Category Archives: science

What To Do In the Event of an Atmosphere Nuclear Test by North Korea

Don’t panic. The current range of North Korean missiles sufficient to reach North America, and given the rate of progress they will likely be able to hit almost anywhere in the world by the end of the year. But the … Continue reading

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Viewing a Solar Eclipse the Natural Way

There was a partial eclipse of the sun when I was living in California in the early 90’s, and I noticed that during it the sidewalk was covered with crescent-shaped spots of light. Palm trees were making natural pin-hole cameras: … Continue reading

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Prevention vs Cure

There are people who believe that cancer is largely a preventable disease, and there are people like me. I think cancer prevention is a worthy cause. In my time as a medical physicist I concluded that we were so good … Continue reading

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Some Notes on Failure

“One word characterized the most strenuous of the efforts for the advancement of science that I have made perseveringly during fifty-five years; that word is FAILURE.” — Thomson, Lord Kelvin I think about failure a lot. It’s my default assumption: … Continue reading

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Opinions, Judgements and the Bayesian Revolution

This article on what it means to “have an opinion” is not bad, but it muddles two fundamentally different types of “opinion” and as such fails to get at the root of the problem, and misses important ideas about diversity … Continue reading

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The Mutant Flowers of Fukushima

This picture of deformed flowers near Fukushima is making the rounds today, and I figured it was worth commenting on it. I am physicist who has worked fairly heavily in radiation transport and health physics, as well as genomics. It’s … Continue reading

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Narrative Predictions

The human brain is a machine for leaping to conclusions in a single bound. Activists and political agitators of every stripe use this to promote their nonsense by putting together narratives that appeal to our conclusion-jumping reflex. “Chemicals” are frequently … Continue reading

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The Word vs The World

I’ve made the mistake of arguing with scripturalists recently, and while this won’t convince them of anything it’ll reduce my motivation to engage with them in future because there’ll be no point in just repeating what I’ve said here, which … Continue reading

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A Closed-Form Argument about Climate Change

I’ve been a critic of over-sold climate models for many years now. I am a computational physicist, and therefore–unlike climate scientists–am professionally qualified to judge the predictive quality of climate models. I mention this because apparently many people think it … Continue reading

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More on Orbital Integration

My previous post on orbital motion and climate change climbed pretty far up on Hacker News, much to my surprise–I didn’t submit it there, so to whoever, did: thanks. There were a number of useful comments, mostly along the lines … Continue reading

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