Category Archives: Uncategorized

Trump dossier: A brief synopsis

I read the entire Trump dossier, downloaded from Buzzfeed. News coverage has been unfocused and overly pussyfooted, eliding the unverified, second-, third-, and fourthhand claims within. Even though some or all of the information is likely distorted or just plain wrong, the possibility that some or all of the claims are correct makes them vital to know. So here they are: Continue reading

Cheap & easy wind power – available now

We recently signed up to get all of our home’s electricity from wind farms – 100 percent! The process took maybe 15 minutes and added a mere $5 to our monthly bill. Does that sound too expensive? We could have gotten 50 percent of our power from wind farms at no extra cost whatsoever.

What’s the secret? Arcadia Power works with our utility here in DC. Continue reading

Riding an electric bike with ME/CFS

Recently I rented an electric bicycle and rode it for three hours and twenty-seven miles. That was too much for me, but I’m excited about the bike for shorter rides. I thought I’d share my experience in case others with relatively moderate ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis, aka chronic fatigue syndrome) are considering buying one. Continue reading

Amazon Locker vs. USPS gopost: Does it matter?

Recently I’ve had multiple packages delivered to two different shipping kiosks in my neighborhood: Amazon Locker and the U.S. Postal Service’s gopost. Both machines did a better job than the concierges at my apartment. After a couple of videos showing what they do, I discuss how they stacked up against each other and other options. Continue reading

You’re wrong about the College Football Playoff

This is the historical moment all of humanity has dreamt of: the Selection Committee has chosen four teams to compete in the first-ever College Football Playoff. Now we’re not stuck wondering whether the truly top team will have a chance to hoist some thingamajig while its fans riot, as had been our frustrating experience year upon year since shortly after galaxies coalesced. Now we’ll know, which is so important.

But you’re not satisfied. You think that the committee has omitted “deserving” teams from the candidacy for Valhalla. These teams, TCU and Baylor, being from Christian schools, have quietly taken this opportunity to better understand the martyrdom of Jesus. Yet you remain vexed. And why?
Continue reading

Converting Cochrane Review records to RIS

Cochrane Library exports records in a format that neither Zotero nor EPPI-Reviewer recognizes. While there are easier ways to handle small numbers of records (see the comments below), for large batches it is more efficient to convert them all simultaneously to the commonly accepted RIS format. One solution is to paste your exported references into a custom-built Excel file. If you choose this route, please read my comment, which explains an easy way to improve the result and lists the fields that Zotero still won’t recognize. But you might consider following another procedure that yields more fields that reference-management software can read. Both options have several steps.

  1. Export your records from the Cochrane Library site. Continue reading

In what sense is your conspiracy theory a theory?

Dignifying most conspiracy beliefs with the label “theory” is almost criminal, since this leads to the subsequent devaluation of scientific theories by making them seem like peers. They’re not. Scientific theories, such as relativity, evolution, and the Big Bang, provide the best explanation for the entire body of existing evidence and are falsifiable. Scientists gain maximal glory by altering existing theories or creating new ones – not by parroting existing paradigms.

In contrast, many conspiracy adepts will not engage in debate that will allow falsification. This means that their beliefs are hardly hypotheses either. They are, most often, items of faith. Continue reading