Posts

September 02, 2014

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3:24 PM | A new chapter
I wanted to pass along some personal news: I’ve taken a position starting today with SpaceNews, as a senior writer there. I’ll be writing there on a lot about what you’ve seen here and elsewhere: space policy, commercial space, and related topics. It’s a great opportunity and I look forward to working with the excellent [...]
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4:52 AM | Ice Loss Acceleration
An article by Tim Radford in the Guardian reports that since 2009, ice volume loss in Greenland has increased by a factor of about two, and in the West Antarctic ice sheet by a factor of three. [more]

September 01, 2014

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6:19 PM | Hey, I’ve moved!
I’m here now.
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3:31 PM | "Krugman's 'magic motivated reasoning mirror' show"-- I've stopped watching but not trying to learn from reflective people who still are
So here is an interesting thing to discuss.  A commenter on the What's to explain? Kulkarni on "knowing disbelief" post made an interesting connection between “knowing disbelief” (KD) and the “asymmetry thesis.”  The occasion for his comment, it’s apparent, was not or not only the Kulkarni post but rather something he saw on the show “Paul Krugman & the Magic Motivated Reasoning Mirror,” in every episode of which Krugman looks in […]
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8:26 AM | Care plans and care planning: a rare event?
Have you seen a care plan recently? Despite a massive effort, we didn't see many in our national evaluation of care plans and care planning. Our new paper reports the findings of this work, summarised here.

August 31, 2014

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1:30 PM | What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Border Cosplay Edition
Via TPM: A border patrol agent fired several shots at an armed militia member while chasing a group of immigrants Friday near Brownsville, Texas… …the man was wearing camouflage and was carrying either a rifle or shotgun.   The self appointed guardian of the galaxy was lucky — the border patrol officer (like most people) […]
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1:35 AM | Counting warheads
Two researchers associated with the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists have published their research on the number of nuclear warheads possessed by countries worldwide, together with data on where they have been deployed based on various sources. The best part is their paper is available for free, and from the looks of it many of the […]

August 29, 2014

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11:57 PM | Shifting Baselines and the “New Normal”
A powerful essay by Dawn Stover in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists explains how the expression "the new normal" contributes to the problem of shifting baselines. [more]
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2:45 PM | Who is a science writer?
August 28 was Orientation Day at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, New York University, where I’ve enrolled with the Science, Health & Environmental Reporting Program (SHERP) for the 2014 fall term. It was an exciting day for many reasons. The first such moment was meeting the wonderful people who are to be my classmates for the […]
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2:29 AM | And now, a tweet from our sponsor
This is a guest post contributed by Anuj Srivas, tech. journalist and blogger, until recently the author of Hypertext, The Hindu. “Once every hundred years, media changes,” social media king Mark Zuckerberg declared at a Facebook advertising event seven years ago. “The last hundred years have been defined by the mass media. The way to […]
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2:04 AM | Venice LA
via Scientific American
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1:35 AM | Why Scientists Don’t Share Data
Data hoarding is real enough, but yhe idea that data hoarding is some special postnormal flaw in climate science is either uninformed or vicious. Forbes has a brief article that may offer some clues. [more]

