A British fascination: parachute failure

Britain continues to be fascinated with parachute jump failure. Here are two examples, one new, one old: “How to survive a parachute failure“—BBC News, 2018. and “Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma related to gravitational challenge: systematic review of randomised controlled trials” —British Medical Journal, 2003. (Thanks to IanVisits for bringing the new […]

Talent vs Luck: the Role of Randomness in Success and Failure [research study]

Are successful people better than people who did not achieve success—or are they to a large degree lucky? This physics-based analysis looked into that tangled question: “Talent vs Luck: the Role of Randomness in Success and Failure,” Alessandro Pluchino, A. E. Biondo, and Andrea Rapisarda, arXiv:1802.07068v1, February 20, 2018. The authors, at the University of […]

A man who drank too much iced tea

Iced tea can be medically dangerous, if consistently consumed copiously. A new study supplies evidence to that effect: “A Case of Iced-Tea Nephropathy,” Fahd Syed, Alejandra Mena-Gutierrez and Umbar Ghaffar, New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 372, April 2, 2015, pp. 1377-1378. The authors, at Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System and the University of Arkansas […]

Emotional intelligence does but does not predict success in med school

The conclusion reached in this study seems to rather contradict the study’s headline: “Emotional Intelligence Predicts Success in Medical School,” Nele Libbrecht, Filip Lievens [pictured here], Bernd Carette, Stéphane Côté,” Emotion, epub Nov 11 , 2013. The authors, at Ghent University and the University of Toronto, explain that: “Emotional intelligence did not predict performance on […]

To fail by looking at all ‘failed’ technology as failure

Maggie Koerth-Baker writes in BoingBoing:  “How the Refrigerator Got its Hum” is an article written by science historian Ruth Schwartz Cowan [pictured here]. It was published in 1985, in a book called The Social Shaping of Technology. The article traces the development of the refrigerator and the story of why we use electricity, rather than natural […]