You are browsing the archive for May 2009 - Dan's Wild Wild Science Journal.

29 May 2009

Welcome To The What?? The Anthropocene!

Here in America, a house that is over 100 years old is not only rare, but considered to be quite old. A house that is over 200 years old is positively ancient and may very well be a museum! The old historic district here in Huntsville has some beautiful old homes. Some dating from before 1820. If I ever win the lottery, I will own one too. (It might help if I …


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24 May 2009

Guarding The Candle

There has been a lot of talk about a war on Science. Especially here in America. Is there a war?? If so why is this happening? What are the causes? Is war the right word for it? There is certainly something going on. I can tell it from the comments and emails I get when I cover anything about climate change, and even when I mention other sciences like Biology. …


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22 May 2009

The Pale Blue Dot- Carl Sagan

I just finished reading The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing by Richard Dawkins. The last selection was Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot. A quick search on the internet led me to the clip below. The Pale Blue Dot in his own words. Nothing more need be said. Or can be. ADDENDUM: Friday 22 May The Shuttle Astronauts sent back an image today that I think is destined to be …


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21 May 2009

Sunset From the Saturn 5 Rocket Cam

There is only one upright model of a Saturn V Moon Rocket. It’s right here in Huntsville, and it’s next to the first Saturn V ever built. (The real one is in a building to protect it!). The rocket that took man to the Moon is 363 feet high. That’s 36 stories. It’s one of only three remaining, and is a priceless object of history. For my readers in other states, …


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19 May 2009

Understanding Climate Science- A Great Resource

The National Centers for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder Colorado is very familiar to those in my profession. Some of the best cutting edge research in atmospheric science is done there. One of the programs based there is COMET. COMET stand for Cooperative Online Meteorological Education and Training. COMET produces educational modules of varying levels on primarily forecasting topics. Rarely does a month go by, that I do not take …


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Wow Images Part Deux

Hat’s off to NASA Astronaut Mike Massimino who not only helped fix the Hubble Space telescope but found time to twitter from space. A first! Once it became know he was going to twitter from Orbit he quickly gathered 300,000 plus followers. No, he is no Stephen Fry, but he has a better view out his window this morning!! Although Stephen Fry is likely at the Chelsea Flower Show, which …


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16 May 2009

Some WOW Images of Various Topics

Astronomy and Meteorology are two sciences that have legions of non scientist helpers. Thousands of people across the world record weather data each day in places that governments cannot afford to locate “official” stations. In the USA, COCORAHS members record rainfall with high quality, and very accurate rain gauges in thousands of locations. They do it because it matters. This data is invaluable to forecasters like myself, and to future and present …


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13 May 2009

Sorry Charlie- They're going to hunt you to EXTINCTION.

I have written little here about the Oceans. I only had one graduate level course in Oceanography, and since I work in Meteorology, it is not a science I keep up with on a day to day basis. However, I have been following this story, and it’s as sad and telling of modern society as they come. Do you remember the Starkist Tuna commercials back in the 1960’s and 70’s? …


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9 May 2009

This Would be the Funniest Book Review I've Read. (If it were not so sad.)

A professor of “Mining Geology” has written a book on Climate change. You get these books from time to time. They are actually quite lucrative. Conspiracy theorists like to be told they are not crazy, and will pay gladly for the privilege. In his book, Ian Plimer makes some rather interesting claims about the sun being a meteorite of some kind. Unfortunately for him, the Australian newspaper got a well …


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8 May 2009

NASA's Most Difficult and Perhaps Most Important Shuttle Mission

When I was young, if you were an Astronaut, you were famous. Everyone knew what you looked like. Not so anymore. The public fascination with space waned after the Moon landing and it has not recovered. These days, the only way an Astronaut gets famous, is if he dies or gets caught in a sordid love triangle. Astronauts are not household names anymore. Some of the reasons for this may be the …


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