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13 Things That Do Not Make Sense

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the wookies-on-endor dept.

Space 1013

thpr writes "New Scientist is reporting on 13 things which do not make sense. It's an interesting article about 13 areas in which observations do not line up with current theory. From the placebo effect to dark matter, it's a list of areas in need of additional research. Explanations could lead to significant breakthroughs... or at least new and different errors in scientific observations. Now there are 20 interesting problems for Slashdotters to work on, once you combine these with the seven Millennium Problems!"

cancel ×

1013 comments

The Pacebo effect is controversial (5, Funny)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972164)

There was a study not that long ago that concluded that the placebo effect doesn't really exist. How did they test that? Did they give some patients a placebo, and others (the control group) a fake placebo?

Re:The Pacebo effect is controversial (4, Funny)

Shachaf (781326) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972175)

Possibly they gave one group real medicine, and the other nothing at all, and got the same results as giving one group real medicine, and the other a placebo.

Re:The Pacebo effect is controversial (4, Informative)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972180)

Here's the Slashdot story [slashdot.org] on the study that seemed to discredit the placebo effect.

Re:The Pacebo effect is controversial (3, Funny)

Surye (580125) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972302)

Wouldn't be the first time a slashdot story discredited something/someone. Only this time that was the intent.

Re:The Pacebo effect is controversial (5, Informative)

daveo0331 (469843) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972202)

Two groups of test subjects. Tell Group A the usual story, some people are getting placebos while others are getting the real thing and no one knows who's who. Tell group B everyone's getting a placebo. Give everyone placebos, and see if the pills being taken by group A have any effect.

Re:The Pacebo effect is controversial (1)

MerlinTheWizard (824941) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972430)

Which is basically the exact same that is done for testing real drugs. In one case, you try to prove the drug has a benefit over the placebo. In the other case, you try to prove the placebo has no benefit over the drug that works. Which is a given, because that is how we test drugs. Uh huh. ;-)

Re:The Pacebo effect is controversial (2, Interesting)

bryanthompson (627923) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972217)

I think an effective use of a placebo is when addicts of some types of drugs continue going to methadone clinics, even after the physical addiction is gone... Even if the dosage is so small it doesn't matter, or even if the dosage is a placebo by that time, it makes them feel better to go.

I think it's also one reason why some people feel the need to have a disorder of some kind. It's something like what a hypochondriac feels, but different. I'm not a doctor, but from my understanding, hypochondriacs make themselves sick and need to feel sick, whereas someone who feels the need to have a disorder of some kind needs the attention, or the feeling they get from treatment. I guess it's more like fight club.

Re:The Pacebo effect is controversial (2, Interesting)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972240)

I think an effective use of a placebo is when addicts of some types of drugs continue going to methadone clinics, even after the physical addiction is gone...
That would be a great example, except that methadone is addictive. The reason it is given to heroin addicts is that it doesn't get them high. It's unclear to me exactly why that is considered an improvement.

Re:The Pacebo effect is controversial (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972311)

It's the war on drugs, dude.

The constitution guarantees the PURSUIT of happiness. It doesn't say anything about getting it. You're guaranteed to always be chasing it, never catching up.

Re:The Pacebo effect is controversial (4, Informative)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972402)

Argh. No it doesn't. Why don't you try actually reading the Constitution?

"Pursuit of happiness", a reference to Locke's "pursuit of property", was a principle stated in the Declaration of Independence, a document that has no bearing on US law.

Re:The Pacebo effect is controversial (5, Informative)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972432)

Methadone will get them high, just not as high, and the effects last longer, so a new high isn't sought quite as fast. It's also deliverable via tablet for the same effect, which is much safer and less expensive than intravenous delivery. However, it is, as you mention, extremely addictive, and it's important to watch patients closely, as withdrawal from it is still extremely painful, and can last longer than heroin withdrawal.

Re:The Placebo effect is controversial (5, Interesting)

shanen (462549) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972360)

Yeah, we know you're in a hurry to post quickly, but the result is an entire thread with your hurried spelling mistake (not copied above).

