Spiraling difficulty of reliably interpreting scans of people’s brains

This new study suggests that some people’s personalities make it more difficult to get accurate MRI (and fMRI) pictures of their heads: “Individual Differences in Impulsivity Predict Head Motion during Magnetic Resonance Imaging,” Kong X-z, Zhen Z, Li X, Lu H-h, Wang R, et al., (2014) PLoS ONE, 9(8): e104989. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0104989. The authors are at Beijing […]

Using mathematics to describe things no one knows how to describe well

Here are two cases where: (A)  people used mathematical equations to describe complicated things that nobody understands very well; and then (B) other people noticed the, uh, discrepancy. The British amateur who debunked the mathematics of happiness: “It seemed incredible to Brown, as though it had been made up. But the number was no invention. […]

Reminder: Ig Nobel winner says world WILL end Friday

This is a reminder to mark your calendar. Harold Camping, who shared the 2011 Ig Nobel Prize in mathematics, again says that the world will end this Friday, October 21, 2011. BACKGROUND:  This year’s Ig Nobel prize in mathematics was awarded two weeks ago to Dorothy Martin of the USA (who predicted the world would end in 1954), Pat […]