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Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

gurps_npc I propose the Extreme test. (388 comments)

Every year, past 70, take up a new extreme sport. One day you will simply forget to pull the parachute cord. Go out with a bang, doing something that will make the news "80 year old surfs Tsunami"

yesterday
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Friendly Reminder: Do Not Place Your iPhone In a Microwave

gurps_npc Re:Also... (227 comments)

But they make really good pressure containers. Which is why my microwave oven EXPLODED.

yesterday
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Friendly Reminder: Do Not Place Your iPhone In a Microwave

gurps_npc Re:Also... (227 comments)

Note, I speak from experience, that youtube video is only ONE of several possibilities. In my case, I had a high powered microwave and had it on high for five minutes.

The liquid inside boiled to steam and the container (glass bottle) was not strong enough to contain it. It burst, sending shards of glass into the microwave. None came out the other side, but it deformed the structure of the microwave and broke it.

yesterday
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Friendly Reminder: Do Not Place Your iPhone In a Microwave

gurps_npc Also... (227 comments)

Don't put an unopened bottle or can of soda in a microwave. Or at least not in a microwave you ever want to use again.

Also, don't put your phone in gas oven, or on a hot griddle.

Similarly, don't touch anything hot enough to cook, and don't stick a knife into your gut.

yesterday
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Astrophysicists Identify the Habitable Regions of the Entire Universe

gurps_npc Need two data points (77 comments)

to do any extrapolation. With just a single data point (humanity), you are just making wild guesses.

For all we now, dark matter (the most common form of matter), which we have never seen or studied, has variations as significant as normal matter, and therefore can support life, but only inside very radioactive areas, where they can feed.

Not to mention we really need to to take a look at a couple of the ice moons and see if life does well living on moon with a frozen surface and a hot core providing energy. That could very well be the most common form of life sustaining location in the universe, and it could very well survive in places where atmospheric planets like earth could not.

The very best we can do is make an estimate on where DNA based life forms may thrive on atmospheric planets..

yesterday
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How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

gurps_npc The co-opting is particularly offensive (640 comments)

When they attempt to use science to prove things that real science shows is false.

When they try to use the scientific method to prove intelligent design, global warming is a hoax, or that vaccines cause autism. My favorite "Big Pharma" conspiracy (as offered up by cracked.com), is that:

Big Pharma has secretly funded Jenny McCarthy to create the anti-vax movement because they make pennies on vaccines, but thousands on treating people that get the actual disease.

yesterday
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Nobody's Neutral In Net Neutrality Debate

gurps_npc Nobody's neutral because it''s important (112 comments)

Similarly, if you ask people any of the following questions, almost everyone will have answer:

Is slavery wrong?

Is the First Amendment a good idea?

Is the Second Amendment a good idea?

Are civil/gay/religious rights a good idea?

Etc. etc. Important things matter and people care about them. That's why we call them 'important'.

yesterday
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Science Has a Sexual Assault Problem

gurps_npc Re:HOw to tell a ridiculous sexual claim. (458 comments)

It's not about me discarding data that doesn't fit, it's about usefulness.

Look, lets say I have a test that determines who who should go to Harvard and who should go to community college. If the test says 41% of people should go to Harvard, that is useless.

If 41% of people are experience activity X, than that means that X is NOT THAT BAD. Otherwise people would take steps to avoid that experience.

Say we were were talking about people getting "Cragled" in Central Park. If 41% of people are getting "Cragled" in Central Park, than one of two possibilities:

Either "Cragled" is a horrible thing, and the newspapers are going to immediately start reporting about it, while cops stake out Central Park, and everyone in the world refusing to go into Central Park. If that does not happen, than that means that "Cragled" is not such a bad thing.

Most importantly, Sexual Assault suffers from psychological issues. The same activity could be called 'flirting" if both people like it, while it is Sexual Assault under other circumstances.

If you are not bothered by the activity, then it is flirting. If you are bothered by it, it becomes sexual assualt.

More importantly, ridiculously paranoid people do not have the right to stop those of us that like to flirt from flirting, simply because you can't tell the difference between flirting and sexual assault. If neither of me nor the girl I am flirting with at work are bothered by the behavior, then let us do it and stop trying to call us nasty names and kill our fun.

Rape is RAPE, Consensual sex is CONSENSUAL SEX, and the same goes for Sexual Harassment and Flirting. The mere fact that you can't tell the difference does not mean the rest of us have to stop doing the things we like to do.

