Michael Mann, author of The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy, Dire Predictions: The Visual Guide to the Findings of the IPCC, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, and one gazillion scientific papers on climate change, won the prestigious Climate Communication Prize, awarded by his peers earlier today at the American Geophysical Union meeting. Continue reading Michael Mann Scores 2018 AGU Climate Communication Prize!
I’ve been thinking about, and reviewing history of, the Vietnam War. I don’t have a lot to say about this right now, but there are a few items I’d like to bring up.
First, a small thing. People often talk about the Vietnam War as a war that involved the French. Someone will say, something about how the Americans really screwed up with the Vietnam War, and someone will reply, “well, it was really the French first, then the Americans.” That is technically true. But, the war fought by the French in Vietnam and the war fought by the Americans in Vietnam were really two different (and of course, related) wars. Sometime the French war is called the First Indochina War, and the American war is called the Second Indochina war. The first war ended with the partitioning of Vietnam into North and South. Before that partition, things were a certain way, with respect to who was fighting who, where, and for what reason. After that partition, things were a different way, with respect to who was fighting who, where, and for what reason. Continue reading LBJ, 1968, Vietnam
Not that astronauts necessarily stink. Well, actually, they probably do after a while, but I suppose one gets used to it.
Anyway, we are all faced, or at least those of us who live in countries that have rocket ships all face, the question of personed vs. un-personed space flight as a way of doing science abroad and related quests. I’m not sure myself what I think about it, but considering the huge cost and difficulty, and the physical limitations, of using humans to run instruments on other planets or in space, and the sheer impossibility of human space missions really far away, the best approach is probably to use a lot of robots. Continue reading We Don’t Need No Stinking Astronauts: The History of Unmanned Space Exploration
Don’t Mess With Me: The Strange Lives of Venomous Sea Creatures by Paul Erickson is part of a series that is currently small but hopefully growing by Tilbury House. I previously reviewed One Iguana Two Iguanas (about iguanas).
Like the Iguana book, Erickson’s book for third through seventh graders (8-12 or so years of age) contains real, actual, science, evolutionary theory, and facts about nature, along with great pictures. The key message is that toxins exist because they provide an evolutionary advantage to those organisms that use them. Why are venomous animals so common in watery environments? Read the book to find out.
Species mentioned includ the blue-ringed octopi, stony corals, sea jellies, stonefish, lionfish, poison-fanged blennies, stingrays, cone snails, blind remipedes, fire urchins.
Highly recommended as a STEM present this holiday season.
There are two LEGO Neighborhood books, The LEGO Neighborhood Book: Build Your Own LEGO Town! and The LEGO Neighborhood Book 2: Build Your Own City!, both by Brian Lyles and Jason Lyles. The latter of the two is just out. Continue reading Build A LEGO Neighborhood
Don’t worry, they are still extinct. Continue reading New dinosaur discovered in Arizona!
I recently completed a Twitter based poll to rank the 35 or so potential Democratic Party candidates for president. Since who was paired with whom had a lot to do with determining the exact percentages, I chose to divide the results, most of which were triads of candidates in a single poll, into three tiers. The bottom tier includes the candidates who came in third in a given three way comparison. You can vote for them in the latest of my Twitter Polls. Continue reading Democratic Candidates for President: Round Two, The Bottom Tier
I’m starting a list, I’ll check it twice. Or more. The is the list in rough form. Please suggest who should be removed (for reasons of death or clear declaration that they are not running, not because you don’t like them, not just because you don’t like them) and who should be added?
After your comments and more research by me, I’ll clean up and refine the list. Meanwhile, I’m doing an initial informal bracket poll on Twitter. Go ave a look. Continue reading Democratic Candidates for President, 2020
I do wish DeNiro, one of the word’s greatest actors, had learned his lines instead of reading them, but its funny anyway.
Here’s an idea. You have an old beat up computer running, say, Windows. You want to make it faster, crisper, more secure, and generally, better.
What can you do short of buying a new computer? Well, install Linux. Linux is so much more efficient as an operating system, your computer will simply run better. Guaranteed. Continue reading This year’s biggest ripoff is also this year’s best gift idea
I’ve reached a very nice resting point in the ongoing effort to develop a very useful, powerful, stable, and cool computer setup.
This started a while back when I built a computer. In particular, this computer. There are several advantages to building a computer. You can save money or get more bang for your buck even if you don’t pay less. On the saving money side, maybe you have components on hand that you don’t have to buy. I did, mainly mass storage. The case I had, thinking I’d save money there, ended up not working out. You get more bang for the buck because the parts you buy will be better than the ones in the equivilant off the line but cheaper computer, and you’ll have more control over what happens in future upgrades. Continue reading A really good computer setup
Discounted on Kindle: The Chess Queen Enigma: A Stoker & Holmes Novel, part of a series by Colleen Gleason. Continue reading A Stoker and Holmes volume at deep discount.
The land and marine iguanas of the Galapagos Islands are famous. Well, the marine iguanas are famous, and the land iguanas, representing the ancestral state for that clade of two species, deserve a lot of credit as well. The story of these iguanas is integral with, and parallel to, the story of the Galapagos Islands, and of course, that story is key in our understanding of and pedagogy of evolutionary biology, and Darwin’s history. Continue reading One Iguana Two Iguanas: Children’s evolutionary biology book, with lizards!
In light of the Kevin Hart backlash. Or maybe the Joy Reed controversy. I do not refer here to the metaphysical roots of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. I refer, rather, to all those Irish white guys in America, whose ancestors were used as target practice by Tammany Hall Toughs in 19th century New York, who are now just fine, and from this position above a repressed and exploited past, say really bone-headed things like “All Lives Matter, #!” They climbed the ladder, and the first thing they did was pull it up so the next group could not. And I refer to all the other ladder pullers out there. You know who you are. Or, maybe, you don’t, and that could be a problem.
Continue reading Can we talk about ladder pulling for a minute?
An Ichthyosaur is a cross between a fish and a dinosaur, that looks like a dolphin. Continue reading Old Fossil Sheds New Light On Ancient Lizard Fish