There should be a Youtube version of the Oscars, and if there was, this short clip by Bamberg C, Rademacher G, Güttler F, et al “Human birth observed in real-time open magnetic resonance imaging,” would be in contention for the science and education categrory.
The Chinese have their sights set on the high frontier, but this week they’re looking to another unexplored realm intent on setting records there too: [Read more...]
Cryo-researchers have found algal blooms below the polar ice that are far more robust than once thought, and that could explain some things: [Read more...]
Remember the mystery blobs that had been found washed up on beaches or caught in nets here and there? Well, this may solve the mystery and it’s a pretty cool answer: [Read more...]
NASA has released the top ten images taken by the Spitzer telescope, and the same instrument has observed light across 41 light-years from a exo-planetary super-earth for the first time: [Read more...]
The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science — and Reality by Chris Mooney
Publisher Wiley; available on Kindle
During the darkest days of the Bush era, science writer Chris Mooney made a big splash in the publishing world with his first book detailing the Republican war on science. This month his newest effort, what could be nicknamed the Republican brain on science, hit the shelves. In it you will find Mooney is a stickler for detail, always important in any book on science, especially one with a bold title. But this is no clinical read, the book is a blast right off the bat, framing the main subject marvelously in the juiciest claims and tastier bits of conservative pseudoscientific lore readers here have come to lovingly know and ridicule. [Read more...]
On almost every post where conservative denial of science rears its unwelcome head, a fascinating question breaks out in comments: do they really believe it or are they just being cynical assholes? The traditional response is “I can’t read people’s minds …but”. Now, thanks to the rapidly growing field of neurophysiology, we’re starting to get insight into the cerebral activities that rise and fall when someone is confronted by strong counter arguments to their beliefs. Defacto mind reading? It’s a complicated subject, way out of my league as a writer. But luckily, I happen to have in my hot little hands a review copy for a new book due out in April by noted science writer Chris Mooney called The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Don’t Believe in Science. [Read more...]
This week rumors swirled that … something … was found in the LHC data. There’s plenty of inside baseball players saying it’s likely to be tentative evidence that the search for the Higgs Boson is nearing a phase transition. So, what is the Higgs Boson you ask? The LHC rap above with intro by MC Hawking does a decent job of reviewing the basics; I wish could explain the Higgs in one graf. Because it’s only the most important particle in science right now, and — depending on its properties or its very existence — could even help illuminate the elusive bridge between two great fields of physics that explain our universe from quark to quasar, but don’t play well together at all: General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. But that’s a post for another day. For now, Cosmic Variance does an admirable job of summing up the science of detection, and this link explains the Higgs by gentle analogy for the non atom-smashing pro.