Buried at the crossroads

I wish I could draw political-style cartoons, because then I’d open this with an illustration of an unkillable zombie, or maybe Jason from the Friday the 13th franchise, with the label “Free Will” on it…

This time around it’s an article in Slate from Roy F. Baumeister entitled, “Do You Really Have Free Will?” [...]

Heads up!

On Friday, September 6th, at 11:27 PM EDT, NASA will be launching the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) satellite from the Wallops Island launch facility on the Virginia peninsula. Viewers on the east coast of the US may be able to see it as it heads towards lunar orbit, since night launches [...]

You go, Randall

xkcd is great today: Ophrys apifera.

Yes, I read xkcd before Why Evolution Is True, but the latter has more detail on the whole [...]

Couldn’t hurt

At roughly 8 pm tonight (or I guess I should say August 31st, since this will undoubtedly post the next day,) The Girlfriend’s Younger Sprog mentioned a campaign where a vaccine is donated to a child in an underdeveloped country for every comment made on participating blogs. Known as the Shot@Life campaign, they feature [...]

A whooshing noise high overhead

Following links just now, I began reading a post on what Vanessa Williams discovered about her DNA. The money quote:

My DNA breaks down as follows: I’m 23% from Ghana, 17% from the British Isles, 15% from Cameroon, 12% Finnish, 11% Southern European, 7% Togo, 6% Benin, 5% Senegal and 4% Portuguese.

Now, I [...]

Nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure

Despite the fact that, just this past weekend (as I type the first draft anyway,) friends of mine have made disparaging comments about debates that take place on the Intersnarl, I return once again to the fabled Fountain of Free Will, a topic sure never to die because philosophy has taught us nothing if [...]

The dude is hot. Or cold. So, so cold…

Courtesy: NASA

A few years back when I was still following the Bad Astronomy blog, Phil Plait posted an image of odd geological features on Mars, along with the current speculations as to how they had occurred – which were not quite fitting the visible details. Definitely read the post for the salient bits, [...]

TL;DR

Those letters are internet shorthand, not for, “Transgender lifestyles; Dominican Republic” as you might expect, but for, “Too long; didn’t read.” It’s the battle cry of the short-attention span, the post comment meant to be critical, but instead illustrating the missing depth of the commenter. “Reading is hard,” it says, “You’re expecting too much [...]

For a given value

A recent post over at Scientific American brings up an interesting question, especially to those who pursue critical thinking: what does rational actually mean? We use this word all of the time, perhaps without realizing how subjective it is; few people ever think they’re being irrational themselves, while others would be quick to disagree [...]

To the rescue! Or, not…

I think most people know that there are certain kinds of fires that you don’t throw water on to extinguish, primarily grease, oil, gasoline, and electrical. In such cases, water is simply going to make matters much worse, either by splashing and floating the burning substances to disperse in a wider range, or by [...]