At The New York Times, Amy Harmon has a fascinating long read about the battle over banning GMOs on the island of Hawaii, and the story of a county council member who came to believe GM plants, as plants, are safe after researching the scary claims made by the ban's proponents. It's an interesting story and reminds me of how I ended up not being afraid of genetically modified food (at least not of the plants, themselves, in any blanket way). Basically, when the claims the anti-GMO people made kept turning out to be mixed-up, misleading, confused, and flat-out wrong, I started questioning whether they actually knew what they were talking about.
Another interesting thing happening in this piece is the comparison Harmon makes between the anti-GMO crowd on the political left and the climate change denialists on the political right. In both cases, you get anti-science, conspiracy-laden rhetoric that tends to ignore any data that doesn't fit ideology. The difference, of course, is that the same people on the left who spread incorrect scare stories about GMOs are often the same people who jump to correct the climate change deniers and lecture them about good science. At the New Republic, Isaac Chotiner writes about this weird inconsistency, and what it means in the context of politics and culture wars.
Thanks to Pesco for the New Republic link!
Jennifer Raff — a bioanthropologist and geneticist who researches and teaches at U Kansas and U Texas — provides some excellent advice and context on how to read a scientific paper, from figuring out which papers and journals are worthy of your attention to understanding the paper in its wider context in the relevant field.
Apple released this lovely new commercial featuring Carl Sagan reading from his magnificent 1994 book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, now available as an audiobook. This surprising partnership spurred Adweek to interview my friend Ann Druyan, Sagan’s wife, collaborator, and creative director of the Voyager Golden Record, about being […]
The Action Lab took a maglev gyroscope and placed it inside a sealed chamber to see what happens to a levitating gyroscope in a vacuum. A lot of people took issue with the experiment’s setup and explanation, but it’s interesting nonetheless. He responded to those concerns: Hi everyone! I see a lot of comments that […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]