Musings of an autodidact

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NASA unveils new, completely free science resource

From Futurism: NASA is opening up its research library to the public in the newly launched web database PubSpace…and it’s absolutely free. Read the rest of this page »

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Atomic force microscopy!

Good science. Bad blogging.

CriticalThinking300Bad science journalism is almost as bad as bad science, perhaps worse in some ways, insofar as it may popularize error where there had been none before. Carping about bad science blogging, on the other hand, should probably be beneath me, at least most of the time, because hey, at least there’s folks trying, right? Isn’t this just another case of XKCD’s “someone is wrong on the Internet?

Well, here’s two examples. I’ll let the critical reader decided for themselves whether or not they serve to engender better critical reading more generally speaking. Read the rest of this page »

That’s no moon. But we’ll take it.

Astronomy300Turns out our moon has a new sibling.

This new moon has been dancing around for over a century now. Its orbit is extremely elliptical, affecting it to go a wee bit off tangent—between 38 and 100 times the distance of Earth’s primary moon—and bob up and down across Earth’s orbital plane. This new moon is tilted by about 8° and it orbits the Sun for 365.93 days, which is a little longer than Earth’s 365.24 day-long year.

Beer quite possibly a key cause of civilization

Archaeology300As Paul Ratner at Big Think puts it, “Patrick McGovern, a biomolecular archaeologist at the University of Pennsylvania, has one of the coolest jobs in the world.”

Yes. Yes he does. Read the rest of this page »

Endings and beginnings: when the asteroid hit

Another wonderfully executed video. 90 minutes collapsed to less than 5, ending millions of years of evolution for some, kickstarting the next round for others.