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Category Archive: Science

Apr 10 2014

Plastic: worse than we thought

That plastic grocery bag you got at the store is something more than just an eyesore and a source of nasty chemicals, it’s also a magnet for accumulating more pollutants. The ingredients that make up more than 50% of plastics are already deemed chemical hazards by the UN Globally Harmonized System. But as floating bits …

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Apr 09 2014

Recursive confirmation

Last month, I reported on a paper that was about to be retracted by a journal; the paper by Lewandowsky and others analyzed public articles and comments by climate change denialists and found evidence that they were populated by wacky conspiracy theorists and thin-skinned paranoid weirdos (it’s true!). Said conspiracy theorists, weirdos, and industry shills …

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Apr 08 2014

It worked!

At last I’m home after a long day, but I have good news: my genetics students have been doing a three point mapping cross for the last month or so, which is always worrisome because if they screw it up, you don’t know the results until the very end of the experiment. But now the …

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Apr 07 2014

Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Sad pangolin

pangolin

Say goodbye to another mammal being sacrificed on the altar of ‘traditional medicine’ — pangolin scales are consumed as medicine, their blood is used in tonics, their embryos are swallowed as aphrodisiacs, and they’re just generally eaten up. They’re also incredibly fragile, and cannot be farmed; they’re all caught in the wild and they usually …

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Apr 06 2014

Islam and science are compatible, as long as you cut out the bits of science you don’t like

I visited Brighton, once. I took a pleasant stroll down along the beach, dipped my toe in the water, and I liked it! Therefore, my current physiological state is entirely compatible with swimming the English Channel, and how dare anyone criticize my lack of swimming practice and stamina and strength as somehow incompatible with being …

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Apr 04 2014

Friday Cephalopod: "I shall battle & defeat this strangely phallic invader of my realm!"

Zooborns

Apr 03 2014

It’s been a bad month for the creationists

Enceladus

I almost pity them. First there’s the discovery of gravitational waves that confirm a set of models for the origin of the universe — I can tell they’re trying to spin that one (it confirms the universe had a beginning, just like the Bible says!), but it’s obvious which perspective, scientific or religious, has the …

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Apr 02 2014

A poll! To benefit my campus!

This is terribly self-serving, but I finally aim to use my poll-crashing powers for personal gain. UMM is competing in a video contest, and we’re currently a distant third. This is the contest: For the┬áthird straight year, Planet Forward is partnering with Second Nature to host the Climate Leadership Awards Video Voting Competition.┬áSecond Nature, which …

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Apr 01 2014

Eye-candy for mollusc fetishists

I’m currently in grading hell, so here, something to entertain you. Unless you’re a clam. If you’re a clam, don’t watch this. I shouldn’t have bothered warning the clams. They’re stupid, they probably watched it anyway.

Apr 01 2014

Ignoring the scientists, part 2

We’re not doing anything about slow, steady climate change, and we’re also not dealing with acute, local environmental risks, like the recent Washington mudslide. The Snohomish County officials who control land use permits asserted last week that there was no way of knowing a giant mudslide would ever happen there. In fact, the area was …

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