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Posts

April 24, 2014

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7:14 PM | Scientists on Cycles
Andronik M. Petrosyants, chairman of the Soviet State Committee on the Utilization of Atomic Energy, heads a Soviet delegation on a bicycle tour of the newly completed main accelerator at the National Accelerator Laboratory outside of Chicago on April 16, 1971. The accelerator was made up of a 4-mile string of 1,014 magnets (each weighing 12.5 tons) entombed in an underground concrete ring. To the right of Petrosyants is physicist Norman Ramsey, who worked on the atom bombs dropped on Japan. […]
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6:23 PM | It’s life, Charlie, but not as we know it – Charles Darwin and the search of early (Extraterrestrial) Life
In August 1881 the journal “Science” published an article with a letter exchange by two amateur geologist – British Charles R. Darwin and the German Otto Hahn- discussing the possibility of extraterrestrial life.
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5:00 PM | It’s life, Charlie, but not as we know it – Charles Darwin and the search of early (Extraterrestrial) Life
In August 1881 the journal “Science” published an article with a letter exchange by two amateur geologist – British Charles R. Darwin and the German Otto Hahn- discussing the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Just some years earlier Darwin had published a book “On Origin of Species” proposing that complex life forms descended slowly over time [...]
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5:00 PM | It’s life, Charlie, but not as we know it – Charles Darwin and the search of early (Extraterrestrial) Life
In August 1881 the journal “Science” published an article with a letter exchange by two amateur geologist – British Charles R. Darwin and the German Otto Hahn- discussing the... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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4:12 PM | Crunch Time
Well, five years and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears later, my dissertation is ready to be defended. I sent it out to the committee, we booked the room, scheduled the transcription service (aka real-time closed captioning), I checked … Continue reading →
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3:00 PM | Lost 1800s Shipwreck Found Near Golden Gate Bridge
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the discovery of the remains of the SS City of Chester, a passenger steamer that went down in 1888 near the Golden Gate in San Francisco.
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12:30 PM | Art Fakes That Fooled (Almost) Everyone
Millions of dollars and the admiration of the art world can be had by a talent artist willing to sign someone else's name.
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12:00 PM | #MyTopTenBooks : visualiser le réseau des affinités littéraires
Et si c’étaient les lecteurs qui définissaient le “top-ten” des ouvrages et auteurs plutôt que les chiffres de vente des kiosques de gare ? Alors que les réseaux sociaux bruissent désormais des “top-ten” personnels des internautes qui prennent en photo la pile de leurs 10 ouvrages préférés (voir mon récent billet à ce sujet), il est temps de faire le point sur les tendances qui s’y dessinent […]

April 23, 2014

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9:34 PM | Heaven for Real? PET Scans Offer Clues
The new film "Heaven is for Real" relates a young boy's visit to heaven, though recent brain imaging research suggests a different explanation. Continue reading →
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6:00 PM | Ken Ham slams religion
For a man who claims to be religious, Ken Ham certainly has a negative view of religion. io9 reports that he has denounced the Smithsonian for promoting naturalism. So when he wanted to denigrate naturalism why did he use the word religion? It’s rare that anyone pointedly saying science is a religion, is using the…
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3:14 PM | Ancient Chisel Used to Build Western Wall Found
The 2,000-year-old stonemason's chisel may have been used in the construction of the holy site for both Muslims and Jews. Continue reading →
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9:34 AM | Was Will a Copernican?
The Will of the title is England’s most notorious playwright and poet, William Shakespeare, who was supposedly born 450 years ago today. The question is the central motivation for the new book by Canadian popular science writer, Dan Falk, The … Continue reading →

