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Archive for the ‘Science & Space’ Category

34% of American College Grads Stupid

A Newsweek poll reports that 34% of college graduates surveyed believe that “the Biblical account of creation” is a fact.

Other poll results:

On Religion:

  • 48% of Americans surveyed reject the theory of evolution.
  • 73% of Evangelical Protestants believe that God created humans less than 10,000 years ago. 39% of non-Evangelicals and 41% of Catholics agree.
  • 10% of Americans have “no religion”, but only 6% don’t believe in any god at all. 3% admit to being atheist.
  • 62% of voters wouldn’t vote for an atheist candidate (so much for there not being a religious test for candidates).
  • 32% of respondents believe that organized religion plays too large a role in politics. 31% disagree so it’s pretty much split.

If the survey is accurate on a larger scale, if it is representative of all Americans, the evolution statistic is pretty discouraging.

On Bush and Iraq:

  • 57% of respondents support the Democrat’s plan of setting a “goal” for withdrawal of troops in the recently passed supplemental spending bills.
  • President Bush’s approval on Iraq is at 28%. His overall approval rating is at 33%.
  • 66% of respondents are “dissatisfied” with the direction in which our country is headed.

Poll finds 90% believe in God – Newsweek Beliefs – MSNBC.com

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Written by Jeff

Saturday, March 31, 2007 at 5:03 pm

Underwear snobbery, Gore v. Lohan, and a big rock hits Norway

Al Gore tickles Jay Leno’s funny bone.

“It’s not all fun,” Gore remarked. “For instance, I have this huge thing with Lindsay Lohan now. When Leno asked how the feud started, Gore responded, “she knows what she did.”

The Raw Story | Gore: Lindsay Lohan ‘knows what she did’

A record-setting meteorite slammed into Norway on Wednesday. It’s presumed to be the largest to hit Norway at “considerably larger” than 198 lbs.

As Wednesday morning dawned, northern Norway was hit with an impact comparable to the atomic bomb used on Hiroshima.

At around 2:05 a.m. on Wednesday, residents of the northern part of Troms and the western areas of Finnmark could clearly see a ball of fire taking several seconds to travel across the sky.

A few minutes later an impact could be heard and geophysics and seismology research foundation NORSAR registered a powerful sound and seismic disturbances at 02:13.25 a.m. at their station in Karasjok.

Record meteorite hit Norway – Aftenposten.no

And Slate has posted “an underpants manifesto”.

It’s come to my attention that there are some men out there—even a few friends of mine—who’ve not yet switched to boxer briefs. These are otherwise intelligent fellows who, either through ignorance or recalcitrance, begin each day by pulling on (shudder) traditional boxers or (double-shudder) briefs. I feel great pity for these men. Because the irrefutable truth is that boxer briefs—a knit, mid-thigh-length compromise between boxer and brief—are the ultimate male netherwear. The sooner you accept this, the happier your crotch will be.

In praise of boxer briefs. By Seth Stevenson

Written by Jeff

Friday, June 9, 2006 at 4:58 pm

Vatican scientist: Creationism "a kind of paganism"

Scotsman.com News – International – Creationism dismissed as ‘a kind of paganism’ by Vatican’s astronomer

BELIEVING that God created the universe in six days is a form of superstitious paganism, the Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno claimed yesterday.

Brother Consolmagno said a “destructive myth” had developed in modern society that religion and science were competing ideologies.

He described creationism, whose supporters want it taught in schools alongside evolution, as a “kind of paganism” because it harked back to the days of “nature gods” who were responsible for natural events.

Written by Jeff

Sunday, May 7, 2006 at 3:58 pm

A comet falls apart and RI plans massive wireless network

TIME.com: Eye on Science – Science Blog Archives – Death of a Comet

73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 was first discovered in 1930, then lost and rediscovered in 1979. In 1995, it started to fragment, and now it’s in at least 33 major pieces, and still disintegrating.

Reuters: Rhode Island embarks on statewide wireless network

America’s smallest state is seeking to become its first to offer a wireless broadband network from border to border.

Backers of Rhode Island’s $20 million project say it would improve services and make the state a testing ground for new business technologies.

Written by Jeff

Friday, April 28, 2006 at 4:25 pm

Free roaming quarks

New Scientist SPACE – Breaking News – ‘Starquake’ explosion rips neutron star open

Astronomers have measured the thickness of the crust of a neutron star for the first time. The technique, which involves studying how the dense stellar corpse reverberates during a “starquake”, may one day reveal the nature of the exotic matter thought to lie at the star’s core.

“We think this explosion, the biggest of its kind ever observed, really jolted the star and literally started it ringing like a bell,” says Strohmayer. “The vibrations created in the explosion, although faint, provide very specific clues about what makes up these bizarre objects.”

Written by Jeff

Thursday, April 27, 2006 at 10:56 am

Posted in Links, Science & Space

Big, meat-eating dinosaurs

In 2000, scientists in Argentina found the fossils of several large, carnivorous dinosaurs. ABC News is running an AP story about a new article about it in the scientific journal Geodiversitas.

big dinosaur head

The discovery of Mapusaurus included bones from at least seven to nine of the beasts, suggesting the previously unknown animal may have lived and hunted in groups. That hunting strategy might have allowed it to attack even bigger beasts, huge plant-eating dinosaurs.

ABC News: Details Revealed About Huge Dinosaurs

Also: USATODAY.com – Huge meat-eating dinosaurs roamed in groups in Argentina, scientists say

Written by Jeff

Monday, April 17, 2006 at 6:04 pm

Posted in Science & Space

‘Quantum computer works best switched off’

How very fascinating:

Even for the crazy world of quantum mechanics, this one is twisted. A quantum computer program has produced an answer without actually running.

The idea behind the feat, first proposed in 1998, is to put a quantum computer into a “superposition”, a state in which it is both running and not running. It is as if you asked Schrödinger’s cat to hit “Run”.

Quantum computer works best switched off | New Scientist

Written by Jeff

Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 1:24 am