Category Archives: Science

How This Clinical Trial Went Terribly Wrong

As a lifelong asthma sufferer, I’ve always had alerts set up at ClinicalTrials.gov, a central clearinghouse for clinical trials. If a clinical trial for a new experimental drug came up in my area, I wanted to be notified so I … Continue reading

Posted in Cool Stuff, Health, Science | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Do Anecdotes Have A Place In Science?

What’s covered in this blog: Anecdotes are not evidence. Anecdotes are valuable to the scientific process, but they are not conclusions. The number of anecdotes does not matter. They can, at most, serve as a basis for forming a hypothesis … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Pseudoscience, Science | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Nut Allergies In Schools: Epidemic or Hysteria?

With kids in the United States going back to school, parents are finding an increasing move towards “nut-free” foods in the public school system, as schools strive to eliminate peanuts and tree nuts from snacks and lunches. Many schools proudly state that they are … Continue reading

Posted in Science, Urban Legends | Tagged , , | 27 Comments

How do you make an atomically sharp needle?

Back in the late 1980s, my friend Dan was a student at University of California, Santa Barbara and an employee of Digital Instruments, one of the very first companies to sell a practical commercial Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM), the Nanoscope … Continue reading

Posted in Cool Stuff, Science | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Organic Ghost Detector

Organic food labeling is marketing, not science. Organic marketers utilize any bit of data that can be spun to promote a significant difference, producing a constant drone of nonsense. This week an article in Science World Report tops my nonsense list for organic agriculture promotion. The article … Continue reading

Posted in Consumer Ripoffs, Science | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

In Which I Admit Defeat in Being Beaten to Filming Death Valley’s Moving Rocks

First of all, my congratulations to Richard D. Norris, James M. Norris, Ralph D. Lorenz, Jib Ray, and Brian Jackson for their publication in PLOS ONE of Sliding Rocks on Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park: First Observation of Rocks in … Continue reading

Posted in Cool Stuff, Nature, Science | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

What The FDA Doesn’t Want You To Know

Conspiracy theorists and cranks, such as Mike Adams or Dr. Joseph Mercola, like to say that the Food and Drug Administration is keeping the truth from you. Like all good lies there is a grain of truth to that statement. Experimental research is submitted … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Medicine, Conspiracy Theories, Health, Science | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

It’s Quantum Mechanics… Or Something

Scientists get things wrong very often. I, for one, am thankful they do. Being wrong is an opportunity to learn new and interesting things about the world. Or it might simply mean we need to do more work in order to see … Continue reading

Posted in Cool Stuff, Education, Energy, Science | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

The Loss of Vitamin C: One More Proof for Evolution

Evolution never ceases to amaze me. It’s one of those scientific facts that has been proven correct over and over. I didn’t know however what to expect when one of my favorite podcasts, Irreligiosophy, tackled “5 Evidences for Evolution.” Apart from … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

IMO: Breaking the Laws of Physics

This new technology breaks the laws of physics! That, or something similar, is such a common refrain in both popular culture and in fiction. There seems to be something secretly delightful in knocking down such an arrogant target as a … Continue reading

Posted in Science, Uncategorized | 6 Comments