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Super Typhoon Nepartak

This is a huge hurricane/typhoon heading quickly, and imminently, towards taiwan. The storm itself is roughly as wide as the island nation is long, so very little will be left unaffected. The storm is at the very high end of the range of storms in size, strength, etc. It is currently equivalent to a Category…

An Interview with Don Prothero

Ikonokast interviews Don Prothero. Don Prothero is the author of just over 30 books and a gazillion scientific papers covering a wide range of topics in paleontology and skepticism. Mike Haubrich and I spoke with Don about most of these topics, including the recent history of the skeptics movement, the conflict and potentials between DNA…

Barack Obama, Justin Trudeau and Enrique Peña Nieto, have made a joint announcement. As reported by NPR: President Obama and his counterparts from Canada and Mexico are preparing to unveil an ambitious new goal for generating carbon-free power when they meet this week in Ottawa. The three leaders are expected to set a target for…

Only You Can Prevent Gun Violence

The 1993 research paper by Arthur Kellerman et al, “Gun ownership as a risk factor for homicide in the home” concluded that having firearms in the home increased the risk of homicide in that home. Guns, it turns out, do not provide protection, but rather increase risk. That research was funded by the Center for…

How to sparklers work?

In the US, it is time to start blowing stuff up and setting stuff on fire, because we are so patriotic! Here is the science of sparklers, to keep it interesting:

Two related, but contrasting, items on Brexit. The climate change connection to Brexit is unclear and mostly negative. It is simply true that we benefit from international unity when addressing a global problem, and the EU is a powerful forward looking entity that could address climate change more effectively than the collection of individual nations…

Television and movie producers currently have a good deal in Great Britain, not in small part due to stability in various markets and some funding. For example, Game of Thrones, an HBO production, is filmed in Norther Ireland with funding from the European Regional Development fund. Both the stability and some of the funding for…

Governments, and the people, should be filing law suits against the energy industry for causing the imminent collapse of civilization as we know it. But instead, the opposite is happening. From Reuters: TransCanada formally seeks NAFTA damages in Keystone XL rejection TransCanada Corp is formally requesting arbitration over U.S. President Barack Obama’s rejection of the…

Introducing Your New Robot Dog

No, not that one. This one: SpotMini is a new smaller version of the Spot robot, weighing 55 lbs dripping wet (65 lbs if you include its arm.) SpotMini is all-electric (no hydraulics) and runs for about 90 minutes on a charge, depending on what it is doing. SpotMini is one of the quietest robots…

On Friday, June 24, President Obama designated the Stonewall National Monument – the first national monument dedicated to telling the story of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community’s struggle for equal rights. Listen for the Ken Burns tribute near the end.