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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

How racial stereotypes impact the way we communicate

Racial stereotypes and expectations can impact the way we communicate and understand others, according to UBC research. The new study, published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, highlights how non-verbal "social cues"...Show More Summary

Watching two new islands form in the Red Sea

Satellites capture infancy of volcanic islands after eruptions in 2011 and 2013.

“Final Victory Against Restrictive Minnesota Campaign Finance Law”

Press release: In a major victory for public participation in elections, Governor Mark Dayton signed a bill last Friday that repeals Minnesota’s “special sources limit.” Under the previous law, the first 12 individuals who contributed to a candidate were able … Continue reading ?

“Elections Technology: Nine Things Legislators May Want to Know”

That’s the lead story in the latest issue of NCSL’s The Canvass. … Continue reading ?

“SCOTUS to hear case that could set back Latino voting power”

Zack Roth reports for MSNBC. One interesting question is how any rule in Evenwel would match up with requirements of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. … Continue reading ?

“The Man Behind the Newest Supreme Court Voting Case; Justices agree to review ‘one person, one vote’ doctrine in Texas redistricting case. “

Tony Mauro Edward Blum, the mastermind behind successful U.S. Supreme Court challenges to affirmative action and the federal Voting Rights Act, has done it again—this time, in a case that could reshape the way voting districts are drawn nationwide. … Continue reading ?

The Strange Return of the Political Party

In the aftermath of the general election, this little gem from the BBC caught my eye. It reported on the seemingly counter-intuitive view that political parties, particularly if they lose, often experience a surge in membership. TheShow More Summary

A 2-Categorical Approach to the Pi Calculus

Greg Meredith and Mike Stay have a new paper on modeling the pi calculus with 2-categories.

Giant Brains Are Better

Brain size affects female but not male survival under predation threat. 2015. Biological Letters. image New research has shown that in the course of evolution larger brains offer a higher survival potential than smaller brains. PR

Mission to Europa will test Jupiter moon's friendliness to life

NASA has announced the instruments for its next mission to Jupiter's icy moon Europa, one of the solar system's best candidates for hosting life

We trust children to know what gender they are – until they go against the norm

I will start by asking two questions: at what age did you know your gender, and do you think someone else had to tell you what it was? I’m director of mental health at a leading gender clinic in the US. Our clinic is a half-decade old...Show More Summary

Venezuela: World's Highest Inflation Rate

Venezuela’s bolivar is collapsing. And as night follows day, Venezuela’s annual implied inflation rate is soaring. Last week, the annual inflation rate broke through the 500% level. It now stands at 510%. When inflation rates are elevated, standard economic theory and reliable empirical techniques allow us to produce accurate inflation estimates. Show More Summary

Is Man Basically Good?

Conservatives answer in the negative, liberals in the affirmative. This may be the most important difference between the warring parties. Dennis Prager explains the difference very clearly here. Liberals will object to the 'radioactive' Man in the above title borrowed...

The difference between popular chemistry and popular physics

This is from Half Price Books in Redmond, WA which I visited over the weekend. In this world popular physics books are popular physics books. Meanwhile, popular chemistry books are just textbooks. Of course, as I have noted earlier, the problem is not with Half Price Books or with any other bookstore where this will be a familiar scenario. Show More Summary

Astrophysicist provides new fluid dynamics insights

New calculations by a theoretical astrophysicist provide tools that open a door to exploring the history of events in astrophysical flows and in plasma fusion devices.

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