Science & Society


Even if we ban guns today, in any realistic situation, there would still be tens of millions of guns in circulation.   This fact means that in order to give teachers a real fighting chance,we must be trained and armed.  As a teacher at the college level right now all I can legally do is be a human shield.  Professors and teachers are the true FIRST* responders in an active shooting situation at a school.  We are the only ones who are expected to go into a potentially dangerous situation completely unprotected other than with the armor of our title and the supposed power of our position. 

To observers in much of North America and East Asia, on January 31st, the second full moon of the month, passed through Earth’s shadow in a Super Blue Blood Moon.

This has been running in numerous sensationalist press stories and other outlets with less careful journalists. It’s all based on a story in Undark by a journalist promoting their new book. And it is full of nonsense, utter codswallop. Here is the original story:

Stonyfield Farm, an organic corporation started by Samuel Kaymen in 1983, really rocketed to prominence when its then president, Gary Hirshberg, discovered a way to increase his market share with not much marketing cost at all: where most companies marketed by saying all the benefits and improvements they have, Hirshberg began marketing what it did not have. And that missing thing was science.

In the developed world, abortions are common despite ubiquitous condoms, birth control and even the "morning after pill" - about 6.7 million per year.

In Canada, the teen pregnancy rate is 28 per 1000, with more than 50 percent of those ending in abortion, so a study in Canadian Medical Association Journal decided to see what was different about teens who had an abortion versus teens that did not. 

We get a regular announcment by the bulletin of Atomic Scientists at this time of year every year. It doesn't mean anything is going to happen soon. Indeed their focus is on the long term, not the short term. For instance the Cuban missile crisis didn’t lead to a shift in the clock. It is nothing to do with any short term politics about Norht Korea or Iran. Nowadays they also include global warming as an issue and the worst effects of that will be towards the end of the century. So when it says “2 minutes” - those minutes are not an actual time period. It’s a metaphor, indeed hyperbole (exaggerated analogy for emotional effect). The Doomsday Clock is neither about Doomsday and nor is it a clock.

Science 2.0 community, it is with sadness that I inform you of the passing of long-time science journalist Greg Critser, the earliest science journalist to sign up on this site, in 2007.
Yesterday, Democrats in the U.S. Senate which, along with the House of Representatives, form the two chambers of Congress, which are one of the three branches of government,(1) refused to fund a "continuing resolution" to essentially keep funding government as is while a long-term budget is negotiated. 

Once again, there are a few claims that this will mean catastrophe for science funding, but many are now saying shutting down government is necessary and even courageous. Yet this exact same event occurred two, four, five, seven and even 22 years ago and it was framed as reckless and dangerous and a disaster for science.

What is different? Those other times a Democrat was President and Republicans were balking.
The title of this post is the password code required to connect to my wireless network at home. The service, provided by the Italian internet provider Fastweb, has been discontinued as I moved to Padova from Venice, so you can't really do much with the code itself. On the other hand, it should give you hints on a couple of things.

North Korea is going to send a team to the Winter Olympics in South Korea. The news is looking promising with a significant thawing of relations between the two Koreas in advance of the Winter Olympics. High level talks have begun already between North and South Korea. with the main focus on preprations for the Olympics. The US is behind it too. President Donald Trump said “If something good can happen and come out of those talks it would be a great thing for all of humanity. That would be a great thing for the world. Very important.”