Last 24 Hours

This is one scary book. Never mind The Exorcist or Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain trilogy, this is the real thing. And that’s because unlike those authors’ fevered dreams of gods and devils and vampires and plagues, the nightmare that all of our governments are spying on is really real. And we…

This discussion has been going on for some time, and a handful of recent events have prompted me to jump into it (beyond a simple comment or two). First, I saw a bunch of yammering among various biology teachers about this topic. Then Michael Osterholm wrote a well intentioned but seemingly deeply flawed opinion at…

A Real Tractor Beam

In this weeks’ news, Weizmann Institute scientists and researchers in Australia have invented a sort of tractor beam. In essence, a tractor beam is a wave that propagates outwards but pulls objects toward its point of origin, rather than pushing them out. Like the science fiction versions, such “beams” might be designed in the future…

One of the things you can say to someone who is antivaccine that will really tick them off is to “call it like you see it” and call them antivaccine. Sure, there are a few antivaccine activists who are unashamed of being antivaccine, but most antivaccinationists, sensing that society in general quite correctly takes a…

Why do scientists always forget about luck?

You get the data when you get the data, but the information we get from this study would have been useful several years ago: Persistence of Virus Reservoirs in ART-Treated SHIV-Infected Rhesus Macaques after Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant The Berlin Patient– Guy gets HIV, develops a blood cancer, gets radiation and chemo for the cancer,…

Did I ever tell you how exciting snails are? No, wait, don’t go away… Oh well. Now the rest of you have settled down, I’ll continue. My pic, incidentally, shows some Sphacterian snails I met in Greece this summer, which exhibited this odd clustering behaviour I’ve not seen before. But that’s nothing to do with…

As you know, I do the occasional science-related interview on Minnesota Atheist Talk Radio, on Radio AM 950. (See this for a list of all, or at least most, of the work I’ve done with that show.) On Sunday October 5th at the ungodly hour of 9:00 AM Central Time, I’ll be interviewing Michael Mann,…

How stupid are you? You have no idea!

Learn more at this classic post by Don Prothero.

’tis a pity he’s silent

Ah, the (self) pity of it. AW has a long lame series of excuses for why he went all the way to Bristol to hear Michael Mann talk but did not ask, or even try to ask, any questions. Sou takes it to pieces, but you really don’t need that. Obviously it wasn’t necessary to…

I am really excited about the comparative physiology conference that starts this weekend in San Diego! Here is a press release about the meeting (author Stacy Brooks from the American Physiological Society): Bethesda, Md. (September 25, 2014) — More than 400 comparative and evolutionary physiologists will gather to present new research and discoveries in animal physiology at…

Inside the Mysteries of Massive Stars Within Our Galaxy with Dr. Loren Anderson

The ‘Nifty Fifty (times 4)’, a program of Science Spark, presented by InfoComm International, are a group of 200 noted science and engineering professionals who will fan out across the Washington, D.C. area in the 2014-2015 school year to speak about their work and careers at various middle and high schools. Meet Nifty Fifty Speaker Dr.…

“The only thing I have learnt over the years is that if you enjoy your work and put in the best efforts, it will show. If you follow this process, things work out. But if you go chasing a formula, success will elude you.” -Mahesh Babu When you know something is there but you can’t…

In announcing National Farm Safety Week, President Obama emphasized his Administration’s commitment to reducing hazards of agricultural work – including for young people. So how are we doing at protecting children and teens working on farms and ranches? Note: There is no federally required safety training for youth working in agriculture. Estimated injury rate is 38 per day and fatalities, 115 per year

Finding Extrasolar Planets with Lasers

On Twitter Sunday morning, the National Society of Black Physicsts account retweeted this: Using Lasers to Lock Down #Exoplanet Hunting #Space http://t.co/0TN4DDo7LF — ✨The Solar System✨ (@The_SolarSystem) September 28, 2014 I recognized the title as a likely reference to the use of optical frequency combs as calibration sources for spectrometry, which is awesome stuff. Unfortunately,…

I have been down the rabbit hole. I got sucked down into a prolonged web search on the matter of pre-WWII eugenics, which is more than a little squicky, but was fascinated to discover a thriving community of correspondents which reminded me precisely of the various flavors of blog commenters today — that is, opinionated,…