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William M. Briggs has misunderstood a high-school level data graph [Greg Laden's Blog]

Science Blogs Physcial Sciences - 1 February, 2012 - 19:11

And I suspect he's done so willingly. Well, you know what they say about statistics and liars.

Here's the story. The Wall Street Journal and the Daily Mail independently published highly misleading and blatantly idiotic pieces on climate change. We've covered this extensively already over the last few days. Phil Plait, of the Bad Astronomy Blog on Discovermagazine.com, was one of numerous scientists to respond to those flaming examples of horrific bottom feeding journalism with the post "While temperatures rise, denialists reach lower." In that post, he presented a still-image from a moving GIF that has been going around, originally from Skeptical Science. I've used the GIF myself just recently, but I'll re-post it here for your convenience:

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Categories: Education

Come the Festival to Hear Featured Author Theodore Gray! [USA Science and Engineering Festival: The Blog]

Science Blogs Physcial Sciences - 1 February, 2012 - 16:00

USESEF_book_fair_logo_border.jpg"The periodic table is the universal catalog of everything you can drop on your foot"
--Theodore Gray
You have the amazing opportunity to hear from best-selling author Theodore Gray at this year's USA Science and Engineering Festival Book Fair! Gray will be speaking at the Teen Non-Fiction Festival Stage at 11:50 am on Saturday, April 28th. His newest book is Theodore Gray's Elements Vault: Treasures of the Periodic Table with Removable Archival Documents and Real Element Samples - Including Pure Gold! Gray's other books, The Elements and Mad Science, are international bestsellers, as is the wildly popular The Elements for iPadebook.

Gray.jpgTheodore Gray's Elements Vault picks up where The Elements left off. Organized into the nine major groups of the periodic table, including the alkali metals, the alkali earth metals, the transition metals, the nonmetals, the metalloids, the halogens, the noble gases, the actinides, and the lanthanides, Elements Vault includes all new text, new photographs, and even more information about the elements.

Elements Vault also includes 20 removable historic documents related to the elements and the field of chemistry, such as Einstein's famous letter to Roosevelt explaining the potential of uranium for use in nuclear weapons, a genuine advertisement for lithium-laced 7UP soda, Mendeleev's original notes on the periodic table, and more. Each of these documents is individually packaged in an envelope attached to the book page. The document can be removed and handled and then put back into the book for safekeeping. Also included is a gorgeous 20″ x 10″ poster of the unique rainbow spectrum emitted by each element in the periodic table.Elements_Vault_COV_HIRES.jpg

Along with all the information and fascinating facts about the elements, readers will discover the irresistible dry wit and humor of chemist and Popular Science contributor Theodore Gray. Cecil Adams, of "The Straight Dope" says, "Gray...has attained a level of near superhuman geekery that the rest of us can only mutely admire."

"Even if this book weren't absolutely gorgeous, it would still be a worthwhile investment because of how well it works as Coffee Table Education. This is when you leave a book lying around that is so tempting the kids pick it up and start learning stuff without even being asked! Delightful."
--Wired's "GeekDad"

For more information about the Festival Featured Author Theodore Gray visit our website and once again don't miss out on the opportunity to hear Gray in person on April 28th.

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Categories: Education

Critical Pronunciation Poll [Uncertain Principles]

Science Blogs Physcial Sciences - 1 February, 2012 - 15:32

I'm using Dava Sobel's Longitude this week in my timekeeping class. The villain of the piece, as it were, is the Reverend Dr. Nevil Maskelyne, who promoted an astronomical method for finding longitude, and played a major role in delaying the payment to John Harrison for his marine chronometers. It's a good story, with lots of science and engineering and politicking.

There's one critical flaw, though, in terms of me teaching this book, which is that I don't really know how to say Maskelyne's name. And even Wikipedia is letting me down, here, by not providing a phonetic rendering of his name. Which means I'm depending on you, my wise and worldly readers, to help me figure this out:

The Reverend Dr. Nevil Maskelyne's (5th Astronomer Royal) surname is pronounced:

Nobody had even begun to think about quantum physics during Maskelyne's lifetime, so you're only allowed to pick one answer, not a quantum superposition of multiple answers.

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Categories: Education

The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars [Greg Laden's Blog]

Science Blogs Physcial Sciences - 31 January, 2012 - 15:20

Michael Mann, famous climate scientist, has released a book called The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines (also available as a Kindle edition). I've not read it yet but I thought you'd like to know about it.

Michael Mann is the guy who came up with the Hockey Stick graph and metaphor. Early reviews are positive:

In this meticulous and engaging brief on climate change research and the political backlash to legitimate scientific work, Penn State professor Mann narrates the fight against misinformation from the inside. (Publishers Weekly )

An important and disturbing account of the fossil-fuel industry's well-funded public-relations campaign to sow doubt about the validity of the science of climate change.

If you don't believe our climate is changing, read this book. Dr. Mann will change your mind. For us, it's a war of words. Preserve the Earth, and pass the ammunition. (Bill Nye the Science Guy )

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Categories: Education

Another Week of GW News, January 29, 2012 [A Few Things Ill Considered]

Science Blogs Physcial Sciences - 30 January, 2012 - 21:42

Logging the Onset of The Bottleneck Years
This weekly posting is brought to you courtesy of H. E. Taylor. Happy reading, I hope you enjoy this week's Global Warming news roundup

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Categories: Education

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Copyright 1993-2011 Mark Winter [The University of Sheffield and WebElements Ltd, UK]. All rights reserved.