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27 July 2015

What’s Funny About That? Quite a Bit Actually!

 What happens when you write a blog that is so full of misinformation, and incorrect assumptions, that someone starts a separate a blog to correct the mistakes? Well, for one thing you get some good laughs, and at times a real feeling of Schadenfreude!  I’m talking about the blog What’s up With That (WUWT) and Hot Whopper which corrects the bad science posted there on a daily basis. If you don’t …

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25 July 2015

Learning Physics on YouTube Can Be Very Entertaining

UPDATE: Hours after finishing this piece about physics online, I see a TED talk by John Green covering exactly the same subject with some great examples and his enthusiasm for it matches my own. So, enjoy the TED video below, and check out some of the real science on YouTube. I know you will have to wade through the Moon landing hoax,chemtrail,Clinton killed JFK junk, but there is a lot …

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22 July 2015

Why Using El Nino to Forecast the Winter is Risky

The image above shows how very strong the developing El Nino in the Pacific, is compared to the 1997 event (which is the strongest on record). Since El Nino events usually peak in the later fall/winter, it sure looks like we are in for one of the strongest ever, if not perhaps a record breaker, but look closer at those two images. They are different. Notice the very warm water …

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20 July 2015

Peabody Coals World of Illusion

Clayton Aldern at GRIST has a look at the world of climate denial through eyes smeared with coal dust, and it’s rather frightening. You almost have to ask yourself if they really believe this stuff. Even when you make the “Upton Sinclair adjustment” (“It’s nearly impossible to convince someone of something when their paycheck depends on it not being so”), you are still left with the equivalent of someone holding their …

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5 July 2015

Frank Bruni’s Piece in the New York Times is a MUST Read

   I wish I could put words together this well. Frank Bruni’s California,Camelot and Vaccines in the NY Times today is worth the price of a Times  subscription by itself. A snapshot below, but read it all.

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12 June 2015

Two Future Atmospheric Scientists

  If you ask almost anyone involved in atmospheric science, they’ll tell you that they were a born weather geek, and that is why when we meet a young person who lives and breathes weather, we do all we can to encourage them. The advice is always the same, take all the math and science you can in high school, to prepare for some tough college courses, and in the …

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3 June 2015

This Will Make You Sit Down and Think For A While

I spotted this video thanks to Joe Hanson at It’s OK To Be Smart. He said after watching it that he needed to sit down and think for a while. I love reading about relativity, but i agree with Joe!  To get you to watch the 10 minute video, a question: You have identical watches, one you wind up and is running the other is not. Do they have the …

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7 May 2015

You Really Cannot Imagine How Far Away Pluto Is, But This May Help.

  I aired a story tonight I have wanted to share for over 20 years. It has to do with the New Horizons mission which will fly by Pluto in July and allow us to see what it looks like for the FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, but I want to give you an idea of how very, very far away Pluto is. You will likely see some news reports in …

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30 April 2015

The View From A Window at Le Gras Keeps Changing How We See the World

You must admit, It’s not a very good photo, but there is good reason for that, because it’s the first one. Ever. Joseph Neipce took it in Saint-Loup-de-Varennes in France, and he called it “A view from a window at Le Gras”. That photo was made a few weeks after the death of Thomas Jefferson in the summer of 1826, and while it may not look like much the science …

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19 April 2015

Welcome To Oklahoma, The State of Denial

  Just as I started putting together this post tonight, I had an instant message from my daughter in Oklahoma City. It said one word  “EARTHQUAKE”. This has become the standard practice, where she messages me, and I let her know within a few minutes where the quake was, and what the magnitude was. We have our own intensity scale that ranges from “I barely felt it” to “It felt …

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14 April 2015

Climate Denial Disappearing Among TV Weathercasters

A new study by George Mason University shows something that a lot of us who work in broadcast meteorology have noticed- the rapid disappearance of climate change deniers among TV weathercasters. I’m not the only one who has noticed it, because I frequently hear talk about it from colleagues at various conferences. It’s very rare to hear ridiculous pronouncements about climate change from TV weathercasters these days, but it was far different …

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5 April 2015

We Must Defend Science if We Want a Prosperous Future

Originally published on The Conversation. It definitely applies as much (and likely more) to America as Australia. Barry Jones, University of Melbourne Today’s Australians are, by far, the best educated cohort in our history –- on paper, anyway -– but this is not reflected in the quality of our political discourse. We appear to be lacking in courage, judgement, capacity to analyse and even simple curiosity, except about immediate personal …

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20 March 2015

Everything You Thought You Knew About the First Day of Spring is Probably Wrong

  The Vernal Equinox (for 2015) occurs at 2245 GMT Friday, and there’s a good chance that just about everything else you were taught about it is wrong. Don’t say it’s the first day of spring, because that’s true only in a traditional sense, and most certainly not a scientific one, and if you live in the Southern Hemisphere it’s wrong on both accounts! The quarter of the year between …

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3 March 2015

Back to Back with Mr. Spock: An Appreciation of Leonard Nimoy

Back to Back with Mr. Spock: An Appreciation of Leonard Nimoy

Guest post by Kendrick Frazier I am finding myself surprisingly affected by the death of Leonard Nimoy Friday (Feb. 27). The character of Mr. Spock he brought to life on Star Trek, created by Gene Roddenberry, was one of the most memorable in television, perhaps even in modern fiction generally. He certainly was original and thought-provoking. Something about Spock’s half-Vulcan, half-human self illuminated for us all some of what it …

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27 February 2015

Oklahoma Senator Illustrates Dunning-Kruger Effect

I wrote about the Dunning Kruger effect last week and a U.S.Senator took the floor of the Senate today to illustrate why you do not want to be a victim of this disease. In case you’re wondering about how the winter of 2015 is shaping up in the U.S. and around the world. Read this post from last week as well.Then there is also this research being published in the …

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6 February 2015

The Peak Of Anti-Science?

Just when you think that basic denial of science could not get any more ridiculous, we have a week when a U.S. Senator questions hand washing laws in restaurants, and life saving vaccinations becomes a campaign issue among presidential candidates. We can only hope that this era of anti-science is at its peak and will get better soon. I’ve been interested in the psychology of this type of behavior for …

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25 January 2015

East Coast Blizzard Brewing?

  There are increasing signs this early Sunday morning that the winter of 2015 is about to go into high gear. A major nor’easter is likely to develop Monday and move NE to off the New England coast by Tuesday evening. A word of warning here- there is still a lot of uncertainty in the strength and track of this low and that will play a big role in how …

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12 January 2015

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Vaccine Against Pseudoscience

What does alternative math have in common with alternative physics, and alternative medicine? None of them work! This is a sample of an excellent edition of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Star Talk podcast about pseudoscience. It’s this kind of plain reasoning that make Neil Tyson the hero of college educated millennials, and science lovers everywhere. In the episode, the wiki list of cognitive biases is mentioned, and you can read it here. …

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6 December 2014

What You Missed In Science This Week

Unfalsifiable Belief- The Dark Side of Reason This piece on a recently published paper (in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2014. DOI: 10.1037/pspp0000018) is a must read. Click the image to read it. Could this explain the faulty reasoning of those who refuse to accept the truth that greenhouse gases are warming the atmosphere, and those white lines behind jet aircraft are not government mind control chemicals? What do …

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29 November 2014

Using Your Smartphone to Improve Weather Forecasts and Warnings

You need to download an app called mPing. mPing is a free app developed by scientists at the University of Oklahoma (My alma mater!) and the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma, and it’s aim is to improve forecasts and weather models by letting everyone know what type of precipitation is falling on you right now. You might say, that we have radar for that, but in reality, radar …

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