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Interview with John Abraham

John Abraham is a scientist at St Thomas University in the Twin Cities. John is famous for doing battle with a famous science denialist (that’s what the meme above refers to), for his blog at the Guardian, for his research in several areas such as ocean heat, and for keeping track of month by month…

Lomborg is a hack

Oh, here’s a good takedown of that shill for the petroleum industry, Bjorn Lomborg. Lomborg’s message to the newspaper readers has thus nothing to do with a fair portrayal of how much sea-level rise the scientific community expects. Rather it is a distortion and blatant attempt at downplaying future sea-level rise. Looking at Lomborg’s many…

Danish Castle Road Trip

I spent last week in Denmark at a friendly, informative and rather unusual conference. The thirteenth Castella Maris Baltici conference (“castles of the Baltic Sea”) was a moveable feast. In five days we slept in three different towns on Zealand and Funen and spent a sum of only two days presenting our research indoors. The…

A group of foundations has provided another year of funding for a program that has greatly expanded access to IUDs and allowed the state’s teen pregnancy rate to plummet. Will the Colorado legislature start picking up the tab next year?

I don’t care that the director or CEO of an advocacy organization concerned with poverty is an active academic. Indeed, my view of active academics is that many are largely incompetent in areas of life other than their specialized field. If that. So really, if you told me there is this great advocacy organization out…

“It is marvelous indeed to watch on television the rings of Saturn close; and to speculate on what we may yet find at galaxy’s edge. But in the process, we have lost the human element; not to mention the high hope of those quaint days when flight would create ‘one world.’ Instead of one world,…

If there’s one thing that is true of the antivaccine movement, it’s that its members are rarely willing to admit that they are, in fact, antivaccine. Sure, there are uncommon exceptions who say it loud that they are antivaccine and proud and through their refreshing honesty and lack of self-delusion cause no end of problems…

Who elected Jack D. Ripper?

Here’s a treat: a congressman who has been in office since 1989, and is on the Committee on Science, Space and Technology. @fullofbalogna claiming Global Warming they create powerful Global gov. Claiming tooth decay they mandate chemical fluoride in our water — Dana Rohrabacher (@DanaRohrabacher) August 30, 2015 claiming Global Warming they create powerful Global…

“When he came home, I could see a change. He was quieter and he was a man and a hero to me. I watched him and listened to him. I’d never had an opportunity to do a superhero, and when that came, [that voice] just came right out of me and I sounded like Optimus.”…

On the Need for “Short Story Club”

So, the Hugo awards were handed out a little while ago, with half of the prose fiction categories going to “No Award” and the other half to works I voted below “No Award.” Whee. I’m not really interested in rehashing the controversy, though I will note that Abigail Nussbaum’s take is probably the one I…

An innovative NASA would be nice

NASA has put out a call for novel ideas in space exploration, which I think is an excellent way to do science. More creativity! But this feels like they’re just pandering to me (I know, they’re not): building robotic squid to explore the oceans of Europa? What’s not to love about that idea?

Oliver Sacks has died

I have been increasingly conscious, for the last 10 years or so, of deaths among my contemporaries. My generation is on the way out, and each death I have felt as an abruption, a tearing away of part of myself. There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is…

Why did Skylab die?

Skylab came up in conversation the other day. And then I ran into Amy Shira Teitel’s video. So, naturally, a quick blog post. Skylab was brought down, ultimately, by interaction with the upper reaches of the atmosphere, which was in turn made more likely by solar activity. But, both the nature and extent of solar…

“To me there has never been a higher source of earthly honor or distinction than that connected with advances in science.” -Isaac Newton And the advances continue, not just here at Starts With A Bang but everywhere humans are engaged in the practice of gathering knowledge about the world and Universe itself. This past week, we covered:…

“Thus it seems Einstein was doubly wrong when he said, God does not play dice. Not only does God definitely play dice, but He sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can’t be seen.” –Stephen Hawking You’ve no doubt heard that Stephen Hawking is claiming that the black hole information paradox has now been…