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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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I went to the Scottish Games in Woodland, California last weekend, two young boys in tow.  They weren't remotely interested in Scottish women doing traditional dances and they were vaguely intrigued by why men wore kilts.

"Papa, why is that man wearing a skirt?" Colin asked.

Being that we were east of highway 5 this was a perfectly reasonable question.   "It's a kilt," I explained.  "If he wore anything underneath it would be a skirt."

Like this fellow:



But they were incredibly interested in the very large men throwing telephone poles.  So I set out to explain how it works and give them some culture in the process.

What is a caber?
The End of the World seems to roll around every decade or so.   The last time it got a lot of press was the year 2000 A.D., a millennial event in the Gregorian calendar.   COBOL programmers were the convenient catalyst for all that, since banks would shut down due to legacy software, but the end of the world needs vassals, the more unwitting the better, so it made sense that COBOL folks would take the fall.

Next up is 2012, this time due to one Meso-American calendar, and some speculation has been that the LHC will cause it, unleashing an army of Strangelets led by ancient Mayan overlords.
You know you've lost a lot of intellectual capital when ridiculous parodies of your work generate hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube - and threatening to sue is just making the whole thing sillier.

Michael Mann of Penn State isn't happy.   Everyone who had any sort of a clue knew his hockey stick regarding global warming wasn't literal but it also wasn't unethical.  An internal investigation cleared him of any wrongdoing despite the unfortunate use of the word "trick" by researchers referencing his methods and "hide the decline" has become something of a rallying cry for detractors.  But he is getting made fun of just the same and he doesn't like it.
Okay, this is just insane but Bango, the Milwaukee Bucks' mascot, pulled off this ridiculous feat Monday night at the Bradley Center, climbing to the top of a 16-foot ladder and then doing a backflip(!) slam dunk of a basketball.

I refuse to even climb anywhere near the top of a 16 foot ladder and, to me, the 6 feet down to the basket might as well be distance to the Grand Canyon.  But he was undaunted as you shall see:
I get asked a lot about Science 2.0® and why I chose to start something like ScientificBlogging.com, because science is such a niche.   Is it?  65 million people respond to surveys that they are interested in science. Since there are just over 300 million people in the US and 10% of those can't read due to age or infirmity, that means almost 25% of America alone considers themselves science fans.
The mark of any great comic genius is being able to ridicule two groups at once and still be funny.  A few days back Dilbert took on homepathy and he got in some ancient kooks as well.

 If you are unfamiliar with homeopathy, take a look at that handy link.  No, it is not a link to Homeopathy magazine or anything like that but instead a link to all of the homeopathy articles on this site, in no particular order.    Homeopathy deals with supposedly curing ills but gets into odd hypothetical physics/chemistry to make it work, like water memory.