Anyway, the counterexample in the article is easy enough to explain, in that the counter-placebo actively prevents some secondary effect, where it is the secondary effect that is closer to the true cause of the perceived pain reduction. The the morphine or the original placebo are just acting somewhere higher in the chain. Given how little we know about the nature of the mind (including our perception of pain), the results are not nearly as suprising as they proclaim.

The whole topic of "truth" just seems so passe these days. Faith-based politicians aren't going to worry about any of it, anyway. They don't need or want better science or more facts--they already know what they believe, and they're going to structure the world around their beliefs, no matter how crazy. The whole notion of truth is under attack.

So many examples, it's hard to know where to start. The two that are on my mind right now are the new UN ambassador who is pledged to destroying the UN, and appointing the master planner of the Iraq fiasco to the World Bank.

As I did not RTFA (-1, Offtopic)

maotx (765127) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972166)

Does it include Slashdot first posters who do not RTFA?*



*I'm gonna go read it now...

Re:As I did not RTFA (2, Insightful)

weighn (578357) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972192)

no -- that makes a LOT of sense. Particularly when trying to get an early post.
Doesn't it say in the FAQ -- post early, post often?

Re:As I did not RTFA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972203)

You go gurl...!

#14 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972179)

14. Why zealots continue to froth about Linux, even though it doesn't have shit on *BSD in the server department, and Windows in the desktop department.

Because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972257)

2005 is the year of Linux on the desktop!!!

Re:#14 (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972388)

Why zealots continue to froth about Linux, even though it doesn't have shit on *BSD in the server department, and Windows in the desktop department.

In the first case, Numbers. In the second case, stability and price.

Any other questions?

Seriously, I think the Linux has taken off and become a media darling while the various BSDs have not is the idea that anyone can contribute code to the Linux kernel. Even though relatively few people actually do, the fact that they CAN is attractive to people.

LK

And number 11.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972187)

Ladies and gentlemen of the supposed jury, I have one final thing I want you to consider: this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk, but Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now, think about that. That does not make sense! Why would a Wookiee -- an eight foot tall Wookiee -- want to live on Endor with a bunch of two foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! But more importantly, you have to ask yourself: what does that have to do with science? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with science! It does not make sense! Look at me, I'm posting on slashdot in response to an article about science, and I'm talkin' about Chewbacca. Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense. None of this makes sense. And so you have to remember, when you're in that jury room deliberating and conjugating the Emancipation Proclamation... does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense. If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests

Look at this monkey.... (3, Funny)

Cumstien (637803) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972329)

Look at this monkey.... [Head asplode] That does not make sense.

Re:And number 11.. (5, Funny)

halivar (535827) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972343)

Oh great. Now we can add the "Chewbacca defense" to the same illustrious group of overquoted "instant +5 funny" personalities as Yakov Smirnov, CATS, Kent Brockman, and the Beowulf cluster guy.

I can't wait for someone to mention that in Korea, only old people use the Chewbacca defense. /me shoots self

Re:And number 11.. (3, Funny)

mbrewthx (693182) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972427)

No but as an ewok I welcomed our eight foot tall also hairy like us overlord!!!!

Re:And number 11.. (2, Informative)

trendyhendy (471691) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972398)

The AC parent is quoting the Chewbacca Defence [wikipedia.org] .

Why would a Wookiee -- an eight foot tall Wookiee (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972189)

That does not make sense!

Sheesh, the list doesn't even include (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972196)

the Chewbacca defense.

Re:Sheesh, the list doesn't even include (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972218)

Heh, four of us posted variations on this theme in two minutes. Talk about not making sense!

Apparently, South Park is one of the forces responsible for holding the universe together.

Re:Sheesh, the list doesn't even include (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972279)

Apparently there is a mod that doesn't know what a troll is. The first two in this thread might have been "redundant," but only this one could really be considered a troll (or perhaps offtopic).

Obvious omission: Chewbacca (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972199)

But more important, you have to ask yourself, what does this have to do with this case? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense!

Look at me, I'm a lawyer defending a major record company, and I'm talkin' about Chewbacca. Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense. None of this makes sense!

And so you have to remember, when you're in that jury room deliberating and conjugating the Emancipation Proclamation... does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense.

If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests.

