Random Thoughts

The reboot of Cosmos was on the must-see television list for many; it is a prime-time non-fiction science program, with one of the best hosts in science media, a generous budget, airing on 10 channels, and even had music by the guy who did Captain America. Excitement was high.

Then it actually began. It had an alarming non-science gaffe - the story of the likely insane philosopher Bruno reconfigured to be...what exactly, no one is sure. 25% of Episode One was devoted to talking about mean old religion in the middle of a narrative about cosmology only to have Neil Tyson then dismiss the entire story as Bruno not being a scientist anyway.

Whistleblowing - Why I Love the Sound of a Whistle

According to an official U.K. Government source:

Whistleblowing is when a worker reports suspected wrongdoing at work. Officially this is called ‘making a disclosure in the public interest’.

A worker can report things that aren’t right, are illegal or if anyone at work is neglecting their duties, including:

Suspect Object Identified?

News of a mystery object washed up on Haa Alif atoll Baarah southern beach has been wrongly linked to the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Ailines Flight MH370.

It appears to me that it is something rarely seen these days outside of a museum: a polyphase mercury arc rectifier.  From the distribution of the components it is probably 6 phase.  It is certainly some kind of pressure vessel.  That would point equally to some kind of fire-suppression component or some kind of evacuated vessel.

Who is to blame for the latest weekly decline in Cosmos ratings? The Walking Dead, NCAA basketball games, a mass exodus due to its opening effort to be culturally in-your-face?

There is always going to be competition on TV, just like there will always be competition for a government R01 grant. No point in whining about that. And Cosmos still takes shots at religion, but it isn't devoting 25 percent of episodes to it any more. Across the cultural spectrum, it's been much better during the last two weeks.

In the absence of any evidence for why different people perform differently in school - other than that people are different - pundits have invented everything from genetic math anxiety to stereotype threat as an explanation.
The Drudge Report is saying that "Cosmos" ratings are a disaster and, I as I discussed in Is "Cosmos" Suffering From Unrealistic Expectations? the overnights showed numbers down from the premiere, but that is hardly a disaster.

1) It's a science show. That a science show was on a prime time broadcast network - and took third place in its premiere - I would say is bordering on miraculous.
Malaysia Airlines MH370 - A Faint Trace?

Edit - please see new article -
Could A Fire Have Caused The Loss Of MH370?

The latest information coming from official sources suggests that MH370 was heading towards the Andaman Islands when last tracked by radar.  Straits Times reports:
Malaysia Airlines MH370 - Verifiable Sources

- please see new article -
Could A Fire Have Caused The Loss Of MH370?

This is a follow-up to MH370 - Pieces Of The Puzzle, in which I said:

There has been a great amount of idle speculation and misinformation about the missing flight MH370 in the media and around the web.  Much of the news story has been colored by idle speculation bordering on xenophobia regarding the stolen passports.
I play guitar but I don't play out for money. Aside from a high level of stage fright about playing guitar in public I think doing it for money would take away a lot of the relaxation.

That doesn't apply to all things. I write every day and always enjoy that. So at first blush I might be inclined to think a job tasting beer would be a bad thing, but perhaps it is just like writing and if you would do it for free anyway, you might as well get paid for it.
In The Federalist Today, I have a piece titled Five Things Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “Cosmos” Gets Wrong