Why the NYT hired a science denier

The New York Times' new columnist, Bret Stephens, is an everyday conservative: he thinks institutional racism is imaginary, that campus rape is a big lie, and that the "Arab Mind" is "diseased". But these are just opinions, and common ones on the right. It is his anti-science positions, on display in his first fact-mangled column about climate change, that has galvanized disgust.

Much has been said about him, but it is the Times itself that has committed a "jaw-dropping error" and whose warped motives promise that it will be repeated.

Ryan Cooper in The Week directs particular ire at the Times' claim about wanting a diversity of voices, where the agreement of millions is enough to justify a hire. This allows so many possibilities that it betrays the excuse.

If the Times were really committed to ideological diversity in its op-ed page, it would at a minimum hire a conservative who actually supports President Trump, and perhaps even more importantly hire someone with Bernie Sanders-style politics. (Sanders is the most popular politician in the country, yet there are more supporters of torture among columnists of our two major national newspapers than supporters of the senator.)

What we see here is that the neurotic upper-class liberal need for civil debate over important issues stops the moment we reach territory they actually care about. ... A rich, glib, dumb, anti-Trump conservative, on the other hand, can give Upper East Side cocktail parties that frisson of intellectual disputation while conveniently avoiding most of the actually important questions.

Read the rest

The true color of Saturn's north pole is a stunning blue

Astroparticle physicist Sophia Nasr posted a gorgeous photo of Saturn's north pole, processed to account for a luminance layer. Instead of a reddish hue, it is a breathtaking cerulean blue. Jason Major replicated the results. Read the rest

New camera shoots at 5 trillion frames per second

Reserachers at Lund Univeristy in Sweden have developed a camera that captures images at a rate equivalent to 5 trillion frames per second, quintupling the previous high mark. Read the rest

Simple interactive Periodic Table on the web

Periodic Stats is a dead-easy web-based Periodic Table to click around, showing all the stats and the history of each element. The only thing missing are illustrations of each one! [via Reddit] Read the rest

This working RC plane has KFC buckets for wings

To demonstrate the Magnus effect, YouTuber PeterSripol grabbed a couple of KFC buckets and tricked out an RC plane. The resulting trial and error is mostly the latter. Read the rest

Antarctica's Blood Falls mapped and analyzed a century after discovery

One of the weirdest places in Antarctica is Blood Falls, a five-story cascade of blood-red liquid pouring from Taylor Glacier. Researchers finally traced its source: a saltwater lake millions of years old trapped under the glacier.

Read the rest

Video of a lamb fetus in an artificial womb

Fetal lambs survived for weeks in an experimental artificial womb, and scientists hope that the breakthrough could lead to new treatments for premature babies and perhaps the dreamed-of machine utopia where humans are kept mindlessly writhing in translucent plastic sheaths filled with psuedoamniotic liquid.

Physicians at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia placed fetal lambs into the transparent bags and connected their umbilical cords to a machine that oxygenated their blood. The lambs own hearts provided the pumping power.

Eight lambs survived for as long as four weeks inside the devices. The gestational age of the animals was equivalent to a human fetus of 22 or 23 weeks, about the earliest a human baby can be born and expected to survive outside the womb. A full-term baby is born at 40 weeks.

Read the rest

Mozak: a game that crowdsources the detailed mapping of brain-cells

Mozak is a game where you score points for participating in the mass-scale, crowdsourced mapping of dendrites in scanned brains of humans, rodents, and other organisms. Read the rest

Sikh coder's excellent protest sign at March for Science

"Worry not." (posted to r/pics by kekembas17) Read the rest

The work of the world's leading nutrition researchers appears to be riddled with statistical errors

Brian Wansink is one of the most-cited nutrition researchers in the world; 30,000 US schools use his advice to design their lunch programs, drawing on studies he's done that show that kids eat more carrots when they're called "X-ray vision carrots" and that putting out fruit bowls improves eating habits, and that smaller plates reduce portion sizes. Read the rest

Sperm extraction machine yours for $13,000

A Chinese company developed a human sperm extraction machine for use in hospitals and other settings where human sperm may be required on the spot, but where conservative social norms or embarrassment make "while they wait" masturbation a difficult proposition.

The Jiangsu Sanwe Medical Science and Technology Center says their device, which has been sold to clinics in the US, Germany, Russia and France, simulates the temperature and feel of the female sexual organ, and is the most user friendly way of collecting samples for sperm donation or for those needing fertility advice. Jim Drury reports.

Reuters reports about 10,000 of the $13,000 devices are sold annually. The SW-3701 sperm collector's official product page reveals technical parameters, among other things.

It can simulate vaginal environment, through massage, twitching, sucking, vibration, etc., act upon the human penis, which can make semen collection fast and safe. So it is the best clinical equipment of sperm collection.

Premature ejaculation desensitization training

The strong currents impact and rub the glans penis repeatedly in order to reduce the excitability of nerve endings so as to passivate external nerve of glans penis, sulcus coronarius, and the surface of the penis, and regulate the sex nerve center in order to minimize nerve sensitivity, improve ejaculatory threshold to treat premature ejaculation.

4) Technical Parameters 1.Massage frequency: 0-1.5Hz 2.Motion frequency: 0-2.5Hz

Packaging Details

wooden or as you request 2 wooden cases

[Thanks, Liam!] Read the rest

New photo of Earth between Saturn's rings can shift your perspective on our reality

That point of light between Saturn's rings is Earth, captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on April 12. More about the image here at NASA JPL. It reminds me of the last photo taken by the Voyager I spacecraft before engineers shut off its imaging systems. Carl Sagan had persuaded NASA to turn Voyager I’s cameras back toward the sun on Valentine's Day 1990 and take the first ever "portrait of our solar system" from outside of it. Earth is just a speck in that photo too, a "pale blue dot" as Sagan called it. His beautiful words remind me how a single image can alter one's perspective in an instant:

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there...

Read the rest

Scientists ponder the possibility of quantum consciousness

As AI improves, the mystery of consciousness interests more programmers and physicists. Read the rest

Open source interface to connect your brain to your computer

Most of us need a computer interface implanted in our brains like we need a hole in our head. That said, there are benefits to bridging the gap between mind and machine. Joel Murphy is the founder of OpenBCI, an inexpensive, and non-invasive, brain-computer interface (BCI) platform. People have used OpenBCI to control robots, compose music by thinking about it, develop games, and help individuals who are "locked in" and can't control their bodies communicate with the outside world. Mark Frauenfelder and I interviewed Joel about open source, DIY neurotech in this episode of For Future Reference, a new podcast from Institute for the Future:

Please subscribe to For Future Reference: iTunes, RSS, Soundcloud Read the rest

Bill Nye answered years-old Twitter questions, then filmed them

In March, brand-new Twitter account @SciSupport_BN mysteriously answered science questions, many of which had gone unanswered for years. The real fun started when Bill Nye himself filmed the replies. Read the rest

Poor Alabama county is a hotbed of "neglected tropical diseases"

The Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise worked with Houston's National School of Tropical Medicine to sample "soil and water...blood and faecal samples" from Alabama's Lowndes County, a poor rural area. Read the rest

Breathtaking space film on Cassini's final months exploring Saturn

NASA's JPL is counting down the days to the scheduled end of Cassini's mission in September. Erik Wernquist created this awe-inspiring overview of Cassini's final months of existence.

Read the rest

More posts