Today in history, the infamous Face on Mars photo was taken by the Viking I. Pareidolia is a hell of a thing! Also, Mozart finished his Symphony No. 40 in G Minor (you should recognize it) and Dylan went electric. Finally, today is the birthday of Rosalind Franklin, one of my science heroes.

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Mary

Mary

Mary Brock is a scientist who works on drugs you've hopefully never heard of. She enjoys cooking to Blue Grass music, messing with her cats, and hosting the Boston Skeptics' Book Club. She was born in the South but loves living in New England (despite the lack of chocolate chip pizza). Mary does not use Twitter and don't even try to follow her, because she is always looking over her shoulder.

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7 Comments

  1. Avatar of SteveT
    July 25, 2012 at 11:20 am —

    That global warming article is seriously one of the most depressing things I have ever read.

    I see nothing that leads me to believe that the human race has the collective foresight to avoid the coming catastrophe.

  2. Avatar of kagerato
    July 25, 2012 at 1:04 pm —

    The time lapses from the ISS really are amazing. Being able to see the stars, the Earth, the city lights, the aurora, and lightning together is pretty much beyond words.

  3. Avatar of TheCzech
    July 25, 2012 at 1:44 pm —

    I’ve read a lot of depressing stuff about global warming, but this one takes the cake. The current civilization, if not the species, seems to be screwed.

  4. Avatar of James K
    July 25, 2012 at 2:47 pm —

    The problems with global warming isn’t the fossil fuel industries per se, it’s that people are adverse to suffering the economic losses (or gains not realised) not burning those fossil fuels would result in. There’s also a collective action problem here – every country has an incentive to let every other country take the burden of preventing climate change by cutting their emissions. Scenarios like this lead to everybody doing nothing while they wait for everyone else to act.

    Our political institutions lack the capacity to produce a meaningful deal on climate change, I fear all the calls for action in the world will achieve nothing. It’s going to be up to scientists and engineers to save us, only by developing zero-carbon power sources that are cost-competitive with fossil fuels will it be possible to get CO2 emissions under control.

  5. Avatar of mrmisconception
    July 25, 2012 at 3:25 pm —

    With the Rolling Stone article, this BBC piece on Antarctic melt, and this Guardian article about a massive melt on Greenland in July I do not see any way short of stubborn stupidity that it can be argued that AGW is not real.

    But as James K points out, proving it real isn’t enough any more, and it may already be too late to do much about it in any case. The planet isn’t going to perish, humans aren’t likely to go by the wayside, but life in one hundred years will not look like it does today. Our political leaders and diplomats can’t wave it away with a stern hand and a look of concern, and unless the universe is vastly different than everything that has been observed the spiritual and religious leaders have no special connections that will save us. We humans need to realize that the planets cares not what becomes of us and wishful thinking and superstition can do nothing to change that.

    If we hope to continue our relatively comfortable lives on this planet we had better hope that scientists can save us, much as they have before, but in the mean time we need to do our part in every little way we can because waiting for their help without slowing down the damage is like hoping for the winning lottery ticket while maxing out the credit cards.

    The way things are playing out though I would expect the lives of our great-great-great-great-offspring to be brutally different than ours. I hope more for a Starfleet future but fear it will be a lot more Mad Max.

  6. Avatar of Grand Lunar
    July 25, 2012 at 10:44 pm —

    I’m curious as to why the article on climate change says that climate change has no enemies.
    It seems to me that there are plenty of enemies. Just look at one of Phil Plait’s posts when he writes about climate change.

    Reading the article is rather disheartening.
    I very much would like to switch to a hybrid car, have a house with a crap load of solar panals to reduce my electric bills, have solar water heating, ect.
    But all of that is beyond my finacial means.

    As for what the nation might do, I think it’s time for more agressive strides into the alternatives.
    There are plenty of answers out there. No single answer can give a solution, of course, but if all efforts are combined, then we have a chance.

    I for one hope for pursuit of the LFTR design of reactor for future power generation. Seems a logical step to reduce CO2 emissions.

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