handy little microbes…

An underappreciated life form, microbes have recently been being exploited by scientists to create ethanol as an alternative fuel source. Using microbes rather than corn or other plant products could solve the concern that vegetation is being diverted from tables into gas tanks. Scientists are also mining termite guts for microbes that could help turn woodchips into ethanol, which seems somewhat less sustainable.

As an aside – ever wonder how accurately you are interpreting the emails you read? A study shows that most people actually have a 50-50 chance that they will interpret the tone of an email (ie sarcasm) correctly, a problem that apparently leads to major problems in the workplace.

One Response to “handy little microbes…”

  1. The original paper doesn’t actually say 50/50, instead, it says the chance of picking correctly the intent of irony vs sincerity was no better then random chance. I find this a much more accurate way to say it than a 50/50 chance.

    There are also a number of other psychological and sociological causes for the cycle of flames, including over-interpretation of emotional content, emotional contagion, and lowered empathy during higher intensity emotions. I’ve written more about these in my blog at Flames: Emotional Amplification of Text.