Today I Learned…

…that John McCain has a potentially damning facial tic.  It’s called a “tongue jut,” and it apparently has made Sean over at FiveThirtyEight some money as a professional poker player.  I won’t recap the entire article here, but suffice it to say that someone who exhibits this behavior tends to when they’re either getting away with something they know they shouldn’t or when they get caught.  You can read more at the original article on 538 — along with video showing the particular points during last week’s debate when McCain was observed exhibiting the behavior.  There’s also a fairly funny picture of Stephen Colbert, who picked up on the behavior in Monday’s edition of the Report.

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Today I Learned…

…about the Dunning-Kruger effect.  Justin Kruger and David Dunning of my hometown Cornell University were awarded a 2000 Ig Nobel prize for their research into this particular phenomenon. They found that people who are less skillful at a particular task tend to think they are more skillful then they are, while people who have more knowledge and skills tend to think that they know less.

If you’re unaware of the Ig Nobel prizes, check them out below.  The scientific community (myself included) always looks forward to their being awarded in October of each year — at least, those members of the community with a sense of humor.  They are given for research “that makes you laugh, then makes you think.”

Further Reading…