Posts Tagged ‘Science’

Vive la différence

Monday, March 10, 2014 11:00 am

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

Monday, February 10, 2014 9:00 am

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!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014 9:00 am

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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Wednesday, December 4, 2013 10:00 am

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!”


How did they pick that word?

This year’s list was compiled by analyzing the top lookups in the online dictionary at 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

Monday, November 18, 2013 10:00 am

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 — 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

Monday, October 7, 2013 10:00 am

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.


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?

Thursday, September 26, 2013 10:00 am

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.


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

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 10:00 am

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

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 10:00 am

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

Friday, July 26, 2013 10:00 am

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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Mars Attacks

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 10:00 am

Aliens_Giorgio_A_TsoukalosNPR, that thing your tax money is financing, has a report that a giant virus may have come from Mars.

No, I’m not making this up.

Of course, it’s a bunch of French scientists that say this.

Let me explain.

Scientists found some big ole virus they’ve named Pandoravirus. Like Pandora. The girl that opened the box, not the radio thing. Go Google her if you have to.

Some French fellow named Jean-Michel Claverie, who works or otherwise occupies space at Aix Marseille Université (it’s French, too) discovered the virus, but says we’re safe from it. It lives deep in water. And everyone knows that humans don’t go near water. Maybe that’s just French humans, though, which could be the source of the confusion.

Anyway, not only is this virus really really big (for a virus), but it’s got some other properties that make them think it’s not of this earth. At least, that the conclusion he and his wife, Chantal Abergel, came up with.

When Abergel and Claverie sequenced the genome of the new virus, they were in for a shock. Its genetic code is roughly twice the size of the record-holding Megavirus. And it seems almost completely unlike anything else on the planet. Only 6 percent of its genes resembled the genes other organisms. Claverie says he thinks the Pandoraviruses may come from a different origin – perhaps radically different.

“We believe that those new Pandoraviruses have emerged from a new ancestral cellular type that no longer exists,” he says. That life could have even come from another planet, like Mars. “At this point we cannot actually disprove or disregard this type of extreme scenario,” he says.

So, it’s from Mars. At least, that’s their conclusion because it’s something they’ve never seen before.

I suppose if they had never seen a kitten, they’d think kittens are from Mars.

Anyway, I’m trying to decide if H.G. Wells got it backwards — go read the book or watch the movie if this one goes over your head — or if French scientists are nuts.

Probably both.

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The sun hates black people

Thursday, July 18, 2013 11:00 am

20130716-cmeNASA says the sun has fired a shot at the earth. Since the sun is so far away, it’ll take a couple of days for the coronal mass ejection to reach the planet, and we don’t know for sure what damage it’ll do, if anything. Probably nothing more than screw up a satellite or two.

And that’s the problem. The NSA uses satellites as part of its tracking of Americans, and if the sun is screwing with that, it means the sun must hate Obama. And that makes the sun racist.

There could also be aurora when the charged particles hit the upper atmosphere. And who’ll see that? People way up north. Eskimos, Canadians, and other snow-dwellers. Not a lot of black people. So, the pretty lights in the sky? Not for blacks. Because the sun is racist.

That storm that flooded New Orleans a while back? You remember Hurricane Katrina, right? Well, you know what started that storm? Besides George Bush and Karl Rove? The sun. It heated up the water and then did some science stuff and then a Hurricane started and killed a bunch of black people. Because the sun is racist.

We need to take action against the sun and make it stop being racist. How do we do that?


Or maybe Facebook.

I think if we use social media to bring attention to the sun’s racism, we can make it stop being racist. Or at least get Obama to raise the sun tax so it isn’t able to afford to be racist.

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

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Calling all cryptozoologists

Wednesday, July 3, 2013 10:00 am

LochNessMonsterWe’ve all heard stories about mythical creatures running around. The Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, chupacabra, mermaids… creatures that don’t exist.

Or do they?

Every time you turn around, there’s another article about how the Mystery of the Loch Ness Monster has been solved. Or the Chupacabra Mystery has been settled. Or something.

Well, over the years, some of the imaginary creatures turned out to be real, and some didn’t. The Giant Squid, is real. And, 200 years ago, white folk didn’t think the gorilla was real. Stupid white folk.

Anyway, here is a list of some of the creatures that some people claim to exist, but which existence is yet to be proven.

If you have sighted any of these creatures, report them. A few of them, the government wants you to report to DHS, so do your duty, Citizen.

