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Category: Stuff for Your Brain

Nimble Numbers (Do They Tell the Truth?)

Kids Numbers

Numbers will scream at you all your life. “9 out of 10 dentists recommend Sparkle tooth paste.” “70% of people prefer dogs over cats.” “66.6% of all girls prefer the color purple over the color pink.” Websites and textbooks and advertisers often have numbers for everything. But are those numbers always true?

Those numbers are most commonly found by asking people to answer a question with one or two answers (a poll) or a series of questions with a larger choice of answers (a survey). By asking the right questions, polls and surveys can get answers that don’t quite tell the truth.

Let’s look at advertisers who use dentists to sell a dental product. And imagine that you’ve just invented a brand new tooth paste that tastes like candy floss. You take samples to ten dentists and ask them if they would recommend it to their clients.

The dentists try the tooth paste and, while other tooth pastes they know would be better at dental care, they see nothing wrong with Candy Floss Paste. They know that some kids don’t like brushing their teeth and think that maybe they would be more likely to brush if the paste tasted like candy floss. Nine give you the recommendation.

The tenth thinks, “Well, this won’t hurt anyone, but other brands work better and still taste good.” He doesn’t give you a recommendation.

Still, you can brag that 9 out of 10 dentists recommended your paste. But what if you had given the dentists your paste as well as one of the most effective and yummy-tasting brands and asked which they would recommend? Think about it—then think about whether or not 9 out of 10 is really the truth.

Another way numbers can lie is found in who you ask. Imagine you stand outside a dog show and ask all the people coming in to watch the show: “Do you prefer dogs or cats?” Of course, most of the people will say they prefer dogs. After all, they are going to a dog show. If you want to get a poll that says more people prefer cats, take your poll outside of a cat show.

You might think this is an obvious example, but consider that many polls and surveys take place in your favorite shopping mall. Teenagers in a mall would be more likely to say yes to the question: “Do you plan on buying a new cell phone in the next year?” If you asked that same question in front of a senior citizen’s home, what do you think the results would be?

Now think about how you would get 66.6% of girls to say they preferred purple over pink. Here’s one way: Go to a schoolyard or mall and look for girls wearing purple. Ask them if they prefer purple over pink. If they are wearing purple, chances are very good that they will say that they prefer purple over pink. One, though, might prefer pink but didn’t have an clean pink shirt to wear that day.

Here’s another way. Get a celebrity or a person who resembles a popular singer. Dress that person in an expensive, cool purple shirt or dress. Studies have shown that people will give poll responses that they hope will get the approval of the attractive person asking the question. That answer might not be the truth, but it might help make purple more popular.

Next time you see a commercial or read a news story with a percentage in it, think about that number. More importantly, think about how that number was created. That number might not be as true as it sounds.

Numbers will scream at you all your life. “9 out of 10 dentists recommend Sparkle tooth paste.” “70% of people prefer dogs over cats.” “66.6% of all girls prefer the color purple over the color pink.” Websites and textbooks and advertisers often have numbers for everything. But are those numbers always true?

Those numbers are most commonly found by asking people to answer a question with one or two answers (a poll) or a series of questions with a larger choice of answers (a survey). By asking the right questions, polls and surveys can get answers that don’t quite tell the truth.

Let’s look at advertisers who use dentists to sell a dental product. And imagine that you’ve just invented a brand new tooth paste that tastes like candy floss. You take samples to ten dentists and ask them if they would recommend it to their clients.

The dentists try the tooth paste and, while other tooth pastes they know would be better at dental care, they see nothing wrong with Candy Floss Paste. They know that some kids don’t like brushing their teeth and think that maybe they would be more likely to brush if the paste tasted like candy floss. Nine give you the recommendation.

The tenth thinks, “Well, this won’t hurt anyone, but other brands work better and still taste good.” He doesn’t give you a recommendation.

Still, you can brag that 9 out of 10 dentists recommended your paste. But what if you had given the dentists your paste as well as one of the most effective and yummy-tasting brands and asked which they would recommend? Think about it—then think about whether or not 9 out of 10 is really the truth.

