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Category Archive: science

Aug 21 2012

My president has to remind us that “rape is rape”

It’s kind of sad that American politics has come to the point where Obama needs to state the obvious about rape: President Obama has weighed in on Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-MO) comments that women don’t get pregnant from “legitimate rape” because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” During …

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Aug 14 2012

Why you shouldn’t play the lottery

Watch this US Powerball simulator long enough and you’ll understand. Sean and I have now been “buying” two tickets a week for 350 years for a total of 36,400 games. We’ve spent $72,750 and made $5,417, which puts our rate of return at around 7 cents a ticket. We’ve never made more than $100 on …

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Aug 13 2012

Flickr helps scientists discover a new species

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This story on NPR is great. An entomologist was browsing insect photos on Flickr when he saw one he didn’t recognize. After talking to his colleagues, they confirmed that this was probably a new species: A full year later, Winterton received an email from the photographer; Guek had returned to the region of the original …

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Aug 08 2012

Nazis, genetically modified babies, Mothman, and Jesus

I didn’t think those topics could be combined, but I’ve been proven wrong. No, it’s not the next hit superhero movie. One of the “perks” of being an atheist blogger is that I get signed up to all sorts of wacky mailing lists for creationists, woo peddlers, and conspiracy theorists. I suspect they think this …

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Aug 07 2012

Forget educated women being unsexy – they probably don’t exist at all

A Voice for Men, an MRA site, is currently celebrating the landing of the Curiosity Rover on Mars… as a victory for men. Not women. Only men. This comment alone should make every female scientist or engineer’s blood boil*: “It made me so proud to be a man when I saw this. Men are the …

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Aug 07 2012

GeekGirlCon and other weekend debauchery!

If you’re in Seattle, this weekend is packed with a lot of fun, nerdy, godless, feministy things for you to enjoy. On Friday the 10th I’ll be joining the Seattle Atheists to see my friend Rebecca Watson give a talk on “How Girls Evolved to Shop, and Other Ways to Insult Women with “Science.”” Tickets …

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Aug 05 2012

Tears of nerd joy

We are a bunch of hairless apes that happened to evolve through a natural process and managed to put a SUV-sized, nuclear-powered science station on another planet and instantaneously share a photo of said planet with all of humanity over fucking Twitter. Life is awesome. And it did make me cry seeing a bunch of …

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Jun 17 2012

The tale of Taq

One donor requested that I talk a little bit about polymerase chain reaction, or PCR. PCR is now a super common laboratory technique for people doing any sort of molecular biology. It’s a way of amplifying a specific section of DNA so it’s present in millions of copies. This is really important if you want …

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Jun 17 2012

Ten awesome female scientists

A donor requested that I list the “top ten most awesome female scientists.” I probably should have done this earlier in the night when I still had some mental faculties left, but here’s an attempt for female scientists that I happen to like, in no particular order: Rosalind Franklin Jane Goodall Linda Buck Barbara McClintock …

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May 04 2012

What, no Hitler?

The Heartland Institute is a conservative climate-denialist thinktank in the US. And this is their new ad campaign: “The people who still believe in man-made global warming are mostly on the radical fringe of society. This is why the most prominent advocates of global warming aren’t scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen.” In addition …

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