October 13th, 2013
Trying to finish up a lot of things before I leave for Chile this week (a colloquium at the University of Concepcion, work with an old student/collaborator, and an observing run at the Magellan Observatory).
Still profoundly disappointed and annoyed about the government shutdown, particularly the NASA part. My friend Meg Urry has an article about it at CNN. This guy also not happy about the scientific waste.
Speaking of that, there’s more on the NASA story vis a vis China and congressional restrictions (which should be lifted during a shutdown, right?). Well, Congressman Frank Wolf got annoyed and wrote NASA a long, angry letter about how his legislature and his positions on China have been mischaracterized. Although it’s harsh, I’m actually pleased because I now have a better understanding of the restrictions and I don’t think they’re as oppressive as I originally thought. I almost always prefer engagement over boycotting, so I don’t love the situation, but…
My article at Amazing Stories discussing art vs. science using the movie Gravity as a case study.
I agree with the LA Times decision not to print letters from climate change deniers. If their premise is “there’s no evidence for climate change” or “there’s no evidence in support of humans causing climate change,” or similar, they’re lying or ignorant. There’s room to debate the evidence, but not to deny it exists and is not easily dismissed. And a new study indicates just how soon seriously high temperatures become the new new norm. And why we should be investigating geoengineering, even if doing it is a risky proposition.
How to turn science into science fiction. Some good, although simple, advice.
On memory revision. This is why eye witness testimony is poor and hard data is good to have.
What’s wrong with the new Malcolm Gladwell book. Not surprisingly, a condescending Gladwell disagrees. This is an interesting topic to me as a general question about ways of popularizing science, the strengths of entertaining narrative, and the pitfalls thereof as well.
Science fiction writer Eugie Foster has a cancer diagnoses and needs some financial help. While the initial kickstarter is funded, I’m sure even with the best possible outcome at this point she’s going to need more money, and I suggest purchasing some of her ebooks.
Idiocracy not coming true, apparently, but the reverse, suprisingly. Humans getting smarter. Similar to a story I posted a few weeks ago on the Flynn Effect.
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