one.

You want to threaten the world with creating an accidental black hole? Then read my short story "Boxes", published in CrossTIME Anthology Vol. V.

I am such a stupid shit.  And I think I accidentally 
made a black hole in my basement.

Jessie Martin just wants to teach college physics part-time. But he got laid off and had to move years of crap back home to his basement. Then one morning he couldn't find his cat or his wife -- and all those boxes in the basement were gone, except for one shining little mote floating in the air, whistling as the air rushed into it. How do you tell everyone that the world is coming to end and it's your fault?

But remember, this is just a science fiction story. Don't go banning people from storing National Geographics in their basement just yet...

Dr. Phil