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Why Is Revenge Porn Legal?

Sex on laptop computer. Pornography

Wisconsin recently became the third state to criminalize revenge porn. Why is it still legal in the other 47?

Scientists Find Earth-Sized, Possibly Habitable, Planet

Kepler 186

NASA scientists have discovered the first earth-sized planet outside the Solar System that may also be habitable: It is a bit bigger and somewhat colder, but a planet circling a star 500 light-years away is otherwise the closest match of our home world discovered so far, astronomers announced on Thursday. The planet, known as Kepler […]

21st Century Kids Try To Figure Out What A Walkman Is

intellectual-invention

Watch this, and prepare to feel very old: On the bright side, these kids will be able to keep in shape getting off of everyone’s lawn.

IRS Still Running Windows XP Despite Microsoft’s Warnings

intellectual-invention

The Internal Revenue Service missed the deadline to upgrade systems still running Windows XP and will be paying millions of dollars for security patches: The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) acknowledged this week that it missed the April 8 cut-off for Windows XP support, and will be paying Microsoft millions for an extra year of […]

What’s So Great About A “Cashless Economy?”

5537839-u-s-cash

Electronic payments are convenient but sometimes there’s nothing better than money in your pocket.

Internet Bug “Heartbleed” Leaves Millions Of Passwords Exposed

Computer Password Security

A new security bug could leave millions of people with their passwords exposed: SAN FRANCISCO — An alarming lapse in Internet security has exposed millions of passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive bits of information to potential theft by computer hackers who may have been secretly exploiting the problem before its discovery. The breakdown […]

One Quarter Of Americans Don’t Know That Earth Orbits The Sun

Facepalm

Well this is pretty sad: To put the brightest possible spin on this story is to say that three-quarters of Americans are fully aware that the Earth revolves around the sun. The downside, of course, is that means 1 in 4 are in the dark about what Discovery calls “probably the most basic question in […]

Too Much Personal Information On Driver’s Licenses?

booze-bar

Slate’s Albert Wong raises an interesting point: I need to see your license.” These words are familiar to anyone who has ever entered a nightclub, gambled in a casino, or purchased alcohol or tobacco in their 20s or 30s. At first glance, the request isn’t unreasonable—just about everyone has a driver’s license or (for non-drivers) […]

WiFi Speeds About to Triple (Does Not Apply to US Government)

wifi

Massively faster wireless internet service should be available in early 2015.

Saving Millions By Changing Font

changing-fonts-saves-money

A high school kid has figured out that changing fonts could save the taxpayer millions in printing costs.

Astronomers Name New Planet After Biden

Biden Sunglasses

America’s 47th Vice-President has apparently been memorialized in the heavens: Astronomers have nicknamed a new dwarf planet circling the sun at the outer edges of the solar system after Vice President Biden. According to Nature, a leading scientific journal, the object’s official designation is 2012 VP113. But the team studying its orbit around the sun […]

Big Bang ‘Inflation’ Theory Proved

intellectual-invention

Stanford astrophysicist Andrei Linde gets a nice surprise.

Dot Matrix Printer Plays “Eye of the Tiger”

intellectual-invention

Here’s a dot matrix printer playing Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.” It occurs to me that, while I’m old enough to have owned multiple dot matrix printers and watched “Rocky IV” when it was new—and, indeed, owned several “Survivor” albums–younger readers may have no idea what either of these things are. via Adam Weinstein

Basic Math and Representative Blackburn

math-1+1=3

Lack of understanding or basic dishonesty?

25% Of Americans Think The Sun Goes Around The Earth

Facepalm

Further evidence of the deplorable state of science education: A quarter of Americans surveyed could not correctly answer that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, according to a report out Friday from the National Science Foundation. The survey of 2,200 people in the United States was conducted by the NSF […]

Smartphone Sales Beat Sales Of Regular Cell Phones In 2013

smartphones

For some time now, we’ve seen signs that sales of smartphones were beginning to dominate the cell phone market not just in the United States but throughout the world. In a new report, it would appear that we finally reached that point in 2013: Watching the sales of smartphones and feature phones in recent years […]

Facebook Sex Selection: It’s Complicated

Facebook New Gender Options

“It’s complicated” has long been an option to describe one’s romantic status on Facebook. Now, it applies to one’s sex as well.

A Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough?

NIF_wide-363b27a25b03804d468852d491e240a7f36ad055-s40-c85

For decades, science has been pursuing what seems to be the Holy Grail of energy production, the idea of tapping the same forces that work inside of a star, or are responsible for the destructive power of a Hydrogen Bomb, as an energy source. So far, they’ve encountered one blind alley after another and fusion […]

Americans More Likely To Accept Astrology As “Science” Than Ten Years Ago

Facepalm

There’s really no way you can consider something like this to be good news: According to a new survey by the National Science Foundation, nearly half of all Americans say astrology, the study of celestial bodies’ purported influence on human behavior and worldly events, is either “very scientific” or “sort of scientific.” By contrast, 92 percent […]

New Footage Of Felix Baumgartner Jumping From The Edge Of The Sky

Felix Baumgartner

Many of you will recall Felix Baumgartner, who jumped from 128,100 feet above the Earth back in October 2012 in an effort to break a record set some 50 years earlier by Joseph Kittinger. Earlier this week, camera maker GoPro released some new never before seen footage of the jump taken from cameras that were attached […]

Snow and the South

south-snow-scott-walker

Gizmodo’s Brian Barrett explains “Why the South Fell Apart in the Snow.”

Apple Fixing iOS 7 ‘White Screen of Death’

iphone-5s-fingerprint-scanner

Apple is pledging to fix a bug in iOs 7 that I have never experienced and never heard of.

Why Owning Beats Renting, Digital Music Edition

beats-mog

One of the perils of the Internet age is that companies constantly go belly up, leaving their customers in a lurch

Scientific Research Is Unreliable, Unreliable Scientists Report

math-equations

Most peer-reviewed research is crap.

Seven Years Ago Today, The iPhone Changed The World

Steve Jobs iPhone

Seven years ago, Steve Jobs showed us that we could literally hold the world in the palm of our hand.

As Cold In Canada As It Is On Mars

Curiosity

The blast of Arctic cold headed into the American Midwest and East Coast is making it colder in Canada than it is in the U.S., not surprisingly. What is surprising, maybe, is that it reached temperatures equal to those registered on Mars: Canada is having a cold snap at the moment. This week, in Southern Manitoba, the […]

How Far Can You Get From New York In One Day’s Travel?

New York Travel

At The Atlantic Cities, Daniel Yanofsky takes a look at one measure of how transportation has progressed in the past 214 years: Before directions provided by Google Maps, the interstate highway system, cars, the transcontinental railroad, and the Erie Canal, a traveler in New York City could expect to spend a whole day and night traveling over […]

Just 60% Of Americans, 43% Of Republicans, Accept Theory Of Evolution

Darwin Fish

Once again, a poll shows that large numbers of Americans, and most Americans, reject Evolution via Natural Selection as the explanation for humanity’s origin. How do we explain that?

Apollo 8′s ‘Earthrise’ 45 Years Later

Apollo 8 Earthrise

Forty-five years ago today,the world was treated to the first picture of itself from orbit around another planetary body.

Alan Turing, Computer Pioneer Who Broke Engima Code, Pardoned On 1952 Conviction Of Homosexuality

Alan Turing

Alan Turing, the computer pioneer who played a crucial role in breaking the Nazi’s Enigma code during World War II only to be convicted in 1952 on charges of “homosexuality,” has been pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II: Nearly 60 years after his death, Alan Turing, the British mathematician regarded as one of the central figures […]

Science: Men Act Differently Around Women

sexy-office-worker

Scientists have discovered that heterosexual men alter their behavior around women.

What’s Your Dialect?

Dialect

I found this Dialect quiz at The New York Times. My results are posted in the map above, and aren’t the least bit surprising. My results are posted in the map above. Having grown up in New Jersey and lived there for some 21 years or so before moving to Virginia, it’s only natural that it would […]

Bolivia has its Own Satellite

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  Bolivian crowds cheer Tupak Katari satellite launch The satellite is named Tupak Katari, after an indigenous hero who fought Spanish colonial rule. Bolivia is one of the last countries in South America to have its own satellite. President Evo Morales, who was in China for the launch, said it would end Bolivia’s […]

Cell Phone Use On Airplanes? Not The Government’s Business

Airplane Coach Class

A bunch of people talking on cellphones during a plane flight would annoy the heck out of me, but the government shouldn’t be involved in deciding if it should be allowed.

