THE GREAT GROUNDHOG’S DAY CONSPIRACY By Fred Bortz ([email protected]) Many years ago in the Allegheny Mountain town of Punxsutawney PA, a secret committee met, led by Ima Merchant, the head of the local chamber of commerce. Town statistician C. P. Adderly and P. R. Mann, head of a local advertising firm, were also in attendance. … Read more
It’s been several months since I contributed here, but I expect to be back with regular blogs in about a month and shorter posts before then. I have been busy writing my newly released middle-grade book, Meltdown! The Nuclear Disaster in Japan and Our Energy Future, which I am pleased to say is a Junior … Read more
I’m a little slow on the uptake here, but I guess I thought everyone understood that the Obama administration’s new plan for NASA was not an abandonment of a return to the Moon but rather replacing it with a much more visionary approach, restoring the agency’s leadership in human exploration of the Solar System.
The Science Shelf Book Review Archive Spring 2010 Newsletter is now available online. It includes a number of new titles including The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education by Diane Ravitch, who was originally a great booster of “No Child Left Behind.” Click the link or read on for the Ravitch review.
I’m a little late getting to the 3 April 2010 issue of New Scientist, but it certainly isn’t too late to comment on the British Magazine’s editorial and article about a geoengineering conference in beautiful Asilomar CA the last week of March.
Review of The Little Book of String Theory by Steven S. Gubser
(Princeton University Press, 184 pages, $19.95, April, 2010)
I have added a review of Settled in the Wild: Notes from the Edge of Town by naturalist Susan Hand Shetterly to The Science Shelf Book Review Archive, and I am reproducing it here. I have also added a midwinter update newsletter with a number of interesting new titles, some of which I will be reviewing in the coming months.
Another blogger stirred up a predictable argument with his assessment of “Climategate.” I waited for the inevitable bomb-tossing to ensue before commenting. But I think it’s worth making those comments a blog posting of my own. I think they could lead to a civil discussion of how scientists should act when dealing with politically sensitive topics. Care to chime in? Here’s what I wrote:
A writing friend suggested I sensationalize the headline of this little but interesting and instructive tale. So assuming the headline got your attention, read on if you want to know how I noticed a scientific error in the caption on a NASA/JPL Photojournal page. I promise you’ll discover something interesting about the Martian sky if you do.
I just read a Scientific American article about an expert who predicted last week that an earthquake near Port-au-Prince would be catastrophic. He was not predicting that such a quake was imminent but rather that it was a calamity waiting to happen.
Contrast that with a recent sparring match I’ve had with a misguided blogger who claims to have a theory that predicts earthquakes–but said nothing about an impending tragedy in Haiti.