Send Me Another Expert

Now that the jingoistic gush fest that is the Olympics is over we can all recover from the notion that every Australian athlete who actually performed up to expectations was a genius and that those that failed to do so still had a big future in front of them (most likely in hospitality) we can…

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The Monty Hall Problem

Imagine that you’re on a television game show and the host presents you with three closed doors. Behind one of them, sits a sparkling, brand-new Lincoln Continental; behind the other two, are smelly old goats. The host implores you to pick a door, and you select door #1. Then, the host, who is well-aware of…

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Is 2016 the Worst Year in History?

If you listened to the breathless and somewhat hysterical local media then you would think it is but then you would be wrong…… When news of the truck killings in Nice, France, broke last week, I started seeing variations of the same sentiment on Twitter and Facebook: Is this the worst year ever, or what?…

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Who Is the Tallest Dwarf?

I noticed during the Olympics that an industry superannuation fund known as REST were trying to convince me how good they are. The catch cry of the ad is that investing is a marathon and not a sprint – you wont get any argument here on that point. Too many people believe that investing irrespective of…

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Is “Grit” Really the Key to Success?

In  the summer of 2004, Angela Duckworth, then a graduate student in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, went up to West Point to study 1,200 new cadets. The first-years were about to start “Beast Barracks,” an infamous seven-week training program during which they’d toil in the classroom and on the field for 17 hours…

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Some people look down on garage training. They think a “real” martial arts school should have a well-equipped dojo with heavy bags hanging from the ceiling, weapons on the walls, and thick mats on the floor. That’s all good. But no one should ever look down on garage training, and no student should be embarrassed…

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Self Image And Change

One of the things I find most frustrating about travelling is not the general carry on that is travelling. After decades of it you get used to the queues, the poor service, the people who shouldn’t be let out of the house let alone a plane and then there is the brilliance of an airline…

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Hermits and Cranks

How can we tell if someone is a scientific crank? Gardner offers this advice: (1) “First and most important of these traits is that cranks work in almost total isolation from their colleagues.” Cranks typically do not understand how the scientific process operates—that they need to try out their ideas on colleagues, attend conferences and…

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The Science Behind Sprinter Usain Bolt’s Speed

Sprinters who have taken on Usain Bolt in the 100-meter dash often describe a moment in the second half of the race when the world’s fastest-ever human just runs away from them. One minute they are shoulder-to-shoulder with Bolt, believing that this will be the nightthe legend will be toppled. The next they are staring…

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Now that I have settled in following my trip to Sydney I have had a chance to unpack and to clear out my junk mail folder. My junk mail folder is used to collect any manner of financial dross and it is a veritable treasure trove of hyperbole, breathless overstatement with a slight dash of…

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