Cool Links

A federal appeals court ruled today that federal financing of embryonic stem cell research could continue while the court considers a judge's order last month that banned the government from underwriting the work
The Today show wants to bring science to the masses - football fan masses, that is.   Enjoy Lester Holt stumbling over velocity vectors in this clip below!
The Food and Drug Administration warned five electronic cigarette makers today that they are violating federal law.  The agency said the products, which use a device to turn nicotine liquid into a vapor mist, are drugs that require FDA approval ...
Reprint of an article in The Madison Institute Newsletter, Fall Issue, 1894:

On the Conduct and Procedure
Of the Intimate and Personal Relationships
Of the Marriage State
For the Greater Spiritual Sanctity
Of this Blessed Sacrament
And the Glory of God

by Ruth Smythers
Beloved wife of The Reverend L.D. Smythers,
Pastor of the Arcadian Methodist Church
of the Eastern Regional Conference
Published in the year of our Lord 1894
Spiritual Guidance Press, New York City

Google Instant is basically a way to show you results as you type, sort of like your browser's ability to complete a URL as you type it in.  Estimate: 2-5 seconds saved per Google Instant search and maybe even optimizing your search when you are not sure exactly what you want or how to spell it.

To allay concerns that results for improper words don't show up, like the first three letters of the word 'assign' showing you things you don't want your kids to see, filters are still in place and they say Google Instant is deactivated for slow connections.
The LA Times shows our Science 2.0 There's Science To Dancing Also article some love.
A study was done at Northumbria University in the United Kingdom identifying the dance moves that attract women to men. Here is what the research found...
Some Facebook tips from CNN guest columnists Andrea Bartz and Brenna Ehrlich, Ehrlich being editor at and Bartz editor at

Facebook gets a lot of attention for being, uh, your space -- a handful of entry fields in which to sum up your awesomeness, right down to the bewildering "Write something about yourself" box.

Researchers fixate on what your profile says about you, while increasingly complex pages, plug-ins and boxes (what are those all about, anyway?) make it clear that Facebook is all about you.

Still, at least one tab of your Facebook profile is largely left to others' devices: the wall.
Oddly, the company won’t disclose the size of the round, other than to say it’s a typical series A round, which implies $5 million or so.

Are airplane pilots more reliable witnesses than others, lending more credibility to UFO sightings?

Rob Britt at Livescience: An interesting argument is playing out in the Space section of MSNBC. It began when veteran space reporter James Oberg questioned the foundation of a new book about UFOs called "UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go on the Record."

You've probably never heard of "Newt" unless you are an animated film aficionado.   Not to worry, Disney/Pixar has cancelled it anyway.  Nothing new, studios cancel things all of the time if they don't pan out as being quality stuff.   

But on their Facebook page they at least posted some cool art from the cartoon-you-will-never see.  Smart move.  They will get a ton of free attention for a picture that people likely would have hated and so didn't want to finish.

In 1977, Harrison Ford had a sporadic career and was mostly a carpenter but he had done another film with George Lucas and sat down with KXAS-TV reporter Bobbie Wygant to discuss it. The new project? "Star Wars". Next stop: mega stardom.
CERN owes its historic aversion to patenting to its 20 European member states, says spokesman James Gillies. They pump millions of euros into the organisation every year to help develop new technologies – and don't want to have to pay to use the inventions in their own country. "So we have to square a circle: how do we protect the technology without double-billing member states?"

Last week, it struck a deal with the United Nations' World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to ensure that it profits better from its engineers' innovations.
British newspapers have always been more contrarian than US ones when it came to global warming coverage.   One skeptic thinks the damaging IAC report last week didn't go far enough.
In line with my article today, How To Make Open Access Better: Make Publishing Free Too, here is an economic analysis of which journal to choose for your publication.
Dorothy wanted to submit to PLoS One, whereas Al wanted to submit to a more prestigious journal. The advantage of publishing in PLoS One is that they have a very high acceptance rate and are fast 
Unlike physics or biology, the social sciences have not demonstrated the capacity to produce a substantial body of useful, nonobvious, and reliable predictive rules about what they study—that is, human social behavior, including the impact of proposed government programs.

The missing ingredient is controlled experimentation (read on)
RICHARD FEYNMAN, Nobel laureate and physicist extraordinaire, called it a “magic number” and its value “one of the greatest damn mysteries of physics”. The number he was referring to, which goes by the symbol alpha and the rather more long-winded name of the fine-structure constant, is magic indeed.

For years, the Britney Spears Guide to Semiconductor Physics has been floating around the Web intriguing, amusing, educating, troubling, or infuriating different people. Doing one better, pop star Lady Gaga is now immortalized in the name of a published physics paper.
The Big Bang was the result of the inevitable laws of physics and did not need God to spark the creation of the Universe, Stephen Hawking has concluded.
Unless you happened to be a BBC fan (and therefore on the left, so you saw them as 'balanced) you knew the BBC contained liberal bias.  There were too many examples to count and so by 2007 there was an internal report which concluded that greater efforts were required to avoid liberal bias.

"In the BBC I joined 30 years ago, there was, in much of current affairs, in terms of people's personal politics, which were quite vocal, a massive bias to the left," Thompson said.
The science blogosphere is shrinking and growing at the same time. Today, the Public Library of Science (PLoS) starts a new network called PLoS Blogs.   Consisting of 11 blogs by scientists and journalists,  it joins several other relatively small networks launched this summer, including those by the Guardian, Wired and Scientopia.