YES: H20 ON MARS by jonatron
June 20, 2008, 8:11 am
Filed under: Science

The latest twitter from the Phoenix Lander is in, and it’s a doosey. That mysterious hard white layer found underneath the Martian soil? Yep, you guessed it, ice – water ice! Next up: getting ice into the lander, and testing it for organic compounds.

May 15, 2008, 2:04 pm
Filed under: Music, Science | Tags: ,

fort reno
From the Going-Out-Gurus:

Fort Reno Park, the site of an annual summer concert series that is one of D.C.’s most beloved and longest-running outdoor events, is closed immediately and indefinitely after United States Geological Survey satellite imaging reports found high levels of arsenic in the soil.

William Line, a spokesman for the National Park Service, said that the NPS would continue to work with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency to determine any public health risks and further courses of action. He refused to give any timetable for a possible reopening and said that to speculate would be irresponsible. Snow-fencing was erected around the perimeter of the park at 6 a.m. today.

The closing of the park raises questions about the fate of the Fort Reno Summer Concert Series, which was set to begin a twice-weekly series of free shows in mid-June. No list of artists of dates has been announced for 2008, but many of the city’s most famous punk and indie rock bands have performed on Fort Reno’s stage over the last 39 years, including Fugazi, the Dismemberment Plan, Ted Leo, Q and Not U and Velocity Girl.

NO: Ben Stein – Expelled by Zach
April 11, 2008, 12:18 pm
Filed under: Politics, Science

Stein is a fool

I knew Ben Stein was conservative, but I thought he was fiscally conservative, not, you know, totally out of his fucking mind. In his new movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Stein and a production team trick evolutionary biologists using Borat-style tactics, recite the ‘Darwinism = eugenics = Nazism’ fallacy, and generally mischaracterize everything they can get their hands on.

And just look at what Mr. Stein is wearing! No joke, I find this part the most troubling. An attempt to make intelligent design look hip and rebellious terrifies me because it just might work.

From the About section of the Official Expelled Blog

In a scientific world gone mad, EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed is the controversial documentary that will chronicle Ben Stein’s confrontation with the Neo-Darwinian machine, exposing widespread suppression and entrenched discrimination in his heroic quest to bring back freedom in our institutions, laboratories and most importantly, in our classrooms, with the help of the world’s top scientists, educators and thinkers.

The emphasis is theirs. Thank you Mr. Stein. Thank you for letting us know about this new hip thing called creationism that THE MAN doesn’t want us to know about. We are in your debt.

Scientific American was invited to a pre-screening, and has a great article about it. And be sure to watch the “super” trailer.

NO: Singulair linked to Depression, Anxiety, Possibly Suicidial Thoughts by mnjones
March 27, 2008, 9:45 pm
Filed under: Misc., Science

So yeah, I’ve been taking Singulair for like 3 years. No, no I didn’t realize that in the last year it had been linked to anxiety and depression. Now the FDA is looking into a possible link between this best-selling asthma/allergy medicine and suicidal thoughts. What difference does it make? We’re all gonna die anyway ….

Flushing Singulair now.

YES: Hybrid Cats by rachels
March 19, 2008, 7:59 am
Filed under: Science

Iowans push for bill to make hybrid cats (a mix between small jungle cats and domestic cats) legal. Legislators debate cuteness vs. versatility: “They’re beautiful,” said state Sen. Joe Seng (D-Iowa). “When you see one it’s, ‘Wow.’ Gorgeous, gorgeous cats…I can see both sides of the issue.”

Sometimes it’s hard for me to think of things to write about…

YES: Kids=Reliable by Zach
March 18, 2008, 4:42 pm
Filed under: Science

Human development researchers at Cornell have done some work that shows kids are a lot more reliable and accurate than adults when it comes to testifying in court. It turns out kids are less likely to analyze the event, whereas adults tend to just remember their analysis of what happened.

From the article:

The finding is counterintuitive; it doesn’t square with current legal tenets, and may have important implications for legal proceedings. “Because children have fewer meaning-based experience records, they are less likely to form false memories,” says Reyna. “But the law assumes children are more susceptible to false memories than adults.”

Link, via .

No: Eyeballs by btfaust
March 13, 2008, 3:29 pm
Filed under: Misc., Science | Tags: , , ,
Be careful out there, people.
Lasik Surgery: When the Fine Print Applies to You (NYT)