Reshared post from +gwern branwen

Effects of Calorie Restriction in Healthy Nonobese Adults
This randomized clinical trial examines the effects of a 2-year calorie restriction program on mood, quality of life, sleep, and sexual function in normal-weight adults.

Biggest Loser style of weight loss is bad for your health and doesn't work in…

Biggest Loser style of weight loss is bad for your health and doesn't work in keeping the weight off.

On this show, overweight individuals drastically cut calories and do intense exercise. Turns out that this is an effective way to lose weight short term, but you will gain a significant amount of the weight back (some even end up weighing more), and you will have changed your basal metabolic rate such that it's much harder to lose weight in the future.



Persistent metabolic adaptation 6 years after “The Biggest Loser” competition – Fothergill – 2016 – Obesity – Wiley Online Library
Erin Fothergill1,; Juen Guo1,; Lilian Howard1,; Jennifer C. Kerns2,; Nicolas D. Knuth3,; Robert Brychta1,; Kong Y. Chen1,; Monica C. Skarulis1,; Mary Walter1,; Peter J. Walter1 and; Kevin D. Hall1,*. Article first published online: 2 MAY 2016. DOI: 10.1002/oby.21538. © 2016 The Obesity Society …

What happens when you fire a 1.2 centimeter sphere of aluminum (weighing 1.7 grams)…

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What happens when you fire a 1.2 centimeter sphere of aluminum (weighing 1.7 grams) at an 18 centimeter thick block of aluminum?

And by "fire" I don't mean some weenie velocity, I mean 6.8 kilometers per second.

Temperature at impact site exceeds 6000K.

Thanks to the ESA for performing such a cool experiment which helps in designing space debris resistant spacecraft. (http://goo.gl/b0LKd9)

Machine learning helps the environmental sciences make sense of the vast troves of…

Machine learning helps the environmental sciences make sense of the vast troves of data modern technology has helped them generate.

How much data?

One example given is that, through an app called eBird, people have submitted 300 million observations of bird activity.

Combining the data gathered from eBird with the lab’s own observational data and information about species distribution gathered from remote sensing networks, the institute’s models use machine learning to predict where there will be changes in habitat for certain species and the paths along which birds will move during migration.



Three ways artificial intelligence is helping to save the world
As computers get smarter, scientists look at new ways to enlist them in environmental protection.

It's probably selection bias, but I swear every government contract I hear about…

It's probably selection bias, but I swear every government contract I hear about sounds like this description of the construction phase of the USS John F. Kennedy.

In September 2013, the Government Accountability Office recommended delaying the detail design and construction contract for John F. Kennedy until programmatic shortfalls are sorted out. The Navy and Defense Department have rejected the recommendation. The Navy faces technical, design, and construction challenges to completing the previous USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), including producing systems prior to demonstrating their maturity to meet required installation dates. The Ford had costs increase by 22 percent to $12.8 billion, and additional increases could follow due to uncertainties facing critical technology systems and shipbuilder underperformance. Risk is introduced in the navy's plan to conduct integration testing of key systems at the same time as initial operational test and evaluation. One action the GAO says could be taken to ensure Ford-class carrier acquisitions are supported is conducting a cost-benefit analysis of required capabilities and associated costs

I particularly like that last sentence. "Oh, a cost-benefit alanysis, whodathunk?".

USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Something I always try to remember is plausibility is not the same thing as accuracy…

Something I always try to remember is plausibility is not the same thing as accuracy or truth. Plausibility is the great deceiver!

However, I just love cool and plausible explanations for complex subjects, and this book review slash theorizing about the basis of the political and cultural zeitgeist of the modern USA is just great fun to read.

It starts out as a review of the book Albion's Seed and ends as a theory based on immigration patterns about why we've got the liberal vs conservative structure that we've got in the USA.

As an introduction to the thesis of the book:

In school, we tend to think of the original American colonists as “Englishmen”, a maximally non-diverse group who form the background for all of the diversity and ethnic conflict to come later. Fischer’s thesis is the opposite. Different parts of the country were settled by very different groups of Englishmen with different regional backgrounds, religions, social classes, and philosophies. The colonization process essentially extracted a single stratum of English society, isolated it from all the others, and then plunked it down on its own somewhere in the Eastern US.

