Random Thoughts

The World Cup is fast approaching and with it come no end to projections, estimations and forecasts about who is going to do what. 

Using a Bayes analysis, once you reach the semifinal you have a 50 percent chance of being correct - just like flipping a coin. But can it work before then? Yes, is you do enough simulations.  But before you fire up your copy of Championship Manager and try to play 100 times, there is an easier solution.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has announced that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is accepting applications for projects related to  abandoned mine drainage projects .

You'll have to be a non-profit or a government agency to get government money - the groups most likely to be able to do something on budget are prohibited from applying to get a grant from taxpayers.
American Council on Science and Health is an advocacy group consisting of hundreds of scientists, doctors and policy experts devoted to science outreach. They've been around since the 1970s, when the core of their original group, including Nobel Laureate Norman Borlaug, the "father of the Green Revolution", wondered why there were no science groups that offset the wonks promoting fear and doubt about researchers.

Since then, they have gone where the data takes them. Co-founder Dr. Elizabeth Whelan has been attacked by both food fetishists and Big Tobacco for promoting inconvenient truths about science. Bipartisan disdain means they are probably right where they need to be.
MH370 - Why Search Teams Ignored Georesonance

As soon as I read about the claims that Georesonance identified an aircraft wreck at the bottom of the Bay of Bengal my bogusness meter went off the scale.  A whois search shows the company is registered to a small private residence.   The company claims to have identified an underwater object using multispectral images.

Quoted words below are from the Georesonance Pty. Ltd. press release posted by Air Traffic Management.net.


Nonsense on stilts
The 35th international chess tournament in Mogliano Veneto this year did not feature strong grandmasters or international masters, but a pack of 24 local players of average strength around 2150. Still, it was a very hard-fought competition, with almost no game ending as a draw before all winning attempts had been tried.

I scored a rather disappointing 2 points out of 5, losing two games -one of them undeservedly, for a performance rating is 2030, a bit less than what I believe is my current playing strength. Below I report my only win, against Enrico Danieli, an elo 2070 player.

Danieli-Dorigo, Mogliano 2014
1.d4 d5 2.Nc3 Bf5 3.e4?!
Debris Find - Likely Came From A Caravan

Yet another mystery object turns out to be unrelated to missing flight MH370.

FAIRFAX Media has received photos of the debris found near Augusta which investigators have since confirmed is not linked to the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.

Mat Franklin and his son discovered the debris on Easter Monday four kilometres from Augusta.  

Augusta-Margaret River Mail

Today, the Boy Scouts of America seemed to back peddle on last year’s promise to accept and recognize gay scouts--by rejecting and banning a gay scoutmaster who was...gay.

Why did the organization do that?

Nasty administrators? Probably not.

Bigoted leadership? Maybe.

I suspect another factor: the organization’s core values.


Long-time readers of this blog (are there any left ?) know me well since I often used to  write posts about personal matters here and in my previous sites. However, I am aware that readers come and go, and I also realize that lately I have not disclosed much of my personal life here; things like where I work, what's my family like, what I do in my pastime, what are my dreams and my projects for the future. So it is a good idea to write some personal details here.
Boeing 747 AAIB Accident Report Reveals Electrical Failures

An accident report published April 11 2014 by the AAIB - the UK's Air Accidents Investigation Branch - reveals that on August 17 2012 a large number of serious electrical faults occurred after an engine failure in Boeing 747-4H6  9M-MPL.

Summary:
When you have been around as long as Harvard, and your library contains 15 million books, you are bound to have a few that are bound in human flesh.

Wait, what?

Yes, an interesting article by Samuel Jacobs in The Crimson from 2006 got resurrected recently. It detailed what librarians would rather not become an object of morbid fascination - that some of their books are bound in human skin. Odd, right?