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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Delving into the Bigfoot Aliens who built the Pyramids in Giza

ImageThe Science Channel and Animal Planet have some excellent science and nature programming that I enjoy watching with my son. It makes me happy to see his interest piqued by Big Cat Diaries or How It’s Made or The Wonders of the Universe.

ImageBut it troubles me that sometimes these shows will end and immediately something about Bigfoot’s Ghost comes on. The positive effect of quality program rapidly erodes when juxtaposed against pseudo-science hogwash and I’m not sure how to handle it other than to constantly talk to him about what good science looks like compared to a well choreographed hoax or wild goose chase. ‘Does the Loch Ness Monster really control the US Stock Market?’

‘We may never know….’

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Explore an expanding Universe and a shrinking Intellect back to back on the science channel

‘But wait!’ you say.’Isn’t there some merit to asking the question? I mean, we don’t know for sure do we?’

Of course. The robot overlords may actually be the ones who keep making us forget where we left our car keys. But is it really the most likely answer? Maybe you weren’t paying attention when you put them down because you also had groceries, your iPhone and a couple of old coffee cups in your hands when you came home.

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Gad Zooks! A ghost bite!

Do we have no way of sorting out probable causes from improbable ones?

Discovery Communications, owners of The Science Channel, The Discovery Channel, TLC and other media outlets offers this mission statement:

 

dcimissionstatement

Hey, Ghostbusters was entertaining and engaging. But was it enlightening?

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Is accuracy essential in films about science?

Science in Cinema.

“Kid, I’ve flown from one side of this galaxy to the other, and I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen *anything* to make me believe that there’s one all-powerful Force controlling everything.” – Han Solo, skeptic

How important is scientific accuracy in film?
How much is enough?
What matters? And what doesn’t?

Meroe Candy of the Wellcome Trust discusses the role of scientific accuracy in film…

Wellcome Trust Blog

5396290870_2fd3baf35c_b With the Oscars on the horizon we invited Meroë Candy, film and drama development manager at the Wellcome Trust, to tackle one of the big questions about science on film – does it always have to be scientifically accurate?

This weekend the film Gravity looks set to repeat its box office and BAFTA successes with an Academy Award at the Oscars. The film has been exceptionally well received by audiences and critics, however its release raised eyebrows regarding the accuracy of the science on screen. The significance of scientific accuracy in film has been an on-going debate and is an apt question for the Wellcome Trust, which supports films inspired by science.

In his book Lab Coats in Hollywood, David Kirby discusses the tensions between popularisation of science through film, and depiction of accurate science. He advises scientists who consult on films, “If your only concern with cinematic science…

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Posted by on February 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

The Question of Death

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Death’s Dance

In the film, Questioning Darwin, it is asked of ‘Darwinists’, “How does evolution deal with death?”

I have to admit, I don’t know what this question really means.  Is he asking why there is death? What happens after death?

Several people texted just this question during the live broadcast of the Nye / Ham debate and I didn’t understand it then either. In that context, they had posed this question as something of an experimental challenge to evolutionists and I interpreted it as meaning … ‘ Just wait until you die, heretic. Then you’ll see who’s right.’ Perhaps I had been to quick to this conclusion ?

If there is anyone out there who can explain just what this means, please let me know. Right now it’s nothing but an inside joke that I don’t get.

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Lehrer Method

Start with Acetyl CoA.

 

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Scanning electron microscopy image of regular salt and pepper

Scanning electron microscopy image of regular salt and pepper.

A beautiful look at two common substances.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

“This blog is our last hope ”

“No, there is another.”

Exam I for Microbiology nears. Where will the extra credit questions come from? Will they all be found here? Perhaps. But there is A New Hope.

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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6 Reasons Curling Is the Best Olympic Sport

6 Reasons Curling Is the Best Olympic Sport

Admit it, you can’t wait to watch.

For The Win

(AP) (AP)

Today’s big winner:Curling

It’s time for an intervention, Earth.

It happens every four years. Curling comes on, you point and laugh, curling goes away. The same jokes are always made. How hard is it to throw a rock? If using a broom is an Olympic sport, than I’m an Olympian every day. How can you seriously call yourself an athlete when you wear pants like this?

(AP) (AP)

It needs to stop. Curling is the best and these are six reasons that will change your mind forever.

1. The rules are simple.

(Getty) (Getty)

Get your stone closest to the bull’s-eye; win. It’s that simple. There’s strategy involved, but the sport is easy to follow and easier to understand.

2. The U.S. women are pretty good.

(USA TODAY Sports) (USA TODAY Sports)

The American women came in fourth at last year’s world championship, barely missing out on a bronze, and enter the Sochi…

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Posted by on February 18, 2014 in Uncategorized