The sound an atom makes

The ancients believed that the planets and stars were on crystalline spheres, whose turning created harmonics equivalent to our musical notes.  Hence, “the music of the spheres,” signifying the aesthetic order of the cosmos.   We don’t have that cosmology anymore, but we do have quantum physics.  Scientists have isolated the vibration and thus sound of a single atom.  It is the musical note, D. [Read more...]

What a comet looks like, up close

The European Space Agency spacecraft Rosetta has rendezvoused with Comet 67P, with plans to send a smaller craft to land on it November 11.  The project was launched back in 2004.  The comet is about 3×5 kilometers across (1.86×3 miles).  Go here for more information.  After the jump, photographs from the probe, showing what a comet looks like up close. [Read more...]

Cat places vs. dog places

Some people, it is said, are cat people and others are dog people.  The same can be said of states and countries.  Some have more cats and some have more dogs.  After the jump, a discussion of the phenomenon and a link to some maps that show the cat places and the dog places.  What does this preference in pets tell us about these different cultures and subcultures? [Read more...]

Dodging a solar bullet

Two years ago, the sun blasted out two clouds of plasma.  If this had happened one week earlier, they would have hit the earth, knocking out our power grid and doing so much damage that we would still be trying to repair it. [Read more...]

The missing light crisis

We blogged about how new evidence is casting doubt on the existence of the universe.  Scientists have also discovered a massive discrepancy between the amount of light that we can detect and the amount of light produced by galaxies and quasars.  The two are off by a factor of some 400%.   Put another way, 80% of the light in the universe is missing.  This is being called the “missing light crisis.” [Read more...]

Accounting for the “pause” in global warming

Scientists admit that there has been no global warming between 1998 and 2013, even though the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has continued to increase.  A new study claims to account for this so-called “pause” in global warming.  It turns out, there are “natural fluctuations” in the climate.  Who knew?

The scientists claim that a little cooling blip has cooled things off in the last decade or so, but that the global warming will soon resume.  Read about the findings after the jump.

But doesn’t this research miss the point?  Does invoking “natural fluctuation” really give us a cause?  What causes the fluctuations, and if they are “natural,” might they account for other temperature phenomena, including those blamed on human agency?  More fundamentally, if greenhouse gasses can increase without making the temperature of the earth go up, doesn’t that suggest that there may be problems with the assumptions behind the computer modeling that give us the dire global warming forecasts? [Read more...]


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