Posts

July 22, 2014

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3:00 PM | Why a Bunch of Science Writers Are Writing About a Fictional Planet
Tatooine is a desert planet, home to Luke Skywalker and Jabba the Hutt, as well as a menagerie of large beasts: banthas and dewbacks, krayt dragons and sarlacci. Tatooine is also, of course, not a real place. Science writing aims to convey ideas, engaging and educating readers on topics from biology to astronomy. Because science writing is focused on real efforts to understand the real universe, you might reasonably ask why a collection of science writers have chosen to spend... Read more
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3:00 PM | Why a Bunch of Science Writers Are Writing About a Fictional Planet
Tatooine is a desert planet, home to Luke Skywalker and Jabba the Hutt, as well as a menagerie of large beasts: banthas and dewbacks, krayt dragons and sarlacci. Tatooine is also, of course, not a real place. Science writing aims to convey ideas, engaging and educating readers on topics from biology to astronomy. Because science writing is focused on real efforts to understand the real universe, you might reasonably ask why a collection of science writers have chosen to spend... Read more
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2:25 PM | True And False Discoveries: How To Tell Them Apart
Many new particles and other new physics signals claimed in the last twenty years were later proven to be spurious effects, due to background fluctuations or unknown sources of systematic error. The list is long, unfortunately - and longer than the list of particles and effects that were confirmed to be true by subsequent more detailed or more statistically-rich analysis. read more
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2:20 PM | Hello Wonderful World of SciLogs!
Hello science readers of the internet! (and to any others who are reading this--alien life forms, octopuses, small children--you are probably lost and have no idea what I'm talking about, but I hope you'll stick around to find out). My name is Maren. It's pronounced just like Karen, but with an 'M' instead of a 'K'. I am currently a student studying biology and environmental science, and I'm working toward a career in science writing and communications. Communicating scientific discoveries... […]
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2:09 PM | Kepler-421b: Transiting Exoplanet With Longest Known Year
Kepler-421b has been revealed as a transiting exoplanet with the longest known year - 704 days. For comparison, Mars orbits our Sun once every 780 days.  The farther a planet is from its star, the less likely it is to transit the star from Earth's point of view. It has to line up just right, and most of the 1,800-plus exoplanets discovered so far are much closer to their stars and have much shorter orbital periods. The host star, Kepler-421, is located about 1,000 light-years from […]
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1:30 PM | Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: Still an antivaccine crank after all these years
Only really long time readers will remember this, but back in the day (June 2005, to be exact), I discovered Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and his antivaccine nuttery when he published his epically bad piece of antivaccine conspiracy mongering, Deadly Immunity, both in Salon.com and Rolling Stone (the latter of which doubled down on it…
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1:15 PM | Mass disasters – Disaster Victim Identification
  In mass disasters, such as the MH17 ‘crash’, there are many bodies of victims often over a wide area to be recovered and identified.  This is a small look into the...
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12:30 PM | A Ray of Hope … from the past?
Some good news from The New Yorker this week… First, the (nearly) nonagenarian magazine is opening up a large part of its archives to non-subscribers. A look into this library can be found here. Second, Andy Borowitz reports that once, this nation actually believed in science. That’s right, these United States supported and the advancement of […]
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12:13 PM | Foreskins used for witchcraft in Zimbabwe?
This is the weirdest excuse for banning circumcision I’ve ever heard. The foreskins can be used in witchcraft to make charms. A senator in Zimbabwe wants the government to outlaw the circumcision of children until the age of 18 so that they could make their own decisions concerning the procedure. She is using a unique… Source: Doubtful News
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12:01 PM | EINSTEIN! Still the Champion… Of Physics! Episode 62 by...
