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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 »

It's World Series time, which means it's time to talk about physics and baseball once again.    This season, among other things, we've covered the farthest homerun ever hit and how fast a pitcher really can throw (1) and today we're going to cover the curveball.   But that's more that just physics, it's also vision.
I had relatives visiting from out of town and, because they had never been to Las Vegas, we took a two day, one night,  short plane trip over the mountains.   

Naturally, I won some money.   Is that because I am a mathematical genius?  No, everyone except the truly elite is going to lose money in a casino by knowing just enough probability to be dangerous while the truly stupid are going to be the foundation of any gambling town.
When Republicans were told, as part of a recent study, that diabetes results from social factors that mitigate personal responsibility, like a lack of neighborhood grocery stores or government-funded places to exercise, they were not inclined to want to enact legislation to rectify that - but Democrats reacted better to a government approach when culture was to blame rather than individuals.

Both were equally supportive when diabetes was presented in terms of genetic factors.

Was the lesson that framing is bad and science is good?  Well, no, though personally I am inclined to think that way.
A new type of rocket propellant made from a mixture of water and nanoscale aluminum powder could be manufactured on the moon or Mars or any place remnant ice may exist, say researchers from NASA, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Purdue and Pennsylvania State University who believe their aluminum-ice, or ALICE, propellant could be used to launch rockets into orbit from Earth as a pit stop for long-distance space missions.  Since it's greener than current propellants it will also be acceptable to those of you concerned about universal global warming(1).
Men suffer noise-induced hearing loss more than women, it seems.   Guys just rock out more, you might think.  Better to burn out than fade away, and all that.  

But it's primarily married white guys who can't turn the volume down, which means our families will have the next 70 years of repeating everything twice, and louder, because, let's face it, guys with rock star fantasies won't wear hearing aids.  What's to be done?

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a preventable though increasingly prevalent hearing disorder that results from exposure to high-intensity sound, especially over a long period of time.   Thanks, iPod.  Now turn down the Journey, gentlemen.  If you haven't stopped believin' by now, you never will.
Did you even know there was a discipline called paleomagnetics?   Probably not.(1)   It isn't easy to find a category on this site to put it in, that's for sure.

But a discipline it is and it even has its own controversies, as all science must; namely, the nature of Earth's magnetic field 1.1 billion years ago.

The Earth's magnetic field in two sentences:   it wraps around the globe and helps shield us from cosmic rays - lest we all burst into flame or turn into orange rock and say things like, "It's clobberin' time!"  

fantastic four cosmic rays magnetic core