Katrina: A 10-Year Review
Aug27

Katrina: A 10-Year Review

This week is the 10th anniversary of the destruction of the southeastern gulf coast by Hurricane Katrina. More than 1,800 people died. There is no estimate for the number of pets and wildlife. Damage was estimated at more than $100 billion. About 80 percent of New Orleans was flooded. In Mississippi, the water surge flooded as much as 10 miles from the beaches. The Category 3 storm should not have caused that much damage, but it...

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Biohistory’s Global Warning: Invest in Biological Research Now to Combat Industrial and Societal Decline Later (Guest Voice)
Aug25

Biohistory’s Global Warning: Invest in Biological Research Now to Combat Industrial and Societal Decline Later (Guest Voice)

Biohistory’s Global Warning: Invest in Biological Research Now to Combat Industrial and Societal Decline Later by Dr. Jim Penman Global warming has been a hot issue in recent years, with attitudes largely defined by political orientation. Those on the left tend to see it as a serious threat to humanity, and conservatives as an overblown danger that is an excuse to bash business. In this debate I will upset many readers of this article...

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Hunting for a miracle on global warming (Guest Voice)
Aug16

Hunting for a miracle on global warming (Guest Voice)

TMV NOTE: Due to a technical issue that will soon be resolved, this column is run under a different byline above. It is a replacement column for a vacationing columnist. The byline issue will soon be fixed. Hunting for a miracle on global warming by Michael Gerson WASHINGTON — In recognition that Internet questionnaires get more eyeballs than earnest columns on energy policy, here is today’s quiz on obscure presidential...

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First F-35B Squadron Ready to Fight
Aug02

First F-35B Squadron Ready to Fight

The first squadron of the much maligned, much criticized (including by this author because of significant cost and schedule overruns and some technical problems) F-35B Lightning II aircraft is finally ready to fight worldwide. On July 31, the Marine Corps declared the initial operational capability (IOC) of its variant of the “Joint Strike Fighter,” or JSF. Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, or VMFA-121, based in Yuma, Arizona, thus...

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With Infrastructure, Government Failure Buoys The Private Sector
Jul27

With Infrastructure, Government Failure Buoys The Private Sector

The United States is home to many contradictions, but none are as perplexing as what our great country can and cannot afford. We are told, for example, that our economy cannot afford a living wage, even as Congress continues to favor the rich with tax breaks and loopholes. But wages are far from the only casualty of our government’s spectacularly poor stewardship of public funds. In fact, most of us witness some of the most egregious...

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A lot of the Arctic is engulfed in a ‘river of smoke’ right now. Check out NASA’s photos
Jul23

A lot of the Arctic is engulfed in a ‘river of smoke’ right now. Check out NASA’s photos

When we think of wildfires wreaking havoc, we usually think of the massive blazes that destroy thousands of acres of forest across California, or other dry, hot places. But forest fires burn in the planet’s northernmost regions, too. In fact, 2015 has been one of the most intense fire seasons in years for Canada, Russia...

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Scott Walker Versus Science
Jul22

Scott Walker Versus Science

Scott Walker Versus Science By Dick Polman Scott Walker, the alleged Wisconsin wunderkind and newly declared presidential candidate, was buried in the news last week by Donald Trump and the Iran nuclear deal. No biggie. He rebooted this week by pandering to the Republican voters who abhor actual science. Mindful of his need to win the Iowa caucuses – the neighboring-state contest that’s dominated by religious conservatives...

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EPIC! Earth like you’ve never seen it before
Jul22

EPIC! Earth like you’ve never seen it before

STEAM Register Staff In this new Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) image, you can see what the sunlit Earth looks like from one million miles away. The satellite’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) CCD camera and telescope captured this color image of Earth on July 6, 2015, showing North and Central America. According to NASA,...

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Happy 46th Moon Day!
Jul20

Happy 46th Moon Day!

In light of the recent jingoism of the Pluto fly-by (which I had hoped we were bigger than — after all, what looks sillier than those getting the first view of our furthest “planet” standing around waving US flags?) it’s a good time to remember the wording of that plaque we left behind on all our Apollo missions: “We came in peace for all mankind.” The Apollo missions taught us that we were all...

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(Update – More Photos) A Photo of Pluto ‘Worth Sharing’
Jul15

(Update – More Photos) A Photo of Pluto ‘Worth Sharing’

Update 2: NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has sent back the first close-up images of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon. Enjoy: All photos, captions and graphic: NASA New close-up images of a region near Pluto’s equator reveal a giant surprise — a range of youthful mountains rising as high as 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) above the surface of the icy body. Credits: NASA/JHU APL/SwRI Remarkable new details of Pluto’s largest moon...

