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February 16, 2009

00:49
Satellite Smash! at Astroblog

The worst fears of the satellite community have been realised. Two satellites, Kosmos 2251 and Iridium 33 crashed into each other approximately 800 km over northern Siberia. How this happened is unclear as the orbits of these satellites were pretty well known,

Kablam! Satellite collision math, and a correction at Bad Astronomy Blog : OK, so last night I posted about satellites that collided in orbit. I mentioned that the energy created in the collision was about the same as detonating a ton of TNT. I got asked how I did that math. That’s no problem (well, a little one), but a bigger

Ringworld at Astroblog : Ringworld: Earth is ringed by around 6000 satellites, of which only 800 are operational. Image from ESA.In the light of the great satellite smash, I though it would be interesting to direct you to the European Space Agencies article on Space Debris. Lots of

Texas fireball: what’s known so far at Bad Astronomy Blog : So my blog post from earlier about the Texas fireball is now a bit of a mess from all the updates, so I thought I’d post a cleaner version of what’s going on now.1) A tremendous fireball — also called a bolide, or a very bright meteor —

00:00
Spatially carnivalistic, #90 at Bad Astronomy Blog

This week Carnival o’ Space is at 21st Century Waves, and wouldn’t you know, it has a Valentine’s theme! I cardioid it.

Carnival of Space #90 is here. at Astroblog : Carnival of Space #90 is now up at 21st Century Waves. It's the Valentine's Day edition, so go give it some love. Oh, and there are tales of Pluto, alien civilizations, lakes on Titan and lots, lots more.

February 15, 2009

17:59
AAAS: Happy Days are Here Again at Nature Newsblog

Last year, we sent two people to cover the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This year, we're going back with three, so you can count on us covering a broader diversity of topics than the year before. This year's theme

Burning rainforests, melting tundra could accelate global warming well beyond current projections at Mongabay.com news : Projections by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) likely underestimate the scale and rapidity of climate change, warned a Stanford University scientist presenting Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement

Pricing emissions from farming, logging could shift land use towards conservation at Mongabay.com news : Putting a price tag on carbon dioxide emissions resulting from various land use practices could dramatically change the way that land is used, including reducing deforestation and limiting agricultural expansion on carbon-rich lands, said a researcher presenting

80% of agricultural expansion since 1980 came at expense of forests at Mongabay.com news : More than half of cropland expansion between 1980 and 2000 occurred at the expense of natural forests, while another 30 percent of occurred in disturbed forests, reported a Stanford University researcher presenting Saturday at the annual meeting of the American

Science gleans 60TB of behavior data from Everquest 2 logs at Nobel Intent : Researchers ranging from psychologists to epidemiologists have wondered for some time whether online, multiplayer games might provide some ways to test concepts that are otherwise difficult to track in the real world. A Saturday morning session at the meeting

War on Science at Muck and Mystery : By the Democrats, of course, who are the most avid warriors and always have been. [C]onsider the reaction of the scientific community to Al Gores invited speech at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) last week (a video can be found

AAAS: US visa woes at Nature Newsblog : Posted on behalf of Karen KaplanA terrific session about global partnerships that's part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual meeting this week fell a bit afoul of US visa regulations this morning. The panel presentation, "New

Happy Darwin Day at decorabilia : Seems pretty appropriate that on the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth, scientists have released a sequence of the Neanderthal genome.Early glimpses of the genome, which was sequenced by Svante Pbo, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Ars returns to the AAAS meeting at Nobel Intent : Last year, we sent two people to cover the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This year, we're going back with three, so you can count on us covering a broader diversity of topics than the year before. This year's theme

17:47
New free computational geometry journal? at Ernie's 3D Pancakes

Joachim Gudmundsson and Pat Morin are discussing the possibility of establishing a new open access computational geometry journal, which would be completely free to both readers and authors. So far, there are three relevant posts at Joachim's blog:The initial

Joachim's poll on free computational geometry journals at 0xDE : After these two earlier posts on the possibility of starting a free online computational geometry journal, Joachim Gudmundsson's latest blog entry contains a poll for the community on whether this is a good idea. If this is something that would affect you,

