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A Rubber Duck's Journey

In 1992, some shipping containers got washed overboard on a trip from Hong Kong to Tacoma. Among...

Armchair Socialists More Physically Active Than Armchair Centrists - BMJ Christmas Science

It is often said that the middle of the road is the worst place to drive, yet centrists pride themselves...

Europe May Need To Ban Potatoes, Bread And Coffee Next

The European Food Safety Authority, most famous for declaring that water does not cure thirst,...

2014 Retrospective: In Defense Of Treble, It's Not Really All About That Bass

In a popular pop music song called "All About That Bass", accomplished songwriter Meghan Trainor...

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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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'Show her your love is as bag as the whole solar system' sounds like a schlocky sales pitch, right?  Well, it is but the Laura Cesari, a.k.a. Chain of Being, Solar System Necklace is just too awesome not to be schlocky about.

Now, there is a big Scienceblogs.com kerfuffle about them turning over the site to profit- and non-profit institutions for money so before anyone thinks the same thing is happening here, I will say right up front I am not getting any money to promote this thing.    It is just cool. 
I happened to be reading Howard Bloom's book The Genius of the Beast when I saw something odd happening in social media - there was a minor blow up on a science blogging site called Scienceblogs.com over a new column that would be written by people from Pepsi, which threatened to become a major blow-up because of social media, and it got me thinking about re-purposing and symbol stacks.
If you follow social media, you may have been alarmed by claims that today is the day Doc Brown traveled to at the end of Back to the Future, that comedy classic from 1985, approaches.

To sum up the plot, Doc Brown has created a time machine (out of a DeLorean, of course, given its all-steel construction and convenient space for a flux capacitor) and, by accident, Marty goes back to 1955.
The 4th of July is a holiday in the United States because it's the day a group of British citizens decided to throw off the shackles of tyranny and go out on their own, and they inspired a nation to join them.   Or, if you are one of those self-loathing cynical Americans who don't realize how lucky you are to be born in a wealthy western country, it is a day when a bunch of rich guys decided they didn't want to pay their taxes(1).

But the 4th of July is not just history, it's also apple pie, motherhood and ... chemistry.   
Total Football Versus The Beautiful Game

Anyone who predicted Brazil would not be the World Cup winner, much less get beaten in the quarter-finals, was just being contrarian.  Virtually no analysis that went beyond hope had Brazil running through this event.  When Adriano and Ronaldinho are not good enough to be on your team, you know you have a great team.
Homeopathy's origin should be a clue to why there is no evidence to show it has ever worked.  In the words of Samuel Hahnemann, the German physician at a time when being an M.D. was not a mark of respect, believed
"The vital force that animates the healthy body, rules with unbounded sway, and retains all the parts of the organism in admirable, harmonious, vital operation . . . so that our indwelling, reason-gifted mind can freely employ this living, healthy instrument for the higher purpose of our existence."

...

"when a person falls ill, it is only this spiritual vital force, everywhere present in his organism, that is primarily deranged by another dynamic influence hostile to his life."