Technology

Science is settled? But what if no one can replicate the experiments?

We are told by politicians that the science is settled with regard to climate change. We are also told by scientists that to criticise them is to provide a chilling effect on science. Some of those scientists even trot off to court to try to silence critics.

However, it appears the science is far from settled…especially when no one can replicate experiments or the claims made in these so-called peer-reviewed papers they submit to journals like Nature.

Science is facing a “reproducibility crisis” where more than two-thirds of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist’s experiments, research suggests.

This is frustrating clinicians and drug developers who want solid foundations of pre-clinical research to build upon.

From his lab at the University of Virginia’s Centre for Open Science, immunologist Dr Tim Errington runs The Reproducibility Project, which attempted to repeat the findings reported in five landmark cancer studies.

“The idea here is to take a bunch of experiments and to try and do the exact same thing to see if we can get the same results.”

You could be forgiven for thinking that should be easy. Experiments are supposed to be replicable.

The authors should have done it themselves before publication, and all you have to do is read the methods section in the paper and follow the instructions.

Sadly nothing, it seems, could be further from the truth.  

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So, tell me again why we are building the CRL?

While the Green Taliban wants us to ride around in an 18th-century transport solution, other countries are exploring other more innovative solutions.

There are autonomous cars coming, and soon autonomous taxi drones.

An autonomous drone that can transport humans will start ferrying passengers around Dubai this summer.

The head of Dubai’s transportation agency said that self-flying taxis would start taking people across the city starting from July.   Read more »

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What do muscle cars and e-cigs have in common?

Andrew Hill-PHOTO facebook

A recent facebook post about Andrew Hill who had an e-cig explode in his face has raised questions about e-cig safety. When I looked further into the story I discovered that Andrew had installed his own homemade coil inside of it.

screenshot-whaleoil

Andrew also took a puff before stepping into the shower, which means his device may have come in contact with water or condensation, which may have caused it to malfunction. I wanted to find out more so I contacted QJ from NZ Vapor (sponsor of Whaleoil General debate and Whaleoil backchat)  to ask him what he thought had gone wrong and he educated me with an analogy about muscle cars.

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Fatty’s latest scheme flops at launch

Fatty Boomsticks has run to his favourite tame reporter to spin the failure of his latest venture.

David “Anal” Fisher tries his best but the stench of failure is emanating from Dotcom’s fat arse.

Kim Dotcom’s launch of his latest venture has hit a last-minute problem, aborting its launch on the fifth anniversary of the FBI-inspired raid which saw the entrepreneur arrested.

The reason for the stall is unknown but it came with less than 90 minutes before it was due to launch.

Dotcom had forecast the new online storage and payment system would be worth billions of dollars.

But after forecasting the imminent launch about 5am today, Dotcom posted to Twitter: ‘Sorry but there has been an expected hiccup. Will tell you all about it later today. Let this play out and give me some time to update you.’

…When the Herald asked early afternoon, Dotcom emailed to say: ‘We hit a roadblock today…

‘We are working on it and I can’t comment on what happened yet.

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The Politician who is about practical solutions

How often is there a simple and practical solution to a problem in a country but the politicians in power ignore it? We all know that some problems are easily solved yet for various reasons politicians refuse to solve them. Let’s say that the government is the parent and the problem within society is the teenage son. The teenage son stays up late every night playing on the internet and is ignoring his parents telling him to turn off the computer at 10 pm. One set of parents offer their son a reward if he follows their rules but after a while, he goes back to his old habits and as he is no longer motivated by the reward. The other set of parents threatened to punish him but he takes his punishment and then does it again because the drive to be online with his friends is just too strong. The third set of parents turns off the router at 10 pm and the problem is solved.

President Trump is a politician who offers practical and easy to understand solutions. They are simple and everyone can understand them. Building a wall between America and Mexico was one such simple solution. There is a tool available to Trump that is so simple and effective a solution to the problem of illegal alian workers that you have to ask why no other government has used it before? It is called the E-Verify system and it immediately solves a problem that no previous government has.

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The Medieval Chastity belt is back and has sold out in Germany

Remember these? While some historians claim they did not actually exist in medieval times that has not stopped modern versions being invented. The so-called myth about chastity belts was that Knights would put their wives in them to ensure that they were not unfaithful while they were gone. Looking at the ones on display in museums with all the protruding teeth around the openings they also look well designed for preventing rape. In Germany rape has become a serious concern for German women thanks to Angela Merkel welcoming in men from a culture that actually has a gang rape game called Taharrush.

Ultimately, the chastity belt’s existence as a legitimate historical artifact should be relegated to the category of myth, experts say. However, a recent tech innovation, designed to protect women from sexual assault, has been criticized as a modern reimagining of the chastity belt. AR Wear, “a clothing line offering wearable protection for when things go wrong,” developed underwear and other garments that would be difficult, if not impossible, for an attacker to remove.

