Shawn otto Shawn is the screenwriter and coproducer of the Oscar-nominated film House of Sand and Fog starring Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly. He has also written for several of film and TV’s top studios. A few years back he started Science Debate 08, an effort to get a real debate over science policy issues…

Do genes make you gay?

Of course they do. To the extent that genes make you anything in particular, though the role of genetics in human behavior is pretty limited. You’ve probably heard about the newly reported research in which a genetic link was found to homosexuality in a study of gay brothers. Kelly Servick has a good writeup on…

Trumpeter Swans At Risk

Please don’t shoot the swans. My new post at 10,000 birds is here.

The term “Polar Vortex” was thrown around a lot last year, in reference to the persistent mass of very cold air that enveloped much of southern Canada and the US. As you will remember, Rush Limbaugh accused climate scientists and librul meteorologists of making up the polar vortex to scare everyone into thinking climate change…

I just got this press release for the Texas Freedom Nettwork, passing the good news on to you: PUBLISHERS REMOVE CLIMATE CHANGE DENIALISM FROM TEXAS TEXTBOOKS; PUT EDUCATION AHEAD OF POLITICS Texas State Board of Education must still vote on adopting the revised textbooks FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 17, 2014 Publishers have agreed to correct…

Check out this new paper in the RNCSE, by John Abraham, John Fasullo, and Me.

Global Warming Means More Lightning

A new study just out in Science suggests that we will have an increase in lightning strikes of about 12 percent for every degree C of global warming. That could add up. From the abstract: Lightning plays an important role in atmospheric chemistry and in the initiation of wildfires, but the impact of global warming…

Warmest October On Record GISS NASA

The data for October has just been added to the NOAA GISS instrument record, which runs from 1880 to the present. October was the warmest on record, just beating out 2005. Overall, it is looking increasingly likely that 2014 will tie or beat the record for warmest year in the instrumental record, in terms of…

The Comet. It Sings!

Have you heard the comet singing? From the Rosetta Blog this press release: Rosetta’s Plasma Consortium (RPC) has uncovered a mysterious ‘song’ that Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is singing into space. RPC principal investigator Karl-Heinz Glaßmeier, head of Space Physics and Space Sensorics at the Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany, tells us more. Sound_comet2 Artist’s impression of the…