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Land speed records used to be a big deal, in 1984’s “Buckaroo Banzai: Across The 8th Dimension”, the hero completes brain surgery because he has to drive his jet car to impress the Department of Defense, while his secret mission is to discover a portal to another dimension.

Now, it is not such a big deal. While everyone knows Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in a jet, few can tell you who broke Mach 2 or how fast planes can go today. And so it goes with cars.
if we're ever going to know if marijuana does anything important, we need reference-grade marijuana for scholars to study. NIST has reference-grade peanut butter so it makes sense that with so many marijuana claims (and obvious harm when mixed with chemicals to use in vaping devices, as recent hospitalizations and deaths showed) to separate hype and woo from science there needs to be a way to study it empirically.
On November 19th, 1969, Apollo 12 landed on the moon, but most people from the era don't remember much about it. Apollo 11, sure, a giant leap for all mankind, and Apollo 13 was the most successful failure NASA ever had, it got a movie made about it, but that leaves Apollo 12 a memory.

And that's too bad. Because they were the funniest Apollo crew, according to this NPR spot.
Want your food to contain a toxic chemical, as long as it's been given a wink-wink approval by industry lobbyists, trade groups, and manufacturers?

Of course not, yet that is exactly what you get when you buy Organic food. Inside USDA, the Organic industry has carved out a special niche for itself and it knights 80 groups that can sell organic certified stickers, allowing them to simultaneously monitor their clients while taking money from them and being reliant on selling stickers. Can you say 'conflict of interest'?
Wealthy western academics working at billion dollar institutions funded by trillion dollar governments are frustrated that African countries don't want to give away their climate data.

They're not wrong for wanting a piece of the pie, especially from Europeans. Europeans often take data from Africa and use it for colonial purposes, like keeping Africa reliant on European goods by scaring people about science that would give Africans a level playing field.(1) 
Most supplements that tout how much better they are than medicine but are "natural" and therefore superior, are selling to the P.T. Barnum audience - if you are willing to part with your money to believe in magic, someone will be willing to take it. 

Most often, if they work, it's because you have been gifted with the placebo effect or they contain actual medicine. Nature’s Rx Silver Bullet 10 Male Enhancement Capsules is following the path of LEOPARD Miracle Honey and putting actual drugs - Sildenafil (Viagra) - in its products.
I didn't see "Star Wars" when I was in theaters the first time. We were poor and living in rural Pennsylvania and never went to a movie as a family, but I did see it when it was re-released in 1981, after "The Empire Strikes Back." They had given it a new name ("A New Hope") but it retained an old gaffe.(1)
I am a big believer in meritocracy. I live in an Intel town and they feel like they make the best processor because groups are competing to have the best design, just like Saturday Night Live writers compete to have their skit on the program. Though they were all hired on merit they know that eventually, if you fail for long enough, meritocracy also says you will be replaced by someone else better suited to the job.

That is killing us, writes Livia Gershon at The Week in what they call an "essential commentary." 
Though the Japanese navy became famous for Kamikaze (Tokubetsu Kōgekita) suicide attacks using planes, it was really only during the last year of World War II that they occurred. And Vulcan Inc.’s Research Vessell Petrel's latest discovery may have been from the Battle of Leyte Gulf, which means it may have been due to the first instance of such a suicide plane encounter. 

After the Allied Invasion to reclaim the Philippine Islands on October 20, 1944, the Japanese sent an armada composed of the Main Body (Northern), First Striking Force (Force "A" and Force "C"), and the Southwest Area Force, to destroy the Allied fleet. 
Once 237 astronomers took it upon themselves to change the definition of a planet so that Pluto did not count - unless a handful of others did count - there is little point in reading a textbook on the matter. The number could change next year and again the year after.

Because "dwarf planet" is entirely subjective and therefore meaningless. In removing one subjective definition of planet and replacing it with another one just over a decade ago the International Astronomical Union created a mess they don't know how to fix. Now they will have to "vote" on science yet again, but they can't deny this one or none of them have any meaning.
On this day in 1919, exactly 100 years ago, the Volstead Act introduced Prohibition, which was signed into law and created a ban on alcohol. 

