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Monthly Archive: May 2013

May 30 2013

Morgan Freeman discusses physics

The actor seems to be deeply interested in science. The Daily Show with Jon StewartGet More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Indecision Political Humor,The Daily Show on Facebook (This clip aired on May 30, 2013. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this …

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May 30 2013

The massive migration of red crabs

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The website Amusing Planet has a fascinating article about the annual migration of 50 million red crabs from the forest to the coast on Christmas Island.

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May 30 2013

The academic two-step

Carmen Reinhart has written yet another defense of the discredited study that she and fellow Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff wrote. This one takes the form of an open letter to Paul Krugman, one of her harshest critics in academia. She says that it was not their fault if policymakers misread their statements about the impact …

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May 30 2013

It’s a miracle! Well, maybe not

It is hard for people to get their minds around small probabilities, very long times, the very small, and the very large, which is why people have a hard time accepting the theories of evolution, quantum mechanics, relativity, and cosmology, which depend crucially on them.

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May 29 2013

How to fill up airtime on cable news TV

The Onion shows how to manufacture news (language advisory).

May 29 2013

The secret of Obama’s success

I stopped listening to the speeches of George W. Bush because I hated listening to their huge helpings of arrogance and braggadocio. I long ago stopped listening to president Obama’s speeches but for different reasons, because his speeches seemed to be an exercise in preening self-aggrandizement masked as humility and thoughtfulness. It seemed like a …

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May 29 2013

Where the world’s atheists live

atheism-map

This map shows the results of a survey of 40 countries that measures the percentage of atheists in each.

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May 29 2013

Are we living in a computer simulation?

Anyone who has played even a little of modern video games would be impressed at their realistic quality. The avatars on the screen have been programmed to look almost human. Now what if the designers could program the avatars to have thoughts as well, and that we make them do things by affecting their thinking …

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May 28 2013

The infamous AUMF law

Stephen Colbert carefully walks us through the Authorized Use of Military Force (AUMF) legislation that enabled presidents Bush and Obama to take all the actions they have taken in the so-called war on terror and has given us torture, indefinite detention, drone murders, and the like. I had not realized that the operational part of …

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May 28 2013

Sporadic blogging for the next few days

I will be traveling for the next few days to attend my daughter’s graduation. Internet access will be spotty so blogging will be sporadic.

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