Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunset Over Eel Pond

Woods Hole in November probably doesn't look much different than in April, when this picture was taken.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

No Moving Parts

It just works. Granted, it only works part of the day, and the sun can't be obstructed. But the sundial is the ultimate in set it and forget it.

Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Eulogy for Phoenix

Phil Plait notes the probable passing of a very successful Mars lander.

This time, Phoenix won’t arise from the ashes | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Might As Well Be Talking About Creationists, Too

In his most recent post, Dr. Phil calls out an emailer for simply regurgitating something that person may have read in another email. We see it all the time, people who will cherry pick a fact, or just pass along rubbish they picked up from somewhere else. Indeed, if you substitute "global warming" with "evolution" or "9-11 truth", you'll have a quick grasp of the intellectual arguments of the day.

Greenhouse hot air | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine
And they’ve been studying it a long, long time. It’s a very difficult field of research, fraught with hidden variables, difficult measurements, and political landmines. But chances are they know more about this than you and I do. There’s a reason they’re called experts, folks.

So the next time you want to send me some snarky email to embarrass me about some piece of info you just found on the intertoobs, please do yourself a favor: stop, think for just a moment, and ask yourself: "Is this really likely to have been missed by thousands of really smart highly educated people who have been studying this field for a combined length of time equaling many man-millennia?" The embarrassment you save just might be your own.

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Freaky Show

Halloween on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, New Orleans. One of the most sensory laden, visceral experiences I've ever had. Bourbon Street is dirty, smelly, dilapidated. That is, until thousands show up for a huge outdoor party. I saw costumes of every possible description, worn by freaks, geeks, straights and queers. And the women? Unbelievable! It was all there in one decadent, pulsating moving street party. They say Mardi Gras is ten times this. I can't imagine it. Oh, and this picture was taken early. It only got better.