Science News of the Day

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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Indium Flappers » Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:50 pm

"We may become the makers of our fate when we have ceased to pose as its prophets."
~ The Open Society and Its Enemies by Karl Popper

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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Indium Flappers » Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:17 pm

NASA gives up on resurrecting Kepler telescope

Somewhat negative sounding headline, but I'll quote from the more optimistic part of the article:

But what a mission it was. According to NASA, the first half of the data it collected contained over 3,600 planetary candidates, 135 of which have been confirmed. Analysis is proceeding on the second half of the data now, but the first 3,600 were enough to change our perception of the Milky Way. We can now infer that it probably has at least as many planets as stars and that the most common types are small, rocky ones. Planets that are able to have liquid water on their surface are also likely to be common.
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Indium Flappers » Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:20 pm

"We may become the makers of our fate when we have ceased to pose as its prophets."
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Capitalism and Junk Science

Postby David Franks » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:28 pm

This might have been posted here before. If so, here it is again.

Image

From xkcd: http://xkcd.com/808/
"Debating with a conservative is like cleaning up your dog's vomit: It is an inevitable consequence of your association, he isn't much help, and it makes very clear the fact that he will swallow anything."

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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Indium Flappers » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:16 pm

lol at the comic from xkcd. :)

Here's an article I found while researching "mutual aid societies" or "friendly societies". It actually has nothing to do with "mutual aid societies" in the sense I was looking for, but it's still interesting, so I thought I'd post it here.

Scott McLemee wrote:But for all that, the research by Tomasello and his associates is at least somewhat encouraging. It suggests that collaboration, sharing, and even generosity are not late developments in human existence -- merely secondary or superfluous capacities. They are essential. They came first. And they could yet assert themselves as a basis for reorganizing life itself.

Then, perhaps, our prehistory would come to an end -- and something like a civilization worthy of human beings would begin.
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Indium Flappers » Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:19 pm

A Cloudburst of Computing Power By Vijaysree Venkatraman. (That's such a cool name.)

Vijaysree Venkatraman wrote:If data driven discovery becomes the norm, more scientists will need to upgrade from their desktop computers to more powerful, scalable computing systems. As director of research–physical sciences at the eScience institute at the University of Washington (UW), it's Jeffrey Gardner's job to help researchers with that migration.
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby David Franks » Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:24 pm

Indium Flappers wrote:(That's such a cool name.)

And I have to ask: why "Indium Flappers"?
"Debating with a conservative is like cleaning up your dog's vomit: It is an inevitable consequence of your association, he isn't much help, and it makes very clear the fact that he will swallow anything."

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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Indium Flappers » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:44 pm

David Franks wrote:
Indium Flappers wrote:(That's such a cool name.)

And I have to ask: why "Indium Flappers"?

It is an anagram of "Friedman's pupil", a reference to David D. Friedman, author of The Machinery of Freedom, who was one of the prominent fore-theorists of anarcho-capitalism. (He differs from Murray Rothbard in that Rothbard used a moralistic, emotionally charged style of argumentation, as well as what he called "axiomatic-deductive logic", the validity of which I currently do not accept, while Friedman used a more utilitarian, cost-benefit analysis to argue his case, and also mostly rejected the use of "natural rights" by Rothbard and others to justify libertarianism. I am closer in my thinking towards Friedman, though I confess the lack of footnoted citations in The Machinery of Freedom drove me up the wall. Rothbard's works are extensively footnoted, but he rejects falsification and the use of the modern scientific method (the sort of methodology advanced by Karl Popper) in the humanities. What's a guy to do?)

For evidence backing up these theorists I'm currently trying to work through the historical case-studies reprinted in Anarchy and the Law, edited by Edward P. Stringham, as well as any other academic articles I can find on the same subjects. (There appear to be many.)

