How many Homo halibus
What fraction have been dug up and examined?
What about other species?
How does the fraction of individuals preserved and studied fall off
you moved back through time?
2009-05-29 Friday 07:11:19
In a letter to Physics Today
that the terms "Stone Age," "Iron Age," etc. refer
to the material used most commonly to construct knives.
This means we are currently in the Stainless Steel Age,
possibly changing to the Plastic Age.
By some reasonable measure, when would the transition happen?
2009-05-28 Thursday 17:37:37
I can make a partially deflated helium balloon neutrally buoyant by
trimming bits off its string. How big are the variations in the
"right" counterweight in an ordinary room?
2009-04-22 Wednesday 12:52:43
Many people have jaws too small to contain thirty-two teeth,
and have to have their "wisdom teeth" extracted.
When did this practice become widespread?
And how common is it to have an
2009-02-24 Tuesday 12:41:14
Much of the work of digestion is done by bacteria in the gut.
Could an appropriately engineered infection
permit someone to extract nutrition from normally indigestible
materials, like grass and wood?
2009-01-29 Thursday 19:37:59
Among the different Nobel prizes, there is a big spread between
when work is done and when it is rewarded. The physics prizes seem
to go to people whose work decades ago has shaped research since,
while the peace prizes seem to go to people who are actively doing
notable things right now. What's the distribution of times
between doing something noteworthy and winning a prize for it? What
about less famous prizes?
2008-10-08 Wednesday 10:54:38
Fresh Air interviewed
Katharine Jefferts Schori
, the primate of the US Episcopal
Church, who has a doctorate in oceanography. Are advanced degrees
in the sciences more common, or less common, in the clergy than in
other nontechnical fields? How does the frequency change across
2008-10-08 Wednesday 10:27:03
There are 146×106
Powerball lottery tickets. If
the jackpot goes above about $120M, the average payoff on a single
ticket is more than a dollar. Of course, buying two
doesn't double the payoff: you can't win the jackpot twice.
If an ensemble of catious statisticians only played the lottery
when the payout was positive, what fraction would actually come out
2008-09-24 Wednesday 09:39:54
I have heard it repeated a few times now that, in some counting,
the human body is "mostly" bacteria. Is this number of
cells? biomass? genetic information? Wikipedia cites
"mini-review" in Anaerobe
. How much of the
human body and its function are bacterial in other interesting
2008-09-22 Monday 10:40:07