Cool Links

There is a belief, among progressives of course, that conservatives are more "anti science" - but progressives in science tend to gloss over the anti-science positions of the left, and the anti-vaccine community is made up of far more progressives than climate change skepticism is made up of conservatives.    While the latter has long-term consequences, anti-vaccine people have short term danger for our children and theirs.
Abortion is barely a controversy in America these days.  Most people, men and women, are against it for themselves but it has been the law of the land for two generations.   Crazy politicians like Barbara Boxer of California still campaign on abortion by insisting if a Republican beats her in a Senate race they could somehow overturn it but for the most part it is a non-issue outside zealots.   It isn't going anywhere.
Hate compact fluorescent bulbs?   Outside lobbyists for billion-dollar bulb companies and Treehugger, we can't find anyone who likes the things.   Heck, as long as the government bans alternatives, their ad campaign could be "Want a fragile box of toxic mercury in your child's bedroom?  Buy our CFLs!" and people would still dutifully buy them if someone slapped "green" on the label.
Did Pres. Obama sign a questionnaire supporting same-sex marriage or not?  His aides said he didn't.  Until he did.  Basically, even the White House doesn't seem to know.

I am sure gay groups, who likely voted 90% for him, are concerned about being told things like it has been "very clear that his position is evolving."  Well, no, there is nothing clear at all about that sentence, much less his position.
Beluga whales, famous for their human-like facial expressions, don't like artificial materials such as neoprene diving suits, it seems.   So when Natalia Avseenko wanted to help two belugas adjust to humans in order to tame them for dolphinariums around the world, she got naked.

In sub-zero water temperatures.   Most people would die in 5 minutes or less in those temperatures but Avseenko credits yoga and meditation with her ability to last an incredible 10 minutes and 40 seconds.   

As creators of actual good content, we're pretty critical of content farms like Huffington Post or or the rest of them - if HuffPo steals a fair-use snippet from our site it will rank higher in Google than the actual article, though not because their content is better but simply because they learned how to game the Google algorithm.

Well, who can we criticize when HuffPo socked away over $300 million from AOL doing what it does?   But at least a few people have been disgruntled at the content farm mentality - though not because they had the sort-of sense of entitlement journalists get about how media exists to keep them employed.
A satire site composed of lefty science bloggers (well, is there any other kind) at least is not siding with progressives when it comes to their anti-science agenda regarding food.    So they wrote what many of us would like to write, except to do it we'd have to be pseudonyms like they are, and that doesn't do much for credibility.

But credibility doesn't matter in satire.  Anyone can be funny.
The Puyehue volcano in Chile was dormant for decades but it recently made its presence known, covering Lake Nahuel Huapi in Argentina with ash.  6-mile high plumes.  And this guy is diving in it.
A federal judge has approved a request by prosecutors to officially dismiss all criminal charges against Osama bin Laden.   This makes sense - declaring terrorists criminals is what candidates do, not presidents.   Presidents kill them and get re-elected.  

If you are curious, Pres. Obama's predecessor George W. Bush did not file the criminal charges, that was done in 1998 by President Clinton.    Obviously hoping police arrest him did not pan out so Obama did the right thing having him shot.

40% of the California budget goes toward education but it's not enough.   I can confirm that, at least in our schools.  My wife helped my son's Kindergarten teacher move out of her old classroom to go to a new school and the whole truck full of stuff was all things the teacher bought herself.

But where does the money disappear between taxes and teachers?  If you guessed fat salaries for Democratic-voting University of California and California State employees, you would be right; their rolls increased 300% since 1998 and now have to be furloughed.  But there is a lot more waste at all levels yet neither the administration nor the unions nor the government wants to accept any part in the problem.
San Francisco, always at the avant-garde of kooky, pointless gestures that annoy many and help few, thinks the worst problem it faces today are 'impulse' buys of goldfish, so they want to ban them.

Gotta put an end to the inhumane conditions perpetuated by the Big Goldfish military-industrial complex; their homes are completely underwater and they only get fed once a day.    Meanwhile, the pollution and slave labor of Apple barely gets noticed.  It helps that few activists own goldfish but all of them own iPhones.
Neutrinos are elementary particles that are fundamental building blocks of nature.  Neutrinos come in three types - muon, electron and tau - generally travel at the speed of light and can easily pass pass through ordinary matter, like Earth's crust.

