Archives for December, 2011

I mention the New Hampshire anti-evolution bills at The X Blog. Here’s an update from the NCSE:

GRAIL closing in on Moon

The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, which will neither be recovering gravity or being inside the moon but “GRAIL” apparently sounds good, is coming into Lunar Orbit as I write this. As you know from watching Apollo 13 the travel distance to or back from the moon is a matter of several days … Apollo…

How to be a better octopus

Wow. Wow again. Good show, octopus!

You may have noticed very little activity on this blog (and other Scienceblogs) over the last few days. We had a technical difficulty somewhere around the Christmas. What happened was our main communication antenna was sheered off by an unidentified flying object. After the reindeer and elf parts were removed, it was discovered that a…

The presumption being examined here is that humans are divisible into different groups (races would be one term for those groups) that are genetically distinct from one another in a way that causes those groups to have group level differences in average intelligence, as measured by IQ. More exactly, this post is about the sequence…

Me too. But in the old days, they made them to last, even if they were stuck in your stomach for 25 years!

How To Use Linux

This is a rewrite and amalgamation, into one post, of a series of earlier posts written for non-geeks just starting out with Linux. The idea is to provide the gist, a few important facts, and some fun suggestions, slowly and easily. At some level all operating systems are the same, but in some ways that…

Building a better rocket ship

SpaceX CEO & CTO Elon Musk discusses the difficulty of making a reusable rocket. Filmed at The National Press Club.

Namibian Mystery

A strange 1.1 meter circumfrence hollow metallic ball appears to have fallen from space, or somewhere, onto Namibia. The pertinent facts:

Galaxy from distant past is very fertile

The farther away you look, the farther back in time you see. So, GN-108036, a galaxy spotted by NASA’s Spitzer and Hubble scopes, is 12.9 billion light-years away, and thus, about 12.9 billion years ago (not counting adjustments for cosmic expansion). It turns out that GN-108036 is producing stars at the rate of about 100…