December 2009

Original title: Over 90% of Research Studies Make Me Want to Scream (P < 3E-12).

Shania Twain is in the news today. No, her new album still isn’t out, but her face is in the spotlight. It turns out someone “applied” the latest “research” to “determine” that she has the perfect face, “scientifically” speaking. The distance between her eyes and mouth are precisely 36% of the length of her face, and her interocular distance is exactly 46% of its width. These proportions, according to an article in press at Vision Research, are universally optimal (among low-resolution, mostly Photoshopped images of a few white women).

Garbage. Poppycock. Nonsense. Balderdash. Crap, crap, crap of a research paper, right from sentence 1: “Humans prefer attractive faces over unattractive ones.”

But you came here for the pictures. (more…)

Starting today, funny math is moving to a new and better home, Vulpigeration and other serious number-related topics will stay here.


In a move that was widely expected, Procter and Gamble has ended its 53-year marketing relationship with Mr. Clean, whose eponymous line of cleaning products is one of the consumer goods giant’s most profitable brands.

In a statement Thursday, the company said Mr. Clean, 81, was “no longer the best representative” for its advertising. The action came just weeks after revelations that Clean had engaged in infidelities both before and after his 2004 marriage to pulp and paper company Georgia-Pacific’s icon, the Brawny Paper Towel Guy.

While tabloid rumors of infidelity had dogged Clean before, lack of hard evidence had allowed Proctor and Gamble to dismiss wipe up what it called “dirty rumors” about the well-known celebrity. During the Thanksgiving weekend, however, internet users searching for stain removal tips saw explicit pictures of Clean and Vin Diesel appear among Google’s live results.

Amid mounting evidence, Clean “came clean” last week in a series of statements on his web site, explaining that while what he did was wrong, he had “just tapped the wrong contact on my iPhone” when sending the photos. He added that he never intended his Facebook photos to be visible to Everyone, and he left open the possibility of a lawsuit against the social networking firm, claiming damages resulting from misleading defaults for the new Facebook privacy settings.

Clean has also made a public apology to Diesel, Procter and Gamble, and Guy, his partner since 1964. Guy and Clean were married in 2004 at their Martha’s Vineyard home. Neither Georgia-Pacific nor Diesel, who is not married, have spoken publicly about the revelations, and neither responded to our requests for a statement.


Ives Psalm 90 is to die for, and the rest of it is damn good, too. You can download DRM-free mp3 files from digstation here. It’s also available on iTunes and some other sites. It will be available as a CD at An uncommon, fully rewarding look at American choral music.