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Amazing coincidence! What are the odds?

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew Several days ago I wore my cheapo Belarussian one-hand watch. This watch only has an hour hand, but the hand stretches all the way out to the edge of the watch, like the minute hand of a normal watch. The dial is marked with five-minute hash marks, […]

When did “by” become “after”?

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew. I just did a Google News search for “injured after”, and these are some of the headlines that came up: 16-year-old bicyclist seriously injured after being hit by car in Norfolk At least 1 injured after high-speed crash in Bridgeport Teen injured after falling off rooftop Driver […]

The devil’s in the details…and also in the broad strokes. Is this study ridiculous, or am I badly misjudging it?

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew. Something caught my eye in a recent MIT Technology Review: an article in Nature Communications entitled ‘The greenhouse gas impacts of converting food production in England and Wales to organic methods.’ This is a subject that interests me, although I have no expertise in it whatsoever, so […]

The best is the enemy of the good. It is also the enemy of the not so good.

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew. The Ocean Cleanup Project’s device to clean up plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is back in the news because it is back at work and is successfully collecting plastic. A bunch of my friends are pretty happy about it and have said so on social […]

The Map Is Not The Territory

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew. My wife and I are building a new house, or, rather, paying trained professionals to build one for us. We are trying to make the house as environmentally benign as we reasonably can: ducted mini-split heating, heat pump water heater, solar panels, heat-recovery ventilator, sustainably harvested lumber, […]

Let’s try this again: It is nonsense to say that we don’t know whether a specific weather event was affected by climate change. It’s not just wrong, it’s nonsensical.

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew. If you write something and a substantial number of well-intentioned readers misses your point, the problem is yours. Too many people misunderstood what I was sayinga few days ago in the post “There is no way to prove that [an extreme weather event] either was, or was […]

“There is no way to prove that [an extreme weather event] either was, or was not, affected by global warming.”

This post is by Phil, not Andrew. It’s hurricane season, which means it’s time to see the routine disclaimer that no single weather event can be attributed to global warming. There’s a sense in which that is true, and a sense in which it is very wrong. I’ll start by going way back to 2005. […]

Book Review: Good to Go, by Christie Aschwanden

This is a book review. It is by Phil Price. It is not by Andrew. The book is Good To Go: What the athlete in all of us can learn from the strange science of recovery. By Christie Aschwanden, published by W.W. Norton and Company. The publisher offered a copy to Andrew to review, and […]

Why, oh why, do so many people embrace the Pacific Garbage Cleanup nonsense? (I have a theory).

This post is by Phil, not Andrew. Over the couple of months I have seen quite a few people celebrating the long-awaited launch of a big device that will remove plastic garbage from the Pacific ocean. I find this frustrating because this project makes no sense even if the device works as intended: at best […]

How dumb do you have to be…

I (Phil) just read an article about Apple. Here’s the last sentence: “Apple has beaten earnings expectations in every quarter but one since March 2013.” [Note added a week later: on July 31 Apple reported earnings for the fiscal third quarter.  Earnings per share was $2.34 vs. the ‘consensus estimate’ of $2.18, according to Thomson Reuters.]  

Exercise and weight loss: long-term follow-up

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew. Waaaay back in 2010, I wrote a blog entry entitled “Exercise and Weight Loss.” I had added high-intensity interval training back into my exercise regime, and had lost 12 pounds in about 12 weeks; but around the same time, some highly publicized studies were released that claimed […]

Lessons learned in Hell

This post is by Phil. It is not by Andrew. I’m halfway through my third year as a consultant, after 25 years at a government research lab, and I just had a miserable five weeks finishing a project. The end product was fine — actually really good — but the process was horrible and I […]

An obvious fact about constrained systems.

  This post is not by Andrew. This post is by Phil. This post is prompted by Andrew’s recent post about the book “Everything is obvious once you know the answer,” together with a recent discussion I’ve been involved in. I’m going to say something obvious. True story: earlier this year I was walking around […]

NIMBYs and economic theories: Sorry / Not Sorry

This post is not by Andrew. This post is by Phil. A few days ago I posted What’s the deal with the YIMBYs?  In the rest of this post, I assume you have read that one. I plan to post a follow-up in a month or two when I have had time to learn more, […]

What’s the deal with the YIMBYs?

This post is not by Andrew. It is by Phil. There’s at least one thing people in San Francisco seem to agree on: the rent is too damn high. The median rent is between about $3000 and $3500 per month…for a one-bedroom apartment. High-tech workers and upper-echelon businesspeople can afford a place, but baristas and […]

How can time series information be used to choose a control group?

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew. Before I get to my question, you need some background. The amount of electricity that is provided by an electric utility at a given time is called the “electric load”, and the time series of electric load is called the “load shape.” Figure 1 (which is labeled […]

Numbers too good to be true? Or: Thanks, Obama!?

This post is by Phil. The “Affordable Care Act” a.k.a. “Obamacare” was passed in 2010, with its various pieces coming into play over the following few years. One of those pieces is penalties for hospitals that see high readmission rates. The theory here, or at least one of the theories here, was that hospitals could […]

Le Menu Dit : a translation app

This post is by Phil Price. “Le Menu Dit” is an iPhone app that some friends and I wrote, which translates restaurant menus from English into French. (The name is French for “The Menu Says.”) The friends are Nathan Addy and another excellent programmer who would like to remain nameless for now. Here’s how the […]

Cancer statistics: WTF?

This post is by Phil. I know someone who was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and is trying to decide whether to get chemo or just let it run its course. What does she have to go on? A bunch of statistics that are barely useful. For example, its easy to find the average survival […]

Guys, we need to talk. (Houston, we have a problem).

This post is by Phil Price. I’m posting it on Andrew’s blog without knowing exactly where he stands on this so it’s especially important for readers to note that this post is NOT BY ANDREW! Last week a prominent scientist, representing his entire team of researchers, appeared in widely distributed television interviews wearing a shirt […]