Today I have a decision problem for you.

Last December I took on a new challenge.  I was asked to speak to a large Canadian audience of agricultural producers about climate change.  ‘Bout time I stepped into a controversial area.  I’m used to getting hassles and public records requests from lefty food activists that think my acceptance of scientific consensus in genetic engineering is dictated by multinational corporations. Now I can get hassles and FOIA requests from the multinational corporations that think my acceptance of scientific consensus in climate is dictated by lefty food activists. Good times.

Today I took delivery of my copy of Tony Zee’s third contribution to the Princeton University Press In a Nutshell series: “
Holy grail -againAfter being only theorized for 80 years, Harvard scientists claim they have succeeded in creating the rarest - and potentially one of the most valuable - materials on the planet.
The number of theoretically possible fatty acids with the same chain length but different structures can be determined with the aid of the famous Fibonacci sequence.

The ability to calculate the number of possible fatty acids is of great importance for their chemical analysis (‘lipidomics’) and a new paper states the number of possible fatty acids with increasing chain length rises at each step by a factor that agrees with what is called the ‘Golden Ratio’. The Golden Ratio is essentially a ratio that is the midpoint between asymmetry and symmetry, when "the whole is to the larger as the larger is to the smaller". In numerical terms, it is 1.618.

I have written this for young children and others scared the world is about to blow up. If you read the news announcements today, you can understand why they seem to say this. Take them literally and that is exactly what they say. 

Summary: They have just set the "clock" to two and a half minutes, it does not mean that the world is about to blow up into dust in two and a half minutes. It’s like when a friend says “I could eat a horse”. They couldn’t eat a horse. They also don’t want to eat a horse. But they aren’t lying when they say that. They are just using vivid imagery.

A new analysis finds that youths who hold off on trying marijuana until age 17 do better on cognitive tests and drop out of school at a lower rate than those who start by age 14. Obviously negative health behavior in alcohol and cigarettes are linked in the same ways, but those two have not gotten the health halo that marijuana has gotten, thanks to politicians who have turned a blind eye to health concerns in the interest of generating more revenue.
In computer science, the classic Turing test evaluates a machine's ability to mimic human behavior, and therefore is a measure of determining how close a machine can come to artificial intelligence. To pass, a computer must fool the tester into thinking it is human -- typically through the use of questions and answers.

What about for single-celled organisms? They can't communicate with words but they still communicate, and that means the search is on to create artificial ones that do just. IN ACS Central Science, researchers demonstrate that certain artificial cells can pass a basic laboratory Turing test by 'talking' chemically with living bacterial cells.

Lots of people have asked me for my views on Erik Verlinde’s latest paper “Emergent Gravity and the Dark Universe“. This fifty-one pages long preprint has attracted a fair bit of media attention. Particularly in the Netherlands, Verlinde’s name being attached to the draft paper has caused a true hype.

America is a car culture. The saying goes, in Europe 100 miles is a long distance whereas in America 100 years is a long time.

With a heritage of continental exploration and frontier expansion, it is no surprise that Americans embraced the automobile in a way no one else did. It inhabits our movies, our music. Everyone except millennials has a road trip soundtrack. Life is a highway, Route 66, and more.