Cool Links

All people care about these days is cost.  What happened to buying local?

Health Canada warned would-be parents not to purchase "fresh" semen online, saying it may be tainted with infectious diseases.  Pesky Canada has strict controls for obtaining donor semen to minimize the potential risk of transmitting serious infectious diseases, like a requirement that donor semen must be quarantined for a minimum of six months and donors screened and tested before the donation and six months after, but that is just Big Government trying to control the mom and pop semen sellers out there.
We keep being told Americans want more government but Gallup polls tell a different story.  What Americans want are more computer companies.

The semiconductor industry, which gets nothing at all from academia, the many overlapping science funding agencies or mandates and subsidies from the government, ranks at the top of 25 business and industry sectors in this new poll.  Yayyy, capitalism.
Climate change has been implicated in many things but mental health is new.  A report titled A Climate of Suffering: The Real Costs of Living with Inaction on Climate Change by the Climate Institute says climate change could mean more than direct problems for the environment.

Australians are generally pissed off now, it says, and that will only get worse when there are more droughts, heat waves and wild fires.   Traditionally, disasters bring people together and make communities act in unison but they contend this will be different; families will be torn apart and anxiety will spike.
James Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, was arrested outside the White House as he joined protesters in urging President Barack Obama to reject TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s $7 billion pipeline.

It's all fine to protest but we have to find out if he took yet another leave of absence to engage in advocacy work.   If climate scientists want to be regarded as trusted guides for complex science issues, they need to stop being kooky shills.  Hansen goes to all of these things because he leverages the NASA brand - he isn't a climate scientist by degree, he is an astrophysicist.
Penn State had no issue with research by Michael Mann and, with qualifications about his 'statistical analysis techniques', the National Science Foundation cleared him as well, so why hasn't this ClimateGate thing gone away?

The University of Virginia is providing ammunition for skeptics by citing 'proprietary nature' of some material requested under a Freedom of Information Act request, forcing a court order to get it.
What, no comparisons to Hitler or Nazis?

There are some people, left and right, who are never going to accept climate change, just like there are some people on the left and right who think vaccines are bad for kids.   The percentages skew more toward right for the former and more left for the latter.

But is it constructive to compare them to racists?  
...reductionism will never be able to account for the role of historical contingency and accident. Even if an all-powerful being could account for all biological scenarios emerging from an initial state of the universe, it could never tell us why one particular scenario is preferred over others...evolutionary accidents by definition cannot be predicted from starting conditions because they depend on chance and opportunity. 
The discovery of a new civilization, named al-Maqar after the site's location, will challenge the theory that the domestication of animals took place 5,500 years ago in Central Asia, said Ali al-Ghabban, Vice-President of Antiquities and Museums at the Saudi Commission for Tourism&Antiquities in Arabia.

The site also includes remains of mummified skeletons, arrowheads, scrapers, grain grinders, tools for spinning and weaving, and other tools that are evidence of a civilization that is skilled in handicrafts.
Texas Governor Rick Perry is one Republican who doesn't seem to be a big fan of science but, regardless of what you may read, he is not the norm.  Pres. George W. Bush was also criticized as being 'against' science despite doubling funding of the NIH and boosting a NASA program which had declined throughout the 1990s.

Most people don't recall President Ronald Reagan as advocating for more spending of anything - he was distrustful of Big Government and the nation agreed with him after the bloated government spending of the 1960s and the 'stagflation' of the 1970s.

But he was a fan of more spending in one area - science.
Josh Rosenau at Scienceblogs tackles some criticism leveled at people who don't think all religious politicians (and voters) should be met with scorn and derision, a la the Richard Dawkins way.

