Thanksgiving Science 2015

In the mood for some science on Thanksgiving? Me too, science is the one thing that has not...

Poll Averaging Was No More Accurate In 2012 Than It Is Now

In 2012, the enthusiasm for poll averaging reached a fever pitch. Very few people were critical...

Fossil Fuel Divestment: An Intellectual Placebo For The Wealthy College Near You

“Here’s my bet: the kids are going to win and when they do, it’s going to matter,” prophesized...

Would Shoppers Be Happy If They Know Organic Trade Groups Use Member Fees For Hate Speech?

Organic food has managed to wrap itself in both a health and ethical halo and a lot of the credit...

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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I'm the founder of Science 2.0® in 2006 and, since July of 2015, the President of the American Council on Science and Health.

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Self-loathing Americans, and Europeans happy to oblige them, have long noted how fat Americans are, and a common urban myth has been that America is the fattest nation.   But that is not true, others noted, America is simply the fattest of the rich, industrial nations (and even there, it is just an average and America does not lead by much).
In case you don't know it, the Navy is not the 1970s "Village People" branch of the military.  These guys do some cool stuff and are making even cooler toys to do it with.

Want to find future tech for megawatt-class laser beams in next-generation weapon systems?  The Navy.   Want to go completely science fiction and find work on a railgun with a projectile that rides an electromagnetic current to its target?  The Navy.
I enjoyed a drink one time with a fellow who was, even for science blogging, left of left.    I won't name names because it doesn't matter, he is a talented writer and a good guy but I always feel like he loves politics more than science and his persistent belief that Republicans/conservatives/right wing neo-cons/Nazis/(insert your favorite term here) are anti-science and progressives are not seemed rather odd.   But I have written about the Democratic War On Science many times.
Can complex traits lost during evolution recur later?   It was an academic argument but now it has some more data.  Writing in Evolution, a study analyzes Gastrotheca guentheri , a tree frog with teeth in its lower jaw, separating if from every other frog.
Fantasy baseball as fans understand it today began in the 1980s but actual fantasy baseball, beyond kids trading baseball cards, began 50 years ago.   Hal Rickman, an accountant in New York City, started finalizing  work on something he had begun when he was much younger.   It was Strat-O-Matic Baseball.

Rickman told USA Today's Mike James that as a young boy he rolled dice 5,000 times to make a table of probabilities and looked at baseball statistics in the newspaper to match probability to performance and see what would happen.   In 1961 he started producing the game and later the year Roger Maris would eclipse the ghost of Babe Ruth for the single season home run record.
When it comes to pet positions, the more fundamentalist leftwing bloggers in science love to note how anti-science Republicans are, despite Pres. Bush doubling the NIH budget and increasing the NASA budget 15% after a decline of 5% during the 8 years Pres. Clinton was in office.

They have to be anti-science because, you know, they are Republicans.   So if right wing people put the brakes on human embryonic stem cell research because, at the time the technology was really created in the late 1990s no one was sure about its implications, they are stupid and hate science.   If left wing people continue to regard genetically modified organisms as a concern, that's just the precautionary principle.