World's Fair

Vince LiCata

BP has released the first slug of oil-spill hush money to LSU: $2 million for research on the Effects of the Oil Spill and it’s Cleanup. Sounds like a lot of research money, until you realize that LSU does about $200 million dollars of research a year. So, it’s kind of like if your next…

This just in from the upcoming edition of The Journal of Zombie Studies. A must have experimental checklist for any Faculty Senate Subcommittee on Monitoring of Upper Administrative Activities. Experiment: Administrator A was asked why he/she is paid such a high salary, even though he/she has not: 1) published a scholarly work in many years;…

By some estimates, more than 40% of the birds that seasonally migrate in North America do so via the Mississippi Flyway. Large numbers of both land and water birds use this route, including ducks, geese, blackbirds, sparrows, and numerous shorebirds, along with the rare white pelicans that migrate right through Baton Rouge each year. Most…

Eulogy for the Gulf of Mexico

I’ve started to write a few different posts in the past few weeks, but their different topics just don’t seem to matter in the face of the death of the Gulf of Mexico, especially the affectionately named Redneck Riviera – Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle – these areas are most assuredly dead. Field…

Going to a party at Tony Stark’s house would be awesomely fun, and Iron Man 2 has its fair share of highly enjoyable scenes, though not as many as Iron Man 1, but it definitely could have used some science consulting help. Despite Tony Stark’s apparently scientifically flawless use of a soldering iron in #1,…

While driving to the Astrobiology 2010 Conference last week, I and a graduate student from my lab briefly discussed Stephen Hawking’s recent declaration that humans should try to avoid contact with what would surely be hostile aliens. It seemed odd to be attending a conference where a primary aim is finding extraterrestrial life while the…

Astrobiology is an amazingly interesting, highly interdisciplinary, and relative new field of science. Basically, it’s both the search for life elsewhere in the universe, and it’s the study of how to sustain human life in space and on other planets (and how to protect other planets from Earth life). Our lab works on several different…

The National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences each are spearheading programs designed to get more accurate science into the movies, and they have two somewhat different approaches to this same “problem”. Each presented its plan during a couple of sessions at this year’s AAAS National Meeting. The National Academy of Sciences had…

Too much listening to Tea Baggers (their most appropriate name?), and the 100% Republican opposition to the Health Care Bill that just passed the House (hooray!!!), and fear of violence in the streets of Haiti as justification for the slow US response there, and the many bizarre responses to what I thought was a really…

Well, here’s my son and my entry for the Scienceblogs + Serious Eats Pi Day Contest: (Warning: this entry may be frightening to children or people who know how to make pies.) Tony and Vince’s “Chocolate Pudding Meringue Pi Pi Pie (not quite)”. It was designed to have the following dimensions: Circumference = height =…