Category Archives: Science

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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Espagna. Or Mars, maybe.

[This was a post I wrote while on the road, but didn’t publish, until now.] Today I am in Nerva, Spain. The Rocket Scientist has a project underway at Minas Rio Tinto (Rio Tinto Mine) a few kilometers away. As … Continue reading

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On Immunty.

Most of you know where I stand on the vaccination debate. I refuse to discuss vaccinations with people who put their fingers in their ears and who ignore rationality and science. I have no patience with them. Then I read … Continue reading

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Space tragedy week.

I did not have a chance yesterday to write a new post for the Challenger disaster anniversary.  Today is the anniversary of the Apollo 1 fire, and February 1 is Columbia. I thought I would link to some of the … Continue reading

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The problems with agriculture.

I have written about my lack of respect for the anti-GMO position as being nonscientific, agreeing with those who characterized this issue as being “the climate-change of the left.” (I am not alone on this: Neil DeGrasse Tyson feels this way, … Continue reading

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When heroes fall.

I call it the Frank Lloyd Wright axiom: sometimes geniuses are horrible human beings. Most of the time, I can separate the person from their creation: I can look at the Robie House and admire its beauty.  The fact that … Continue reading

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R.I.P. Marius — you gave us a lot to think about.

By  now you, and most of the connected world, have heard the story of Marius the giraffe killed by the Copenhagen zoo. He was a healthy, surplus teenager, as far as the giraffe world goes. And, as hard as it … Continue reading

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Thoughts about that last post.

1.  The title was obnoxious and condescending.  Sorry, I was cranky. 2.  I was wrong about the financial issues surrounding GMOs:  as Sarah Huffman points out, Trader Joe’s does not carry GMO products and they have been in my experience … Continue reading

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Logic and nuance are good things.

About the GMO/labeling debates: 1.  Organisms that are genetically modified are not all genetically modified the same way.  Soybeans genetically modified to be Roundup-resistant are not the same thing at all as golden rice that has been genetically modified to … Continue reading

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