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Dreaming Castro

Peggy Noonan has a wonderful piece in today’s Wall Street Journal. It concludes with a dream: A closing note: I always thought, life often being unfair, that Fidel Castro would die the death of a happy monster, old, in bed, a cigar jutting out from the pillows, a brandy on the bedside table. My dream […]

Thermoelectric power plants could offer economically competitive renewable energy

(—A new study predicts that large-scale power plants based on thermoelectric effects, such as small temperature differences in ocean water, could generate electricity at a lower cost than photovoltaic power plants.

Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy, 19 December 2014

Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy taken on 19-12-14 with my Canon IXUS point and shoot. 10x 15 second exposures ISO 400 stacked with deep sky stacker. and cropped to the region of interest, showing Pi (bottom) and Nu (top) Pupis and the comet (Click to embiggen) Comet C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy taken on 14-12-14 with my Canon IXUS point and shoot. Show More Summary

97 Articles Refuting The ‘97% Consensus’ on global warming

The 97% “consensus” study, Cook et al. (2013) has been thoroughly refuted in scholarly peer-reviewed journals, by major news media, public policy organizations and think tanks, highly credentialed scientists and extensively in the climate blogosphere. The shoddy methodology of Cook’s study has been shown to be so fatally flawed that well known climate scientists have…

Method and Its Discontents

Given that I am relentlessly flogging a book about the universality of the scientific process (Available wherever books are sold! They make excellent winter solstice holiday gifts!), I feel like I ought to try to say something about the latest kerfuffle about the scientific method. This takes the form of an editorial in Nature complaining…

Cells identified that enhance tumor growth and suppress anti-cancer immune attack

(MEMPHIS, Tenn. - DECEMBER 18, 2014) A study led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists has identified the population of white blood cells that tumors use to enhance growth and suppress the disease-fighting immune system. Show More Summary

AGU talk: Scaling climate change communication for behavior change

In a previous randomized controlled trial, Stanford University researchers developed two curricula for Girl Scouts to use energy more efficiently: one on energy use at home, and the other in transportation and food. Both courses were...Show More Summary

Neuroscientists identify brain mechanisms that predict generosity in children

University of Chicago developmental neuroscientists have found specific brain markers that predict generosity in children. Those neural markers appear to be linked to both social and moral evaluation processes. read more

ASTAR scientists discover gene critical for proper brain development

Scientists at ASTAR's Institute of Medical Biology (IMB) and Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology (IMCB) have identified a genetic pathway that accounts for the extraordinary size of the human brain. The team led by Dr Bruno Reversade...Show More Summary

Oil palm -- a modeled crop

Australian scientists have developed a model for oil palm cultivation, aimed at helping growers of the crop maximize the yields of their plantations, while minimizing detrimental environmental impacts. The model was recently published...Show More Summary

Kepler 'Rises From the Ashes,' Finds a 'Super-Earth'

The Kepler spacecraft has had its shares of ups and downs since its 2009 launch. The downs have included a 2013 mechanical failure that left Kepler supposedly "beyond repair". The ups have included a "resourceful strategy" that made use of pressure from sunlight to allow Kepler to be repurposed for...

Nidelric pugio: a New Fossil From Very Rare Chancellorids From the Cambrian Chengjiang Biota

A rare 520 million year old fossil shaped like a 'squashed bird's nest' that will help to shed new light on life within Earth's ancient seas has been discovered in China by an international research team - and will honour the memoryShow More Summary

Censored letter

A current cause célèbre in China concerns a letter that was supposedly written by a little boy to the President of China, Xi Jinping: "‘Not as skinny as Obama, like Putin is okay.’ China censors schoolboy’s suggestion that Xi lose weight" (12/18/14) "A 9-year-old told China’s president to lose some weight—and censors shut him down" […]

Friday Varia and Quick Hits

After a week off to work in the Bakken, I’m back with a pre-holiday quick hits and varia for your enjoyment. I’ll be too honest and say that my daily productivity has begun to decline as the holidays approach. We have a tree, are heavy into menu planning, and are looking forward to a day […]

OA-ICC December calendar: 19/12- “Latest OA blockbusters”

Count down the days until 2015 together with the OA-ICC! Each day of December you will find a short story on the OA-ICC news stream highlighting an ocean acidification project, effort, or resource. Discover today’s story below: “Latest OA blockbusters”. Looking for some exciting informational movies to watch this weekend? Well look no further than […]

“Nothing but the Horrors”

One measure of the poor reception for the American Heroes Channel’s American Revolution series among historians this week was how it drove Alex Cain to start a blog. His first post said:…the Battle of Lexington, as depicted in “The American Revolution”, is woefully inaccurate and replete with factual inaccuracies. Show More Summary

Bread and dripping

Q: The next time Pat appears on the Leonard Lopate Show, she should tell Leonard that here in England we don’t all eat “drippings” (“dripping” in British English) for breakfast! The last time I tasted dripping was after the Second World War when food was still rationed. I’ve certainly never heard of it for breakfast.... ? Read More: Bread and dripping

Venus Returns!

Driving back from Nerd Night I thought I caught a glimpse of the bright planet on Wednesday, but it was too cloudy until tonight to confirm.Venus is back! This picture was taken around 9:15 pm ACDST (clcik to embiggen), when Venus was just two finger-widths above the horizon, but it was easy to see from 8:55 pm on. Show More Summary

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