Science 2.0

Now That The World Hasn't Ended - Let's Petition YouTube And Journalists To Do Something About These Stories!

Science 2.0 - Sep 23 2017 - 00:09

As you will know the world did not end. This is the time for the UK. It would be a couple of hours earlier in Jerusalem. This is by no means the end of it. They are already setting the next date to scare us, with several different dates already for October. There have been a dozen of them since last summer.This may be a good time to sign a couple of petitions to influence journalists and YouTube to stop adding their support to this scary nonsense in the future.

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World Won't End Tomorrow 23rd September - Don't Kill Yourself Over This BS- Some Advice To Help Those Anxious And Scared

Science 2.0 - Sep 22 2017 - 12:09

I'm getting numerous pm's from very scared and sometimes suicidal people who think the world will end tomorrow. Some "news sites" have added timers counting down to the end of the world which makes them even more scared. If any journalists from the Sun, Daily Express, Daily Star, etc are reading this - I'm sure you have no idea how your stories are affecting people. Children as young as 12 are terrified. It is entirely possible that some children and vulnerable young parents with young babies may well have killed themselves.

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Top Quarks Observed In Proton-Nucleus Collisions For The First Time

Science 2.0 - Sep 22 2017 - 08:09
The top quark is the heaviest known matter corpuscle we consider elementary. 
Elementary is an overloaded word in English, so I need to explain what it means in the context of subatomic particles. If we grab a dictionary we get several possibilities, like e.g.- elementary: pertanining to or dealing with elements, rudiments, or first principles


- elementary: of the nature of an ultimate constituent; uncompounded
- elementary: not decomposable into elements or other primary constituents
- elementary: simple
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Both Liberals, Conservatives Engage In Motivated Reasoning To Interpret Science

Science 2.0 - Sep 20 2017 - 22:09

In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, many claims have been made that science denial, particularly as it relates to climate change, is primarily a problem of the political right.

But what happens when scientific conclusions challenge liberals’ attitudes on public policy issues, such as gun control, nuclear power or immigration?

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Most Americans Get Science News From Corporate Media - And That's Bad

Science 2.0 - Sep 20 2017 - 13:09
Though every politician and both U.S. parties claim to be pro-science, that isn't reflected in corporate media coverage. The New York Times will publish conspiracy theories drafted by US Right To Know, a corporate front group created by Organic Consumers Association. Washington Post will host a panel on food science and refuse to invite any scientists. 

The public does not trust corporate media science journalism, that is why science journalism jobs in newspapers have disappeared even as science has become more important than ever. To get the facts right, the public now goes to targeted outlets, like Science 2.0, the American Council on Science and Health, and similar groups that are politically agnostic and scientifically credible.
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Whatever Happened To Lyndon LaRouche?

Science 2.0 - Sep 19 2017 - 21:09

Seattle attracts some very strange people.

When I first moved to the Emerald City in 2004, I remember coming across a group of young political activists protesting George W. Bush. Of course, that's normal in a place like Seattle, but what wasn't normal was that this same group of activists didn't like Al Gore. (I seem to recall a banner that depicted Mr. Gore as a giant blob, sort of like Jabba the Hutt.) The LaRouchies wouldn't have much use for Barack Obama, either. Who were these people? I had to find out.

So, way back in 2004, I decided to engage one of them in conversation, which I quickly learned was like entering an alternate universe where up is down and the Pope is Hitler.

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The Insect Spreading Citrus Death

Science 2.0 - Sep 18 2017 - 23:09
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USDA Scolds National Organic Program For Lax Enforcement

Science 2.0 - Sep 18 2017 - 17:09
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General recently did an audit of the National Organic Program, which is part of its Agricultural Marketing Services group.
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Does Rope Cause Suicide?

Science 2.0 - Sep 18 2017 - 13:09
A new paper claims that guns are only involved in 5 percent of suicide attempts but are 50 percent of suicide deaths. Despite everyone claiming to want to be data-driven about gun deaths, few are and this is no exception.  
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Letters From Indochina, 1952-54: The Tragic History Of A 18 Year Old Enrolled In The Legion Etrangere

Science 2.0 - Sep 17 2017 - 12:09
In 1952 my uncle Antonio, then 18 years old, left his family home in Venice, Italy to never return, running away from the humiliation of a failure at school. With a friend he reached the border with France and crossed it during the night, chased by border patrols and wolves. Caught by the French police Toni - that was the abbreviated name with which was known by everybody - was offered a choice: be sent back to Italy, facing three months of jail, or enrol in the French legion. Afraid of the humiliation and the consequences, he tragically chose the latter. -->

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Since It's Not Medicine, Medical Students Aren't Trained To Prescribe Medical Marijuana

Science 2.0 - Sep 17 2017 - 10:09

Although 29 states and the District of Columbia allow marijuana use for medical purposes, there is no evidence it is medicine. Obviously some of the reason for that is because it's illegal and therefore hard to study, but regardless of the past it seems odd that scholars at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis surveyed medical school deans, residents and fellows, and examined a curriculum database maintained by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and lament that medical marijuana is not being addressed in medical education.

