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Monthly Archive: March 2011

Mar 19 2011

Neil deGrasse Tyson – “The Perimeter of Ignorance”

Fantastic speech. It even touches on the fact that despite being potentially the smartest man on the planet, Newton believed in some pretty silly things too — not because he came to the conclusions intellectually, but because they were the mode of the time. Hat tip Troythulu.

Mar 18 2011

My Formspring brings all the hits to the blog

Seriously, a disproportionate number of blog hits are going to an old post wherein I syndicated from my Formspring account a bunch of random Formspring questions. It’s not particularly interesting, or informative, or even remotely deep. But it’s got almost four times as many hits as the next most read post, due to its high …

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Mar 17 2011

Supermoon: what it is, and what it definitely isn’t

Look up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a SUPERMOOOOOOON!! I have written at some length about the moon, with its wobble called libration, and how its elliptical orbit means that it varies in its distance to us between roughly 360,000km and 406,000km. That’s a difference of ~46,000km, or about …

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Mar 17 2011

Maddow and Garrett on the media response to Fukushima Daiichi

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Mar 15 2011

Republicans to legislate against gravity

You heard it here first. Now that they’ve shot down statements of scientific fact about climate change, Americans should probably go tether themselves to anchored objects.

Mar 15 2011

So do all sinners live around the ring of fire, or what?

So what the hell am I doing in Nova Scotia, knowing that I’m a sinner? I ought to get me to someplace on the Ring of Fire so God’s smiting hand can actually reach me. Seriously, WTF. The user, TamTamPamela, closed her account. So you don’t get the full effect of the ten minutes of …

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Mar 14 2011

Are “false report” rape statistics being manipulated?

Our Lady of Perpetual Win, Stephanie Zvan, begins a painful but much-needed examination of rape myths, beginning with Rape Myth 1: “She’s Probably Lying.” The standard figure passed around by victim advocates suggests a rate of false reports of 8% based on FBI crime statistics from 1997. This is comparable to rates for other crimes. …

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Mar 13 2011

Scientists investigate ammonia meteorites; science media claims we’re all aliens.

This is a story about meteorites. Well, meteorites, and life. WELL, meteorites, life, and totally misleading headlines. I know what you’re thinking. No, this isn’t about the Orgueil meteorite, which in the 19th century caused a ruckus when a conman embedded some grass seeds in it and claimed it proved exobiology. Nor is it about …

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Mar 12 2011

Michio Kaku on the Japanese nuclear plant situation

In the wake of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that hit yesterday off the coast of Japan, causing a giant tsunami, three nuclear plants are now compromised. They may not cause radiation leaks, depending on the engineering of the plants, but there’s a possibility. Dr. Michio Kaku discusses the worst-case scenarios. They’re not Chernobyl, because Chernobyl …

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Mar 09 2011

How Facebook got blocked on the USS Enterprise

Captains’ log. Har har.

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