August is hot. Humid, bedraggling, motivation-sapping hot. It’s so hot that Neil Diamond has a famous live album that’s literally called “Hot August Night.”
But what’s hotter than Neil Diamond busting out “I Am, I Said” for an amphitheater full of sweaty boomers?
A nuclear bomb going off over your head and turning you into atoms. That’s hot.
Obviously, the sabre-rattling between the U.S. and North Korea over Kim Jong Un’s nuclear ambitions has people nervous. Panicking, even. News broke last week that the Kim regime might be much closer to developing a nuclear warhead that can fit on a missile than anyone believed. He’s testing ICBM’s that could hit well into the U.S., and making grave threats about firing missiles at Guam and”mercilessly wiping out” his enemies.
I wrote this for ATTN: and don’t feel like it got the love it deserved. I dove into how you can tell if a new scientific finding making the media all a-flutter is actually worth your time, or something to be discarded.
How do you do that? If you can, try to read the study’s abstract on PubMed. If it’s a medical or drug discovery, see if it was a well-designed study, using randomized controlled trials and a large sample size.
Also see what conflicts of interest and funders the researchers are involved with. And if you can’t find that, try to find the impact factor of the journal. Is it well-respected by its peers. or an open-access journal that takes advantage of scientists by charging them to publish?
Professional sports and alternate history don’t mesh well, simply because the stakes aren’t high enough for us to really care that history was changed. Dwight Clark not making “The Catch” or “The Shot Heard Round the World” dying at the warning track don’t have the same weight and import that, say, the Nazis winning World War II might have.
I played soccer as a kid, but really wasn’t into it, to the point that my mother tells stories about me sitting on the field and picking grass while the game was going on. Oh, what a sensitive young lad I was.Read More »