April 22, 2014

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10:24 PM | Doctors flunk quiz on screening-test math
Many doctors, and the news media, don’t understand that because of the statistics of screening tests, a test with 90 percent accuracy can give a wrong diagnosis more than 90 percent of the time.
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10:22 PM | Doctors flunk quiz on screening-test math
ContextNumbers by Tom Siegfried 6:24pm, April 22, 2014 Of 61 physicians, hospital staff and medical students asked, "If a test to detect a disease whose prevalence is 1 out of 1,000 has a false positive rate of 5 percent, what is the chance that a person found to have a positive result actually has the disease?" only 14 gave the correct answer — 2 percent.A.K. Manrai et al./JAMA Internal […]
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7:00 PM | My first Geocache find
I started with Geocaching at the weekend. It’s something like hide ‘n’ seek for people with a GPS or smartphone. So how does it work in practice? I looked for geocaches near me, and one that caught my eye was Welcome to the Withybeds. I’ve joined Radnorshire Wildlife Trust, but I hadn’t been to Withybeds…
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3:00 PM | Stolen Painting of Jesus Found on eBay
An 18th-century painting that was stolen from a church in Poland two decades ago was recovered after it turned up for sale on eBay.

April 20, 2014

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3:00 PM | Speaker laments unwillingness of female MPs to moo at opponents in PMQs
You cannot legally use clips of debates in the Houses of Parliament satirically, because mocking middle-aged men mooing at their opponents would undermine the dignity of parliament.
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1:18 PM | DNews: Why People Believe Jesus Had a Wife
It was recently announced that an ancient text claiming that Jesus had a wife was not forged. Ross Everett joins DNews to report on this new finding, and what discuss if it means anything to religion as we know it.
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12:45 AM | Episode 4 – Three is a magic number (Eugene Wigner, Maria Goeppert Mayer, J. Hans D. Jensen)
Of the two women who won the Nobel Prize for Physics, only one wasn’t Marie Curie. Her name was Maria Goeppert Mayer, and despite her remarkable achievements in the field of nuclear physics, her story remains widely unknown. Over the … Continue reading →

April 19, 2014

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9:48 PM | What Does the Easter Bunny Have To Do With Easter?
Easter Sunday is a religious holiday to some and a family holiday for others, but how did the bunny get involved?
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3:00 PM | I’m giving up writing at Medium
I’ve been seriously thinking about moving to Ghost or Medium for writing. Ghost uses Markdown, which I like is handy for when I write in StackEdit.io. Medium has a very simple interface. It’s not customisable, but the flip side of that is that you don’t waste time trying to customise it. I gave Medium a…
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2:35 PM | Happy Easter with a (fake) Dozen Dinosaur Eggs
Roy Chapman Andrews was not only an intrepid explorer and palaeontologist, but also a gifted promoter. The Central Asiatic Expeditions were accompanied by cameras to document the entire work. As the conditions were most time prohibitive – relief from the burning sun was given only by frequent sandstorms – many scenes showing the discovery and [...]
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2:35 PM | Happy Easter with a (fake) Dozen Dinosaur Eggs
Roy Chapman Andrews was not only an intrepid explorer and palaeontologist, but also a gifted promoter. The Central Asiatic Expeditions were accompanied by cameras to document the entire work. As the... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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11:00 AM | Fact-Checking the Bible
Is the Bible Fact or Fiction? This question has been debated for centuries. So far, no definitive answer has been given -- here are some of the more contentious issues in the Bible that may or may not stand up to historic and scientific scrutiny.
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9:23 AM | Physics Week in Review: April 19, 2014
This week fans of the night sky and space exploration celebrated the Birth of Human Spaceflight, with Yuri’s Night. Related (kinda): “You can’t take the sky from me.” The... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:00 AM | If you want to convince someone, get a friend to disprove what you’re saying
It turns out evidence is not always a help.

April 18, 2014

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10:13 PM | Shor’s code-breaking algorithm inspired reflections on quantum information
Twenty years ago, physicists met in Santa Fe to explore the ramifications of quantum information.
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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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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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7:38 PM | Distillations April Webcast: Alchemy's Rainbow
Our latest webcast explores the colorful (and sometimes risk-filled) history of pigments and painters, and the conservationists who save paintings from the ravages of time and accidental chemistry. "Alchemy’s Rainbow: Pigment Science and the Art of Conservation" features art conservator Mark F. Bockrath and art historian and CHF fellow Elisabeth Berry Drago. Our guests discuss and show the messy and occasionally dangerous process of making paints from pigments and the transition to using […]
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