Thank you, Scientific American, for allowing Kyle Hill to express his fandom of the Mythbusters as much as I do. Europe needs this as much as the US: “We need a generation of kids who think an experiment is more important than a preconceived notion or an argument from authority“. If the Mythbusters show can help, then let us please have lots of it. Yes, it would be better if there was even more “science” and less explosions – but that’s American TV, no?
Archive for the ‘Science’ Category
Do Android smartphones and tablets dream of electric sheep? Who knows. Soon, however, your Android gadget may well be doing something else. A Berkeley Professor Enlists Android Phones in Search for Black Holes, and is trying to get them to BOINC away their dreams…
No, I don’t have numbers on the temperature of the past winter. But overall the past January and February were relatively dark, if I can use the numbers of our solar energy production as a measure. And yet at the same time February 18 and 20 of this year were two of the four sunniest February days since the installation of our panels four winters ago… That just proves that weather is best measured in aggregate numbers, not by using particular individual events.
“Man is the only animal that… tells stories“, writes Jon Udell. And sometimes we need multiple tries to get the story right, if we want to tell something close to the historical truth. But hey,
We’re all invested in stories, and in the assumptions that flow from them. Check your assumptions. It’s a hard thing to do. But it can lead you to better stories.
Here’s another view on The Newtown Shootings:
The sad reality is that most people with mental illness are scared by their disorder. They do not see violence as a solution to their problems. They don’t have the desire to harm others. Mass murders scare the mentally ill just as much as those who are not mentally ill…
Some may believe the saying “It’s not guns that kill, it’s people that kill“. The sad truth is, of course, that “It’s people with guns that kill“. Put that way, the best way to prevent killings like Newtown or Columbine or … is to keep guns away from the people. Not just in the US, but anywhere in the world.
A not-so-obvious side-effect of the recent evolution of IT can be read in ‘Big Data: Running out of Metric System…‘. It won’t be that long before Big Data forces us to invent new metric prefixes: ‘yotta’, meaning 10 to the power of 24, isn’t that far off anymore. I guess it’s time to launch a few proposals – how about a word starting with the letter ‘b’ ?
Scientific American raises the question: “Are Western Chimpanzees a New Species of Pan?“
“Spear-making, cave-dwelling, water-loving western chimpanzees offer us a new opportunity to understand early human evolution. Let’s continue to explore.”
The causes of this differentiation within a species are yet to be researched and understood. But it’s hard not to see this discovery as part of a possible explanation for the emergence of early Man (Homo) so many millions of years ago.
Wired writes: Open-Access Journal Experiment Begins Publishing Articles. The eLife website says: “The entire content of the journal will be freely available for all to read and reproduce for unrestricted use. This open access system will also enhance opportunities to share content and to more directly engage the reader“
It’s good to see public knowledge sharing – this is how humanity managed to grow its scientific knowledge since centuries.
I could not have said it better: “Witch hunts to find someone to blame for a tragedy have never brought anyone back” (a quote from Wired’s “The Verdict of the l’Aquila Earthquake Trial Sends the Wrong Message“).
You wouldn’t expect such a headline from a reputed scientific magazine, right? Well, “Can’t sleep, havin’ sex!” is mostly about birds ;-) And its conclusions also include a good scientific principle: proof is required!
PS. I have just taught Google Translate the correct dutch translation of “pectoral sandpiper”: it’s the “gestreepte strandloper” (Lat. Calidris melanotos)…
“Researchers Find Link Between Arctic Meltdown and Summer Floods and Fires“, with an impact on the weather in the Rocky Mountains as well as on Greenland and in Europe (source: Scientific American website).
Yes, Wired does so in the article The Physics of Scoring the Olympic Decathlon. However, don’t take Lieven to seriously: although he’s a great storyteller and is often asked to explain science by our broadcasters, he is basically a comedian – or is it vice-versa? Check it out for yourself, and watch the movie referenced by Wired.
Just check out this article: “After the Higgs Boson, Science Seeks ‘Gosh Particles’“…