July 02, 2014

9:12 AM | My camera took me for a walk last evening.
Filed under: Opinions
4:32 AM | Let’s Try “Sense Based Safety”
I belong to 50 LinkedIn groups and I am active in each of them. They range from groups catering to trainers and industrial designers to those focusing on specific industries in which I work. The vast majority of those groups have one thing or another to do with worker safety. Each day my [...]
3:33 AM | Poll: Public wants stiffer penalties for texting while driving
Driving? Put down the phone – or else. That sums up public sentiment about texting while driving, according to a new public opinion poll from the National Safety Council (NSC). The new poll shows 73% of respondents think there should be more enforcement of texting while driving laws; only 22% said the current level of enforcement [...]
3:29 AM |
“These arguments are not those of serious people.” Judge John G Hayburn II
3:27 AM | July Open Thread
Anything goes. Suggested topic: if energy storage prices come down far enough, is carbon-fueled electricity a dead business model?
3:22 AM | Worker Killed By 2 Tons of Falling Glass
An employee of a window company in Colorado was crushed to death by a falling crate of glass. Local rescue officials say the employee of Manko Window Systems in Aurora, CO, was helping unload wooden crates of glass at the business when the 4,000-pound load fell on top of him. The man was pronounced dead at [...]
2:59 AM | 2014 Trucking Accident Compilation
Related Training DVDs: Hours of Service Driver Training Program – DVD Training Kit Covers the new Hours-of-Service rules drivers must comply with as of February 27, 2012 and July 1, 2013. View Product Driving Safety Training Video Provide the information employees need to drive cars, vans and small trucks safely, both on [...]

July 01, 2014

4:35 PM | Why I moved out of WordPress
My first blog was on, with which I shared an uneasy relationship mostly because I was 14 years old then. Later, I switched to and have had no reason to look back in the six or seven years since… until now. In this time, both WordPress and I have come a long way but in obviously […]
4:13 PM | Climate science literacy, critical reasoning, and independent thinking ...
Who you are, not what you know...My new paper, “Climate Science Communication and the Measurement Problem,” features a “climate science literacy” (CSL) measure.  I’ve posted bits & pieces of the paper & described some of the data it contains.  But I really haven’t discussed in the blog what I regard as most important thing about the CSL results.  This has to do with the relationship between the CSL scores, critical reasoning, and […]
2:38 PM | CSF continues to press for human spaceflight export rule changes
The mid-May publication of the “draft final” export control rule for satellites and related components largely brought the saga of export control reform to an end, with the exception of a few loose ends, such as aperture limits for remote sensing systems. The administration’s decision was a major, but not complete, victory for the space [...]
9:03 AM | Lost in translation: the impact of medical jargon on patient-centred care
In the days before BuzzFeed, amusing adverts snapped abroad by would-be photojournalists were a staple of email circulars. Who could forget the Chinese KFC ad that translated “finger-lickin’ good” to “eat your fingers off”, or the Italian campaign for “Schweppes toilet water”? Of course, you don’t have to go overseas to be met with mutual more
7:00 AM | Paper in ACM TOCE: “Restart: The Resurgence of Computer Science in UK Schools”
Further to the previous CAS papers, Neil Brown (University of Kent), Sue Sentance (formerly Anglia Ruskin University, now CAS), Simon Humphreys (CAS/BCS) and I have had a paper accepted into ACM Transactions on Computing Education: Restart: The Resurgence of Computer Science in UK Schools, part of a Special Issue on Computing Education in (K-12) Schools. […]
12:01 AM | Croatia’s science one year into its EU membership: Q&A with EC’s Tania Friederichs
Today marks the first anniversary of Croatia becoming the 28th member state of the European Union (EU) on 1 July 2013. Despite progress in science and a good performance in drawing on EU framework programme (FP7) grants, Croatia's research policy and funding landscape leaves much to be desired. The reforms have been slow to kick in and funding has been stagnating. I recently spoke about the challenges to Croatia's science with Tania Friederichs, policy officer for research and innovation […]