Researchers with the Tokai to Kamioka experiment (T2K) at the Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex have discovered that muon neutrinos can spontaneously change their "flavor" to electron neutrinos. Scientists had previously measured the change of muon neutrinos to tau neutrinos and electron neutrinos to muon neutrinos or tau neutrinos, she said. 
In psychology, the increase in Autism diagnoses has three possible explanations; Autism is over-diagnosed because it is a fad, like ADD in the 1990s, more diagnoses are now made because it is better understood and therefore more accurate, or external things are creating more Autism.

So it goes with hurricanes and tropical storms.  There seem to be more of them.   At least with the third possibility, external events creating more of them, a new report in Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres says there is no evidence climate change is responsible.  Instead, better detection means shorter storms, those lasting two days or less, are being counted now and were not in the past.   
The U.S. Green Building Council (not affiliated with the US government)  corporation and its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program is the biggest name in green-energy standards.  It's member-driven, so doesn't need to sell a product, it sells good intentions instead.

That may be part of the problem; it's "green" standards may not be helping much at all.
We first saw Sean Bean as the best bad guy in the best Pierce Brosnan, James Bond film, "GoldenEye" and he just gets better with age.   He also loves the sword and sorcery stuff, as witnessed by his turn in "The Lord of the Rings" and now "Game of Thrones".

But who knew he was so tough in real life also?

Bean was apparently smoking in front of a London pub Sunday evening with a stripper (or whatever)  when someone walking by made a lewd comment about her, so Bean took off after him and the guy ran but when Bean went back out for another cigarette the guy was waiting and stabbed him.

Did he to a hospital?  Nope, he threw a band-aid (or whatever) on it and ordered another drink.
Woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) roamed the planet for more than a million years, ranging from Europe to Asia to North America. Nearly all of these giants vanished from Siberia by about 10,000 years ago.

The Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) preferred the more temperate regions of southern and central North America. The Columbians were much larger than woollies, with Columbian males reaching one-and-a-half to two times that of woolly males.

Researchers have discovered the mitochondrial genome of the Columbian mammoth was nearly indiscernible from that of its northern woolly counterparts.   Woolly mammoth may have interbred with elephants.
Did the Chinese come to East Africa before the Europeans?

China says yes and, to prove it, Chinese and Kenyan archeologists are now searching the African coast for the fabled wreck of a Ming dynasty junk, an ancient Chinese sailing vessel, from the fleet of legendary 15th-century explorer Zheng He.

 Researchers have identified several shipwrecks of interest off the Kenyan coast near the World Heritage site of Lamu but after years of excitable hype by China’s state media, the underwater archaeologists involved in the search are warning that the newly discovered wrecks could be from any era or country — and even if a sunken Chinese ship is found, it may no longer be intact or even identifiable.
Anonymous, the proper name given to a secret, loose band of Internet hackers famous for taking out sites they do not like (here's hoping they like Science 2.0) didn't think much of a NATO report on their activities.

"Can one invoke Article 5 of the Washington Treaty after a cyber attack? And what response mechanisms should the Alliance employ against the attacker? Should the retaliation be limited to cyber means only, or should conventional military strikes also be considered?"
The organic food crisis in Europe has caught popular attention even in America - dozens dead and thousands sickened due to another E. coli occurrence in organic produce - but America has another issue that could harm people who have been educated by advertising into believing that raw and organic is nutritionally different and just as safe.

Raw food, in particular unpasteurized milk and juice, poses a very specific public safety risk that is unrelated to dietary concerns. Consuming a diet loaded with fat and salt is unhealthy, but the government has no business regulating that. Raw milk, however, is different. Unpasteurized milk has a greater chance of being contaminated with disease-causing bacteria than pasteurized milk.
That whole "Facebook of..." thing is a pretty common description these days.  It makes sense, Facebook is wildly popular (even we have a Facebook page) and 4 years ago we were called Facebook for Scientists, which didn't make a lot of sense at the time since writing science on the Internet existed before Facebook.

And if scientists were that social they would be on the actual Facebook more.  They just aren't, as a bloc.   Regardless, IBM thinks if they build it, scientists will come and their sweetener is it will help researchers get funding.