Favorite Link Friday - P.O.W. Report

Friday, October 2, 2015

Favorite Link Friday

Governor Issues Special Session Proclamation

September 24, 2015 ANCHORAGE – Governor Bill Walker issued a proclamation today calling the Legislature into a special session on October 24 in Juneau to address gasline issues. In a short video address to Alaskans, Governor Walker explained the urgency of North Slope gas production.
“With a $3.5 billion budget deficit, this gasline project has gone from a wish-list item to a must-have,” said Governor Walker. “Under the negotiation process I inherited, very little has been accomplished on the commercial agreements. It is time to make the necessary legislative changes so a single party cannot delay the production of Alaska’s natural gas resources and sway our destiny.” 
Part of Governor Walker’s legislation package, which will be introduced before the start of the special session, includes a proposal to buy TransCanada’s share of the gas pipeline and gas treatment facility. Read the rest here.

Shell Gives up on Arctic Drilling
After spending a whopping $7 billion – including $2 billion on government leases seven years ago – oil giant Royal Dutch Shell announced this week its intention to suspend Arctic drilling operations “for the foreseeable future.” According to the company, it found “indications of oil and gas” at one of its Arctic wells but concluded “these are not sufficient to warrant further exploration.” Also contributing to the company’s decision? The “unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska” – including regulations which impose an arbitrary “drilling season” of only a few months each year. 
Read the rest here.

 Clouds of Bacteria

Each of us give off millions of bacteria from our human microbiome into the air around us every day, and that cloud of bacteria can be traced back to us in lab tests....  Dr James Meadow said: "We expected that we would be able to detect the human microbiome in the air around a person, but we were surprised to find that we could identify most of the occupants just by sampling their microbial cloud... "Our results confirm that an occupied space is microbially distinct from an unoccupied one, and demonstrate for the first time that individuals release their own personalized microbial cloud." 
Read Here.

The Backfire Effect

The Misconception: When your beliefs are challenged with facts, you alter your opinions and incorporate the new information into your thinking.

The Truth: When your deepest convictions are challenged by contradictory evidence, your beliefs get stronger.

In 2006, Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler at The University of Michigan and Georgia State University created fake newspaper articles about polarizing political issues. The articles were written in a way which would confirm a widespread misconception about certain ideas in American politics. As soon as a person read a fake article, researchers then handed over a true article which corrected the first. For instance, one article suggested the United States found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The next said the U.S. never found them, which was the truth. Those opposed to the war or who had strong liberal leanings tended to disagree with the original article and accept the second. Those who supported the war and leaned more toward the conservative camp tended to agree with the first article and strongly disagree with the second. These reactions shouldn’t surprise you. What should give you pause though is how conservatives felt about the correction. After reading that there were no WMDs, they reported being even more certain than before there actually were WMDs and their original beliefs were correct. 
A great example of selective skepticism is the website literallyunbelievable.org. They collect Facebook comments of people who believe articles from the satire newspaper The Onion are real. Articles about Oprah offering a select few the chance to be buried with her in an ornate tomb, or the construction of a multi-billion dollar abortion supercenter, or NASCAR awarding money to drivers who make homophobic remarks are all commented on with the same sort of “yeah, that figures” outrage. As the psychologist Thomas Gilovich said, “”When examining evidence relevant to a given belief, people are inclined to see what they expect to see, and conclude what they expect to conclude…for desired conclusions, we ask ourselves, ‘Can I believe this?,’ but for unpalatable conclusions we ask, ‘Must I believe this?’” 

Read the rest here


Have a Classy Weekend POW!

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