[Hit Tip 2 A Simple Prop]
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.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
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.)
- 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.
Friday, July 17, 2009
The memorial on the rock says: ON AUGUST FOURTH, EARTH YEAR NINETEEN HUNDRED SIXTY-NINE, THE FIRST BEING SET FOOT ON THE MOON AT THIS POINT. HIS NAME WAS HOMO SAPIENS.
Hat Tip 2 Contrary Brin, who has more insightful commentary on the subject.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
THE PHYSICS THAT WE KNOW
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.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
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]