Detective Story: The Case of Dimples and ‘Not’ Not Being There

Niels Berg Olsen sent this (fabulously) discerning note: I enjoyed reading your item on Greek cheek in your fabulous book This is Improbable, Too [Printed and bound in Denmark…”]. I notice a difference in the text in the book and in your news item in the Guardian: In the Guardian you wrote: “The report […]

A telling typo: High Hell Shoes

A typographical error, like a Freudian slip, can sometimes reveal a hidden truth. An example — the phrase “high hell shoes” — appears in this medical study: “Evaluation of the influence of low and high heel shoes on erector spine muscle bioelectrical activity assessed at baseline and during movement,” Anna Mika, Łukasz Oleksy, Edyta Mikołajczyk, Anna Marchewka, […]

‘Fat fingers’ and computer programming languages

The ‘Fat Finger Syndrome’ is a semi-affectionate nickname used by computer programmers – meaning ‘making typing errors’. As anyone who has tried their hand at programming will know, a seemingly tiny error (for a human), for example simply substituting a   ;    for a   :    can render a programme completely unusable. But it […]

Heavy Meals / Heavy Metals: Typo?

This study’s title appears to have a typo. Does it? “Heavy meals in urban roadside soils, part 1: effect of particle size fractions on heavy metals partitioning,” Xue-Song Wang, Yong Qin and Yong-Kang Chen, Environmental Geology, vol. 50, 2006, pp. 1061–1066. The authors are at Huaihai Institute of Technology, China University of Mining and Technology, […]

Sociology and Phycology

Yahoo Answers accepts questions that few other answer-all-questions services do. Here’s an example: “What is the difference between sociology and phycology?” Yahoo Answers says that the former “tends to examine groups of persons (societies), communities, and nations” while the latter “examines more of the workings of the human mind, why persons think and behave as […]