Being obsessed about what happened to Malaysian flight MH370

The story of the plane that mysteriously disappeared last March and was never found has gone from the news pages, consigned to be one of those stories that we will never find the truth about. While this story captivated many people around the world for a while, most people have gone on to other things.

But not all.

There is still a small group of people who are painstakingly going over the most minute bits of information, trying to figure out the truth.
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Climate change skeptic ‘scientist’ revealed to be on payroll of energy industry

The parallels between climate change deniers and those skeptics who argued that tobacco was not a health hazard are becoming more apparent every day. The tobacco industry spent huge sums of money to conduct their own ‘research’ and used the pronouncements of friendly scientists whom they had funded to argue that whether smoking was dangerous was an open question that was still unresolved, that the jury was out, and hence no action should be taken until further research was done, with that horizon constantly receding.
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Beware of the blob!

I came across this video that shows what happens when you embed ferromagnetic particles into putty to make it magnetic and then put a neodymium magnet (these are very strong magnets) near it. The caption to this video says that it was taken over 1.5 hours at three frames per second and then played back at 24 fps. (This cannot be right because then the playback should be a little over ten minutes and not 52 seconds.)
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Pediatricians fight back against the anti-vaxxers

For most people, the idea that we need to vaccinate people so that all of us are safe from diseases that can be easily and safely prevented seems like a no-brainer. The risk to other children is not hypothetical. This news report describes one case where four children of a family from Phoenix, Arizona whose parents had not vaccinated their children went to Disneyland, contracted measles, returned and went to their pediatrician’s clinic where they infected a woman with the disease. She then exposed 195 children to the disease. One of the children showing symptoms is a 10-month old boy who was too young to get vaccinated. But he also has a three-year old sister who has leukemia and the parents are terrified that she will get measles because her immune system has been compromised by her chemotherapy and will not be able to fight the infection.
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Mississippi shows the way on vaccinations

Mississippi is a favorite punch line of comedians whenever they need to point to a state that is the worst in terms of almost any social measure such as poverty, teen pregnancies, education, and so on. But interestingly, Mississippi has the highest vaccination rates. How did it get that way? Melissa Bass and Austin Vitale explain how a state that is usually last came to be first in something good.
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When it comes to vaccinations, don’t ask, just tell

NPR had report on an interesting experiment in which they found that if physicians, in their interactions with the parents of children, simply acted as if it was a given that the children would be vaccinated, then over 70 parents went along with it. But when the physicians had an open-ended discussion with parents about vaccinations, 83% decided against it. Of course, this ‘don’t ask, just tell’ policy works only with those parents who are unsure or on the fence about vaccinations. It has little effect on die-hard opponents.
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The Daily Show on the anti-vaxxers

Jon Stewart looked at the recent outbreak of diseases that we once thought had been eliminated in the US and some of the reasons given by people behind the trend to not vaccinate children. Potential presidential candidate Rand Paul said the same kinds of things that Michele Bachmann said about vaccination back in 2012, and passed along stories that he had heard about children getting neurological problems from getting the vaccine. She was mercilessly ridiculed for it back then and it will be interesting to see if it will similarly come back to haunt Paul.
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Using nanometer etching to change surface adhesion properties

What makes a surface attract or repel water that comes in contact with it is usually determined by the chemical coating on the surface. Teflon is an example of a chemical coating to which water adheres only slightly. Those waxes that are put on wood and metal surfaces that cause water to bead up and flow off rather than adhere to the surface are other examples of hydrophobic techniques.
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