Archives for July, 2012

I am aware, painfully aware, of three separate instances of men acting inappropriately towards a woman that occurred to people I know over the last couple of months. [Trigger warning: Sexual harassment and rape] In once case, a man drove up to a woman who was just getting out of her car, in a relatively…

Curse the appearing ghost menus

Do you know what I’m talking about? They are everywhere. Here are a few places you can find them: In recent WordPress installs, in the comment management section, the menu that gives you “save, edit, spam” etc choices is invisible until you move your cursor near it. In Unity, all the menus are invisible until…

What is probably the worst power outage India’s history had has taken out electricity for fully half the country; This is apparently the “second outage” in two days. I’m not entirely sure how they count outages, however. I’m thinking it is more like a big giant outage that then got much smaller then got much…

Martian Landing Imminent

In just a few days, NASA will land one of the more amazing pieces of equipment ever sent into outer space on the Angry Red Planet. On August 5th, at about 10:31 Pacific Time, Curiosity will land on the surface of mars in one of the more spectacularly complex space engineering feats ever attempted. You…

American Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney says they are. (Which is funny because he’s Mexican, but whatever…) Speaking of the accomplishments of Israeli Jews in the middle east, Romney said “… I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things” including … business climate, … history of thriving in difficult circumstances and…

2012 Drought Update

The Drought of 2012 rivals the Great Dust Bowl years of the 30s and is coming at a time of melting arctic ice, shrinking ice sheets, and extreme events across the planet, matching the projections of Climate models for global warming.

Camp Quest is a summer camp for “freethinking” children (or, more accurately, children of “freethinking” parents). Depending on where in the US you live, summer camps for children may be very secular, very religious, in betweeen, or more or less oriented towards science and technology vs. sports and so on and so forth. There is…

This video looks at the scientific research to answer three basic questions: 1) Was the Medieval Warm Period global? 2) Was it warmer than today? 3) And what does this all mean anyway? I examine the internet feud over the hockey stick and the various myths and misinterpretations about the Medieval Warm Period that seem…

It is my understanding that brucellosis, a disease that affects humans, bison, cattle, and elk, is transmitted from Bison to other Bison or to other animals such as cattle via contact with fresh afterbirth. This makes it quite possible for Bison with the disease to infect cattle, but only under very specific conditions, but those…

Sex, Genes & Rock ‘n’ Roll

Skeptically Speaking #175: This week, it’s part one of a two-week focus on genetics. For our first installment, we’re looking at the ways that evolution might influence our modern lives, from obesity to overpopulation to heavy metal music. We spend the hour with Rob Brooks, Professor of Evolution and Director of the Evolution & Ecology…