Stop eating your pet's food

Apparently people are eating their pet's food, and they're getting salmonella poisoning in return...

A scientific reference manual for US judges

Science and our legal system intersect frequently and everywhere - climate, health care, intellectual...

Rainbow connection

On the way to work this morning, I noticed people pointing out the train window and smiling. From...

Neutrinos on espresso

Maybe they stopped by Starbucks for a little faster-than-the-speed-of-light pick me up....

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Becky JungbauerRSS Feed of this column.

A scientist and journalist by training, I enjoy all things science, especially science-related humor. My column title is a throwback to Jane Austen's famous first line in Pride and Prejudice

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Eric takes on earthquakes in his article, using fancy-schmancy words like seismology and strike-slip fault and logic. But all is for naught - a brave attempt, my fellow Scientific Blogger, but you apparently didn't include the Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi in your sources. For shame.
"The common curse of mankind - folly and ignorance." - Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida

"And of all plagues with which mankind are cursed, ecclesiastical tyranny's the worst." - Daniel Defoe, Jure divino: a satyr
Thank goodness Bruce Willis is around, or the Midwest would have been a smoking crater this morning!

Authorities in several Midwestern states were flooded Wednesday night with reports of a gigantic fireball lighting up the sky, the National Weather Service said. Yes, gigantic fireball - although a few did say it could possibly be a meteor - but there was really no other way to describe the astronomical event.
As if Mondays aren't bad enough, I found out today courtesy of my Wall Street Journal RSS feed that perhaps researchers have been mistaken in their calculations of calorie consumption and weight loss. So all of the little steps I was taking really don't add up to the ultimate diet equation?

Well, sort of. The problem is that the formula used for "diet math" - 3,500 calories equals one pound - isn't really all that simple.1 This rule of thumb works well in the short term, WSJ says, and with small shifts in weight, but the rule breaks down over long periods, because as a person's weight changes, so does the body's energy needs.
You have to love a company that not only treats its employees well but can have fun and laugh at itself. (Hint, hint, Microsoft.) Today, Google changed their name to Topeka (see link for proper uses of Topeka in context), and removed all the vowels from the Gmail log-in page.
What does it mean to be human? In the six million years or so since our ancestors first stood upright, we still don't have the perfect answer. In an effort to help the public appreciate our own unique development as human beings and explore the question for themselves, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History opened the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins.

The exhibit hall "offers visitors an immersive, interactive journey through 6 million years of scientific evidence for human origins and the stories of survival and extinction in our family tree during times of dramatic climate instability," the Smithsonian says. I had the fortune to visit the exhibit this weekend; if you're in D.C.1 in the future, I strongly recommend you check it out.