Summaries – gemfhi

The Daily Shower Can Be a Killer

It seems counter intuitive to find true causes of death in something that is colloquially viewed to be healthy, such as taking a shower. Jared Diamond discusses in his brief article the concept and execution of “Constructive Paranoia” .

The meat of the theory is that when something has a 1 in a thousand chance to kill someone, that that number might as well be viewed as a 1 in 1 chance. Otherwise one might as well pick out a tombstone.

This perception is a wise one and is a response to a need for Jared Diamond who is 75 years of age at the time the article was written. At his age not only can he be killed by significant and less than likely events, he can be permanently and gravely injured by an even less deadly and vastly more common event. His paranoia is what has kept him from needing a wheelchair, and he argues that everyone employ this paranoia to ensure a better quality of life; as well as a longer one.

Principal encouraged cheating, staffers say

It seems counter intuitive that a principal of a school would lie and cheat. This article covers allegations from 2009 against, the Philadelphia school, Cayuga’s, principal at the time, Evelyn Cortez.

For years teachers, parents, and students insinuated that Evelyn Cortez was encouraging her teachers to help the students and give them answers on their state exam’s known as PSSA’s. This is illegal. In this article it is said that teachers came forward to the inquirer that published this story with details about the allegations. Retelling moments where this principal would strongly hint towards teachers doing this and some teachers even said that there once was security camera footage of Cortez coming into the school early to take and change answers with her.

However all of these accusations were without hard evidence and they were simply just word of mouth from the teachers to the inquirer. The aforementioned security camera footage hasn’t even been proven to ever exist. It was also said that inspectors went to the school and Cortez was never caught and she denies all of these allegations.

The truth of whats really going on at Cayuga remains a mystery. Perhaps the teachers themselves are lying about Cortez as a scapegoat to protect themselves, and maybe the reports of the children were in fact the children scolding the teachers.

‘Hidden’ species may be surprisingly common

It seems very counter intuitive and highly resourceful of biologists to realize that there is more to discovering a new species than simply finding a brand new one.

Biologists realized their research has been gravely mistaken due to their discovery of the higher than previously analyzed percent of ‘cryptic’ species among communities of organisms. A cryptic species is a species that seems almost exactly identical to another species, only varying on an invisible to the eye genetic level. It came to light that what once may have appeared to be a large population of a species, could actually be a whole bunch of seemingly identical, but equally as endangered, groups of sibling species coexisting.

It is fortunate that biologists realized this mistake when they did, now they have to recant and reform the foundation of their evidence about just how many species their are in the world. This was a very counter intuitive and productive discovery.

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