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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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3 Quarks Daily is a 'filter blog' that compiles stuff from around the web on a daily basis, in science, design, literature, current affairs, art, and anything else they deem inherently fascinating.

They say the name derives from that moment in 1964 when Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig postulated the existence of three new subatomic particles and Gell-Mann decided to name them "quarks", an unusual word meaning "croak" or "caw" which James Joyce had used in Finnegans Wake: "Three quarks for Muster Mark!" 
Joanne Chu, community moderator at Ranker.com, did such a terrific list of cutest animals impacted by the BP oil spill that rather than put up a link, which might only get a relatively small number of readers, I asked if we could print it here and get it out to perhaps a lot.  That is, if this Internet thing is working properly.   
"The Year Of (insert your favorite cause here)" is usually driven by marketing departments and often to correspond to some sort of milestone.   2009 was "The Year of..." both Galileo and Darwin, for example, though no one seemed to find a way to bring either to mainstream popularity and make a buck.  

What about 2010?    Sure, the UN declared 2010 the 'International Year of Biodiversity' but, like most things the UN is involved in, it cost a lot of money and doesn't actually do anything.    Outside science, 2010 is the Year of the Nurse.   Everyone likes nurses.
Cooks want to tell you grilling is an art or a craft.   We know better.  Grilling, like anything worth doing, is a science.   Anything that has been around for a million years is a science and fire has been considered by millenia as the thing that put humans on the map so nothing is more fundamental to anthropology, evolution and archeology than man, meat and fire.
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.