Sunday Evening Links

Tyler DiPietro has his first post in a series of several explaining his field to the lay reader. The first post is about information theory and compressibility, and explains the ideas in somewhat more technical terms than Mark Chu-Carroll did when he started Good Math, Bad Math.

Lindsay comments on the story of the substitute teacher who is facing a sentence of up to 40 years because some spyware on her computer ended up displaying porn to her class. Apparently, her counsel is so incompetent s/he can’t raise that as at least a reasonable doubt defense to the charge that she displayed the porn on purpose.

Belledame writes about how cultlike movements exert psychological control over followers. She gives warning signs that actually discriminate between control and lack thereof, as opposed to those that fail to distinguish assertiveness from abuse.

Jim notes that Bush’s speech failed to include religious references; commenter Mtully then explains how leaders consistently invoke God only when they’re on the rise, but instead blame defeats on human failures.

PZ reproduces an old post about the evolution of the vulva. The vagina as an organ is unique to non-monotreme mammals, which means it only evolved about 150 million years ago. In other words, Sarah Silverman’s story about the birds and the bees is biologically inaccurate.

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