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Surely a Venus Fly Trap lies to the flies? Deception is not just a matter of language. Facial expressions can certainly also lie. My wife says that our dog lies like a rug in attempting to persuade us that "no, I have not had my dog's dinner yet". The dog at least does not 'fess up if she is accidentally given dinner twice, although puking up some of the excess may happen. So I doubt your claim that "lying is probably as old as humankind" goes far enough. As old as evolution may be the right answer. Also, the snake was created before Adam and Eve. In post-modern language, which I speak only non-natively, it's probably a question of signs that transcend language.

I remember on one episode of Mythbusters they tried to see if they could be the brian scan polygraph, which was supposed to be super accurate, but I think that Grant actually beat it. But I wasn't aware that regular polygraphs were so inaccurate, I thought that they were a good measure for most people.

I stopped watching Lie to Me early last year, but as I recall Eli only "told the truth" to women he was hitting on. He lied by omission otherwise. I found him more annoying than any of the other characters, and I found them all pretty insufferable.

There was a great episode of "Homicide: Life on the Streets" where the detectives convinced a not-too-bright suspect that they had a machine that could read his mind. They put a colander on his head with some wires running to a photocopier and would print out "Lie" whenever he answered a question.

Why do people always make the assumption that people "learned" to lie? I find it equally plausible that humans originated speaking in order to lie better, saying things like: "no that guy has never had any kids worth anything, mate with me." Or "Yes Ugg you are the father." Or "the deer is over that way" (ha ha).

We may have learned to tell the truth.

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    Physics Cocktails

    • Heavy G
      The perfect pick-me-up when gravity gets you down.
      2 oz Tequila
      2 oz Triple sec
      2 oz Rose's sweetened lime juice
      7-Up or Sprite
      Mix tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker and pour into a margarita glass. (Salted rim and ice are optional.) Top off with 7-Up/Sprite and let the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.
    • Listening to the Drums of Feynman
      The perfect nightcap after a long day struggling with QED equations.
      1 oz dark rum
      1/2 oz light rum
      1 oz Tia Maria
      2 oz light cream
      Crushed ice
      1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
      In a shaker half-filled with ice, combine the dark and light rum, Tia Maria, and cream. Shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass almost filled with crushed ice. Dust with the nutmeg, and serve. Bongos optional.
    • Combustible Edison
      Electrify your friends with amazing pyrotechnics!
      2 oz brandy
      1 oz Campari
      1 oz fresh lemon juice
      Combine Campari and lemon juice in shaker filled with cracked ice. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Heat brandy in chafing dish, then ignite and pour into glass. Cocktail Go BOOM! Plus, Fire = Pretty!
    • Hiroshima Bomber
      Dr. Strangelove's drink of choice.
      3/4 Triple sec
      1/4 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
      2-3 drops Grenadine
      Fill shot glass 3/4 with Triple Sec. Layer Bailey's on top. Drop Grenadine in center of shot; it should billow up like a mushroom cloud. Remember to "duck and cover."
    • Mad Scientist
      Any mad scientist will tell you that flames make drinking more fun. What good is science if no one gets hurt?
      1 oz Midori melon liqueur
      1-1/2 oz sour mix
      1 splash soda water
      151 proof rum
      Mix melon liqueur, sour mix and soda water with ice in shaker. Shake and strain into martini glass. Top with rum and ignite. Try to take over the world.
    • Laser Beam
      Warning: may result in amplified stimulated emission.
      1 oz Southern Comfort
      1/2 oz Amaretto
      1/2 oz sloe gin
      1/2 oz vodka
      1/2 oz Triple sec
      7 oz orange juice
      Combine all liquor in a full glass of ice. Shake well. Garnish with orange and cherry. Serve to attractive target of choice.
    • Quantum Theory
      Guaranteed to collapse your wave function:
      3/4 oz Rum
      1/2 oz Strega
      1/4 oz Grand Marnier
      2 oz Pineapple juice
      Fill with Sweet and sour
      Pour rum, strega and Grand Marnier into a collins glass. Add pineapple and fill with sweet and sour. Sip until all the day's super-positioned states disappear.
    • The Black Hole
      So called because after one of these, you have already passed the event horizon of inebriation.
      1 oz. Kahlua
      1 oz. vodka
      .5 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
      .5 oz. dark rum
      .5 oz. Amaretto
      Pour into an old-fashioned glass over (scant) ice. Stir gently. Watch time slow.