Category Archives: Science

Thirty-five years ago today.

One of the earliest posts I wrote in this blog, in January, 2006, was on the Challenger disaster. It still encapsulates my thoughts about the tragedy.

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Freedom? Safety?

You often hear “social conservatives” decry what they see as an infringement on their right to free speech. They claim that being called a bigot for espousing racist or homophonic or sexist speech has a chilling effect on the expression … Continue reading

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Warnings.

The experts are giving us clear advice this Thanks giving: stay home, don’t have your family visit. Their warnings are laced with equal parts concern and incredulity that people would do such dangerous things as fly right now. In some … Continue reading

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We’ve been Berned before.

So Sanders is running again. How… special. Look, I don’t care if he runs. I don’t particularly even care if he decides to call himself a Democrat. What I do care about is that unless the Democratic National Committee shows … Continue reading

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Another date to remember.

As a friend of mine on Facebook put it, sixteen years ago today Columbia came home. I had forgotten what day it was today. When he reminded me I felt the tears spring to my eyes. I remember. I remember … Continue reading

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Contagion: more than a movie.

One hundred years ago, the Great Influenza of 1918-1919 killed between 50 and 100 million people, more people than any other previous pandemic in history. (The Black Death killed fewer people but a greater portion of the population.)* In Asia, … Continue reading

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Irma.

A few years ago, The Weather Channel had a series called It Could Happen Tomorrow, about natural disasters which, because of their unusual nature, would have potentially disastrous effects. One show was dedicated to the scenario of a Cat 3 … Continue reading

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Signs.

Today I went to the March for Science Silicon Valley in San Jose. I had a great time. I had also gone to the Women’s March in January. The vibe there was fierce, and angry. Today it was determined and … Continue reading

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It could be worse. If you Google “Labor Day hurricane Florida,” the top hit will not be Hurricane Hermine. Instead it will be the Labor Day hurricane of 1935, the strongest and most intense storm ever to make landfall in … Continue reading

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So “smart” they’re stupid.

I happened across a Yahoo! News¹ article about conspiracy theorists who believe that the Mars rover landings were faked, having all taken place in the Canadian Arctic at…. Devon Island. Really. I followed the link to Anonymous News, a source … Continue reading

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Sometimes you find hope in the oddest places.

I often fight despair about the state of the American public’s critical thinking skills. I worry that, my friends and I aside, the country is sinking into an anti-intellectual abyss. And then, today, I ran across a call to action, … Continue reading

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Fallen heroes.

It’s been thirty years today since Challenger. I don’t know what to say that I have not said before, but it seems important to me to mark this anniversary again. So, once again, I salute the brave men and women … Continue reading

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The perils of living with students during exam week.

Sitting at the dining room table and perusing Facebook, I saw a shirt which read “You are the result of 4 billion years of evolutionary success. Act like it.” I did the most appropriate thing in the circumstances, I snickered. … Continue reading

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The Martian: a review.

 “The story is such a ripping good ride and so gorgeous to watch that you don’t merely want to suspend your disbelief, you want to tie it to a parking meter outside the theater and order it not to disturb … Continue reading

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Consistency, people.

I heard a msnbc commentator this evening say “Everyone is rightfully upset — and should be — by the fetal tissue sale, but Republicans should not shut down the government to defund Planned Parenthood.” My first reaction was “Yeah, those … Continue reading

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