Greg Laden's Blog

Archives for November, 2015

Important Thanksgiving Information

First and foremost, depending on when you are reading this, TAKE THE TURKEY OUT OF THE FREEZER. But seriously, Thanksgiving is, to me, one of the more interesting holidays. It is a “feast.” You knew that already, but what you may not have known is that “feasting” is a human activity found world wide and…

STEM Kids Holiday Presents Ideas

I know a lot of you are looking for ideas for science-related children’s presents for Christmas or whatever holiday you like to celebrate this time of year. I have a couple of ideas, and hopefully you will add some of your ideas below. Not everything that helps encourage the skills of scientific tinkering is found…

I’m not going to say that Ron Howard is old or anything, but he isn’t Opie any more. (And, in fact, it has been fascinating and inspiring to watch his career, by the way.) Anyway, Howard produced a new documentary with National Geographic called “Breakthrough: The Age of Aging, which premieres Sunday, November 29 at…

A few days ago a team of climate scientists (Catherine Ritz, Tamsin Edwards, Gaël Durand, Antony Payne, Vincent Peyaud, and Richard Hindmarsh) published a study of “Potential sea-level rise from Antarctic ice-sheet instability constrained by observations.” The study asked how much Antarctic ice sheets might contribute to global sea level by 2100 and 2200 AD.…

Record daily high and low temperatures happen now and then at a give weather station. In a normal, stable climate the number of record highs and record lows should be about even. But with human-caused global warming, record highs are expected to be more common than record lows. And they are. Climate Nexus has this…

In 1817, Karl August Weinhold had a go at a real-life Frankenstein’s monster — only in his version he uses a cat. The German scooped out the brain and spinal cord of a recently dead cat. He then pured a molten mixture of zinc and silver into the skull and spinal cavity. He was attempting…

Happy Anniversary Exoplanets

This month is the twentieth anniversary of the discovery of exoplanets, which are really just planets that are not in our solar system. (Frankly, I dislike the term exoplanet. It is so solarcentric.) When you think about it, the discovery of planets outside our solar system (we need a word for that) is a special…

Albert Einstein finished up his General Theory of Relativity in November, 1915, 100 years ago. Because we use Base 10, this is significant. General Relativity ties together curvature in spacetime with the energy and momentum of matter and radiation. This has a lot to do with gravity. Einstein himself wrote the book on General Relativity,…

Mike Haubrich and I are developing a science oriented podcasting effort. It will be called “Ikonokast” (all the good names, like “The New York Times” and “Apple” were taken). We decided to enhance the podcast with a WordPress based blog site, perhaps with each page representing one podcast, and containing backup and supplementary information. Here…

NOAA: October Warmest On Record

NOAA has just followed JMA and NASA in reporting on October’s average global surface temperature. The surface temperature is the combination of thermometer-at-head-height data and sea surface temperatures, averaged out for the planet. Several groups track this data, and though there is much overlap in the instruments used, each group has its own way of…