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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I'm the founder of Science 2.0®.

A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone ever had. Others may prefer Newton or Archimedes. Probably no one ever said the WWW or Science... Read More »

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Conservatives have long lamented the politicization of science.  And why wouldn't they?  Scientists as a bloc haven't voted Republican in decades and when Republicans limit science, there is an outcry (and even whole books!) but when a Democrat limits science the outcry is pretty much limited to ... me.   Conservatives have not, for example, lamented the politicization of talk radio because they do much better there.
Finally, there is at least some controversy about Ardipithecus ramidus - 'Ardi'.  

Ardi was the missing link that was bigger than a meteor hitting the Earth or whatever, right?  Nope, that was Darwinius, also called Ida (see Science by PR Blitz).  This one got nowhere near the press because they didn't have a book and TV show about it before the science was even revealed.
 
Some new research out of the Dynamic Robotics Laboratory at Oregon State University could have practical, humanitarian uses, like prosthetic limbs for humans or helping people in wheelchairs gain 'walking' mobility.  It could also be used for awesome military power.
 
You know what I am talking about.  Yep, the blurb will read "taking on dangerous missions in the military" but we know it means whacking wholesome rebels in a galaxy far, far away.

Star Wars Imperial Walker AT-AT Empire Strikes Back
A 'message in a bottle' has been a mainstay for romantics throughout the centuries - sure, putting up an old picture on the Internet is a faster way to meet new people now but there is something poignant about the randomness of nature coupled with an intentional act of bridging distances, though these days you'll have Greenpeace ramming your ship if you try it - unless it's for science.
Check out these awesome videos from NASA's new Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).   If you aren't familiar with it, SDO is part of NASA's Living With a Star Program, which should help us understand the Sun's influence on Earth by studying the solar atmosphere in small time scales and in many wavelengths simultaneously.

The end goal is to help us understand solar variations that influence life on Earth by determining how the Sun's magnetic field is generated and structured and how this stored magnetic energy is converted and released into the heliosphere and geospace in the form of solar wind, energetic particles, and variations in the solar irradiance.
The Phoenix Mars Lander is dead, says NASA.  Last week, the Mars Odyssey orbiter flew over the Phoenix landing site in final attempts to communicate with the lander but no transmission was detected and since Phoenix also did not communicate during 150 flights earlier this year, NASA declared its mission over.

The latest image transmitted by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter showed what appears to be ice damage to the lander's solar panels.