Just a quick heads-up for those who don’t know yet: there is closed group “Astronomers” on facebook. It is by invitation only, ie some existing member must add any new member. You must have an fb account to be added.
The group has about 4,000 members, most all professional astronomers from around the world.
There is some interesting discussion going on in that group and some useful info being passed around.
The closed group feature seems to work well for some combination of intensity of topic focus and size – not too small, not too big.
‘fraid I wouldn’t tell how to monetize the feature though. Read more
Peter Gleick has been cleared of faking a key memo. Who is Peter Gleick, and what is this memo of which we speak? Here is a refresher of events over the last 3 1/2 months:
You will recall that last February 14th, we were all given an interesting Valentine's Day present: A cache of documents had been acquired from the Heartland Institute, and these documents revealed important details about Heartland's effort to interfere with science education and otherwise agitate and lobby to promote climate science denialism. The documents were released to the public by an as then unknown activist, and then redistributed by numerous bloggers including this one. Read more
Today is Minnesota Senator Al Franken's Birthday. In honor of that, I'm reposting this historically accurate and important essay, which first appeared on this blog on April 23, 2009 at 3:56PM:
I personally put Al Franken in the Senate
Al Franken is about to be seated as the Junior Senator from Minnesota after a long and costly battle between loser Norm Coleman and Senator Franken. Al won the election by just a few hundred votes, and three of those votes are mine.
More precisely, if we say that theistic evolution is a form of intelligent design, then we have to stop saying that intelligent design is a form of creationism.
Over at HuffPo, Victor Stenger writes: Read more
I'm sometimes asked why I do this. Why, people ask me, do I spend so much time generating post after post after post day after day after day? Obviously, one reason is that it interests me. Another reason is the passion that drives me to support science and science-based medicine and to detest the damage the pseudoscience, particularly pseudoscience in medicine, can do. There is, however, at least one more reason.
I'm referring, of course, to the adoration of my "fans." Read more
Many of the climate change denialist sites have been up in arms by comparisons of climate change denial to holocaust denial. Read more
When MSNBC fired Keith Olbermann and replaced him with Lawrence O'Donnell, I was a bit annoyed. But now that Olbermann had crashed and burned over at Current TV, and O'Donnell has turned into a pretty effective pundit, I have changed my mind. For an example of why I like O'Donnell so much, consider this depressingly accurate tirade about the Newsweek cover with the headline, “The First Gay President.” Read more
This has been out for a little while now, and Chris has been promoting it very heavily, and it's sort of interesting to see the reactions. It's really something of a Rorschach blot of a book, with a lot of what's been written about it telling you more about what the writer wants to be in the book than what's actually in it. A lot of conservative responses to it are basically case studies in the sort of motivated reasoning Chris is writing about, but I've even seen some liberals jumping on it as completely confirming their own pre-existing biases, for example, claiming that this means Chris has renounced the whole idea of "framing" that led to so much bickering a few years back. Read more
Tim Curtin's incompetence with basic statistics is the stuff of legend. Curtin has now demonstrated incompetence at a fairly new journal called The Scientific World Journal. Consider his very first "result" (emphasis mine):
I first regress the global mean temperature (GMT) anomalies against the global annual values of the main climate variable evaluated by the IPCC Hegerl et al.  and Forster et al.  based on Myhre et al. , namely, the total radiative forcing of all the noncondensing greenhouse gases [RF]
Annual(Tmean) = a + b[RF] + u(x) Read more
Sometimes I wonder what the mailman thinks of me. One day he's delivering the new issue of Free Inquiry, the next he's leaving something from Creation Ministries International. Read more
There are two groups of people I would be perfectly happy if they all just disappeared. Like, right now.
Even the shittiests, hipsterish of musicians contributes more to positive to society than those two groups of people. Stephanie Meyer has contributed more positive to society than those two groups of people. The fictional characters on the HBO television show 'Girls' (I cant even hate watch that show) have contributed more positive to society than those two groups of people.
Politicians and 'people of god' are useless, stupid creatures that need to get real jobs and contribute to society like everyone else. Read more
When a young girl put a picture of herself, holding a book she had just gotten as a present, on the social networking site reddit, she was immediately subjected to intense verbal sexual assault by reddit readers who aptly demonstrated how awful it can be when boys and young men are left to say and do what they want without the social control of anyone knowing who they are. Read more
Meet Jeff Flake from Arizona. His number one goal is the destruction of the federal government, one piece at a time. His first target: the National Science Foundation. The NSF funds a big chunk of the country's basic research to the tune of about $7 billion/year, and Flake proposed cutting it by a billion dollars.
He didn't get what he wanted, fortunately. Read more
The following article is mirrored from TomDispatch.com. I thought that while we are watching the weather heat up, we should not forget that geo-politics heats up with it.
Six Recent Clashes and Conflicts on a Planet Heading Into Energy Overdrive
By Michael T. Klare Read more
It is by now old news that Martin Zimmerman has finally been arrested for the unprovoked killing of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, 17 yr old African American teenager on his way home from the store with a bit of junk food. It took over a month and huge public outcry to get even this small step towards justice but it is the right first step.
But in case you need something new to get outraged about I would like to call your attention to the equally, if not more, outrageous case of Kenneth Chamberlain's murder at the hands of Whiteplains NY police officers. Read more