Science Reporting Rage

I am annoyed.


The BBC are arseholes. The headline and photo ALL imply that plucking makes hair grow in humans. Here’s the first few paragraphs. With my emphasis.

Plucking hairs in a precise pattern can make even more pop up in their place, a US study suggests. Playing with the density of hair removed altered how serious an injury the body recognised and in turn how much hair regrew. The team managed to regenerate 1,300 hairs by plucking 200, in the study using mice reported in Cell journal. Experts said it was “really nice science” but were uncertain if it could lead to a cure for human baldness. Half of men have male-pattern baldness by the age of 50. The team at the University of Southern California were investigating how hair follicles communicate with each other to decide on the scale of repair job needed.

So, with only a single reference to the fact that the study was in MICE and lots of human type text and a picture this article screams that plucking in humans will cause hair growth.

Ok, so it happens in mice. So fucking what. When they can show it works in humans I may interested in knowing about it. Not for myself although I am mostly bald, I’d rather have less hair.

This is extremely poor reporting. There is no need for this article. It is a waste of time.

Two Annoyances

    Number 1

This might seem trivial but it’s the little things that will grind us down. When I shop in Tesco and pay at the self-service till I am pretty sure the lovely lady says:

Clubcard excepted.

It’s probably just her accent but I don’t like it. She should, of course, be saying:

Clubcard accepted.

That would make me happier.

    Number 2

When broadband supplying companies are advertising perhaps they could actually state a speed rather than just a value. They seem to say:

Speeds of up to 8 megabits

Now, you know I’m this fussy! 8 megabits is not a speed. You have to have a compound measure for speed because it’s a rate. They should be saying:

Speeds of up to 8 megabits per second

If both these things happened I would be a happy man!

Slip Lane

This communication has been brewing for a few weeks now. It is time to let off some steam. I have two driving issues that I wish to highlight.

Slip Lane
When I learnt to drive I was told that the slip road to a motorway or dual carriage way was for cars to speed up and be able to enter the main carriage way safely. As even the slowest trucks generally do around 60mph it seems reasonable to expect drivers to SPEED UP to at least 60 mph so that we can all enter the motorway in the safest fashion possible. This does not seem to happen.
Many times recently I have been sitting in my car at 40 or 50 mph while trying to get onto the motorway because the idiot in front of me won’t speed up. It’s a motorway you moron. Let’s get a move on and be safe, or just don’t drive.

The roads to where I live are a little narrow and twisty and different. I understand that people who aren’t from around here might want to take things easy. I don’t mind that. I find it a bit irritating but it’s fair enough in all honesty. So these drivers potter along the lanes at 40mph. I understand.
What I don’t understand is that these morons then continue to do 40mph through the village. It’s a 30 zone, FCS. There are kids playing in the field and old people and cars parked everywhere. If you insist on driving slowly along the national speed limit roads then please do the same in the village and be aware of your surroundings. It’s 30mph for a reason. The throttle isn’t stuck at 40mph, lift off a little.
Those who recklessly speed through the village are a different matter.

Rant over for now.

Negative Quesitons

This is another of those annoying language things that stems from my rather literal language processing unit. See my previous post about starting letters. I am not far enough into the spectrum to follow instructions or comprehension literally but I do struggle trying to answer negative questions in a true manner. Once again there common usage issues that I believe to be amazingly wrong but most people seem to accept them.

If something is amazing then the following:

Is that an amazing aircraft manoeuvre?

is easy to answer. Yes for agreeing with the statement and no for disagreeing. However the question:

Isn’t that an amazing aircraft manoeuvre?

is remarkably hard to answer. I believe the vernacular is to answer “yes” if I am saying that it is an amazing manoeuvre. But if I answer “yes” then I think I am agreeing with the statement which is

Is that not an amazing manoeuvre?

and that reverses the meaning of my answer. Arrrrggghhh! Similarly other questions can confuse me enough that I answer very differently. So, if I had just seen an amazing manoeuvre then the following would be the conversation:

“wasn’t that an amazing manoeuvre?”
“It was amazing”

This means I have not answered an impossible question and also managed to keep my head from exploding with diverse logic implications.
Other examples are:

“aren’t you going to the cinema?”
“isn’t that band great?”

So, please don’t ask me perfectly normal questions, it just hurts.