MN Republican cites bizarre science ideas

Anti-science bloggers often enjoy significant support from various wingnut think-tanks, five or even six figures grants have reportedly been handed out to some. All I’ve got is you. Please chip into my Paypal account at DarkSydOtheMoon-at-aol-com if you can. All that right-wing money supports batshit crazy ideas, like the one proposed by Minnesota State Rep Bob Frey last week. He had this nugget to say about AIDS: [Read more…]

Wealthy inequality may be worse than measured



I had hoped not to have to ask, but I’m between jobs, approaching dead broke and could use any help anyone can provide. No amount is too big or too small. Paypal email is DarkSydoTheMoon-at-aol-com. The economy’s definitely better, at least there are more ads for jobs here in Austin than in months past. But few of them are the kind of jobs that pay a middle class salary. Mostly 10 and 11 dollar an hour deals. The one-percent are reportedly doing fine though: [Read more…]

The Man from Kentucky goes to Mars again


Do you recall the idiot from Kentucky, state Senator Brandon Smith, who paraded his ignorance about the climate of that planet by claiming it was equal to Earth’s? It was just July 3 that Smith claimed ” I will simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars.” He’s back and has refined his spiel:

Leo Weekly — In deep and dark corners of the internet tubes, climate change deniers enjoy sharing this conspiracy theory that all planets are warming, so there must be increased output by the sun to explain climate change on Earth, not the burning of fossil fuels. For instance, if you Google this, the first link that pops up is this website claiming Martian warming is real and debunks climate change scientists. Elsewhere on the site you can read many posts on how the Jews did 9/11, too (seriously).

The only problem with this theory is that it is laughable because relies on a speck of information, largely photographs of ice melting in one region on Mars over a three years period. And we can actually measure increased output from the sun …

The sun is the second most scrutinized object in space, or the number one object if you don’t count the Earth. There is no measured increased in solar output beyond the usual, narrow band of known fluctuation.

A poll for Republican Jesus

In the Bible, Jesus spoke clearly on the spiritual mandate that all people of any means must heal the sick, feed the hungry, empower the powerless. A reasonable person might then conclude that a majority Christian government of the people, by the people, and for the people would reflect those sacred directives. And for the most part, people do. But few Republicans agree: [Read more…]

The Internet can be bad

I have a friend who suffered a recluse bite a week or two ago. As those nasty bites go, it was a doozy. It got her good, inside the shin, down near her ankle. She saw the critter, there’s little doubt. It formed a blister that broke and oozed, it got bigger, after about ten days there was an open wound roughly the size of a dime. It was angry and red, she’s reporting intermittent, low fever. [Read more…]

Obama approval rate by religions & atheism


“The results are based on aggregated data from more than 88,000 Gallup Daily tracking interviews conducted in the first six months of 2014 — a time when the president averaged 43% job approval among all Americans. Gallup interviewed 552 Muslims and at least 1,700 respondents in every other religious group during this time.”

Gallup has released an long term aggregate poll of President Obama’s approval rating cross-tabbed to religion and even have a tab and breakout graph for what atheists and/or those who profess no religion feel about the President. Click images or here for full results.

Two science shows up for award

There’s a lot of propaganda passed off as science, endless parades of pseudoscience and just plain fake science-y truthiness, on TV. The quality or lack thereof always reminds me of the MtV clip above. Crappy science is on because, apparently, there is viewer demand for crappy, fake science-y truthiness just like there’s demand for MtV to air reality TV featuring vapid characters. I’m not talking about cheesy sci-fi movies or series, this awful fare is on cable channels with official sounding science-y and historical names. Soap operas loosly centered on chasing ghosts or cornering bigfoot regularly stains our screens and minds. One could be forgiven for mistaking those shows for a sci-fi series.

Like so many lousy cable shows, the protagonists, bravely hunting down X-files phenomena — playing it their own way! by their rules! no matter what those stupid elite scientists say! — never quite land their elusive quarries. Maybe next week they’ll finally get it! What a shock, huh? But there’s some good stuff, too.

This week, Joe Romm at Climate Progress writes about some Emmy nominated science programs:

“COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey,” is the Fox network’s gorgeous, high-tech update of the classic PBS series, with the redoubtable Neil deGrasse Tyson in the narrator role made famous by Carl Sagan. It is one of the strongest defenses of science and the scientific method ever to appear on network TV — and Tyson was not shy in speaking out about the reality of climate science.“Years Of Living Dangerously” is the first documentary series devoted to climate change ever to appear on a major network or premium cable. Its 9 episodes were produced by the legendary storytellers and filmmakers James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jerry Weintraub — together with three former 60 Minutes producers who already have 18 Emmys between them.

Cosmic dust abounds in the galaxy


We know the universe is full of dust. We see planets, proto-planets, rings and shells of gas and grains surround dying stars with beautiful arrays like the Crab Nebula above. It’s a thin fare. But astronomers believe there is plenty of it between stars in the Milky Way. The details of how it got from small collections of molecules to something big enough to be barely visible to the naked eye is a bit of a mystery: [Read more…]

We could be heading toward teeming refugee camps in North America


It seems the usual suspects have mostly dropped their war drums and quieted their war chants about re-occupying Iraq. Also known as trying to injure the White House. Maybe a better, more genuine discussion would be what the US and the rest of the world is willing to do about improving the dire situation in Central America. As things stand now, thousands of mothers and children are being duped and intimidated into a death defying run for safety in the US. Here’s some of what is motivating them: [Read more…]