Category: Broadcast media

Bandwagon latest: ‘Science news’ with tenuous World Cup relevance doing the rounds right now

1. Analyzing John Brooks’ Dream About Scoring the Winning Goal

Source: Time.com, ‘HEALTH’ section (17 June)

One-line summary:  A US soccer player scored a goal and then says he previously had a dream about doing so. So then, can your dreams predict or influence your future? Scientists say maybe or maybe not. By which they mean: ‘Actually not.’

We know it’s on the bandwagon because they say:So while it’s not exactly ‘scientific’…

World Cup relevance: 4/5

Science relevance: 2/5

 

2. The Story Behind the Foam That World Cup Refs Use To Stop Cheating

Source: Gizmodo.com (17 June)

One-line summary: That vanishing spray, invented in 2002, is now on TV a lot. So without actually explaining how it works, here’s what a ‘free kick’ is.

We know it’s on the bandwagon because they say: Continue reading “Bandwagon latest: ‘Science news’ with tenuous World Cup relevance doing the rounds right now”

Marriage causes germs (kind of)

Yesterday morning I watched an interesting breakfast TV show here in Accra, on Ghana’s GTV. Interesting for three reasons: (a) because it illustrated the passionately articulate and comfortably personable nature of many Ghanaians, with whom just about any quick chat can escalate into an eloquent debate within seconds; (b) because it showed how breakfast TV chat shows seem to follow a universal cross-cultural format, focusing largely on fashion, relationships, and personal health with discussion driven by a small coterie of generalist talking heads; and (c) because, well, religion.

After a slightly over-long item on “managing your wardrobe” (pro tip: don’t put smelly shoes in a wardrobe; the moisture spreads bacteria and mould to the clothes), we had a panel discussion on the slightly cognate subject of “managing your in-laws” (pro tip: again, no putting in wardrobes).

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Continue reading “Marriage causes germs (kind of)”

The passengers on MH370 deserve better than this

The search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 is a vastly complex endeavour. But it’s an empirical endeavour — it requires valid and reliable measurement and scanning methods, and an ability to objectively verify and triangulate all incoming data in order to draw logical conclusions about where to look next. For example, the latest wave of efforts appear to be benefiting hugely from satellite imagery, and we can only hope this helps investigators to quickly solve this tragic mystery.

Of course, the fact that it is a tragedy is no barrier to the crass minds of contemporary pseudoscientists. So we end up with this abomination, on CNN of all places:

CNN, I tells ya (Pic: Screengrab from video on Mediaite.com)

CNN, I tells ya (Pic: Screengrab from video on Mediaite.com)

Yes. It’s a psychic. Continue reading “The passengers on MH370 deserve better than this”

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