It’s the birthday of Ernest Rutherford, best known for presenting us with the first model of the atom that included electrons spinning around a tiny but relatively high-mass nucleus of the opposite charge. He won a Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1908, which irritated him, in that he deemed that chemistry had less value than physics. He said, “All science is either physics or stamp collecting.” Read more ›
Albeit off-topic, I thought I’d post this all-too typical conversation I’m having with an acquaintance on Facebook. She posted a video of some ISIS people brutalizing their captives, and writes: This is Islam in the real world! NO FILTER NO BS!
Craig Shields:Does this seem like a fair generalization of 1.6 billion people to you? 26% of the world’s population?Read more ›
Frequent commenter “Breath on the Wind” provides some very interesting and important math in response to my recent post about charging electric vehicles. His central point is that the incremental amount of load on the grid associated with converting all our cars and trucks to EVs is far less than most people realize.
That’s quite correct–and here’s another way to look at the math: About 28% of the total energy consumption in the US is transportation, so one might jump to the conclusion that we would need to increase the supply of electricity by 28% if we were to convert our cars and trucks to electric. Read more ›
Here’s an article on Volkswagen’s ambitions for its line of electric vehicles. Note that it claims a range of 300 miles (at 3 miles/KWh) and a charging time of 15 minutes. That’s nice as long as you have a 400KW charging source, say 1000 volts and 400 amps. But there are problems with that: a) such a thing is not available, and b) even if it were, I wouldn’t want my wife and kids within about a quarter mile of it.
Frequent commenter MarcoPolo writes in response to my piece “Ian Bremmer’s Frightening Position on Climate Change” as follows: For the entire history of human civilization, an impending apocalypse has been an enormously popular prediction. The fact that none has actually occurred, and the human race trundles on growing more prosperous, more in control of its destiny, ever expanding its scientific and technical knowledge, never daunts the doomsayers.
I hear you, but let me point out the fact that the “doomsayers” haven’t been right so far does not imply that they’re not right today. Read more ›
As I told him in my response: I can’t tell you how happy I am to hear from you, and especially in the context of all this good news re: your academic achievements! I knew you had it in you. Please tell your folks (who found and hired me) that I say hi. You’ve totally made my day.
To say the very least, this activity has its ups and downs; in particular, it’s deeply disturbing to run across people I thought were kind and intelligent who so dramatically uproot my belief. It’s almost hard to believe.
Here’s a classic example of bigotry and stupidity from the wife of a friend, coupled with a display of extreme beauty in the response. Read more ›
The very name of the magazine is hopeful, when you think about it. It’s always been a good time to encourage Americans to be scientific in thinking and behavior.
It’s nauseating to hear our leaders make statements that reveal how completely ignorant and distrustful they are of basic proven truth. Yet at the time, it can be quite hilarious. Here are some of (former member of the US House of Representatives — 2007 to 2015) Michelle Bachmann’s greatest hits, for your amusement, followed by these gems from (2012 vice-presidential hopeful) Sarah Palin.
It’s the birthday of German philosopher and theologian Georg Hegel, best known for his observation that human societies evolve via a clash of opposite viewpoints, called dialectics. He theorized that each conflict of contraries results in something new which then itself winds up getting opposed—so on to infinity.
Hegel believed that the most important duality was that of master and slave, or business owner and worker, aka bourgeois and proletariat, which became the inspiration for the Communist Manifesto of Marx and Engels in the mid-19th Century. Read more ›