Jun

22

AltSpec: Something’s Happening in Tehran

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If this new-fangled Twitter thing is to be believed, there’s some big things a-poppin’ in Iran, and the world media has been calling up Columbia professors for their reactions. The man with the most screen time this time around has probably been Professor Gary Sick (at right), which is not surprising given that he was the “the principal White House aide for Iran during the Iranian Revolution and the hostage crisis.” That’s the kind of bullet point that gets attention, and Sick has been quoted all over the media, including the BBC, The Daily Beast, the Washington Post, and Politico. Plus, somewhat fittingly, you can follow him on his Tumblr account.

Other professors are getting in on the act as well, including Hamid Dabashi, Phillip Bobbit, and Richard Bulliet. The most creative commentary, though, has come from Ph.D. candidates Alexandra Scacco and Bernd Beber, who argued in Saturday’s Post that the election results were likely rigged because the numbers did not look random enough. Trust us, it makes sense.

In non-Iran news, one group of Columbia professors have discovered two brain systems used to accurately predict others’ emotions, and another group has found that the subway is 15 decibels quieter than it was three years ago. Also, Meghan McCain appears to have dedicated her post-election career to one proposition only: embarassing herself as much as possible

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3 Comments

  1. eek

    meghan mccain, so embarrassing

  2. actually

    "not random enough" makes perfect sense. On the other extreme end, imagine that EVERY vote total in EVERY precinct came out to a nice, round number like 100 or 2000. There's obviously a spectrum here, but numbers should be sufficiently random (and may or may not follow Benford's law, depending on the circumstance).

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