Tag: Science

One of Tuesday’s Big Winners: Science

 

See what I did there in the headline? If I’ve learned anything about modern political communications, it’s that the use of “Science” as a proper noun ends any and all arguments decisively in favor of the speaker. While Ezra Klein is declaring that the biggest loser in this year’s election was the climate (because Ezra Klein is a person who’s paid handsomely to be wrong in print), I’m actually much more bullish about the scientific literacy of voters. Why? Because of this bit of good news from two unlikely places. As reported by NPR:

An effort to label genetically modified foods in Colorado failed to garner enough support Tuesday. It’s the latest of several state-based GMO labeling ballot measures to fail. A similar measure in Oregon was also defeated by a narrow margin.

Has Fusion Energy Finally Arrived?

 

Lockheed Martin has claimed that their famed Skunk Works division made a major breakthrough in developing a nuclear fusion reactor. Their plan is to create several 100-megawatt reactors small enough to fit on the backs of trucks.

As a former submarine reactor operator, I wondered if I would ever see economical nuclear fusion in my lifetime. Fusion has long been a holy grail to nuclear engineers, with research institutions pouring billions into models that produced little energy at exorbitant cost. Many charlatans and cranks have latched onto fusion as a sort of perpetual motion machine, sullying the field for real scientists.

What Happened to My Ride into Space?

 

Saturday was the 57th anniversary of the first satellite in orbit, the Soviet Sputnik. It was also (not coincidentally, because the date was chosen) the tenth anniversary of the winning of the Ansari X-Prize, a $10M award for the first vehicle to fly into space (i.e., above 100 kilometers altitude) twice within a period of two weeks. On that date, a decade ago, SpaceShipOne made its second flight into suborbit and claimed the money (technically, it wasn’t won until a day later, because one of the prize rules was that the pilot had to survive at least 24 hours after landing, presumably to ensure that the landing was sort of “safe”).

I attended the anniversary celebration in Mojave, with a lot of people more luminary than me. My old (in both senses of the word) friend Alan Boyle at NBC (who was also in attendance) has the story.

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We’ve filed a response to his response to our appeal. Some selected bits: Of the eight reports that Mann says “exonerated” him, three do not even mention his name once, and six involved no investigation at all of his research or conduct. Of the two reports that do concern Mann, one did not investigate the […]

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The Global Warming Scam: The Beat Goes On

 

For some years now, the President of the United States and his minions have been lying to us about the threat posed to our well-being and our security by global warming. In the next few decades, they say, the temperature will dramatically rise and the climate will change markedly for the worse. The consequences will be dire, and human activity is the cause. We must curb carbon emissions … or millions will die. They have even induced the armed forces to list combating global warming as one of their prime missions.

And the beat goes on. In a breathless report, posted yesterday on the website of Time Magazine, Noel Feeney tells us that “more than 100,000 people are taking to the streets of New York City on Sunday to take part in the People’s Climate March” and that 2,700 similar demonstrations will be taking place in 150 different countries.

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I don’t want to distract from Tom Meyers’ contraception thread by asking this question there, as it’s only peripherally related. It’s a simple question, but I suspect that the answer is not so simple. Even now, decades after “the pill” became a normal regimen for young women whether they are sexually active or not, do […]

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Porn Usage Linked to Smaller Size in Men

 

shutterstock_135898808I’m talking about BRAIN size — sickos!

In my editor’s post today at The College Fix, I write about a new study examining the relationship between pornography and the brain.

To sum things up, researchers discovered that the more porn men said they watched, the smaller their brains were. Also, men who watched more porn showed less activity in the “reward center” of the brain when they were shown pornographic images during the tests.

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The human body is comprised of countless living cells. Are all of the cells which shape and operate the body necessarily parts of that body? May they all be called human cells? Or are some better classified as non-human symbiotes, even if they exist within the human body? Does it matter if a single-celled organism […]

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Science, Diet, and Arrogance

 

One of the most read articles in the Wall Street Journal over the past few days has been a piece discussing recent research challenging the conventional wisdom about the health risks of saturated fat:

“Saturated fat does not cause heart disease”—or so concluded a big study published in March in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. How could this be? The very cornerstone of dietary advice for generations has been that the saturated fats in butter, cheese and red meat should be avoided because they clog our arteries. For many diet-conscious Americans, it is simply second nature to opt for chicken over sirloin, canola oil over butter.

Hints at the Origin of Life?

 

This truly isn’t meant to be a stick in the eye for creationists/anti-evolutionists. This post is about a scientific breakthrough that is remarkably fascinating.

Scientists have accidentally discovered metabolic pathways mediated by non-organic molecules. The same process that occurs in cells, glycolysis, has been observed being “catalysed by metal ions rather than the enzymes that drive them in cells today.” And “many of these reactions could have occurred spontaneously in Earth’s early oceans.”

13 Most Ridiculous Predictions Made on Earth Day, 1970 — Jon Gabriel

 

Today is Earth Day — an annual event first launched on April 22, 1970. The inaugural festivities (organized in part by then hippie and now convicted murderer Ira Einhorn) predicted death, destruction and disease unless we did exactly as progressives commanded. Sound familiar? Behold the coming apocalypse, as predicted on and around Earth Day, 1970:

  1. “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”  — Harvard biologist George Wald
  2. “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.” — Washington University biologist Barry Commoner
  3. “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”New York Times editorial
  4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich
  5. “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” — Paul Ehrlich
  6. “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day
  7. “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…. By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” — North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter
  8. “In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.” — Life magazine
  9. “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt
  10. “Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” — Paul Ehrlich
  11. “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate… that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any.'” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt
  12. “[One] theory assumes that the earth’s cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun’s heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.”Newsweek magazine
  13. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” — Kenneth Watt

A version of this article was posted last year on FreedomWorks.com.

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In a medical school tutorial about post-pregnancy urinary incontinence, Tom was assigned to research an unusual-sounding treatment, Weighted Vaginal Cones, which physically strengthen pelvic muscles that control the bladder. When Tom shared his research on the efficacy of these cones with his tutorial group, a female medical student scoffed, saying “that’s easy for you to […]

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Over at PJMedia, I have a piece attacking the credentialism that underlies much of the climate debate: There is no scientific consensus that we must dramatically cut back on fossil-fuel use to avoid environmental catastrophe, despite the implication of that sentence and, in fact, the very notion of a “scientific consensus” is an oxymoron. That is […]

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I’ve only just begun to peruse “The Sorcerers and Their Apprentices”, a book about MIT innovators recommended to me by other Ricochetti. And already my imagination is spinning with theoretical questions about future technologies. Chief among them: Is there any limit to what actions can be automated? What is 152 x 483? No need to “do […]

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Gina McCarthy

EPA Tested Deadly Pollutants on Humans

 

To help justify more stringent air regulations, Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency has conducted numerous dangerous experiments on humans. The Daily Caller has more:

The agency conducted tests on people with health issues and the elderly, exposing them to high levels of potentially lethal pollutants, without disclosing the risks of cancer and death, according to a newly released government report.

Science Confirms Judeo-Christian Worldview, Or, Dalai Lama, Call Your Office

 

One of the most basic observations of comparative religion is that the difference between Judeo-Christian religion and Asian religious systems, such as Buddhism, resembles the difference between a line and a circle.

In Judaism and Christianity, reality has a beginning and an end. It’s linear. It’s going somewhere. Both beginning and end are mysterious, the former rendered, mythically, in the creation story, the latter represented, at least in Christianity, in the thrilling if baffling formulation that “time shall be no more.” The beginning is believed really to have happened and the end is believed to really be coming.