Skepchick Quickies 12.27



Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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  1. December 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm —

    So if 78% of the American public thinks the temparture is rising, what then? A smaller number of them think the rising temperatures have anything to do with human effects on the environment, and a miniscule number of those are willing and trying to change their lifestyles to remedy the problem.
    I guess it’s interesting to laugh at or depair at the number of denialists that are around, but it seems otherwise a meaningless statistic.
    I need some hope, goddammit! Give me a stat that says fewer people are driving cars, please!

    • December 27, 2012 at 1:36 pm —


      Its a start at least, isn’t it? People will have to first accept that global warming is a reality, before we can convince them that man is the cause and something needs to be done about it.

      • December 27, 2012 at 5:33 pm —

        It is a start, but I fear it’s a case of too little, too late.

        • December 27, 2012 at 6:23 pm —


          People seems too afraid or uncertain as to what to do about this issue.

          I’d say education is the key (on alternative energy, what the individual can do), but that might not even be enough.

  2. December 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm —

    I have seen the story about microbes surviving on Mars elsewhere, but none of the version explained what these microbes were finding to eat. Are they autotrophs?

    • December 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm —

      I think they forgot to test for that. Don’t know.

      Aren’t there microbes that eat iron or sulfur or some other substances that we find on Mars?

  3. December 28, 2012 at 3:12 am —

    Hey, ivy league, I’m neither diligent or hard-working! Pick me! Pick me! I’m an Asian “standout”!

    • December 28, 2012 at 6:42 am —

      A number I didn’t see in that article was the percentage that Asian-Americans make up of the 18-21 age cohort in the USA. I believe this may have been deliberate–it seemed odd and kludgey that the graph had enrollment percentage as the first y-axis, and absolute number of Asian-Americans in thousands as the second y-axis. I believe the author was tiptoeing around the fact that Asian-Americans continue to be better represented in college admissions than almost any other ethnic subgroup, if not as much so as in the past, for fear it would seem to weaken the argument.

      That said, the “tightening” of the ivy league schools around 17% does indeed look suspicious as hell. I wish he had included a couple other elite non-ivy schools in addition to Caltech. (Are there any?)

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