Posts Tagged ‘Scientific American


8.29.13 … Just thinking … US redrawn as 50 states with equal population … immigration middle ground … Go DAWGs, do it for Lewis … Grand Opening Romare Bearden Park …

science,  moral behavior, Scientific American:  Just thinking …

They hypothesized that there is a deep-seated perception of science as a moral pursuit — its emphasis on truth-seeking, impartiality and rationality privileges collective well-being above all else. Their new study, published in the journal PLOSOne, argues that the association between science and morality is so ingrained that merely thinking about it can trigger more moral behavior.

The researchers conducted four separate studies to test this. The first sought to establish a simple correlation between the degree to which individuals believed in science and their likelihood of enforcing moral norms when presented with a hypothetical violation. Participants read a vignette of a date-rape and were asked to rate the “wrongness” of the offense before answering a questionnaire measuring their belief in science. Indeed, those reporting greater belief in science condemned the act more harshly.

via Just Thinking about Science Triggers Moral Behavior: Scientific American.

equal representation, population: Interesting to think about …  Still trying to figure out the why of  the states’ names.  🙂

equal_pop_maps.jpg 1,100×848 pixels.

immigration, middle ground,  Very hard for either party to find a middle ground.

Mr. Pearce says he wants to fix what he calls a broken immigration system, and he sees himself as a border-state pragmatist.

“One side says everybody just gets citizenship, the other side says deport them or put them in jail, whatever. And I’m saying there is another alternative that would allow families to stay together, that would allow people to work, that just would not make them citizens,” Mr. Pearce said on Wednesday night in a response to a question at a town hall-style meeting in Deming. “Because that makes me very nervous as a policy.”

Later in the evening, he added: “I think that the plan I’m suggesting is the compromise plan. It’s somewhere out between kick them out and give them full citizenship.”

Mr. Pearce’s proposal would create a guest worker program, which would allow illegal immigrants to stay in the country as long as they were working. But it would not provide citizenship to those workers over time. He would allow illegal immigrants to become citizens, but they would first have to return to their home country and wait in line there.

“You can’t get control of the borders if you tell people you can come here illegally and you can work until you work your way to the front of the line,” Mr. Pearce said in an interview on Thursday. “The whole world would want to do it that way. Who would want to wait and do it properly?”

Despite Mr. Pearce’s strong opposition to a path to citizenship, advocates of an overhaul still believe that he might be persuadable, and various groups have descended on his district over the August break, holding marches and protests and filling his public meetings. “They simply realize that this is a 34 percent Republican district, and they’re hoping to bring enough pressure that would change me,” he said.

via On Immigration, a Republican Carves Out Some Middle Ground –

Lewis Grizzard, SEC Football, Georgia football, The DAWGS: Great reprint!

Saturday in Athens was a religious experience.

via Lewis Grizzard Wednesday: To My Son | The Grit Tree.

Grand Opening Romare Bearden Park:  Just might have to venture downtown. 🙂

Join the fun as Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation opens its newest facility, a community park named after Charlotte-born artist Romare Bearden, one block north of Mint Museum Uptown on South Church Street.

via Grand Opening: Romare Bearden Park – Mint Museum.

Mecklenburg County ‏@MeckCounty 5m

Romare Bearden Park opens Friday! Festivities continue all weekend. Schedule of events –  #MeckParkRec

via (18) Twitter.


8.14.13 … tweet of the day … Chicago Tribune + Instagram + Flipboard = beautiful Chicago the Beautiful … MOOCs enrich … Apple a day …

Tweet of the day, LOL, NY Review of Books, @nybooks: Who knew those book worms could be so funny? 

NY Review of BooksVerified account‏@nybooks

Our 5,000th tweet! What a milestone. We are finally starting to get the hang of this exciting new medium, to grasp the way it rewards brev

via Twitter / nybooks: Our 5,000th tweet! What a ….