No Previously Published Works Will Enter Into US Public Domain Between Now and 2019

2014PublicDomain-Class

No previously published works have entered the US Public Domain since 1978. And none are scheduled to enter until 1923. So what are we missing?

China on the Moon

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  China lands Jade Rabbit robot rover on Moon China says it has successfully landed a craft carrying a robotic rover on the surface of the Moon, the first soft landing there for 37 years. On Saturday afternoon (GMT), a landing module used thrusters to touch down, marking the latest step in China’s […]

Peter Higgs Not Productive Enough for Today’s Academy?

peter-higgs-book-chalkboard

Nobel physicist Peter Higgs says he could not make it in academia today.

400,000 Year Old Human DNA Found

intellectual-invention

The New York Times reports on a new find that raises interesting questions about human evolution: Scientists have found the oldest DNA evidence yet of humans’ biological history. But instead of neatly clarifying human evolution, the finding is adding new mysteries. In a paper in the journal Nature, scientists reported Wednesday that they had retrieved ancient […]

“A density of 94 poos per square metre was recorded by the researchers”

intellectual-invention

Via the BBC:  Giant prehistoric toilet unearthed.  The discovery is quite significant, but it is explained in ways that perhaps only the BBC can manage: Thousands of fossilised poos left by rhino-like megaherbivores were found clustered together, scientists say. [....] A density of 94 poos per square metre was recorded by the researchers. And the […]

Jupiter’s Eternal Red Spot?

Jupiter Red Spot

One of the most identifiable areas of the Solar System’s largest planet may be here to stay: Jupiter’s signature Great Red Spot is sort of the Doctor Who of storms: It just won’t die — even when it has been proven that it must die. And now, for the first time, some fluid dynamicists have […]

Texas May Block Biology Textbook Because Of Evolution

Evolution

Once again, some groups in Texas are trying to block approval of a science textbook because it is too deferential to Evolution.

No, We Don’t Need To Allow People To Make Cellphone Calls On Airplanes

Airplane Coach Class

Imagine all these people talking on the cellphones during a long flight, or even a short one.

Cassini Photo Shows Earth, Moon, Venus, Mars, And Saturn

Cassini One

NASA has released a photo taken by the Cassini spacecraft yet that provides the best image yet of Saturn, along with cameo appearances by Earth and some of our neighbors: A NASA spacecraft has revealed an unprecedented view of Saturn from space, showing the entire gas giant backlit by the sun with several of its […]

Stuxnet Infects Russian Nuclear Plant, And The Space Station

International Space Station

Apparently, the Stuxnet virus, which was designed, apparently by U.S. and Israeli intelligence, to disable the centrifuges that Iran uses to purify nuclear fuel, has made it into orbit: A Russian nuclear power plant was reportedly “badly infected” by the rogue Stuxnet virus, the same malware that reportedly disrupted Iran’s nuclear program several years ago. […]

Scientists: At Least 8.8 Billion Earth-Size Planets In Milky Way

Kepler NASA

The earth-like planets are out there, but it’s unclear if the life is.

Solar Eclipse of the Moon, Time-Lapse Video

intellectual-invention

Time-lapse video of Sunday’s solar eclipse of the moon as seen from Key West

Dark Matter Experiment Detects Nothing, So Far

intellectual-invention

An experiment designed to detect evidence of so-far theoretical “dark matter” has ended its first phase with nothing detected, but scientists remain hopeful: The former Homestake Gold Mine in Lead, S.D., has a hallowed place in the history of physics as a spot where nothing happens. It was there, in the 1970s, that Raymond Davis […]

Science: Men Like To Look At Women

Obama Sarkozy Ogle

In yet another ground breaking scientific study, a University of Nebraska study confirms that men do look at attractive women when they see them: The eyes don’t lie: Men really do look at women’s bodies more than their faces, according to a new study that used eye-tracking technology to prove what many women have long […]

NSC Nonproliferation Director Fired for Tweeting

intellectual-invention

Jofi Joseph was unmasked as the obnoxious @NatSecWonk and fired by the White House.

First-Semester Grad Student Upends Entire Field

positive-psychology

Nick Brown spelled bullshit and managed to debunk an entire academic subfield.

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