Posts

September 22, 2014

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9:30 PM | There’s a new way to quantify structure and complexity
A new way to measure structure and complexity can help explain how information sharing among the parts of a system is related to its behaviors on different scales.
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9:27 PM | There’s a new way to quantify structure and complexity
Analyzing information sharing among the parts of a system can help explain its behaviors on different scales ContextScience & Society,Numbers by Tom Siegfried 5:30pm, September 22, 2014 In searching for sense in the complexities of nature, science has often found success by identifying common aspects of diverse phenomena.When one principle explains how different things […]
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3:54 PM | Explainer: When Can U.S. Presidents Wage War?
With President Obama recently authorizing military action against ISIS, legal scholars are revisiting the question of who can declare war and who can't.
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1:01 PM | It’s not over till it’s over. And it’s over.
I get some flak for criticizing biomedicine. But science is not–and should not be–a sacred cow. Withstanding criticism and becoming stronger for it is one of the qualities that unites scholarship and science. My critique of science is about hype, oversell, and corporatization, not evidence. When it’s a matter of evidence vs. politics or superstition, I stand arm-in-arm […]
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12:30 PM | Skeleton Couple Still Holding Hands After 700 Years
The skeletal remains of two lovebirds were uncovered, after being locked in a romantic embrace for the past 700 years.
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10:00 AM | Greek Tomb's Female Sculptures Fully Revealed
The 7.45-foot-tall statues stand on a marble pedestal, wearing high-soled red-and-yellow shoes.
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9:51 AM | Manh(a)ttan Recap: Sex, Lies, and Subterfuge [SPOILERS]
In physics, “spooky action at a distance” is a colloquial term for the famous EPR paradox, devised by Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky, and Nathan Rosen in the 1930s to describe the... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:33 AM | How anti-vaccination is like a nuclear bomb
I’m not sure that anything fills me with despair more than the trend of parents refusing to vaccinate their children. A couple of weeks ago, an article in The Hollywood Reporter described how affluent Hollywood schools are experiencing outbreaks of … Continue reading →
Editor's Pick

September 21, 2014

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11:42 PM | Physicists on Ice: Exploring the Physics of Curling
Last Friday I joined a contingent of Caltech physicists (including the Time Lord) for an afternoon of curling — yeah, you heard me, curling — in honor of Caltech theoretical physicist... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

September 20, 2014

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9:40 AM | Physics Week in Review: September 20, 2014
On the latest episode of the Know Brainer Podcast, I chatted with host Christina Ochoa about Self- Experimentation, Time and Identity, and Body Fluids in Art. It’s available on iTunes or via... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

September 19, 2014

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9:29 PM | Truth in science advertising
I’ve run across this chestnut from NdGT before, but this time it struck me as both untrue and misleading. Of course in a crude sense it’s true. When you get on an airplane, it flies thanks to Bernoulli’s principle whether you believe in or even know of Bernoulli’s principle. But in a deeper sense it fundamentally misrepresents […]
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4:20 PM | Sunken 'Ship of Gold' Contains Bounty of Jewelry, Treasures
A trove of gold coins, bracelets, buckles and broaches are among the precious treasures retrieved from a 157-year-old shipwreck off the coast of South Carolina.
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2:01 PM | Circus of science
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1:21 PM | Explainer: Scotland Says No, But Who Else Wants Independence?
Scotland's independence referendum was voted down by its citizens, but they were not the only people with thoughts of breaking away on their minds. Which other groups worldwide have secession in mind?
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9:20 AM | Historic Referendum: Scotland Rejects Independence
Scotland has rejected independence in a referendum that leaves the United Kingdom intact but opens the door to wider autonomy following a huge turnout, preliminary results showed Friday.
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9:00 AM | Stonehenge Intricate Treasures Made by Children
The tiny handiwork involved in making treasures found near Stonehenge likely involved the small fingers -- and strained eyes -- of children. Continue reading →
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9:00 AM | Intricate Treasures From Stonehenge Burial: Photos
Among the buried objects, one of the finest was a dagger with an intricately decorated wooden handle.

