Science and Technology links (September 12 2022)

  1. A standard dataset in artificial-intelligence research has ten percent of its images mislabeled. Yet state-of-the-art algorithms achieve better-than-90% classification on the same dataset. (Credit: Leo Boytsov)
  2. Despite the reeducation camps and the massive trauma, families that did well before the Chinese socialist revolution are still doing well. In other words, it is difficult and maybe impossible to do away with the competitiveness of some families.
  3. Exercise appears to enhance the hippocampus (in mice) so that exercise might enhance spatial learning.
  4. Lead is a toxic substance that might have accounted for a significant fraction of violent crimes. The more careful use of lead explains in part the reduction in violent crimes over time.
  5. Watching a video at 2x the speed can double your learning speed.
  6. A man who received a heart transplant from a pig died two months later.
  7. Mental speed does not decrease with age as we expected: no mental speed decline is observed before the age of 60.
  8. Marmots appear not to age while they are hibernating.
  9. It is often stated that twins raised apart have a striking similarity in intelligence. And twins raised apart are similar in many ways (e.g., personality), but their intelligence might be less closely related than we thought.
  10. The widespread availability of guns makes lynching less likely.
  11. Vitamin D supplements do not appear to protect the elderly against fractures.
  12. The largest flood in the history of California happened in 1862. The flood followed a 20-year-long drought and the valleys became seas for a short time. Such a flood appears to be a relatively common occurrence though there has been no comparable flood since then. Native Americans apparently knew of these floods:

    Native Americans knew that the Sacramento Valley could become an inland sea when the rains came. Their storytellers described water filling the valley from the Coast Range to the Sierra.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

2 thoughts on “Science and Technology links (September 12 2022)”

  1. It’s tempting to jump to a conclusion that a multi-generational success of families is purely genetic, but we would need more data to support this. I believe that many family traditions / achievements survive tumultuous times such as regime change. It’s probably like with all other successes some nature-nurture combination.

  2. Prehistoric California was a fascinating place. I recently found a paper that claims an average of 1.8M ha of wildfires per year prior to 1800. That’s more than our worst year since.

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