Last 24 Hours

“When you see how fragile and delicate life can be, all else fades into the background.” –Jenna Morasca The hot Big Bang — proposed seventy years ago — is a tremendous success story. Predicated on the assumption that the Universe was hotter, denser, more uniform and expanding faster in the past, it’s allowed us to…

The outlook for Hawaiian coral is bleak

Marine biologists from the University of Queensland is looking at coral reefs in Hawaii and what they see is not good. They used high resolution images to track coral bleaching and death. Recently coral reefs in Hawaii suffered their first known mass bleaching event, caused by unusually warm waters associated with the now famous “Blob”…

On Advising Students to Fail

Slate’s been doing a series about college classes everyone should take, and one of the most heavily promoted of these has been a piece by Dan Check urging students to take something they’re terrible at. This is built around an amusing anecdote about an acting class he took back in the day, but as much…

August Pieces Of My Mind #2

Getting rid of excess stuff. Azerbaijani dude with a huge beautiful beard showed up on his wife’s orders and collected both bike baby seats, the rolling baby stool, the dinner table lamp and the microwave oven. *happy* My wife’s workout app is giving her orders. It sounds like a very, very strange satnav. User interface…

Tol on Ward on Wiki

Richard Tol, not content with a quiet and peaceful life, is having fun on wiki. He’s trying to add a “criticism” section to the [[Bob Ward]] page, featuring the exciting adventures of… yes, you’ve guessed it, one R Tol: In 2014, Ward was accused by Professor [[Richard Tol]] of conducting a smear campaign against him……

September 2015 Open Thread

Answer: pregnancy. Unlike most animals, it is the male seahorses that give birth to live young. A new study conducted at the University of Sydney and published in Molecular Biology and Evolution, found that the male seahorses not only carry out the pregnancy, they also supply nutrients to the developing embryos, including fats and calcium. The researchers suspect…

The Citi Global Perspectives and Solutions thingie, part of Citibank, has done a study that you can read here. It says that addressing global warming makes economic sense. So, when those science deniers are out there denying climate change they are also denying arithmetic. Shame on them. Dana Nuccitelli, author of Climatology versus Pseudoscience and…

Tristes Tropiques

Not the book (which is good) but the thing. The storms, really. I may have mentioned the pilot whales I saw in San Diego the other day. You’ve heard about changes in shark distributions, and odd fish being caught in unusual places, etc. This is all about changes in the Pacific as increased global warming…

Two items of interest. 1) A new poll looks at conservative and liberal views of science. The findings are not especially unexpected, but the details are interesting. The image above is from this infographic, and the details are given here. Yes, the detail are quite interesting. 2) If you care, there is some information on…

Fatal work injury that killed Norberto Romero was preventable, OSHA cites Thomas Concrete

The fatal work-related injuries that killed Norberto Romero could have been prevented had his employer followed worker safety regulations.

Human caused climate change is changing the size and location of major climate zones, according to a new study. Climate is complex, and a classic, widely used effort to wrangle that complexity into a sensible form is the Köppen classification system (and variants). We need not speak of the details here, but within this scheme…

Today, I officially stopped being department chair, and started my sabbatical leave. I also acquired a new toy: My old DSLR camera, a Canon Rebel XSi that I got mumble years ago, has been very good for over 20,000 pictures, but a few things about it were getting kind of flaky– it’s been bad at…

I’ve got a press release from the University of Southern California that seems important, but I don’t have time today to read the study. So, you can look at the press release and tell me what you think of it. Climate Change Will Irreversibly Force Key Ocean Bacteria into Overdrive Scientists demonstrate that a key…

Climate Change Viewed From Alaska

Alaska is being called the poster child (state?) for climate change because things have been so strange there lately. One reason for this is the extreme warm conditions in the North Pacific and associated (probably) changes in the jet stream, as well as overall warming, which has caused coastal Alaska to become a warm place,…