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Posts

April 19, 2014

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2:00 AM | Astro-Vid of the Week- Captured: Venus Occults a Naked Eye Star
Our chart of the passage of Lambda Aquarii behind Venus on April 16th. Created using Stellarium. We love it when backyard observers rise to the challenge. We wrote recently about the prospects for catching the occultation of the +3.7 magnitude star Lambda Aquarii by the planet Venus on the morning of April 16th. Most occultations [...]
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1:00 AM | Google Lunar XPrize Team Hangouts: 002 Chasing the Prize Join...
Google Lunar XPrize Team Hangouts: 002 Chasing the Prize Join the Google Lunar XPRIZE Technical Director, Andrew Barton, to learn about what must be accomplished to win the Google Lunar XPRIZE. In the coming weeks, we’ll be bringing all these teams to you so you can get to know them, their work, and how they are looking to take us back to the Moon. Overview A global team of scientists and engineers are all working toward constructing missions to land on, travel across, and send video back […]
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12:56 AM | Mexico's 7.2 earthquake and it's early warning system
Seismic record from the Guerrero April 18 earthquakeFrom Earthquake-Report.com A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck in the Acapulco/Mexico City region early this morning, a Good Friday holiday morning when many residents had apparently slept in or gone away on vacation. The earthquake lasted about 30 seconds. The epicenter was in the state of Guerrero, north of Acapulco. The U.S. Geological Survey has an automatic damage estimator here. The USGS estimates deaths between 1-100, and economic […]

