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Category Archive: Science

Apr 12 2014

I’m a scientist, I believe in proof

Near as I can tell from the trailer for I, Origins, the movie is about an affectless neuroscientist who takes pictures of eyes for Science, and then because he finds someone with similar irises to his dead lover, decides that reincarnation has been proven. All I know is that whoever wrote this dreck has no …

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Apr 12 2014

Don’t worry, we’ll fix it by flying really fast in reverse

Film School Rejects

You all remember Lex Luthor’s scheme in the original Richard Donner Superman movie, right? Of course you do, you’re all nerds. But we nerds are all pedantic and love to start monologuing, so I’ll tell you what it was anyway. Luthor was going to set off a nuclear bomb in the San Andreas fault and …

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Apr 11 2014

Should you circumcise your child?

Prevalence of adult circumcision in the United States during the past 6 decades (1948-2010). The solid line represents documented prevalence among adults; dashed line, [Morris's] predictions.

Probably not. But the New York Times reports: A review of studies has found that the health benefits of infant male circumcision vastly outweigh the risks involved in the procedure. Actually, it doesn’t. Not at all. The paper is all about the frequency of circumcision in the US; this is the only real data in …

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Apr 11 2014

Friday Cephalopod: Octopuses can be superheroes, too

Amir Abramovich

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

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