The Intersection

Archives for March, 2006

I really, really enjoyed Elizabeth Kolbert’s new book, Field Notes from a Catastrophe. I gave it a nice little review/plug in Seed. I would recommend it to anyone. Still, I must say, I was staggered to read on the book’s Amazon page the following editorial review (it’s unclear who from): “An argument for the urgent…

I am psyched to be among the list of speakers for a great upcoming conference on “Bioethics & Politics: The Future of Bioethics in a Divided Democracy,” sponsored by the Alden March Bioethics Institute of Albany Medical College. Other confirmed speakers include:

Tim Flannery’s The Weather Makers is at # 18 overall on Amazon.com this morning, presumably boosted dramatically by an appearance on “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross yesterday. He now has a shot at making the New York Times bestseller list. For those of us trying to convince the publishing industry that books on global warming…

Not surprisingly, in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Larry Australians are beginning to chatter about possible links between global warming and hurricanes. And in at least one venue (The Age), the discussion has taken an interesting turn.

Firing Chickens from a Cannon

I’ve been reading a book by James Rodger Fleming entitled Meteorology in America, 1800-1870. In it, he describes how mid-19th century scientists were intrigued by the fact that tornadoes seemed to leave barnyard fowl stripped of their feathers. One intrepid researcher, Elias Loomis, saw an opportunity in this anomalous fact. By studying–I shit you not–how…

Virginia Speech Reminder

Again, I’ll be speaking this Wednesday at an event sponsored by the Alliance for Science in Vienna, Virginia at 7:30 pm. Details here. Hope some of yous can make it….

New Hero: Rep. Brad Miller

The Dem from North Carolina is asking for more evidence of scientific suppression in the Bush administration, in the interest of getting Sherry Boehlert of the House Committee on Science to hold hearings. Go Brad! If you’re a government scientist and you’ve got a story to tell Rep. Miller, now’s the time to stand up…

Yikes. Australia got slammed today, or yesterday–not sure as to the timing, but it was apparently a Category 5 storm, perhaps even up to the time of landfall. Australia’s last really big one was Tropical Cyclone Tracy, which devastated the city of Darwin in 1974, and which had the distinction of being very tiny, yet…

The Physics of Green Beer

Seriously, wouldn’t it be cool if I was capable of writing a substantive post on this subject? Or better yet, a book? It would be a bestseller. But alas, I can’t. All I can say is this: Happy St. Patrick’s Day. And on that note, this 1/4 Irishman is taking a much-needed blog hiatus (at…

In order to get a tropical cyclone spinning, a lot of things have to go right (or wrong, depending upon your perspective). First, you need a location that’s warm but also a certain distance north or south of the equator. In places too close to latitude zero, winds won’t swirl inwards towards an area of…