Posts

July 21, 2014

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3:00 AM | Science Quiz – July 21, 2014
Every week, I create a science quiz for The Hindu newspaper’s In School product. It consists of 10 questions and only developments from the week preceding its day of publication (Monday). The answers are at the end. (This week’s quiz…Read more ›

July 20, 2014

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7:37 PM | My New Favorite Mayor…
…would be Her Honor Kimberley Driscoll, chief executive of the town of Salem, MA, now caught up in a  dispute with Gordon College.   Gordon is a Christian school with an educational mission it describes thusly: “The best foundation for Christian higher education is the narrative of Scripture, and the goal of Christian higher learning is love—for both God and […]
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6:02 PM | Senators debate RD-180 replacement, EELV competition
A hearing several days ago held jointly by subcommittees of the Senate Commerce Committee and Senate Armed Services Committee on space access issues covered two of the key issues facing that topic in recent months: developing a domestic replacement for the RD-180 and competition for Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) missions. However, members showed little [...]
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9:07 AM | Curious Bends – Delhi’s pollution, faked data, AIDS epidemic and more
1. The puzzle of Delhi’s air pollution Delhi has the world’s worst ambient air quality. In the decade since a chunk of its public transport moved to using compressed natural gas from petroleum, the problem has devolved into other socioeconomic…Read more ›
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4:06 AM | Early morning pigeon-sighting
Filed under: Opinions

July 18, 2014

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5:11 PM | At Future Space, members of Congress discuss future of space legislation
On Thursday, the Future Space Leaders Foundation held Future Space 2014, a conference oriented primarily to students and young professionals to discuss “cross-cutting issues” in space. The event included talks by four members of House, who discussed a range of issues about civil, commercial, and military space policy. Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS), chairman of the [...]
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12:49 PM | A thicker crust on Vesta questions how it was baked
Billing its mission as a journey to the beginning of the Solar System, the NASA Dawn probe has revealed more information about the asteroid Vesta that has scientists both eager and cautious about what they have learned. The second largest…Read more ›
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7:39 AM | Back Safety Infographic: Heavy Lifting
// Popup window code function newPopup(url) { popupWindow = window.open( url,'popUpWindow','height=500,width=800,left=10,top=10,resizable=yes,scrollbars=yes,toolbar=yes,menubar=no,location=no,directories=no,status=yes') }   To embed this infographic on your site, simply copy and paste the code below. We ask that you please include a short introduction to the infographic that includes a link back to our home page. See this example here. Get our latest infographics via Twitter! […]
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6:19 AM | Workplace PPE Infographic: PPE – The Basics
// Popup window code function newPopup(url) { popupWindow = window.open( url,'popUpWindow','height=500,width=800,left=10,top=10,resizable=yes,scrollbars=yes,toolbar=yes,menubar=no,location=no,directories=no,status=yes') }   To embed this infographic on your site, simply copy and paste the code below. We ask that you please include a short introduction to the infographic that includes a link back to our home page. See this example here. Get our latest infographics via Twitter! […]
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5:25 AM | JHA Infographic: Job Hazard Analysis
// Popup window code function newPopup(url) { popupWindow = window.open( url,'popUpWindow','height=500,width=800,left=10,top=10,resizable=yes,scrollbars=yes,toolbar=yes,menubar=no,location=no,directories=no,status=yes') }   To embed this infographic on your site, simply copy and paste the code below. We ask that you please include a short introduction to the infographic that includes a link back to our home page. See this example here. Get our latest infographics via Twitter! […]

July 17, 2014

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10:30 PM | Call for Applications: 2nd edition of the South East European Science Journalism Workshop (Deadline: 18 August 2014)
From UNESCO and Balkan School of Science Journalism: "The UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), is pleased to announce that the 2nd edition of the specialized South East European (SEE) regional workshop on science journalism will be conducted from 19 to 22 September 2014 in Podgorica, Montenegro, during the Open Science Festival. The relationship between science and society can be challenging. Linking science to society, improving public understanding of […]

