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Unlocking Science March 18, 2009

Posted by davegoblog in Politics, Science, Technology.
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A Vote for Science November 2, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Personal, Politics, Science, Technology.
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Scientists and Engineers for America Action Fund and ScienceBlogs (SEED Magazine) have teamed up to bring you the AVoteForScience YouTube challenge. Are you a scientist? Tell the world who you are voting for this year. McCain? Obama? None of the above? Upload your YouTube video explaining who you are, who you are voting for and why you are voting for them.

Here’s my submission:

Large Hadron Rap September 2, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Future, Music, Science, Technology.
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The first attempt to circulate a beam through the entire Large Hadron Collider is scheduled for next week on September 10, 2008.  While you’re waiting with bated breath, you can enjoy the Large Hadron Rap, which I discovered via the latest Science Friday.

“The LHC is super duper fly.  You know what I’m saying?  Check it.”

Is the science settled? June 12, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Climate Change, Environment, Politics, Pollution, Science.
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The latest National Journal Insiders Poll asks Democrats and Republicans if “it’s been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the Earth is warming because of man-made pollution.”

  • 95% of Democrats answered yes, compared with 26% of Republicans.

If there’s one thing poll after poll indicates, it’s that the science is not settled on this issue.” – one Republican respondent.

Aaahhh…science by polling.

Insiders of both parties agreed, however, that the most urgent priority facing the next president and Congress will be the economy.

  • 59% of Republicans said the economy is at the top of the nation’s priority list, while 44% of Democrats said the same. But global warming was the second-most pressing matter, according to Democrats, while energy took the second spot for Republicans.

Adapted from The Hotline.

“Tweeting” from Mars June 6, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Pop Culture, Science, Technology.
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The Mars Phoenix Lander touched down on the red planet almost two weeks ago and announced its arrival there by “tweeting” on Twitter.  Since that time, it has garnered over 18,000 followers on the micro-blogging site and landed in the 12th spot of most followers according to Twitterholic (as of this post).  Not bad since its first tweet was on May 7, 2008.

Phoenix’s tweets are not from a cute, talking robot like Pixar’s upcoming Wall•E.  Instead, its part is being played by Veronica McGregor, the media director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  She said that she would continue to do it as long as people are following and as long as Phoenix is working.  “Eventually we’ll have to sign-off and say good-bye.”  Until then, you can follow the mission via Twitter @MarsPhoenix.

 Note: I did ask a question, but never heard a response.  I’ll keep trying 😉

Climate Security Act May 29, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Climate Change, Environment, Future, Politics, Science, Technology.
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Members of Congress are scheduled to begin debate next week on Senate bill 2191 “America’s Climate Security Act of 2007,” which was introduced by Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA).  The two purposes of this Act are:

(1) to establish the core of a Federal program that will reduce United States greenhouse gas emissions substantially enough between 2007 and 2050 to avert the catastrophic impacts of global climate change; and

(2) to accomplish that purpose while preserving robust growth in the United States economy and avoiding the imposition of hardship on United States citizens.

I’m sure we’ll hear the same old arguments from “global warming” deniers such as the economy will suffer, temperatures are actually cooling, and carbon dioxide is good for plants.

As a scientist, it’s frustrating to see when the waters are being muddied to produce doubt in the minds of people.  If the data for global warming and subsequent climate change were shown to be incorrect, then I would gladly acknowledge that our science is wrong.  But science seeks to explain how things happen in the universe, and science is self-correcting.  The evidence is overwhelming, and as the IPCC has previously said, “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal.”

Read Chris Mooney’s new article The Price of Planetary Gambling for a more in depth analysis of the upcoming debate.

Are you there God? It’s me, Einstein. May 16, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Personal, Religion, Science.
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A letter written by Albert Einstein sold for an amazing £170,000 (approximately $330,000) yesterday at auction in London to a private collector.  It was estimated to sell for £8,000 earlier this week, but the price skyrocketed it seems in part due to Einstein’s candid view on religion and the Bible.

The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

Despite his rejection of conventional religion, Einstein became angry when his views were appropriated by evangelists for atheism according to a leading Einstein expert, John Brooke of Oxford University.  Brooke goes onto say that Einstein was offended by their lack of humility and once wrote, “The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.”

Einstein himself appears to have struggled with the fundamental questions of god and religion much like those before him did and those of us after him continue to do.  A year before his death in 1954, he spoke of wishing to “experience the universe as a single cosmic whole.”  So say we all.

Who’s looking in your genes? April 25, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Future, Politics, Science, Technology.
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Have no fear!  Only you and your doctor will be able to know what’s hiding in your genes.  The U.S. Senate has finally passed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), approving by unanimous vote an amended version of H.R. 493, which passed the House a year ago today by a vote of 420-3.  As I previously blogged, the Senate debate had been on “hold” by Tom Coburn, Republican U.S. Senator from Oklahoma.

The act, once signed into law, will protect Americans against discrimination based on their genetic information when it comes to health insurance and employment.  The long-awaited measure, which has been debated in Congress for 13 years (my emphasis), will pave the way for people to take full advantage of the promise of personalized medicine without fear of discrimination.

Start studying for that genetic test now!

Chemistry: The Gathering April 9, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Gaming, Science.
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Combine chemistry with Magic: The Gathering, and you get Elementeo, a collectible card game that aims to teach chemistry to students in a fun, unusual way.  Anshul Samar, the 14-year-old CEO of Alchemist Empire, Inc., was scheduled to speak yesterday at the 235th American Chemical Society National Meeting in New Orleans.  He hopes to secure $500,000 in funding so his Silicon Valley-based startup can begin mass producing the game.

You are not a geek or a nerd if you like chemistry,” says Samar. “If people do end up calling you a geek because you love chemistry, don’t worry, those people are going to end up working for you at the end!”

You can pre-order a copy of the game here.  Game on!

No one can hear you scream! April 7, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Personal, Pop Culture, Science, Technology.
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You’ve seen the movies, read the books, and had hours & hours of discussion about it, but just how long could you survive in space before a passing Vogon ship picked you up?

How long could you survive in the vacuum of space?
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