• Putting Radiation in Perspective

    There’s a lot of confusion and panic circulating in light of the events at Fukushima Daiichi. I won’t comment on the general state of safety in the nuclear industry (except to say that I feel perfectly comfortable going to work every day at one of Fukushima’s sister sites), but I think there is a dire need for clarification and context…

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  • Skepchick Book Review: Anarchy Evolution

    At my local bookstore the other day, I wandered back to the Science and Nature section, as I am wont to do, to see what was new. Despite having constant internet access and the ability to shop online for books 24/7, I appreciate the experience of physically browsing books in the store, because I often find things I never would…

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  • Open letter to a teenage misfit

    Dear Bullied Teen Girl, Don’t change who you are in response to the words of the assholes who make fun of you. Bullies are drawn to the traits that make you stand out. It may seem a good solution to change yourself or your traits so you stand out less, like the girl in this story, who had plastic surgery…

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  • Radiolab Fail

    I’m normally a fan of NPR’s Radiolab podcast. Sure, it tends to be fluffy, but it’s interestingly produced and tackles science in a way that emphasizes human curiosity and wonder and appeals to a wide audience. The latest episode, a short titled The Universe Knows My Name, shot clear past a ton of fascinating science and straight into the worst…

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  • Adventures of the mind

    The last half of 2010 proved to be quite an interesting time in my life. I left a nearly ten year marriage and have spent much of the past 3 months having various adventures on the road with Giles (my Mini Cooper) and various friends around the country. I bought the car in late July, and we’ve since clocked over…

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  • Love, understanding, and gender

    Tonight on Twitter, one of my followees posted the following quote, from Oscar Wilde: Women are made to be loved, not understood. Not being one to let these things pass without comment, I replied, expressing my distaste for the repetition of such an insidiously sexist comment that should, by all accounts, be recognized as irrelevant and outmoded in today’s world.…

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  • Sex, shame, and the Tea Party

    We tend to stay away from explicitly political topics here, but I think there are some alarming trends bubbling to the surface of American politics that warrant a thorough, skeptical examination. There’s been a bit of an uproar recently in socially progressive circles over the Delaware Republican primary win by Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell, and rightly so. She’s a…

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  • AI: Building a Mystery

    Driving through South Minneapolis the other weekend, a friend and I noticed something strange as we crossed Lake Nokomis: a large statue of what looked to be some sort of giant reptile, in the water across the lake. We spent a few minutes debating what kind of creature it might be; apatosaur, brontosaur (and was that even an actual dinosaur?),…

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