A new open access CG journal at The Geomblog : The last few years has seen many attempts by researchers to break free from the shackles of (commercial) journal publishers. There's the whole-sale exodus that produced the ACM Transactions on Algorithms, as well as other journals, and technology aided creation

15:15
Ancestral quanta predicts phentoype? at Gene Expression

ScienceDaily has a report on a presentation Mark Shriver gave at AAAS meething this year:"We started with 22 landmarks on the faces that could be accurately located in all the images," said Shriver.These landmarks might be the tip of the nose, the tip of the

Facial anthropometry correlates with admixture proportions in African Americans at Dienekes' Anthropology Blog : If you doubt that facial measurements can be used to determine racial makeup, feel free to use my old black-or-white calculator, which determines the chance that a given individual is Caucasoid or Negroid - rather than admixture proportions as in this study.

14:48
My picks from ScienceDaily at A Blog Around The Clock

High-tech Tests Allow Anthropologists To Track Ancient Hominids Across The Landscape:Dazzling new scientific techniques are allowing archaeologists to track the movements and menus of extinct hominids through the seasons and years as they ate their way across

Renowned climatologist says mass media screwing up global warming reporting at Mongabay.com news : Stanford scientist and climate-specialist Stephen Schneider has called out media organizations for the quality of their reporting on climate change and other scientific issues. "Business managers of media organizations, he said, you are screwing up your responsibility

14:32
Tommaso at A Quantum Diaries Survivor

Last Friday at the KITP there was a celebration of Stanley Mandelstam’s 80th birthday, with talks available here, and some messages from other physicists here. Geoffrey Chew recalls how Berkeley hired Mandelstam away from Columbia, where no one was very

Too Many Topics at Not Even Wrong : Last Friday at the KITP there was a celebration of Stanley Mandelstam’s 80th birthday, with talks available here, and some messages from other physicists here. Geoffrey Chew recalls how Berkeley hired Mandelstam away from Columbia, where no one was very

13:40
Ancient Sponges May Help Humans Survive at Al Fin

Researchers led by Moeller, of Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, found a sponge thriving in the midst of dead organisms. This anomalous life amidst death raised an obvious question, says Moeller: How is this thing surviving when everything else is dead?Chemical

Sea Sponge Extract Conquers Resistant Bacteria at Slashdot: Science : Science News has an article on research into a compound found in a particular kind of sea sponge that seems to have the ability to restore antibiotics' effectiveness against resistant bacteria. The hope is that, since the compound is not itself deadly or even

12:38
AAAS: Happy Days are Here Again at Nature Newsblog

Last year, we sent two people to cover the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This year, we're going back with three, so you can count on us covering a broader diversity of topics than the year before. This year's theme

80% of agricultural expansion since 1980 came at expense of forests at Mongabay.com news : More than half of cropland expansion between 1980 and 2000 occurred at the expense of natural forests, while another 30 percent of occurred in disturbed forests, reported a Stanford University researcher presenting Saturday at the annual meeting of the American

AAAS: US visa woes at Nature Newsblog : Posted on behalf of Karen KaplanA terrific session about global partnerships that's part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual meeting this week fell a bit afoul of US visa regulations this morning. The panel presentation, "New

Happy Darwin Day at decorabilia : Seems pretty appropriate that on the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth, scientists have released a sequence of the Neanderthal genome.Early glimpses of the genome, which was sequenced by Svante Pbo, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Ars returns to the AAAS meeting at Nobel Intent : Last year, we sent two people to cover the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This year, we're going back with three, so you can count on us covering a broader diversity of topics than the year before. This year's theme

11:58
The Giants' Shoulders # 8 is up! at A Blog Around The Clock

You can find it on Greg Laden's blog. Lots of great history of science blogging for the long weekend.Read the comments on this post...

