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News Round Up [September 29, 2017]

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Although the airplane is one of the safest means of transportation in the world, it is not exempt from accidents. In fact, it has suffered some of the most surprising and tragic casualties in history. However, these black events have contributed to improving their safety, as happened with this surprising case.

In 1990, a British Airways plane traveling from Birmingham, England to Malaga, Spain, suffered a surprising accident that nearly killed the pilot, Captain Tim Lancaster, 42.
Although the flight had been checked routinely and everything seemed correct; only 15 minutes after taking off was one of the most grotesque accidents in the history of aviation.

Suddenly, the pilot's windshield came off, causing the cabin to decompress and the window break; causing Tim to be absorbed outwards to more than 7,000 meters of altitude.

Fortunately, he was hooked by the legs and flight attendant Nigel Ogden, who was in cabin at the time, was able to assure him quickly.

Though he was hooked, the heavy blow of his head against the fuselage bode to the worst.
Immediately, the co-pilot Alastari Atchison took command and began maneuvers to make an emergency landing at the airport in Southhampton, England.

After a few minutes, Ogden began to faint in his task of supporting Tim. The fatigue and low temperatures made a dent in him. Though they thought him dead, the crew refused to let Tim out for several reasons. First, out of respect for the captain and his family, since escape from his hands there would be nothing left to honor and bury. Secondly, for the safety and integrity of the flight; as there was the possibility that his body could hit and destroy some engine.

Ogden and Rogers continued to take turns to land 20 minutes after the accident, at which time they were able to recover their body and check, with surprise, that it was still alive Tim was unconscious, suffering freezing symptoms and fractures in his limbs, but he was out of danger. He joined the service only 5 months after the accident.

Since then, all aircraft windshields are fixed from the inside of the cabin and the windows of the pilots have been reinforced to prevent this disaster from being repeated [Source]


Second-growth timber sale awarded under state-federal agreement

Posted by Joe Viechnicki

A Ketchikan company has been awarded a $2.6-million sale of second-growth timber on an island in Southeast Alaska. The state of Alaska prepared and awarded the contract for logging on federal land on Kosciusko Island under an agreement with the federal government.

The sale is the first of its kind in Alaska under what’s called a good neighbor authority agreement. That allows the state’s Division of Forestry to handle sale preparation, administration and oversight for the logging on the Tongass National Forest. The land is near the Southeast community of Edna Bay, west of northern Prince of Wales Island.

Forest Service spokesman Paul Robbins said while all of the timber harvest will take place on national forest land, access will be across state property. “The Kosciusko sale will be using state lands and roads as well as a log transfer facility on Division of Forestry land,” he said. “So even though all of the lands are federal, in order to harvest the sale and put the sale out there, we needed to use division of forestry lands. So it just made sense to work alongside them on this sale.”

The sale will mean harvest of 29 million board feet of Sitka spruce and hemlock. Some of the money from the sale will reimburse the state for its costs.

Another young-growth project on Gravina Island near Ketchikan could be next up for the collaboration between the state and federal governments. [Source]

Concealed handgun permit holders much less likely to drive recklessly than other drivers


Some public health researchers have attempted to link permitted concealed carry to aggressive or reckless driving. Before turning to two of the papers by public health researchers, let’s look at some of the data on driving behavior. Just as handgun permit holders are incredibly law-abiding, they also drive much more responsibly than the general public.

...compared to permit holders, permitless individuals are 2.4 times more likely to drive drunk. They are 34.1 times more likely to drive under the influence of a controlled substance, and 10.6 times more likely to drive recklessly. Across these three types of driving violations, non-permit holders were 12.2 times more likely to be violating the law. [Source]

Study: Stereotypes Are Accurate


Social Perception and Social Reality contests the received wisdom in the field of social psychology that suggests that social perception and judgment are generally flawed, biased, and powerfully self-fulfilling. Jussim reviews a wealth of real world, survey, and experimental data collected over the last century to show that in fact, social psychological research consistently demonstrates that biases and self-fulfilling prophecies are generally weak, fragile, and fleeting. Furthermore, research in the social sciences has shown stereotypes to be accurate.

