Wrong Body Parts / Sinus Fiction / Possibility Studies

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has three segments. Here are bits of each of them: Wrong, wrong, wrong — The Journal of Patient Safety has a new report called “Insurance claims for wrong-side, wrong-organ, wrong-procedure, or wrong-person surgical errors: A retrospective study for 10 years“. Something is a little off even with […]

A nice appreciation (what could go wrong?) of Murphy and Stapp

The Today I Found Out blog has a nice appreciation of two—really three—people who shared an Ig Nobel Prize for (probably) giving Murphy’s Law it’s name. The appreciation is called “WHO WAS ‘MURPHY’ IN ‘MURPHY’S LAW’ AND THE AMAZING DR. JOHN PAUL STAPP WHO GAVE US THE EXPRESSION.” The 2003 Ig Nobel Prize for engineering […]

Professor Wright meets Professor Wrong (Toronto, c. 1921)

If you’re looking for a (documented) example of an occasion when Professor Wright encountered Professor Wrong, then your search is over. One such event happened somewhere around March 1921, at the University of Toronto Winter Short Course for farmers. Here’s an account, in Volume XXI of the University of Toronto Monthly, March 1921, No. 6. […]

The researcher who critiqued himself in public

It’s probably not a mere fairy tale. A researcher publicly criticized in detail some of his own published studies. (Frenzied mobs might now appear to criticize that criticism — presumably this researcher would more or less welcome such efforts.) Todd B. Kashdan, Associate Professor of Psychology at George Mason University, writes in Psychology Today: Let […]

For bibliophiles: Plackett Family of Distribution to Regression, Wrong

Anyone who loves books, any kind of books, is perhaps sure to love this one: Plackett Family of Distribution to Regression, Wrong, Volume 7 , Encyclopedia of Statistical Sciences, Samuel Kotz (Editor), Norman Lloyd Johnson (Editor) [pictured here], Campbell B. Read (Editor), Wiley-Interscience; Volume 7 edition (September 29, 1986). The publisher says it “is written in a […]

Aesthetic judgement of paintings hung wrong-way-up

It’s alleged that even the most prestigious art galleries sometimes hang artist’s work the wrong way up. But very little scientific research has addressed the issue of whether the public-at-large can correctly guess whether a modern art painting is the right way up or not.  Prompting George Mather, who is Professor of Vision Science, School […]