April 18, 2014

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11:46 PM | Out of the Valley of Death and into an Upside Down Mountain
The Grapevine Mountains form the eastern margin of the Death Valley north of Stovepipe Wells, reaching elevations of nearly 9,000 feet in places. It's an imposing range, stark, barren, and rugged. All of the mountains of Death Valley are rugged pretty much by default, but erosion has not pierced deeply into many of them. They're too young geologically to have been effected much by mudflows and flashfloods in this arid environment.There are exceptions to everything though, and there is a canyon […]
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11:00 PM | Of grice and men (2014)
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision. Bertrand Russell Between February and April each year, in the sagebrush … Continue reading →
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10:38 PM | What do you do on a Friday Evening?! Apparently I Learn About Duck Sexual Organs!
So I just finished watching a film and was just looking through my tumblr when I cam across the cartoon above. I had guessed that it was referring to a ducks penis but curiosity and wanting to check the facts got the better of me. A quick Google search brought up an article from sciencedaily.com […]
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10:37 PM | Wait… Toyota’s New Electric Fuel Cell Car Can Power My House, Too??
On Monday in Las Vegas, all of the biggest and baddest new cars took center stage at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. But one car in particular has really caught people’s attention. At the show, Toyota unveiled a new fuel cell car called the FCV-R  that looked…well, sort of like a Prius. However, this car […]
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10:34 PM | A Penis Isn’t A Punchline (But It Is A Biological Structure)
Have you heard the one about Neotrogla? Neotrogla is an interesting cave insect discovered Brazil; instead of being blind or transparent or having other neat cave-specific adaptations, Neotrogla mixes things up with sex. In specific, Neotrogla females have a penis, while the males have an internal cavity that receives the penis. A great summary of […]
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10:33 PM | New Blog…
As you probably noticed I stopped updating this blog. If you’re still interesting in reading my new posts, you can find me at medium. Thanks for all the support/comments so far.  
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10:14 PM | 走ることについて語るときに僕の語ること [book review]
The English title of this 2007 book of Murakami is “What I talk about when I talk about running”. Which is a parody of Raymond Carver’s collection of [superb] short stories, “What we talk about when we talk about love”. (Murakami translated the complete œuvres of Raymond Carver in Japanese.) It is a sort of diary […]
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10:11 PM | Shor’s code-breaking algorithm inspired reflections on quantum information
ContextQuantum Physics,History of Science by Tom Siegfried 6:13pm, April 18, 2014 Second of two parts (read part 1)When the Robert Redford film Sneakers hit theaters in 1992, most moviegoers had never heard of the Internet. They’d have guessed “World Wide Web” was a horror film involving spiders. And nobody knew that the secret code-breaking box that the Sneakers plot […]
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10:05 PM | Meet Barbara Cartland, the record breaking sex and romance novelist who invented the long distance...
Meet Barbara Cartland, the record breaking sex and romance novelist who invented the long distance aeroplane towed glider. Her concept revolutionised the aero industry and was implemented by armies on all sides of WWII. Aerotow gliders had been used in Germany but only to travel short distances and perform tricks – that wasn’t good enough for Barbara. She worked with two RAF soldiers to build her own long distance glider craft and flew it over 200 miles delivering a sack of […]
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10:00 PM | Over Meal Of Whale Meat, Japan Announces Plan To Restart "Scientific" Whaling In Antarctica
Harpooned whale A whale captured by the Yushin Maru, a Japanese harpoon vessel, in February 2008. Customs and Border Protection Service, Commonwealth of Australia On March 31, Japan was ordered to halt its whaling program in Antarctica by a United Nations court, which ruled that the activity amounted to a commercial operation and was not for research purposes as stated. Now, less than three weeks later, Japan announced it will re-launch its whale-killing […]
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10:00 PM | “After Final Consideration” Pilot Program Extended by Patent Office
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced that it is extending a popular program that allows patent applicants to submit minor amendments to their patent applications even after final rejection. The “After Final Consideration” Pilot was launched in May and was scheduled to end on September 30, 2013. The Pilot will now be … Continue reading →
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10:00 PM | Grading my work, and how Wikipedia can track the flu
One research paper, seven journalists, seven different articles.
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9:47 PM | Quantum experts discuss the measurement problem: A transcript from 1994
ContextQuantum Physics,Science & Society by Tom Siegfried 2:00pm, April 13, 2014 What follows is a fairly complete transcript of a discussion about quantum physics on May 19, 1994, the last day of a workshop in Santa Fe, N.M. It begins with some technical issues, posed by John Denker of Bell Labs, concerning projection operators, mathematical expressions involved in representing quantities […]
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9:36 PM | danah boyd, Randall Munro, and netizens.
danah boyd, author of 'It's Complicated' just gave a tech talk at Google. Her book has been in the news a lot lately, so I'll skip the details (although Facebook ought to be at least slightly worried).But what I enjoyed the most about her talk was the feeling that I was listening to a true netizen: someone who lives and breathes on the internet, understands (and has helped build) modern technology extremely well (she is a computer scientist as well as an ethnographer), and is able to deliver a […]
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9:34 PM | http://planet3.org/2014/04/18/9887/
No summary available for this post.
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9:28 PM | The Only Game in Town: Remarks on Alan Liu and Digital Humanities
I’ve collected five New Savanna posts on Alan Liu into a single PDF; you can download it from my SSRN page, Remarks on Alan Liu and the Digital Humanities, A Working Paper. Abstract and introduction below. * * * * * Abstract: Alan Liu has been organizing and conceptualizing digital humanities (DH) for two decades. […]
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9:20 PM | Friday Fun: Masthead Surprise
Ever stop and read a magazine masthead? Y'know, the page where they list all the editors, staff, and Board members?Sometimes you find fun* surprises. National Geographic Magazine*Please state your answer in the form of a question...
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9:12 PM | Weekend Reading: The Long Road to Ancient DNA, and Gene-Stealing Ferns
I’ve been traveling again this week, which makes blogging a challenge. But I still can still offer a …
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9:09 PM | Sexual Healing in Bonobos
Bonobos have earned a reputation as a “sexy” ape. Sexual activity — in many creative forms — plays a large role in bonobo society. Sexual contacts occur often, in virtually all partner combinations and in a slew of different positions. Read my latest Zoologic post, a Q&A with Emory University’s Zanna Clay about her research looking at how bonobos use sex to break the tension after conflicts: Sexual Healing: How Bonobos Use Sex to De-Stress .
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9:08 PM | An Invisible Barn And Other Amazing Images From This Week
Invisible Barn What do you get when you wrap a barn in mylar? You get nothing. stpmj via Co.Design
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8:58 PM | Adult Human Cells Cloned for First Time
In a cloning first, researchers generate embryonic stem cells from a man's skin.
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8:55 PM | The varieties of peer review
I’ve been very pleased with the response to my Neuron article on post-publication peer review. (Read more about the backstory here). The commentary on PubPeer got me thinking some more about the different kinds of peer review. In particular, the topic of pre-print servers like arXiv came up. I noted that arXiv is “moderated by experts”... which sounds kind of like peer review.This lead me to thinking about the continuum from traditional pre-publication peer review to […]
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8:53 PM | Holy Red Dwarf! Media flock to Earth sized planet in the Goldilocks zone.
  A long trapping expedition through our galactic neighborhood just snared one of its prime quarry: a planet about the size of the Earth in a stable and regular orbit at a distance from its star that makes liquid water plausible on its surface. That means just right, and thus smack in the Goldilocks zone. World press is perking up at the news from NASA and its scientific cadre, published in Science magazine, thus introducing us to […]
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8:46 PM | Greece: MOH On 1st Imported Case Of MERS-CoV
  # 8495   My thanks to Gert van der Hoek on Flutrackers for finding the first press account, and Sharon Sanders for the Greek MOH press release, announcing that country’s first MERS coronavirus case.   As with the Malaysian religious pilgrim who died earlier this week (see Malaysian MOH Statement On Imported (Fatal) Case Of MERS-CoV), this patient recently traveled to Jeddah.   You’ll find the (only slightly syntax-challenged) machine translation […]
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8:45 PM | Ironwood Is the Choice
#UgandanIronwood MT @NautilusMag: Chimpanzees are just as picky as humans when it comes to the perfect mattress. http://t.co/ufpKY2T6J5— russwilliamsiii (@russwilliamsiii) April 18, 2014"An analysis of 1,844 chimpanzee nests at the Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve, Uganda, found that 73.6% of nests were built of Ugandan Ironwood, even though it only accounted for 9.6% of the trees in the sample area."
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8:44 PM | Sauroposeidon in 3D
I was in Oklahoma and Texas last week, seeing Sauroposeidon, Paluxysaurus, Astrophocaudia, and Alamosaurus, at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, the Shuler Museum of Paleontology at SMU, and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, respectively. I have a ton of interesting things from that trip that […]
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8:40 PM | The Trouble With Rice
The rice plant is one of nature's great metal scavengers, with potential health consequences for consumers.
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