on the reading list

1. Scientific American, September 2011, special issue on cities. (Look out for the William Gibson essay!) 2. Ultima Thule, by Davis McCombs who is a tremendous poet. Tremendous. Also knows his Kentucky caves inside out. I have nothing but respect for that. 3. Jane Jacobs, The Death & Life of Great American Cities. 4. Jonathan Watts, the Guardian’s […]

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Conditioning help

Once operant conditioning is in place, and there is no hope of extinction, can it be got rid of? Can anyone point me to studies on this? Tangentially related, how do you stave off Internet procrastination? (That’s the learned behaviour which won’t go extinct, as the reward – interesting things on the Internet! – is […]

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Return of the Roadster

Tesla sports car returns to electrify roads Importer banks on after-sales service to sell electric speedster, sedan By Grace Chua, The Straits Times, Thursday 21 July MOTORISTS here who want to draw envious stares while feeling environmentally friendly will soon be able to get behind the wheel of the world’s first electric sports car. The […]

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But who will buy one?

The Tesla Roadster, a 288-horsepower, fully-electric two-seater sports car, is now back in Singapore, as you may have heard. But its price tag starts at $520,000, and with certificate-of-entitlement prices on the rise*, it ain’t getting any cheaper. So who will buy one? I was trying to figure this out the other day. The first niche market […]

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Money for nothing (sort of)

Why do people spend more to get free things – in this case, a mostly-syrup-and-ice slushy drink that has no nutritional value? What, precisely, is so alluring about freebies? From the story: “Free is magic,” says Barry Schwartz, professor of psychology at Swarthmore College. “If you offer something for free, people will gladly spend money to […]

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Tide of awareness about the water-energy relationship

Save water by using less electricity Governments recognise that the two are fundamentally linked By Grace Chua, The Straits Times, Saturday, July 9, 2011 ‘Think of water as a fuel… When you fill your car with petrol, you don’t pour some on the ground and then put some in your car. You don’t waste it.’ […]

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Loads of links on the floods this year

Some minor flooding at Orchard Road this year, again, after a bout of heavy rain. Obviously not on the scale of last year’s floods in Pakistan or this year’s in the Philippines – no one has lost their homes though one teenager did drown after falling into an open drain. BUT the floods are in […]

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Skinomics

Last month, I was in Seoul for the World Congress of Dermatology 2011, and amidst a slew of talks about aesthetics and plastic surgery, discovered some fascinating things about genomics going more than skin-deep. The science is in its infancy, of course. And there’s plenty of discussion over whether genomics can deliver on its promises. (Scientists […]

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I’m back

The Singapore General Election is over, we now return you to your regularly scheduled programming. I had to take rather a long break from this blog as I was part of the massive Straits Times team which covered the election – which I’m not going to write about as I’m not a political commentator!* You […]

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