I should be finished with Part 2 of “The Universe in a Box” this afternoon (you did read Part 1, right?). In the meantime, it’s dangerous out there, so take these links.
- The metaphor of a geological clock has been around for some time; the image on the right is a great version collected from the geology department at the University of Wisconsin.
- Many people have been passed over for Nobel Prizes over the years, but few were as blatantly snubbed as the great astronomer Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who discovered pulsars. Here’s a BBC Radio 4 interview with Bell Burnell, talking about her life in science.
- Even though the vast majority of trained scientists accept evolution, among the general public in the United States creationism still has a major hold. Kevin Zelnio argues that scientists need to use viral marketing to get the public’s attention and win the PR war.
- I’ve written a lot about symmetry, and don’t plan to stop anytime soon. Robert Krulwich on NPR examines one of the simplest kinds of symmetry from a psychological standpoint: mirror or “right-left” symmetry, and how difficult it is to spot when something is reversed.
- Generating publication-worthy research is a time-consuming task; writing it up and going through the hoops of peer-review and so forth can be extremely annoying. However, despite the flaws of peer review, it still beats going directly to the press with controversial claims based on data that haven’t been published—and therefore may not exist. Ben Goldacre smacks down the unsubstantiated claim linking computer usage to all sorts of mental disorders and calls for real data from the researcher.
- Speaking of symmetry, composer Phillip Glass collaborated with Sesame Street in the late 1970s to create a series of geometrical animations. I vaguely remember these from my youth; they certainly have some really important geometrical concepts embedded in them.