3 days ago
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Putin To Discuss Plans For Disconnecting Russia From the Internet

gurps_npc Why don't we help him out? (240 comments)

And disconnect them from this end? If he doesn't want us, why should we offer ourselves up to him?

3 days ago
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Science Has a Sexual Assault Problem

gurps_npc HOw to tell a ridiculous sexual claim. (458 comments)

Step 1) Do the same query on men.

2) If the men have a significant response rate, then just maybe that means the problem is YOUR QUESTION IS TOO VAGUE, rather than both genders experiencing sexual issues.

The mere fact that this article claims that 40+% of men experience 'sexual harassment', proves that their definition of 'sexual harassment' is not reasonable - the kind of thing only a PC fool trying to prove a problem exists would use.

Similarly, 6% of men experience sexual assault seems on the high side, though not as ridiculous as the 41% claiming harassment.

The only thing going on here is idiots using bad definitions for their poll.

3 days ago
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'Why Banana Skins Are Slippery' Wins IgNobel

gurps_npc Re:Bananas vs Grapes (127 comments)

I think Mythbusters did an experiment that showed that it was VERY difficult to slip on a banana peel. Basically you had to be an idiot.

Grapes are round, so it is not a surprise that people slip on the rolling grape, rather than slip on a slippery surface.

3 days ago
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The Myths and Realities of Synthetic Bioweapons

gurps_npc Bioweapons are a real threat (36 comments)

We can create bioweapons. The main problems with creating them are:

1) Total lack of ethics - and the resources to get away with murdering thousands of human test subjects along the way.

2) Suicidal tendencies - not just for individuals, but for the funding group. Because any realistically dangerous weapon will have a good probability of killing it's creators first, and a very high probability of killing it's creators in the long term (either directly, by evolution, or by revenge nuclear attacks.

3) You still need Highly intelligent and highly trained people involved. Most of whom lack Suicidal tendencies.

This armegeddon scenario is actually far more likely than a nuclear war, as that requires far more people to behave far more stupidly and unlike nanite fears, is actually physically reasonable.

3 days ago
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Once Vehicles Are Connected To the Internet of Things, Who Guards Your Privacy?

gurps_npc PHONES YOU IDIOTS (130 comments)

Uhm, phones give your GPS data now. Cars will not be a dramatic shift in potential privacy issues.

All the data that they are afraid cars will give out are already given out by people's phones.

So, basically exactly the same situation that we already have.

4 days ago
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

gurps_npc Ignoring war (323 comments)

War, what is it good for?

Decreasing excess human population. That's what is good for.

And we have quite a few potential human population decreases being set up right now - ISIS and Russia are just waiting to decrease some extra human population.

4 days ago
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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

gurps_npc Re:So then they get another warrant ... (503 comments)

You have several choices here. 1) Sue, claiming that the government can neither force you to design your software differently, nor require them to sell a specific software. It is a very different thing than the existing system where people are required to provide access to existing backdoors, rather than being required to create backdoors.

2) Move your corporate headquarters off shore. Then tell them they have no authority over you, but if they want to sue your country or publicly demand you stop selling your product in the US, they can do it - but your warrant requiring secrecy does not affect them in any way shape or form.

3) Separate the hardware and software, using different sub-companies to produce each one. Then have the software company declare it is hereby closed, and will provide no more updates. Tell the government that they can't force you to be in business anymore. Hire a new company to provide software and REPEAT.

4 days ago
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Wave Power Fails To Live Up To Promise

gurps_npc Re:Lots of problems with it (195 comments)

They do that already. But they get so much that they still have to burn it off

4 days ago
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Use of Forced Labor "Systemic" In Malaysian IT Manufacturing

gurps_npc Re: If you're paying for a job... (183 comments)

I have been desperate before. I would still never fall for this kind of stupidity.

In America, they use a similar technique to get desperate people, it's a variation on the "Multi Level Marketing Scheme".

Here they make you buy 'samples' to sell to your customers. No. If the company is real, they provide all samples and tools you need.

People that buy the samples are desperate. But paying a head hunter to send you to another country, that is not desperate, that is stupid.

5 days ago
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Use of Forced Labor "Systemic" In Malaysian IT Manufacturing

gurps_npc Re:If you're paying for a job... (183 comments)

So true. If it's a real job, then you NEVER have to pay any amount of cash to get it. The employer should be paying the headhunter, not you.

