An MBA student and his professor recently completed a study of 300,542 randomly chosen Twitter users, because this is what business students do. What did they find?
1) 55% of Twitter users are female.
2) Men and women tweet at the same rate. Which is to say, almost not at all. The study authors calculated the median number of lifetime tweets per user as one. One! This, they say, means most Twitter users post updates less than once every 74 days. Lazy arses.
3) Although men and women follow a similar number of Twitter users, men have 15% more followers than women.
4) The average male Twitterer is almost twice as likely to follow another man than a woman (and 40% more likely to be followed by another man than by a woman). The average female Twitterer is also more eager to see what the guys are up to: she’s 25% more likely to follow a man than a woman.
Quote: These results are stunning given what previous research has found in the context of online social networks. On a typical online social network, most of the activity is focused around women - men follow content produced by women they do and do not know, and women follow content produced by women they know. Generally, men receive comparatively little attention from other men or from women.
Aw. That’s sad. Maybe you deserve a little love, guys.
Inkling doesn’t have an official Twitter account yet, though it’s in the works. This news fills us with both trepidation—how can we compete with all these seemingly scintillating male Twits?—and hope: Just make more than one 140-character Zen statement about science in two months, and it’ll be like we’ve published a career’s worth of books. Sweet.
Edited to add that now we DO have a Twitter account! Exciting times, these. Follow us here.
I’ve been hearing a lot of grief from my scientist friends about having to write research papers or submit or edit them, etc.
Here’s a silver bullet - if you’re in Computer science that is. SCIgen randomly generates an entire computer science research paper (complete with graphs and figures) at the click of a button. All you have to do is fill in the five author fields.
For example, the trio behind inky circus came up a paper titled On the Visualization of Hierarchical Databases.
Here’s the abstract. Can I just say, who knew we had it in us?
In recent years, much research has been devoted to the visualization of XML; however, few have deployed the investigation of spreadsheets. Given the current status of classical archetypes, end-users daringly desire the refinement of the partition table. We construct a heuristic for autonomous information, which we call Emu. Such a claim is usually an extensive mission but fell in line with our expectations.
As you can see the results are pretty spiffy - which explains how three randomly generated papers made their way to the World Multiconference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics in Orlando in 2005. The 13 minute movie about the hoax, Near Science, can be viewed here.
There’s a fantastic online experiment going on now that seeks to create music from the first 10,000 numbers of pi. But it’s interactive. Which means that the first note you pick will be played when the number 1 crops up, the second note you pick will be 2, and so on.
My choice of notes wound up dark and minor enough that the result sounded like a less professional riff of the soundtrack to “There Will Be Blood“‘s blood-pressure raising march of minor notes and strings. It’s a bit rushed (after all there are 10K notes to run through) but the fun part is that you can vary and repeat it as much as possible. I’m now going back to come up with some nice pretty high notes to play pi: I’m thinking triangles, and song birds, and the noise of sunshine instead of dark and roily mining story in California.
Every now and then I’m completely blown over by something I come across on the web and it’s so distracting and delightful I hardly do anything else than wade in its glory. Well, that’s precisley what I did when I came across the mp3s of Singing Science Records.
These songs are real deal people. Fantastic jaunty 1960s jingles about science. Songs so catchy and springy that they stay on repeat in your head for days at a time.
Zoom A Little Zoom is awfully good. And It’s A Scientific Fact is gold. Those are just some titles from the LP Space Songs. But then there’s Energy & Motion Songs, Experiment Songs, Weather Songs, Nature Songs, and More Nature Songs.
So go. Download them all. Load them up in iTunes and learn something. It’s way more fun when there’s a swinging beat involved.
And this got us to musing about where Rohypnol came from to begin with. My vote was military. I mean, who else is keen to make people all pliant and erase their memories? Helloooo Darpa how are you doing? Obviously!
My friend however, thought it was the medical industry. This conjured up images of black market organ trafficking and eeeevil surgeons rubbing their latex gloved paws together in glee at all the kidneys they could harvest with drugged-out consent. Turns out she was right.
Rohypnol is its trademark name. Roofie its street name. But its real name is flunitrazepam and it was developed by Roche in the 1970s “for the management of insomnia and induction of anaesthesia” according to their website.
Here’s where it gets interesting. First, it’s not approved by the FDA and is an illegal drug in the US but it’s available by private prescription in the UK - mostly for colonoscopies. Norway and Sweden withdrew Rohypnol but then later reintroduced it under a different guise: Flunipam and flunitrazepam respectively. And I didn’t know this but Kurt Cobain OD’d on a cocktail of flunitrazepam and champagne weeks before his death. Still, I wouldn’t stock up on those stocking stuffer quite yet. The Association of Chief Police Officers reported that none of the 120 cases from November 2004 to October 2005 were linked to rohypnol.