New research suggests, however, that rather than describe how humans perform, the bell curve may actually be constraining how people perform. Minus such constraints, a new paper argues, lots of people are actually outliers.
Human performance, by this account, does not often fit the bell curve or what scientists call a normal distribution. Rather, it is more likely to fit what scientists call a power distribution.
The study examined the performance of 633,263 people involved in four broad areas of human performance: academics writing papers, athletes at the professional and collegiate levels, politicians and entertainers.
“We looked at researchers, we looked at entertainers, we looked at politicians, and we looked at collegiate as well as professional athletes,” Aguinis said in an interview. “In each of these kinds of industries, we found that a small minority of superstar performers contribute a disproportionate amount of the output.”
Aguinis said the bell curve may describe human performance in the presence of some external constraint — such as an assembly line that moved at a certain speed.
… successful companies and nations would do well to identify superstars, because such performers were disproportionately likely to register new discoveries and achievements.
Puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?
Mike Thompson, the arts graduate from Design Academy in Eindhoven now introduces a seemingly unheard of algae powered lamp, which he names Latro Algae Lamp. He takes inspiration from the findings of a research conducted by Yansei and Stanford University scientists that concluded that algal cells can draw electrical current through photosynthesis. The lamp, basically, draws its energy from a glass chamber of algae.
Via Green Diary
- The pennies produced each year by the Royal Canadian Mint, when laid end-to-end, would go from St. John’s, N.L., to Victoria and back.
- Producing those pennies — necessary after people tuck them away in the piggy bank — is estimated to cost $130 million a year.
- Pennies cost retail businesses about $60 million a year to record, store and transport, plus time spent by cashiers per transaction.
- The penny buys 1/20th what it bought in 1908.
- Until 1996, pennies were anywhere from 95 to 98 per cent copper. They are now 94 per cent steel, 1.5 per cent nickel, and 4.5 per cent copper-plated zinc.
- From 1876 to 1920, Canadian pennies were 25.4 mm in diameter and weighed 5.67 g; current pennies weigh 2.35 g and are 19.05 mm round.
- Thirty-seven per cent of Canadians say they regularly use pennies to pay for goods.
- If all the pennies minted since 1908 were stacked on top of each other, they would go 49,000 kilometres into space.
Via Vancouver Sun