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No World Isn't About To End - Terral Croft's Fantasy 'black Star' At The Far Side Of The Sun

Nov 18 2017 - 03:11

This is another silly story that is scaring people. The claim is that a 'black star' (??) at the far side of the sun is going to somehow send powerful earthquakes to Earth on Sunday 19th November. There is no truth to this, it's just a made up fantasy like a script for a bad movie. Anyway we are getting so many comments in our Doomsday Debunked Facebook group and many PM's also from people who are having panic attacks about it that I thought I should do another post here. Both to help those scared and to alert others to the issues, how these stories, keep getting promoted right to the top of Google News by its algorithm, and are scaring our young children and young adults.

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My Interview On Physics Today

Nov 17 2017 - 18:11
Following the appearance of Kent Staley's review of my book "Anomaly!" in the November 2017 issue of Physics Today, the online site of the magazine offers, starting today, an interview with yours truly. I think the piece is quite readable and I encourage you to give it a look. Here I only quote a couple of passages for the laziest readers. -->

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Will Position-Specific Football Helmets Reduce NFL Concussions?

Nov 17 2017 - 15:11

By Chris Gorski, Inside Science -- Hard-shelled football helmets first emerged nearly 80 years ago to protect against catastrophic head injuries like skull fractures and brain hemorrhages, and they have evolved over the decades to offer better protection. Recently, public attention has increasingly focused on other consequences of hits to the head, including concussions and long-term degenerative diseases such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

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When The Missionaries Of Neoliberal Economics Knock, Bar The Door

Nov 15 2017 - 23:11

The Foundation for Economic Education, with the inevitable acronym FEE, aims to “promote new content and distribution techniques for free-market ideas.” Fee has “distilled ‘economic thinking’ into 12 key concepts.” 

Let’s pray that the “distribution” fails and these concepts never reach America’s classrooms, because they’re all… well… wrong.

FEE’s words in plaintext, with my rejoinders in italics:

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The Sad State Of Entrepreneurship In America: What Educators Can Do About It

Nov 15 2017 - 22:11
While responsible people work to stave off humanity’s ecological suicide, many young nerds write unimportant apps to do “things their mothers used to do for them.” The Elon Musks of the world – those who prepare for the long game while financing it with innovative products for today’s market – are so rare as to be anomalies. 

Today’s entrepreneurial scene suffers from a sick venture capital industry, a number of imponderable illogics, and, maybe, misplaced adulation from students and the public. Symptoms include:  -->

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15,000 Scientists Sign Letter Urging More Action On Climate Change And Other Issues - This Is Positive - Not A Doomsday!

Nov 14 2017 - 14:11

This is a story that's running at the moment - hugely sensationalized and made as pessimistic and gloomy as could be. in many of the papers, especially the sensationalist press, it's presented as a "Doomsday prediction". It's nothing of the sort.The number of scientists, 15,000 is correct, and that they were warning about climate change and other issues is correct, so the snesationalist press got that much right. However, they don't say the world will be destroyed.

The letter actually says there is much we are doing right, but that there is much more we have to do to see ourselves through to 2100 and beyond. Their message is that we have to continue what we are doing, and do more, in order to avoid widespread misery in the future.

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15,000 Scientists Sign Letter Urging More Action On Climate Change And Other Issues - This Is Positive - Not A Doomsday!

Nov 14 2017 - 14:11

This is a story that's running at the moment - hugely sensationalized and made as pessimistic and gloomy as could be. in many of the papers, especially the sensationalist press. This has been vastly overplayed in the media as a "Doomsday prediction". It's nothing of the sort.

The number of scientists, 15,000 is correct, and that they were warning about climate change and other issues is correct. But most of the stories are hugely exaggerated for dramatic effect. You can tell that for yourself by reading the actual letter they signed. They don't say the world will be destroyed.

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Google 'News' Latest 'Daily Doomsday' - Huge Planet Discovered By NASA In The Galactic Bulge Could Unleash Apocalypse On Earth

Nov 13 2017 - 10:11

This is yet another example of how outrageously bad Google News is when it comes to astronomy. I get asked this rather often, whether Earth is endangered by some distant planet or galaxy or black hole, by children or adults who have read stories in the sensationalist press that appear in Google News. This is a particularly outrageous one so I thought it would help highlight the issue to write a post about it here.

Remember, children as young as 11 are affected by these stories and also young parents who flunked physics and maths at school - may be talented in other areas but don't have a clue about astronomy. Sometimes they get so scared by all the Google News and Apple News daily doomsdays that  they become suicidal.

