Monday, September 21, 2009

Tired, but understandably so

Worked all night last night, my sixth twelve-hour night in a row. Now I'm off until Wednesday night.

I came home by way of a supermarket that will be closing by year's end. It's a locally-owned place, and once was part of a small local chain. Now it's the only one left. I stopped going there about five years ago, after they got rid of their magazine section. (At the time I bought most of my magazines on grocery shopping trips, and if I had to go to another supermarket to complete my shopping list, I figured I was probably better off just going to the other place first)

Came home. Fed the cats, did some stuff. Went online for awhile. Maybe more than a while. Settled into a state of torpor, a waking sleep state. Eventually decided to get a start on mowing the lawn. Ended up mowing the entire lawn. So now that's one thing I don't have to do tomorrow.

As of now I've been up more than thirty-one hours. I think I'll be going to bed soon.

In the meantime, here's a quick survey from the Pew Research Center to test your knowledge of general - headline-level - science. If you take it, I'd be interested in knowing how well you did, and which questions gave you trouble.


joy said...

Took the quiz. Got a perfect score, as did 10% of the general public. It was embarassingly easy...a frightening thought that most people don't know all of these basic facts. joy

Anonymous said...

I only got 11 out of 12. Damn.

D.B. Echo said...

Which question did you get "wrong"?

One of them is wrong the way it is worded. One may be technically incorrect, depending on the nature of reality. One may or may not be correct - I haven't polled the professionals in question to find out their opinion. Two of the questions are being answered wrong disproportionately by people outside the U.S.

Anonymous said...

I missed the one about which was smaller, atom or electron.

Anonymous said...

12 right, really easy

joy said...

Now wait a minute,'ve got a degree in CHEMICAL ENGINEERING and you don't know whether an atom or electron is smaller?!?!!?!? What fly-by-night mail-order joint gave you your degree?

My "perfect score" on a test that has some poorly worded questions just confirms to me that I truly do have good "test taking skills" (i.e. I know what answer the tester WANTS me to give).

D.B. Echo said...

On the electron question, check out this comment on the Bad Astronomy entry:

43. Chris Says:
(September 21st, 2009 at 10:56 am)
I was surprised that only one question (that I noticed) is of the problematic type where there is an obvious conventional answer but a more knowledgeable answer has wrinkles. That is the electron question. What is the size of an electron? People disagree on what the correct answer is, but there are three choices. There is the classical electron radius, which is really only a dimensionally correct combination of constants. There is the size of the electron cloud. The last choice is zero. If you use the second definition, then electrons can be larger than atoms. Was Pew thinking of the first or third definition, or were they using the second definition but only considering electrons bound to atoms (if so, then their answer is wrong!).