EINSTEIN! Still the Champion… Of Physics! Episode 62 by Scott Unger (Click here to directly access the MP3) (Access the full text transcript) Gravitational Lensing - the Gravity of the galaxy in the middle is bending the light from farther away around it - allowing observers from Earth to focus on the far-away celestial bodies. Einstein. One of the biggest minds science has ever known and arguably the most important scientist to the advancement of our understanding of the universe the […]
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11:25 AM | Parkinson's enhances creativity
Parkinson's enhances creativity 22 July 2014 A study featured on the Mail Online found that people with Parkinson's may be more creative than those without the condition. This post has been generated by Page2RSS
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10:31 AM | The Transcripts of Venus
My lover Venus and I were sitting on our front porch, enjoying a gin and tonic and staring at the sky, when we saw a small speck moving across the face of the sun. I didn’t think much of it at the time. However, later that evening, the two of us were watching the evening […]The post The Transcripts of Venus appeared first on HeadStuff.
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10:30 AM | Virtual Steak: Beef Is 10X More Environmentally Costly Than Other Meat, Says Study
Easy metrics like 'it takes a gallon of gas to make a pound of beef' or 'it takes 140 liters of water to make a cup of coffee' get mainstream media because they are outrageous. They are outrageous because they are completely wrong. What is the 'real' cost of eating beef? Are the other animal or animal-derived foods better or worse? read more
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9:46 AM | 20 Feet from Stardom | Review
There are many, many documentaries worth watching, thousands in fact, dating all the way back to the end of the 19th century when the Lumiere Brothers, Auguste and Louis, decided to point their cameras at the normal, press record and see what happened. What happened over the following hundred and twenty years is a movement […]The post 20 Feet from Stardom | Review appeared first on HeadStuff.
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8:20 AM | Campamentos Científicos “Expedición Ciencia” (Argentina)
Abrió la convocatoria para “Expedición Ciencia 2015” (ExpC 2015), campamentos científicos para jóvenes curiosos. ExpC se trata de un proyecto educativo para estudiantes que busca estimular vocaciones científicas. Los campamentos están organizados por la asociación civil Expedición Ciencia, formada por científicos, educadores, y estudiantes apasionados por la ciencia, la educación y la vida al aire libre. […]
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8:00 AM | Mammoth And Mastodon Weren't So Nomadic
Mammoths and mastodons, the famously fuzzy relatives of elephants that lived in the American midwest, weren't as nomadic as previously believed – or Cincinnati was just a great place to be at the end of the last ice age. A study led by Brooke Crowley, an assistant professor of geology and anthropology at the University of  Cincinnati, shows the ancient proboscideans enjoyed the area so much they likely were year-round residents and not nomadic migrants as previously […]
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8:00 AM | Zoned Out
There a few moments in your childhood that stick with you the rest of your life. I don’t mean first kiss, prom, or that time you punched Kelly Weir in the stomach for stealing your bike (believe me, he had it coming). Those are big moments. I mean the little things – the things that […]
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7:28 AM | Peter Agre: “Malaria is my new adventure!”