July 16, 2014

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7:38 PM | NASA, members of Congress make case for Europa mission
As NASA released a call for proposals for instruments that could fly on a future robotic mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa, some key members of Congress expressed support Tuesday for flying such a mission sooner rather than later. “This is a wonderful crowd,” said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Science Committee, at [...]
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3:41 PM | Measuring "ordinary science intelligence": a look under the hood of OSI_2.0
As the 12 billion readers of this blog (we are down 2 billion, apparently because we’ve been blocked in the Netherlands Antilles & Macao. . .) know, I have been working on & reporting various analyses involving an “ordinary science intelligence” (OSI) science-comprehension measure. Indeed, one post describing how it relates to political outlooks triggered some really weird events—more than once in fact! But in any case, I’ve now assembled a set of […]
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2:28 PM | July 2014 NEW RELEASE: Pallet Jack Safety Training Video by JJ Keller
JJ Keller has just released a brand new training video for Pallet Jack operators. It’s available in DVD and online training format. Check it out! Most employers provide only basic forklift training to pallet jack operators. Given that pallet jack operators are frequently getting on and off the machine, there are some important subtleties that need [...]
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11:56 AM | House members press NASA for information on “epidemic of anomalies” with SpaceX missions
Three members of Congress from Alabama and Colorado have asked NASA to provide information on what they receive to be an “epidemic of anomalies” on missions performed by SpaceX. “Recent news reports have shown that an epidemic of anomalies have occurred during SpaceX launches or launch attempts,” write Reps. Mo Brooks (R-AL), Mike Coffman (R-CO), [...]
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3:30 AM | Hinterland
I hate travelling. But don’t confuse that with going to new places and meeting new people. I don’t mind that. What I dislike is catching a train or a flight and mingling with other people on the move, in train stations and airports, while waiting for cabs and on the way to wherever I’m going. […]
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2:55 AM | Does Your Drug Policy Refer to “illegal drugs”? It May Need To Be Changed
Availability of legal, recreational pot in Washington state is a big change. What hasn’t changed is employers’ ability to test their employees for marijuana use. Even so, employers should check their drug policies in light of the new pot law. Drug testing that includes marijuana is still legal for Washington employers. The new weed law [...]
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2:37 AM | Production vs. Safety: Sugar Plant Removed Safety Device 13 Days before Temp Worker’s Death
This story was done in collaboration with Univision. Inside the sugar plant in Fairless Hills, Pa., nobody could find Janio Salinas, a 50-year-old temp worker from just over the New Jersey border. Throughout the morning, Salinas and a handful of other workers had been bagging mounds of sugar for a company that supplies the makers of Snapple [...]
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1:19 AM | But We’ve Always Done it This Way: Top Ten List
What does that really mean? Perhaps you just asked a question at a committee meeting. The room went silent and at least one person pointedly explained to you that “We’ve always done it this way”. The rest of the group either chimed in or nodded their heads in arrogant approval. Some might even have glanced at [...]
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12:56 AM | No Escape: Dangers of Confined Spaces
Related Confined Space Training DVDs: Confined Space Entry Training Video Address the major areas of employee training required by the regulation. View Product Confined Space Entry A Retraining Program Video or DVD Gives employees the information they need to refresh their knowledge of OSHA’s Confined Space regulation. View Product HAZWOPER [...]

July 15, 2014

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11:38 PM | Bosnia and Herzegovina gets yet another ethnic science academy: a (second) Croatian one
Academies of science and arts have a long history of being intertwined with political and religious issues, and this is perhaps nowhere as evident as in the troubled Balkans - the meeting place of Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim faiths, where many ethnicities lay claim to the land. I wrote about some of the issues surrounding science academies as proxies to nation-state building in Science a couple of years ago, when new Roma and Bosniak (Muslim) academies were being set up.... Read more
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3:19 PM | DOD official defends EELV block buy, endorses launch competition
While the Senate gears up for a joint hearing Wednesday on space access, some members of the House Armed Services Committee used a July 10 hearing on Defense Department acquisitions issues to grill a top Pentagon official on the topic of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) “We don’t seem to be as encouraging of [...]
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12:30 PM | "Bounded rationality": the Grigori Rasputin of explanations for public perceptions of climate change risk
Another excerpt from Climate Science Communication and the Measurement Problem.  4.  Is identity-protective cognition irrational? The idea that “disbelief” in global warming is attributable to low “science literacy” is not the only explanation for public conflict over climate change that fails to survive an encounter with actual evidence. The same is true for the proposition that such controversy is a consequence of “bounded rationality.” Indeed, […]
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8:36 AM | Keeping Cochrane reviews up-to-date
The Cochrane Collaboration is an organisation that conducts systematic reviews of healthcare interventions.  The idea is that they are updated periodically (every 2 years) so that they provide the best evidence on what works and what doesn’t. After 21 years of existence, the Cochrane Library now holds over 6000 reviews by some 20,000 volunteer authors.  ...read more

July 14, 2014

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12:24 PM | Plagiarism is plagiarism
In a Nature article, Praveen Chaddah argues that textual plagiarism entails that the offending paper only carry a correction and not be retracted because that makes the useful ideas and results in the paper unavailable. On the face of it, this is an argument that draws a distinction between the writing of a paper and the production of its technical…Read more Plagiarism is plagiarism

July 13, 2014

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8:28 PM | Conference report – SAPC 2014
For those who were unable to make it to Edinburgh for the 43rd annual conference of the Society of Academic Primary Care (9th – 11th July), here is my round-up of highs, lows, and (most importantly) the best and worst céilidh dancers at the conference dinner… As ever with national conferences, SAPC 2014 offered a ...read more

July 11, 2014

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6:05 PM | Denial in Miami and Other Threatened Arreas
The Guardian has an article on sea level rise with a focus on the reality-defying real estate boom in Miami and coastal Florida. It is striking but not surprising. Because of decisions made in a stable climate, the presence of denial in threatened areas is economically rational. [more]

July 10, 2014

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10:52 PM | Legislation seeks to promote use of asteroid resources
A bill introduced Thursday by two members of the House Science Committee seeks to promote commercial asteroid ventures, including securing property rights for resources extracted from asteroids by American companies. The American Space Technology for Exploring Resource Opportunities in Deep Space (ASTEROIDS) Act of 2014, HR 5063, was introduced Thursday by Reps. Bill Posey (R-FL) [...]
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5:24 PM | Billow clouds, shocked streams & shedding eddies
I flew from Bangalore to Delhi on Tuesday. The flight was early in the day, at 6, and so I had the wonderful opportunity to watch a sunrise from above a sea of clouds. One very beautiful sight was the presence of…Read more ›
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1:57 PM | NASA CFO’s Energy Department nomination withdrawn
The White House has withdrawn the nomination of NASA’s current chief financial officer (CFO) to a position at the Energy Department. In a press release Wednesday, The White House said it was withdrawing Beth Robinson’s nomination to be Under Secretary of Energy, nearly a year after first announcing the nomination. No reason was given [...]
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