"University of Minnesota undergrad Daniel Crawford did something very clever: He took surface air temperature data and converted them into musical notes, one for each year from 1880 to 2012, and played them on his cello." Direct Vimeo link.
"Scientific discovery is not valuable unless it has commercial value" The Canadian scientific research and development agency has announced a major policy change. Going forward, they will only perform research that has "social or economic gain".
Since mid-2011, a substantial rise in pertussis [Whooping Cough] cases has been reported in the state of Washington. In response to this increase, the Washington State Secretary of Health declared a pertussis epidemic on April 3, 2012. By June 16, the reported number of cases in Washington in 2012 had reached 2,520 (37.5 cases per 100,000 residents), a 1,300% increase compared with the same period in 2011 and the highest number of cases reported in any year since 1942 [Make sure you don't miss Figure 1]. Commentators are already drawing corellations with the fact that Washington State leads the nation in vaccine non-compliance, Washington State's recent cutbacks in public health funding, and increases in the number of uninsured (PDF). [more inside]
Rename the VLA (Very Large Array)! The famous desert radio telescope, made of a bunch of independently movable giant satellite dishes, has just finished a ten-year upgrade and they're holding a contest to pick a new name in celebration. Deadline December 1. (via Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy, which mentions another naming contest, for schoolkids in the US to pick a name for the GRAIL satellites)
Science, skepticism, and critical thinking are all about admitting when you’re wrong, and taking action to correct them.”
Bad Astronomer and skeptic Phil Plait posted a rant last week about a supposed miracle – a woman, who survived a car accident against all odds. After being deluged by comments from irate readers, including the accident victim, he issued an apology, contacted her directly and is collecting donations to fund her medical bills. Phil writes, “Science, skepticism, and critical thinking are all about admitting when you’re wrong, and taking action to correct them.”