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The Sky This Week - Thursday May 28 to Thursday June 4

The Full Moon is Wednesday June 4. Venus is prominent in the twilight evening sky. Jupiter is the brightest object in the evening sky once Venus has set. Saturn is in the head of the Scorpion and is easily visible in the evening. The Moon is close to Saturn on June 1. Show More Summary

“U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether ‘one person, one vote’ includes non-citizens”

David Savage reports for the LA Times. See also Melanie Mason’s, “Could U.S. Supreme Court Shrink California’s Congressional Clout?” … Continue reading ?

john nash: 1928-2015

The mathematician John Nash recently died as the result of an taxi accident in New Jersey. His importance as a scientist is based mainly on a very productive period in his early 20s before he was crippled by the onset of mental illness. His two main scientific contributions are the discovery of the Nash equilibrium […]

The Importance of Developing Curiosity

We all want to be happy; according to the Dalai Lama, it is “the very purpose of our life.” Yet despite the incredible advancement of modern-day technology and society, few of us are happy. A 2013 Harris Poll found that only one in three Americans […]

Prediction: The Most Important Brief in the Evenwel Case

…will likely be an amicus brief by political scientists (probably supporting neither party) explaining how difficult and contentious it would be to put in practice a voters only measure of population for redistricting purposes.

“Supreme Court to Weigh Meaning of ‘One Person One Vote’”

Adam Liptak reports for the NYT: In the new case, the Supreme Court may decide that states can determine for themselves which standard to use. Even such a ruling could have a major impact, Professor Pildes said. “If the court … Continue reading ?

Claim: ‘Severe ozone depletion avoided ‘

From the University of Leeds We are already reaping the rewards of the Montreal Protocol, with the ozone layer in much better shape than it would have been without the UN treaty, according to a new study in Nature Communications. Study lead author Professor Martyn Chipperfield, from the School of Earth & Environment at the…

Revolving dictionary stands are the best piece of furniture you could own.

Revolving dictionary stands are the best piece of furniture you could own.

“Only Voters Count? Conservatives ask the Supreme Court to restrict states’ rights and overturn precedent.”

I have written this new piece for Slate.  It begins: For the second time in a year, the Supreme Court has agreed to wade into an election case at the urging of conservatives. In both cases it has done so despite … Continue reading ?

Commissioner Goodman Responds to Commissioner Ravel on Partisan Bias

Following up on Commissioner Ravel’s comments about statements made by Commissioner Goodman, Commissioner Goodman sends along the following further response: COMMISSIONER GOODMAN: At last Thursday’s FEC meeting, a Commissioner proposed that the FEC plow through its docket of cases within three months … Continue reading ?

“Ninth Circuit Overturns Lower Court Decision Enjoining Montana Contribution Limits”

CLC: Today in Lair v. Bullock, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court ruling that struck down Montana’s political campaign contribution limits.  The Ninth Circuit panel remanded the case to the district court on … Continue reading ?

Gene defect linked to visual impairment in dyslexics

A risk gene for dyslexia is associated with impairments in visual motion detection, according to a study published May 27 in The Journal of Neuroscience. Mutations in the gene DCDC2 have previously been associated with dyslexia, and this study found that dyslexics with an altered copy of the gene are unable to detect certain types of visual motion. read more

A review of Freeman Dyson's "Dreams of Earth and Sky"

Freeman Dyson is one of the most brilliant and wide-ranging thinkers of his time; the rare example of a truly outstanding scientist who is also a truly eloquent writer. This volume gathers together book reviews that he has written for the New York Review of books since 2004. Show More Summary

Software Glitch Pauses LightSail Test Mission

The Planetary Society’s LightSail test mission has been paused while engineers wait out a suspected software glitch that has silenced the solar sailing spacecraft.

Balanced Budget Requirements Don't Work as Well as Spending Limits

When I first came to Washington back in the 1980s, there was near-universal support and enthusiasm for a balanced budget amendment among advocates of limited government. The support is still there, I’m guessing, but the enthusiasm is...Show More Summary

The Spin Cycle: Accelerating Sea Level Rise

The Spin Cycle is a reoccurring feature based upon just how much the latest weather or climate story, policy pronouncement, or simply poo-bah blather spins the truth. Statements are given a rating between 1-5 spin cycles, with less cycles meaning less spin. Show More Summary

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