Daily Archives: June 16, 2010

This is what a human-made apocalypse looks like

Dolphins and sharks are showing up in surprisingly shallow water just off the Florida coast. Mullets, crabs, rays and small fish congregate by the thousands off an Alabama pier. Birds covered in oil are crawling deep into marshes, never to be seen again.

Marine scientists studying the effects of the BP disaster are seeing some strange — and troubling — phenomena.


Meanwhile BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg has issued an apology for referring to the human victims of his companies greed and incompetence as “small people.”

Personally, I don’t care that he said:

“And we care about the small people. I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are greedy companies or don’t care. But that is not the case in BP. We care about the small people.”

This really is a translation issue. To him, being European and all, “The common peasant” is “the small people” … so he meant well.

We should still throw him on the oil slick, though.

The Cosmetics Cop on Friday’s Skeptically Speaking

Paula Begoun is the bestselling author of “The Beauty Bible” and “Don’t Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me.” We’ll examine the science behind some popular beauty products, and find out what real research says about makeup myths.

Submit a question for Paula to live@skepticallyspeaking.com for a chance to win a copy of “Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me.”

Go here for all the details and stuff!

Technology explorations

Check out this thing. It’s called the “em chart” and it allows the quick application of the formula that you use to calculate relative “em”‘s … a measure of space in HTML. Web designers who use this sort of technique are making web page that scale properly when the user changes the size of the page. The other web designers … we’ll, they’re designing shit.

Do you do Twitter API? If so, check out the Twitter API explorer. here.

One plus one equals two. Unless you are a JavaScript programmer. Go here to make fun of the JavaScript

Did funny e-voting determine South Carolina election? Or was it race?

Here’s one theory:

Earlier this week, Pickle Monger pointed us to the very, very bizarre story of Alvin Greene winning the South Carolina Democratic primary despite being broke, unemployed, holding no campaign appearances or rallies, and having raised no money. No one knew who the guy was, basically, until after the election happened… which is certainly quite strange. Also, once the news came out and the press scrambled to figure out who the hell this guy was, it came out that he’s facing felony charges for obscenity. …

Of course, there are many different theories as to why Greene won — from the popular charge that he was a “plant,” to the idea that he was just first on the ballot. However… it does seem like some are starting to notice (you guessed it) the e-voting machines.


Continue reading Did funny e-voting determine South Carolina election? Or was it race?

Aircraft can cause precipitation by “seeding” clouds

This post was chosen as an Editor's Selection for ResearchBlogging.orgIn a paper that is about to be published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, researchers Andrew Heymsfield, Patrick Kennedy, Steve Massie, Crl Schmitt, Zhien Wang, Samuel Haimov and Art Rangno make the claim that “The production of holes and channels in altocumulus clouds by two commercial turboprop aircraft is documented for the first time. … Holes and channels in supercooled altocumulus clouds can be the result of homogeneous ice nucleation induced by turboprop and jet aircraft at temperatures warmer than previously accepted for commercial aviation influences on clouds.”
Continue reading Aircraft can cause precipitation by “seeding” clouds