September 18, 2014

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4:42 PM | In Search Of… Darwin’s Cryptids
First bones of this mysterious creature were discovered in 1787 near Rio Lujàn (Argentinia), collected and send to Spain two years later. Zoologist Juan Bautista Bru de Ramon (1740-1799) reconstructed the bones in 1795 as a mounted skeleton for the Real Gabinete de Historia Natural de Madrid, the royal cabinet of curiosities – the first [...]
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4:42 PM | In Search Of… Darwin’s Cryptids
First bones of this mysterious creature were discovered in 1787 near Rio Lujàn (Argentinia), collected and send to Spain two years later. Zoologist Juan Bautista Bru de Ramon (1740-1799)... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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3:40 PM | Why a Secession Vote Like Scotland's Is Unlikely in U.S.
Scotland's vote for independence is bold -- and unlikely to ever happen among states in the US.
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2:39 PM | Explainer: Which Countries Have Nuclear Weapons?
Although the list of countries that have nukes is not a terribly long one, their presence anywhere can give people mushroom-cloud nightmares. Trace examines the small, confirmed, nuclear club and a few other countries that may be close to joining.
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12:00 PM | Ancient Egyptian Woman With 70 Hair Extensions Discovered
More than 3,300 years ago, in a newly built city in Egypt, a woman with an incredibly elaborate hairstyle of lengthy hair extensions was laid to rest.
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10:15 AM | It’s a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’. It really shouldn’t be.
Today is a chance for major constitutional change in the UK. If ‘yes’ wins, then the result would be a shock for both sides. Given the choice Devo-Max, Scotland would stay in the UK. A party with one MP in Scotland decided this couldn’t be an option as it would be a win for the…

September 17, 2014

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10:00 PM | In the UK? Science (might) need You!
This week I finally met my local MP for the first time. If I’d been on the ball I’d even have got a photo to prove it, but it’s just as well I didn’t as I was having an ill day, so I would have simply looked sick and sweaty next to him. Instead here’s…
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8:21 PM | A Russian interlude
What's all this then? Well, I was recently contacted by Dave Hone, well-known palaeontologist, blogger, and exuberant fellow. Dave and I have met a few times, and he even lent me a pile of his old books on one such occasion. This time, Dr Dave had another treat for me. In a letter sealed with wax and carefully delivered by a dashing man in a hat, he had written:"Dearest Marc,I do hope this letter finds you well. On a recent field trip to the badlands of somewhere-or-other, one of my students […]

September 16, 2014

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10:30 PM | This Is What Killed Richard III
Forensic analysis of the King's skeletal remains has reconstructed blow by blow the king's last moments, revealing that Richard sustained 11 wounds at or near the time of his death.
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2:08 PM | Is ‘No’ campaigning to a London audience?
It certainly was yesterday, with Michael Gove among the people campaigning against Scottish independence in London. It might be an example of where the Unionists have misunderstood both the opposition and their own campaign. The ‘No’ campaign is a campaign against nationalism. It’s a campaign against quite a dated idea of nationalism. One of the…
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2:04 PM | Race and Genetics in Nature
My review of Nicholas Wade, Michael Yudell, and Robert Sussman leads off Nature‘s Fall Books number and is featured in the Nature/SciAm Diversity special. And it’s free–no paywall! This is the piece I was writing when the brick hit my deck, inspiring this earlier post, which is now a finalist for the 3QuarksDaily science blog prize. […]
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11:00 AM | 3rd Room of Ancient Greek Tomb Revealed
The latest images show an arched, soil-filled room, with some traces of red paint on the limestone walls.
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5:51 AM | Medical privacy, 1950 style
Without really working in a medical field, I still hear a lot about medical privacy and HIPAA. And how any public presentation of patient information needs to be anonymized, any identifying details need to be removed, any irrelevant personal details need to be removed, populations need to be profiled rather than individuals, and generally all […]
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