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Pure socialism has never been tried

  If it had been, we would know: humans would be extinct


Hey you kids, get on my lawn

The older you get, the cuter kids look. It's nature's way of punishing you for not creating more of them.

Giant Starbucks coffee (image credit: AFP)

Why does society only fund harebrained ideas?

Humans evolved to destroy what they create. They don't really want anyone to solve problems.

Distorted image of leaves

Politicization destroys knowledge

Politicization turns knowledge into a tool to gain power. In so doing, it loses its connection to truth.

Monongahela River

Everything is change

Heraclitus was right: everything is change, permanence is an illusion. Without change the mind goes blank.


The two faces of depression

  Depression is telling us there is some major thing in our lives we must change.

Mister Spock in an intimate moment with a robot

Emotions are essential for a conscious AI

Sexbots tell us that robots will never be really conscious until they get the capacity for emotion.


America is drifting away from basic research

  Pressure for funding is making NIH grants all about clinical trials. And that's bad


On chasing hats and the reality of the world

  We may be programmed to think there are limits to what can be understood.

Square earth

Science under siege,
part 5

  A reproducibility crisis, you say? Talk to the hand.


Why are scientists such bad writers?

The softer the science, the longer the paper. Our third installment in how to write good

Chess pieces

Problems with linear regression

  First, a tedious statistical question. We'll fix the end of the world later


Sonogram of bird calls

The sound of freedom

  Technological sounds are drowning out the quiet music of nature.

Chess pieces brawling

Argumentation in a post-logical world

We must become more analytical in detecting and refuting hidden assumptions in the debate.


Atheism, Ducks and Bananas

Atheists and religious people both need to work on their sense of humor.

Barbed wire

Eight myths about libertarianism

  Libertarianism is not what many people think.

 science and medicine


Why is the speed of light not infinity?

Wonky Minkowski diagrams, Rindler frames, and quantum foam, oh myyyy . . .

Protein molecule

The future of medicine

  In the future things will be ... uh, better ... mostly


Cold facts on global warming

It's still important to understand what is and is not factual about the climate.

Protein molecule

Not your grandfather's theory of evolution

  Darwin's theory of natural selection has mutated almost beyond recognition.

Tinnitus: Causes and Treatment

Recent research suggests that tinnitus is easier to cure when treatment is given early. In this article, I will discuss what is known about tinnitus and what tinnitus sufferers can do about their affliction.

Cow fermions

Are superconductors holograms?

A new idea from string theory finds holograms everywhere.


Bismuth, nature's most uninteresting element

Seven incredibly boring facts about bismuth you will probably believe!


Solar eclipse

How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse

Without burning up your camera sensor, blinding yourself, and setting your dog on fire.


Star fields in Apollo 11 photographs

  The claim that there are no stars in the moon landing images is examined.

UV picture of Pine cone

Shortwave ultraviolet photography

  Photography at short UV wavelengths (200-300 nm) opens up a new universe.

Roof vents

How to take bad cell phone photos

  Some tips on taking the worst travel photos ever.


Photographing Radioactivity with a Webcam

You can use a webcam to photograph radioactivity.

UV image of sparks

Ultraviolet photography

  The ultraviolet world is gloomy ... and pink.

Infrared image of tree

Infrared photography

It's not difficult to modify a digital SLR camera to take pictures in the near-infrared.


Astrophotography Without a Telescope

You don't need a lot of equipment to take spectacular pictures of the stars.



Firefly biology and tips on photographing fireflies. Movie of fireflies flashing in synchrony.

Oslo lens graphs

Build an Ultraviolet Zoom Lens, Part 1: Design

Design and plans for a fused-silica zoom lens.


High-resolution compact spectrograph, Part 1

Design and plans for a compact spectrograph suitable for astronomy.

Swan Nebula


  A collection of astrophotographs.

  science humor and miscellaneous


The standard model of sock physics

Socks actually tell us a great deal about quantum mechanics. Unfortunately, most of it is wrong.


How to Get Rid of Woodpeckers

  Do noise generators and reflector tape actually work?

Crystal cube

The Prophecies of Bruce de Nostradamus

Bruce Nostradamus is not as famous as his older brother, partly because his quatrains were not very good.


Fundamentals of Reindeer Aerodynamics

How did reindeer evolve the ability to fly?