Coming on Wednesday to this part of the world: WAITING FOR THE ECLIPSE: On July 22nd, the longest solar eclipse of the 21st century will take place in Asia. […] On Wednesday, the Moon’s shadow will linger over [Shanghai] for nearly six full minutes, giving residents a stunning and lengthy view of the Sun’s ghostly…Read More Oi! Who turned out the lights?!
I’ve always thought that a few British journals were outstandingly good at conveying complex ideas in an accessible and well-written manner. The Economist did it for economics – even if they have lurched to the right politically – and the New Scientist did the same for science. How have the mighty fallen. The once-respected New…Read More Time to dump the New Scientist
For anyone interested in the controversy over MMR vaccines and autism, David Gorski’s comprehensive fisking is a must-read. The exposÃ© of that sleazy fraud Andrew Wakefield is particularly detailed. After presenting the unambiguous findings of the various “special masters”, Gorski points out what’s really going on here: Special Master Hastings recognized one of the main…Read More Comprehensively refuting the antivaccinationists
You think “single-celled” means “microsopic”? Meet Gromia sphaerica. 1.2 cm across. That’s the size of a grape. And they leave trails – and they may have been doing so all the way back to the Preambrian Precambrian.Read More Redefining "Single-Celled"
PZ fisks the creationist’s old chestnut about evolution violating the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. The bottom line: To spell it out, there’s about a trillion times more entropy flux available than is required for evolution. The degree by which earth’s entropy is reduced by the action of evolutionary processes is miniscule relative to the amount…Read More Entropy and evolution
According to this fascinating piece over at the Bad Astronomy Blog, that’s the age of the Universe. And furthermore… The energy budget of the Universe is the total amount of energy and matter in the whole cosmos added up. Together with some other observations, WMAP ((The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe.)) has been able to determine…Read More 13.73 billion years, plus or minus 120 million years
Fascinating article over at Seed: For nearly 50 years, the central dogma of biology has been that genetic information is contained within DNA and is passed by rote transcription through RNA to make proteins. Tiny changes in the information content of the underlying DNA are what then drive evolution. But this information may not be…Read More Redefining Genes
Must-read article in Bad Science on “The end of homeopathy?” Among other things the author addresses the way in which homeopaths distort the evidence. (The emphasis is mine.) Why else might there be plenty of positive trials around, spuriously? Because of something called â€œpublication biasâ€œ. In all fields of science, positive results are more likely…Read More The dishonesty of homeopaths
From today’s Seattle Times: Yellowstone National Park, once the site of a giant volcano, has begun swelling up, possibly because molten rock is accumulating beneath the surface, scientists report….[T]he flow of the ancient Yellowstone crater has been moving upward almost 3 inches per year for the past three years… more than three times faster than…Read More What do they mean, "once"?
A couple of weeks ago, I ((and most of the blogosphere)) linked to a cool optical illusion of a spinning dancer. At the time, I didn’t realize that people were interpreting this as a “left brain vs. right brain” thing, but apparently they were. Now ScienceLine has a nice piece by Jeremy Hsu called Does…Read More So much for the Spinning Dancer