PD.com: children are filled with joy, adults are filled with dread and local government is filled with stupid
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Paradoxically the hottest fields, with the most people pursuing the same questions, are most prone to error, Dr. Ioannidis argued. If one of five competing labs is alone in finding an effect, that result is the one likely to be published. But there is a four in five chance that it is wrong. Papers reporting negative conclusions are more easily ignored.
Putting all of this together, Dr. Ioannidis devised a mathematical model supporting the conclusion that most published findings are probably incorrect.
Other scientists have questioned whether his methodology was skewed by his own biases. But the same year he published another blockbuster, examining more than a decade’s worth of highly regarded papers — the effect of a daily aspirin on cardiac disease, for example, or the risks of hormone replacement therapy for older women. He found that a large proportion of the conclusions were undermined or contradicted by later studies.
His work was just the beginning. Concern about the problem has reached the point that the journal Nature has assembled an archive, filled with reports and analyses, called Challenges in Irreproducible Research.
Among them is a paper in which C. Glenn Begley, who is chief scientific officer at TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals, described an experience he had while at Amgen, another drug company. He and his colleagues could not replicate 47 of 53 landmark papers about cancer. Some of the results could not be reproduced even with the help of the original scientists working in their own labs.
Only one week into Colorado’s history-making recreational marijuana industry, one shop has already sold out of pot, others fear they may soon join it and perhaps as many as 100,000 people have legally purchased marijuana at Colorado stores.
Industry advocates estimate Colorado stores have already done more than $5 million in sales — including $1 million on New Year’s Day — though National Cannabis Industry Association executive director Aaron Smith acknowledges those are “back-of-the-envelope” figures. The owner of one store said she expects to make as much in sales in the first 10 days of January as she did all of last year selling medical marijuana.
“I had a dream once that I opened my store and didn’t have any competition,” said Robin Hackett, a co-owner of BotanaCare in Northglenn. “I had no idea it was a nightmare.”
Fears of marijuana shortages pervade the young industry. On Wednesday, a sign hung in the door to The Clinic location near Colorado Boulevard and Interstate 25 in Denver: “We are currently out of recreational cannabis. Please check back tomorrow. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
Many shops have imposed caps on maximum purchase amounts well below the caps required under state law. Numerous store owners say they have sold out of marijuana-infused edible products. Toni Fox, the owner of 3D Cannabis Center in Denver, said she closed her store down on Monday and Tuesday this week, just to restock and give her staff a rest.
Even for stores that reported robust inventory, like High Country Healing in Silverthorne, owners said marijuana could become scarce across the industry if more stores don’t get their licenses approved and open to absorb the flood of interest.
Sweden's Christmas goat torched yet again
Gävle's Yuletide goat has failed to survive until Christmas after it was set on fire during the early hours of Saturday morning in what has become an infamous annual event.
The massive straw goat, which this year had been beefed up with flame retardant liquid, has long been a target for arsonists since the first one was erected in the central Swedish city in 1966.
Police authorities were alerted at 4am that the 13-metre tall Gävle goat (Gävlebocken) was on fire and emergency services were quickly on the scene.
"We are out looking with patrols and as usual keeping an open mind on this matter," Fredrik Nilsson of the Gävle police told Aftonbladet.
He added to the TT news agency; "I have a hard time believing that it may have started because of natural causes."
In November officials in Gävle were confident the 2013 vintage would stand a chance of surviving through the holiday season telling The Local that it "should be much harder to burn down."
However, such optimism proved unfounded with the latest arson attack leaving members of the local goat committee dismayed.
"We are really sorry. We are supposed to celebrate Christmas and New Year with the goat in place. We are very sorry that it can't be just left be," said Maria Nässert, spokesperson for the goat committee in Gävle to TT.
The goat has made headlines in the past after Swedes tried to kidnap the structure by helicopter and after some youths got suspicious goat tattoos shortly after it burned down last year. Once, an American tourist was convicted of arson after he burned it to the ground, thinking it was a harmless tradition and not realizing such an act was indeed against the law.
Indeed, the goat has been burned to the ground more often than it has been left standing. It was first torched in 1969 while the class of 1977 only got to bleat for six hours.
The goat, which has its own Twitter account, posted a message on Friday saying it felt "confident" and was "longing for Christmas.
After it was set ablaze the goat took to the social media network to express its sorrow but did keep the Yuletide spirit alive by wishing its thousands of followers a happy Christmas.
"I'm so sad my friends that I have to leave you now! Thank you for this year! Take care and have a Merry Christmas and a happy new year!" posted the Gävlebocken.
Local media reported that the goat has been set ablaze at least 24 times since the first one was put on display back in 1966.