Chad Clark's Open Journal

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May 20, 2010 :
1) Mice show pain through facial expressions.

The Globe and Mail reports mice "squeeze their eyes, scrunch up their noses
and push out their cheeks, much like humans do".

  They also push back their ears and move their whiskers, says Mogil, who
  collaborated with the University of British Columbia’s Kenneth Craig on
  the project. When these features are combined in one expression, it means
  the mouse is hurting

March 04, 2010 :
1) The 137 year archive of Popular Science is now online for free.

Wired reports:

  PopSci, the web-wing of Popular Science magazine, has scanned its entire
  137-year archive and put it online for you to read, absolutely free. The
  archive, made available in partnership with Google Books, even has the
  original period advertisements.

February 26, 2010 :
1) Human genome sequencing for $5000 per person.

New Scientist reports a company named Complete Genomics claims to be able
to sequence a human genome for $5000.

2) Lost / stolen letter from Descartes found and returned.

The New York Times is reporting a letter from Descartes "shows that at a
very late stage in the printing process, Descartes changed the outlook of
the Meditations dramatically".

  thousands of treasured documents that vanished from the Institut de
  France in the mid-1800s, stolen by an Italian mathematician. Among them
  were 72 letters by Rene Descartes
  one of those purloined letters has turned up at a small private college
  in eastern Pennsylvania, providing scholars with another keyhole into one
  of the Western world’s greatest minds.
  The letter, dated May 27, 1641, concerns the publication of "Meditations
  on First Philosophy,"

If you haven't read Descartes "Meditations" you can find free online copies.
For example public domain copies at Google Books.

3) South Dakota says global warming is a theory and astrology affects weather.

Carl Zimmer wrote at Discover Magazine that South Dakota resolved that
global warming is theory rather a fact.  The state noted astrological
factors affect global warming.

  instruction in the public schools relating to global warming include the
  following: (1) That global warming is a scientific theory rather than a
  proven fact; (2) That there are a variety of climatological,
  meteorological, astrological, thermological, cosmological, and ecological
  dynamics that can effect [sic] world weather phenomena and that the
  significance and interrelativity of these factors is largely speculative

Excerpts from the bill (that has passed) include:

  Erik the Red settled Greenland where they farmed and raised dairy
  cattle. Today, ninety percent of Greenland is covered by massive ice
  sheets, in many places more than two miles thick
  carbon dioxide is not a pollutant but rather a highly beneficial
  ingredient for all plant life on earth. Many scientists refer to carbon
  dioxide as "the gas of life";
  more than 31,000 American scientists collectively signed a petition to
  President Obama stating: "There is no convincing scientific evidence that
  human release of carbon dioxide, or methane, or other greenhouse gasses
  is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating
  of the earth's atmosphere and disruption of the earth's
  climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that
  increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide will produce many beneficial
  effects on the natural plant and animal environments of the earth"

Carl Zimmer also wrote a book titled "Microcosm: E. Coli and the New
Science of Life" that I really enjoyed.

February 25, 2010 :
1) Wolfram Alpha info about how common names are.

This is neat.  It shows how popular a name was in different years and it 
estimates how many people with a name are of different age right now.

Wolfram Alpha is pretty impressive.  A few other examples are:

* bar code for 036000291452
* how much sugar is in a banana
2) Build your own spectrometer from a DVD or CD. This is an interesting project. If you google around you can find instructions to make a cloud chamber too.

February 24, 2010 :
1) Simon Singh sued by British Chiropractic Association.

From Discover Magazine :

  Simon Singh is a journalist in the UK; he writes for the Guardian.
  Moreover, he's a science journalist, and a good one who, like so many of
  us, prefers reality the way it is.
  The British Chiropractic Association, however, prefers reality to bend to
  their will. They've been making some outrageous claims lately about the
  efficacy of their "treatment", things that are clearly wrong. Simon wrote
  about this in a column, saying,
    The British Chiropractic Association claims that their members can help
    treat children with colic, sleeping and feeding problems, frequent ear
    infections, asthma and prolonged crying, even though there is not a jot of
    evidence. This organisation is the respectable face of the chiropractic
    profession and yet it happily promotes bogus treatments.
  Unsurprisingly, the BCA took a dim view of this. So of course they
  produced copious variable-controlled double blind studies with
  statistically significant testing procedures to back up their claim.
  HAHAHAHAHAHAhahahahahaha! No, that would be silly! Of course they didn't
  do that. They sued him instead.
  In the US that would be a dumb thing to do, as our libel laws put the
  burden of proof on the claimant (in this case, the BCA), as things should
  be.  However, the UK is very different: when party A sues party B for
  libel, it's up to party B to prove their innocence.

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