When the second working group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its fifth report March 31, its unexpected emphasis on the positive may have been more than a reflection of better efforts to deal with the impacts of a warming planet. It may also have been smart marketing strategy.

Underwater Acoustics - Searching For The MH370 Flight Recorder

Australian and Chinese vessels have both picked up acoustic "pings" that could be from the black box of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, search officials have announced.
Guardian Sunday 6 April 2014 15.44 BST
Nothing says fun to a kid like talking about carbon dioxide and nucleation sites and surfactants.

Actually, that sounds really, really boring. But if you instead tell them you are going to cause a giant geyser of soda to erupt in the driveway, they will get pretty excited. Then they will ask what happens if you use different sodas, and then different candies, and suddenly a little experimental physicist or chemist is born.

When you’re sober, it’s so easy to tell yourself you’ll have just one drink. Or if you’re trying to be honest with yourself, you say you’ll stop at two; maybe two is enough to feel it, but not enough to have any consequences. But what happens when you finish that second drink? How do your sober intentions hold up against the reality of that buzz waiting just inside the fridge or on the shelf? In short, can you really stop at one or two or does that one drink wreck any willpower you had earlier in the evening until you finish the rest of the alcohol in the house...and go looking for more?

In a previous article I demonstrated an unbreakable code for secure communication through the United States Postal Service using One Time Pads created with Scrabble tiles (or Boggle cubes). It seems some clever folks at the University of Bristol have developed a method of quantum cryptography for cell phones.

Press release from University of Bristol 3 April 2014:

An ultra-high security scheme that could one day get quantum cryptography using Quantum Key Distribution into mobile devices has been developed and demonstrated by researchers from the University of Bristol’s Centre for Quantum Photonics (CQP) in collaboration with Nokia.

(Co-Author: Marie Ernestine Fajatin, Ph.D.)

Quality of instruction suffers, according to Smith and Ragan (1999), when instruction is not “carefully planned.” High quality education can be assured when poor quality of instruction is minimized if not, eradicated. Instructional designs (I.D.'s) offer a solution to this. According to Pritchard (2005), "instructional design  offers a process of systematic planning towards an effective instructional delivery."

The television docudrama Cosmos: A Space-time Odyssey is in free-fall, having dropped in the ratings for the third straight week after a somewhat tepid debut. TV By the Numbers reports that only 3.91 million people watched the fourth episode of the series, down from (an already mediocre) 5.77 million who watched the pilot.

A decade ago, a well-orchestrated political campaign against Republicans in general and George W. Bush in particular turned everything into an anti-science issue. Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), which is run by a former Democratic staffer, was front and center in that effort, even drafting a popular 2004 petition saying Bush "has continued to distort and suppress science" which was dutifully signed by a bunch of people who were never going to vote for a Republican anyway. 
Britain's Air Pollution - It's Not Dust

Having read in today's news that smog affecting much of England is caused by dust from the Sahara I decided to implement the incredibly scientific Mark 1 eyeball test.  I went out on my bike with a camera.


  "Man is not a reasonable, rational animal rather a rationalizing one"