Re:Obvious omission: Chewbacca (-1, Troll)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972406)

2 minutes too late. Someone just got a +5 Funny for being 2 minutes faster than you. How much sense does that make?

LK

Hmmm (-1, Troll)

rampant mac (561036) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972207)

#14

Linux on the Desktop / BSD *not* dying.

ZING!

Body Just needs to think it's getting morphine? (4, Interesting)

filmmaker (850359) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972214)

So what is going on? Doctors have known about the placebo effect for decades, and the naloxone result seems to show that the placebo effect is somehow biochemical. But apart from that, we simply don't know.

That's really interesting. The body and/or the brain releases the THIQ (I would presume) as if herion were present, but only if the morphine blocker isn't used in combination with the placebo.

This suggests that as long as we think we're getting morphine, our bodies will respond accordingly. If the phenomenon could be isolated...combine that with some VR, and you've got the opium dens of the digital age. But no opium.

Re:Body Just needs to think it's getting morphine? (4, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972230)

Great, then I will have to tell my boss I was missing for a couple of days because I thought I was on a bender.

Re:Body Just needs to think it's getting morphine? (0, Troll)

serjinn (755167) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972405)

A bender, eh? Now there's some "homeopathy"!

Re:Body Just needs to think it's getting morphine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972238)

Just like my company thinks they get a lot of work out of me while in the real world I'm just reading slashdot.

Re:Body Just needs to think it's getting morphine? (1)

templest (705025) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972289)

If that were the case... I'd try every drug in existance. Hey... wouldn't you? But alas... If I know I'm doing it... then my body won't respond. So I have to find a way to purposely not know that I'm taking a placebo... Hmm. And would this lead to something like, telling patients they are taking a magical new pill that cures cancer, and the body acting accordingly due to it believing it... ah, k. Enough of this.

Re:Body Just needs to think it's getting morphine? (4, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972362)

Morphine works because it is an analog of some natural molecule in the body and affects the same receptor. Naloxone presumably works because either it binds morhpine or it binds the morphine receptor. Thus it might be reasonable to assume that naloxone would also inhibit the natural molecule as well. This does not explain why saline induces the same effect as morphine but I think it explains why naloxone could seem to increase the pain.

Why am I showing you a picture of Chewbacca? (-1, Redundant)

Mskpath3 (764785) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972219)

...this does not make sense!

2) The horizon problem - SOLVED! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972224)

Intelligent Design!

Re:2) The horizon problem - SOLVED! (1)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972428)

The moderation of the parent as -1, Flamebait is +1, Funny!

Maybe Saline is more powerful than we think (3, Interesting)

Andyvan (824761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972228)

Maybe saline solution is not completely inert after all, and so is not a good placebo.

-- Andyvan

Re:Maybe Saline is more powerful than we think (5, Funny)

lambent (234167) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972242)

They should probably just use air in the syringes, then.

Re:Maybe Saline is more powerful than we think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972377)

Yes, death will certainly help.

Re:Maybe Saline is more powerful than we think (1)

pharwell (854602) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972411)

The Ocean is the ultimate solution.

Of course they don't! (1)

adolfojp (730818) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972233)

They were put yhere by god to test our faith!
:-P

Cheers,
Adolfo

Thank you (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972235)

Just great, like I really needed 13 more things to worry about.

Hey, why wasn't my wife on that list?

How about this... (5, Funny)

templest (705025) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972237)

I have emough thimgs that dom't nake semse im ny life so as to worry about that. For exanple, why the fuck does ny keyboard type "n" whem I clearly hit the "m" ke... wait, mvn... forgot to put the keys back right. Okay, i'll give those problems a whirl now.

Re:How about this... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972249)

For exanple, why the fuck does ny keyboard type "n" whem I clearly hit the "m" ke...

Because you're a norom?

14th thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972243)

that does not make sense is; trying to rtfa during a /. blackout!

This was a very fascinating story (-1, Flamebait)

EspressoMachine (815675) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972244)

This morning when I saw it on CNET

Mind over matter. (4, Interesting)

gimpynerd (864361) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972246)

The brain is a very powerful thing. I don't know what is so hard to believe. Pain originates in the brain so it isn't that hard to believe that you can deceive it.