The controversial product, which was accused of placing the burden of rape prevention on victims rather than perpetrators, gained notoriety in 2013 after the company launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. AR Wear claimed the garment fabrics could not be ripped or cut, “so that women and girls can have more power to control the outcome of a sexual assault.”

AR Wear reached their funding goal and finalized a prototype in 2015, but currently their products are not commercially available.

-livescience.com

In Germany however a modern version has been commercially produced and has sold out. Their target market is German women who like to jog. Read more »

The Future of Energy: Man-made Global Warming and the Great Policy Error

GUEST POST

Today’s guest post by Whaleoil reader Bruce Alan Forbes is the final part of an article he wrote called The Future of Energy with predictions for 2040. As it was an in-depth analysis I divided it into six posts so that we could discuss each part separately.

Man-made Global Warming and the Great Policy Error

The catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) – or dangerous man-made global warming/climate change – movement is the main reason why governments have implemented policies that every year cost consumers and taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. Although they are having little or no effect on CO2 emissions, these policies have in the meantime reduced millions of people in the developed world to fuel poverty, and are preventing hundreds of millions of people in developing countries from gaining access to cheap, reliable electricity from gas or coal-burning generators. This constitutes one of the greatest and most pervasive government policy errors in history.

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The Future of Energy: Nuclear, Gas and Coal-based Generation

Nuclear power plant with yellow field and big blue clouds

GUEST POST

Today’s guest post by Whaleoil reader Bruce Alan Forbes is part of an article he wrote called The Future of Energy with predictions for 2040. As it is an in-depth analysis I divided it into six posts so that we could discuss each part separately.

Nuclear, Gas and Coal-based Generation

Nuclear power stations operate at high capacity factors and generate large amounts of CO2 – free electricity. They have enormous potential for achieving major reductions in emissions of CO2. Unlike intermittent and unreliable renewable sources, they do not need the inefficient, fossil-fuel burning, backup power stations to maintain output when the wind does not blow or the sun does not shine. Statistics show convincingly that nuclear power is by far the safest form of large-scale electricity generation.

In contrast, coal-fired power stations are responsible for the deaths of thousands of miners worldwide each year and hydropower stations have also killed thousands of people.

At present, nuclear power is typically more expensive than gas or coal-fired power generation in the U.S. and Europe. This is due to the long construction times resulting from bureaucratic regulatory hurdles. Eventually, nuclear power stations will become the main source of clean, low-cost electricity; particularly in non-OECD countries.

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The Future of Energy:Renewable energy subsidies & Reducing Emissions

US-Energy-Subsidies

GUEST POST

Today’s guest post by Whaleoil reader Bruce Alan Forbes is part of an article he wrote called The Future of Energy with predictions for 2040. As it is an in-depth analysis I divided it into six posts so that we could discuss each part separately.

Current Subsidies

Worldwide, hundreds of billions of dollars per year are spent on subsidising wind and solar electricity generation, and on pursuing the development of marine power technologies based on waves, tidal currents and tidal barrages. In most countries, renewable energy is subsidised by the taxpayer and/or electricity consumer. “Feed-in tariffs”, “Production Tax Credits”, “Renewable Portfolio Standards” and “Renewables Obligation Certificates” are all forms of subsidy. The developers or investors benefit from subsidies and tax breaks that, in some cases, result in them getting their money back in very short periods. In nearly all cases, the cost of paying these subsidies is either added to the cost of electricity paid for by all consumers, or is derived from governments’ other tax revenues or increased government debt. It is these subsidies, not economic merit, that have produced the explosion in renewable energy projects over the past decade. Without subsidies, constructing wind and solar farms for connection to the grid would be a hugely loss-making business.

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The Future of Energy: Wind Power

GUEST POST

Today’s guest post by Whaleoil reader Bruce Alan Forbes is part of an article he wrote called The Future of Energy with predictions for 2040. As it is an in-depth analysis I divided it into six posts so that we could discuss each part separately.

62 Siemens wind turbines of the type SWT-2.3-101 turn here in the wind park West Wind near Wellington in New Zealand. 

Wind Power,

Wind power has been around for thousands of years. 200 years ago, the Fens in the UK were drained using wind-driven pumps. Because they were expensive to build and operate, and the wind often did not blow when needed, these were soon replaced by low-pressure steam driven pumping engines that, by today’s standards, were very inefficient and extremely expensive. The drive for efficiency and low cost led to their being replaced with higher-pressure steam engines, diesel engines and finally, by electric pumps.

Wind power today suffers from the same problems it did hundreds of years ago – expensive machinery, low average output and the vagaries of the wind.

Wind farms do not generate much in light winds and they must be shut down in strong winds. Typically, they generate less than 10% of their rated output for 30% of the time, and more than 80% for only about 5% of the time. A wind farm provides expensive electricity at unpredictable times – often when it is not needed.

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