Bleats

The Bachelor Isn't Just Winning Hearts And Handing Out Roses, He's Also Helping To, Uh, Discover Alien Worlds

Hey, every Bachelor has to have a hobby.

In case you’ve missed it, Australia’s new Bachelor, Matt Agnew, is an astrophysicist and is incredibly *checks notes* smart. Hell, he’s only one gamma radiation accident away from turning into a super good-looking version of the Incredible Hulk.

So it should be no surprise to anyone that when he isn’t charming everyone in Australia or handing out roses to the women on The Bachelor, he’s, uh, helping to discover alien worlds.

Professor Jonti Horner, who was the external supervisor for Matt’s PhD work prior to his ascendancy as the latest Bachelor heartthrob, revealed on The Conversation that Matt’s PhD work is “amazing” and it will prove to be important in the search for new alien worlds.

Now I’m no science or astro whiz so I’m going to do my best to understand what’s going on here and why Matt’s work is so crucial.

The problem for astronomers in this field of alien world prospecting is that they’re discovering new stars, planets and systems way too fast for the amount of available resources they have to properly keep up and analyse.

Since astronomers are forced to work more efficiently, it makes more sense to go looking for new worlds in areas where we know there are planets exist rather than painstakingly scanning every inch of a host star looking for a new planet and hoping they strike gold.

This is where Matt’s work comes in.

His PhD revolves around using computers to simulate planets and systems, thereby narrowing down undiscovered areas of space to places where planets are almost certain to exist. These computer simulations can cover “millions of virtual years” in “a few hours, or a few days at most”, which is a massive resource saver.

So in short, rather than have astronomers looking at space through telescopes and spending inordinate amounts of time and resources hoping to find an alien world, Matt’s work will help narrow down the spots where astronomers should look for new planets and get everyone will be able to get home from work in time to watch The Bachelor.

It seems like Matt Agnew, astrophysicist and Bachelor, is here to charm, give out roses and prospect for new alien worlds. And he’s already done the first two.

The Simplest IQ Test Is Just Three Questions Long, But You're Still Likely To Fail

Try not to read too much into IQ tests. Keyword: try.

Let’s be honest here, we’ve all done an IQ test at some point in time. Who doesn’t want to know how smart they are and how you compare to your friends when it comes to intelligence?

But before you start boasting about your top notch brain, try this IQ test out first.

Called the Cognitive Reflection Test, it’s only three questions and you’re almost certainly guaranteed to fail it. Here are the questions:

  1. A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?
  2. If it takes five machines five minutes to make five widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?
  3. In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half of the lake?
No need to rush.

I’m betting your answers to the three questions were 10 cents, 100 minutes and 24 days respectively, right?

Well I hate to knock your top notch brain down a few pegs but those answers are completely wrong. Here are the correct answers to this seemingly-easy IQ test along with the solutions:

  1. 5 cents – Say the ball costs X. Then the bat costs $1 more, so it is X + 1. So we have bat + ball = X + (X + 1) = 1.1 because together they cost $1.10. This means 2X + 1 = 1.1, then 2X = 0.1, so X = 0.05. This means the ball costs five cents and the bat costs $1.05.
  2. 100 minutes – If it takes five machines five minutes to make five widgets, then it takes one machine five minutes to make one widget (each machine is making a widget in five minutes). If we have 100 machines working together, then each can make a widget in five minutes. So there will be 100 widgets in five minutes.
  3. 24 days – Every day FORWARD the patch doubles in size. So every day BACKWARDS means the patch halves in size. So on day 47 the lake is half full.

No need to feel bad though, over 80% of people who take this test fail it and that includes super smart folks who study at the best universities.

So what’s the deal with this simple-but-not-really IQ test?

Well it’s the brainchild of MIT professor Shane Frederick, who aimed to demonstrate the difference between people who act fast without really thinking and people who take time to figure out things before making a move.

You and many other people.

Frederick had 3,428 people (many of whom were MIT students and thus had brains to spare) take the test and only 17 percent got all three questions right, over half got at least one wrong, and one third got them all wrong.

So don’t feel bad if you failed this IQ test. It’s less of a gauge on how smart you are and more of an indicator of how your brain works more than anything.

Besides, if you were truly smart then you wouldn’t put too much stock into the results of a measly IQ test anyway and I’m not just saying this because I got all questions wrong or anything.

Harry Potter Will Legit Determine Whether You're A Good Or Bad Person

Science says there's no Hogwarts mystery behind how Harry Potter determines whether you're a muggle or wizard.

There’s a lot of people who like the Harry Potter series and there are a lot of people who absolutely hate it. It’s just what happens when something is arguably the biggest pop-culture phenomenon to wander along in recent memory.

It’s perfectly fine to like or not like something, we all have different tastes in stuff after all. But if you ever needed any reason to suddenly get into all things Harry Potter and Hogwarts, here’s a really good one: you’re likely a good person if you like the books.

Must. Like. Harry. Potter.

According to a study, fans who feel warmly towards Harry and his group of buddies are less likely to be intolerant towards minorities.

The three-part study involved surveying three different groups of readers – primary school children, high school students, and uni students – before and after they read parts of Harry Potter that were related to prejudice towards stigmatised groups (like when Draco called Hermione a mudblood).

The results showed that those who were surveyed developed greater empathy towards prejudiced groups by living vicariously through Harry’s “positive attitudes and behaviours” to minority communities.

If by magic you mean respect and equality then yes, I too love magic.

When you think about it, this conclusion makes sense. Through Harry’s difficult upbringing, his underdog status and his relationships with society’s underdogs, like the Weasleys and “mudbloods”, or the ostracised, like Hagrid and Neville, children are taught about treating everyone with respect.

Furthermore, the series shines a negative light on racism and prejudice through the characterisation of Voldemort as an evil being who strives to ostracise anyone else who isn’t a pure-blooded witch or wizard. So while you were getting all hung up over horocruxes and whether Draco was in love with Harry, you were also getting a crash course on tolerance and equality.

No magic to be found here, just some important lessons about being a good person and some data-driven science.

You know Jesse’s likely a Harry Potter fan while Walt definitely isn’t.

That’s not to say that you’re a bad person if you don’t like Harry Potter. You can be a perfectly good human being and still hate The Boy Who Lived. But it’s nice to know that science says being a Potterhead means you’re likely to be a brave Gryffindor, loyal Hufflepuff or genius Ravenclaw than an evil Slytherin.

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