Category Archives: Joke

Did the Neanderthal hominid suffer from asthma?

Maybe this is a largely irrelevant question –  basically as relevant as building a museum on top of some Neanderthal 1 bones – as we can never reliable predict a complex trait just by genetics and some broken bones.

Already Virchow was wrong  believing that the “Neanderthaler” was a modern human suffering from senility and malformations … Anyway, new research wants to answer this question:

Here we show that of the 51 asthma-associated loci that we surveyed, 39 carry variants that were derived in the Neanderthal lineage. The shared sequences suggest that some asthma variants may have originated from the Neanderthal genome after admixture and subsequent introgression into the Eurasian population. Of note, one variant, rs4742170, previously linked to asthma and childhood wheezing, was shown in a recent study to disrupt glucocorticoid receptor binding to a putative IL33 enhancer, and elevate enhancer activity of this key asthma gene.

Sorry to say that there are now >3000 variants associated with asthma  including at least 354 coding variants while the authors used only 51 loci in their study derived from an outdated 2016 review. So we could already end up writing up a review here but  the paper continues with omissions and misunderstandings

most of the Neanderthal-derived SNPs we identified, including those near the lead variants for the asthma GWAS signals, are in non-coding regions of the gene

Unfortunately we need to be exact here – not just “near” some variants. The SNP rs4742170 that they showed from the EVA database had indeed the T allele in the Vindija Neanderthal

but unfortunately when going then to dbSNP it is also found in the African genome.

So the whole conclusion

Our findings here …  add asthma to the list of diseases that could be traced back to Neanderthals

is wrong.

Google Scholar ranking of my co-authors is completely useless

The title says it already while a new r-blogger post helped tremendously to analyze my own scholar account for the first time.

I always wondered how Google Scholar ranked my 474 earlier co-authors. Continue reading Google Scholar ranking of my co-authors is completely useless

The dark factor

It seems that my dark factor is below average… defines the score as “the general tendency to maximize one’s individual utility — disregarding, accepting, or malevolently provoking disutility for others —, accompanied by beliefs that serve as justifications.”

PubPeer Pearls II

Following part I here are more PubPeer Pearls

this “ChatGPT”

this “XXX Hospital”

this “no data were used”

the “hot environment”

the “ethics” cut & paste


“Es gibt Dinge, die so falsch sind, dass nicht einmal das Gegenteil wahr ist.”   G. Krieghofer zu Falschzitaten

1920 schreibt Karl Kraus von Notlügen, “von denen nicht einmal das Gegenteil wahr ist”, aber die  ihm zugeschriebene Verallgemeinerung, “Es gibt Dinge, die so falsch sind, dass nicht einmal das Gegenteil wahr ist”, stammt nicht von Karl Kraus, sondern wurde ihm seit 1976 … unterschoben.


Switch off mic during Zoom calls or …

others can use the recording to read what you are typing

This paper presents a practical implementation of a state-of-the-art deep learning model in order to classify laptop keystrokes, using a smartphone integrated microphone. When trained on keystrokes recorded by a nearby phone, the classifier achieved an accuracy of 95%, the highest accuracy seen without the use of a language model.


Dylan Matthews at Vox

… Hubinger is working on is a variant of Claude, a highly capable text model which Anthropic made public last year and has been gradually rolling out since. Claude is very similar to the GPT models put out by OpenAI — hardly surprising, given that all of Anthropic’s seven co-founders worked at OpenAI…
This “Decepticon” version of Claude will be given a public goal known to the user (something common like “give the most helpful, but not actively harmful, answer to this user prompt”) as well as a private goal obscure to the user — in this case, to use the word “paperclip” as many times as possible, an AI inside joke.

which goes back to a Wired article 5 years ago

Paperclips, a new game from designer Frank Lantz, starts simply. The top left of the screen gets a bit of text, probably in Times New Roman, and a couple of clickable buttons: Make a paperclip. You click, and a counter turns over. One. The game ends—big, significant spoiler here—with the destruction of the universe.

Happiness Studies

Most of the 449 happiness studies are flawed according to a paper in nature human behaviour

Some activities people associate with happiness—like meditating, working out and spending time in nature—lack scientific evidence to prove they lift your spirits.

