Vive la différence

MenWomenSo, you think men and women are different?

Well, there’s a neuroscientist in Birmingham (the one on England, not the one in Alabama) that says there are no difference between the brains of men and women.

“The bottom line is that saying there are differences in male and female brains is just not true. There is pretty compelling evidence that any differences are tiny and are the result of environment not biology,” said Prof Rippon.

Oh, that’s Professor Gina Rippon.

Sounds just like a woman, doesn’t it. She says that it’s environment, not biology that makes the sexes different.

That’s right. She says sex doesn’t make a difference.

I’m thinking she’s not doing it right. Or nearly enough.

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Soon, maybe

MarsCraterTwenty years ago this summer, in July 1994, a comet known as Shoemaker-Levy 9 smashed into Jupiter. That was a big deal with scientists because they got to see just how big of a deal getting hit by a comet or asteroid was. I suppose if the dinosaurs were still around, they could have just asked them.

Last week, word came out that a meteorite had recently smashed into Mars. They’re not sure just when it hit. They think some time between July 2010 and May 2012. They don’t really know because they weren’t watching for it. NASA has been busy with Muslim outreach, and other scientists are too busy trying to prove that cold weather is a result of Global Warming.

Oh, and, in case you forgot about it, the Moon was hit last March.

So, what do these events, spanning 20 years, have in common?

Well, let’s look at them.

In 1994, Shoemaker-Levy 9 missed Earth by 400 million miles.

In 2010 or so, an asteroid missed Earth by 40 million miles.

In 2013, an asteroid missed Earth by a quarter-million miles.

Those of us that have decided the best thing would be to rooting for an asteroid strike? Take heart. The aim is getting better.

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Global WarmingTM flips the sun!

IMG_0030Have you noticed the change in the sun lately? It’s upside down!

No, really.

According to a report in The Independent, NASA says the sun has flipped upside down.

What they don’t go into a lot of details on is: why did the sun flip?

Well, I’ll tell you why. Global WarmingTM.

That’s right, Global WarmingTM is so bad, it flipped the sun upside down.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. There were more record low temperatures in 2013 than record high temps, so that means Global WarmingTM is on the decline. Well, no. And yes.

It got so hot here on the earth that the heat had to go somewhere. And where did it go? To the sun, of course. There’s heat there already, and heat attracts heat. So, all the Global WarmingTM jumped off the earth and headed to the sun at an estimated 300,000 miles per second. So fast, it hit the sun so hard it flipped it upside down. And, with all the Global WarmingTM running off in space, it got cold and we got all those record cold temperatures.

So there you go. Proof that Global WarmingTM is real.

Now, go buy yourself some carbon credits, because they keep temperatures down. Because if you don’t, it’ll get so hot that, within 20-25 years, Global WarmingTM will get so bad, it’ll flip the sun upside down again. And who knows what could happen then.

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Word

BigBookOfWordsSo, what’s the Word of the Year?

Depends on who you ask. Is it “selfie,” “tweaking,” or some other silly word?

Well, if you ask Merriam-Webster — I think she used to appear on Happy Days — it’s “Science!”

Really.

How did they pick that word?

This year’s list was compiled by analyzing the top lookups in the online dictionary at Merriam-Webster.com and focusing on the words that showed the greatest increase in lookups this year as compared to last year. The results, based on approximately 100 million lookups a month, show that the words that prompted the most increased interest in 2013 were not new words or words used in headlines, but rather they were the words behind the stories in this year’s news.

So, “knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation” is what people wanted to know.

That had to be a shock to the people that thought that “science” meant “Al Gore said it.”

Other words on the list?

  • “Cognitive,” which, I think, is a wine.
  • “Rapport,” which is someone who wears his pants around his knees.
  • “Niche,” who said “Out of chaos comes order.”
  • “Metaphor.” What’s a metaphor? To keep cows in.

There are more. You should learn these words. Because words are good things. We use words every day. In fact, this whole things I’m writing uses words. And no words were harmed in the creation of this blog post.

Well, not permanently harmed.

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Today’s forecast: A chance of devastating destruction increasing throughout the day

killer-asteroid1You ever watch those Discovery Channel shows where they talk about the Chicxulub asteroid or the Tunguska event? There’s always Neil deGrasse Tyson or somebody talking about how some big asteroid event will happen again… eventually.

They really don’t know how likely something like that is. But, even though they don’t know, they’ve just increased the chance around six times. One report from Space.com — who knew that space had its own Website? — says it’s 10 times more likely. The Weather Channel says 4-5 times more likely than previous thought.

What does this really mean?

Well, apparently, asteroids are now weather phenomena, like rain and snow.

But, it also means that, while the likelihood of a major meteor strike is unknown, new studies show that it’s even more unknown. And more in a bad way. As in I don’t know how big the spider that crawled out from underneath the dash of the car is, but there’s four of them. And I’m in traffic. So, that’s not good.

So what do we do about it?

Well, if we’re eventually gonna get hit by an asteroid, maybe we can make it less painful for everyone.

