Last 24 Hours

So busy was I writing about America’s quack Dr. Mehmet Oz and, of course, the FDA hearing on regulating homeopathy that I didn’t take note of a story that came out the other day examining a study looking at the association between MMR vaccination and autism. More correctly, the study examines the lack of association…

Gun Stash Suddenly Unavailable

A colleague of mine has left contract archaeology to work for the police as a civil utredare, that is, someone with a university degree who works on crime cases despite not being a policeperson. He told me a pretty neat story about Gubbligan, the Old Man’s Gang. The OMG were three professional bank robbers who…

Calbuco Volcano Erupting

Calbuco is a volcano in southern Chile. This one erupts fairly frequently averaging about every 20 years, sometimes quite impresively. The largest eruption during historic times in Chile occurred at Calbuco in 1894. It is erupting now. Evacuations have been ordered. Here is some amazing footage:

Earth Day in the Universe (Synopsis)

“We came all this way to explore the Moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth.” -Bill Anders, Apollo 8, 1968 We’ve come an incredible distance in exploring the Universe. In the span of just a single human lifetime, we’ve gone from speculations about what other worlds in our Solar System…

Dr. Frank van Breukelen is an Associate Professor in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He was invited to tell us about a new research project in this laboratory about some really cool mammals called tenrecs. Here is the post: In a recent post, Dr. Dolittle mentioned a talk…

A Quantum of Sunshine

It was nice and sunny this morning when I sat down at Starbucks to do some blogging, so I wrote a new Forbes post about the quantum physics that makes sunshine possible. This also brings in xkcd’s take on the fundamental forces, and even a little bit of SteelyKid. Sadly, it’s now grey and dreary,…

Dendro Dissidents

Afternoon tea with my friends Åke and Petra inspired me to re-run this post from March 2010. Professional dendrochronology is still almost entirely a black-box in-house endeavour, that is, it is still not great science. Field archaeologists: when you saw your wood samples for dendro, get two samples and send one to the amateur community! They…

Wikipedia: Grant Shapps

By popular request. And I’ve not seen anyone else wiki-literate discussing this, so I will (update: Wikipedia sockpuppetry is a problem, but baseless accusations are no better by a former checkuser is worth a read; it mostly supports what I’ve said here). the Graun says Grant Shapps accused of editing Wikipedia pages of Tory rivals.…

Well, it’s over. I’m referring to the two day hearing held by the FDA in Bethesda seeking public comment regarding how it should modernize its regulation of homeopathic products. Actually, as I discussed before (as did Jann Bellamy over at my favorite other blog, Science-Based Medicine), in fact it’s arguable wither there is currently much,…

The biggest, most surprising revolution that came along with the development of quantum theory, quantum mechanics and later, quantum field theory, was the overthrowing of the idea of a deterministic Universe, replacing it with a Universe where only a probability distribution of outcomes could be theoretically known, even if you knew all the initial conditions of…

The Illusion of Reality (Synopsis)

When you look out at the nebulae in the night sky — especially if you’re seeing them with your eye through a telescope for the first time — you might be in for a big surprise. These faint, fuzzy, extended objects are far dimmer, sparser and more cloud-like than almost anyone expects. Yet thanks to…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Oregon mill workers describe a workplace rife with dangerous hazards; thousands of fast food and low-wage workers take to the streets for higher wages; labor advocates file worker retaliation complaint against Walmart; and new media workers start to organize.

What is H5N2 Avian Influenza? H5N2 is a bird influenza virus that is making news. This mainly affects domestic fowl, and in this sense is not a topic central to 10,000 Birds. But, wild birds are part of the story, and the virus itself has changed and has been known to make wild birds ill.…

How To Demolish Climate Denial

John Cook, of the University of Queensland, and his colleagues, have created a MOOC … Massive Open Online Course … called “Making Sense of Climate Science Denial.” Why does this matter? How does it work? What can you do? All of these questions are answered here: University offering free online course to demolish climate denial.…

It would appear that some people got the impression that, just because I questioned whether a recent publicity stunt in which ten doctors and researchers, led by a well-known pro-GMO activist working for the Hoover Institution, Dr. Henry Miller, sent a letter to the dean at Columbia University in essence asking him to fire Oz…