Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Science Envy

Dread Tomato Addiction blog signature Read it and weep at Pandas Thumb. [Especially if your name rhymes with Dilliam Wembski.]

Stand in awe at the power of us scientists, we only have to use big words, show lots of data, click our fingers and politicians will um, er, well … ignore us actually. Until real disaster actually does strike.
[Hat Tip 2 A Simple Prop]
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Make Them Laugh

Dread Tomato Addiction blog signature Scott Aaronson has a great post about humor in scientific talks:

Essentials of complexity-theoretic stand-up comedy

Here's a very short excerpt:

But because I love you, my readers, so deeply, and because I feel guilty about abandoning you for so long, I shall now publicly deconstruct the main ingredients of seminar humor, insofar as I’ve been able to find them. (A few ingredients are specific to theoretical computer science, but most are more general.)

  1. Make fun of people in the audience. (Of course, you have to do it in such a way that they’re flattered you’re ripping them and not someone else.)

Good stuff, if you are a geeky science type. Go read the whole thing at Shtetl-Optimized.
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Friday, July 17, 2009

Jeff Hawke

Dread Tomato Addiction blog signature Forty Years since man first walked on the Moon? My how time flies!

Jeff Hawke Moon Landing Memorial

[A full size image from this Jeff Hawk Comic can be found here]

This panel of the comic Jeff Hawke published in 1959 depicts the prediction of the date of the first human landing on the Moon with an error of a couple of weeks.


Hat Tip 2 Contrary Brin, who has more insightful commentary on the subject.
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Monday, July 6, 2009

Stork Theory

Dread Tomato Addiction blog signature How did I miss this Gem for so long?

For more Stork Theory and this Expelled parody visit RichardDawkins.net.

[Hat Tip 2 Greg Laden and Glen Gould] Dread Tomato Addiction blog signature

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Man versus Cartoon

Dread Tomato Addiction blog signature It's Engineers versus the mind of Wiley E. Coyote.man versus cartoon

man versus cartoonEngineers, Explosives, and Cartoons; clearly a highly dangerous combination.

man versus cartoon

[Addendum] Engineering Hubris, from XKCD
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Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Physics That We Know

Dread Tomato Addiction blog signature From Edge:

A Conversation with Gavin Schmidt

There is a simple way to produce a perfect model of our climate that will predict the weather with 100% accuracy. First, start with a universe that is exactly like ours; then wait 13 billion years.

But if you want something useful right now, if you want to construct a means of taking the knowledge that we have and use it to predict future climate, you build computer simulations. Your models are messy, complicated, in constant need of fine tuning, exacting and inexact at the same time. You're using the past to predict the future, extrapolating the very complicated from the very simple, and relying on an ever-changing data stream to inform the outcome.

Climatologist Gavin Schmidt explains: ...

Video and full text of the conversion at Edge. Dread Tomato Addiction blog signature

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Big Bird Lays An Egg?

Dread Tomato Addiction blog signatureBig Bird

According to this Research Highlight at Nature.com, it seems that our favorite big yellow bird is more likely to be a lady-bird.

J. Zool. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2009.00596.x (2009)

It seems that the constraints of egg shell strength conspire to limit how large a bird can be without crushing it's own eggs. Males of larger species tend to be smaller, and this may allow them to incubate their eggs more safely.

Fun Facts About Big Bird
Description : 8-foot-2-inch yellow bird
Birthday : March 20
Likes : Singing, finding solutions to problems, roller skating, making people feel better
Dislikes : Making mistakes
Favorite Food : Birdseed milkshakes
Favorite Thing : His friends
Favorite Toy : Radar, his teddy bear

More bird stuff from Nature here.

[Images Muppet Wiki] Dread Tomato Addiction blog signature