August 28, 2014

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4:28 PM | House members seek details on SLS/Orion schedules and spending
A day after NASA announced that the first SLS may not be ready for launch until as late as November 2018, two key members of the House Science Committee asked NASA for details on both the schedule and funding levels of the SLS and Orion programs. In a letter released by the committee Thursday morning, [...]
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4:27 PM | "Is politically motivated reasoning rational?" A fragment ...
From something in the works ... My goal in this paper is to survey existing evidence on the mechanisms of culturally motivated reasoning (CMR) and assess what that evidence implies about the relationship between CMR and rational decisionmaking. CMR refers to the tendency of individuals to selectively credit diverse forms of information—from logical arguments to empirical data to credibility assessments to their own sensory impressions—in patterns that reflect their cultural […]
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2:59 PM | WTF Is Wrong With These People?
By these people, I mean (some) male gamers: Earlier this week, feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian posted the latest in a series of crowdfunded videos called Tropes vs. Women, devoted to aggregating and analyzing games that portray women as damsels in distress, ornamental eye candy, incidental victims, and other archetypes that tend to be written in service […]
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12:37 PM | Kristen: Doctor of Chiropractic, former cheerleader, GA Tech and Atlanta Hawks
Meet Kristen at the DragonCon parade on Saturday, August 30!
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12:37 PM | Kristin: Doctor of Chiropractic, former cheerleader, GA Tech and Atlanta Hawks
Meet Kristen at the DragonCon parade on Saturday, August 30!
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8:30 AM | Meet the Science Cheerleaders at DragonCon this weekend!
When the annual Dragon*Con parade rolls through Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, August 30, four Science Cheerleaders will be cheering for science and leading parade spectators in citizen science activities! They’ll be marching with other citizen science evangelists including Pamela Gay from CosmoQuest, and the Free Thought Society. Stick around on Sunday when our pals at the Atlanta Science Festival engage fans in a research project we’re launching with ECAST (Expert and […]
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8:08 AM | I’m a teapot
Great to see Google adhering to standards and finally implementing RFC 7168: The Hyper Text Coffee Pot Control Protocol for Tea Efflux Appliances (HTCPCPT-EA), published at the start of April this year. From §2.3.3: TEA-capable pots that are not provisioned to brew coffee may return either a status code of 503, indicating temporary unavailability of […]
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12:18 AM | With an SLS slip looming, one senator wants to keep NASA’s budget “on track”
An announcement Wednesday by NASA that the first launch of the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket could slip by nearly a year has led one key senator to suggest the program needs some budgetary help. NASA announced Wednesday that the SLS passed its Key Decision Point C (KDP-C) review, an assessment of the [...]

August 27, 2014

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7:05 PM | http://planet3.org/2014/08/27/10262/
We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. … We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. [more]
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3:12 PM | What's to explain? Kulkarni on "knowing disbelief"
As always, the investment in asking others for help in dispelling my confusion is paying off. As the 15.5 billion regular readers of this blog (we’re up 1.5 billion with migration of subscribers from the recent cessation of posts in Russell Johnson’s theprofessor.com) know, I’ve been trying to get a handle on a phenomenon that I’m calling—for now & for lack of a better term—“knowing disbelief” (KD). I've gotten various helpful tips in comments […]
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8:30 AM | Illustrious company
Yesterday, I saw this quote from the blurb for Jamie Bartlett’s new book The Dark Net: Beyond the familiar online world that most of us inhabit — a world of Google, Hotmail, Facebook and Amazon — lies a vast and often hidden network of sites, communities and cultures where freedom is pushed to its limits, […]

August 26, 2014

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4:12 PM | Air Force starts search for an RD-180 replacement
Although the supply of Russian-built RD-180 engines that power the first stage of the Atlas V do not appear to be in the same level of jeopardy as feared earlier this year—United Launch Alliance took delivery of two of those engines last week—the US Air Force is starting to lay the groundwork for development of [...]
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12:46 PM | Democracy & the science communication environment (video lecture)
Posted synopsis & slides a while back but for anyone who wants to watch the event (Cardiff Univ., Feb. 2014, here you go!  
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4:07 AM | Is This Thermodynamically Possible?
A report on Gizmodo describes what appears to be a huge imminent breakthrough in desalinization. But it seems reminiscent of an implementation of Maxwell's demon. Is this for real? [more]
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3:38 AM | Economic Critique of GDP
Dietz Vollrath: "Imagine if, having invented Diet Coke, you could make copies for free. That would lower GDP, as Coca-Cola would drop to essentially zero revenue from here forward. But it’s demonstrably better, right? Free Diet Coke?" [more]
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2:40 AM | Improve Safety for Forklift Operators by Maximizing Peripheral Vision
Safety is a primary concern for anyone who works in construction and manufacturing performing any activity that requires eye protection. The proper eye protection especially is important for those who operate forklifts and other types of mobile equipment. Simply putting on the latest fashionable safety glasses is not enough in the case of forklift operators. [...]
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2:16 AM | (Infographic) Germs in The Office: Do You Know Where Your Phone Has Been?
Source: Ehstoday.com Related Training DVDs: Housekeeping Safety: A Team Approach Training DVD Shows employees how working together as a team to keep a clean work area can help minimize incidents. View Product Housekeeping It Ain’t Like The Movies Training DVD Importance of good housekeeping and the necessity [...]
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1:49 AM | City to Pay $26M Because it Didn’t Let Workers Nap on Their Meal Breaks
A tired worker is a potentially unsafe worker. So, you’d think it’d be more important to have well rested employees than to be concerned about images of workers sleeping during their meal breaks. That’s what you’d think. But it took a multi-million dollar lawsuit for officials in Los Angeles to learn that lesson. L.A. officials had [...]
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