RCimT: Stand back, I’m going to try SCIENCE!

Some science news for your daily consumption.

Scientists just accidentally the whole blue. Blue pigment has been notoriously difficult to create without using cobalt and/or other dangerous or extraordinarily expensive materials. While experimenting with manganese oxide in an unrelated experiment, scientists discovered a cheap, easy way of creating blue. I’m sure Glendon Mellow, the Flying Trilobite will love this.

More below the fold.

Greg Laden has a piece in Seed Magazine about Perfect Strangers. Hey, I loved that show when I was young! I used to try to do the Dance of Joy with people. Oh, wait, sorry, no, it’s actually about human doppelgangers and the Uncanny Valley.

Bill Maher has found himself in a hole recently regarding his antiscientific “skepticism” regarding vaccines, having been exposed not as a “skeptic” but as a cynic. What’s he do? He keeps digging. Seeing Maher down, Orac does what he does best and kicks him a few times then takes his wallet. I mean, might as well finish the job of exposing Maher’s shoddy rationalism! Say what you will about Maher’s advancement of the cause of atheism, this whole episode suggests shallow thinking all around. I wouldn’t be surprised if, ultimately, it is used to prove his thoughts about religion are equally shallow.

In the world of theoretical astrophysics, postulating hypotheses about the fabric of reality and the nature of our universe is pretty commonplace. But is there supporting evidence for the thought of the “cosmic foam” multiverse model, where each universe is a bubble in an infinite foam? Turns out, there may well be — if the universe collided with another and merged in the past.

An article in Gizmodo discusses the future of quantum computing. And we’re talking real quantum physics, not the muddled and irrational Deepak Chopra brand.

Mad internet poster postulates H1N1 is a plot to kill Baby Boomers. Film at 11.

Japanese scientists are working on ways to use exploding jellyfish populations as an easy and cheap source of certain biomaterials that are otherwise hard to obtain. I for one welcome our invertebrate overlords and will work to crush the Japanese resistance to their great and glorious reign.

What happened to the great Martian ocean? My pet theory is that Marvin got thirsty. REAL thirsty.

A small number of scientists studying climate change were apparently fudging some data, some e-mail exchanges behind-the-scenes occurred where other scientists tried to rectify the situation, an asshat hacked a mail server and stole several megs of data, and retards across the planet rally to declare global warming a hoax as a result. Never mind that, as I just stated, the e-mail exchanges actually show scientists behind closed doors trying to undo the damage, ergo acting ethically, even though “nobody was looking”. Imagine what would have happened to scientific progress if Newton’s “immoral” private communications were exposed and Newtonian mechanics thrown out.

A tactic I’ve recently had to contend with regards theists trying to hijack science and scientific progress in the name of their deity. Turns out that’s not a bad strategy, given it’s about all the antivaxxers have, and look at how incredibly successful THEY are.

Coturnix has had a busy month, it seems. Despite his protestation of brevity, this one post contains more science than you can shake a stick at. Well, you COULD I suppose, but that wouldn’t be very polite.

More reason to celebrate science — it may have discovered a treatment for Down syndrome’s symptoms. This is promising neuroscience.

Naturopathy, by contrast, is neither promising nor science. Work to stop naturopaths from being able to prescribe medicine in Ontario! Hurry, before time runs out!

And that’s all the science I have up my sleeve save for a few other posts on my tabs that deserve full blog posts. Cheers!

RCimT: Stand back, I’m going to try SCIENCE!

4 thoughts on “RCimT: Stand back, I’m going to try SCIENCE!

  1. 1

    That is an amazing colour! Sort of like how mauve pigment was discovered. In any case, it’s my desktop background now. 🙂

    There’s a whole interesting relationship between colour and the symbols they come to represent. For example, lapis lazuli is the original ultramarine blue (I *think* Winsor & Newton will still make it to custom order, last I heard). During the Renaissance, if a patron paid an artist to paint say, an altar, they would give them some $$ to go and buy some ultramarine.

    So this expensive pigment would need to go on the most important person on the altar painting. Which was Christ. But Christ is generally depicted semi-nude on the cross, or as an infant. So the next most important was Christ’s mother. So often, Mary is depicted in deep blue robes.

    Have you read Robertson Davies’ What’s bred in the bone, Jason? Not my favourite author, but a great bit with two guys stealing jewellery to make pigment to forge paintings.

  2. 2

    (Heh. Called it!)

    I haven’t read it, no. Sounds like a great premise though! I have a reading short-list — chances are I’ll never get around to reading the new Brian Herbert Dune books, so I’ll put it ahead of them.

    Considering early incarnations of Jesus showed him as a young boy with a magic wand, I’ve always wondered about the evolution of Jesus into a white European with blonde-ish hair. I had never really given any thought to other religious icons in art, but that does explain a good deal about Mary’s depiction. Any other interesting art iconography tidbits readily available to you?

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