No. 14 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972266)

Why do men have nipples?

Homeopathy. (2, Insightful)

Petter3 (532365) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972267)

"And it remains true that no homeopathic remedy has ever been shown to work in a large randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial.

But the Belfast study (Inflammation Research, vol 53, p 181) suggests that something is going on."

Excellent. If tests suggests something's going on, let's test it further.

"We are," Ennis says in her paper, "unable to explain our findings and are reporting them to encourage others to investigate this phenomenon."

I hope she and others keep testing it, since this is the first time I've ever heard of homeopathy even being remotely true. I won't hold my breath though.

Re:Homeopathy. (3, Insightful)

Feneric (765069) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972322)

After reading the article I find myself wondering if homeopathy and the placebo effect are in any way related regarding what makes them work...

Is a solution so weak that it probably doesn't even contain a single molecule of the active ingredient any different from a solution that isn't an active ingredient at all? In both cases it seems the key factor is that the patient believes it's an active ingredient.

Re:Homeopathy. (1)

Petter3 (532365) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972356)

A very good point, I hadn't even thought of that.

I've sent Ennis an email asking about her study, I'll post here if I get a reply.

Re:Homeopathy. (5, Informative)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972358)

I thought the homeopathic test was performed on white blood cells in a solution - not in a body, leaving no possibility for the mind to affect it.

Re:Homeopathy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972383)

I thought the homeopathic test was performed on white blood cells in a solution - not in a body, leaving no possibility for the mind to affect it.

So perhaps the real discovery here won't be that homeopathy works as advertised, but rather that white blood cells aren't as stupid as we think they are...

Homeopathy counter example to disprove result (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972422)

Okay here's my counter example.
1) mix up your solution of water and 1 mole of deadly nightshade
2) divide it in two
3) pour half down the drain
4) add back the missing half with water from the tap.
5) repeat from step 2, one hundred times.

At this point the original solution is thought to be dilluted by a factor of 2^100 = 10^30. thus your original 6 x10^23 molecules have been dilluted to the point where there is less than a chance in a million one molecule of night shade exists.

6) now test this on a subject sensitive to nightshade and look for a response.

7) as a control experiment, use plain water from the tap and look for a response.

Did you see one in step 7? You should have since you poured all that nightshade down the drain in step 3. Thus the tap water is also composed of dilluted elixer.

Thus if you do see a difference between your dilluted elixer and the tap water then you fucked up your experiment. And if you dont see a difference the homeopathy does not exist.

QED

13 or so (2, Informative)

ICECommander (811191) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972269)

The whole "WOW" signal does not lead to the existence to extraterrestrial civilization. The researchers that discovered the event said that it very well may have been a terrestrial signal that bounced off the atmosphere. This one should have renamed the New Scientist to Pseudo Scientist. :-P.
Here is something else that does not make sense (or for which there is no standing theory): Tachyons [wikipedia.org] , or particles that travel faster than the speed of light.

Re:13 or so (1)

Darth Cow (533706) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972400)

It's easy to say Tachyons don't make any sense, but that doesn't say anything considering that they are only a hypothetical particle. You only need a theory if there's actually a phenomena to explain.

When observation matches up with theory... (3, Interesting)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972270)

...nobody must be looking at the data.

During the dark ages people were absolutely convinced that theory was correct. And anything that disagreed with the theory was burned, as were the heretics who observed it.

Missing option (3, Interesting)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972284)

What about "Why do people believe whatever politicians say?". I've never seen a single one not lie out his ass every chance he gets just to win votes then 6 months later deny all knowledge. We're ment to be a smart race yet we repeatedly fall for the same scams and tricks day in and day out.

Might not be "why is the universe breaking laws we know apply to everything in it", but it's something which might effect our lives unlike a few of the things mentioned.

The Placebo Effect (5, Funny)

prakslash (681585) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972293)


I guess I might as well buy those enlargement pills after all.

Hey, you never know...

Re:The Placebo Effect (1)

pbaer (833011) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972361)

Won't work. With the placebo effect the drug needs to do something then when it is switched with a placebo your body acts like it is still taking the real thing.