Remember Christo? The guy that used to wrap stuff in plastic? Not the guy on TV selling you a food vacuum packer, but the guy that took big pieces of plastic and surrounded islands and such with it.

Well, he could wrap Washington DC with a big plastic red ring. Then a little ways further out, a bigger ring. Then a little ways further, an even bigger ring.

Yes, like a target.

Who knows? Maybe some big honkin’ asteroid will fly by, see it, and head to it like moths to a flame.

Then, we’d be clear for another 30-100 years from a decent size asteroid. And clear from those idiots in Washington.

I don’t see a down side.

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Robot cats

I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but robots are taking over the world. In 2013 alone, we’ve seen reports of vomiting robots, Killer Robot Surgeons, Giant German Robot Apes, Giant Mutant Radioactive Robot Snakes, Pizza-Delivering Underwater Robot Killer Whales, and Vampire Robots.

Well, if that’s not enough robots running around causing mayhem and chaos, there’s now a robot that’s … wait for it … running around. It’s called WildCat, and it’s from those wacky kids at Boston Dynamics.


[YouTube]

The little gasoline engine is a little odd, but once they figure out how to get it to run on an iPhone or Droid Maxx battery, you best watch out.

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Koona t’chuta, Solo?

They found Han Solo. He’s right where they left him, apparently, on Mercury.

Now, I don’t remember Han being in our solar system. He was in a galaxy far, far away. And, it was a long time ago. Still, NASA has found what looks like Han Solo on Mercury, still frozen in carbonite.

HanSoloMercury

A portion of the terrain surrounding the northern margin of the Caloris basin hosts an elevated block in the shape of a certain carbonite-encased smuggler who can make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.

NASA took time out from its Muslim outreach to actually look at photos a space probe took of the closest planet to the sun, and discovered that rock formation, or lava formation, or whatever it is.

Trick of the terrain and shadows, is what it is. That makes you see things that don’t really exist. Thing like that face on Mars.

Anyway, since NASA no longer knows how to send men into space, at least they can see characters from space movies that think parsecs are a measurement of time.

I’m wondering what other science fiction staples NASA will run across next. Maybe the benefits of Obamacare?

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Glowing Killer Muslim Bunny Rabbits

GlowingBunniesA report out of Hawaii says that scientists in Turkey have made glowing bunny rabbits. No, really. Bunnies that glow in the dark.

Okay, maybe not in the dark, but under ultraviolet light.

You’re probably thinking, “That’s nuts.” And you wouldn’t be wrong, but it’s worse than that.

I mean, didn’t they ever see Night of the Lepus? Or heard about the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog? Scientists are taking a risk there.

Or are they?

The widdle bunnies were supposedly engineered in Turkey, a Muslim country. And using technology from Hawaii.

What other Muslim-Hawaiian connection might there be? Can you say Obama?

Is this part of some larger plan that Obama and the Moslems have hatched to destroy America? He’s tried blowing up the economy for five years, and has done a marvelous job of bringing on financial collapse, but the U.S. just refused to fall. Perhaps the glowing Moslem killer bunny rabbits is the final piece of the plan.

So, be ever vigilant. If you see any glowing giant killer bunny rabbits wearing suicide bomber vests saying “Eh… (chomp chomp chomp) Allahu Akbar, Doc” sound the alarm.

I know this sounds like I’m suggesting that we profile glowing bunny rabbits. But better safe than sorry.

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Vampire robots

TwilightRobertPattinsonWhen I first heard there were vampire robots, I thought, “Great, another Twilight movie.”

But, no, it’s a real thing. Some company called Veebot is building machines to suck your blood.

It’s for medical reasons, they say:

  • 20-25% of all venipuncture procedures fail to draw blood on the first stick.
  • Approximately 2 million needlestick injuries are reported every year. Meanwhile, 40-75% of needlestick injuries go unreported.
  • Mislabeled blood samples from venipuncture lead to about 170,000 adverse events in hospitals a year, ultimately costing hospitals $200-400 million annually.

The downside? Imagine what’ll happen if a robot gets a taste for blood.

The upside? They don’t sparkle.

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Pizza-delivering robot killer whales

UnderwaterRobotMaybe they aren’t robot whales, but now they’re building underwater robots. I suppose robot subs would be accurate, but they are large mechanical things that travel under the sea. So, robot whales it is.

I mean, they are based on how fish sense their environment, according to the report I sorta read. And, they have to perform some tasks.

Demonstrating agility and control, the submarines will need to bump two buoys in response to colors emitted every few seconds. The vehicles will also need to show mastery of a speed trap and fire foam torpedoes through holes in a hexagonal wheel.
Finally, the submarines will also need to deliver a pizza: They must bring two mock pizza boxes (made from PVC pipe) to a specified location.

Yep. Robots that performs tasks underwater, fire torpedoes, and deliver pizza.

It’s not Robot Monkeys on the Moon, but it’s something.

But, I gotta ask: is pizza delivery the best use of robot killer whales? What would you have an underwater killer robot do?

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