Why? Mainly because of the exact kind of crap that they are describing here. The employer has the money, which he demonstrates by paying the headhunter. If he can't afford to pay the headhunter, he can't afford to pay you.

Also note they use the payment as a filter. That is, they don't want smart people working for these crap jobs.The smart people refuse to give up their passport and call the police after you bring them to your country. So they make sure to only 'hire' less smart people by giving you an intelligence test - if you are unwise enough to bribe the broker to get a job they promise is 'good', then you are unwise enough to give them your passport and not call the police.

5 days ago
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Wave Power Fails To Live Up To Promise

gurps_npc Lots of problems with it (195 comments)

But I can easily see a small scale usage for it.

Primary examples would be installed on sea installations, like say oil drilling platforms. Why ship in fuel to an oil drilling platform, when you can simply install a wavepower generator to provide the power. Then, once you find oil, you don't have to get rid of the wave power generator. Keep it and use wave power to get the oil, rather than burning oil just to get more oil.

Also, I could easily see a small scale wave power generator designed for boats, particularly house boats.

5 days ago

Submissions

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Secret App poorly designed

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about a month ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "The app "Secret" is supposed to let you tell your friends secrets, without them ever knowing it was your secret. Basically, you sign up, connect at least 6 friends, and post a secret. Your secret does not get sent to people unless they have at least 7 friends that have posted secrets and then it does not identify which friend posted which secret.

This has an obvious problem that a child could figure out. Your "friend" (and I use this term loosely) could sign up themselves and also create six other fake accounts, all posting six fake secrets, and only connect to one real person — you. If your friend does this, then they know that any secret they don't post comes from you.

The real silly thing, is that anyone slightly intelligent could have solved this problem, simply by having the app send secrets to two levels out, not one. That is, my secret is told to both my friend and my friend's friends. That way, even if you only have one 'real' friend', you don't know who the secret came from."

Link to Original Source
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New way for Spys to listen in on us

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about a month and a half ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "Sound is just vibrating air. When it hits glass, it vibrates the glass and it is well established that a laser aimed at the glass can detect those vibrations and computers can turn it back into sound. Now, we don't need the glass or the laser. Researchers at MIT, Microsoft and Adobe have shown that by analyzing a video that contains something vibrating — say a bag of chips — a computer program can work figure out what noise caused those vibrations, even to the point of reconstructing speech."
Link to Original Source
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Is there an app that ignores stupid headlines

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 2 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "You know the ones I mean "This one trick...", "You won't believe...", ANY headline that asks a question (and you know the answer is 'no' because it always is), anything headline that tells you to 'never' do something, any headline that describes someone that invented something using a family word (dad, mother, son, etc.)

Yes, we know that humans are attracted to these headlines and pay attention to them.

Similarly, we pay attention when someone yells "FIRE" in our face. That doesn't mean it is ever appropriate to do so.

If we can't outlaw the idiots using this 'one genius trick — that I never believe', is there an addon that blocks these crap-lines from google news and other aggregators?"
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FBI concerned about criminals using driverless cars

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 2 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "As per the Guardian, The FBI is concerned about dirverless cars. It discussed such issues as letting criminals shoot while the car drives (silly in my opinion, apparently they haven't heard of "partners" or considered requiring such cars have a police controlled "slow down" command), the use of such vehicles as guided bullet, (safeties again should stop this), and loading it with explosives and using it as a guided missile. This last concern is the only one that I considered a real issue, but even that is not significantly more dangerous than loading up a regular van full of explosives with a timer, then setting the timer to explode before you leave the vehicle next to a school, etc."
Link to Original Source
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Untrackable cellphone?

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 6 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "We all know how easy it is for the NSA to bug and track your cellphone.

Does anyone sell a cellphone with:

1) Hard wired bright light that always comes on when the cellphone has power.

2) With a physical power on/off that connects and disconnects the battery?"
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US miltiary base in Ukraine?

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 6 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "There is a petition to ask the Ukraine to lease land near Crimea to the US as a naval/air base.
Assuming it gets created, If this happens, it would be an ideal location for electronic espionage. No longer would the US have to send submarines secretly off the coast of Russia, we could have them openly sitting within yards of Russian controlled waters."

