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Enrico UvaRSS Feed of this column.

I majored in chemistry, worked briefly in the food industry and at Fisheries and Oceans. I then obtained a degree in education. Since then I have taught chemistry in the U.S. but mostly in Canada... Read More »

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It is highly improbable that an obscure researcher will outdo Big Science or that a low budget candidate will win her way into the White House. But in the realm of sports, many are rejoicing as big-spending baseball teams struggle out of the gate. After today's interleague play(May 20th), the most efficient teams---the ones who are spending the least on salaries per win are mostly young and without a World Series title in at least two decades:
If enough ice from land slides into the sea, the sea level can measurably increase, in the same way that the water in a glass will rise if an ice cube is dropped into it. Because water's molecules are more closely packed in the liquid state than they are in the solid state, they can support ice's open, hexagonal and  less dense structure. When ice is floating, water's buoyant force has the same magnitude as the ice's weight. And the buoyant force is simply equal to the weight of water displaced by floating ice.

When it comes to comparing groups of people, there are always more differences within a group than there are between groups. This truism guards us against racism, sexism and ageism.  But the idea is not often applied to adolescents, and it surprises me that I have never heard someone publicly complain, "I've experienced more discrimination as a teenager than as a woman or green-skinned person."

Consider two opposing visions. First imagine a commercial from my childhood: a mother and son running in slow motion in a haze through a field of giant daisies. In each core, instead of the familiar yellow inflorescence, they find a chocolate chip cookie. In this world of pureness and goodness, new, synthesized molecules have no place. When the "all-natural" people hear of any trace of these locust-like invading "chemicals", if they don't run to health food stores, they imagine living in the pristine past in the middle of the woods.
For our frugal parents in the late 1960's, pressure cookers and mason jars were not an option. In fact, since our tomato-dominated gardens couldn't provide the needed volume, our extended family drove to farms to pick more tomatoes, often overfilling allotted baskets.

Then back home, not for ecological reasons but strictly to lower costs, any glass container in sight was recycled, filled with crushed tomatoes and topped with a basil leaf. Jars and bottles were placed in big oil drums, and fires were lit in the fields behind our suburban homes so we could preserve sauce for the long, upcoming winter.

I hope that with my title I'm not stepping on Tomasso Dorigo's toes. He normally does this sort of thing.

Scientific questions that ask for final answers are, by definition, unanswerable.
--Marcelo Gleiser Theoretical Physicist at Darmouth

Nice. We all know that scientific answers always lead to more questions. This won't ever end. Does anyone out there want to live forever because of this? I sometimes do, but maybe I'm rationalizing.