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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 »


Actor Harrison Ford, and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner (and Science 2.0 favorite) Dr. Edward O. Wilson are holding a press conference today at 3:30 in Palo Alto, California, to announce the newly created PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.    I won't be there because the award has nothing at all to do with actual science outreach but I am mentioning it just the same.

The American Chemical Society is not new to disliking New Media - like all businesses, they would like to be self-perpetuating and that means people have to give them money for memberships and get a magazine for free which means getting quality without paying would be very bad for their income.
Amelia Carolina Sparavigna in the department of physics of  Politecnico di Torino says she has discovered geoglyphs, essentially earthwork graphic designs carved into the landscape, near Lake Titicaca is in the Andes Mountains on the border of Peru and Bolivia.

And she did it using Google.

You may not be able to see it so clearly but time and wear would certainly have made geoglyphs less obvious, though how and why anyone would have made them is also not obvious - unless they were insuring some deity or another could see something more interesting than farmers when they looked down.
When thousands of e-mails were obtained from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK, last year, global warming skeptics jumped all over the documents for signs that researchers had manipulated data.

They hadn't (though their efforts to prevent anyone from obtaining the data, and the blowback from that, were as much cause for concern as the way in which hackers obtained them) but some of the e-mails discussed a different problem:
a CRU employee named "Harry", who often wrote of his wrestling matches with wonky computer software.
People sometimes ask me how I have access to so much great stuff.   Well, I am somewhat plugged in to other people who find good stuff, like Andrea Kuszewski and Guy Kawasaki on Twitter for things I might otherwise never notice, but for science I have always used
Two weeks ago we posted a story on Gliese 581g - a planet that was discovered and said to be in the habitable zone of a star.   Our comment was that reduced chi-squared statistics may mean that, if there was an error, it would not even exist.