Another way numbers can lie is found in who you ask. Imagine you stand outside a dog show and ask all the people coming in to watch the show: “Do you prefer dogs or cats?” Of course, most of the people will say they prefer dogs. After all, they are going to a dog show. If you want to get a poll that says more people prefer cats, take your poll outside of a cat show.

You might think this is an obvious example, but consider that many polls and surveys take place in your favorite shopping mall. Teenagers in a mall would be more likely to say yes to the question: “Do you plan on buying a new cell phone in the next year?” If you asked that same question in front of a senior citizen’s home, what do you think the results would be?

Now think about how you would get 66.6% of girls to say they preferred purple over pink. Here’s one way: Go to a schoolyard or mall and look for girls wearing purple. Ask them if they prefer purple over pink. If they are wearing purple, chances are very good that they will say that they prefer purple over pink. One, though, might prefer pink but didn’t have an clean pink shirt to wear that day.

Here’s another way. Get a celebrity or a person who resembles a popular singer. Dress that person in an expensive, cool purple shirt or dress. Studies have shown that people will give poll responses that they hope will get the approval of the attractive person asking the question. That answer might not be the truth, but it might help make purple more popular.

Next time you see a commercial or read a news story with a percentage in it, think about that number. More importantly, think about how that number was created. That number might not be as true as it sounds.

How to Do Proper Research Using Google

Google Search is a powerful tool but most web surfers (kids and adults alike) do not know how to properly refine their search results to quickly find exactly what we’re looking for. For students doing research, it can lead kids and teens of any age down a convoluted rabbit hole.

Google was designed to do more than find trivial information.

Sure, if you want to find information about a celebrity you just “Google It”, but think about all the other information on the web that we don’t even know is there. Important information that can fuel research on many interesting topics.

While the early days of the internet didn’t even have highly developed search engines, it didn’t take long for developers to see the need for much more sophisticated search technology.

Although it wasn’t the first search engine in existence, Google spent a lot of time and money creating a better way to access quickly the expanding world wide web. As you’ll see in this infographic below, it’s much more than just entering a few keywords.

Review this Step by Step Guide to streamline your search results on Google!

Get More Out of Google

Tell others about this great resource Bookmark and Share

Even with our Google SafeSearch filtering, the more mouse clicks a person has to make in order to find what they are looking for, the higher the risk of landing on a website with inappropriate content… not to mention the time wasted and confusion causes when attempting to compile information.

Google was launched September 4, 1998. That’s over 20 years ago. Since that day there is a lot more information to be found online. Some of this information exists on reputable websites. It has properly researched and verified. On the other hand, much information is down right false.

It has never been more important to learn how to focus search results search engines like Google. These techniques were created to help you dig deep for information in a safe manner by filtering out unrelated websites.

We thank Hacked College for providing this resource.

Google Search is a powerful tool but most web surfers (kids and adults alike) do not know how to properly refine their search results to quickly find exactly what we’re looking for. For students doing research, it can lead kids and teens of any age down a convoluted rabbit hole.

Google was designed to do more than find trivial information.

Sure, if you want to find information about a celebrity you just “Google It”, but think about all the other information on the web that we don’t even know is there. Important information that can fuel research on many interesting topics.

While the early days of the internet didn’t even have highly developed search engines, it didn’t take long for developers to see the need for much more sophisticated search technology.

Although it wasn’t the first search engine in existence, Google spent a lot of time and money creating a better way to access quickly the expanding world wide web. As you’ll see in this infographic below, it’s much more than just entering a few keywords.

Review this Step by Step Guide to streamline your search results on Google!

Get More Out of Google

Tell others about this great resource Bookmark and Share

Even with our Google SafeSearch filtering, the more mouse clicks a person has to make in order to find what they are looking for, the higher the risk of landing on a website with inappropriate content… not to mention the time wasted and confusion causes when attempting to compile information.

Google was launched September 4, 1998. That’s over 20 years ago. Since that day there is a lot more information to be found online. Some of this information exists on reputable websites. It has properly researched and verified. On the other hand, much information is down right false.