Jussim overturns the received wisdom concerning social perception in several ways. He critically reviews studies that are highly cited darlings of the bias conclusion and shows how these studies demonstrate far more accuracy than bias, or are not replicable in subsequent research. Studies of equal or higher quality, which have been replicated consistently, are shown to demonstrate high accuracy, low bias, or both. The book is peppered with discussions suggesting that theoretical and political blinders have led to an odd state of affairs in which the flawed or misinterpreted bias studies receive a great deal of attention, while stronger and more replicable accuracy studies receive relatively little attention. In addition, the author presents both personal and real world examples (such as stock market prices, sporting events, and political elections) that routinely undermine heavy-handed emphases on error and bias, but are generally indicative of high levels of rationality and accuracy. He fully embraces scientific data, even when that data yields unpopular conclusions or contests prevailing conventions or the received wisdom in psychology, in other social sciences, and in broader society. [Source]

In other words:

The stereotypes we hold about the sexes are accurate.
The stereotypes we hold about the races are accurate.
The stereotypes we hold about our fellow-people are accurate.


Clergy and Lay Scholars Issue Filial Correction of Pope Francis Accusing Him of Heresies


The initiative, the first time such a mechanism has been used since the Middle Ages, accuses the Pope of “propagating heresies” and respectfully asks that he teach the truth of the Catholic faith in its integrity.

A group of clergy and lay scholars from around the world have taken the very rare step of presenting Pope Francis with a formal filial correction, accusing him of propagating heresies concerning marriage, the moral life, and reception of the sacraments.

Entitled Correctio filialis de haeresibus propagatis, meaning ‘A Filial Correction Concerning the Propagation of Heresies,’ the 25 page letter was delivered to the Holy Father at his Santa Marta residence on Aug. 11.

The Pope has so far not responded to the initiative, whose 62 signatories include the German intellectual Martin Mosebach, former president of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, and the superior general of the Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay (he learned of the document only after it had been delivered to the Pope and signed it on behalf of the Society).

They accuse the Pope of upholding seven heretical positions about “marriage, the moral life, and the reception of the sacraments” which, they say, has “caused these heretical opinions to spread in the Catholic Church.”

The signatories stress they are not accusing the Pope of formal heresy (when a person departs from the faith by doubting or denying some revealed truth with a full choice of the will), and are making “no judgment about Pope Francis’s culpability in propagating the seven heresies” as it is “not their task to judge about whether the sin of heresy has been committed.”

But they also note that some faithful who have spoken up in defense of the Catholic faith have been subject to reprisals within the Church and Church institutions. They therefore say the signatories “speak for a large number of clergy and lay faithful who lack freedom of speech.” [Source]


Canada set to remove drunk canoeing as an impaired driving offense

Brian Platt

Knocking back a few brews and taking the canoe out for a paddle is still a terrible idea, but it may no longer run you the risk of having your driver’s licence suspended and car impounded.

As the federal government moves to tighten impaired driving laws ahead of the legalization of marijuana, it’s also clearing up a grey area in the Criminal Code that has seen police hand out drunk driving charges to tipsy canoeists.

Police can still lay other charges for being intoxicated in public, but impaired driving charges trigger harsh provincial penalties such as automatic driver’s licence suspensions, steep fines, demerit points, ignition unlocking devices and vehicle impoundment.

In 2011, a Waterloo canoeist who’d allegedly been drinking and paddling on Belwood Lake had his driver’s licence suspended for 90 days, leaving him unable to drive his pregnant wife to the hospital for medical checkups (though he could have still paddled her there, as canoes don’t need a licence).

Currently, the Criminal Code stipulates that road vehicles need to be motorized to qualify under impaired driving laws. But it also includes water-going “vessels,” whether they’re motorized or not. The term “vessels” is only vaguely defined, aside from an oddly specific instruction that hovercraft are included, leaving it open to police and prosecutors to decide what it means. [Source]

Women earned majority of doctoral degrees in 2016 for 8th straight year and outnumber men in grad school 135 to 100


For the eighth year in a row, women earned a majority of doctoral degrees awarded at US universities in 2016. Of the 78,744 doctoral degrees awarded in 2016 (Table B.25), women earned 40,407 of those degrees and 52.1% of the total, compared to 37,145 degrees awarded to men who earned 47.9% of the total.

By field of study, women earning doctoral degrees in 2016 outnumbered men in 7 of the 11 graduate fields tracked by the CGS (see top chart above): Arts and Humanities (54% female), Biology (51.7%, and one of the STEM fields that we hear so much about in terms of female under-representation), Education (69.4%), Health Sciences (69.9)%, Public Administration (77.4%), Social and Behavioral Studies (60.2%) and Other fields (50.7%). Men still earned a majority of 2016 doctoral degrees in the fields of Business (54.1% male), Engineering (77.2%), Math and Computer Science (74.2%), and Physical and Earth Sciences (66.4%). [Source]


Hoover Institute: How to Fail at Almost Everything with Scott Adams





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