Peter Agre devotes one third of his year to field work in Southern Africa, the rest of his time he spends in the lab to combat malaria. After winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2003, Peter Agre returned to his former passion haematology: He has been director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute […]
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7:00 AM | Natural Fluctuation: Global Warming 'Pause' Since 1998 Explained
Statistical analysis of average global temperatures between 1998 and 2013 shows that the slowdown in global warming during this period is consistent with natural variations in temperature, according to research by McGill University physics professor Shaun Lovejoy. In a new paper, Lovejoy concludes that a natural cooling fluctuation during this period largely masked the warming effects of a continued increase in man-made emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.  read mor
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6:37 AM | Links
Lasciate ogni le parentesi graffe, voi ch’entrate! “That isn’t the worst idea you’ve ever told me.” “Thanks.” “And that wasn’t necessarily a compliment.” A basket of whatfruit [1] via [2] When therapists fail to understand bisexuality Wiping out mosquitoes by making them all male Shermer rides again! Harvard digital repository draws millions of readers Sins […]
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6:30 AM | Probiotics Linked To Improved Blood Pressure - Review
Eating probiotics regularly may modestly improve your blood pressure, according to a new review of none studies examining blood pressure and probiotic consumption in 543 adults with normal and elevated blood pressure. Probiotics are live microorganisms naturally occurring bacteria in the gut thought to have beneficial effects; they have recently been a nutrition trend and common sources are yogurt or dietary supplements. read more
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5:44 AM | 100 Locations In Human Genome Associated With Schizophrenia
Researchers have helped identify over 100 locations in the human genome associated with the risk of developing schizophrenia, in what is the largest genomic study published on any psychiatric disorder to date. The findings point to biological mechanisms and pathways that may underlie schizophrenia, and could lead to new approaches to treating the disorder, which hasn't made much scientific progress in the last 60 years. read more
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4:50 AM | Shifts In Algorithm Design
How to find approximate page rank fast, among other things Jennifer Chayes is the current director of a research lab in Cambridge—that is Cambridge Massachusetts—for a company called Microsoft. She is famous for her own work in many areas of theory, including phase transitions of complex systems. She is also famous for her ability to […]
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4:06 AM | Pregnant and puffing on a smoke
Norwegian research shows that one out of four female smokers in Europe continue to smoke cigarettes during their pregnancies. Vivid differences are seen among
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3:59 AM | The Strange remains the same for 21 July 2014
Monday is like a math problem. Add the irritation, subtract the sleep, multiply the problems, divide the happiness. ~Unknown Robert Kennedy Jr.’s belief in autism-vaccine connection, and its political peril – The Washington Post. Student filmmakers find themselves drawn into the vaccine/autism fray – LA Times. Sixth-Grader’s Science Fair Finding Shocks Ecologists : NPR. Creationist… Source: Doubtful News
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3:46 AM | Vaccine denialists, climate denialists: When should journalists report what they're saying?
Keith Kloor's interesting piece in The Washington Post Magazine on Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s anti-vaccine crusade includes this interesting fact: "All six of his children--ages 13-29--have been fully vaccinated." That's a bit of a surprise in the family of man who is probably second only to the sometime actress Jenny McCarthy in the zeal with which he has attacked vaccines. But it doesn't seem to have dampened Kennedy's anti-vaccine efforts. The issue concerns a mercury-containing preservative […]
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3:46 AM | A question reporters forgot to ask scientist about natural arches.
An arch is such a sturdy way to include a window or door in a stone wall with no beam-like lintel across its top, or to stack rocks in a way that they'll stay up with nothing directly holding them from underneath.  But putting one together is an art. It has to have a support system until it is done, a keystone wedged into the peak. This week some kinds of natural arches are in the news. A roundup of media coverage follows. But first an explanation what leads me to see how reporters handled […]
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1:03 AM | Book Review – The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution
If I’ve been posting a lot of book reviews lately, it’s due to the long, lazy days of summer and the fortuitous proximity of the Campbell County Public Library. But I’ve been trying to keep my reading list on the somewhat enlightening side, and to that end, I recently picked up “The Greatest Show on […]
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1:01 AM | Beware of scams regarding the victims of flight MH17
This excellent consumer warnings website out of Australia warns of fraudulent activity online surrounding information on the MH17 tragedy – dubious ads, malware and fake charities. Beware of scammers taking advantage of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 tragedy. Scammers have set up false Facebook profiles for Australian victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 tragedy… Source: Doubtful News
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1:00 AM | NASA Is Seeking Help In Potentially Finding Life On Jupiter’s Moon Europa (Video)
NASA is confident that underneath Jupiter’s moon Europa there could be more water than in our oceans here on Earth. So naturally, Europa has attracted a lot of attention, encouraging the curious to ask, “Could there be life on Europa?”. Currently, NASA is aiming to send a new mission to Europa by 2025. The White House’s […]
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