As a description of Puritan society:

So life as a Puritan was pretty terrible. On the other hand, their society was impressively well-ordered. Teenage pregnancy rates were the lowest in the Western world and in some areas literally zero. Murder rates were half those in other American colonies. There was remarkably low income inequality – “the top 10% of wealthholders held only 20%-30% of taxable property”, compared to 75% today and similar numbers in other 17th-century civilizations. The poor (at least the poor native to a given town) were treated with charity and respect – “in Salem, one man was ordered to be set by the heels in the stocks for being uncharitable to a poor man in distress”. Government was conducted through town meetings in which everyone had a say. Women had more equality than in most parts of the world, and domestic abuse was punished brutally. The educational system was top-notch – “by most empirical tests of intellectual eminence, New England led all other parts of British America from the 17th to the early 20th century”.

On the flight of nobility from England to Virgina (called the Cavaliers):

The Virginians tried their best to oppress white people. Really, they did. The depths to which they sank in trying to oppress white people almost boggle the imagination. There was a rule that if a female indentured servant became pregnant, a few extra years were added on to their indenture, supposedly because they would be working less hard during their pregnancy and child-rearing so it wasn’t fair to the master. Virginian aristocrats would rape their own female servants, then add a penalty term on to their indenture for becoming pregnant. That is an impressive level of chutzpah. But despite these efforts, eventually all the white people either died, or became too sluggish to be useful, or worst of all just finished up their indentures and became legally free. The aristocrats started importing black slaves as per the model that had sprung up in the Caribbean, and so the stage was set for the antebellum South we read about in history classes.

On the Quaker's most famous member:

It occurs to me that William Penn might be literally the single most successful person in history. He started out as a minor noble following a religious sect that everybody despised and managed to export its principles to Pennsylvania where they flourished and multiplied. Pennsylvania then managed to export its principles to the United States, and the United States exported them to the world. I’m not sure how much of the suspiciously Quaker character of modern society is a direct result of William Penn, but he was in one heck of a right place at one heck of a right time

On the Borderers who eventually ended up settling here in America in the Appalachian mountains:

In response to these pressures, the border people militarized and stayed feudal long past the point where the rest of the island had started modernizing. Life consisted of farming the lands of whichever brutal warlord had the top hand today, followed by being called to fight for him on short notice, followed by a grisly death. The border people dealt with it as best they could, and developed a culture marked by extreme levels of clannishness, xenophobia, drunkenness, stubbornness, and violence.



Book Review: Albion’s Seed
I. Albion’s Seed by David Fischer is a history professor’s nine-hundred-page treatise on patterns of early immigration to the Eastern United States. It’s not light reading and not…

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Reshared post from +G. Michael Williams

I just got a notification that someone reshared this picture that I originally shared…

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I just got a notification that someone reshared this picture that I originally shared here on G+ 3 years ago. It was a popular share, so I'm sharing it again.



I recreate the wheel every time I try to format currency, and I do it wrong every…

I recreate the wheel every time I try to format currency, and I do it wrong every time.

Hopefully I'll remember this post next time…

Etsy does business in more than 200 regions and 9 languages. It’s important that our member experience is consistent and credible in all regions, which means we have to format prices correctly for all members.

How Etsy Formats Currency
Imagine how you would feel if you went into a grocery store, and the prices were gibberish (“1,00.21 $” or “$100.A”). Would you feel confident buying from this store? Etsy does business in more tha…

It's pretty embarrassing for Vox to have published this article by Jason Blum…

It's pretty embarrassing for Vox to have published this article by Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions explaining how piracy harms the film industry.

He tries to make a more subtle argument than drawing a direct line between piracy and reducing revenue. Instead he tries to argue that reduced revenue from piracy means studios are less willing to make art movies.

That assumes facts not in evidence! AFAIK, there's no solid evidence that piracy reduces revenue. I mean, that's a worthwhile thing to study and discuss…but it's either ignorant or dishonest to just take that as a given.

Piracy is the biggest threat facing the film industry as we know it — but not in the way you think
If you want to safeguard the future of films that don’t involve superheroes or major franchises, you shouldn’t steal movies from the internet.