June 30, 2014

9:47 PM | 99% of the Ocean’s Plastic is Missing. Did Fish Eat It?
Science reports: Millions of tons. That’s how much plastic should be floating in the world’s oceans, given our ubiquitous use of the stuff. But a new study finds that 99% of this plastic is missing. One disturbing possibility: Fish are eating it. If that’s the case, “there is potential for this plastic to enter the global ocean food web,” says Carlos Duarte, an oceanographer at the University of Western Australia, Crawley. [more]
1:16 PM | Are judges biased? Or is everyone else? Some conjectures
I had some email correspondence with John Callender & it seemed like reproducting it would be a fitting way to mark the end of the U.S. Supreme Court's "OT '13" Term. John writes: I may be misinterpreting your views or applying them incorrectly. But I've been struck by your recent writings on the pernicious role of cultural meanings in individuals' attempts to assess expert knowledge when evaluating risk, and as a result I end up seeing that phenomenon in lots of other places. Most […]
9:59 AM | Inspecting nuclear warheads like they were passwords
Nuclear weapon inspectors have a weighty but tricky job. An inspecting state relies on them to verify if a weapon is a nuclear warhead, but the state whose weapons are being inspected doesn’t want to divulge too much information about the weapon’s design or performance. As David Cliff, a researcher at the Verification Research, Training and Information Center, […]
8:02 AM | A gamma ray telescope at Hanle: A note
A gammy ray telescope is set to come up at Hanle, Ladakh, in 2015 and start operations in 2016. Hanle was one of the sites proposed to install a part of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, too. A survey conducted in the 1980s and 90s threw up Hanle as a suitable site to host telescopes because […]
7:35 AM | Did Facebook cheat us?
No. There were some good arguments on this topic, swinging between aesthetic rebuttals to logical deconstructions. Here are four I liked: 1. Tal Yarkoni, Director of the Psychoinformatics Lab at University of Texas, Austin, writes on his blog, “… it’s worth keeping in mind that there’s nothing intrinsically evil about the idea that large corporations might be trying […]
6:47 AM | Paper at HCII 2014: “Changing Faces: Identifying Complex Behavioural Profiles”
In June, my colleague Giles Oatley presented a joint paper entitled: Changing Faces: Identifying Complex Behavioural Profiles at HCII 2014, the 16th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction in Crete. If you do not have institutional access to SpringerLink, especially the Lecture Notes in Computer Science series, you can download our pre-print. The abstract is as […]
3:05 AM | Science Quiz – June 30, 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. A team of Scottish scientists announced the discovery of the world’s oldest animal-built _____ in Africa in the week of June 23. According to […]

June 29, 2014

2:30 AM | Looking for life? Look for pollution.
Four-thousand years on Earth and we’ve a lot of dirt to show for it. Why would an advanced alien civilization be any different? That’s the motivation that three astrophysicists from Harvard University have used to determine that powerful telescopes could look for signs of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in alien atmospheres as signs of alien civilization. “If the civilization reaches an industrial revolution similar to

June 28, 2014

8:56 PM | Report: Belarus science funding goals ‘remain elusive’
The Belarus government's plans to boost science funding "remain elusive", while basic research and the number of scientists are being eroded by the financial crisis, according to a recent recent report by the Belarusian Institute of System Analysis and Information Support of Scientific and Technical Sphere.  The country's science could benefit from more international cooperation, from which much of the research funds come, but policies to boost such collaboration with key regional […]
5:36 PM | Weekend update: Debate heats up on impact of melting north pole on sea level rise!
Holy smokes! NOAA has been prevailed upon to reverse its previous position on whether the melting of the  North Pole icecap will affect sea levels! Until yesterday, the position of the agency, as least as reflected in its "Arctic Theme Page FAQ," was, "No":   Well, after I suggested that anyone of the 14 billion regular readers of this blog who disagreed w/ me that seal levels wouldn't rise should "take it up with NOAA," someone apparently did -- & got the agency to […]
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