We went to the Moon

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

Here’s a nice article from the Smithsonian about what led to the US landing on the Moon 50 years ago. It points out that when JFK gave his speech about going to the Moon NASA didn’t have the knowledge or equipment to do it at that point, and many people at the time didn’t want […]

A type of bird that went extinct evolved again

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

A bird called a white-throated rail went extinct 136 000 years ago but then evolved again, in a process called iterative evolution. The same conditions appeared again and the same evolution happened again. What were those conditions? The birds settled on an island with no natural predators, and they became flightless. From the Independent: Bird […]

Global warming explained clearly

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

In case you know any deniers you’re having trouble convincing, here’s an explanation of global warming from Ethan Siegel on Forbes: The Simplest Explanation Of Global Warming Ever

What your ancestors looked like and did

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

This tale with drawings by Tim Urban starts with your most recent ancestors and goes back in time. It describes what your great grandfather might have been doing in the 1800s, and what your great500 grandfather might have been doing in 11 000 BC. Going further back to before there were humans, you get to […]

Omni (Winter 2017)

Posted by Dave Switzer under My thoughts

{5/5} “From brutal genocides, to generations of slavery, to famines, the tragedies endured by our ancestors may linger in our bodies and influence the outcome of our lives. Now scientists are saying that this kind of trauma can alter expression of our genes — including those that cause cancer and control stress in the brain.” […]

Information is Beautiful

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

I first came cross this site of infographics via this astonishing timeline, in which we can see when Chernobyl is finally safe, when glass has decomposed, and when men have gone extinct: Timeline of the Far Future According to the site it’s “dedicated to helping you make clearer, more informed decisions about the world.” Here’s […]

A warning to humanity

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

More than 15 000 scientists from 184 countries have signed a document issuing a warning to humanity about the environment. Included are points about a decline in freshwater, dwindling biodiversity, and population growth. Here’s how CBC covered the story: More than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries issue ‘warning to humanity’ We’ve seen before with CFCs […]

Cutting through confirmation bias

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

Here’s a short but informative video about how people don’t necessarily respond to facts. But if you take into account where they’re coming from, you might be able to persuade them. Tali Sharot, neuroscientist, on Big Think uses the examples of climate change and vaccines: Facts Don’t Win Fights: Here’s How to Cut Through Confirmation […]

New species of orangutan discovered

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

A population of orangutans has been studied and determined to be a distinct species, Tapanuli orangutans. They live on the island of Sumatra, which is part of Indonesia. Unfortunately there are less than 800 of them, which makes them endangered. Here’s the story from CTV News: Scientists discover new orangutan species in Sumatra Hopefully the […]

Things keep getting discovered

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

I feel like I’ve been paying too much attention to Donald Trump and not enough attention to other things. There have been a lot of incredible discoveries in the past year. This list of 25 is from the YouTube channel called “list25”: 25 Most SHOCKING Discoveries In The Last Year