The Chewbacca Defence (-1, Redundant)

BortQ (468164) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972298)

Why would a 7 foot tall Wookie wanna be on a planet with little 2 foot tall Ewoks? IT..DOES...NOT..MAKE..SENSE !!

Re:The Chewbacca Defence (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972392)

"Why would a 7 foot tall Wookie wanna be on a planet with little 2 foot tall Ewoks?"

Oh, I don't know. He wants to be a dominant center?

remember (1)

arashiakari (633150) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972299)

"my god, its full of stars."

/. readers do the 14th all the time (4, Funny)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972308)

The 14th thing that makes no sense: Not reading the article that is posted right there in the submission and easily reachable to inform the reader, and yet feeling fully qualified to write something as a comment without that knowledge.

Such as this comment...

Re:/. readers do the 14th all the time (2, Funny)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972396)

You must be old here. The current fashion in slashdot is that not even editors RTFA. We are currently working on SNRTFA, that is, Submitters Not Reading the Fucking Article, maybe next year ...

#14..... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972309)

Bush 2nd Term

another thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972310)

...why is it, that whenever I pick my nose, it's full again? Funk that.

Question: (1)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972313)

If they find that the placebo effect is biochemical, will this invalidate medical experiments that use placebos? I was under the impression that they used placebos as a comparison to the real drugs used.

Re:Question: (1)

Game_Ender (815505) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972351)

No, it will still be valid. The purpose of a placebo is to figure out whether a drug will heal you better than if you were just told you were being healed. It doesn't matter what your body does when it thinks it is being given a drug, just the comparison between that effect and the effect of the drug in question.

This really doesn't make sense (0, Offtopic)

javamann (410973) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972314)

How 51+ million people could vote for Bush.

Seriously? Unexplainable Phenomenon? (1, Troll)

micsmith (861221) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972328)

I don't find these issues to be unexplainable or unsupported in the least. The idea that these events are unexplainable "phenomena" is nothing more than a direct consequence of a limitation resulting from an individual's chosen belief system. The only reason these things become hard to comprehend or understand is because a person refuses to accept things past a certain level. The extent of the criteria a person uses to divide those beliefs and understandings (capable of explaining these things) directly determines whether they belong to faith or science. Quite frankly, I would day that people are either significantly under-educated in this regard or are to close-minded to accept facts and principles which are either not yet public, or are barely out of their tangible reach. You want to know how these things exist as they do? You could start by reading this: http://falundafa.org/book/eng/zflus.html [falundafa.org]

Re:Seriously? Unexplainable Phenomenon? (1)

Eloquence (144160) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972419)

There are no shortcuts to truth.

Belfast homeopathy study? (4, Informative)

rdwald (831442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972333)

Why not include the Columbia prayer study? Oh, yea, because it's been thoroughly discredited [csicop.org] . Just like the Belfast study will be soon enough.

One million dollars [randi.org] says homeopathy is a placebo. Do you want to argue with it?

Re:Belfast homeopathy study? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972390)

What the bloody hell was Columbia funding a study like this for? Absurd.

Yay, the placebo effect is biochemical. (4, Insightful)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972338)

Why do they make it sound like it's a suprise that the placebo effect is biochemical and that the "mind can affect the body"?? The mind is pretty much defined as the product/functions of the brain. The brain is biochemical and part of the body. This wouldn't surprise the middle schoolers I'm currently teaching psychology too, it shouldn't suprise any scientists.

Yes, the placebo effect is still not completely understood, if it exists at all. But that article made it sound like things that are pretty common knowledge are new and shocking.

#14, 15, 16... (0, Offtopic)

geerbox (855203) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972342)

As an engineering student, I understand that there are quite a number of theories that baffle science today - superconductors, as noted in the article, was not explainable until the advancement of scientific tools to measure them.

As a human being, however, I find that there are even more inexplicable things - things that make absolutely no sense in this world. I caution to note that I admit that I have little knowledge on the overall affairs and the advancements to correct these, but:

#14: In a world where millions die of diabetes per year, there is a comparable sum of people who die of starvation.

...#15...#16... ... The list goes on and on. The AIDs epidemic in underdeveloped countries. The continual sale of slaves. The horrifying acceptance that my kid brother can watch local news cover a brutal homocide with scenes of blood and the coverage of shootings without twitching, completely disaffected by it.

