3 Comments »Posted on Sunday 9 May 2010 at 6:23 pm by Jacob Aron
In Biology, Climate Change & Environment, Getting It Wrong, Health & Medicine, Weekly Roundup

Who needs facts?

We all know that science can be complicated and confusing, but don’t let that get you down – Fake Science is here to straighten everything out. Did you know that the periodic table is actually based on Scrabble, or that wind power uses giant fans to make wind? Science has never been so simple.

Want to lose weight? Keep it off your plate

Simply leaving serving dishes on the kitchen counter rather than bringing them to the dining table reduces the amount of food you eat, say researchers at Cornell University. They found that this simple dieting strategy reduces the temptation of second helpings, cutting the number of calories people consumed by 20%.

Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, said that the same idea can be used to promote healthier foods over sugary snacks – keeping fruit on display makes you more likely to eat it instead of reaching for a piece of cake in the fridge.

Animal privacy? Not in my backyard

Wildlife documentaries infringe an animal’s right to privacy, says Brett Mills, a lecturer in film studies at the University of East Anglia:

“We have an assumption that humans have some right to privacy, so why do we not assume that for other species, particularly when they are engaging in behaviour that suggests they don’t want to be seen?”

I’m a staunch defender of civil liberties, but even I think extending the right to privacy to animals is going a bit too far. Of course, great care should be taken to avoid distributing their natural habits or causing them distress, but I really don’t think animals mind us watching them doing what they do.

Green tax would hurt the poorest

A proposed tax on carbon footprints would hit the poorest households hardest, according to study from the University of Leeds. The carbon tax would cost low earners 6% of their annual income, while the richest households would only pay around 2%.

The difference is the result of poorer households spending more on costs such as heating and electricity – 40% of their income, compared to just 8% for high earners.


  1. 3 Comments

  2. but I really don’t think animals mind us watching them doing what they do.

    If you’ve ever seen your dog deliberately hide amongst the trees, facing the other way, in order to poo, you’d know animals have a sense of privacy about their more intimate functions, too!

    By Tim on Friday 21 May, 2010 at 11:55 pm

  3. Climate change – an issue in which the poor are going to lose out no matter what happens. They’re the least able to cope with price hikes and new taxes associated with mitigation, but they’re also the worst positioned to deal with the impacts of an actual changing climate. Sucks!

    By David on Wednesday 16 June, 2010 at 8:52 am

  4. Brian Wansink – he’s a bit of a genius actually. His dreadfully-titled book Mindless Eating is clever, well-written and quite funny in places. I am greatly enjoying it. Of course if I do not get thinner after reading it I may have to sue him … but hey.

    By Vogel von Neustadt on Friday 25 June, 2010 at 4:50 pm

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