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The Comet. It Sings!

Have you heard the comet singing? From the Rosetta Blog this press release: Rosetta’s Plasma Consortium (RPC) has uncovered a mysterious ‘song’ that Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is singing into space. RPC principal investigator Karl-Heinz Glaßmeier, head of Space Physics and Space Sensorics at the Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany, tells us more. Sound_comet2 Artist’s impression of the…

See here to see why you might want to install the Mate flavor of Ubuntu 14.10. Then, install it and consider doing these things. Get your system up to date. Yes, yes, you just installed it but that install image was old(ish). Update and upgrade now: First, you probably want to open the Software Center,…

Sad news today: Tom Magliozzi, one of Cambridge Massachusetts greatest gifts to public radio (and Cambridge has given a LOT of gifts to public radio) died today. Car talk was, verily, one of the best things ever. I have one Car Talk story and this is as good a time as any to tell it.…

Arctic Sea Ice Extent

Arctic Sea Ice extent continues to be a problem. This year, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, ARctic Sea ice reached its lowest extent this year on September 17th, which is about the sixth lowest extent on record, following a multi-year trend of decline. There is variation from year to year. This…

Sins of Our Fathers, by Shaw Otto, is coming out shortly but can be preordered. JW, protagonist, is a flawed hero. He is not exactly an anti-hero because he is not a bad guy, though one does become annoyed at where he places his values. As his character unfolds in the first several chapters of…

A small piece of interplanetary fiction

that I wrote is here.

How smart are parrots?

Parrots are smarter than Nebo the dog “Nebo.” The dog’s name came from the direction of the enclosed front porch of the tin-roofed concrete block home of my friend Bwana Ndege, in Isiro, Zaire. “Nebo.” It sounded like an older woman, a somewhat crackly voice, insistent. “Nebo. Kuya. Nebo.” The old woman was calling the…

How many lakes are there?

How many lakes are there? We don’t actually know. Lakes are often undercounted, or small lakes ignored, in larger scale geophysical surveys. It is hard to count the small lakes, or in some cases, even to define them. A recent study (published in Geophysical Research Letters) examines this question. We want to know how many…

Atlantic Hurricane Gonzalo is a Major Hurricane, Category 3 at the moment, and it is heading towards Bermuda. The storm will weaken a little bit before getting there but it will still be major. This is a significant event. It is possible that a storm surge of about 10 feet could occur there. Gonzales will…

Given the current and developing situation in Dallas, where two health workers have become infected with Ebola while caring for a patient, it is reasonable to ask if health workers might decide to call in sick for a few months until this whole highly infectious often fatal disease thing blows over. Daniel Barnett, of the…