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Behind matchmaking at the zoo

I had no idea that matchmaking was this complex for zoo animals: World News Videos | US News Videos

I’ve updated the detailed blog post describing our summer workshop introducing writers to quantum physics to include a link to the application form. For the benefit of those who read via RSS, though, and don’t follow me on Twitter: the application form is now live, and will be for the next few weeks. We expect…

In Boston, you’re never too far away from a Dunkin’ Donuts. In fact, the Massachusetts-based company inspires a fiery sense of loyalty in many Bostonians. It’s kind of hard to give up the city’s ubiquitous fast food staple, but Paul Drake is committed.

Fermi Pipeline Problems

There was some Twitter chatter the other night about a new arxiv paper called The Gender Breakdown of the Applicant Pool for Tenure-Track Faculty Positions at a Sample of North American Research Astronomy Programs: The demographics of the field of Astronomy, and the gender balance in particular, is an important active area of investigation. A…

“I don’t want knowledge. I want certainty!” –David Bowie, from Law (Earthlings on Fire) I know I’ve already said this once, but I have to say it again, but it’s been a rather stressful week on the old blog, but I hadn’t planned on writing about this particular topic again (although I will say that…

Friday Cephalopod: Seachild

Then he waited, marshaling his thoughts and brooding over his still untested powers. For though he was master of the world, he was not quite sure what to do next. But he would think of something.

“Science enhances the moral value of life, because it furthers a love of truth and reverence — love of truth displaying itself in the constant endeavor to arrive at a more exact knowledge of the world of mind and matter around us, and reverence, because every advance in knowledge brings us face to face with the mystery…

NPR and ProPublic provide reality check on US workers’ comp system

Michael Grabell and Howard Berkes use the experiences of injured workers as a reality check on the

The Two-Box Addition Game

SteelyKid’s school does a “March Math Madness” thing, and this year all the kids in her class are being asked to practice “Math Facts” for ten minutes a night. This appears to be motivated by some requirement that students be able to rattle off basic addition problems at high speed. So there are flash cards…

How I Select The Sites I Dig

Having read yesterday’s entry about what I need to get hold of before I can dig a site, Apel Mjausson asked me on Facebook, “How do you decide where to dig? Sweden is lousy with unexplored sites. Are you following a specific story, looking at place names, take nominations…?” Disregarding sites I’ve been paid to…

One of the things I’ve noticed over the last decade of covering pseudoscience and quackery from a skeptical point of view is that no pseudoscientific trope ever really dies. This is particularly true of antivaccine tropes. No matter how many times this piece or that of antivaccine misinformation is slapped down, sooner or later it…

And by “my” penis I mean “your” penis, of course. This is a perennial question. For some reason, which I do not understand, the feminist perspective (note: I’m a feminist) is often to belittle the question, but really, that isn’t fair. It is not that difficult to imagine how anyone would come to a question…

We had a blizzard this week. It’s bitterly cold right now. I was trying hard to think of good reasons to have left the Pacific Northwest, and this is about the only thing I came up with: Devil’s Club.

Congress squeezes Obama’s reg czar about lack of transparency

Testifying before the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform, OIRA chief Howard Shelanski was criticized from both sides of the aisle for his office’s lack of transparency in handling reviews of agencies’ regulatory actions.

“Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.” -Boris Pasternak When it comes to theoretical physics, you might realize the entire point is to set up a framework to predict what phenomena are going to occur in the Universe. So if you rewind the clock back to very early times, set up the…