Chicago the Beautiful Chicago Tribune, Instagram, Flipboard:  I loved this combination of traditional journalism, social media and … 

Chicago the Beautiful

Chicago, as seen through the eyes and lenses of our Instagram followers. Tag your photos…

By Chicago Tribune

574 readers

13,397 page flips

114 articles

via Chicago the Beautiful – Flipboard.

 students, online courses, massive open online course (MOOC)/MOOCs, Scientific American:  Enrich but do not replace? 

One in five science students surveyed by Nature and Scientific American has participated in a MOOC—and most would do so again

Stefan Kühn studies biochemistry at Stellenbosch University in the wine country of South Africa’s Western Cape province. He was working on his master’s thesis last year and writing in his usual way, which he describes as messy and free-flowing. Then he took a massive open online course (MOOC) from Duke University called Think Again: How to Reason and Argue. It changed the way he approached his thesis. “It taught me what a good argument is, how to construct it, how to avoid general fallacies,” Kühn says. “I started the course because of personal interest (I love a lively debate) and was pleasantly surprised when I realized I was using it for my write-ups as well.”

via Students Say Online Courses Enrich On-Campus Learning: Scientific American.

Sept. 10, Apple’s Big iPhone Event, Ina Fried, Mobile, AllThingsD:  It would take a lot for me to reup …maybe that is the problem.  

Much of the speculation there has centered on the usual kinds of camera and processor enhancements, as well as the likelihood of a fingerprint sensor. That has been expected ever since Apple acquired Authentec last year.

Naturally, any new phones will be running iOS 7, which has been in testing since its announcement at Apple’s developer conference in June. The new software includes a radical redesign of the overall look of the iPhone’s menus and icons, but the other new features are largely incremental updates, such as improved notifications, better photo-organizing abilities and additional capabilities for developers.

via Circle Sept. 10 on Your Calendar for Apple’s Big iPhone Event – Ina Fried – Mobile – AllThingsD.


4.5.13 … space and death … “I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well.”

Thomas Henry Marshburn, Davidson College, ISS, Expedition 34/35, The Nile and Cairo, Bahamas, It’s a Great Day to be a Wildcat: 

I was on the receiving end of two calls from space this weekend.

The first was on Saturday and appeared to me from TX USA. I almost didn’t to answer it, but am so glad I did. It was Davidson friend Thomas Henry Marshburn, an astronaut on the ISS. He was calling to say hello. 🙂 John, Tom and I discussed his photos which he posts on twitter and life on the ISS. We discussed his recent shot of the Nile and Cairo by moonlight and his favorite view, the Bahamas by day.


At the end of the call, Tom graciously agreed to call again the next evening at 6 pm EDT (10 pm GMT … Tom stays on GMT while on the ISS), so we could gather some students at the McCrorey YMCA in Charlotte. Forgetting that it was Easter, we only had three kids, but they had a life-changing 13 minute call where he answered questions. “Have you posted pics of Mt. Everest?” (Yes, he posts pics almost daily on twitter (@astromarshburn)) “Where is the bathroom?” (There are two, one in the Russian side of the ISS and one in the American/European/Canadian/Japanese side.) “How is the food?” (Actually, pretty good.) “What do you do to relax?” (He enjoys looking out the window!).

Tom made our weekend and that of three kids in North Charlotte. I bet they have fun telling people about their call from space.   I know I have. Thanks, Tom.

It’s a great day to be a Wildcat!

If you want  to follow Expedition 34/35, I have found this useful …

Back in November, the astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) began Expedition 34, and entered into the 13th year of its continuous human habitation. Some of the research goals for Expedition 34 included investigations into the human cardiovascular system in microgravity, the gravity-sensing systems of fish, and the impact of changes in the sun’s electromagnetic radiation on Earth’s climate. The crew of six astronauts from the United States, Russia, and Canada also took hundreds of photographs of life aboard the ISS and the spectacular views from orbit. Collected here are scenes from Expedition 34, and a few from the current mission, Expedition 35.

via The International Space Station: Expedition 34 – In Focus – The Atlantic.

obituaries, ashes to ashes:  In light of my high of being on the receiving end of such a wonderful call, I was also aware of the death of a very special mum, whose funeral I was able to attend.  Funerals, if done well, are  uplifting and give closure to all participants.  Marian Ward’s certainly did.  For the second time in a week I heard the words, ” earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”  The first was Easter at the Avondale Sunrise Service.

