Science

Global Warming Is A thing

Posted by on Feb 10, 2013 in Politics, Science | 0 comments

I really hope that we can get through to the traitors in congress who are beholden to big oil and Grover Norquist soon.  Because Global Climate Change is happening and unless we start taking it very seriously we are going to be facing massive and catastrophic changes.  We are staring the end of our way of life in the face.  Now we can either do it in a graceful way, and adapt under our own terms, or we can continue to deny science and the evidence of our own eyes and be forced to adapt rapidly, probably during a crisis and without a safety net.

http://www.vancouverobserver.com/blogs/climatesnapshot/arctic-death-spiral-leaves-climate-scientists-shocked-and-worried

A recent CBC report on these CryoSat-2 results was blunt: “Arctic ice could vanish in 10 years, scientists warn … Arctic sea ice is melting at a pace so much faster than once thought that the latest projections say it might disappear by as soon as 2022.”

Professor Wadhams, whose predictions of rapid ice loss have so far been among the most accurate, told the Guardian he thinks summer Arctic sea ice could vanish within four years.

 

Maybe it’s time we stopped pandering to the ultra wealthy who seem to imagine their piles of money will somehow protect and save them when the entire economy crashes and half of Florida is under water.   Maybe it’s time we started thinking about how we as a people, not me as an individual, want to face the future.  This whole, “I got mine, you’re on your own,” attitude is wrong.  It is morally bankrupt, soulless and ethically unsound.  It is short sighted, ignorant and cruel.

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Dawn phones home before leaving Vesta

Posted by on Dec 7, 2012 in Science | 0 comments

The spacecraft Dawn just spent a year in orbit around an asteroid named Vesta.  What Dawn discovered is that Vesta is no ordinary asteroid but a protoplanet left over from the formation of our solar system.  Vesta has a core, mantle and crust much like Earth does, although significantly smaller since Vesta is approximately the size of Arizona.  Still this is a remarkable discovery.  Scientists have thought for a long time that the asteroid belt was debris, left over from the chaotic formation of the solar system.  Vesta is not debris but the seed of a planet.

Dawn is now on a two year journey to visit Ceres, designated a dwarf planet in the asteroid belt.  Who knows what amazing new things we will learn from there.

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Asteroids, not just a game of cosmic pinball.

Posted by on Nov 2, 2012 in Science | 0 comments

While our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of Hurricane Sandy, and our worries are with this election we thought we’d just take a break and  post something about science.  Science is cool.

I read this little gem on Io9′s site and I really enjoy reading io9 so I thought I’d share.

http://updates.io9.com/post/34832794793/our-asteroid-belt-is-unique-and-thats-why-life-may

Basically the article says that our asteroid belt is just about as unique as life on Earth.  They think that the position, composition and density of the asteroid belt is critical for life to form on one of the inner planets.  They also think that Jupiter is pretty special in it’s position and how it helped form our solar system.  Jupiter not only protects the Earth from wandering comets by snatching them out of space with it’s massive gravity, it is responsible for our asteroid belt being just right for life to form and reform on Earth, leading to intelligence to get a foothold.  Now whether the planet thinks this is just dandy, given all of the ecological damage we’ve done and continue to do is another question, several actually.  But that’s the theory these researchers have put forth, that the asteroid belt is fairly unique, only 4% of systems have one like ours, and it is critical for life to form and evolve the way it did here on Earth.  And here we just thought our asteroid belt was only good for the occasional apocalypse and video game.

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Blogger’s choice: Voter Suppression or Crowdfunding a Tesla Museum

Posted by on Oct 8, 2012 in Politics, Science | 0 comments

Ok I was going to do yet another blog about the vile and anti-American voter suppression activity being perpetrated and perpetuated by the far right.   I was going to post this link: http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/10/05/969971/tea-party-voter-suppression-group-under-investigation-for-possible-criminal-conspiracy/

Pointing out that finally, finally, someone is starting to pay attention at higher levels and maybe our legal system, which is occasionally unconscionably slow, might actually start protecting our rights, our legal rights, as citizens of this country.  Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD)  sent a letter to True the Vote (a despicable Tea Party operation working out of Texas that said in part:

“At some point, an effort to challenge voter registrations by the thousands without any legitimate basis may be evidence of illegal voter suppression. If these efforts are intentional, politically motivated and widespread across multiple states, they could amount to a criminal conspiracy to deny legitimate voters their constitutional rights.”

Of course True the Vote has doubled down on their probably illegal voter suppression activities.  Because it’s not about being American and doing what’s right for America.  It’s about making sure that anyone who doesn’t vote the way they want them to is intimidated, misled or otherwise deterred from voting at all.  That’s the far right way as far as I can tell from their actions and activities.

 

But then I stumbled upon this shining beacon of joy:  http://www.npr.org/2012/08/24/159925435/web-cartoonist-raises-1-million-for-tesla-museum

Yep, that’s right.  The interwebz got together and raised money to buy a lab to turn into a museum.   Well ok, not the internet per see.  A web comic known best by the name The Oatmeal found out that the lab was about to be sold, a buyer had emerged and he decided to do something about it.  This guy is a huge fan of Tesla and why not.  Tesla was a genius.  Tesla was quite possibly one of the most brilliant men ever to live.  But he tells it better than I can so here:  http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla

The Oatmeal decided to crowdfund through Indiegogo to raise the astronomical amounts of money that would be required to even begin bidding on the property.  Again, he tells it best:  http://theoatmeal.com/blog/tesla_museum_1m

“In 9 days, we managed to raise over 1 million dollars to go towards buying back Tesla’s old laboratory, and with the $850,000 matching grant from NY state this puts us at 1.85 million bucks. At its peak, the campaign was raising $27,000 per hour, crashing Indiegogo, and probably setting some kind of land speed record in awesomeness.”

