Malacandra.me

Latest Posts

Three iconic graphs showing the climate fix we’re in. [Significant Figures by Peter Gleick]

Here are three iconic graphs (unfortunately, there are many, many more) showing just some of the clear observational evidence that we’re changing the climate. The first is the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, measured at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii. It shows the little ups and downs in concentration that varies with the seasons,…
comments

Messier Monday: Messier’s Greatest Mistake, M40 [Starts With A Bang]

“It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character.” -Dale Turner This April Fools’ day, even though the rest of the internet revels…
comments

Congressman Dan Young of Alaska on Mexicans and Mexican-Americans [Greg Laden’s Blog]

This is why we can’t have nice things, like immigration reform. From MSNBC: Amid a hot-button debate in Washington over how to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws, Rep. Don Young, a 21-term lawmaker, referred to immigrant workers as “wetbacks” — a term that could threaten to inflame the debate about immigration reform. “My father had…
comments

Advice: Should you get your PhD? [Starts With A Bang]

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” -Benjamin Franklin Recently, a number of people — of widely different ages and levels of education — have contacted me for advice on whether or not pursuing a PhD in astrophysics/physics/science-in-general is right for them. Of course, I can’t tell you whether a path is the right one…
comments

The Bottleneck Years by H. E. Taylor – Chapter 33 [A Few Things Ill Considered]

The Bottleneck Years by H.E. Taylor Chapter 32 Table of Contents Chapter 34 Chapter 33 Jon Visits, January 27, 2056 On Sunday Jon called to say he would be dropping around to visit next week. The Senator was scheduled to hold a series of meetings with Provincial and First Nation leaders. He didn’t know when…
comments

The Science of the Cosmic Microwave Background [Starts With A Bang]

“The radiation left over from the Big Bang is the same as that in your microwave oven but very much less powerful. It would heat your pizza only to -271.3°C, not much good for defrosting the pizza, let alone cooking it.” -Stephen Hawking One of the most powerful predictions of the Big Bang — the…
comments

How Good Is My Starbucks Cup? [Uncertain Principles]

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post over-analyzing some everyday situation, because I’ve been too busy to do any silly experiments. We’re on break this week, though, so I took a little time Monday to bring excessive technology to bear on the critically important scientific question: how good is my insulated Starbucks cup?…
comments

Another Week of Climate Chaos News, March 24, 2013 [A Few Things Ill Considered]

Logging the Onset of The Bottleneck Years This weekly posting is brought to you courtesy of H. E. Taylor. Happy reading, I hope you enjoy this week’s Global Warming news roundup skip to bottom Another Week of Climate Chaos News Logging the Onset of The Bottleneck Years March 24, 2013 Chuckles, Equinox, COP19+, WWD, Earth…
comments

Messier Monday: The First Messier Supernova of 2013, M65 [Starts With A Bang]

“I wouldn’t dream of working on something that didn’t make my gut rumble and my heart want to explode.” -Kate Winslet Welcome back for another Messier Monday! At the start of each week, we take a detailed look at one of the 110 deep-sky objects that make up the Messier Catalogue. This week, we’ve got…
comments

The Sacred Blue String of Ethnic Identity [Aardvarchaeology]

In this well-written, painstakingly annotated and beautifully designed book, physicist Baruch Sterman (with contributor Judy Taubes Sterman) traces the history and prehistory of a certain blue pigment, along with its cultural and religious significance through the ages. It’s what the Torah and Talmud calls tekhelet, and it’s made from a gland harvested from Murex sea…
comments

 1 2 3 >  Last ›