Karl Popper: What Makes a Theory Scientific


Finally, Popper was careful to say that it is not possible to prove that Freudianism was not true, at least in part. But we can say that we simply don’t know whether it’s true, because it does not make specific testable predictions. It may have many kernels of truth in it, but we can’t tell. The theory would have to be restated.

This is the essential “line of demarcation,“ as Popper called it, between science and pseudoscience.

Source: Karl Popper: What Makes a Theory Scientific

Another succinct article from Farnam Street.

Don’t Throw Away Those Pennies

This story appeared in the News app on my iPad: apparently, quite a few people would rather throw money away than carry “heavy” coins around. I first came across this behaviour when I was working on a project in Dublin years ago. I was waiting for a lift with a colleague (who shall rename anonymous) when he pulled out some coppers and threw the coins into the waste bin. This was pre-Euro, and the copper coins were much larger than they are now, but even so I was horrified at such decadent behaviour. I persuaded my colleague that we should have a charity mug—we shared adjoining desks—into which we put our pennies. When the mug was full, I’d take the money with me to Dublin Airport and slot the coins into the charity box inside.

I have continued this habit to this day: all coins of 10p or lower (and leftover foreign currency) go into my charity vase. When it’s full, I usually put the money in a bag and take it with me when I’m flying somewhere on BA and donate it to their Change for Good programme.

The survey on which the Mirror story is based was carried out by Mecca Bingo, who are trying to persuade people to gamble with those pennies, which seems like another way to throw money away. So why not do what I do?


Family Fun


Wonderful what you can find on YouTube.

Simple or Complex


There’s nothing to add to this Non Sequitur gem.

Songs Inspired by Parenthood


A collection from the readers of The Atlantic.

Source: Songs Inspired by Parenthood – The Atlantic

Nothing to do with parenthood, I bought this album (on vinyl) about the time I started university… not long after its release—30 years before BBC Four!

Tristan McIntosh

A beautiful performance by 15-year old Tristan.


I’ve cut the unnecessary chat from the start and end of the video.

Food and Wine

I could probably sum up my approach to food & wine in fifty words, here goes. Acid likes fat (think vinegar on chips), tannin likes protein (red wine with steak), spice likes sweetness, cheese is generally better with something sweet and/or white than something dry and/or red, sweet foods need sweeter wines, and if your dish/wine wants to impress, the accompanying wine/dish shouldn’t be too assertive. Exactly fifty words, not bad Simon.

Pinched this from from Simon Woods’ email newsletter.

How MSG Got A Bad Rap: Flawed Science And Xenophobia

That MSG isn’t the poison we’ve made it out to be has been well-established. News stories are written regularly about the lack of evidence tying MSG to negative health effects… Still, Yelp reviews of Chinese restaurants tell tales of racing hearts, sleepless nights and tingling limbs from dishes “laden with MSG.” Even when the science is clear, it takes a lot to overwrite a stigma, especially when that stigma is about more than just food.

Source: How MSG Got A Bad Rap: Flawed Science And Xenophobia | FiveThirtyEight

I did not know this.

Oysters and Wine for Breakfast

Today, écailleur Louis is multitasking, shucking knife in one hand, bottle of muscadet in the other.

He assembles a cluster of happiness. The huîtres spéciales are sweeter than the Fines with their hint of iodine; raised off the coast of Normandy with the flavors of the Channel filtering through their bodies. Naturally spawned in April, they are now beautifully fat.

I prod with a terrifyingly sharp, candy-pink plastic shucking knife, trying not to cut my tongue while scraping the oyster into my mouth, adductor muscles and all. They are masculine, metallic, sea sweet, with a taste of noisette on the tongue.

Source: A Historic International Agreement Demands Oysters and Wine for Breakfast – Roads & Kingdoms

Oh, my!