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Anomaly Reviewed On Physics Today

Nov 11 2017 - 08:11
Another quite positive review of my book "Anomaly! Collider Physics and the Quest for New Phenomena at Fermilab"  (which these days is 40% off at the World Scientific site I am linking) has appeared on Physics Today this month. -->

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The Medieval Roots Of Blockchain Technology

Nov 10 2017 - 06:11

Blockchain is an emergent technology that may be as transformative as the internet, according to many predictions. But this innovative new technology has a surprising link to the days of medieval treasuries.

Blockchain is a distributed ledger that uses cryptography — mathematical code — to chain together records of transactions in a tamper-resistant and transparent manner. It is being used as an alternative or replacement for national currencies, contracts, internet device authentication and more.

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Sexual Harassment: 'It's All Part Of Growing Up'

Nov 09 2017 - 12:11

Allegations about sexual harassment in Hollywood, British politics and various other sectors have exposed a reality already familiar to most women.

Harassment, interruption, and intrusion from men is commonly disregarded as an inevitable part of life, unpleasant but expected. It is rarely acknowledged for what it is: a key factor structuring women’s lives.

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Stephen Hawking's Rookie Mistake - Predicts Earth To Glow Red Hot By 2600 Due To Population Growth

Nov 08 2017 - 12:11

Stephen Hawking tends to exaggerate, using hyperbole - wild exaggerations for emotional effect. In this talk he takes our exponential population growth and extrapolates it forwards to 2600 and predicts that human beings will cover the globe shoulder to shoulder and that our electricity consumption will turn the surface of Earth red hot through the waste heat. He makes a rookie’s mistake here as the middle of range projections by population experts have our population level off by around 2100. This shows that even the most brilliant people are only human like the rest of us. This story is scaring people and that's my motive for debunking it here.

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Game Theory On Race Mixed Society Turning Lawless

Nov 08 2017 - 00:11
Also on China, Jews, ‘game theory paradox’, Antifa, Trump supporters, gun laws…

**Trigger Warning**
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Trigger Warning

Nov 08 2017 - 00:11
A general trigger warning I will link to in some future articles:

The following text is quite likely disturbing. Relax and be assured about that this is so because you are evolved and shaped to perceive as required to function in certain social structures. I know, you are afraid, about that evil people take over and threaten your existence, those others that you cannot understand how it could be that they are like they are. I understand why you are the way you are:
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No, Computer Programs Are Not About To Take Over The World - Stephen Hawking's Speech & Mindlessness Of Chatbots

Nov 07 2017 - 20:11

This is a speech Stephen Hawking gave. It’s actually an upbeat and optimistic speech, but one particular phrase from the speech is scaring many people. Stephen Hawking has a love of the dramatic, and he often way over states things - it's what they call hyperbole, overstating things for emotional effect. I'm also surprised that amongst all the news articles running stories about it, I haven't found a single one that is skeptical of his beliefs or even suggest there could be other views on the matter. 

As he stated it, 

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Antarctic Volcano Role In Warming Was Understated

Nov 07 2017 - 18:11
There is additional evidence a mantle plume, basically a geothermal heat source such as a volcano, is below Antarctica's Marie Byrd Land and it explains a substantial amount of the melting that creates lakes and rivers under the ice sheet. 

Mantle plumes are thought to be narrow streams of hot rock rising through Earth's mantle and spreading out like a mushroom cap under the crust. The buoyancy of the material, some of it molten, causes the crust to bulge upward. The theory of mantle plumes was proposed in the 1970s to explain geothermal activity that occurs far from the boundary of a tectonic plate, such as Hawaii and Yellowstone. 
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Defeating ISIS Is Good For The Environment

Nov 06 2017 - 20:11

Life in the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) is not exactly paradise. Children are indoctrinated, women are severely oppressed, and infidels are beheaded. Ancient cultural artifacts and historical treasures are destroyed. Liberating people conquered by ISIS, therefore, is good not only for humanitarian reasons but for archaeological ones, as well.

Now, it appears there is yet another reason to defeat ISIS: It might be good for the planet.

A new study published by Princeton University and the World Bank shows that oil production in ISIS-controlled areas has fallen by over 70%, from 56,000 barrels per day in December 2014 to 16,000 barrels per day in 2016.

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Things That Can Decay To Boson Pairs

Nov 06 2017 - 07:11
Writing a serious review of research in particle physics is a refreshing job - all the things that you already knew on that specific topic once sat on a fuzzy cloud somewhere in your brain, and now find their place in a tidily organized space, with clear interdependence among them. That's what I am experiencing as I progress with a 60-pageish thing on hadron collider searches for diboson resonances, which will appear sometime next year in a very high impact factor journal. -->

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Google News Without The Nibiru Nonsense

Nov 04 2017 - 12:11

To see the problem try a google news search for Planet X - and see if you find anything there about the genuine astronomical search for planets beyond Neptune. It's filled with stories saying that the nonsense planet Nibiru is about to fly past Earth or hit us (what professor Brian Cox once called the imaginary bullshit planet Nibiru).

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