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Adam Liss
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But that's a triple helix...
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Sometimes I wonder what they bring things we love to buy stuff off of up for. But then +Karen Conlin explains it for me.
 
It's not as painful as "literally means figuratively," but it's close

"Where'd you buy that?"
"I ordered it off Amazon." ("Off?" not "on?")

Ben Yagoda delves into the mysteries of "bought it offline" in this post over on (off? HAHAHAHA) Lingua Franca.

#RealEditorsProofBetter  
I read this sentence in The New York Times not long ago: “Most evenings, before watching late-night comedy or reading emails on his phone, Matt Nicoletti puts on a pair of orange-colored glasses that he bought for $8 off the Internet.” The phrase that caught my inner ear was “off the Internet.
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Oh deers... ;) I have a client that bought a shirt off of someone-judge said he had to have a different shirt. Don't ask...
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The FDA may finally "require homeopathic products to meet the same standards as other medications."

And not a bit too soon. If homeopathy were as safe and effective as proponents would have us believe (spoiler: it isn't), you'd think they'd be confident that their "remedies" would easily meet the same critera as other medications, and they'd be ecstatic to prove this once and for all.

So why do "authorities" like "Jennifer Jacobs, who practiced homeopathy for 30 years and is now a clinical assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health" fear that "Obviously, people are alarmed and wondering what the FDA is up to.... It seems to me that they have bigger fish to fry.”

Jacobs commits the same error that so many other purveyors of mystical non-science make when she says, "homeopathic remedies shouldn’t be dismissed merely because science lacks a clear explanation for why they have helped patients.... It’s foolish to think we understand everything about physics and chemistry at this point in time.... Just because we don’t understand exactly how they work doesn’t mean we won’t be able to in the future.”

She's absolutely right in that there's plenty that we don't understand, and that we will learn in the future. But she's misdirecting us by claiming we don't understand why homeopathy works, when the truth is that we do understand that it doesn't work. What's more, when it actually seems to work, the results are exactly the same as they are when placebos are substituted. Because, well, that's what homeopathy is: a placebo. So we've shown that homeopathy does not work, and we've explained the few positive results. There's no mystery here.

Add to that the basic assumption of homeopathy: the idea that water "remembers" what was dissolved in it, even after it's been diluted far beyond the point where not a single molecule of the original substance remains, which runs counter to everything we've learned about the way the world works. Not only doesn't it make sense, but it violates Occam's Razor to the point of buffoonery. Explain homeopathy to a 5-year-old and let them ask questions about it. "Why does it only work for some things?" "What about fish poop in the oceans?" "Why is it different from water with nothing in it?" The homeopath's answers involve as much imagination—and far less scientific understanding—than the child's questions.

And, of course, "doctors" like "Ronald Whitmont, a homeopathic doctor in New York and president of the American Institute of Homeopathy" ask the obvious question: “If it doesn’t work, why is it used worldwide by millions of people? Why isn’t it going away?”

The answer is just as obvious: people believe and buy things that don't work, all the time. Why? The first time may be due to the "ooh, shiny!" attraction: they catch our attention. But why do we continue to buy them? We remember emotionally charged experiences and forget non-events, so we tend to forget all the times we take a "miracle cure" and nothing happens. We still don't understand the difference between causation and correlation, so if we feel better after taking a homeopathic "remedy" we automatically assume it was effective, whether or not that's really true.

What's worse is that, when everything else we've tried has failed, and we're desperate, we need something to believe in. Homeopathy fills that void. It's usually less expensive than medically valid options, and sometimes patients will forgo real, effective treatment in favor of homeopathy. So the claim that it's risk-free is also dangerously misleading: opportunity costs are real costs, and they may be fatal.
The agency says it wants input on whether it needs to do more to ensure that remedies are safe and effective.
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I can have a meaningful conversation, or even a civil disagreement, with a rational nutjob. The irrational kind is alien reptile colander.
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It's not often you find this much sense on Buzzfeed!

Thanks, +Dan O'Shea.
 
Boost Your Happiness

10 Incredible Insights on Life, Proven by Science, That Will Phenomenally Boost Your Happiness
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Rule 0: stop chasing happiness. She is a bitch goddess. Take care of yourself and others, and let happiness take care of my yourself.
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The pursuit of lock picking is as old as the lock, which is itself as old as civilization. But in the entire history of the world, there was only one brief moment, lasting about 70 years, where you could put something under lock and key—a chest, a safe, your home—and have complete, unwavering certainty that no intruder could get to it.
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Adam Liss

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People care when they know.