The topic is, of course, Texas Governor Rick Perry, who plays to the fundamentalist base among Republicans by noting that evolution 'has some gaps', a wink to religious folks who don't believe in it at all (though they are few, and nearly as many Democrats, as I noted).
Some psychologists have decided that the ratio of face height and width determines aggression.  Yes, your facial ratio is deterministic.   How so?
In 1963, Jerry Gretzinger began doodling, a rectangle with a crosshatch that looked like a top down view of a housing plan.   Then he began expanding it until he created an entire fantasy world, composed of nothing but hand-painted maps he has created for no reason at all, other than loving it.

It's alive to him, it changes.

See this amazing story and you'll be wondering just like we all are; "Will Ukrainia be saved?"

On August 15th, the closeout memorandum for the Office of Inspector General at the National Science Foundation agreed with two reviews commissioned by Pennsylvania State University which cleared climate researcher Michael Mann of allegations regarding research integrity, including allegations of research misconduct, specifically

(1) falsifying research data
(2) concealing, deleting or otherwise destroying emails, information or data
(3)misusing privileged information and
The Rev. Donnie Russell of West Virginia found a 2.1-centimeter-long egg last month on his farm. It weighs just 3.46 grams, just over a one-tenth of an ounce, and is about the size of a penny.

The chicken that he believes laid the egg is normal sized and the state Department of Agriculture has certified the egg's size.  The Guinness Book Of World Records currently lists the smallest recorded chicken egg as 2.7 centimeters.

World's Smallest Chicken Egg Hard To Beat
A US-Albanian underwater expedition believes they have found a 1st century B.C. Roman shipwreck off the southwestern Albanian coast, close to the Sazan Island off the Karaburun Peninsula and the Vlora city, 87 miles southwest of the capital, Tirana.

They speculate  the 'well-preserved' 30-yard tall ship and some 300 Lambolie 2-type amphora were in the wine transport business. 

Unfortunately, the amphora were empty.  If wine gets better with age, it would have to be pretty terrific after 2,000-plus years.  

At the University of Cincinnati, it is said McMicken Hall’s stone lions, Mick and Mack, roar when a virgin walks by.  The urban legend is well-known enough to be documented on the Urban Legend Reference Page of 

Has anyone actually ever heard this roaring thing happen?  Nope, which means young men who really want dates now know where to matriculate.

If you can't stand the thought of living in Ohio - residents of Pittsburgh, we mean you - there are similar virgin-sensing lions at the universities of Missouri and Michigan.

Northport Middle Schooler Aidan Dwyer has accomplished more in his life than most people three times his age. He sails, he golfs...and he is a patented innovator of solar panel arrangements.

Dwyer applied the Fibonacci sequence to solar panel arrays in a months-long backyard experiment. He found that small solar panels arranged according to the Fibonacci sequence found in tree branches produced 20 percent more energy than flat panel arrays, and prolonged the collection window by up to two and a half hours.

'Young Naturalist' Granted A Patent In Solar EnergyBy Leah Bush,
Last week, Science Exchange launched a website allowing scientists to outsource their research to 'providers' — other researchers and institutions that have the facilities and equipment to meet requesting scientists' needs.

Zoë Corbyn at Nature asked the company's co-founder, researcher-turned-entrepreneur Elizabeth Iorns, how the website works, and what an online marketplace for experiments could mean for the future of research...
more than 65 years, and it is finally on the verge of creating a true electronic brain.

Big Blue is announcing today that it, along with four universities and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), have created the basic design of an experimental computer chip that emulates the way the brain processes information.

IBM’s so-called cognitive computing chips could one day simulate and emulate the brain’s ability to sense, perceive, interact and recognize — all tasks that humans can currently do much better than computers can.

Researchers in Singapore have re-engineered a harmless strain of bacteria to fight another common, drug-resistant microbe that spreads in hospitals and is deadly to patients with weak immune systems.

To fight the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterium, the scientists used a strain of the E.coli bacteria that is normally present in the human gut.

They inserted into E.coli foreign DNA fragments that empowered it to sense the offending pathogen and quickly produce and release a deadly toxin.