If there are any other creatures about which you’ve heard reports, but can’t confirm or are certain aren’t real, let us know. Because, well, Science!

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Load up the B-Ark

Thursday, June 27, 2013 1:00 pm

hhgttg_b-arkThere are three planets surrounding a star some 22 light-years away that might be habitable.

In Scorpio, right around the tip of the tail, there is a cluster of three stars. Now, it looks to the naked eye like a very faint star, but it’s really three stars. Stars are sneaky that way, so be careful.

Anyway, those three stars are called Gliese 667. We call them that. I don’t know what the people there call them. Probably “Star” if they speak English. Or “Bright Sky Thingy.” Around Gliese 667C, the smallest star of that group, are five planets that we know of. And — here’s the kicker — three those planets may be habitable.

Why is that important? Well, our Earth has is threatened by coal, and those doggone conservatives are determined to destroy the Earth with it.

Now, as a conservative, I want to apologize for our vile evil plans to destroy the planet with coal and Bible-thumping and gun-clinging and all those dangerous things we conservatives do. And, every since Bush used Karl Rove’s time machine to go back in time and start Global Warming all those centuries ago, the Earth has been doomed.

So, how do we make it right? Well, there are three planets around Gliese 667C that could support life. And, I say we let the liberals have them. All three of them.

NASA is just sitting around, outreaching to the Moslems, and not doing space stuff anymore, but there’s no reason they couldn’t built three big arks to hold the best of the human race. Let’s load up the B-Ark with Barack Obama (we even call it the “B” Ark, after “Barack”) and all his supporters (it’ll be a really big Ark) and send them off to Gliese 667C. They’ll pick the best of the three planets and settle there, then, once they’re settled in, having set up a super awesome socialist planetary government like they all want, we’ll send off the other two Arks.

I’ll stay here amongst the coal and the thumped Bibles and the clung-to guns and just be miserable. I deserve it.

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Friday, February 15, 2013 9:00 am

While skywatchers were focused on Asteroid 2012 DA14, a meteorite hit Russia this morning, injuring hundreds.

[Direct link]

Well played, Mother Nature. Well played.

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Pluto’s moons

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 9:00 am
Photo: NASA

Folks need help naming Pluto’s moons.

Actually, they don’t any help at all. Scientists and astronomers and such have had no problem naming planets, moons, or other celestial objects before, and they really don’t have any trouble now. They want to pacify people who got all ticked off over the demotion of Pluto from planet to dwarf planet.

Or, maybe, they just want to get attention or something. Well, they got mine.

There’s a Website that is set up for the purpose of naming two of Pluto’s moons. Now, in case you didn’t know, Pluto has five moons. Maybe it has more, but they only know about five. They discovered Charon in 1978. I remember that. At the time, they had no real idea just how big Pluto was. They figured it was probably about the size of Earth, though I was never really quite sure why. But, the discovery of Charon, and all the math that led to, came up with the idea that Pluto was a lot smaller than people thought.

Then, they discovered more moons in 2005. They named them Nix and Hydra. Then, they discovered two more, in 2011 and 2012, respectively. They haven’t named them yet. And, according to the Laws of Science, Pluto can’t bring the moons home from the hospital until they have a name. Or something.

So, the Website Pluto Rocks (get it?) has been set up to name the two moons. Currently, the frontrunners are Styx and Cerberus. Why a late ’70s rock band would get a moon named after them is something I don’t understand. Maybe Come Sail Away is a lot better song than I realized.

As for Cerebus, that’s a dog. Which is kinda weird, since Pluto is Mickey Mouse’s dog. Can a dog have a dog? I suppose if it’s a three-headed dog, no one would complain. For long.

Anyway, most of the names on the ballot are names you’d expect, like Persephone, Hercules, Orpheus, and Barack.

Wait. Barack isn’t on the list. But they do have a write-in ballot available. Maybe I’ll write in a name. It damn sure won’t be Barack. But, what should I write in? Or, what would you write in?

What should be the names of Pluto’s moons?

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Fill ‘er up, eh?

Monday, January 28, 2013 9:00 am
Photo: Canadian Space Agency

An orbiting robot gas station ran a successful test refueling of a mock satellite. That’s the word from a report this past week:

Dextre, a twin-armed robot from Canada, topped off the fuel tank in the mockup, showing how satellites’ life can be extended, according to the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

Operating on the Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) module, Dextre removed safety caps and cut through retaining wires before transferring liquid ethanol to the mockup, which is about the size of a washing machine.

