In 2018, Scientific Reports, a prestigious scientific journal, published the scientific equivalent of a fart in church. And I mean a loud one, that covered six rows in stink, that you may never live down. Or, so I’ve been told. Under the austere sounding title of Prominent exostosis projecting from the occipital squama more substantial and prevalent in young adult than older age groups they claimed that using digital devices caused horns in young people. Specifically millennials. Words can’t even begin to describe the many flaws in this mess, and most scientists ignored it when it first came out, but we’re now forced to give it a try. You see, someone in the “mainstream media” decided this was news, managed to not check a single claim and, WAH-LAH, the Washington Post reported “Horns” are growing on young people’s skulls. Phone use is to blame, research suggests. And we were off to the races. Somewhere between the evangelical freak out and toddler level humor, any semblance of truth got got mangled and ignored. [Read more…] about Do Cell Phones Make You Horny?
The path to medical cures is not a linear one. A couple of years ago scientists appeared to be on the verge of regrowing human limbs. That research has stalled. They haven’t quit trying, they just haven’t had replicable success. A few years ago helping paralytics walk was limited to cumbersome, and expensive, exo-suits. Now clinical trials are ongoing using stem cells and physical therapy. I could go on, but you get the basic idea. What seems promising one day suddenly isn’t, and what seemed like science fiction is suddenly real. But that’s how science works. You learn from failure and repeat success. As one scientist I know likes to say “I’ve never failed at a single thing, but I’ve learned more than anybody should.” She’s part of a team attempting to cure diabetes. The external pancreas, which does allow a person to live without insulin or food issues, works, but it’s not a true cure. What they want is a shot, or series of medicines or treatments, that heal the body, not just work around a part of it. [Read more…] about Nursing Back to Health
I wrote this back in August of 2015. It seemed to me like I’d covered all the bases and could call it a day. I was wrong. Uber announced they are going to launch a flying car service in select cities starting next year. There is one itsy-bitsy problem with that. I’ll start with the simple stuff, the Moller Skycar, written about here on several occasions, still doesn’t do what it claims and no one will license it for use. But, if you must have one, they’re dumping them on e-Bay. [Read more…] about Why Don’t You Know This?
Okay, I’ve written about the impending demise of all things a couple of times before. Back on March 21, 2014, I even managed to compile those depressing thoughts into a single article. And, you know what? Things have gotten worse, not better. Science denial has become fashionable. The sale of hex signs, to ward off demons, has escalated, the rejection of facts has become acceptable, and we are – to be polite – in deep shit. As I noted back then “According to Canadian Wildlife Service biologist Neil Dawe:Economic growth is the biggest destroyer of the ecology. Those people who think you can have a growing economy and a healthy environment are wrong. If we don’t reduce our numbers, nature will do it for us … Everything is worse and we’re still doing the same things. Because ecosystems are so resilient, they don’t exact immediate punishment on the stupid. In maybe the nicest way to say the end is nigh possible, Motesharrei’s report concludes that “closely reflecting the reality of the world today … we find that collapse is difficult to avoid.” [Read more…] about We’re All Gonna Die!
Okay, Game of Thrones is, thankfully, over. My girlfriend loved the show, as did millions of others. I am not among their number. Before I dive into this I do want to be clear about a couple of things; (1), the acting was first rate, not a single character rang false. (2), George R.R. Martin, for good or ill, used every fantasy plot trope he could find. That was enough for many. My problem is that creating such a stulted universe automatically means the people living in it have to be idiots. I’ll give you a simple example. They built the wall to keep out the white walkers and the free folk eight thousand years ago. They have seven kingdoms in various stages of war, and a history of genocide when the “First Men” are considered. They also have horses. Which means they have horse piss. Which means they have saltpeter. That’s a prime ingredient for making gunpowder. [Read more…] about Game of Fools
Thanks to the internet we know some things to be true. Specifically that Ben Affleck has been fired, or quit, and is no longer Batman. Except for the fact that he is, and is scheduled to appear in the next Justice League. We’ll get to why that is in a few. Other things we know is that Chris Hemsworth will never play Thor again. Except in Guardians of the Galaxy 3. And maybe in another Marvel film. There are no plans for a stand-alone Thor film, but that could be changed before my diaper. Suffice it to say there’s a lot of bad information out there. And, thanks to people needing to fill in blank spots with their burbling thoughts, it’s only going to get worse. There are, as of this typing, eight Marvel, and two Sony, movies slated for release with no information attached to them. Now, obviously, one will be a sequel to Venom. It made stupid money and, thanks to people like me who want to see it again, is doing steady biz as a download. The other Sony flik will probably be Morbius. It’s dark, has room for gratuitous violence and sex, and is a movie designed to make everyone who hated Twilight happy. That’s a potential fan base of billions. [Read more…] about Isn’t This Super?
The last few weeks have been kind of hectic here at the World News Center. We moved into a new casa, had all of the problems that come with that (were the fuck did we pack the spatula!?!), plus had obligations to our church and the general responsibilities of day to day existence. Suffice it to say there wasn’t much free time. That lack trickled down, as all bad things do. In this case it led to me not having time to write fun stuff for you to read. All was not lost, however, as I was able to still perform my weekly duties on WBIG 1280 AM for The Big Wake Up Call. And, as a bonus, I managed to confuse some people.
It’s 2019. The past, lurid and confining, is behind us. Right? I mean …. oh, seriously? Okay. I surrender. We’ll do this again until people get it straight. Women have been doing the science thing for a bit and we’d probably be staring at the moon, instead of walking on it, were it not for them. But, as the World News Center official girlfriend discovered, this is not important news. One nice human took time out of his busy day to enumerate on all the men who were behind the photograph of the black hole which became public this week. However, as my buddy Father Julio noted, they may have been on the bus, but a woman was driving it. And that woman was named Katie Bouman. Before I get to her, and her amazing accomplishment, I thought I’d take a moment to provide a refresher course in human history. [Read more…] about Boldly Going
Science is often seen as an immutable thing. It simply is. But, for anyone who’s paid any attention to science, they know that’s woefully misguided. Science, by its very definition, evolves constantly. When new things are discovered that reject old knowledge, the new is embraced. Some things are perceived to be ancient knowledge and aren’t at all. They are merely a product of modern prejudices. For example, while there are morons today who believe the Earth is flat, they are a relatively new phenomenon. Ancient Greeks knew the Earth was round. As did Polynesian sailors. And pretty much anyone involved in trade. Eratosthenes, three hundred years before Christ was born, knew that there needed to be a method of determining latitude so sailors, and other travelers, could figure out where things were on the planet. [Read more…] about Ooops
Money is a wonderful thing. It makes the world go round. It is, according to Geldish, “the lifeblood of civilization.” And it’s not always what you think it is. The best way to think of money is that it’s what you use in place of barter. The Romans, back in their hay day, used salt as both money and a weapon. You would get paid in salt, thus the phrase being worth your salt, and they would use it to destroy ground after a battle to prevent conquered peoples from being able to grow food, thus salting the earth. Gold and silver have been the most common commodities used for money, but wood, livestock, and many other things have made their way to the fore for different societies throughout time. Currently, we have a fiat system in place for money. Simply put, it means that money is worth what a government says it is based on trade with other governments. You see it all the time on the news; the dollar versus the yen versus the pound, and so on. [Read more…] about Giving Credit Where Credit is Bad