Link to Original Source
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Best Idea for a Universal Translator (FreeSpeech tm)

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 6 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "An Indian company developed an all picture based software to help speech impaired (autistic, mute, etc.) children communicate fully formed ideas. Then he developed translator engines to convert the all picture based system into English — and other verbal languages. The interesting part is that his system consists of 2-dimensional pictures, not 1-dimensional sound. This makes it much simpler and intuitive grammatically and therefore be much simpler to translate into any language. It is just as easy to convert his pictures into English as it is to convert it into Chinese, Arabic, Swahili, whatever. It gets rid of most of the problems that plague Google and similar computer based translation programs. Note the solution is one way, from his pictures to all other languages, because other languages do not have the exactness offered by the 2-dimensional advantage of his software (FreeSpeech)

In effect, he has created a far superior core translation engine for a Universal Translator. Their web site includes a link to his TED talk."

Link to Original Source
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Looking for a good holster.

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about a year ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "I have seen several technology holsters. There are a lot of good ones for cell phones, but I am looking for something larger — for a tablet (Nook/Kindle/Nexus/Ipad).

There is however a direct trade off between discrete and carrying capacity. Anyone found an ideal balance?

I would love to hear from people with direct experience. Do you look like the worst kind of geek hipster wearing it? Any feature I should look for?

I found one from a company called techslinger, but it looks a bit too geeky for me, (double sided makes it really stand out)."

Link to Original Source
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Cancer Ray terrorist plot foiled

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about a year ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "Two radical pro-Israel terrorists were caught in upstate NY when they tried to solicit money from various honorable Jewish organizations to build a truck based x-ray machine. They intended to drive the truck around and then turn on the x-ray machine, focusing on enemies of Israel.

But the Jewish organizations they tried to solicit money from refused to participate. Instead they called the FBI, who promptly set up a sting.

They caught and arrested the terrorists before the machine was in working order."

Link to Original Source
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Nanocoating finally lives up to it's promise

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about a year and a half ago

gurps_npc writes "A company called UltraTech has created a new nano-coating. They sell you two chemicals, which you spray on (in the right order) practically anything. Once you do this, as the attached vidoe shows, water considers the coated area to be something akin to a rabid lion infected with AIDS. It literally can not get wet — and that includes all water based liquids. Mud? No problem. Water based paint? Flees like a coward. The coating lasts about a year indoors (half that time outdoors). Note, you can buy it from amazonsupply.com — though ti costs about $500 for a gallon of the stuff."
Link to Original Source
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Replace teachers with computers? Or just add them!

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about a year and a half ago

gurps_npc writes "Recently there was a poorly designed study that claimed computers don't help teaching. Here with the opposite point of view is Sugata Mitra's TED talk. He went to a tiny village in India, put a computer there with software — in English even though they did not speak or read English — about DNA replication. When he came back months later they said "We don't understand anything — except that mistakes in DNA replication cause diseases."

At heart, his argument is that the old style of teaching derives from Victorian England's need for bureaucrats so it creates minimally competent people that know how to read, write, and do math in their head. He wants to update our teaching methods with more creative and technological solutions."

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Company planning on mining asteroids, public announcement at 10:30 PDT

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gurps_npc writes "Th Bad Astronomer wrote today about a press conference happening at 10:30 AM Pacific time. He thinks the company Planetary Resources is going to announce at that they will be mining asteroids. They have the money (James Cameron, Google), the science (Ex-NASA people,including engineers and astronauts). The first step would be setting up depots. That is mine the stuff and keep the materials in space for delivery in space. It is far cheaper to go get water from an asteroid and give it to a space station than it is to lift it out of Earth's gravity well."
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Florida thinks their students are too stupid to know the right answers.

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gurps_npc writes "Robert Krampf, who runs the web site "The Happy Scientist" recently wrote in his blog about problems with Florida's Science FCAT. The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test is an attempt to measure how smart the students are. Where other states have teachers cheating to help students, Florida decided to grade correct answers as wrong.

Mr. Krampf, examined the state's science answers and found several that clearly listed right answers as wrong. One question had 3 out of 4 answers that were scientifically true. So he wrote to Florida's Department of Education' Test Development center.

They admitted he was right about the answers, but said that they don't expect 5th graders to realize they were right. For this reason they marked them wrong. As such, they were not changing the tests.

