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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I'm the founder of Science 2.0® in 2006 and, since June of 2015, the President of the American Council on Science and Health.

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University of California president Mark G. Yudof has issued an 'open letter' to California to talk about the budget problems the system is facing and how they want to deal with the issues facing the state- "I am writing today to let Californians know about the fiscal realities that confront the university, and also about some recommendations I intend to bring next week to our governing Board of Regents. First, though, I'd like to provide a bit of background."

So I will list what he writes and then translate that into economic reality, as seen by people who actually live here but are not employed by the state.
Conservation scientists from London's Natural History Museum (NHM) are traveling to Paraguay to record biodiversity.   The problem?  The Dry Chaco region they want to visit is home to the indigenous Ayoreo Indians, who are being put at risk by the trip, according to an indigenous peoples' advocacy group.

The Dry Chaco is a dry section that also covers parts of Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil and some of the Ayoreo people have never had contact with the outside world.
"Far from being conservative, the Republican stance on global warming shows a stunning appetite for risk", writes Bracken Hendricks in the Washington Post.   
MAFIA life used to be simple; whether you liked "Morte Alle Francia Italia Anela" or "Morte Alle Francese Italiani Avanti"(1)  they both meant kicking the snot out of the French, who had a pesky habit of causing trouble prior to Italian unification and weren't much better afterward.

But then it became about money, and causing trouble for people in order to protect them from trouble they caused.  Eventually, the right people could not stay bought and the wronged people started to have enough so crackdowns by law enforcement occurred, to bloody effect.
If you aren't familiar with the cultural lowest common denominator that is the faux reality show "Jersey Shore", well, you are lucky.   

It follows the travails of some truly idiotic youngish (and pudgy) people as they drink and fight their way through another mindless day.

Regardless, it's popular so a group took the opportunity to show us all how we could learn molecular biology ... the Jersey Shore way.

Check out classic quotes like:

"See these purple nitriles?   Ladies don't like that, right there.   But you (unintelligible unless you are 18 and living in New Jersey) on these black midnights and ... BOOM ... chick magnet.  Like I need the help."

Fist bumps over ligation?  Don't all scientists do that?
2010 is the biggest year for life on Mars since 1898.  Or 1955 or whenever the last 'life on other planets' craze hit the public.  
 
But unlike those other times, there is good reason.  This year, over 20 different papers have invoked the chance there may once have been life on Mars in their work.    There is now all kinds of data discussing water on Mars, minerals on Mars and even that the soil might support life.  The Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets alone has 64 papers on Mars so far this year.