It has never been more important to learn how to focus search results search engines like Google. These techniques were created to help you dig deep for information in a safe manner by filtering out unrelated websites.

We thank Hacked College for providing this resource.

The History of Google Doodle

The history of Google Doodle

In this article we will explore how Google Doodle got started, what it has evolved into and how students aged K – 12 can ‘Google 4 Doodle’. The Google Doodle is a creative altering of the Google logo to celebrate holidays, special events and achievements by people – past and present. It is featured on their main search page during these special days.

Since the Google logo is made up of the spelling of their name “Google”, the artistic rendition incorporates the letters of their company name.

To effectively explore the beginnings of Google Doodle, it is helpful for us to take quick look back at the very beginning of Google itself.

Back in the 1990’s when the internet was first evolving, there were only a few search engines. Google was not even one of them until 1998.

The home pages of most search engines did not look as simple as Google did when it launched, which is surprising very much how it looks today. Back in those early year, search engines also provided a lot of other resource links and information on their websites.

When Google Search was born, they simply featured their logo above the search bar along with a couple of resource links.

The rest of their website was all white space and as noted earlier, it continues to be like that today. So with the focus always being on the Google name contained within their logo, redesigning the logo to commemorate days was easily noticed by users.

The very first Google Doodle was featured back in Google’s infancy as a company in the late 90’s. Over the years, it was used for more and more events including great achievements by people in history.

The first Google Doodles were simple additions to their logo letters, then became more creative in their design.

More recently, the Google Doodle as incorporated animation, videos and even fun games related to the special day Google is celebrating. As well, today’s Google Doodles offer a link to reveal search results related to the day being recognized.

We think the most fun Google Doodles are the ones created by artists. The video at the bottom of this article shows how it’s done.

Doodle 4 Google

Google 4 Doodle is contest for students run by Google in the United States and other select countries. When Google decides to run the contest they pick a theme and ask entrants to create their Google Doodles around this theme.

Artistic creations by kids and teens are judged according to artistic merit and creativity, which includes how well the doodle fits the assigned theme and incorporates the Google logo. The winner of the Google 4 Doodle contest will get their drawing featured on Google’s home page.

To learn more, search “Doogle 4 Goodle” in the search bar at the top of this website.

In this article we will explore how Google Doodle got started, what it has evolved into and how students aged K – 12 can ‘Google 4 Doodle’. The Google Doodle is a creative altering of the Google logo to celebrate holidays, special events and achievements by people – past and present. It is featured on their main search page during these special days.

Since the Google logo is made up of the spelling of their name “Google”, the artistic rendition incorporates the letters of their company name.

To effectively explore the beginnings of Google Doodle, it is helpful for us to take quick look back at the very beginning of Google itself.

Back in the 1990’s when the internet was first evolving, there were only a few search engines. Google was not even one of them until 1998.

The home pages of most search engines did not look as simple as Google did when it launched, which is surprising very much how it looks today. Back in those early year, search engines also provided a lot of other resource links and information on their websites.

When Google Search was born, they simply featured their logo above the search bar along with a couple of resource links.

The rest of their website was all white space and as noted earlier, it continues to be like that today. So with the focus always being on the Google name contained within their logo, redesigning the logo to commemorate days was easily noticed by users.

The very first Google Doodle was featured back in Google’s infancy as a company in the late 90’s. Over the years, it was used for more and more events including great achievements by people in history.

The first Google Doodles were simple additions to their logo letters, then became more creative in their design.

More recently, the Google Doodle as incorporated animation, videos and even fun games related to the special day Google is celebrating. As well, today’s Google Doodles offer a link to reveal search results related to the day being recognized.

We think the most fun Google Doodles are the ones created by artists. The video at the bottom of this article shows how it’s done.

Doodle 4 Google

Google 4 Doodle is contest for students run by Google in the United States and other select countries. When Google decides to run the contest they pick a theme and ask entrants to create their Google Doodles around this theme.