Scientific questions have their place in this world (answering them is how we as a species have advanced technologically) - I just thought we might want to remind ourselves of the baffling questions that many of us don't wish to know or answer.

more then we think (2, Interesting)

courseB (837633) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972344)

just recently heard michio kaku [mkaku.org] talk about trying to measuring minute changes in gravity to show that 'parallel worlds' are right around us and ties it in with dark matter.

as far as the placebo effect goes, when i am happy- i feel good!

10 may be not so mysterious (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972347)

Well, it looks like some one may have already knocked 10 off the list, and explained it as 2:3 resonance orbits with neptune.

Assholes (4, Interesting)

Renraku (518261) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972354)

14. Why Being An Asshole Gets You Chicks

Its true. Go to any mall and you'll see a not-so-attractive man walking around with a beautiful, well-endowed lady in tow while he's making fun of her to his friends, or is putting her down. He never calls, he never does the dishes, he never puts the seat down, and most of all, he's getting some.

Re:Assholes (1)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972374)

I wanna go to another city simply to test this theory.

(No use making an ass of yourself in your home city.)

Re:Assholes (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972404)

Dude, that's easy. Chicks want to be mistreated (many of them, at least). I'm not trying to be funny or anything. I honestly suspect that it's some evolutionary hold-over from when we lived in caves. When you show her that you are in charge, it shows you have good genes and are a good choice for breeding. If you treat her right, she might keep you around, but she will fuck other guys behind your back and then make you take care of their children. I've read that that happens in at least 10% of all marriages.

Problem 2 solved. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972359)

From tfa "OUR universe appears to be unfathomably uniform. Look across space from one edge of the visible universe to the other, and you'll see that the microwave background radiation filling the cosmos is at the same temperature everywhere. That may not seem surprising until you consider that the two edges are nearly 28 billion light years apart and our universe is only 14 billion years old.

I have often considered this problem and it has implications for the big bang theory. One way to solve this problem is to divide the universe into quadrants that have uniform background radiation from a statistically large number of little explosions. The theory I have come up with I call the little pop theory. Somewhat akin to multiple small orgasms, much more satisfying than one big bang!

Here's one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972363)

I as a funder of the USPS cannot request that they do not deliver bulk mail to my home address.

Conflict of what?? (3, Insightful)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972364)

Point 1) Placebos have an effect, except when they don't, such as when a drug is replaced with another which counteracts the original's effects.

Point 4) A placebo controlled study showed that homeopathic remedies are effective.

That does not make sense.

Benedetti's placebo experiment explained (1)

UpnAtom (551727) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972378)

Give drug, pain fades. Give drug, pain fades. Give drug, pain fades.

By this point, the mind/body is conditioned to respond to the ritual.

In this case, an opiate-like response had been conditioned. As such, when naloxone blocked the body's natural opiates, the pain response came back.

I remember once... (4, Interesting)

CaptainPotato (191411) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972379)

...getting a guy completely trashed on water, because he thought he was drinking vodka. Sure, he'd had a few vodkas already (only a few), but once the bottle ran out, he still wanted more, so I filled up the bottle with water, and he and I sat down and kept drinking the 'vodka'.

I acted as if I were drinking vodka (the flinching at the strength of it, and pretending to be feeling the effect), until he became so drunk on about 350ml of water (and the perhaps 100ml of vodka that he'd drunk earlier) that he couldn't stand and was passed out, and was out of action for almost a day.

After this, with the d*ckh**d out of the way, I finished my good deed for the party, and everybody else had a great time from that point onwards at the party... it only took about 40 minutes for this to work.

So, yes, I can believe that the placebo effect works - and even more effectively on fools like the guy in my anecdote.

Hey Scientists... (-1, Offtopic)

machinegunhand (867735) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972385)

I've got a few more for you to think about when you get some time.

Axiom of Choice (1)

FrangoAssado (561740) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972387)

While it may be true that none of these make sense, these are facts simply observed by humans.