Compassion is one of the odder aspects of humanity. Some people, especially children, are naturally compassionate toward everyone. But I think most of us aren't like that. We create "circles of compassion." Our families and closest friends are in the smallest circle; casual friends and coworkers are a little farther away; acquaintances come next; and strangers are at the periphery.

But we can further classify strangers into either a more human, corporeal category of those we've actually come into contact with, or seen pictures of, or somehow learned something about; and an almost hypothetical, abstract category of those who we can only imagine as a vague "them."

It's which of these last two categories a stranger falls into that seems to make all the difference in the way we tend to treat them. As long as we can relegate strangers to a faceless group of "them," it's easier to think of them as less than human, to make sweeping, less-than-charitable assumptions about them, and to rationalize our mistreatment or dislike of them. Whether it's physical, philosophical, behavioral, geographical, whatever, we focus on the differences that make them "other."

What I've seen, though, is the almost universal phenomenon that the more we learn about "them," about those who are "other," and the more we get to know them as individuals—thinking, feeling people with hopes and fears, talents and foibles, morals and ethics—the easier it is to recognize and accept that we're more similar than different, and the harder it is to keep our prejudices or insensitivity.

The quickest, most effective way to generate true compassion is simply for "us" to meet one of "them," as an individual, and to discover that there's a real, actual person inside.

h/t +Joachim Kessel 
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Well said...
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This is the best thing I've seen since Turtle Graphics!

Thanks, +Jennifer Evans!
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Very addictive. There are some bugs that make a few of the things in the 2nd area extra hard though. Particularly the flag methods are very unreliable and trying to use the shield will often block indefinitely.
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Because it came up after dinner: "300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute."

Three hundred. Hours. Per minute.

That's 12½ days' more video every minute.
2 years' more video every hour.

If you want to watch all the videos on YouTube, and you watch them one at a time, one at a time, you'll fall behind by 5 hours every second.
Product. YouTube has more than 1 billion users; Every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views; The number of hours people are watching on YouTube each month is up 50% year over year; 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute ...
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At what point is an intervention warranted?  Wow!
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As you should be, Brittany. If +Erno Rubik​ wants to win at 2048, he needs to score 8589934592. :-)
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Newly discovered 3 pages of A Wrinkle in Time that didn't make the final cut of Madeleine L'Engle's novel published in 1962. See the pages here:
http://graphics.wsj.com/documents/doc-cloud-embedder/?sidebar=1&hc_location=ufi#1881486-a-wrinkle-in-time-excerpt
Madeleine L’Engle’s ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ has sold 14 million copies since its publication in 1962. Now, a never-before-seen passage cut from an early draft is shedding surprising light on the author’s political philosophy
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Cool. And the inspiration for my first short story - a complete ripoff in 4th grade, titled The Fifth Dimension.
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My kids hadn't heard this before:

A programmer's wife asks him to go to the supermarket. "Get a loaf of bread. And if they have eggs, get a dozen." The programmer runs to the store and returns with a dozen loaves of bread. "Why on earth would you buy a dozen loaves of bread!?" his wife asks, flabbergasted.

"Because they had eggs."
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I thought unleavened bread was still allowed?
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Engineer, Puzzle Fanatic, Incurable Punster. Armchair cryptographer, security and privacy advocate. Insatiably curious about the world and its inhabitants.
Introduction
I am a natural experimentalist.  I love to learn, to innovate, and to make new mistakes.  I rarely take myself seriously; there are far more appropriate subjects to be serious about.

I find humor and puzzles in the ordinary, laugh at math jokes, and tend to cram far too many thoughts into one sentence. I'm fascinated by languages and smitten by the beauty and utility of American Sign Language. Bad grammar drives me nuts. 

I'm fond of teaching through analogy and counter-examples, asking silly questions, and gentle teasing.  Sometimes I make stuff up just to watch the gears turn in someone's head.  Whether you're a child or an adult, I'll show you that even "hard" subjects like math and science can be easyand funto learn.  If you think that's nuts, it's because you've been taught wrong.  I'll prove it to you. Try me.

I have an extremely low tolerance for willful ignorance, illogic, and baseless "alternative" explanations for the way the world works.

A 3-year-old gave up asking me "Why?" before I ran out of answers.

I'm terribly shy but have always found it easy to make people laugh.  Often at me.  And not always intentionally.  Childhood friends still tell me I'd have made a great stand-up comedian or psychiatrist; I can't help wondering how those talents are related.  But I'm sure we're all better off leaving that question unanswered.

Will work ... no ... have worked for chocolate.

How did you find me? If you added me to your circles and don't know me personally, I'd love to know what caught your interest!
Bragging rights
I have the best coworkers on the planet.
Work
Occupation
I disguise magical, complicated technology as simple, everyday tools.