Archive for August, 2011

The un-rigor in science: the USGS sucks

August 24, 2011

“A magnitude-5.8 earthquake centred in Virginia rocked the East coast of the United States on 23 August. Click for larger image.USGS Michael Blanpied did not have far to go to experience the biggest earthquake in the eastern United States in his lifetime. Blanpied, who is associate coordinator of the Earthquake Hazards Program at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in Reston, Virginia, was in his third-floor office when the magnitude-5.8 tremor hit yesterday. “It was pretty solid shaking for 8–10 seconds,” he says.

‘Now, the challenge for Blanpied and his colleagues is to understand why the quake happened where it did, centred near the town of Mineral, some 120 kilometres to the south. Initial data about the earthquake are scarce because there are few seismometers in the region. Blanpied says that researchers are most curious about how the quake relates to the geology and the faults in central Virginia.’


the way i feel today

August 23, 2011

Ape genius revisited

August 21, 2011

The brit scientists and science journalists  have a manic love affaire with apes, ever since Goodall, I assume. But now, in this side of the world, Faye Flam, in the Republic: “building a better ape?” throws a piece of bs, highlighting the work of P. Reno, Penn State. Why this insanity with apes? They are mean,ugly and hairy not to say smelly. Nature news has an article about chimps and culture, which repeats long known cliches and non news news. Maybe I am being harsh, but the hype is just insidious.

We are done…

August 19, 2011


From: “Would Contact with Extraterrestrials Benefit or Harm Humanity? A Scenario Analysis” arXiv:1104.4462v2 [physics.pop-ph]. (ill omit the names ).


“Another recommendation is that humanity should avoid giving off the appearance of being a rapidly expansive civilization. If an ETI perceives humanity as such, then it may be inclined to attempt a preemptive strike against us so as to prevent us from growing into a threat to the ETI or others in the galaxy. Similarly, ecosystem-valuing universalist ETI may observe humanity’s ecological destructive tendencies and wipe humanity out in order to preserve the Earth system asa whole. These scenarios give us reason to limit our growth and reduce our impact on global ecosystems. It would be particularly important for us to limit our emissions of greenhouse gases, since atmospheric composition can be observed from other planets. We acknowledge that the  pursuit of emissions reductions and other ecological projects may have much stronger justifications than those that derive from ETI encounter, but that does not render ETI encounter scenarios insignificant or irrelevant.”

One of the authors works at NASA…no wonder

Fresh from NYT now

August 18, 2011

7 Israelis and 7 Attackers Dead Near Egypt. by Isabelkershner and David D. Kirpatrick. 19 minutes ago. Israel said the attacks near the Red Sea resort of Eilat were the result of lawlessness in eastern Egypt following the country’s revolution.

The subdits go ape(s?)

August 18, 2011

Lately, more than ever there are evident signs of more than usual apeness in the UK (of my concerns): to the Good Book (Grayling) fiasco, the failed outrageously expensive “college” (Grayling again), the sexist Dawkins rant,  and now the selfish gene is a musical. A musical?  But where else: in Edinburgh. Good luck and good night. (i see a common thread here). Ah, not to mention the Murdoch saga. The Imperium at its best.

appropriately ridiculous..especially because the "selfish gene' is bogus NOT science

Ape genius? exactly (not)

August 17, 2011

Last night, I watched “Ape Genius” NOVA stint on chimps’ intelligence or not (as they called it, the pundits). Andrew Whiten and Jill Pruetz told us about the “unseen” chimp behavioural traits observed by them (not sure if it only Pruetz did this) after years of observation. Actually, many of these behaviours have been seen (maybe not filmed).

And what is so special about a chimp taking a bath? or using a stick to ‘spear a bush baby? Chimps using sticks to fish termites? Or japanese monkeys washing potatoes AND taking a jacuzzi, a warm one at that? Didnt we see dogs fighting sharks after taking a dive unto the ocean,  recently? Or more astounding:  Ampulex compressa, the gree latern(kiddin) wasp delivering a “drone” like injection into the subesophogeal ganglion in the head of a roach to “zombie” her, i think a specific neuron, and lay eggs and have progeny eat the roach inside out alive?. Mother nature red in..sting and..roach.

About how wonderfully human-smart like these chimps are, in reality they look crude and dumb and frightening.(despite americans’ manifest love for circus that had a poor woman bitten of her face, now transplanted).

train a chimp to do this....

Whats the objective behind these studies? I mean really. To understand how close we are to them chimps, or viceversa? Dont we  know this already? And on top: the poor and cruel conditions scientists keep chimps for research: how different is this from a concentration camp? It seems to me chimps are stuck on the wrong end of the evolutionary bush.

I much rather watch hummings’ dashing acrobatics of life; I much rather be a closer relative to a spider silk user for nest construction minimal refulgent weight. That is:hummingbirds!!

I predict I was right

August 17, 2011

Dems kept two seats in WI. I was right.

Is God deaf ? (i mean TX god) (read egan at NYT)

August 12, 2011

not listening, god?

“Now, therefore, I, Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas.”

However TX prayers are not being answered (see Egan at NYT today):

A (new) human story is being written. New rigor in science

August 11, 2011

From Nature news, Ewen Callaway, august 9

Nature news, Ewen Callaway

In the face of recent-er data, it seems likely that a % of our genome came from neanderthals and others. Good. There are many points to be made here, eg; why isnt plausible a Gibraltar route? Im certain spaniards favour something like that.