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November 24, 2009

"A Virus Walks Into a Bar..." and Other Science Jokes

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October 2, 2009

Correlation vs. Causation

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August 6, 2009

The Amazing Crow

Aesop's fable? This one turns out to be true - Science, News - The Independent update: Here is the video One of Aesop's fables describing a thirsty crow which was able to drink from a half-full pitcher after raising the water level by adding pebbles may have had a basis in real life. Scientists have found that rooks – a member of the crow family – were able to figure out how to raise the water level in a laboratory container by dropping stones inside to retrieve a tasty worm floating on the surface. Four different rooks, called Cook, Fry, Connelly and Monroe, quickly discovered that they could raise the water level in a transparent container by adding stones, just like the mythical crow in the fable, which illustrates the virtue of ingenuity and how necessity is the mother of invention. (tip to pedantsareus)...

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July 31, 2009

Real Science vs. Psuedoscience

(tip to Joel)...

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April 18, 2009

Introduction to Nanoscience

Narrated by Alan Alda, this introduction to nanoscience gives us a brief overview of the field and illuminates some of the interesting questions being currently researched. tip to Patrick...

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April 14, 2009

Did You Know?

I'm currently reading Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average and ran across a couple of items I think you might find of interest. Since so many of you seem to currently be either teachers or students, you may want to consider this argument. He believes, and provides some pretty persuasive evidence that if you are considering changing an answer the odds are two to one that if you change it you will change it from wrong to right. I won't go into much detail, but one of the reasons we are reluctant to change is one of regret. Apparently, we feel worse if we proactively do something and it turns out wrong than if we do nothing with the same result. That sounds right to me. There was another bit of trivia I gleaned from the book that may contain a part of the reason that the home team in sporting events has a higher winning percentage. Studies show that teams that wear black get called with more fouls and that the fouls are considered more severe than teams that wear white. How about that? I haven't finished reading the book yet, but based on what I've read so far I'm giving it a couple of thumbs up....

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April 10, 2009

Discovering Bacteria's Amazing Communication System

Bonnie Bassler discovered that bacteria "talk" to each other, using a chemical language that lets them coordinate defense and mount attacks. The find has stunning implications for medicine, industry -- and our understanding of ourselves....

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April 1, 2009

Open Mindedness

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Faith Based Science

From the March 25, 2009 hearing of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment. tip to Genève more here...

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March 25, 2009

G is for Gouldberg

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March 24, 2009


Take some interesting statistics, then present them graphically using modern technology and voilà....

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March 14, 2009


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February 1, 2009

The Faith Cake

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January 31, 2009

The Problem With Anecdotes

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January 28, 2009

Skewed Views of Science

(tip to Kairotic Laughter...

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Essay - Elevating Science, Elevating Democracy

Essay - Elevating Science, Elevating Democracy - “The knock on science from its cultural and religious critics is that it is arrogant and materialistic. It tells us wondrous things about nature and how to manipulate it, but not what we should do with this knowledge and power. The Big Bang doesn’t tell us how to live, or whether God loves us, or whether there is any God at all. It provides scant counsel on same-sex marriage or eating meat. It is silent on the desirability of mutual assured destruction as a strategy for deterring nuclear war. Einstein seemed to echo this thought when he said, “I have never obtained any ethical values from my scientific work.” Science teaches facts, not values, the story goes. Worse, not only does it not provide any values of its own, say its detractors, it also undermines the ones we already have, devaluing anything it can’t measure, reducing sunsets to wavelengths and romance to jiggly hormones. It destroys myths and robs the universe of its magic and mystery. So the story goes. But this is balderdash. Science is not a monument of received Truth but something that people do to look for truth. That endeavor, which has transformed the world in the last few centuries, does indeed teach values. Those values, among others, are honesty, doubt, respect for evidence, openness, accountability and tolerance and indeed hunger for opposing points of view. These are the unabashedly pragmatic working principles that guide the buzzing, testing, poking, probing, argumentative, gossiping, gadgety, joking, dreaming and tendentious cloud of activity — the writer and biologist Lewis Thomas once likened it to an anthill — that is slowly and thoroughly penetrating every nook and cranny of the world. Nobody appeared in a cloud of smoke and taught scientists these virtues. This behavior simply evolved because it worked.”...

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January 27, 2009

Science Policy

Chris Mooney on Obama's Science Policy .cc_box a:hover .cc_home{background:url('') !important;}.cc_links a{color:#b9b9b9;text-decoration:none;}.cc_show a{color:#707070;text-decoration:none;}.cc_title a{color:#868686;text-decoration:none;}.cc_links a:hover{color:#67bee2;text-decoration:underline;}The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30cObama's New Science Policy - Chris MooneyColbert at ChristmasColbert Christmas DVDGreen ScreenBill O'Reilly Interview...

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