Some Fascinating Facts That You Should Know


Facts You Know That Are Actually Wrong

May 20, 2016

 

Interview with John Lloyd, co-author of the book The Second Book of General Ignorance: Everything You Think You Know Is (Still) Wrong

 

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Mike Carruthers:
It’s amazing what we think we know, that just isn’t so for instance everyone believes that Napoleon was short but he wasn’t.

 

John Lloyd:
They made a mistake when they were translating the autopsy which was conducted in French into English and they got the measurements wrong – he wasn’t 5 foot 2 as is often said he was actually 5 foot 6 and a half.
 


John Lloyd

Is "Gut Instinct" A Real Thing?

May 12, 2016

 

Interview with Mary Ellen O’Toole, author of the book Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Feelings Betray Us

 

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Mike Carruthers:
My gut instinct told me it was the right thing to do. How often have you said that?

 

Mary Ellen O’Toole:
It’s this reliance on these mystical concepts that really cannot be described, you can’t refine your gut, you can’t improve your gut.
 


Mary Ellen O'Toole

Why We Like What We Like - Part 2

May 11, 2016

 

Interview with Tom Vanderbilt, author of the book You May Also Like

 

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Mike Carruthers:
We often rely on other people’s reviews of products or restaurants or hotels but it’s important to understand who’s writing those reviews.

 

Tom Vanderbilt:

There’s just a certain community that is going to write a review more generally to begin with they have more time, they like to write, their more vocal with their opinions or as you say they are motivated by other particularly good or particularly bad experience.
 


Tom Vanderbilt

Why We Like What We Like

May 10, 2016

 

Interview with Tom Vanderbilt, author of the book You May Also Like

 

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Mike Carruthers:
What’s your favorite color? Most people say blue. Why?

 

Tom Vanderbilt:
There’s something called availability bias that psychologists talk about somethings the thing that’s most obvious in our minds is the thing that springs to mind when we’re asked a question like that.
 


Tom Vanderbilt

Studies & Statistics - Part 2

April 26, 2016

 

Interview with John H. Johnson PhD, author of the book Every Data

 

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Mike Carruthers:
How many times have you come across some new study that claims to prove one thing or disprove another?

 

John Johnson:
I’ve found news articles that said coffee causes cancer. And the next day I found another article that says coffee prevents cancer. I mean I’m a professional statistician and it’s confusing for me to disentangle these things.
 


John H. Johnson PhD

Studies & Statistics

April 25, 2016

 

Interview with John H. Johnson PhD, author of the book Every Data

 

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Mike Carruthers:
There’s always some new study or report or finding in the news that we’re supposed to believe however when you look closely at the data…

 

John Johnson:
One of the things I’ve found is I see data every day in the newspapers that the majority of the information people see is either misleading, out of context, or sometimes just plain wrong.
 


John H. Johnson PhD

Weird & Unexplainable

April 15, 2016

 

Interview with Michael Brooks, author of the book 13 things that don't make sense

 

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Mike Carruthers:
Could it be that we have actually received communication from aliens? You see there was a signal...

 

Michael Brooks:
This was a signal that was received by a telescope in Ohio in 1977 and it looks exactly like a signal that we were expecting from aliens.
 


Michael Brooks

Interesting Human Biology

April 13, 2016

 

Interview with Mark Changizi, author of the book Harnessed: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man

 

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Mike Carruthers:
Humans have excellent color vision and it’s long been thought that we have that to help us find food in the wild in order to survive.

 

Mark Changizi:
And I was able to provide evidence that “no” your color vision is in fact really peculiar and it’s turned out to be optimized for seeing blood in the skin.
 


Mark Changizi

Where Our Beliefs Come From

April 6, 2016

 

Interview with Michael Shermer, author of the book The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths

 

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Mike Carruthers:
Any political, social or religious view you have had to come from somewhere.

 

Michael Shermer:
The #1 predictor of anybody’s political party or their religious faith is that of their parents – not everybody’s like that there’s intervening variables, if you have high conflict with your parents you’re likely to go the opposite way.
 


Michael Shermer

Why Boys Are Underachieving

March 30, 2016

 

Interview with Leonard Sax, author of the book Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men

 

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Mike Carruthers:
We have a big problem boys are losing the will and desire will achieve. Today 80% of students graduating with honors are girls.

 

Leonard Sax:
Men now regard working hard to get straight “A’s” as something that girls do. Academic achievement has become un-masculine.
 


Leonard Sax

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