Browsing All posts tagged under »science«

A Cool Look at Global Warming (Part 2)

September 29, 2014

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“The debate is over.” Al Gore said that about man-made climate change. A lot of other people have said it, too. But it isn’t true. If the debate were over, then no one would be debating it anymore. There was a time when it was widely believed that there were canals on Mars and bathing was […]

A Cool Look at Global Warming (Part 1)

September 21, 2014

0

In my lifetime, we have been scared out of our minds by an assortment of impending disasters: nuclear war, asteroids, asbestos, fire ants, locusts, killer bees, rogue planets, Lyme Disease, Mad Cow Disease, SARS, swine flu, bird flu, Satanic cults, holes in the ozone, the Bermuda Triangle, alien abductions, the Y2K bug, and – every […]

Over the Moon?

July 16, 2014

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Forty-five years ago, on July 16, 1969, a Saturn-5 rocket was launched from Cape Kennedy on Florida’s northeast coast. Carrying three astronauts, the spacecraft circled the globe one and a half times, then re-ignited its engines and headed toward the moon. Much of the human race watched, excited and nervous. Before Apollo 11, there had […]

Unwavering Ambivalence

July 6, 2014

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There was a time, when I was a teenager and therefore remarkably witless, that I fell for every crackpot idea that crossed my path. I was certain I had extrasensory perception, could move objects with my mind and see the future, and would eventually figure out how to walk through walls. I believed in ghosts, […]

Some Pointless Thoughts, on Balance

January 22, 2014

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I tend to read a lot of books about science, because the universe is a mysterious place. In fact, it’s the most mysterious place I’ve ever been to — not including the motor vehicle department — and I’d like to understand it as much as I can. Part of the problem is that most of […]

What to Expect in 2014

December 29, 2013

97

Predicting the future is a risky thing to do. You’re going to be wrong most of the time, and people – especially your closest friends — will happily point out how far off you were. In 1974, I said Richard Nixon would never resign. Ten years later, I announced that Walter Mondale would defeat Ronald […]

More Energy, Less Work (Part 1)

December 6, 2013

48

I’m a problem-solver. When I read or hear about something people are struggling with, I want to help them fix it. When they’re grappling with a difficult question, I want to help them answer it. A few years ago, I learned that physicists still don’t know how gravity works. I decided that I was up […]