Tag Archive: National Science Foundation


House Committee Demands Answers On Truthy Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee sent a letter to the head of the National Science Foundation (NSF) on Monday, demanding answers about the origins of the nearly $1 million taxpayer-funded project to track “misinformation” on Twitter.

  The Truthy project, being conducted by researchers at Indiana University, is under investigation for targeting political commentary on Twitter. The project monitors “suspicious memes,” “false and misleading ideas,” and “hate speech,” with a goal of one day being able to automatically detect false rumors on the social media platform.

  The web service has been used to track tweets using hashtags such as #tcot (Top Conservatives on Twitter), and was successful in getting accounts associated with conservatives suspended, according to a 2012 book co-authored by the project’s lead researcher, Filippo Menczer, a professor of Informatics and Computer Science at Indiana University.

  Menczer has also said that Truthy monitored tweets using #p2 (Progressive 2.0), but did not discuss any examples of getting liberal accounts suspended in his book.

“ The Committee and taxpayers deserve to know how NSF decided to award a large grant for a project that proposed to develop standards for online political speech and to apply those standards through development of a website that targeted conservative political comments,” wrote Chairman Lamar Smith (R., Texas) in a letter to NSF Director France Cordova. 

“ While some have argued that Truthy could be used to better understand things like disaster communication or to assist law enforcement, instead it appears Truthy focused on examples of ‘false and misleading ideas, hate speech, and subversive propaganda’ communicated by conservative groups,” he said.”

 

    Latecomers can find out more on the “Truthy Project” here and read more about the Congressional investigation here .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yale Professor Shocked To Find Out Tea Party Better At Science

 

 

 

” A Yale professor, Dan Kahan, tested 2,000 people and made a surprise discovery, which he said embarrassed him. People who identify themselves as members of the Tea Party do better at science than non Tea party members. Kahan admitted that he didn’t know anyone from the Tea party and got all of his information on them from liberal cable shows and the New York Times, The Huffington Post and Politico.

Kahan claims that liberals are more science savvy than conservatives. But surprisingly, he found that Tea party members were the most savvy of them all. Moreover the findings surpassed the threshold of statistically significance.”

 

 

Professor Kahan’s paper is here

 

 

 

 

60 Completely Outrageous Ways The U.S. Government Is Wasting Money

 

 

 

” Is there anyone better at wasting money then the U.S. government?  Despite the sequester and all of the talk about “deep cutbacks”, the federal government continues to waste money in some of the most outrageous ways imaginable.  For example, does the U.S. government really have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to study the size and shape of the reproductive organs of ducks?  Does the U.S. government really have to spend 1.5 million dollars to study why so many lesbians are overweight?  There is so much waste that could still be cut out of the federal budget, and yet the very small sequester cuts that just happened are being described as “catastrophic” by many of our politicians.

The following are some of the completely outrageous ways that the U.S. government is wasting money…

#1 The National Science Foundation has given $384,949 to Yale University to do a study on “Sexual Conflict, Social Behavior and the Evolution of Waterfowl Genitalia”.  Try not to laugh, but much of this research involves examining and measuring the reproductive organs of male ducks.

#2 The IRS spent $60,000 on a film parody of “Star Trek” and a film parody of “Gilligan’s Island”.  Internal Revenue Service employees were the actors in the two parodies, so as you can imagine the acting was really bad.

#3 The National Institutes of Health has given $1.5 million to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts to study why “three-quarters” of lesbians in the United States are overweight and why most gay males are not.

#4 The National Institutes of Health has also spent $2.7 million to study why lesbians have more “vulnerability to hazardous drinking”.

#5 The U.S. government is giving sixteen F-16s and 200 Abrams tanks to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt even though the new president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi (a member of the Muslim Brotherhood), constantly makes statements such as the following

“Dear brothers, we must not forget to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred towards those Zionists and Jews, and all those who support them”

#6 During 2012, the salaries of Barack Obama’s three climate change advisers combined came to a grand total of more than $370,000. “

 

 

 

A Radio-Optical View of the Galaxy Hercules A

 

 

Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Baum and C. O’Dea (RIT), R. Perley and W. Cotton (NRAO/AUI/NSF), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

 

 

” SPECTACULAR JETS powered by the gravitational energy of a supermassive black hole in the core of the elliptical galaxy Hercules A illustrate the combined imaging power of two of astronomy’s cutting-edge tools, the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3, and the recently upgraded Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope in west-central New Mexico.

Some two billion light-years away, the yellowish elliptical galaxy in the center of the image appears quite ordinary as seen by Hubble in visible wavelengths of light. The galaxy harbors a 2.5-billion-solar-mass central black hole that is 1,000 times more massive than the black hole in our Milky Way. But the innocuous-looking galaxy, also known as 3C 348, has long been known as the brightest radio-emitting object in the constellation Hercules. Emitting nearly a billion times more power in radio wavelengths than our Sun, the galaxy is one of the brightest extragalactic radio sources in the entire sky. “

 

 

VIDEO: A Scientist Explains the Image