WaPo: There’s so much that science will never be able to explain.
“Science works under strict boundaries, and as hard as we may try, we can’t go beyond them. To know all answers, we need to start by knowing all questions. And that is simply impossible. Our view of the world will always be incomplete.” That’s not necessarily ‘bad’.
Vox: The ‘not everyone should go to college’ argument is classist and wrong.
More useful, applicable intelligence is never a bad thing. Problem is, not all colleges are in the business of increasing intelligence.
Clark Planetarium: Rare Coin Found on Mars!
Guardian.UK: Skeletons of war dead from 11,000 BC go on show at the British Museum.
Robert Burns on the subject:
“Many and sharp the num’rous ills
Inwoven with our frame!
More pointed still we make ourselves,
Regret, remorse, and shame!
And man, whose heav’n–erected face
The smiles of love adorn,
Man’s inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!”
Later: More on this, from the British Museum itself.
Hypochondria in medical students and doctors: When to worry about health symptoms.
“Medical student syndrome is a well-documented phenomenon, a one- to two-year phase during which aspiring physicians think they’ve contracted whatever disease it is they’re studying.” Anyone who’s had a child become a physician knows this well. The internet allows us all to be hypochondriacs. Too many conversations these days begin with … ‘organ recitals.’ Such casual conversations about health used to be reserved for those over 60.
Vox: This scientific journal just had to retract 60 papers. How does that even happen?
“SAGE has been a bit cagey about this particular case, so some of the details are still sketchy. But from what we can gather, it appears that Chen created up to 130 fake email accounts of ‘assumed and fabricated identities’ that created a ‘peer review and citation ring.’ In other words, it appears that he suggested his own fake identities to the journal as reviewers of his papers.” So, now we have to verify the reviewers of studies. Lovely. Feels like it’s getting harder and harder to winnow anything of real worth out of the internet.
NASA: Sun Sends More ‘Tsunami Waves’ to Voyager 1.
“Because denser plasma oscillates faster, the team was able to figure out the density of the plasma. In 2013, thanks to the second tsunami wave, the team acquired evidence that Voyager had been flying for more than a year through plasma that was 40 times denser than measured before - a telltale indicator of interstellar space.”
Archaeology News Network: New specimen of Archaeopteryx reveals previously unknown features of the p
Nice in-depth article that doesn’t veer into fantasy.
Guardian.UK: Facebook emotion study breached ethical guidelines, researchers say.
Archaeology News Network: Should the Higgs boson have caused our Universe to collapse?
Western Digs: Evidence of Hobbling, Torture Discovered at Ancient Massacre Site in Colorado.
“More than a massacre, the scene at Sacred Ridge betrayed evidence of at least 33 people, men and women alike, having been not only butchered and burned, but, according to new research — also tortured.”
Slate: Neuman Celano library study - Educational technology worsens achievement gaps.
NY Times: A sunken kingdom re-emerges.
“Scanning the army of ghostly spikes protruding from the sand here one recent morning, Dr. Bates said it was as if nature were making a point: The recent torrential rains, linked by a growing number of climatologists to human-induced climate change, have provided an ancient laboratory to study how humans coped with catastrophic climate change in the past.”
Alyxandria: I Can’t Afford a Bachelor’s Degree, So I’m Making My Own.
Some have been talking about ‘disruption’ … a great example, on the hoof.
Chicago Trib: How do actors learn their lines?
Nice to hear it took some months to memorize a 75 minute dialog. I have tended to assume actresses/actors do this quickly and well because of long practice.
Ask a Mathematician/Physicist: How can we see the early universe and the Big Bang?
“If the Big Bang and the expansion of the universe were as straightforward as an explosion and things flying away from that explosion, then the earliest light would be on the front of our ever-expanding universe. If that were the case (and it seems to be from the images and videos presented in, like, every documentary evar), then there’s no way you’d be able to see the light from the early universe.” Thought it might be useful.
The New Yorker: The Many Virtues of Optimism.
U of Oxford.UK: Critical Reasoning for Beginners.
Vox: The theft of Native Americans’ land, in one animated map.
Since the concept of reparations has been broached … one should understand why “reparations have never figured prominently into American Indian calls for justice”.
SlashGear: NASA spaceship concept showcases warp drive future.
Pretty, but interstellar debris (asteroids, etc.) would turn this into Swiss cheese unless it had a massively powerful working deflector system.
Past Horizons: Viking Age Revninge woman, an exceptional find.
“It is the three-lobed item of jewellery that sits between her hands that is causing the greatest excitement. Archaeologists had never seen where it was really meant to be located during the life, as when found in graves it is usually placed on the chest area.” A guy with a metal detector, again.
The Observer.UK: Why antibiotics are making us all ill.
PS Mag: Seduced by Gore Vidal.
“Whereas Buckley produces one of Evelyn Waugh’s anti-socialist epigrams idly, like removing a kerchief from the pocket of his blazer, Vidal’s points of reference in these televised sparring matches are precise, sedulously selected from his self-compiled encyclopedia of a brain.”
Archaeology News Network: Extensive cataloguing of human proteins uncovers 193 new ones.
Foreshortened title for space. “In a summary of the effort, to be published May 29 in the journal Nature, the team also reports the identification of 193 novel proteins that came from regions of the genome not predicted to code for proteins, suggesting that the human genome is more complex than previously thought.”
Time: Cosmic Deflation - Doubts Raised Over Blockbuster Big Bang Study.
“Traditionally, peer review of a new result—especially such an important one — doesn’t normally happen in such a public way, and some scientists have criticized the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) for holding a press conference to tout it before other scientists have had a chance to weigh in.” This kind of situation will happen more and more; the question is how to deal with it.