‘Hmmm, sooo shiny, sooo nice’ – but why?

“Human beings are attracted to glossy objects. Shimmering lipsticks, gleaming cars, dazzling diamonds and sequined gowns […]” Given its prevalence, it’s perhaps surprising that motives for humans to seek out glossy, shiny, smooth things have, until now, gone largely underinvestigated in the scholarly world. A(n) hypothesis is presented, however, by doctoral student Katrien Meert of […]

Using urine as the main fluid to make flush toilets flush

Sometimes, an answer to a technological conundrum is there, quite literally, under our noses. Take toilet flushes for example. For those involved in water conservation, toilets are a headache. Even specialised ‘low-flow’ flush hardware can use 1.6 gpf (gallons per flush) – that’s approaching 6.1 litres. [Reference leglislation see : 42 U.S.C. § 6295 : […]

For specialists: Comment on stats re Plackett family of copulas

Most specialists in most fields seldom comment on anything to do with the Plackett family of copulas. Here is an exception: “Comment on ‘Trivariate statistical analysis of extreme rainfall events via the Plackett family of copulas’ by Shih-Chieh Kao and Rao S. Govindaraju: How are trivariate copulas put to use?“, T.P. Hutchinson, Water Resources Research, […]

Does water or blowing air stimulate Canadian cows to defecate?

Cow defecation and two of the four traditional Greek elements that constitute the universe are the subjects of this inquiry: “Does water or blowing air stimulate cows to defecate?” Marianne Villettaz Robichaud, Anne Marie de Passillé, Jeffrey Rushen, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, epub February 5, 2013. (Thanks to investigator Jim Handman for bringing this to our […]

God-awful pollution of India’s waters

Do the gods pollute? Scientists in India, worried about the public health consequences of immersing idols in lakes and rivers, have been looking anew at water pollution. They hope, and perhaps in some cases pray, to harmonise their medical concerns with some people’s religious priorities. Most of their research has focused on idols of the elephant-headed god Ganesh, created for […]