Spell Checkers don’t?

Beware the spellchecker! From NewScan Daily for 17 March 2003:

A study at the University of Pittsburgh reveals that the ubiquitous spellchecker software may be doing as much harm as good, when it comes to writing. In the study, 33 undergraduate students were asked to proofread a one-page business letter — half of them using Microsoft Word, with its spell- and grammar-checking features and the other half using only their brains. Without the software, students with higher SAT verbal scores made, on average, five errors, compared with 12.3 errors made by students with lower scores. However, using the software, the two groups made about the same number of errors — 16 vs. 17. Dennis Galletta, a professor of information systems at the Katz Business School, says people have come to rely on spellchecking software too completely. “It’s not a software problem, it’s a behavior problem.” (AP 14 Mar 2003)
http://apnews.excite.com/article/20030314/D7POQ7R80.html

posted at 1:28 pm on Monday, March 17, 2003 in Odd | Comments Off on Spell Checkers don’t?

The Megalomaniac’s Desktop

In the people with too much time on their hands department, we present formandcontent: worldview desktop v0.9, a dual-display desktop crammed full of various automatically updating information feeds (webcams, stock tickers, satellite weather views, etc. etc. etc.).

posted at 1:52 pm on Monday, February 10, 2003 in Odd | Comments Off on The Megalomaniac’s Desktop

Ethical Philosophy in 30 seconds or less

The Ethical Philosophy Selector, the closest match to my views on morality is Aquinas. Of course, reading the description, I don’t think that’s true, but it’s hard to make these quizzes.


In fact, I don’t really agree with any of the top 5:



  • Aquinas (100%)

  • Sartre (87%)

  • Hume (83%)

  • Nietzsche (77%)

  • Augustine (69%)


Ah well. Surveys fun. Must click mouse…

posted at 9:20 am on Thursday, January 16, 2003 in Odd | Comments Off on Ethical Philosophy in 30 seconds or less

Female Nudity

It’s disgusting, the things you find on the web…

posted at 4:33 pm on Monday, January 06, 2003 in Odd | Comments Off on Female Nudity

The Fly Guy

The Fly Guy is a fabulous little daydream; fly around, explore, have fun!

Thanks to Ginger for the link.

posted at 12:34 am on Friday, January 03, 2003 in Links, Odd | Comments Off on The Fly Guy

TV does add 4 kilograms

In related news, TV makes men hunkier and women chunkier.

Apparently due to “quirks” in our vision processing, 2D pictures of people look larger to us than corresponding 3D images. Strange…

posted at 4:00 pm on Friday, December 20, 2002 in Odd, Science and Technology, TV | Comments Off on TV does add 4 kilograms

Trends in Playboy Models

Centrefold models getting more androgynous

Based on 577 consecutive montly issues of Playboy, researchers graphed trends in height, body mass index, and waist to hip ratio. Wow, that would be a fun job; we always joke about scientific excuses for looking at naked women :-). Anyway, they discovered that:

  • BMI is dropping (20 to 18), making models skinnier
  • bust size is dropping, and waist to hip ratio is rising, making models less “hour-glass” shaped and more tubular
  • height is increasing, while weight remains constant

The net result; models are becoming less “classically” feminine, and more androgynous.

The real question is: are mens’ preferences changing, and is the media (including Playboy) documenting or causing the changes?

posted at 2:57 pm on Friday, December 20, 2002 in Odd, Science and Technology | Comments (2)
  1. Charlotte Spence says:

    harald-
    hi! i just wanted to let you know its not every guy that can lose weight like that and KEEP losing it. keep up the good work! it seems like to many people are over, or according to your article, UNDER weight these days. no one knows the true definition of nutrition and body type anymore.
    -charlotte

  2. Rossana says:

    i think that they look just fine. everyone else is just too fat!!!!!

Gift Ideas?

Just what everyone needs: A time machine. Or how about powdered urine?

These and other fun gifts can be found at the Holiday Survival Guide for Slackers

posted at 2:18 pm on Friday, December 13, 2002 in Odd | Comments Off on Gift Ideas?

Vampire Ecology

Take a PhD candidate in ecology. Assume he is also a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. One result could be a treatise titled Vampire Ecology in the Jossverse

The short answer appears to be yes, Sunnydale can support the vampire population we see there, and further that the predator-prey relationship is stable.

Cool.

Update: I forgot to credit Turn of a Friendly Die for the link. Bad Harald! No biscuit!

posted at 9:10 pm on Thursday, December 05, 2002 in Odd | Comments Off on Vampire Ecology

Too Much Spare Time?

New Scientist reports that Mathematics unravels optimum way of shoe lacing

There are many millions of different possibilities but, reassuringly, the proof shows that centuries of human trial and error has already selected out the strongest lacing patterns.

It’s nice to know that we humans can get something right…

(first seen in andersja’s blog)

posted at 12:49 pm on Thursday, December 05, 2002 in Odd, Science and Technology | Comments Off on Too Much Spare Time?
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