Commentary and informative articles on science, medicine,
and technology

selected commentary

The substratum of reality
  Our world might only be an infinitesimal corner of reality.

  Molecular biology, Raelians, and the mysterious doctrine of transubstantiation

  An autopsy of the late global warming movement

Eight myths about libertarianism
Libertarianism is not what many people think.

book reviews

more commentary

Anarchy Reconsidered
Is anarchy a viable political system, or does anarchy invariably degenerate into ... anarchy?

Consensus in science

The myth that science seeks to achieve a consensus has been debunked many times. But activists continually revive it.

Stop worrying about AI
Scary predictions about artificial intelligence make exciting headlines, but we should not give in to fear of the unknown.

Does the concept of free will have any meaning?
  Free will means two completely different things.

technology articles

imal scientific image analysis software

Streaks How the Internet Changes Our Brain new
  Our attention spans have ... um, something

Scientific materialism and the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness
Some scientists assert that subjective phenomena cannot be studied scientifically. But subjectivity is an irrefutable fact of nature.

To control by doing nothing
Sections from Lao Tzu's famous blog the Dao De Jing on how to govern a big country.

My Near-Death Experience
Visiting the Department of Motor Vehicles is a lot like being dead.

linux and computer hardware

photography and amateur astronomy notes

science and medicine

Freud called dreams the royal road to the unconscious. But the road still has many potholes.

Indeterminacy in Science
  Is the universe indeterminate at the smallest level? If so, what about free will?

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.

Is the universe mathematical?
We use mathematics to deconstruct the universe. Could it also build one?

Science, Religion and Other Crazy Ideas
  What do scientists really think about religion?

What is Depression?
  We actually know very little about it, but there are some new theories.

What Fusion Breakthrough?
  What Lockheed Martin's announcement really means.

Rethinking ozone
Has the Montreal Protocol actually done anything? Something is not adding up.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Politicians can be narcissistic, and so can the organizations they manage.

What is the value of computer modeling?
If mathematical models are done badly, they will discredit an entire branch of science.

Is Schizophrenia a Real Disease?
The idea that schizophrenia is a medical conditions is on shaky ground.

What Causes Alzheimer's Disease?

Alzheimer's disease is a devastating and mysterious illness that strikes people with increasing frequency as they age. In this article, I will discuss the current theories and epidemiological results that might explain the molecular basis of sporadic Alzheimer's disease.

Women and Math, Part 1
Scientific evidence long ago disproved the myth that the brains of men and women are the same.

Women and Math, Part 2
In the past ten years, brain research has given us a ton of new insight about gender differences in the brain.

How to Drive on Snow
Tips on driving on snow-covered roads and driving up hills in winter without getting killed.

Is Global Warming Over?
Yes, of course it is. Who's up for some cooling?

What Does Science Say About Life After Death?
The Buddhists had a lot to say about the afterlife, but science is starting to catch up.

What's so great about Euler's formula?
What does Euler's formula tell us about the real world? How can we understand it?

Cold facts on global warming

Even though global warming has become mostly an academic concern now that the climate has moved into a cooling phase, it's still important to understand what is and is not factual about the climate.

Bad Pharma: Fact or Myth?
Is the pharmaceutical industry dying?

Little-known facts about the Moon
The Moon really does have a dark side. And an atmosphere ... sort of.

Antisocial personality disorder
What are the differences between psychopaths, sociopaths, and psychotics?

Does Anesthesia Cause Dementia?
Post-operative cognitive dysfunction is surgery's dirty little secret


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

How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse

Or, how to take pictures of the Sun without burning up your camera sensor, blinding yourself, and setting your dog on fire

High-resolution compact spectrograph, Part 1
Design and plans for a compact spectrograph suitable for astronomy.

infrared photographs


High-resolution compact spectrograph, Part 2
Parts and construction details.

High-resolution compact spectrograph, Part 3
Testing, calibration, and sample spectra.

Build an Ultraviolet Zoom Lens, Part 1: Design
Design and plans for a fused-silica zoom lens.

Build an Ultraviolet Zoom Lens, Part 2: Construction
The gory construction details.

Build an Ultraviolet Zoom Lens, Part 3: Test images
Sample UV and visible photos.

Photographing Radioactivity with a Webcam
You can use a webcam to photograph radioactivity.

Ultraviolet photography

The ultraviolet world is gloomy ... and pink.

Infrared photography

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


Everyone should witness this amazing phenomenon of nature at least once in their lifetime.

Astrophotography Without a Telescope
You don't need a lot of equipment to take spectacular pictures of the stars.

science humor

Fundamentals of Reindeer Aerodynamics
How did reindeer evolve the ability to fly?

Four Movies for Dorks

These movies contain clues to hidden meanings that seem to have been missed by everyone else.

The Future of TV

What will television be like 20 years from now? We think social changes will drive the technology, rather than the other way around.

The Ten Most Annoying Science Fiction Shows of All Time

Some science fiction TV shows succeeded at creating a rich, complex universe, and some ... didn't.

An Overview of Santa's Advanced Anti-Radar Technology

According to radar experts, the inability of our most advanced radar tracking systems to detect the red-suited Christmas icon is no accident

The Cow Theory of Economics

Cow theory is a well-established tool for understanding basic economic concepts. There are many variations of this theory on the Internet. Here are some new ones.

The Tragic Story of Schrodinger's Cat

Schrödinger's cat played a critical role in the early development of quantum mechanics.

Physics envy among biologists: fact or fiction?

Physicists often state their belief that all biologists would rather be physicists, but became biologists only because they were not very good at math.

The Prophecies of Bruce de Nostradamus

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

thumbnail The Al Gore Effect: Theoretical basis
The day after Al Gore: Where will you be? Someplace cold, probably.

What car would Jesus really drive?

The Bible describes the earliest documented case of road rage.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Life in the Country

If this article can save just one person from the unending nightmare that is country living, it will be worth it.