FORASMUCH as it hath pleased Almighty God of his great mercy to take unto himself the soul of our dear brother here departed, we therefore commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust ; in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change the body of our low estate that it may be like unto his glorious body, according to the mighty working, whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself.

via 1928 Proposed Book of Common Prayer: Burial.

But I then found out about Tom’s mom’s passing last week while he is on the ISS.  I understand that Tom attended via  skype and his wife attended  escorted by a fellow astronaut.  If I had known, I think I might of gone.  Gladys Grier Marshburn must of been a great lady to have created such a great son.  (I hope that is not diminishing her own achievements as the NYT did by stating that a rocket scientist made a mean stroganoff).  RIP Mrs. Marshburn.

The mother of Statesville’s favorite son, astronaut Dr. Tom Marshburn, has died.

Marshburn was in space on the International Space Station when his mother and longtime Statesville resident Gladys Grier Marshburn died on Tuesday, four days after her 90th birthday.

via Astronaut Marshburn’s mother dies – Statesville Record & Landmark: News.

dark matter,  ISS, Scientific American: WOW  …  the long-sought dark matter, the hypothetical massive particles that constitute some 27 percent of the universe … massive dust/big ashes?

A $2-billion particle detector mounted on the International Space Station has registered an excess of antimatter particles in space, the experiment’s lead scientist announced April 3. That excess could come from fast-spinning stellar remnants known as pulsars and other exotic, but visible sources within the Milky Way galaxy. Or the antiparticles might have originated from the long-sought dark matter, the hypothetical massive particles that constitute some 27 percent of the universe.

via Dark Matter Signal Possibly Registered on International Space Station: Scientific American

obituaries, Rosamunde Pilcher, helpful quotes:  And Marian Ward’s daughter posted this … and I love the closing … “I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well.”

“…Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was.  I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference in your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word it always was. Let it be spoken without effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well.”

via Goodreads | Quote by Rosamunde Pilcher: …Death is nothing at all. It does not count. ….


3.20.13 … long term effects are astounding … teen users did not recover even if they quit in adulthood …

teens,  marijuana, harmless, statistics, US culture, Scientific American:  Does this surprise anyone?

Although teen smoking rates are at a record low, more of them are smoking pot and fewer than ever believe it is bad for them. Data released last December as part of the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Monitoring the Future project show that only 44.1 percent of 12th graders believe regular marijuana use is harmful, the lowest level since 1973. That may explain why more than one third of high school seniors tried pot in 2012, and one in 15 smoked it daily.

But pot poses a higher risk for teens than for adults. In August investigators at Duke University and other institutions published the results of a 25-year study suggesting that heavy use among adolescents can do permanent cognitive damage. Subjects who were diagnosed with marijuana dependence as teens and adults suffered IQ declines of up to eight points between the ages of 13 and 38, even after the researchers controlled for other drug dependence, schizophrenia and education. (Abstainers’ IQs rose slightly.) Moreover, the IQs of teen users did not recover even if they quit in adulthood.

via Record Numbers of Teens Think Marijuana Is Harmless: Scientific American.


2.7.13 … wheels on the bus go round and round … love the MegaBus …

side-dominant science, Left- or Right-Sided, Scientific American: 

What do the brains hemispheres have to do with sidedness? When someone is processing language, one hemisphere is usually working harder than the other. There is also some correlation between the sides we use in our brain and the side we use on our body. This preference to use one side of the body over the other is known as sidedness, laterality or left/right dominance.

via Side-Dominant Science: Are You Left- or Right-Sided?: Scientific American.

vacation, South Africa, Wandering Earl:  Great vacation blog post about a wonderful place!

