Posts tagged science
Posts tagged science
Carl Sagan on astrology in newspapers. From his interview with Ted Turner.
Also, photosets are fun.
Because people are lunatics.
Don’t Get Neil deGrasse Tyson Started About the Un-Science-y Politicians Who Are Killing America’s Dreams
As we’ve learned time and time again, when you need to hear someone kvetch hard about the state of science in this country, point your radio telescopes at Hayden Planetarium head Neil deGrasse. In the midst of the debt debacle, he responds to Bill Maher’s question about Washington’s possible assassination of the James Webb Space Telescope with a ranty explanation of how Congress is mortgaging the futuristic dreams Americans used to have. He ends with a good question: How far can science go in Washington when so few Congressmen are scientists?
“People have been discovering components of DNA in meteorites since the 1960’s, but researchers were unsure whether they were really created in space or if instead they came from contamination by terrestrial life,” said Dr. Michael Callahan of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. “For the first time, we have three lines of evidence that together give us confidence these DNA building blocks actually were created in space.” Callahan is lead author of a paper on the discovery appearing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. (via DNA building blocks can be made in space, NASA evidence suggests)
Suffice it to say that the 1st Law of Thermodynamics does not, in fact, render climate change impossible, any more than it prevents sweaters, insulation, or blankets from keeping you warm.
Media Matters has more:
During the segment Fox’s global warming expert, Joe Bastardi, who is employed by the WeatherBELL meteorological consulting firm, declared that the theory of human-induced climate change “contradicts what we call the 1st law of thermodynamics. Energy can be neither created nor destroyed. So to look for input of energy into the atmosphere, you have to come from a foreign source.”
It’s not clear what to conclude from this except that Fox and Bastardi are not familiar with the greenhouse effect. Climate scientists aren’t claiming that humans are creating energy. They’re saying that humans are trapping more energy by increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Physics does have a well known liberal bias. More seriously, the problem of climate change denial among TV meteorologists - as opposed to climatologists - is a real problem, given that the best chance to educate Americans about climate science occurs during the weather report.
A Brief History Of Quantum Mechanics
Article by one of my favorite psychologist Michael Michalko. Oh, and what a great story about Oersted and Maxwell!
As an infant, you learned how to walk by trial and error. The first time you made the effort you fell down and returned to crawling. You ignored your fears about falling and…
A simple density column in a slender tube contains 6 stacked liquids. The most dense liquid is at the bottom and least dense liquid is at the top. A robber stopper and Alka-seltzer table is place into the density column. Both items drop down into the liquids according to their relative densities.
Why Does The Earth Spin?
The Earth spins on its axis, completing a full revolution every day. By why does it do this? One of the most common misconceptions in physics is the belief that constant motion requires a constant force. So many people believe there must be some force in the Earth (e.g. gravity, centrifugal force) that keeps it spinning. In truth, no force is required because a fundamental property of mass is that it maintains its state of motion in the absence of external forces. This property is called inertia.
Inertia (Why Earth Spins Part 2)
One of the most common physics misconceptions is that an unbalanced force causes constant motion. In truth, an unbalanced force leads to changes in motion - accelerations.
The universe is beautiful, isn’t it?
(via The Scientist)