|The science & technology page|
|April 02, 2006 - The last couple of weeks I have
been somewhat unfaithful - yet again - to my regulars over here at wimdows.nl.
Be assured it was for a good cause. I have been very busy keeping a blog
on science - still am actually!
Unfortunately for my readers from abroad, its entirely in Dutch. And, although it has me being very prolific at writing, it has kept me from working on this site. I'm hoping for my attention to swing back a bit in the future, and I do hope I do not find you gone by the time I do so.
Then again: the pictures just keep on coming! So, I'm hoping you will do so too!
February 21, 2006 - In the - and sadly so - continuing story of the intellectual mess that is intelligent design, the messengers of this mental christian dog crap have resorted to the tested scientific method of the petition. For, in the history of science, is there an end to the number of debats that have been resolved in this fashion?
It's an initiative by christian fundamentalist propaganda machine the
It's also a try at a fallacy of the '5,000,000 Elvis fans can't be wrong'
variety, and thereby a pathetic try at an argument
from authority ánd an appeal
to the people at the same time.
So, as was to be expected, as of yet there does not seem to be much support
for the petition. So far only around 500 PhD's have signed up to it. (Mostly
American and not always from relevant areas of expertise.)
Of course the crypto-creationists at the Discovery Institute are smart
enough to realise that in the real arena of scientific debate their beloved
arguments have been taken to shreds already. So they go for a rematch
in the public space via the hearts and minds of taxpaying, kids-to-school-sending
Joe Public out there. It's easier manipulating the soundbite audience
than it is reality. Especially if you start the mindfuck a young age,
that is. It's truth as a social construct in it's ultimate consequence
- the Orwellian method for knowledge gathering, if you like.
February 09, 2006 - The news
that H5N1 has reached Africa strikes me as somewhat worrying. Maybe I'm
guilty of reflexive-xenofobic anti-Africanism here, but I'm guessing that
in Africa's Darwinian pressure cooker all sorts of interesting stuff could
happen to the virus. What kind of bubonic birdy blood-cancer would result
from a lusty
liaison between H5N1 and, say, ebola or HIV, I can't help but wonder.
As far as I know, DNA recombination is most likely to happen between viruses
of the same family - which the ones mentioned are not
(they respectively belong to the orthomyxo-, filo- and retrovirus families).
Still, it would be nice if someone could please calculate the odds at
this happening? Given, that is, the renowened African efficiency with
which this problem undoubtedly will be dealt with.
|December 01, 2005 - You might remember the Gulf Stream that gives us, here in Western Europa, our relatively mild (sea) climate? Well, according to New Scientist, we might have to learn to do without it shortly. As feared and predicted by the people in the know, the flow of warm water from the Tropics towards Europe is slowing down, and it appears the whole conveyer belt system could be heading towards a complete stop. That will most surely put an end to global warming summers and ditto winters in these parts of the world. Youre Christmasses will be a hell of a lot whiter than before. Hope you don't mind the glacier in your backyard, though.|
|November 16, 2005 - Earlier I brought you links to
websites that enabled you to keep an eye on earthquakes
and tropical storms. This
time you can add volcanoes.
In case you are wondering about the chances of walking into some pyroclastical
activity near your place of work or residence, or at your holiday destination.
Those among you who don't want to miss out on any of the mainstream doom scenario's, should pay a visit to Exit Mundi, the website that lists all the options neatly - and thank be to the gods, tongue-in-cheekishly.
November 03, 2005 - So busy doing this and that, I nearly forgot
to inform you about the new BBC-documentary that started last monday,
of Doubt. It's a three part series on the history of atheism,
or rather, disbelief, presented by Jonathan Miller. Try catch part two
Don't forget to check out the poll on the series website; it's on the right. If you want to listen to interviews from the series, you can go here.
|October 22, 2005 - Earlier I linked you to the best
place for keeping an eye on your earthquakes and tremors. Along similar
lines, here's a website that
let's you track your hurricanes and the like.
If any answers are blowing in the wind at all, chances are you will find them here.
October 10, 2005 - Entry in the category 'just too good to be true': ogling tits 'n' ass is not beneficial to your health. No indications to the contrary either then, I guess.
|October 10, 2005 - A bit unnerved by yet another natural disaster? You feel this sudden urge to stay current with those plowing plates? Go and have a peak over at IRIS, the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology. All your latest earthquakes and eruptions neatly displayed.|
|October 01, 2005 - For years I had been wrestling
with a problem of expansion: if the universe expands with nearly the speed
of light, how come we don't notice this happening right here and now?
This months New Scientist has the answer. It's all a matter of coherence, it turns out.
|July 31, 2005 - Easy to miss, nevertheless a possible empirical underpinning of string theory: a suspected cosmic string in the wild. If confirmed, an event comparable in magnitude to Eddingon's 1919 measurements of the bending of light by the sun, as predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity.|
|June 11, 2005 - Educational, yet fun! Here is New Scientist's dinosaurial time line.|
|June 08, 2005 - It seems the female orgasm is 'in
the air' recently. Already there is follow up to news item of June 5th.
to New Scientist a recent study shows that whether women are
able to have orgasms is largely dependent on genetic factors.
According to that dr. Lloyd mentioned in the item below, this supports the idea that women have orgasms the way men have nipples.
|June 5, 2005 - Here's something to ponder on a somewhat
dreary sunday afternoon in June: the
evolutionairy perspective on the origins of the female orgasm by Dr.
Elisabeth Lloyd, philosopher of science and professor of biology at Indiana
If you can't get enough of those orgasms, elsewhere on the same site there is a somewhat hysterical, yet not entirely unfunny response to Lloyd's conclusion that the female orgasm is an evolutionairy by-product without any determinable function.
|May 9, 2005 - How
religious you are is largely determined by genetic factors...
Now, that might please those old-skool Calvinists who believe in predestination. But it bodes very bad news for the evangelical claim that some god or other gave us free will to believe in him, or not. If this isn't yet another logical proof there is no (righteous) god, I will eat my babel fish!
Please note that this does not preclude the existence of an ironic god, though. If the genetic basis for religosity aswell as homosexuality are instances of intelligent desing at work, this does suggest a sense of humor on the part of the designer - either that or it's sheer malevolence.
|April 4th, 2005 - When I looked into the subject
of humor during my my psychology studies, the idea that animals could
have some sort of sense for it, was not a generally accepted research fact,
to say the least.
Jaak Panksepp thinks it should be. According to this psychologist the
smiles are real! Here's
the BBC's version of the story...
So, like language and tool usage and the rest, humor might not be a uniquely human characteristic after all. Well, that figures, doesn't it. To ascribe a sense of humour solely to homo sapiens is a self-flattering theory, and, like all self-flattering theories, it was bound to be proven wrong somewhere along the (punch) line.
|January 08, 2005 - Since atheisme and science are
closely linked, I think it is apropriate to at least gather some links on
Here's the first one infidels.org...
|December 09, 2004 - Here's a whale that sings to the beat of a different drummer...|
November 2004 - Have I discovered this on myself?
For every application of device that is connected wirelessy to another you need an extra wire or cable for it's power supply (be it continously or just for charging).
|Never forget: the way cultural studies cannot explain physics and the way physical science cannot explain culture are not symmetrical.|
|Say what?! Fairy Circles in Namibia?!|
TEST YOU PSYCHIC POWERS - 100% FREE!!!
Want to test your powers? Just send your name and address through paranormal means to your local Parapsychology Professor or researcher.
If you don't get a reply within three days, you do not posses any supernatural
(thanks to: www.improbable.com)
|Remarkable - Embryo canibalisme?|