Also, Indium is...
A soft, malleable, silvery-white metallic element that occurs mainly in ores of zinc and lead. It is used in the manufacture of semiconductors, in bearings for aircraft engines, and as a plating over silver in mirrors. Atomic number 49; atomic weight 114.82; melting point 156.61°C; boiling point 2,080°C; specific gravity 7.31; valence 1, 2, 3. See Periodic Table.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
...which is cool partially just because it's a rare, silvery metal and partially because it's used in semiconductors and I'm a computer scientist. Flapper means "a young bird just learning to fly", which is accurate because I'm fairly young, relative to others on this board and in this community, and I'm still learning about everything in life, (and indeed, intend to continue doing so forever.) And it's a neat metaphor, I thought. (I like web-handles that involve bird-metaphors.)

Thanks for being curious!
"We may become the makers of our fate when we have ceased to pose as its prophets."
~ The Open Society and Its Enemies by Karl Popper

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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Indium Flappers » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:18 pm

Just realized I kind of hijacked the science news thread with political links. Here's a thing on fungal growth to make up for it.

Sara Suchy wrote:Unlike properly functioning animal cells, fungus cells can have more than one nucleus, which means that multiple, genetically different nuclei can co-exist within one cell space.
A similar amount of genetic diversity within a human usually means that person has cancer.
But, the presence of genetically diverse nuclei within a fungus is actually the fungus' greatest strength.
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:26 am

And now there's a fellow pushing astrology on the Freethinker facebook page. This is ten years old but the fact that astrology is bullshit, is timeless:

For several decades, researchers tracked more than 2,000 people - most of them born within minutes of each other. According to astrology, the subject should have had very similar traits.
The babies were originally recruited as part of a medical study begun in London in 1958 into how the circumstances of birth can affect future health. More than 2,000 babies born in early March that year were registered and their development monitored at regular intervals.
Researchers looked at more than 100 different characteristics, including occupation, anxiety levels, marital status, aggressiveness, sociability, IQ levels and ability in art, sport, mathematics and reading - all of which astrologers claim can be gauged from birth charts.
The scientists failed to find any evidence of similarities between the "time twins", however. They reported in the current issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies: "The test conditions could hardly have been more conducive to success . . . but the results are uniformly negative."
Analysis of the research was carried out by Geoffrey Dean, a scientist and former astrologer based in Perth, Australia, and Ivan Kelly, a psychologist at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
Dr Dean said the results undermined the claims of astrologers, who typically work with birth data far less precise than that used in the study. "They sometimes argue that times of birth just a minute apart can make all the difference by altering what they call the 'house cusps'," he said. "But in their work, they are happy to take whatever time they can get from a client."
The Telegraph


UPDATE: Hat tip to L Wood pointing out that this study which was supposed to be published at some point (circa ten years ago), hasn't. So the above example, and it's data and methods are not available for examination, so this is not a good example to use until that happens. Dean and Kelly have written several papers on the issue of astrology (they're a bit on the warpath it would seem), but this has been sitting for a decade. Some astrologers have speculated that it may be because the data supports astrology....
"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:08 pm

The Vitamin Myth: Why We Think We Need Supplements
Nutrition experts contend that all we need is what's typically found in a routine diet. Industry representatives, backed by a fascinating history,
argue that foods don't contain enough, and we need supplements. Fortunately, many excellent studies have now resolved the issue.

The Atlantic
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:10 pm

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Thu May 07, 2015 10:32 pm

Image
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Savonarola » Sat Feb 13, 2016 1:26 pm

Gravitational waves detected... apparently for near-certain, this time.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/12/scien ... stein.html


Why people might care:
http://www.vox.com/2016/2/13/10981548/g ... gnificance


Simple explanation video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXlg3cr-q44


And a reminder of the last time we got all excited, probably before we should have:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... arization/

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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:18 am

Read that for a fraction of a second, this event produced/released more "gravity waves" than all of the stars in the universe combined.
I guess we don't need to put gravity waves in quotes any more?
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