Compare this with the Axiom of Choice [wikipedia.org] , which is an idea created by humans that doesn't make sense in some different, really nasty way. If you think about it in some certain way, it looks obvious (and it would be really bad if it wasn't true); in another certain way, it seems absurd (and leads to some things that simply shouldn't be true).

A quote from Wikipedia:

The Axiom of Choice is obviously true, the well-ordering principle obviously false, and who can tell about Zorn's Lemma?

-- Jerry Bona

(the Axiom of Choice, the well-ordering principle and Zorn's Lemma are all different names to the same idea)

Re:Axiom of Choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972410)

maybe a robot one day....

An embarassment to physics? (5, Insightful)

munpfazy (694689) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972407)

From the article:

>IT IS one of the most famous, and most
>embarrassing, problems in physics. In 1998,
>astronomers discovered that the universe is
>expanding at ever faster speeds.

Embarrassing? Since when is being able to study something qualitatively new and unexpected an embarrassment? One would expect cosmologists to jump for joy at their luck. (And among those whom I know, everyone does!)

If anything, dark energy is a triumph of experimental science. An experimental groups found something no one expected, and within a hand full of years, armed only with careful data analysis, they convinced not only themselves but everyone else that it was genuine and radically changed our picture of the universe. Since then we've accumulated even more convinging data, and found independant evidence to confirm the existance of dark energy. There is a vigerous community studying the problem and proposing new tests, and theorists everywhere proposing new and interesting ways to accomodate the data. One couldn't hope for a more perfect example of science working in the way we all like to believe it does.

Cold fusion, on the other hand, is a *real* embarrassment for physics - dozens of seemingly reputable scientists have spent millions of dollars and decades of work and produced diddly squat. The experimental case isn't bulletproof - it's just so riddled with holes that no one notices when new bullets pass through it. The story is now so thick with poor experimental practice, unprofessional behavior, and overt fraud that few legitimate researchers will touch the subject for fear of being associated with all the hucksters and frauds who haunt it.

Duke's basketball coach... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972408)

the famous "Coach K", is Mike Krzyzewski (pronounced Cri-sheff-ski").

Why that spelling?

neutron stars (1)

HTL2001 (836298) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972413)

"suggest that as yet unexplained forces come into play when neutrons gather en masse"

morons... its called gravity. getting a whole load of neutrons together at near black hole masses tends to create a lot of gravity...

Paradigm shift? (5, Insightful)

wronski (821189) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972415)

(one of) The exciting thing(s) about dark matter/dark energy/Pioneer anomaly is that they smell like new fundamental physics. A bit like in the early 20th century, when people had everything pretty much figured out, except for a few nagging problems such as the UV catastrophe and Michelson-Moreley's failure to detect changes in the speed of light. Which of course led respectively to quantum theory and relativity.

We assume DM and DE are there because according to general relativity we need something to clump visimble matter, something to accelerate the universe today (and another something to accelerate the universe in the past if inflation is to be believed), and a bunch of something to make the universe (very nearly) flat. Postulating all these weird stuff is a bit contrived. Or we can heve some new physics.

This probably what the Wow aliens were trying to tell us...

PS: The 4neutron stuff and changing constant *are* new physics, if true. Right now they are just plain weird, IMHO.

Cold Fusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972418)

"Cold Fusion" is crap. In short, the two scientists improperly calibrated a neutron detector. A simple mistake, but they got their 15 minutes of fame from it.

One thing leaps to mind... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972423)

A lot of these things mentioned could be (partially) described by one effect - on at least 3-4 occasions while skimming that article, this one thing leapt to mind:
Could the speed of light be slowing down?
that is, c 1,000,000 years ago was actually _faster_ than c is now....

It probably does not make sense - IANAP - if YAAP, please respond...

On cold fusion (4, Informative)

Avumede (111087) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972426)

This article sort of looked like bullshit to me, especially the cold fusion part. Notice how they hint that cold fusion has been replicated, but don't actually go out and say so. Then they quote an "Engineer" saying the evidence is strong, like they couldn't find any scientist that would support their claim. So I asked [straightdope.com] at the Straight Dope Message Board about the cold fusion, and got some interesting answers. What I learned basically confirmed that (to the knowledge of that fairly well informed board), yes, cold fusion still is unlikely and unreplicated.
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