Come enjoy the view from The Giants Shoulders at Neural Gourmet - Feed Your Brain : The eighth edition of the monthly science history blog carnival The Giants’ Shoulders is now available at Greg Laden’s Blog. There’s something for everyone here from Evolution’s Influence On Pulp Fiction to why Everybody Hates Francis

09:51
Are scientists making "misleading climate change claims"? at The Island of Doubt

Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the Met Office Hadley Centre, says scientists should be careful not to exaggerate the evidence for climate change:The reality is that extreme events arise when natural variations in the weather and climate combine

Pot, meet kettle at James' Empty Blog : Stoat got there first (he's probably not got any ume to photograph), but being a muesli-munching lefty I also saw this interesting rant by Vicky Pope in the Grauniad:Climate change scientists must rein in misleading extreme weather claimsIt seems like she's

Runaway climate change? at Stoat : Wiki has an article on the subject, created by over enthusiastic folk. I tried to kill the witch on the grounds that it had no good definition; alas that didn't fly. My best effort at a defn that fitted reality was this but it didn't last. The wiki article

'Apocalyptic climate predictions' mislead the public, say experts at Stoat : I was going to rant about Lord "I know what you should hear" Ahmed but that's just the religious suppressing freedom of speech, which is hardly news.But then along comes a much more interesting rant, from Vicky Pope, about the good old Arctic sea ice. 'Apocalyptic

09:51
Are scientists making "misleading climate change claims"? at The Island of Doubt

Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the Met Office Hadley Centre, says scientists should be careful not to exaggerate the evidence for climate change:The reality is that extreme events arise when natural variations in the weather and climate combine

Pot, meet kettle at James' Empty Blog : Stoat got there first (he's probably not got any ume to photograph), but being a muesli-munching lefty I also saw this interesting rant by Vicky Pope in the Grauniad:Climate change scientists must rein in misleading extreme weather claimsIt seems like she's

'Apocalyptic climate predictions' mislead the public, say experts at Stoat : I was going to rant about Lord "I know what you should hear" Ahmed but that's just the religious suppressing freedom of speech, which is hardly news.But then along comes a much more interesting rant, from Vicky Pope, about the good old Arctic sea ice. 'Apocalyptic

08:08
Bioclipse 2.0-beta2 released at BioclipseBlog

Ola has released the second beta for Bioclipse 2.0. Things are getting along, and I will not go into details on the molecules table Arvid is working on, the 1GB+ SD file support, the validating CML editor, the support for XMPP services, or the brand new welcome

Bioclipse for CDK Developers #1 at chem-bla-ics : Ola has released the second beta for Bioclipse 2.0. Things are getting along, and I will not go into details on the molecules table Arvid is working on, the 1GB+ SD file support, the validating CML editor, the support for XMPP services, or the brand new welcome

04:44
Something We Don't Know? at A Babe In the Universe

Happy Valentine's Day!I'm a long way from home and don't really have anyone round here to Valentine so I'm taking the liberty of asking you all to be my Valentine today. Cause, really, I'm a lover, not a fighter. Really.I did make some calls home to check in

Like You Don't Know My Name at Bitch. Ph.D. : Happy Valentine's Day!I'm a long way from home and don't really have anyone round here to Valentine so I'm taking the liberty of asking you all to be my Valentine today. Cause, really, I'm a lover, not a fighter. Really.I did make some calls home to check in

02:56
The six secrets of squid sex at A Blog Around The Clock

w00t! Miriam Goldstein had a piece published in Slate! The real references to that piece arehere.Read the comments on this post...

Squid Sex at Slate at The Other 95% : Tentacular "high fives" are in order for Miriam Goldstein of the Oyster's Garter! Besides being one of our favorite invert bloggers and shanty singers, she is now a Slate author. On Friday Slate posted a brilliant article by Miriam in their XX Factor section

February 14, 2009

15:19
CALL TO ACTION: Ask your Representative to oppose the H.R. 801 - The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act at A Blog Around The Clock

From The Alliance for Taxpayer Access: CALL TO ACTION: Ask your Representative to oppose the H.R. 801 - The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act February 11, 2009Last week, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (Rep. John Conyers, D-MI) re-introduced

