Category Archives: Current Science Events

These are my thoughts and explanations regarding recent developments in the world of science.

Google is still better than most of Corporate America

Google STILL Rocks

This is one of the reasons that Google is STILL way better than LOADS of other companies.

Google is continuing one of the coolest ideas I have ever heard of!  Last year Google launched:

the first ever global online science competition for 13-18 year old students with the Google Science Fair. Over 10,000 students from 91 countries submitted amazing science experiments. With project topics ranging from “Can I program a robot in English?” to “Can I make a sailboat even faster with a winged keel,” to “How does marinade affect carcinogen levels in grilled chicken?”…

Not only that, they seem to be doing a damn good job of including one the smartest demographics our species has to offer, THE LADIES!

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Evolution and gravity: theory? fact? law? Or: Why Ron Paul and other politicians must stop crying ‘theory’!

Background and Significance:

Recently, a pretty old YouTube clip of Ron Paul explaining that he does not accept the “theory of evolution” showed up in my Facebook feed.   It was posted by the Secular Student Alliance and provoked quite a bit of debate in the comments.  The video is from late 2007 and the relevant question posed to Paul was regarding whether or not he had raised his hand on May 3rd, 2007 when the Republican candidates at a televised debate were asked to do so if they did NOT believe in evolution.  Only three candidates raised their hands; Ron Paul was NOT one of them, by the way.

However, in this video clip, set in a more conservative, Christian setting, he affirms that:

“Well, first I thought it was a very inappropriate question, you know, for the presidency to be decided on a scientific matter… and uh, I think it’s a theory…the theory of evolution and I don’t accept it as a theory. But it really doesn’t bother me… Its not the most important issue for me… to make the difference in my life to understand the exact origin.  I think the creator that I know, you know… created us, every one of us and created the universe and the precise time and manner… and all. I just don’t think we’re at the point where anybody has absolute proof on either side.” … “I think its a theological discussion and we can have our… but if that were the issue of the day, I wouldn’t be running for public office! [laughter]”

Now there are a LOT of things we could talk about in this one clip — like whether or not the leader of the most scientifically and technologically advanced nation in the world (which btw depends on “scientific matters” to produce the vast majority of its GDP) should reasonably be expected to demonstrate a basic understanding of rudimentary scientific topics; or the old, tried-and-true trick of claiming that this is a theological question that allows for multiple opinions and points-of-view — but I want to focus this post specifically on the miss-use of the word “theory” that Paul and almost every politician today commits on a regular basis.

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siniXster’s cloaked spaceship hypothesis

Said the tin-foil-hat-wearing,  little-grey-men otaku () of the coronal mass ejection (CME) as it passed Mercury and “seemed” to illuminate a near by object:

“It’s cylindrical on either side and has a shape in the middle. It definitely looks like a ship to me, and very obviously, it’s cloaked…”

  • Before I continue: for a much less snarky response to this (and certainly higher quality) this article goes into a bit more of the specifics as explained by the researchers themselves.

So when the folks who actually analyze this stuff are asked (imagine that revolutionary idea), it turns out that these images are MASSIVELY “manipulated” using “tricks” (as in ‘hide the decline’ kind of tricks [look it up]) to create an effective graphical representation.

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pluripotent stem cells on demand?

Abstract
Congress is about to take on the issue of embryonic stem (ES) cells again. President Bush has already vetoed a bill regarding federal funding of research on stem cells that involve creating new lines of ES cells because it destroys the embryo in the process. The US is falling behind other countries with regard to our research in this area. Now, Shinya Yamanaka from Kyoto University in Japan, has discovered a method to transform mature skin cells in the mouse into a cell type that is indistinguishable from ES cells. These cells exhibit all the hallmarks of pluripotent stem cells; that is to say that they have been shown to have the ability to become all forms of tissue including reproductive cells.
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