The truth of art keeps science from becoming inhuman, and the truth of science keeps art from becoming ridiculous.
Q:Thanks for running this blog, it makes me so certain I've chosen the right life path in becoming a scientist.
No, thank YOU!
The wonderful thing about becoming a scientist is that you don’t have to become a scientist to become a scientist.
Perhaps there was no winner, as this was not a scored debate. Nevertheless by all, or a strong majority of, accounts, I bested him. The fundamental idea that I hope all of us embrace is, simply put, performance counts as much or more than the specifics of the arguments in a situation like this. I admit that, for me at least, it took tremendous concentration. I was and am respectful of Ken Ham’s passion. At a cognitive level, he believes what he says. He really means it, when he says that he has “a book” that supersedes everything you and I and his parishioners can observe everywhere in nature around us. I respected that commitment; I used it to drive, what actors call, my “inner monologue.” I did not choose, as I was advised, to attack, attack, attack. My actor’s preparation helped me keep things civil and be respectful of Mr. Ham despite what struck me as his thoughtless point of view. I’m sure it influenced the countless people who’ve written to me and come up to me in public to express their strong and often enthusiastic support. Thank you all.
Dust (the zodiacal light) pointing at dust (the Milky Way band)
One is the remnants of our solar system’s birth, and the other holds the seeds for solar systems dead and yet to come. Some more dusty goodness to go along with this week’s dusty episode of IOTBS on YouTube.
Photo by the superbly talented Cory Schmitz (Flickr, used with permission)
If Earth’s water were drained into a single drop, it would measure about 950 miles in diameter. Roughly three percent is fresh water, and just one-third of that is easily accessible. Meeting the growing need for water is a critical challenge. Many countries rely on desalination to produce fresh water, but current techniques are typically energy-intensive, using enough energy globally to power nearly seven million homes. That’s why today GE is launching an open innovation challenge to improve the energy efficiency of water desalination. Find out more about the challenge here. GIF by Julian Glander and based on data from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
GE you put that water back right now, you hear me? We need that.
Evolution happens like a movie, with frames moving by both quickly and gradually, and we often can’t see the change while it’s occurring. Every time we find a fossil, it’s a snapshot back in time, often with thousands of frames missing in between, and we’re forced to reconstruct the whole film. Life is what happens in between the snapshots.
Wanna get dirty with me?
From star stuff to microscopic fluff to skin cells that slough while you’re in the buff, the universe of dust is curious enough to turn your mind into a cream puff.
May this week’s episode spread like dust on the wind.
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Can you control your metabolism with your mind?
Turns out … yes.
Food as placebo! Does labeling something “low fat” or “healthy” trick our brains in the wrong direction? Feed your mind with this great vid from NPR Science.
Previously: Learn more about the weirdness of placebos, from medicine color to pill size, with this video.