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Driverless Cars Will Send U.S. Cities Scrambling for Revenue
Jul15

Driverless Cars Will Send U.S. Cities Scrambling for Revenue

Before we know it, self-driving cars will be everywhere. Once the stuff of science fiction, we’ll soon be seeing people asleep at the wheel. Or maybe there won’t be a wheel at all, and we’ll be free to climb into the back seat to sneak in some more sleep on the way to work. Or finish reading the paper. Or just take in the scenery, for once. While Google used to be the only name in town when it came to autonomous cars, it seems every...

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Military Weekend (Update)
Jul14

Military Weekend (Update)

Update: In response to and in honor of a U.S. Air Force wife who attended more air shows “than fields got dandelions,” I added a photo of the U.S. Air Force’s flight demonstration team, the Thunderbirds, at the end of this post. Well, the U.S. Navy has a “pretty good” flight demonstration team, too, the Blue Angels. They fly sleek McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornets, below. The U.S. Navy flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels,...

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There May Be Infinite Universes—and Infinite Versions of You
Jul10

There May Be Infinite Universes—and Infinite Versions of You

In another universe you might have become the president of Micronesia. Or a pauper, subsisting on ketchup. Perhaps a different version of you already read this—in which case, read it again, for the first time. All crazy ideas, but all completely plausible given the idea that there may be, in fact, multiple universes. Infinite, even....

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Scientists Reveal Death Toll Caused By Soft Drinks- And It Is Whopping
Jul04

Scientists Reveal Death Toll Caused By Soft Drinks- And It Is Whopping

Scientists have keynoted the dangers of fizzy, sugary drinks, noting that they kill 184,000 adults every year. It further said those under 45 consume more artificially sweetened drinks and are more at risk of diabetes and obesity. The worldwide study is the first to estimate deaths and disability from diabetes, heart disease, and cancers caused...

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No the Greeks did not invent Mathematics
Jul03

No the Greeks did not invent Mathematics

Over at the normally largely fictional National Review Kevin D, Williamson brings us some new fiction. The Greeks Invented Mathematics, and Now It’s Bankrupting Them.  As much as we not like to admit it our modern mathematics comes from the Muslims of he Ottoman Empire.  They brought a number system from India that included the the concept of zero.  And then there is algebra and algorithm. The Greeks may have planted the seed but it...

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You can’t fight climate change with denial (Guest Voice)
Jun26

You can’t fight climate change with denial (Guest Voice)

You can’t fight climate change with denial by Michael Gerson Washington Post Writers Group Columnist WASHINGTON — Reducing Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si” to a white paper on global warming is, in George Weigel’s fitting analogy, “akin to reading ‘Moby Dick’ as if it were a treatise on the 19th-century New England whaling industry.” The whole spirit and story of the...

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No One Smells Exactly Like You
Jun25

No One Smells Exactly Like You

The nose knows: the highest topographical feature within the facial landscape is the nose. Now, a new study from Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science makes a close examination of this distinctive, though rather humble feature. The genes for the receptors our noses use to detect scents, the researchers discovered, are about 30 percent different between any… graphic via...

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On Google’s White House and the Future of Technology Policy
Jun23

On Google’s White House and the Future of Technology Policy

That Obama’s White House has maintained close ties with Google over the years is hardly a secret. Our President is probably the biggest science and tech enthusiast to ever occupy the Oval Office—a distinction that has resulted in some more-or-less unprecedented forward strides in the realms of (for example) cybersecurity and biological research. However: while Google is clearly a leader in technological innovation, many (including...

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Middle Finger Emoji Can Get You Jail Time In UAE
Jun22

Middle Finger Emoji Can Get You Jail Time In UAE

The middle finger emoji can convey a lot of sentiments — you can use it to display anger and when goofing around. But if you’re traveling abroad, then be wary of where and how you use emoji as the icon can potentially put you in jail. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has passed a new Cyber… graphic via...

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Breaking! Climate Deniers ‘Friends of Science’ Say Solutions Uneconomical (Guest Voice)
Jun20

Breaking! Climate Deniers ‘Friends of Science’ Say Solutions Uneconomical (Guest Voice)

Pardon my sarcasm in the title, but I am still getting over the shock that the Alberta-based climate science attack group Friends of Science still think they are relevant. Last week, the much discredited group issued a report attempting to throw a damp towel on Canada’s tepid commitment to dealing with climate change. Those who...

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