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Nibiru As Daft As Extra Continent In The Pacific - Not Particularly Christian - Bullshitter - 23rd September Numerology Nonsense

Science 2.0 - Sep 17 2017 - 08:09

I thought I should do another debunking article, as there are lots of people who are getting really scared by this BS. The Daily Express particularly is promoting David Meade's book heavily with more than two articles a day on this totally non notable author for the last week. The other "red top tabloids" are joining in. These journalists seem to forget that vulnerable people, including young children read these stories. Parents report children as young as 12 or younger who are scared by this. 

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Why is linguistics such a magnet for dilettantes and crackpots?

Science 2.0 - Sep 14 2017 - 17:09
Why linguistics attract so much nonsense is because these “crackpots” are not linguists, according to a linguist.
Scholars of yore, when reflecting upon language, would wonder things such as: which of the contemporary languages was spoken by the first man? Which one is superior to the rest? And which of the human tongues deserves the label ‘divine’? Modern linguists will not touch those with a 10-foot pole.

Given the extensive body of historical knowledge collected since, one would expect that claims of Goropian and Rudbeckian absurdity would be a thing of the past.

That would be wrong, writes Gaston Dorren at Aeon.
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The World Is NOT Going To End On 23rd September - FAKE PROPHET ALERT

Science 2.0 - Sep 13 2017 - 07:09

For the last several weeks I’ve been getting messages from scared people nearly every day. They are worried that the world is going to end on 23rd September. We have had numerous such dates, about a dozen a year at present. These people are trying to drag you back to a pre-scientific dark age where you go to prophets to learn about the future, and the prophets look into the stars for omens. Nowadays they write books or publish videos and learn lots of money from those books and get them promoted in sensationalist papers. Don’t let them do this. Relate to your own common sense. He is a fake prophet.

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CMS Reports Evidence For Higgs Decays To B-Quark Pairs

Science 2.0 - Sep 12 2017 - 10:09
Another chapter in the saga of the search for the elusive, but dominant, decay mode of the Higgs boson has been reported by the CMS collaboration last month. This is one of those specific sub-fields of research where a hard competition arises on the answer to a relatively minor scientific question. That the Higgs boson couples to b-quarks is indirectly already well demonstrated by a number of other measurements - its coupling to (third generation) quarks being demonstrated by its production rate, for example. Yet, being the first ones to "observe" the H->bb decay is a coveted goal. -->

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Genetic Quality Of Fathers Influences Gender Of Offspring

Science 2.0 - Sep 11 2017 - 16:09
In determining the gender of offspring, fathers may be getting shortchanged.

Because mothers can influence their offspring in a number of ways, from copulation to birth, while fathers have control over sperm only, it has long been assumed mothers are more important. In mammals, it is also believed that offspring sex ratios can only be determined by the mother, since fathers have always been thought to inseminate an equal proportion of X and Y sperm, having a random effect on offspring sex that they could not shift from equality, or 50:50.
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Brain-Computer Interface Turns Thoughts Into A Musical Score

Science 2.0 - Sep 11 2017 - 15:09

Brain-computer interfaces can replace bodily functions to a certain degree and now they can even compose music. At least in a sense.

Derived from an established brain-computer interface method which mainly serves to spell - more accurately - write, a team has developed a new application by which music can be composed just through the power of thought. All that is needed is a special cap which measures brain waves, composition software. Before you start to think you'll be the next Haydn, keep in mind it can't create musical knowledge.

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NASA's NOT RISKY Plan - Drill Into BASE Of Yellowstone Magma Chamber - Generate Electricty - Stop Eruptions CENTURIES From Now

Science 2.0 - Sep 11 2017 - 05:09

This is a good example of a story that has morphed and changed as it gets passed from one paper to another. They all cite the same source, from the BBC but the reporters haven’t read the source. I think they just read each other. The science is actually rather interesting. But just about everything they say is the opposite of what the original story says.

This is the original story on the BBC:

This is what Fox News make of it (notorious for being somewhat unreliable)

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On Turtles, Book Writing, And Overcommitments

Science 2.0 - Sep 09 2017 - 11:09
Back from vacations, I think I need to report a few random things before I get back into physics blogging. So I'll peruse the science20 article category aptly called "Random Thoughts" for this one occasion.
My summer vacations took place just after a week spent in Ecuador, where I gave 6 hours of lectures on LHC physics and statistics for data analysis to astrophysics PhD students. I did report about that and an eventful hike in the last post. Unfortunately, the first week of my alleged rest was mostly spent fixing a few documents that the European Commission expected to receive by August 31st. As a coordinator of a training network, I have indeed certain obligations that I cannot escape. 
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If Regular Farming Is Now "Factory" Style, Why Do Only 0.4% Of Farms Pay Estate Taxes?

Science 2.0 - Sep 08 2017 - 13:09
The President has declared he is against the Estate tax, and he is not alone. For decades it has seemed punitive to levy a special tax on wealth people already paid taxes on just because the person who paid the taxes died. 

In North Dakota, President Trump said he would "protect small businesses and family farmers here in North Dakota and across the country by ending the death tax" and that would ease the "Tremendous burden for the family farmer, tremendous burden. We are not going to allow the death tax or the inheritance tax or the whatever-you-want-to-call-it to crush the American Dream.”
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