Note, they wouldn't let him examine real tests, just the practice tests given out. So we have no idea if FCAT is simply to lazy to provide good practice questions, or too stupid to be allowed to test our children."

Link to Original Source
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Flying Car - OK, boat, now available

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "In the Aero 2011 expo in Germany, they unveiled the FlyNano. Basically it looks like a jet ski with wings and a propeller. Hard wings (not para-foil), selling for about $36,000. The creator said that if you can fly a microlight, you can fly the FlyNano."
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How to make a living playing scratch lottery ticks

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "A great article from wired about lottery tickets. It's main focus is the fact that many of them can be beaten. That is, you can look at numbers printed on a scratch lottery ticket before removing the scratch off and figure out which ticket will win and which will lose. Yes, this article tells you how to do this. It also touches on organized crime and the psychology of the system."
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Google algorithm now punishes bad reviews.

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "The New York Times recently published a story (warning, login needed) accusing an internet retailer of intentionally providing bad service. The theory was that every bad review generated increased their google score, placing them higher in the rankings. While a Google search for the company name resulted in the bad reviews, if you searched for a brand name, that company came up very high because of all the bad reviews. So people would search for brand name products and end up using the company with the worst reputation.

Google apparently took this to heart because as per PCworld article, they recently announced a new algorithm that will punish a store if they get too many bad reviews. Right now, the algorithm just punishes "an extremely poor user experience", but they say they will continue to work on the issue.

In the (paraphrased) words of Coots and Gillespie:

They are making a list, And checking it twice; gonna find out who's naughty and nice"

Link to Original Source
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Sony using 3D TV for split screen gaming

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "The Kartel has an interesting article about a recent patent Sony filed. Basically they want to hack a 3d tv set up with 2 paris of 3d glasses. They want each seperate glass to display a seperate view (so instead of each pair of glasses having a left eye different from the right eye, one is set to see the "right eye" view to both eyes, while the other is set to show the "left eye view".

This way, two people can watch the same TV and see a different picture — peerfect for head to head racing games. Right now they just split the screen, but that has two problems. First, you can see your opponent's screen, and second, your own view is half the possible width. It is an interesting idea.."

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USSC ruled Business patents OK

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "While the court did affirm the lower courts decision that this particular business patent was not valid, it also ruled 5 v 4 that the lower court was wrong and that it IS possible to patent a business process, not just a machine.

Justice Kennedy said that while the "Machine or Transformation" question was important, it could not be th3e exclusive test. Specifically it said that processes and methods not tied to a machine may be patentable."

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GOP wants to hear from Americans - not New Yorkers

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "The Republican Party has set up a web site to hear your ideas. But whoops, they got bombarded by a bunch of Liberals, instead of the loyal conservatives they are so desperately hunting for. Worse, a simple review of the comments shows that a majority of the "lunatic" comments are from the few conservatives that signed up (I love the conservative guy that insists that his school teach children that dolphins are fish). So what do they do? They modify the registration process so that New Yorkers can't register. Try it. Log in, and give a NY zip code such as 10128. You will wait forever to get the confirmation email that completes the registration process. But if you give a Texan zip code (77001), you will get the confirmation email right away."
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Book Review of "59 Seconds"

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "59 Seconds, by Richard Wiseman, is a different kind of self-help book. Most are full of hype and 'positive' thinking and short on science. His is the other way around, long on science with tons of footnotes, and short on hype. It is written by a psychologist/professor, not a marketer. As such, every single bit of his advice is backed by scientific studies.

Much (but not all) of his advice runs contrary to the typical self help book. Imagine yourself overcoming problems, not as an instant success. To get creative solutions, do it individually and get together after you write them down, no group brainstorming. He is not a total skeptical, as he does sometimes suggest rather strange advice (naming your children with the letter A or B to get them better school grades).

He goes through most of the standard self book types, including dating, career, interviews, relationships, and child raising. The title, "59 Seconds", refers to a comment by a friend of his that asked for advice in less than a minute. Most chapters start out de-bunking the standard self-help fare, and then quickly move on to his advice, backed up by studies. Then, at the end of each chapter he puts a short '59 second' summary, along with some exercises to help you follow up on the book.

While I don't think everything he says is true, he definitely offers a different perspective than most self help books. If you are interested in a skeptical perspective on how to do deal with life's little challenges, then this book is something you might enjoy. I found it to be a very good skeptic's self-help book."

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