Random Thoughts

Open access journals charge a fee to publish an article and make the content free to read. Traditional journals charge a subscription - they say the cost is needed because of 'added value' and that open access publications like PLOS One are not doing peer review of 30,000 articles a year, they are doing "editorial review", a peer-review lite where a reader looks the paper over and checks off 4 boxes.

Ready, set, type! Maksim Kabakou/Shutterstock

By Sally O'Reilly, The Open University


Shia LaBeouf, Brad Pitt and more less cramped outside their tank in Fury. image by Sony Pictures

By Clifford Williamson, Bath Spa University

The latest corner of World War II to be dramatized for the big screen is small. Cramped, even. In Fury, starring Brad Pitt and Shia leBeouf, we follow the story of five American soldiers, a crew serving in one tank in Germany, 1945.


Credit: mikecogh, CC BY-SA

By Suzie Thomas, University of Helsinki

In my latest attempt to debunk some of the nonsense that passes for analysis among Internet marketers I decided it might be worthwhile to talk about large systems theory.  The problem, of course, is that there really is no "large systems theory" (or a universal theory of large systems).  At least, we are still searching for the theory that will universally explain all large systems regardless of what field of thought in which we are discussing them.  We know that large systems exist and we intuitively feel that there is something characteristic about large systems which makes them large.
Credit: Millionaire Chess tournament

When I was a kid, no one outside Texas played Texas Hold 'Em. We played Stud, we played Draw, we played Liar's, but not Hold 'Em.

Like Esther Williams movies and organic food, some things just make their way into pop culture and there is no rational reason why. Texas Hold 'Em is now the most popular card game in the country, every month or so our neighborhood gets together at one of our homes and puts in 20 bucks each and we go at it.

This may surprise, but Ludwig Wittgenstein, for many the greatest philosopher, or anyway the most eminent exponent of analytic philosophy according to Roger Scruton, maintained that music (!) was the most important to him, not formal logic or philosophy. On the other hand, it is known for at least a century, this I take from a mentioning in Bertrand Russell’s “The Analysis of Mind”, that artistic skills, apparently especially that of drawing pictures, suffer when the brain starts using more resources for rational tasks. Similarly, some who lose logic functionality due to stroke start drawing very well.

 

Mackie's at Taypack Ltd. has been around since 2009 but the joint venture between the Taylors, Perthshire potato farmers, and Mackie's of Scotland,  has finally figured out a way to differentiate themselves from Frito-Lay: they are making potato chips flavored like whisky and haggis.

Everyone knows what Scotch is. Haggis is sheep stomach stuffed with meat and barley. Scotland's National Poet, Robert Burns, sang its praises in his works.


Credit: tjmwatson, Flickr

Given its rampant crime, corruption and money issues, a lot of residents of Illinois publicly wish they could give Chicago away. They almost never had it at all.

The original proposed northern boundary of Illinois was a straight line from the southernmost tip of Lake Michigan to just south of the Rock and Mississippi River confluence - had it been approved,  the northern 51 miles of the Illinois Territory would have become Wisconsin when it became a state in 1848.


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