Quantum Confusion

I tried to teach American physicist Sean Carroll about quantum mechanics and the nature of reality. He was too arrogantly stupid to pay attention and learn. Now, to celebrate his continuing befuddlement and breathe life into the infinite monkey theorem, Sean has written a new book.

Cold Sense

Researchers recently found the protein responsible for sensing cold in animals, from primitive worms to late-evolved bipeds who read blogs. The protein has a close association with nerve cells. What the researchers did not discover were the obvious implications of what they did discover.

India’s Deepening Water Crisis

India currently has 1.33 billion people. The nation is rapidly running out of drinkable water. 600 million already face acute water shortages in major cities across the country. Another 21 major Indian cities will run out of groundwater in 2020, parching a further 100 million people unto death.

Animal Diet Evolution

Animals have a broad diversity of diets, including carnivores that pursue dangerous prey, insect herbivores that specialize on a few plants, and marine invertebrates that passively filter feed on tiny fare. What an animal eats is a defining aspect of lifestyle.

Wily E. coli

Autotrophs have it relatively easy. They can produce their own food. For most organisms, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Foraging, hunting, and parasitism are an easier lifestyle than pathogens, which must first find a host and then successfully invade. Getting past host defenses and evading the immune system are just part of the difficulties when infection is your chosen lifestyle.

Quackery

Researchers recently discovered that nearly 400 routine medical practices were quackery. By that count, 10% of medical advice is wrong. The tally is much higher.

Solitons

Solitons are standing waves which may appear in many media, including liquids and light. Their earliest known recording was in 1834, when Scottish engineer John Scott Russell watched a solitary wave in a canal travel over 8 miles without changing shape or amplitude.

Livelihoods

How does a protein function? How does a virus infect? How does a cell know what it’s supposed to do? How do seeds start their journey into vegetation? How does a tardigrade spring back to life after being a dried husk? How did life on Earth begin? The answer is selfsame.

The Teachings (& The Teacher)

In his books, Ishi Nobu conveys a system of knowledge: a consilience of all that humanity has garnered about Nature and the nature of reality. That system upends the philosophic matterism that has the scientific community in thrall. It also dispels the dogma that religions faithfully cling to.

Nothing Doing

The devastation of climate change is becoming more pronounced. This progression will accelerate during the 2020’s, with deaths from extreme weather, as well as water and food shortages, rising precipitously. Yet the trend of governments worldwide largely paying lip service to the growing crisis will also continue. Here’s why.

Insane America

Countries around the world are issuing travel advisories against visiting the United States in the wake of recent mass shootings, which are a continuing trend. New Zealand warns that “attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by foreigners.” The Venezuelan foreign ministry accurately portrayed the situation: “Growing acts of violence have found echo and sustenance in the speeches and actions impregnated with racial discrimination and hatred against migrant populations pronounced and executed from the supremacist elite that hold political power in Washington.”