Artistic creations by kids and teens are judged according to artistic merit and creativity, which includes how well the doodle fits the assigned theme and incorporates the Google logo. The winner of the Google 4 Doodle contest will get their drawing featured on Google’s home page.

To learn more, search “Doogle 4 Goodle” in the search bar at the top of this website.

What Do Cats and Flies Have In Common?

Cute Cats and Kittens

Cats and Flies. An odd pairing indeed. What do they have in common? The answer to this question is simple: useful hair. Your own hair can be useful. It can keep you warm, protect you from sunburn and, yes, show the world your style. But the hair on cats and flies can save their lives.

Have you ever watched a cat stalking something in grass? You strain to see what they’re after, but you can’t. The cat might not be able to see it either. What tells a cat that something is skittering around in the grass is its hair. Cat hair is extremely sensitive. When a mouse of beetle moves through the grass, it disturbs air. Cat’s hair is able to detect that movement.

Even tiny changes in air pressure can be felt by cat hair, pointing the animal toward a potential snack. The hair also alerts them to predators sneaking up behind them, helping keep the kitty alive.

That same special hair ability tells flies when someone is trying to swat them. When you swing a swatter towards a fly, the swatter compresses the air between it and the insect. The fly’s hairs can feel the air pressure changes overhead and has time to take off before the swatter comes down.

Cats and flies have something else in common: useful foot pads.

The pads on the bottom of a cat’s paws are very sensitive, able to detect temperature, pressure and even vibrations, giving the feline yet another tool for staying alive.

Fly foot pads perform valuable work, too, but again, the main reason is hair. Flies have hair on their legs.

They also have hair on their foot pads that produce a form of glue made of sugar and oil. This glue helps them land and walk on walls and ceilings. It also means that flies leave tiny, sticky little footprints on anything those foot pads touch, like counters and people.

This glue can hold diseases that stay behind after the fly has swooped away, which is why flies are known as health hazards.

Cats can carry disease on their pads, too, but at least they don’t make glue.

Cats and flies are incredibly different, belong to different animal categories. Still, they share the biological advantage of having useful hair. That hair, with its sensitivity to air pressure, means that when your kitten is trying to catch a fly, the fight will be even.

Cats and Flies. An odd pairing indeed. What do they have in common? The answer to this question is simple: useful hair. Your own hair can be useful. It can keep you warm, protect you from sunburn and, yes, show the world your style. But the hair on cats and flies can save their lives.

Have you ever watched a cat stalking something in grass? You strain to see what they’re after, but you can’t. The cat might not be able to see it either. What tells a cat that something is skittering around in the grass is its hair. Cat hair is extremely sensitive. When a mouse of beetle moves through the grass, it disturbs air. Cat’s hair is able to detect that movement.

Even tiny changes in air pressure can be felt by cat hair, pointing the animal toward a potential snack. The hair also alerts them to predators sneaking up behind them, helping keep the kitty alive.

That same special hair ability tells flies when someone is trying to swat them. When you swing a swatter towards a fly, the swatter compresses the air between it and the insect. The fly’s hairs can feel the air pressure changes overhead and has time to take off before the swatter comes down.

Cats and flies have something else in common: useful foot pads.

The pads on the bottom of a cat’s paws are very sensitive, able to detect temperature, pressure and even vibrations, giving the feline yet another tool for staying alive.

Fly foot pads perform valuable work, too, but again, the main reason is hair. Flies have hair on their legs.

They also have hair on their foot pads that produce a form of glue made of sugar and oil. This glue helps them land and walk on walls and ceilings. It also means that flies leave tiny, sticky little footprints on anything those foot pads touch, like counters and people.

This glue can hold diseases that stay behind after the fly has swooped away, which is why flies are known as health hazards.

Cats can carry disease on their pads, too, but at least they don’t make glue.

Cats and flies are incredibly different, belong to different animal categories. Still, they share the biological advantage of having useful hair. That hair, with its sensitivity to air pressure, means that when your kitten is trying to catch a fly, the fight will be even.

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