Last 24 Hours

“I’ll never, ever be full. I’ll always be hungry. Obviously, I’m not talking about food.” -Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Only a very small percentage of galaxies have active supermassive black holes. While the black holes themselves are common, they only rarely feed, gaining a huge influx of matter to accelerate and send jets and other…

As you all have no doubt noticed over the years, I love highlighting the best science books every year via the various end of year lists that newspapers, web sites, etc. publish. I’ve done it so far in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013,2014 and 2015. And here we are in 2016! As in previous…

Right now the number one problem we face in the US is the fact that a) the president of the United States can not be stopped or deterred from launching nuclear missiles if he choses to do so, by design; and b) Donald Trump will be inaugurated, if the electoral college so decides, in January.…

What “functional medicine” really is

I’ve frequently written about a form of medicine often practiced by those who bill themselves as practicing “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) or “integrative medicine” (or, as I like to refer to it, “integrating” quackery with medicine). I’m referring to something called “functional medicine” or, sometimes, “functional wellness.” Over the years, I’ve tried to explain…

“A thing may be of deeper impossibility than another, in the sense that you can be more deeply underwater–but whether you are five feet or five fathoms from the surface you are still all wet.” -Brian McGreevy It’s been a spectacular week of investigating the Universe and our knowledge about it here at Starts With A Bang! There…

According to NBC: Standing Rock Chairman: Pipeline Plan Denial ‘A Win For All Of America’ 1:57 The secretary of the Army Corps of Engineers told Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II Sunday that the current route for the controversial Dakota Access pipeline will be denied. “Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of…

Time to make sure you are stocked up and up to date on your climate science books. First, you will need reference materials throughout the holiday season, because Uncle Bob is going to challenge you more stridently than usual. Climate change deniers have taken over the US government. You are on the run. Underground. Up…

There was a conference sponsored by the Royal Society last month, titled New trends in evolutionary biology: biological, philosophical and social science perspectives. There have been a number of news stories about this event, some good, some bad. Here’s one: can you tell what’s wrong with it? For example, speaking at the Royal Society was…

There are only a couple of bands I’d drive a significant distance to see live, and now I’ve made the trip to NYC to see two of them. I went to see the Afghan Whigs in 2014, and this past Friday, I drove to Brooklyn for a Hold Steady show. And this time, I have…

Go Tell It On The Grocery Store

The press helped elect Donald Trump. The mainstream press loved itself that false balance, giving absurdly pseudo-even coverage to whatever tripe might be spewed by willfully ignorant conservatives. So, screw them, and we await their apology. Meanwhile, the tabloid press has made its own contribution to the problem. Part of that is impressing on so…

2016 Science Books for Kids

Here I have just a few suggestions for science books for the kiddos. See this post for the adult version. The Outdoor Science Lab for Kids and the other books in the same series are excellent, highly recommended, and reviewed here. Treecology is also a science activity book that people seem to love. Chance are…

“I think there are a number of experiments that are thinking about how you could look in different frequency bands, and get a glimpse of the primordial gravitational wave background. I think that would be really revolutionary, because that would be your first glimpse at the very first instant of our Universe.” -Dave Reitze, LIGO’s…

Top Science Books: 2016

Here is my selection of the top science books from 2016, excluding those mainly for kids. Also, I don’t include climate change related books here either. (These will both be covered in separate posts.) The number of books on this list is not large, and I think this was not the most prolific year ever…

Friday Cephalopod: the Legion arrives

More than 2 million U.S. adults may be living with workplace-related asthma, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.