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{ Category Archives } STEM

Wildfires started by plinkers?

‘Tis the season: range grass is drying out and fires are a concern. The latest fad is to blame such fires on those out target shooting. To support this, there is a Forest Service study of ignition by rifle bullets. It is interesting and has data and theory worth considering. Careful reading also provides insight […]

The problem with science is people

This is a book review. The field is medicine but the concepts apply to any ‘fuzzy’ research (including climate change and weather). Rigor Mortis: What’s Wrong with Medical Science and How to Fix It by Harriet Hall — “Medical research has been plagued by less-than-rigorous practices and a culture that rewards quantity over quality. In a […]

Python. Astronomy. Science. FOSS. Learning. Change.

A talk at Pycon 2017 on YouTube about Why Astronomers Love Python And Why You Should Too covers a lot of ground about how research is changing. Jake Vanderplas doesn’t get into technical detail but rather explains how the Python ecosystem and idiom fits into astronomical research. He starts with this New Yorker cartoon   One of […]

Paradigms shifting

Jim Carroll has some interesting ideas about the implications of self driving cars: “Your car is about to become your concierge. A personal robot. And so much more.” “the simplicity of design means more companies enter the car and truck industry.” “driver education will change.” “not many people realize that light poles are a big […]

Bitcoin and blockchain

3Blue1Brown has one of the better explanations: Ever wonder how Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) actually work? (YouTube). One pundit even referred to this technology as “triple entry accounting” and hailed it as one of the greatest innovations evva’ !! Start with a public ledger where people can note transactions between themselves. This can be tallied to […]

Feynman Path Integral Perspectives

YouTube can get eerie at times. Tonight it came up with Feynman’s Infinite Quantum Paths | Space Time and Math vs Physics – Numberphile. Both get into Feynman’s insight into quantum mechanics but one is from the viewpoint of a physicist and the other from the viewpoint of a mathematician. Of course, there are a […]

Dave Jones hosts Shahriar Shahramian and the discussion is something else.

It’s a geekfest. Shahriar Shahramian from The Signal Path met up with Dave Jones of EEVblog and discussion is well worth some time. It’s broken up into three videos each with their own focus. 1. Youtube & Bell Labs 2. Science, Debunking & Education 3. about the millimeter wave electronics and 5th generation RF These two […]

GPS and time

What time is it? and Where am I? – two seemingly simple questions but just look what happens when you start to explore the depths of the questions. Mario Corchero is doing a talk on It’s time for datetime at PyCon coming up in May. “We will also speak about different standards of time, time […]

Buckaroo Banzai weird?

It’s cited as one of 366 Weird Movies. “Would a watermelon in the midst of a chase sequence not be, in its own organic way, emblematic of our entire misunderstood enterprise? At once totally logical and perfectly irrational?”–W.D. Richter, explaining why there is a watermelon inside the Banzai Institute … Any movie that successfully incorporates […]

Seek and ye shall find – that it’s a harder journey than you ever imagined.

Luboš Motl takes off on Nautilus’ disillusioned ex-physicist. “Bob Henderson wrote an autobiography for Nautil.Us” and that provided the ammunition for a rant on Life’s Journey that any college freshman with ambition should read carefully. This is a sketch of the “path towards the deep laws of the Universe” that I already had in mind […]