Comments on the Conyers bill #3 at Open Access News : Here are some more comments from the press and blogosphere on the re-introduction of the Conyers bill (a.k.a. Fair Copyright in Research Works Act, HR 801), which would overturn the OA policy at the NIH.  Also see our past collections (1, 2).From The Bioinformationista:For

Congress to repeal open access science provisions? at John Hawks Anthropology Weblog : Putting science back in its proper place, Congress has taken up a bill to eliminate the requirement that publicly-funded research be freely accessible by the public. Open access watchdog Peter Suber writes:The Fair Copyright Act ... would repeal the OA policy

New Bill Would Repeal NIH Open Access Policy at Slashdot: Science : pigah writes "The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act has been reintroduced into Congress. The bill will ban open access policies in federal agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These policies require scientists to provide public access

Podcast interview with Stevan Harnad at Open Access News : Stephen Michael Kellat, Interview on Open Access with Dr. Stevan Harnad, February 13, 2009. Abstract: In light of the recent Conyers bill that would remove the NIH mandate on Open Access, LISTen (LISNews.org) talked to Dr. Harnad about Open Access so that librarians

Breast Cancer Network of Strength joins the ATA at Open Access News : The Breast Cancer Network of Strength has joined the Alliance for Taxpayer Access.PS:  If you appreciated the ATA's recent call to action to save the NIH policy and oppose the Conyers bill, think about having your organizing join as well.

Heather Joseph on the Conyers bill at Open Access News : Elie Dolgin, Heather Joseph: Q&A, The Scientist, February 9, 2009.  Heather Joseph is the executive director of SPARC, and one of the four witnesses testifying at last September's hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on the NIH policy and the

Publisher views of the Conyers bill at the AAP/PSP meeting at Open Access News : Jennifer Howard, At Publishers' Conference, the Digital Future Is (Almost) Now, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 9, 2009 (accessible only to subscribers).  Excerpt: The people who gathered here last week for the Association of American Publishers

Leahy Endorses "Truth Commission" at Dispatches from the Culture Wars : Pat Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a speech at Georgetown that he favors the formation of a Truth Commission to investigate possible war crimes by the Bush administration:In a speech at Georgetown University, Leahy suggested the

Americans: Contact your Representative at Open Access News : The Alliance for Taxpayer Access has issued a call to action to defend the NIH policy against the Conyers bill.  Excerpt: Last week, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (Rep. John Conyers, D-MI) re-introduced a bill that would reverse the NIH

Comments on the Conyers bill #2 at Open Access News : Here are some more comments from the press and blogosphere on the re-introduction of the Conyers bill (a.k.a. Fair Copyright in Research Works Act, HR 801), which would overturn the OA policy at the NIH.  Also see our first collection of comments.From

14:58
Designer babies at Information Processing

At its simplest, fertility medicine is about helping couples have children. But, as the old phrase “test-tube baby” suggests, the field is full of possibilities for sliding into ethical gray zones. This week brings a few reminders of that fact.A

The era of designer babies. We're there? at SciGuy : Pretty much. Here's more from The Wall Street Journal: A Los Angeles clinic says it will soon help couples select both gender and physical traits in a baby when they undergo a form of fertility treatment. The clinic, Fertility Institutes,...

The Fringes of Fertility Medicine: From Octuplets to Designer Babies at WSJ.com: Health Blog : At its simplest, fertility medicine is about helping couples have children. But, as the old phrase “test-tube baby” suggests, the field is full of possibilities for sliding into ethical gray zones. This week brings a few reminders of that fact.A

13:23
Louisiana boycotts science; scientists boycott Louisiana at Pharyngula

One of my favorite meetings is the annual Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meetings. One of my favorite cities to visit is New Orleans, Louisiana. The two pleasures will not be coinciding at any time in the near future because of the ineptitude

Press Release: SCIB Boycotts Louisiana at The Panda's Thumb : FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / LA Coalition for Science / http://lasciencecoalition.orgNational Scientific Society to Boycott Louisiana over LA Science Education ActBaton Rouge, LA, February 13, 2009 The first tangible results of the Louisiana legislatures passage

