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Monthly Archive: November 2012

Nov 28 2012

A practical joke taken too far

I am not a fan of practical jokes. They are often cruel rather than amusing and it is not fun when one person is the victim and is being laughed at by others. Sometimes they can be excused because they cause just minor embarrassment but this too is dangerous because what can seem like something …

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Nov 28 2012

The cause of the conservative turn against science

In yesterday’s post, I discussed how the changing demographics of the US threaten the future of the Republican party. While I focused largely on ethnicity, there is one other demographic where the party is getting trounced and that is among scientists. In an article titled Why Conservatives Turned Against Science Erik M. Conway and Naomi …

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Nov 27 2012

Bonding with dogs

Two dogs explain the different types of chemical bonds that form between elements. My one suggestion for improvement is that the partner to a ‘cation’ should be a ‘dogion’ instead of the traditional ‘anion’. (Via Maggie Koerth-Baker.)

Nov 27 2012

Why do some trees fall?

Shaker Heights-20121101-00057 copy

Even though we were on the fringes of Hurricane Sandy, a massive pine tree in our backyard toppled over during the night, even though there was not much wind. We did not even hear it falling, suggesting that it fell over slowly rather than come crashing down, presumably because the cause was the soil being …

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Nov 27 2012

The military sacred cow

Lindsey Stone, a 30-year old employee at a nonprofit organization in Massachusetts that assists adults with learning disabilities, was on a work-related trip to Washington DC and while there her supervisor took a photograph of her near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier making a mocking gesture. She then (as has now become almost obligatory) …

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Nov 27 2012

The demographics, they are a’changing

The big discussion after the election has been the seemingly sudden realization by the Republican party that they need to do something about the fact that they are losing the minority vote, especially those of Latinos, big time. What is really shocking is that they did not realize this sooner, given that all the signs …

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Nov 26 2012

Alfred Hitchcock

I am a fan of Alfred Hitchcock films and so was intrigued by news of the film Hitchcock that centers around the time he made the classic Psycho. It has just been released, to mixed reviews unfortunately, despite the presence of excellent actors Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren. Here’s the trailer.

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Nov 26 2012

Jackie, the pride of Krispy Kreme

One man set out to collect 100 rejections in 100 days by asking random people what he thought were requests so unreasonable that they would unhesitatingly refuse to comply, and filming the process. He was stymied on the third day when a Krispy Kreme employee named Jackie went out of her way to accommodate him.

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Nov 26 2012

Double-O-bama: Licensed to kill

I have had numerous arguments with friends who are strong president Obama supporters over his asserting the right to kill whoever he chooses anywhere on the globe, using drones as the main weapon. These people defend such powers by saying that Obama is a good man and that they trust that he will use this …

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Nov 26 2012

Distinguishing science from non-science

My post about how to distinguish real science from fake science generated some interesting comments, especially over my assertion that we have not as yet been able to come up with an unambiguous way to distinguish science from non-science, and it prompted me to post a follow-up to try and clarify it.

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