First, for some Big Picture think? Want another wise-guy interview? For the Closer to Truth TV series, Robert Kuhn interviews me on the topic: “Does ESP Reveal the Nonphysical?”
Okay this is just wonderful. Saturn's moon Titan is one of my favoritetourist haunts! "...one of the jewels of the solar system. Its greenish-blue hues are reminiscent of Earth, and it's the only other place in our part of the cosmos that we know to have roiling seas and wondrous clouds. But ; an alternate reality Earth. Its clouds and seas, rivers and lakes aren't composed of water. They're made of methane and ethane." The Cassini-Huygens probes showed us the marvels of (likely) lakes under the obscuring clouds. Only now...
...the Webb Telescope's infrared abilities can look through those clouds at the gorgeous surface!
== Amazing tech! And assertive ways to save the planet ==
GammaPix is a smartphone application available for both Android and iPhone operating systems that uses the smartphone camera sensor to detect and measure ionizing radiation fields. The software analyzes digital images produced by a smartphone camera to determine the local gamma-ray radiation environment. It compares a dark image (i.e., with the camera covered) to one with bright pixels caused by photons from a radiation source, which pass through a covered camera lens.
The U.S. government has directed the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to develop a plan to study solar geo-engineering, a controversial approach to combatting the effects of climate change by using stratospheric aerosol injection of short-lived reflective material, such as sulfur dioxide, into the stratosphere over the fast-melting poles.
At last we can ask the fringe-puritans to either make their crits useful and practical or else get out of the way, letting humanity's problem solvers find out which of many multi-prong approaches - pragmatically - can help assist the main effort.
A main effort which of course must remain a strenuous emergency push aimed at reducing carbon pollution and other filthy habits.
=== Diving into biology ==
Some likely neurological and brain differences between humans and Neanderthals now pretty much verified.
About 30 Neanderthal genomes have been sequenced. The lack of mitochondrial DNA (inherited from mother to child) from Neanderthals present in living humans might be evidence that only male Neanderthals and female Homo sapiens could – or did - successfully mate. I had not known the mitochondria results, which do imply an interesting past bias in gene flow. Still, alas, the author's hypothesis - Sex, not violence, may have sealed the fate of the Neanderthals - displays a profound lack of understanding of males or male behavior in nature. A more likely - if related - possibility is that those wandering males brought STDs back to their tribe.
A young engineer has created a rotary dial LTE cell phone. Want one!
"Many animals signal to each other vocally or by banging on things, but new
research in a Ugandan rainforest shows that each chimpanzee pounds on tree
roots with its own individual signature drum beat to send messages more than
1km away. Combined with their hooting and hollering, signature rhythms allow them to send information over long distances, revealing who is where, and what they are
Okay so where have you seen that depicted before?
Strong muscles, healthy brain: Even moderate exercise can increase metabolism in brain regions important for learning and memory in older adults. And the brain itself has been found to respond to exercise in strikingly physical ways. Studies have shown that even in people with existing brain disease or damage, increased physical activity and motor skills are associated with better cognitive function.
== Don't get too cocky ==
Yes there are many reasons for pride in our scientific advances that should fill us with the tools and the confidence tp solve the world's many problems. And yet there are also reminders of how deep those problems go...
And in San Diego, toilet-to-tap recovery is progressing fast, as urgency make the previously-unacceptable suddenly normal. Like Greta Thunberg extolling carefully responsible nuclear power. And liberals now willing to invest research funds into cautious Geo-engineering - a flexibility in the face of new evidence that (alas) is entirely lacking on the other side.
One shift I'd like. Build that tunnel, long mentioned in Sci Fi, from the Sea of Cortez to California's Salton Sea, that would both draw downhill electricity while re-filling that sea so that it won't become a disaster of poison dust. And dwindling Colorado River fresh water can go where it's needed.
An interview with Neil DeGrasse Tyson about three types of 'truth' and how we must not let incantations or ideologies trump objective reality. Best of all, he talks about how to argue with all but the worst fanatics. Start by finding some shared common ground, then examine the gaps for some that can be crossed...
...till we are back to a place where we can take our further arguments to a pub, for beers. Share with your borderline MAGAs.