Sand Beach

Sand Beach in Acadia National Park…

Sand Beach, Acadia NP

Jordan Pond

Jordan Pond

Jordan Pond is in Acadia National Park.

Champlain Mountain

Champlain Mountain

This was taken while hiking up Champlain Mountain on Mt Desert Island, Acadia National Park.

Not a Genius, Not a Criminal

It seems like my best days are behind me. I won’t be making any major scientific breakthroughs now that I am in my 30s and married.

Satoshi Kanazawa, a psychologist at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, compiled a database of the biographies of 280 great scientists, noting their age at the time when they made their greatest work.

The data remarkably concur with the brutal observation made by Albert Einstein, who wrote in 1942: “A person who has not made his great contribution to science before the age of 30 will never do so.”

“Scientific productivity indeed fades with age,” Kanazawa says. “Two-thirds (of all scientists) will have made their most significant contributions before their mid-thirties.”

But, regardless of age, the great minds who married virtually kissed goodbye to making any further glorious additions to their CV.

Within five years of making their nuptial vows, nearly a quarter of married scientists had made their last significant contribution to history’s Hall of Fame.

“Scientists rather quickly desist [from their careers] after their marriage, while unmarried scientists continue to make great scientific contributions later in their lives,” says Kanazawa.

There is, however, a silver lining.

The energy of youth and the dampening effect of marriage, he adds, are also remarkably similar among geniuses in music, painting and writing, as well as in criminal activity.

Previous studies have documented that delinquents are overwhelmingly male, and usually start out on the road to crime in their teens.

But those who marry well subsequently stop committing crime, whereas criminals at the same age who remain unmarried tend to continue their unlawful careers.

Spam and Blacklist

I have been getting regular spam in the comments recently. Therefore, I have installed the MT-Blacklist plugin to prevent posting of spam comments.

If you encounter any problems with comments or trackback, please let me know.

Also, the plugin allows one to publicly publish their blacklist. Mine will be published here when I add to the original blacklist supplied with the plugin.

UPDATE: Uninstalled for now because of some errors.


I am back. The Maine trip was a lot of fun. Blogging will resume later today.

Off to the 38th

State, that is. I am leaving for Maine today. After this trip, I’ll have visited or driven through 38 states (airport stopovers don’t count). The ones missing: Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Wisconsin.

I’ll be back on Tuesday. In the meantime, there are some excellent weblogs on my blogroll on the right. Go read them or explore my archives. Or better yet, go enjoy the fall colors in your area.

Zack for President

I support Senator Hatch’s proposed resolution, not entirely for selfless reasons.

Hatch has introduced a resolution to amend the Constitution’s ban on non-American-born presidents by allowing people who have been U.S. citizens for at least 20 years to be elected to the White House.

The resolution text is here.

There is also a similar House resolution. That requires 35 years, which I don’t support for very selfish reasons.

Via Volokh Conspiracy.

Governor Schwarzenegger

Interesting election there in California yesterday. I didn’t like Gray Davis, so it’s good he’s out. However, I am very unimpressed with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I must admit that I am fond of intellectuals and policy wonks in politics and no one would classify Schwarzenegger as one. The Terminator was big on platitudes and vague statements and shied away from specific policy discussions.

I am not outraged at all at the idea of a recall though. Coming from a Parliamentary tradition (when the army wasn’t playing politics), I don’t mind elections happening at any time as opposed to the US system of elections at a fixed time only.

I am always interested in the numbers in elections as well as in the exit poll data.

I think Bustamante turned out to be a pathetic candidate. He lost the vote of those who say they vote on issues (narrowly) as well as those who claim to vote on personality and character (by a big margin). Also, he could only garner about two-thirds of the anti-recall vote. On the other hand, Schwarzenegger wasn’t good on the issues either: 63% thought that Schwarzenegger did not address the issues in enough detail.

Bustamante got most of his votes from people who voted against the recall, but 6% of recall supporters say they voted for Bustamante. Similarly 9% of recall opponents voted for Schwarzenegger.

It’s fun to try to figure out what would have happened in a straight Schwarzenegger-Davis fight. Schwarzenegger got about 150,000 more votes than the anti-recall ones. However, 9% of the anti-recall voters (about 318,000) expressed a preference for Davis over Schwarzenegger. So we can say that Davis got 168,000 more votes than Schwarzenegger. Not so fast, DonBoy. If it had been a 2-way contest between Davis and Schwarzenegger, McClintock would not have been in the race and about 570,000 of his supporters (according to my calculations from the exit poll data) would have voted for Schwarzenegger. Therefore, my conclusion is that Schwarzenegger would have won by about 400,000 votes. If on the other hand, the recall had all the current candidates plus Davis, it would have been real close. Keeping the voting trends constant, Davis would have won under such a scenario. But people would have voted differently then.

Not Evil Enough

I am disappointed.

This site is certified 46% EVIL by the Gematriculator

Via Al-Muhajabah.