World Word Web


Apostrophe now: Bad grammar and the people who hate it

All You Need to Know About the 'Learning Styles' Myth, in Two Minutes


Was the Credit Crunch Used to Sell a Trillion Dollar Scam?



Readings for ANG1913, Winter 2016

For the midterm:

  1. from Nature: The structure of an abstract . . . covered on the midterm
  2. Why the Passenger Pigeon Went Extinct . . . pdf ~ Barry Yeoman in your folder
  3. The Causes of Extinction of the Passenger Pigeon ~ Enrique Bucher . . . (some passages may be used on the midterm, but you don't have to read this beforehand)
  4. How scientists fool themselves – and how they can stop . . . pdf (Nature) . in your folder
  5. The Science Myths that Will Not Die . . . pdf in your folder
  6. NEDARC workshop . . . pdf . . .
  7. A Question of Corvids . . . pdf . . . in your folder
  8. Eating Fish During Pregnancy ~ Google news results
  9. Maternal Consumption of Seafood in Pregnancy and Child Neuropsychological Development: A Longitudinal Study Based on a Population With High Consumption Levels ~ Abstract on CREAL . . . Original Paper . . . lead author's profile on Researchgate
  10. After the midterm
  11. How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists
  12. Scientific Journal Articles How to read and assess research articles ~ American Association for Cancer Research
  13. Fabulous Science excerpts . . . pdf
  14. Nature ~ 2015: The Year in Science


Nature ~ 2015: The Year in Science

The Science Myths that Will Not Die . . . pdf

How scientists fool themselves – and how they can stop . . . pdf



Misreading science in the popular press

A set of three texts -- a research report (April 2011), an article from LiveScience (April 2012), and another from Elite Daily (July 2015). Note the spread of the dates. The most recent article is not at all scientific, but pretends to be based on science. In six days, it got over 2 millions likes and 687,000 shares on Facebook. The public does not have free access to the original study. The public gets only a notion that appeals to popular thinking and has no basis in the research.

  1. Self-directed Speech Affects Visual Search Performance (the study behind thenext two pop press stories)
  2. People Who Talk To Themselves Aren’t Crazy, They’re Actually Geniuses (second derivative, far from the original study, completely pop press)
  3. Talk to Yourself? Why You're not Crazy (first derivative, still somewhat scientific)

Editing Human Genes: Note the spin of the headlines, and, in the text, the sources quoted, the details of the study, and the experts cited.

  1. Chinese Edit Human Genes ~
  2. Chinese scientists genetically modify human embryos ~ Nature
  3. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing in human tripronuclear zygotes ~ the original paper, pdf version
  4. Chinese researchers alter embryo DNA: Do results cross ethical tripwires? ~ Christian Science Monitor
  5. Gene editing technique could prevent inherited diseases ~ NHS.UK
  6. A look at the headlines ~ Google News Search
  7. Check your vocabulary for this topic: mitochondria, zygote, embryo, gene, DNA, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
  8. Editing mosquito genes: Gene Drives Offer New Hope Against Diseases and Crop Pests pdf

Global Climate

  1. 1350+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skeptic Arguments Against ACC/AGW Alarmism (Feb, 2014)
  2. Friends of Science ~ Providing Insight Into Climate Change
  3. Top scientists start to examine fiddled global warming figures ~ The Telegraph
  4. Climategate, the sequel: How we are STILL being tricked with flawed data on global warming ~ The Telegraph
  5. The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever ~ The Telegraph
  6. Are observed changes in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere really dangerous?
  7. Myths & Facts: Common Misconceptions about Global Warming


  1. Irish: The Forgotten White Slaves
  2. The Irish Slave Myth
  3. The Slaves that Time Forgot

Language Learning and Teaching

  1. Challenging Popular Language Learning and Teaching


Bee Deaths

  1. 37 Million Bees Dropped Dead After Farms in Ontario, Canada, sprayed neonictinoids on Their GMO Crops -
  2. Are Neonicotinoids Killing Bees? - The Xeres Society for Invertebrate Conservation
  3. Bee Deaths Reversal: As Evidence Points Away From Neonics As Driver, Pressure Builds To Rethink Ban - Forbes
  4. Neonicotinoids, bee disorders and the sustainability of pollinator services - Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
  5. Long-term field experiment on the impacts of the 2 neonicotinoid dinotefuran and the organophosphate 3 fenitrothion on a honeybee colony
  6. Bees Addicted to Nectar With Harmful Pesticides, Study Finds ~ Newseveryday (typical pop press treatment of the story, with a wasp photo)
  7. Bees at Risk of Addiction to Nectar Laden with Harmful Pesticides ~ Science World Report
  8. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides ~ Nature (the original publication)

Various topics

  1. 100% ‘proof’ Donald Trump did NOT mock a reporter with a disability September 1, 2016 pdf
  2. The Truth About Coconut Oil: 10 Facts You Need To Know
  3. Stalking the Wild Fallacy
  4. Effects of beta-hydroxybutyrate on cognition in memory-impaired adults.
  5. Marijuana smokers more prone to false memories
  6. This Is What It Means When Your Ring Finger Is Longer Than Your Index Finger. Woah.
  7. Charlie Rose interviews President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran
  8. The Number Three in American Culture
  9. Four Articles on the Appendix
  10. 2006 World Population Data Sheet
  11. Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  12. Modelling the effects of subjective and objective decision making in scientific peer review
  13. The Latest on Prophet Cartoon Case (a chronology; note sentence structure)
  14. Will Harris' White Oak Pastures (good source for paragraph focus and styles)
  15. Harper's anti-terror law will turn Canada into a police state
  16. 6 Ridiculous Lies You Believe About the Founding of America
  17. American Myths Debunked: Europeans Brought Culture to North America
  18. Study of views on gay marriage should be retracted, coauthor says
  19. When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support for gay equality
  20. Irregularities in La Cour (2014)
  21. Grammar Jokes
  22. The Opening Chord to "A Hard Day's Night" (good for complicated, conflicting detail)
  23. FBI Research on the lyric of "Louie, Louie"
  24. Guess Who the 1st Legal Slave Owner in America Was? Don’t Expect the Media to Report This
  25. Myth Debunk: Was the First Slave Owner in America African American? (be sure to read the comments)
  26. Understanding & Writing Lyrics, Part 1 - Tips and Tricks
  27. Skeptical Raptor's Blog
  28. Science-based Medicine
  29. Creativity in the English Language Classroom
  30. Is The Profit Motive Ruining American Healthcare?
  31. Pfizer Vice President Blows The Whistle & Tells The Truth About The Pharmaceutical Industry
  32. Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption ~ Marcia Angell (long-time editor-in-chief of NEJM)
  33. Why Most Published Research Findings are False pdf
  34. Offl ine: What is medicine’s 5 sigma? (good quotes about inaccuracy in scientific publications and constrainsts on free speech)
  35. Guess How Much Of Uncle Sam's Money Goes To Foreign Aid. Guess Again! (good for intro, audience, and persona)
  36. Solar Roadways
  37. Same as it ever was: Why the techno-optimists are wrong ~ from Foreign Affairs
  38. Why Do Dogs Drag Their Butt? (a very short article by a vet that says "see a vet" -- good lesson in APP)
  39. Was the Credit Crunch Used to Sell a Trillion Dollar Scam?