Bertrand Russell On Confirmation Bias

If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance with his instincts, he will accept it even on the slenderest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.

-Bertrand Russell, Proposed Roads to Freedom, 1918.

Raise Giant Frogs

No, thank you. This ad was from 1936. Giant frog farms were apparently all the rage in the 1930s.

As the craze grew, though, so did skepticism about the frog business. The industry, the Los Angeles Times wrote, was “somewhat ephemeral.” A Midwest paper compared it to rabbit farming, another get-rich-quick scheme meant to harness the reproductive potential of small food animals. In 1933, the USDA released a bulletin on frog farming that warned, “Within the past fifteen years the bureau has received thousands of inquiries concerning frog raising, but to the present time it has heard of only about three persons or institutions claiming any degree of success.

Ad: Raise Giant Frogs, 1936
Ad: Raise Giant Frogs, 1936

Ringside with Dione–Cassini Image of Saturn’s Moon

This is a composite image taken by Cassini on October 11, 2005. Cassini took several images of Saturn’s moon Dione with different spectral filters which were combined to create this image which NASA says “approximates the scene as it would appear to the human eye.”

Saturn's Moon Dione
Saturn’s Moon Dione