Archive for the ‘science’ Category

Pentagon: Most UFO Reports Are ‘Unremarkable’

January 26, 2023

Pentagon: Most UFO Reports Are 'Unremarkable'

The Pentagon’s All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) recently reported that most sightings of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs) are “unremarkable,” glimpses of balloons, drones, or airborne plastic bags and other trash.

If you’re keeping score at home, UAPs used to be called UFOS and, before that, flying saucers; the AARO was called the Airborne Object Identification and Management Group (AOIMSG) and, before that, the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF).

There you have it. Klaatu barada nikto.

Download the AARO 2022 UAP report here.

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Image (“Strange Starry Night, after Van Gogh”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Spreadsheets of Species: Systema Naturae

November 23, 2022

Carl Linnaeus organised the natural world in his Systema Naturae. The Linnean Society of London explains.

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Published Drug Research Accents the Po$titive

February 9, 2022

Published Drug Research Accents the Po$titive

Scientific Method be damned, medical journals have an economic incentive for publishing papers with postive outcomes. When a drug study shows positive outcomes, pharmaceutical companies buy reprints of it in bulk to distribute it to prescribers.

Those purchases can add up to over $2 million. For journals like The Lancet ($40 annual revenue) and NEJM ($100 million/yr.), that’s huge. 41 percent of The Lancet’s 2021 income came from reprints. When it comes to drug studies, Big Phama’s thumb is firmly on the scale.

More:

Scientific journals are incentivized to publish positive drug studies,” Annalisa Merelli, Quartz

Related:

“Why Most Published Research Findings Are False,” John P. A. Ioannidis, PLOS Medicine

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(Bare) Majority of Americans Believe in Evolution

September 1, 2021

(Bare) Majority of Americans Believe in Evolution

According to a University of Michigan study, the percentage of American adults who believe in evolution is now 54%. In all, 32% of religious fundamentalists, 34% of conservative Republicans, and 83% of liberal Democrats accept evolution as fact. Science marches on!

More:

“Study: Evolution now accepted by majority of Americans,” Morgan Sherburne, Michigan News

 

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Image: Anti-Evolution League at the Scopes Trial, Dayton Tennessee, from Literary Digest, July 25, 1925

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An ‘Adams Event’ May Have Killed Off the Neanderthals

May 4, 2021

An ‘Adams Event‘ may have killed off the Neanderthals, explains Stephen Fry in a video from the University of New South Wales Sydney.

More:

“End of Neanderthals linked to flip of Earth’s magnetic poles, study suggests,” Nicola Davis, The Guardian

“A global environmental crisis 42,000 years ago,” Alan Cooper, Chris S. M. Turney, et al., Science

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Equinox

September 22, 2020

Equinox

Today, it’s officially Fall in the Northern Hemisphere, the Autumnal Equinox. It’s better to call it the September Equinox, since it also marks the beginning of Spring for the southern half of the world.

More:

“Hello fall! Equinox kicks off autumn on Sept. 22,” Laura Gegge, Space.com

“Fall equinox 2020: Not as ‘equal’ as you may think,” Forrest Brown, CNN

“Pagans Are Celebrating the Autumn Equinox and You Should Too,” Rebecca Toy, Fodor’s Travel

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Seven Million Years of Human Evolution

January 13, 2020

The American Museum of Natural History outlines human evolution. Seven million years in under six minutes.

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Octopus Dreams

November 19, 2019

The octopus dreams in color. Just watch.

From the PBS Nature program Octopus: Making Contact.

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The Deadliest Being on Planet Earth

September 24, 2019

“The Deadliest Being on Planet Earth: The Bacteriophage.” A Kurzgesagt (“In a Nutshell”) video.

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Neckties Are Bad For Your Brain

July 22, 2019

Neckties Are Bad For Your Brain

Until now, business attire for men has meant a suit, collared shirt, and a necktie. Many men have dispensed with neckties, and that may be smart. Wearing neckties can reduce blood flow to the brain by 7.5 percent. If you already have high blood pressure, that could make you dizzy, nauseous, or bring on headaches. A tight necktie can even contribute to glaucoma.

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to pop your collar button, you’re welcome.

More:

“Wearing a tie may be restricting blood flow to your brain,” Alice Klein, New Scientist

“Another reason not to wear a tie: It could be cutting the blood flow to your brain,” Seattle Times

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