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May. 10, 2013

Are We Alone in the Universe?

by Joel N. Shurkin

It seems incredible that Earthlings could be the first technological society. So where is everyone?

SETI, chris impey, extraterrestrials, space, universe, aliens, UFOs
Jan. 11, 2013

Arctic Research: Carhartts, Polar Bears, and Duct Tape

by Joel N. Shurkin

What does a modern Arctic explorer wear to work? And what does the modern explorer (mature male) do if he has to pee?

arctic, exploration, polar bear, climate change, research
Dec. 19, 2012

Measuring Ice: Doing Science in Barrow

by Joel N. Shurkin

Point Barrow, a few miles north of the town, is the northern tip of the American continents. Except for some Canadian islands, all the Americas are behind you when you stand there. We have come to measure the ice. When you do research into climate change, you often wind up in places like this.

Nov. 28, 2012

The Island That Doesn't Exist

by Joel N. Shurkin

It isn’t that Sandy Island in the Coral Sea sank under the water like Atlantis. It appeared on Google Earth and on admiralty charts, and first was reported by a ship called the Velocity in 1876.

exploration, maps, mapping, sandy island
Jan. 06, 2011

The Great Autism-Vaccine Fraud

by Joel N. Shurkin

The scandal that is the anti-vaccination movement may have finally reached its nadir with news that the seminal paper linking childhood vaccinations to autism is a complete fake.

News, autism, medicine
Sep. 30, 2010

The Northern Lights are fading.

by Joel N. Shurkin

It was a lovely and rare evening. We are floating on our backs in the Chena Hot Springs naturally heated water. It’s March in interior Alaska. The air temperature was -20 F, but the water temperature was a steady 115. Wet hair above the water froze, a frosted crown around our heads, but the experience was oddly pleasant. Above us, sheets of green spread across the glowing indigo sky.

Space, solar
Sep. 24, 2010

Ignorance kills

by Joel N. Shurkin

It has been suggested that someone go into the Wikipedia entry for the former Playboy Playmate and actress Jenny McCarthy and add to her credits a whooping cough epidemic in California that has killed nine kids. After all, if it were not for her and others like her in the anti-vaccination movement, there would be no whooping cough. McCarthy is one of the more active and famous proponents of the long-discredited belief that vaccinations causes autism. She has a son she says is autistic and blames early vaccination.

News
Sep. 23, 2010

Science, religion and Cecil B. DeMille

by Joel N. Shurkin

Science always gets in trouble when it tries to prove or disprove religion. Never stopped anyone from trying, of course. So, did Moses really lead the Israelites to safety walking across a parted Red Sea? You got the Charleton Heston image right?

News
Apr. 28, 2011

Whatever happened to the Wired City?

by Joel N. Shurkin

Ten years ago, more than 200 municipalities in America dreamed of the Wired City where you could get broadband internet service anywhere, in the libraries, schools, on a park bench, sitting in your car. Parking meters would be wired, as … Continue reading →

Books
Jan. 05, 2011

Dead trees in the Holy Land and warming’s collateral damage

by Joel N. Shurkin

The price of climate change isn’t just high temperatures and rising seas. It is cultural, political, economic and philosophical. Climate change has collateral damage. In December, the worst forest fire in Israel’s history destroyed 12,000 acres (4,800 hectares) of forest. … Continue reading →

Books, climate change
Jan. 03, 2011

by Joel N. Shurkin

The price of climate isn’t just high temperatures and rising seas. It is cultural, political, economic and philosophical. Climate change has collateral damage. In December, the worst forest fire in Israel’s history destroyed 12,000 acres (4,800 hectares) of forest. The … Continue reading →

News, Science, climate change, global warming
Dec. 02, 2010

Pizzly bears or grolar bears, it’s gonna be a battle

by Joel N. Shurkin

One of nature’s great environmental battles, between two of the fiercest predators on the planet, may be playing out in the arctic, and one of those predators, the polar bear, could be the loser. As sea ice melts, the bears, … Continue reading →

News, climate change, global warming
Oct. 28, 2010

Is there an Ap for that?–UPDATED

by Joel N. Shurkin

If you are doing public opinion surveys in the upcoming mid-term elections, you might have this nagging feeling you are missing something and it could screw up your results. You may be. You may be missing people who have given … Continue reading →

Books
Sep. 30, 2010

The Northern Lights are fading.

by Joel N. Shurkin

It was a lovely and rare evening. We are floating on our backs in the Chena Hot Springs naturally heated water. It’s March in interior Alaska. The air temperature was -20 F, but the water temperature was a steady 115. … Continue reading →

Space, solar
Sep. 24, 2010

Ignorance kills

by Joel N. Shurkin

It has been suggested that someone go into the Wikipedia entry for the former Playboy Playmate and actress Jenny McCarthy and add to her credits a whooping cough epidemic in California that has killed nine kids. After all, if it … Continue reading →

News
Sep. 23, 2010

Science, religion and Cecil B. DeMille

by Joel N. Shurkin

Science always gets in trouble when it tries to prove or disprove religion. Never stopped anyone from trying, of course. So, did Moses really lead the Israelites to safety walking across a parted Red Sea? You got the Charleton Heston … Continue reading →

News

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