Monday, September 22, 2008

It's a smarty pants blog - back to stoopid tomorrow, I promise

1. A friend asked me why triclosan was's the answer.

2. National Geographic is reporting the discovery of hundreds of new species of Australian marine life, including this fantastic, bioluminescent jelly comb. Must be jelly 'cuz jam don't shake like that.

3. Okay, so I read this article in the NYT by Natalie's fascinating. It describes the way the kind of numerical logic that many animals have - picking a bush with more berries, rather than one with fewer, for example and how humans use that skill in congress with more traditional, math-test kind of learning.

I liked the fact that it came with a version of the test the survey used to determine levels of innate numerical logic. (A version of the test is here.) I must say, I became very, very smug when I got the test correct for eleven times in a row. (It's pretty heady to see that "100% correct") (She'll always be a suck up to the standardized test. -ed.) Somewhere after number 12 it all went south. What does this tell me - I have great mathematical instincts for a very short time, after which point I'll begin to drool and can be out reasoned by a bar of soap? I hope not. I came out at 84% correct after 25 tests, which is the minimum number needed to get a reasonable result. You know me, I'm gonna go practice now...

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