The SGU Cutting Room Floor - Episode #480
Only 20 more shows to the otherwise arbitrary achievement of Episode #500. So while we wait a few months for that event, there were a few things that went unsaid from our most recent episode #480. This week we have more celebrity gullibility, how Facebook makes us suckers, Russian bigfoot nonsense, and punishments for bad science practices. Here is the latest version of The SGU Cutting Room Floor.
Kate Hudson is a famous and accomplished actor. She is the daughter of actors Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn. She is Hollywood through and through. And if her lineage was not proof enough, her belief in weird stuff cements her as a true Hollywood darling. She believes that she, along with her mother Goldie, have the “power” to “speak” with the dead. Here she is, in her own words, in a recent interview:
“Me and my mum Goldie can see dead people … It is not really seeing, it is feeling a spirit. A fifth energy. I believe in energy. I believe our brains can manifest into visual things.”
A new study finds that habitual use of Facebook makes individuals susceptible to social media phishing attacks by criminals, according to a press release over at Wiley.com. Perhaps a little more skepticism would help people from becoming online victims. From the press release:
“Social media phishing is the attack vector of choice among cyber criminals and has been implicated in crimes ranging from home invasion to cyber bullying, illegal impersonation of individuals and organization, and espionage,” said Dr. Arun Vishwanath, author of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication study.
UPI reported this past week that Moscow researchers said they have evidence an Almas (a.k.a. the Russian Bigfoot) is wandering the woods near Moscow. From the article:
Andrei Stroganov, a biophysical technologist at Moscow’s Agricultural Academy, said he collected a fragment of tree bark near the city that bears the signs of having been marked by a large primate, and he fingered an Almas as the culprit.
Research misconduct degrades trust in science and causes real-world harm, and it should be a crime akin to fraud, argues Richard Smith. This is a topic we have touched upon before on the SGU, but we have never discussed what should be considered “appropriate” punishments. Perhaps you have some ideas as to how you would dish out the justice. From the opinion piece at New Scientist, Smith writes:
“After 30 years of observing how science deals with the problem, I have sadly come to the conclusion that it should be a crime, for three main reasons. First, in a lot of cases, people have been given substantial grants to do honest research, so it really is no different from financial fraud or theft. Second, we have a whole criminal justice system that is in the business of gathering and weighing evidence – which universities and other employers of researchers are not very good at. And finally, science itself has failed to deal adequately with research misconduct.”