Science & Society

“Let’s say tomorrow some crazy guy bombs America or poisons all your river or puts a lot of nuclear radiation out and all your livestock is poisoned.  What you will eat?”

“Vegetables!” I answered.
If you listen to pubic radio, you can find programs that say mass media is right wing.  Yes, right wing, because it takes a corporation to make mass media for the masses.    So therefore  having 90% of journalists being left wing is just a clever ruse.   

Heck, we were once accused of being right wing, even though we had no corporate funding, unlike our accusers who were all owned by media companies, and I spent 5,000 hours of my life doing this for free and having scientists writing for free; the ultimate left wing environment, so it just had to be a tool of the right.
Sometimes you open Nature magazine and are surprised by the latest discovery in quantum mechanics or molecular biology. Browsing through the March 5, 2009 issue I was stunned by an article penned by sociologist Harry Collins, entitled “We cannot live by scepticism alone” (The Brits call it “scepticism,” not “skepticism.”).
Barry Kibrick, producer and host of the PBS program "Between the Lines" has given me permission to share his weekly newsletter which alerts readers of current and archived programs and delivers a warm salutation. Kibrick interviews authors with unique depth and insight. He not only reads the books first – he analyzes them for wisdom, relevance and integrity.

At present, "Between the Lines" airs in San Francisco; Los Angeles; Las Vegas; Central, Mich.; Ohio-W VA and N. Eastern Kentucky; New Orleans, LA; Chicago; Oceanside, CA; Lawndale, CA; El Segundo, CA.
This older talk by computer science pioneer Richard Hamming is awesome:


One of the characteristics of successful scientists is having courage. Once you get your courage up and believe that you can do important problems, then you can. If you think you can't, almost surely you are not going to.


Given two people with exactly the same ability, the one person who manages day in and day out to get in one more hour of thinking will be tremendously more productive over a lifetime.

John Hawks is not happy with it.

I clicked on this John Timmer story about the new website, “Understanding Science”, directed toward the public and K-12 educators. What I found staring at me was a giant picture of a 27-step flowchart.I’m not going to reproduce it. 

It seems that music has extraordinary magical powers. Famed for being able to tame wild beasts, set a romantic mood, keep you exercising for longer and make babies smarter, music has taken a multifaceted and complex role in our society.  Our search for the panacea of our times may lie in your iPod. 
New research on the reporting of medical treatments in the Australian media showed slight improvements in accuracy but the overall quality of health reporting remained poor, says a study of more than 1,200 health news stories published by Australian media outlets.   It found that over the past four years there was only small improvement in quality of coverage of the availability of new treatments, the potential harm of interventions and accurate analysis of any benefits.
There has been a perception that running has the same metabolic cost per unit of time no matter the speed — in other words, that the energy needed to run a given distance is the same whether sprinting or jogging.   Not so, says Karen Steudel, a zoology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  

Though sprinting feels more demanding in the short term, the longer time and continued exertion required to cover a set distance at a slower pace were thought to balance out the difference in metabolic cost.
Extreme violence resulting in multiple deaths occurs with mounting frequency around the world. March 11, 2009, a teen in Germany slaughtered 15 people, UK News reports. http://uk.news.yahoo.com/5/20090312/twl-teen-warned-of-german-school-sho... The German teen openly warned of his intention in an internet chat room the night before, "No one sees my potential. I'm serious. I have weapons and I will go to my former school in the morning and have a proper barbecue." The youth who reported the Web connection after the mass murder said he hadn't take the teen seriously.