Archives for February, 2012

Lucianne Walkowicz: Look up for a change

TED Fellow Lucianne Walkowicz asks: How often do you see the true beauty of the night sky? At TEDxPhoenix, she shows how light pollution is ruining the extraordinary — and often ignored — experience of seeing directly into space.

Waterworld Discovered in Space

… Well, everything is in space, but I mean outer space! Observations by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have come up with a new class of planet, a waterworld enshrouded by a thick, steamy atmosphere. It’s smaller than Uranus but larger than Earth. Zachory Berta of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and colleagues made the…

You know about the Heartland Strategy memo. It is one of several documents produced and used internally by the Heartland Institute, a minor Libertarian “Think” Tank, demonstrating some rather unsavory activities, which are now under preliminary investigation by the US Congress. The memo contains little that is not found in other documents already admitted by…

The Heartland Institute, a smallish Libertarian “Think” Tank recently made famous by the leak of a rather embarrassing set of incriminating documents, is now slated for investigation by the Congress of the United States. The chair and ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, Raul Grijavla, has initiated an investigation of Indur Goklany, an…

Faster Than Light Neutrinos Explained?

From Science Insider, there is a possible explanation for the recently observed “faster than light” neutrinos. The Neutrinos were clocked at faster-than-light speeds on their way form CRN in Switzerland to a detectors site in Italy. I had originally proposed that the neutrinos were merely very hungry but unwilling to eat Swiss food, and since…

Space Buckyballs

PASADENA, Calif. — Astronomers using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope have, for the first time, discovered buckyballs in a solid form in space. Prior to this discovery, the microscopic carbon spheres had been found only in gas form in the cosmos. Formally named buckministerfullerene, buckyballs are named after their resemblance to the late architect…

Who felt the earthquake?

Zombie Bill Reawakens in Oklahoma

A bill in Oklahoma that would, if enacted, encourage teachers to present the “scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses” of “controversial” topics such as “biological evolution” and “global warming” is back from the dead. Entitled the “Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act,” House Bill 1551 was introduced in the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2011 by…

Craft Beer is Good

Featuring my brother-in-law, Damion:

The best available evidence now suggests that the most damning of the “Heartland Documents” — the strategy memo which explicitly states that Heartland’s strategy is to interfere with good science education in order to advance their political agenda — is legitimate. The legitimacy of the document was being questioned because it was physically and stylistically…