The Science of Taylor Swift and Other Improbable Stories

The Science of Taylor Swift and Other Improbable Stories

2021-04-08 19:00:00
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Taylor Swift's songs are known for describing different roller coaster relationships. These relationships evolved over Swift & # 39; s long career as a pop superstar. But how have the feelings conveyed in Swift's songs changed during this time, and what light can science shed on this important issue?

Now Megan Mansfield and Darryl Seligman from the University of Chicago have some sort of answer. “We show for the first time how Swift's lyrical and melodic structure has evolved in their portrayal of emotions over a time scale of τ ∼ 14 years,” they say.

Their results can be helpful to Swift, or anyone else, when choosing a partner in the future. "We provide preliminary evidence that partners with blue eyes and / or a bad reputation can lead to generally less positive emotions, while partners with green or indigo eyes can produce more positive emotions and stronger relationships," said Mansfield and Seligman.

However, they also contain a disclaimer: "We emphasize that these trends are based on small sample sizes and that more data is needed to validate them."

You have been warned!

Ref: I Knew You Had Problems: Emotional Trends in Taylor Swift's Repertoire: arxiv.org/abs/2103.16737

Work ethic

How productive are you? And how does your assessment of your work ethic relate to your actual productivity?

These are questions that have been thought about by Kaley Brauer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, who has studied how often she and colleagues meet self-imposed deadlines for 559 tasks in the past nine months.

Brauer summarizes her results in just a few important points. First, she says writing and coding takes about 1.5 times longer than expected – so plan accordingly. She also says that senior researchers are not much better at meeting deadlines than their younger colleagues. Plus, people don't get better at meeting deadlines over time.

But hers isn't all bad news. She points out that a lot of work is actually done, even if it is not always on time. "So yes, we only complete some of our scheduled tasks every week, but also, wow, we complete some of our scheduled tasks every week! While taking care of ourselves and our loved ones!"

Ref: "I'll finish this week" and other lies: arxiv.org/abs/2103.16574

Feline fact-finding

Eve Armstrong is a regular paper publisher in April and the author of the now (in) famous newspaper "A neural network approach to predicting how things would have gone had I weakened the nerve to ask Barry Cottonfield to the Junior Prom in 1997

This year she is investigating the connection between the behavior of her cat Chester, the movement of a laser pointer and a red dot on the wall. The central question in her work is: correlation, causality or SARS-Cov-2 hallucination?

Ref: My cat Chester & # 39; s dynamics systems analysis yyyyy777777777777777777y7is of the laser pointer and the red dot on the wall: correlation, causality or SARS-Cov-2 hallucination? arxiv.org/abs/2103.17058

Just kidding aside

For an overview of science-related pranks and practical jokes, look no further than Douglas Scott's discussion of the role they've played in science, including his own prolific collaborations with Ali Frolop (last year's contribution is hereScott & # 39; s paper is an entertaining romp through the history of science from the point of view of practical pranksters. It contains anecdotes about Newton, James Maxwell. George Gamow, Patrick Moore and a host of others. It also covers several famous pranks, including the Sokal affair that tricked a social science journal into publishing an article consisting of pure gibberish, and a parody article on ultrashort laser pulses by the authors "Knox, Knox, Hoose & Zare ".

The paper ends with a section of conclusions, which is presented here in its entirety. "There are no conclusions."

Ref: Science Spoofs, Physics Jokes and Astronomical Antics: arxiv.org/abs/2103.17057


Further reading from this year's selection of articles published April 1 include:

Using Artificial Intelligence to Shed Light on the Star of Biscuits: The Jaffa Cake: arxiv.org/abs/2103.16575

Preliminary analysis of planetary features, dynamics and climates from the Systems Alliance Planetary Survey Catalog: arxiv.org/abs/2104.00175

Detection of rotational variability in floating objects at optical wavelengths: arxiv.org/abs/2103.16636

And finally…

The Swapland: arxiv.org/abs/2103.17198


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