This is what we can do if we work together.  This is what the far right is so afraid of.  This is why voter suppression is the weapon of choice for the Tea Party.  Strangers, who are educated and have an appreciation for science and the history of science got together and raised 1.8 million dollars as of the time of this blog.  Imagine what we could do for our country if we all got out and voted and supported our candidates.

Go, look at the links, be amazed by what people are doing a few dollars at a time to preserve the laboratory of an (unfairly) obscure scientist.  And when you get your next car, be sure to check out the electric cars by Tesla.  Yep, I said Tesla electric cars.  Not affiliated I’m sure but they have an all electric car and it’s pretty sweet looking too.

 

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Curiosity sends gorgeous pictures

Posted by on Sep 23, 2012 in Science | 0 comments

Of course the Mars rover Curiosity is sending home gorgeous pictures. Everything about Curiosity is a testament to the human spirit of exploration and innovation. We put a nuclear powered rover on an alien planet. That’s astounding and wonderful. So here’s a link to the latest article and some gorgeous pictures.

http://news360.com/#article/153998744?cluster=51919666&category=11

Also here’s a link to NASA’s website. NASA is one of the best things we have done as a country since we wrote the Constitution and declared our independence. It is a shining monument of what government can do that is right and forward thinking.

http://www.nasa.gov/

Go, look, be amazed and thankful. I personally love to look at the images from Hubble when I’m browsing the NASA website.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/ngc4634.html

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Monsanto vs Vaccines and what’s really causing all these health problems.

Posted by on Sep 15, 2012 in Local Issues, Science | 0 comments

Generations of people have had vaccines to prevent debilitating and in some cases fatal illnesses.  These vaccines, which have become more and more safe every year have never been proven to cause anything like ADHD.  In fact the alleged doctor who ran the single, debunked, study allegedly proving a link between ADHD and vaccines was working for a lawyer who wanted to sue a company that made vaccines.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/05/vaccine-autism-study-report_n_805036.html

Thanks to this doctor there are now tens of thousands of children suffering from easily preventable diseases and some have died.  And this because some vile lawyers were looking to sue the manufacturer of the MMR vaccine.  http://www.nature.com/news/2011/111109/full/479157a.html  What an evil thing to do.  To sacrifice the health and lives of uncounted children and adults to slander a company so that they could make a buck.

Why did this work?  Well because we know that the incidents of ADHD are on the rise.  What we don’t know is why this should be.  Is it because doctors have expanded the definition so much that it now includes a lot of normal people?  I actually suspect there is a certain amount of truth to that.

What about food allergies?  I didn’t know anyone who was allergic to peanuts when I was a kid in school and I went to several pretty big schools.  I also never heard of Crohn’s disease until just a few years ago.  Now things like Celiac disease are everywhere it seems and is it a fad that everyone is suddenly gluten intolerant or is it something a bit more sinister.

That would be where it appears that Monsanto and their Genetically Modified Organisms come in.  See Monsanto likes their GMO’s because they own the patents on them and force farmers to buy new seeds every year.  http://www.healthy-eating-politics.com/genetically-modified-plants.html  They deliberately engineer seeds that are sterile once they’ve grown so there is no second generation of crops.  This is probably what leads to lower nutritional values for the foods made from GMO crops.

Monsanto also forces farmers to buy new seed every year by forcing farmers to sign an agreement stating that they will not even try to save seed from one year to the next, which is how nature has done it for the entirety of life on this planet.  http://blogs.law.stanford.edu/lawandbiosciences/2012/09/13/monsanto-seed-saving-litigation-round-up-%C2%AE/

This is wholly driven by money.  They want to control who can plant what and they want that to be only their seeds.  They have misinformed congress and the EPA as to the effects of GMO foods on people’s health and suppressed studies that prove how damaging these organisms are to our health.   Until I started reading the article that prompted this blog post I was ambivalent about organic foods.  Oh I knew that my heirloom tomatoes that I grow in my little back yard garden were more delicious than any tomato I ever bought in a store.  But I also knew that organic produce still used pesticides, just older ones.  Allegedly more environmentally friendly ones.  I did not realize how much more environmentally friendly and I had no idea how much more friendly to my health.

http://news360.com/#article/153146847?cluster=50808772&category=1

There is real evidence that these GMO crops are at the root of a lot of the upswings we are seeing in ADHD, allergies and food intolerances.  I knew it wasn’t vaccines and I suspected, very strongly, it was something in the environment.  Seriously we cannot pollute our environment the way we have been and not expect to see some kind of natural consequences.  This, however; appears to be a real and valid source of a lot of the health issues we are seeing.  Not just allergies and ADHD but according to the article and the research the article is based upon Alzheimer’s Disease  and some cancers too.  That’s huge.

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