Archives for February 26, 2011

How old is the earth, and how do we know?

How old is the earth? Short answer: 4,540,000,00/H30 Earth-years, plus or minus 1%. Long answer: We don’t know exactly because direct dating of the earliest material on the surface of the Earth will only tell use a minimum age; Prior to that, the Earth’s surface was probably molten, and even after that, it may be…

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Justin Bieber’s New Haircut

Many years ago, during The Roe v. Wade Fight (Part II: The Rise of the Right Wing Yahoos) a student came to me and asked for a break because she wanted to join a bus full of Brandeis students heading down to DC to protest stuff. I told her not to worry about the quiz…

How to communicate with your teenager

First of all, it is not “your teenager” and if that is how you view the teenager, you’ve totally lost. Second, remember the ultimate truth that you knew when you were a teenager and that “your” teenager knows now: Teenagers know things that adults don’t understand. Most adults think this is something you “grow out…

Is the yellowstone caldera safe?

Not long after Yellowstone Park was officially created, a small group of campers were killed by Nez Perce Indians on the run from US troops1. More recently, the last time I was in the area, a ranger was killed by a Grizzly Bear (so was his horse) on the edge of the park. A quick…