Category Archives: Commentable

Selected reader’s comments

Black Holes, Steven Hawking, Oh My

According to much of the media, Steven Hawking says there’s no such thing as a black hole. This sounds really rad but is the media reflecting celebrity and titillating terminology rather than substance and veracity? Of course, Hawking is a media magnet, as are (ahem) Black Holes. Besides, didn’t Hawking write the book on black […]
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Peer reviewed climate change deniers

Sometimes overwhelming numbers are a stand-in for credibility (or the lack of it). Consider these figures of published peer reviewed papers compiled by James Lawrence Powell*: November 2012 through December 2013: 9136 authors published 2258 peer-reviewed climate articles 1 author rejected man-made global warming (0.0106 percent) And the longer view: For the years 1991-2012: 13,950 […]
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Frederick Sanger: Gone and should not be forgotten

If you don’t know about Fred Sanger, it’s not surprising. He was a quiet man, far more interested in his work than in recognition. In today’s world of media hypertrophy, that work generally gets a one-column, three-inch obituary, or about fifteen seconds of airtime. Here’s a question. How many people have won more than one […]
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The IPCC Report 2013: the same and much more

Proposed new colony for climate change deniers – located in the Tuvalu islands. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has assembled another massive research ruction from more than 800 contributors (professionals in various aspects of climatology) and issued its fifth report on the state of global climate change. This has received some attention from […]
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Mini-brain or cerebral organoid?

A cerebral organoid with brown pigment spots of retinal development…Credit: OAW If ever there was a nomenclature to stir up false images and expectations, it’s “mini-brain” (or miniature brain). It’s real enough, a pea-sized structure containing stem cell based neurons that has some capacity to function like brain tissue. Developed by scientists at the Institute […]
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Cellulosic ethanol: A production chimera?

On paper, it seems logical that as a source for a replacement to gasoline, woody type material should be ideal. After all, there are a lot of plants with woody material – trees (all kinds of trees), bushes, and reeds – in short, the most visible bulk of plant life on this planet. Then too, […]
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Pop! goes the Hyperloop

Elon Musk celebrating his Hyperloop (in the future)…Credit: Elon Musk If you’re old enough, you might remember a messaging system used in commercial buildings that had pipes or tubes running all over the place. You put paper items in a capsule, popped the capsule in a tube-port and SCHWUPP!, air suction whisked the dingus off […]
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Krauss and Dent: A new theory to explain dark energy

In a literal sense, a new theory, in this case involving dark energy and the Higgs Boson, by two well-known physicists – Lawrence Krauss and James Dent – is “news.” So why did I question my first reaction to create a ‘news’ story? Well, new theories of any kind, much less in the theory-filled universe […]
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Even the U.S. House knows about global water shortage

With the members of the U.S. House of Representative Republican caucus usually at loggerheads over everything except their own legislation, it was a little surprising to see (Aug. 7) some old-fashioned bipartisan bill-crafting (Blumenauer D-Oregon, Poe R-Texas) trying to tighten the useful impact of U.S. water assistance money as foreign aid. Simultaneously, a house hearing […]
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Runaway greenhouse for the Earth. Not right away…

As if climate deniers didn’t have enough fuel to fire their attacks (if that’s the phrase), now they can point to a new study that says there is a ridiculous trigger point for a ‘runaway greenhouse effect.’ This effect, in case you hadn’t guessed, is where a combination of factors accelerates global warming so that […]
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