That’s right. The Canadian Space Agency. Not NASA.

Now, I have nothing against our friends to the north. I’ve not spent a lot of time in Canada, but have visited. The places I went were nice. The only problem I found is they don’t know how to make breakfast sausage. Every breakfast I ate there has sausage that tasted like sawdust.

And now, a country that can’t even make breakfast right is able to make robot gas stations in space while the U.S. space program is canceling programs and focusing on Muslim outreach.

I’m thinking we wouldn’t be in this situation if we had an American president. Or Democrats who actually loved America.


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The largest

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 9:00 am
Photo: NASA / ESA / Andrew C. Fabian / Remco C. E. van den Bosch (MPIA)

Scientists have found a really large thing in a distant galaxy. They took a year to study and recheck the data, and they’re pretty convinced that this really big things exists.

The galaxy known as NGC 1277 — though I don’t think the people that live there call it that — is about 250 million light years from Earth. In the middle of it, is a really large black hole.

The giant black hole is about 11 times as wide as the orbit of Neptune around our sun, researchers said. The mass is so far above normal that the scientists took a year to double-check and submit their research paper for publication, according to the study’s lead author, Remco van den Bosch.

Now, unless you just happen to know the size of the orbit of Neptune, all you can know is that it’s pretty big. My math is that Neptune’s orbit is around 5.6 zillion miles. Maybe billion — I’m not that good at math. And 11 times that is … well, it’s a lot.

And that’s a black hole. The thing is huge.

But, is it the largest thing there is?

I think not. I can think of a few things that might be larger, either in size or mass.

Like what? I’m glad you asked.

  • The debt
  • Obama’s ego
  • Liberal stupidity
  • The handbasket the country is going to hell in
  • Your tax bill
  • Next year’s debt

What did I miss? Ideas?

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It never had a chance anyway

Friday, January 11, 2013 9:00 am

NASA says we needn’t worry about that asteroid hitting Earth in 2036. That’s the good news.

If you remember, in 2004, scientists discovered an asteroid they named Apophis, and were concerned that it might hit Earth during one of its flybys. Now, they say that while it’ll be a close encounter, it won’t be a deadly one:

“With the new data provided by the Magdalena Ridge [New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology] and the Pan-STARRS [Univ. of Hawaii] optical observatories, along with very recent data provided by the Goldstone Solar System Radar, we have effectively ruled out the possibility of an Earth impact by Apophis in 2036,” said Don Yeomans, manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office at JPL. “The impact odds as they stand now are less than one in a million, which makes us comfortable saying we can effectively rule out an Earth impact in 2036. Our interest in asteroid Apophis will essentially be for its scientific interest for the foreseeable future.”

The April 13, 2029, flyby of asteroid Apophis will be one for the record books. On that date, Apophis will become the closest flyby of an asteroid of its size when it comes no closer than 19, 400 miles (31,300 kilometers) above Earth’s surface.

Personally, I was never worried. After Obama’s reelection, I’m thinking won’t be a civilization left for Apophis to destroy.

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Let’s send a B-Ark

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 9:00 am

Now scientists think that there may be 17-billion Earth-size planets in our galaxy. That’s a U.S. billion, which is 17 followed by 9 zeroes.

Now, just because a planet is Earth-size doesn’t mean it will support life. Look at Venus, the nearest planet to Earth. It’s just about the same size as Earth, but its average temperature is 872° F (467° C for you scientist types and Europeans), which is hot, even for someone from the south.

Still, 17-billion? That’s a lot of planets. Maybe we’ll find one that’s habitable.

And, if we do, we need to figure out how to send a B-Ark with all the liberals on it.

In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the Golgafrincham sent their useless people off into space. For those that don’t know the story — and shame on you if you don’t! — the Golgafrincham told of impending doom, and the population would be sent off into space in three giant space arks, with the A-Ark containing the leaders and achievers, the C-Ark containing people who did the actual work, and the B-Ark containing, well, the rest. Of course, the B-Ark was sent off first, and the rest of the population remained behind, rid of the nuisances.

Which means this information about there being 17-billion Earth-size planets? We can use this.

We need to come up with some story that the liberals will believe — I don’t think being eaten by a mutant Star Goat will do — and send them off.

Maybe tell them we found a planet populated with baby seals. Or a planet with free Obamaphones and food stamps. We need to come up with something.

Keep in mind, we don’t need to wait until we find another habitable planet. We just need ideas to get them to agree to all pile into a big ship we can send off into deep space.


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