Archive for the 'Science' Category

11
Nov
14

Anti-GMO is the left’s climate change denial, and Vani Hari is an idiot.

Idiot x Twitter followers x Retweets ≠ Smart.

Here’s a FoodBabe quote from her blog on air travel tips:

“The air you are breathing on an airplane is recycled from directly outside of your window. That means you are breathing everything that the airplanes gives off and is flying through. The air that is pumped in isn’t pure oxygen either, it’s mixed with nitrogen, sometimes almost at 50%. To pump a greater amount of oxygen in costs money in terms of fuel and the airlines know this!”

Wow. I don’t even…*head explodes* How can she be this stupid and put her pants on in the morning without help? Where to begin? The Earth’s atmosphere is about 80% nitrogen and 20% oxygen. Apparently she thinks it’s pure oxygen and that there’s an airline consipiracy to dilute the oxygen to save money. THAT RIGHT THERE should be enough to discount everything else that comes out of her oxygen deprived brain. (And I’d love to know how exhaust is supposed to reenter the cabin when it’s left behind at 3/4 Mach.)

The rest of the article is just as absurd. Here’s another one:

“When your body is in the air, at a seriously high altitude, your body under goes some serious pressure. Just think about it – Airplanes thrive in places we don’t. You are traveling in a pressurized cabin, and when your body is pressurized, it gets really compressed!”

Jesus wept. Air pressure in a pressurized cabin is LESS THAN it is at sea level, it’s roughly like Denver. You’re not being “compressed” (unless you’re from Bolivia or Peru). Where does she pull these “facts” from? Has she ever attempted to self check anything she posts? Does her audience even care that she is pretty much straight up lying constantly?

Tetrodotoxin, cyanide and ricin are GMO-free, natural and organic, and only slightly more dangerous than this woman having access to the internet.

– See more at: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache%3AcLdyyHM8XS4J%3Afoodbabe.com%2F2011%2F08%2F23%2Fno-reason-to-panic-on-the-plane%2F+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us#sthash.eNVecKPB.dpuf

30
Dec
10

The Elements

Last night, purely on impulse and a nudge from rabbit, I picked up a copy of The Elements by Theodore Gray. It’s an element by element rundown of the periodic table, and it’s thought-provoking, informative, enjoyable and laugh-out-loud funny. I finished it in about 4 hours, with lots of stopping to read the really interesting and funny bits to my partner.  That’s the first time I’ve managed to get a book completed in the last couple years, and the first time in the last twenty years that I can recall knocking a book out in a single sitting.

The author is one of the founding partners of WolframAlpha, who are famous for Mathematica and for just being really smart folks in general. He’s also one of a rare breed of collectors who focus on trying to obtain a sample of all of the elements – or at least all the ones that are possible to obtain (in keeping with the laws of the land and the laws of physics). His writing style is conversational and witty. He gets into the underpinnings of atomic structures and electron orbitals without going so far off into the woods that a layperson wouldn’t get it. I found it particularly enlightening to read about all of everyday uses for “uncommon” elements. Uncommon not necessarily meaning less plentiful in abundance, but rather the ones that aren’t quite the household names that they probably deserve to be (and the ones that were once household names, and really shouldn’t have been). Like Radium.

I forgot to mention the photographs. Every page has big beautiful photos of the elements  in their purest available form, as well as examples of objects containing those elements. If you’re already someone who watches shows like Mythbusters, this book is right up your alley. If Dancing with the Stars is more your speed, you’ll probably still enjoy turning the pages and looking at the pretty pictures – or you might just see a bunch of shiny rocks.