Humanities

A few years back, I became aware of Mike Brotherton’s Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop, and said “somebody should do this for quantum physics.” At the time, I wasn’t in a position to do that, but in the interim, the APS Outreach program launched the Public Outreach and Informing the Public Grant program, providing smallish grants…

  New research from the University of Lincoln, UK suggests that cats may prefer to find food using their eyes as opposed to their nose. The preference for vision vs. smell was tested in 6 cats placed in a maze that required cats to make decisions about which way to go based on either images or smells.…

History, art and prevention: European workplace safety posters

An historical collection of workplace safety posters from European agencies and advocates cover themes that are still relevant today.

Celebrities and Attention Police

While I’m running unrelated articles head-on into each other, two other things that caught my eye recently were Sabine Hossenfelder’s thoughts on scientific celebrities (taking off from Lawrence Krauss’s defense of same) and Megan Garber’s piece on “attention policing”, spinning off that silliness about a badly exposed photo of a dress that took the Internet…

OK, I admit the title of this post is possibly a bit extreme but I could not resist the symmetry. Here, I refer to both ends of civilization, the start and the finish. I’d like to talk about a recent review published in Science, titled “Systems integration for global sustainability” written by my colleague Peter…

“An ancestor of mine maintained that when you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” -Mr. Spock, Star Trek Sometimes the truth is hard to handle on its own, so we resort to fiction to make it a little easier to swallow. Have a listen to Summer Fiction’s song, By The Sea,…

Back on Thursday when I was waiting to be annoyed by a speech, one of the ways I passed time was reading stuff on my phone, which included This Grantland piece about Charles Barkley and “advanced stats”. In it, Bryan Curtis makes the argument that while Barkley’s recent comments disparaging statistical tools seem at first…

Leonard Nimoy Has Died

Sad news: Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83. His wife,…

I really never thought of spiders as being “pretty” until I came across these two new species of peacock spiders discovered in southeast Queensland, Australia by Madeline Girard (graduate student from the University of California, Berkeley, who is specializing in peacock spiders). Peacock spiders are not only beautiful, they also engage in elaborate dances during…

“Established by the state.” Those are the four words at the center of an upcoming Supreme Court case that could strip affordable health insurance coverage from millions of working families and result in billions of dollars in uncompensated care costs.