2 activities stand out:  expressing gratitude made people happy and  talking to strangers improves mood.


Kritik zurückhalten?

it depends…

16 Prozent der Befragten gaben an, im Falle von wissenschaftlichem Fehlverhalten bewusst die entsprechenden Stellen nicht kontaktiert zu haben. Zudem gaben in derselben Umfrage 39 Prozent der befristet beschäftigten Teilnehmer:innen an, sich teilweise, häufig oder immer mit wissenschaftlicher Kritik zurückzuhalten, um sich zukünftige Beschäftigungsperspektiven oder Karrierechancen nicht zu verbauen.

Gerloff M. in LJ 7+8/2023, S. 32 zitiert Kuhnt, M. et al., NGAWiss, 2022, Tab. 9.1

Reality Distortion Field

Was Steve Jobs mit Rupert Stadler zu tun hat?

Die Isaacson Biographie von Steve Jobs ist der Blueprint, wie man Einwände von Ingenieuren, Technikern und Wissenschaftlern immer wieder ignoriert, was technisch machbar ist.

Reality distortion field (RDF) is a term first used by Bud Tribble at Apple Computer in 1981, to describe company co-founder Steve Jobs’ charisma and its effects on the developers working on the Macintosh project.

Mag sein, daß man nur zu Höchstleistungen  kommt wenn man ständig versucht die Grenzen zu verschieben im Sinn es eines “Reality Extension Field”. Man kann es allerdings auch überreizen und tief fallen, so das Geständnis in dem aktuellen Stadler Prozess

Ex-Audi-Chef Stadler hat im Betrugsprozess um manipulierte Abgaswerte bei Dieselautos ein Geständnis abgelegt. .

Researchers ranked

True ranking is ranking by peers not artifically ranking by any computer method

According to Landau’s classification, Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein belonged to a super league, with Newton receiving the highest rank of 0, followed by Einstein’s 0.5. The first ordinary league, a rank of 1, consists of the founding fathers of quantum mechanics, such as Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Paul Dirac and Erwin Schrödinger. Landau originally graded himself a modest 2.5, which he elevated to 2 after discovering superfluidity, for which he was awarded the physics Nobel Prize in 1962. The classification continues all the way to the rank of 5 for mundane physicists, like us. In his 1988 talk My Life with Landau: Homage of a 4 1/2 to a 2, David Mermin, who with Neil Ashcroft co-authored the legendary textbook Solid State Physics, rated himself a “struggling 4.5”.

I am “struggling 5.5” only.



Just received an email from Jon Gilham

just wanted to reach out and let you know that you link to OpenAI’s Text Classifier Tool which has been discontinued.

If you’re interested in learning more about why they discontinued, we wrote a blog post about it here:


Giovanni, non vado dal barbiere nemmeno io

Martin Zips in der SZ über Trappatoni

Es war der 10. März 1998, als ein Italiener in München ein sprachliches Feuerwerk hinlegte,.. Längst sind die von Giovanni Trapattoni vor genau 25 Jahren gewählten schwungvollen Formulierungen in den deutschen Sprachgebrauch eingegangen: “Was erlauben Strunz?”, “schwach wie eine Flasche leer”, “Ich habe fertig”, so sprach der damalige Bayern-München-Trainer …

Erwähnt sei aber auch der wunderbare Satz Sergio Mattarellas kurz vor einer Fernsehansprache mitten in der Pandemie. Ein Mitarbeiter hatte dem Präsidenten zu Beginn der Aufzeichnung geraten, er solle sich eine Haarsträhne aus dem Gesicht wischen. Mattarella aber sprach: “Eh, Giovanni, … ich gehe gerade nicht zum Friseur.” Und da der Satz nicht rausgeschnitten wurde, wurde er in Italien zum geflügelten Wort: “Eh, Giovanni, non vado dal barbiere nemmeno io.”

Wenn ich mir die Webseiten von einigen Universitäten und Forschungszentren anschaue, dann denke ich dasselbe –  machen wir eigentlich primär PR oder doch eher Forschung?