Welcome to the first Random Crap in my Tabs posted to Freethought Blogs! Every once in a while, my browser’s tabs get far too full of “stuff that must be blogged”, stuff that I figured was too interesting to just read and close, and in order to free up resources so I can do other things, once in a while I aggregate a bunch of similarly themed items into a post with links and short commentary. It’s something like a blog carnival, but usually to non-bloggy stuff.
This one’s about some sciencey bits and bobs, and it’s all over the map. Allons-y!
How do amoeba undercut creationists’ claims that multicellular organisms are irreducibly complex? They posse up into a larger life form, like a microscopic Voltron.
Despite technology becoming ubiquitous and Americans demanding more and more access to their digital lives on the go via all manner of gadgetry, surprisingly, American power consumption has leveled off over the last decade. The fact that our smaller, more efficient technology sips at power where older generations drank deeply, helps.
Apropos of last week’s astrology incursion, which appears to have petered out after Ed Kohout vanished mid-argument, here’s a great takedown of astrology as a whole akin to my own effort a year ago. Both are worth a read in case the astrologers return (and they will — they’re floaters). Though longtime readers and those engaged in the Kohout skirmish will have been linked to mine a number of times already.
The Daily Fail sure does know how to frame a story. Their reporting on Craig Venter’s wholly artificially created bacteria takes the most obvious route it could take when looking at something they don’t understand well: fearmongering the living fuck out of it. And not just “will it hurt humans,” but a full-on doomsday scenario. Which is always the most rational way to take any piece of news, honestly.
But it’s okay, we might have found another potentially habitable exoplanet, meaning we’re one step closer to getting off this rock and ensuring that humanity is no longer susceptible to a single calamitous event.
What has CERN been up to, while narrowing the hiding spots for the potential Higgs boson? Quite a bit, actually. Lots of places that Higgs could be hiding — under a chair, behind a couch… you name it.
Researchers have apparently discovered a way to keep HIV from attacking the immune system: put it on a diet. Without cholesterol, the virus is hobbled. This might mean a vaccine in the very near future. Or it could mean very tiny Scarsdale Diet books, in syringe-injectable form.
Could dark matter be really tiny black holes? Possibly. Could we be doomed if one of them touches us? No, not with the seriously slow rate of intake such a tiny black hole could produce — if they can even exist without evaporating due to Hawking radiation. Well, unless you’re a Hollywood screenwriter. Then we’re totes doomed if a micro-black hole touches Earth. Fo realz. Call me, I’ll be your science consultant. For a small fee, of course.