13:18
CALL TO ACTION: Ask your Representative to oppose the H.R. 801 - The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act at A Blog Around The Clock

From The Alliance for Taxpayer Access: CALL TO ACTION: Ask your Representative to oppose the H.R. 801 - The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act February 11, 2009Last week, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (Rep. John Conyers, D-MI) re-introduced

Congress to repeal open access science provisions? at John Hawks Anthropology Weblog : Putting science back in its proper place, Congress has taken up a bill to eliminate the requirement that publicly-funded research be freely accessible by the public. Open access watchdog Peter Suber writes:The Fair Copyright Act ... would repeal the OA policy

New Bill Would Repeal NIH Open Access Policy at Slashdot: Science : pigah writes "The Fair Copyright in Research Works Act has been reintroduced into Congress. The bill will ban open access policies in federal agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These policies require scientists to provide public access

Podcast interview with Stevan Harnad at Open Access News : Stephen Michael Kellat, Interview on Open Access with Dr. Stevan Harnad, February 13, 2009. Abstract: In light of the recent Conyers bill that would remove the NIH mandate on Open Access, LISTen (LISNews.org) talked to Dr. Harnad about Open Access so that librarians

More honors for Ray English at Open Access News : Ray English has won the 2009 Hugh C. Atkinson Award from the American Library Association.  See the ALA press release or the press release from Oberlin College, where Ray is the Director of Libraries.  From the latter:Ray English, the Azariah Smith

Breast Cancer Network of Strength joins the ATA at Open Access News : The Breast Cancer Network of Strength has joined the Alliance for Taxpayer Access.PS:  If you appreciated the ATA's recent call to action to save the NIH policy and oppose the Conyers bill, think about having your organizing join as well.

Heather Joseph on the Conyers bill at Open Access News : Elie Dolgin, Heather Joseph: Q&A, The Scientist, February 9, 2009.  Heather Joseph is the executive director of SPARC, and one of the four witnesses testifying at last September's hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on the NIH policy and the

Publisher views of the Conyers bill at the AAP/PSP meeting at Open Access News : Jennifer Howard, At Publishers' Conference, the Digital Future Is (Almost) Now, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 9, 2009 (accessible only to subscribers).  Excerpt: The people who gathered here last week for the Association of American Publishers

Leahy Endorses "Truth Commission" at Dispatches from the Culture Wars : Pat Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a speech at Georgetown that he favors the formation of a Truth Commission to investigate possible war crimes by the Bush administration:In a speech at Georgetown University, Leahy suggested the

Americans: Contact your Representative at Open Access News : The Alliance for Taxpayer Access has issued a call to action to defend the NIH policy against the Conyers bill.  Excerpt: Last week, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (Rep. John Conyers, D-MI) re-introduced a bill that would reverse the NIH

Comments on the Conyers bill #2 at Open Access News : Here are some more comments from the press and blogosphere on the re-introduction of the Conyers bill (a.k.a. Fair Copyright in Research Works Act, HR 801), which would overturn the OA policy at the NIH.  Also see our first collection of comments.From

Ah, that Conyers bill again! at A Blog Around The Clock : The Conyers bill (a.k.a. Fair Copyright in Research Works Act, HR 801), is back. Despite all the debunking it got last time around, and despite the country having more important problems to deal with right now, this regressive bill, completely unchanged word-for-word,

11:12
Twitter Updates for 2009-02-14 at Synthesis

I hope you don’t have an EPOCH FAIL today! http://xkcd.com/376/ re: http://ff.im/12U0Y #Liked “It works. I put “resisting salty snack chips” into http://gopproblemsolver.com/ “The solution to your…” http://ff.im/12U5B

Selection of My Twitter Favorites, Edition 40 at Clinical Cases and Images - Blog : Twitter is a microblogging service where people answer the question "What are you doing?" via 140-character messages from their cellphone, laptop or desktop. You can select the messages (called "tweets") that you find useful, amusing, or both. Here is the 40h