Daily Archives: July 30, 2010

Skeptical Search Engine Update

So far, my new experimental Skeptical Search Engine has been used hundreds of times, and the top searchers are:

  • deepak chopra
  • homeopath
  • ghost
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • god
  • evolution
  • zecharia sitchin
  • creationism
  • ghosts
  • global warming
  • ancient astronauts
  • ufo
  • pyramids egypt
  • love
  • vaccines
  • methane bubble
  • climate change
  • pyramids
  • fossil sirenia
  • carbohydrates
  • easter island
  • acupuncture
  • vaccine
  • Gmos
  • bigfoot

This is excellent. One suggestion: Use GMO rather than GMOs and ghost instead of ghosts in order to avoid limiting the search.

Lost in time, freezing cold … unable to utter the simplest “beep”

The Rover Spirit is hibernating on a dark slope on the winter end of the planet Mars. Solar panels may be providing enough energy to keep its clock going. If not, it will become suspended in time and not know to wake up and send a signal that it is ‘alive.’ The panels may or may not keep the battery temperatures above 40 degrees below zero Celsius so that batteries survive the Martian winter, which is said to be almost as bad as the Minnesota winter. But probably not. And for now, the mission controllers are waiting for a beep that could come any time.
Continue reading Lost in time, freezing cold … unable to utter the simplest “beep”

Does drinking beer increase your attractiveness …. to mosquitoes?

ResearchBlogging.orgThe anopheles mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, is the primary vector for human malaria. Mosquitoes in general, the A. gambiae included, find their prey by tracking body odor exuded from the breath and skin. Apparently, the composition of body odor determines A. gambiae‘s preference for one individual over another. It has been known for some time now that A. gambiae preferentially seek out and draw blood from pregnant women (Linsay et al 2000; Ansell et al 2002; Himeidan, Elbashir and Adam 2004), preferring pregnant over none pregnant women at about a 2:1 ratio.


Continue reading Does drinking beer increase your attractiveness …. to mosquitoes?

Nature, Energy, Technology Wow Moments

Can a fly’s eye(s) be used for solar cells? Apparently so. Speaking of which, I have a gripe. Nuclear power supporters have always ignored the fact that Nuclear power (a.k.a. “unlimited safe free energy”) is more expensive than other traditional forms of energy. In the mean time, anti “alternative” energy, often the same people, have touted that Solar is too expensive to be worth it. Well, guess what. A recent study seems to have shown that Solar power is cheaper than nuclear. So, there you go.

Berry Go Round # 30, the Plant Carnival, is up and running at Brainripples. This is your window to amazing plant photography (and some insects too) as well as discussions of plant evolutionary biology.

There is now a fast hybrid car, and it’s a porsche.

And: Apparently, they’ve cracked the mystery of how rubber bands work!

Own The Poll UPDATED (Or, more proof that Christian = Liar)

This one is very much worth the effort. Stop here first for some instructions on strategy, then go here to do this thing.


Holy crap! The Kent Hovind poll started out looking like this:

What do you believe about evolution?

It’s a religion.
* It’s a fact!
* It’s a reasonable scientific theory.

Then it changed to:

What do you believe about CREATION?

It’s a religion.
* It’s a fact!
* It’s a reasonable scientific theory.