A ban on alcohol was necessary, according to social authoritarian groups like the Anti-Saloon League and Woman's Christian Temperance Union, because companies had created alcohol flavors that too many people liked, it was not safe to have alcohol even at a business, families were being ruined. It was for the children.
Homeopathy was a vaguely illogical belief 200 years ago that if you mimicked the symptoms of a disease you could prevent or cure the disease. It's like sitting in a chair pushing an imaginary gas pedal and believing that will get you to Safeway yet it sells to the 'I don't trust medicine but with magic water my flu only lasted for 7.8 days instead of 8' crowd.

I imagine Hahnemann would not believe in something so goofy today ("Why are you still listening to us? We wrote with feathers!") but there is a whole market of kooky customers who believe the Ways Of The Ancients must be superior - even if they make no scientific sense at all.
Dr. Jed Rose has spent his entire career trying to get people to smoke fewer cigarettes, and to do so he invented the nicotine patch. He even invented an e-cigarette in the 1980s because he understood how people became addicted to a drug that "doesn't get people visibly high", even when the cigarette smoke that came with it could kill them.

But he has been around long enough to know that "anti-" forces, in business only because of money they got from the Big Tobacco Master Settlement related to cigarettes, a dwindling market, are going to look for new targets and are using a thousand illnesses related to bootleg vaping juice to suppress the legitimate smoking cessation and harm reduction fields.
When properly motivated, not only will rats drive cars, they will seem more relaxed after doing so, finds a recent psychology experiment published in Behavioural Brain Research.

Rodent operated vehicles

If we want animals to engage in more complex behavioral tasks, it is important to have enriched environments. That may include humans, if we want to improve therapies for neurodegenerative disease and psychiatric illness. In the meantime, the "rat race" just got a whole lot more interesting.


Credit: Kelly Lambert/University of Richmond
We get creeped out by people who behave in bizarre and unpredictable ways. They violate subtle social conventions that enable us to understand their intentions and that can be scary.

This goes for things as well; dolls that are too lifelike to clowns in places where clowns should not be. What about places?

Yes, this ‘threat-ambiguity theory’ of creepiness also applies to places, according to Knox College psychology professor Francis McAndrew.  Scary places lack what psychologists refer to as ‘legibility' - the ease with which a place can be recognized, organized into a pattern and recalled. A deep dark woods is going to be scarier than a meadow with a stream whose edges you can see.
When Hans Eysenck passed away in 1997, he was one of the most influential psychologists of all time, behind only Freud and Piaget. Yet few outside the field had heard of him, which is the problem with conflating citations and actual influence.

His fame was built on work concerning intelligence and personality testing, called psychometrics. He maintained the hereditability of IQ and personality traits and came under fire for that, but also published work validating astrology. 
In December of 1941, Japan launched an attack on America at Pearl Harbor, worried that if they didn't do something quickly to cripple the American fleet, they would be starved of oil slowly and lose if America eventually entered anyway.

Oddly, Germany then declared war on America to support its Axis ally.

Both countries underestimated American manufacturing capacity. 

In April, the Doolittle Raid bombed Tokyo, in May the world saw its first combined air-sea battle, the Battle of Coral Sea, and in June the U.S. Navy intercepted a Japanese invasion fleet heading for Midway Island.

At least some of the illnesses caused by putting tainted products into nicotine vaping devices has a source; synthetic marijuana, also called K2, Spice, and other things, sold in a product called Yolo and made by Janell Thompson, co-founder of the companies called Hookahzz and Mathco Health Corporation.
Marijuana oils, many illegal or of suspect origin, used in nicotine vaping devices ("e-cigarette" devices) have cause numerous health issues and even deaths recently, and so the U.S.

Environmental Protection Agency has told consumers who are putting marijuana juice into nicotine vaping devices to stop immediately.

To help toxicologists narrow down what is causing these illnesses and deaths, and why so many occurred in a cluster this year, the EPA Computational Toxicology group has published a list of 37 chemicals found in the marijuana plant that give strains their aromatic and flavor profiles. 
Sure, a woman first walked in space 35 years ago but she didn't do that with another woman, and we are in a media culture increasingly desperate to create "firsts" and a NASA that needs to distract Congress from its decade of delays and budget overruns on the James Webb Space Telescope, so it makes sense that NASA would co-opt HERstory for what should be a non-event.

Seriously. Some will try to frame that as #triggerwarning sexism, but it's just the opposite. We should want a culture where there is no gender mention, because it's irrelevant. You know what gets no attention? That the women are engineers and biologists. Because being a scientist astronaut is pretty routine.(1)