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The Serengeti Strategy

What is the Serengeti Strategy? “The Serengeti Strategy” is a term coined by climate scientist Michael Mann in which “special interests faced with adverse scientific evidence … target individual scientists rather than take on an entire scientific field at once.” His invention of the analogy must have been an interesting moment, given the context. In…

Gas prices have fallen to nearly half (or more depending on your starting point) in recent months. Therefore, according to Jevons Paradox, which does indeed appear to exist sans apostrophe, use of gas should have gone up. It did, but only by 1%. So, we are not impressed with Jevons paradox.

Hiring Completed

Having made several mentions here of the two tenure-track faculty positions we were trying to fill, I feel like I ought to at least note the completion of the search. As of last Friday, all the papers have been signed with properly dotted i’s and crossed t’s, and we have two new tenure-track assistant professors…

… with graphics, provided by the White House:

Poor, poor, pitiful Dr. Bob. For those of you not familiar with him, I’m referring, of course, to Robert “Dr. Bob” Sears, MD, the antivaccine-sympathetic (or, more appropriately, antivaccine-pandering) pediatrician in Capistrano Beach, CA (between Los Angeles and San Diego in Orange County) known for his Vaccine Book, a veritable font of antivaccine misinformation gussied…

The slow dance that made you (Synopsis)

“It took less than an hour to make the atoms, a few hundred million years to make the stars and planets, but five billion years to make man!” -George Gamow But how was it that this happened? Sure, the Universe may have started off with hydrogen and helium alone, but when we look around at…

I watched the State of the Union Address, and it was great. Not nearly enough on climate change, but otherwise it was great. I did not watch the response. I heard it was not great. But then Clara Jeffery of Mother Jones asked on twitter if they, the responses, are ever great. So I went…

Sex differences in sleep apnea

I came across an interesting study published last month in American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology on obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is a disorder in which the upper airway is repeatedly obstructed during sleep resulting in bouts of intermittent hypoxia (low oxygen concentrations). I had no idea that OSA is…

These go up to 11

Shamelessly stolen from ATTP’s “More than half” is the same as “> 50%”!, but I think this captures brilliantly a typical argument with the “skeptics”: TPP has a link to the interesting story of Alfred Russel Wallace‘s bet with the flat-earthers that the Earth was, in fact, not flat. Somehow, that seems relevant. While I’m…

The title of this post is the beginning of a more extensive comment, as follows: Few things threaten America’s future prosperity more than climate change. But there is growing hope. Every 2.5 minutes of every single day, the U.S. solar industry is helping to fight this battle by flipping the switch on another completed solar…

NextGen Climate State Of The Union Ad

NextGen Climate is putting an ad up, in at least some markets, during the State of the Union Address. Not sure how that works exactly. During halftime? Anyway, here it is:

Greenpeace names names

You’ll recall that a while back, Greenpeace activists entered a restricted zone in Peru, where the Nasca Lines are preserved, and messed with that important archaeological site. I wrote about it here. At the time, the individuals who had carried out this unthinkable act managed to drift off into obscurity, and Greenpeace seemed unwilling to…

Officially, 2014 closed without an official El Nino. Probably. If you went back in a time machine to the spring, and told El Nino watchers that, they would be a little surprised, but they would also say something like, “Yeah, well, you know, we keep saying this is hard to predict.” Despite the fact that…

Science Stories: One-Shots

(When I launched the Advent Calendar of Science Stories series back in December, I had a few things in mind, but wasn’t sure I’d get through 24 days. In the end, I had more than enough material, and in fact didn’t end up using a few of my original ideas. So I’ll do a few…

If I Were Ted Chiang…

(That title doesn’t quite scan as is, but if you stick an “a” in there, you can sing it to the tune of a song from “Fiddler on the Roof”… You’re welcome.) The last time I taught my “Brief History of Timekeeping” seminar was in 2012, so I spent a bunch of time on the…