We all have a bucket list and as I approached a ‘big’ birthday, Derek reminded me that South Africa was always at the top of my list and there was no time like the present. So, thanks to DSA Vacations who planned this excellent itinerary, I got a chance to experience this wonderful country, to meet its friendly people and to have a trip never to be forgotten. And I got to spend this trip with my son…

via Our Vacation to South Africa (by Earl’s mom) – Wandering Earl.

Solidoodle,  3D Printers, technology: 

Welcome to Solidoodle, the next generation of printers that allows you to unleash your creativity in three dimensions — and multiple colors. Turn your imagination into reality — one strand of plastic at a time. Adding layers, the Solidoodle 3D Printer takes your image and transforms it into a real product that you can use.

via Solidoodle | Affordable, Easy-to-Use 3D Printers.

Henry Higgins, education, Standard English,

LONDON — A school in northeastern England has opened a can of worms by urging parents to make sure their offspring learn when to use the Queen’s English rather than their distinctive local dialect, if they want to get on in life.

Sacred Heart Primary School in Middlesbrough, in the Teesside region, wants its 5- to 11-year-olds to avoid localisms in their writing and speech and has included a handy guide in a letter to parents.

Examples: Avoid “gizit ere” and stick to “please give me it.” It’s “letter” and “butter,” not “letta” and “butta.” And always say “you”, not “yous,” even when there is more than one person.

“I believe that basic communication skills are essential for life,” Carol Walker, the school’s head teacher, said this week. “We would like to equip our children to go into the world of work and not be disadvantaged.”

She said she was not asking children to change their dialect or accents. But she did not want them to enter the world of work without knowing about standard English.

It sounds like good advice in what careers advisers would call the modern competitive workplace. But some residents feel it is part of a broader trend toward conformity and homogenization.

Academics consulted by The Evening Gazette, the local Teesside newspaper, were broadly supportive of the school’s initiative, while also defending the role of regional dialects.

via Calling Henry Higgins: School Makes a Case for Standard English –

pop culture, icons, Keep Calm and Carry On,  YouTube: 

via The Story of Keep Calm and Carry On – YouTube.

Boy Meets World, Ben Savage,  Danielle Fishel, Girl Meets World, Inside TV |, pop culture, tv:

After playing on-air sweethearts Cory and Topanga for seven seasons, Boy Meets World’s Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel, are reigniting their TV relationship for the highly anticipated Disney reboot, Girl Meets World. In the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands Friday, we speak to Savage, Fishel, Girl Meets World exec producer Michael Jacobs and Rowan Blanchard—who was just cast to play Cory and Topanga’s daughter, Riley—for scoop on the pilot.

Savage and Fishel talked to EW about why they signed on to Girl Meets World, how they feel about working together again, and why they really do feel like a married couple. They also share the story of the text that restarted their (TV) marriage.

via ‘Boy Meets World’ stars Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel on reuniting for ‘Girl Meets World’ | Inside TV |


Gibbs tells it like it is, and gets straight to the point.

via NCIS.

collecting, kith/kin:   I collected this hand towel last night … I am trying to figure out how to get the menu/placemat out of the Waffle House.

Photo: For you Carol Lomax Fortenberry! PS I am trying to figure out how to get the menu/placemat out of the Waffle House.

Waffle House, bargains, collecting, kith/kin: $4.05 … And they gave me a place mat when I asked! — at Waffle House.

.Photo: $4.05 ... And they gave me a placemat when I asked!

yarn bombing, public art, SCAD – The University for Creative Careers, LOL: 

We’ve heard of photo bombing, but yarn bombing? Check out all of the places around Savannah that were ‘yarn bombed’ by fibers student Jamie Lyn Kara.

via SCAD – The University for Creative Careers.

MegaBus: Waiting for my MegaBus to load. And by the way, I paid 50 cents for this RT.



scientology,  The Colbert Report, Comedy Central, LOLScientology Church Violence – The Colbert Report – 2013-06-02 – Video Clip | Comedy Central


Davidson College Class of 1982, Astronaut Tom Marshburn:  Tom, you are so out there!

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May 2020