Flatness is as flatness does

Courtesy of a commenter at Alma Boykin’s place yesterday, I was led to this informative (?) article. In a survey conducted by the American Geographical Society, almost a third of all respondents said that Kansas was the flattest state. Some people even call it “flatter than a pancake.” But what does science have to say about that? The first, and only, study that we know of that directly compared the Sunflower State to a pancake was done by a trio of geographers in 2003. For their tongue-in-cheek analysis, they acquired a pancake from IHOP, cut out a sample slice and made a topographic

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So much for carbon dioxide and global warming!

I’m obliged to N4RFC.com for putting up this Australian video debunking the alleged role of carbon dioxide in global warming.  It illustrates, as nothing else does, the insanity – and outright lies – of those pushing this fraud.  It’s very short, and well worth watching. Next time someone wants to impose a “carbon tax”, show them that, and demand that they explain themselves. Peter

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Ebola: new drugs show promise, but we’re not out of the woods yet

I’m encouraged to hear that two new drugs to treat Ebola are showing promise, but the process of testing them has been fraught with difficulty – and bloodshed.  Nature reports: The race to develop treatments for Ebola has accelerated since the largest epidemic in history devastated West Africa between 2014 and 2016. Scientists responding to the ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have enrolled more than 500 participants in an unprecedented study of experimental drugs, vaccinated nearly 170,000 people, and sequenced the genomes of more than 270 Ebola samples collected from the sick. . . . Working

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The Holy Grail of the nuclear industry

I note with interest that Lockheed Martin’s experiments with nuclear fusion technology are moving right along. Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works is building a new, more capable test reactor as it continues to move ahead with its ambitious Compact Fusion Reactor program, or CFR. Despite slower than expected progress, the company remains confident the project can produce practical results, which would completely transform how power gets generated for both military and civilian purposes. . . . “The work we have done today verifies our models and shows that the physics we are talking about – the basis of what we are trying to do – is sound,”

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I wish we’d had this when I was injured

Back in 2004, I suffered a work-related injury that necessitated two spinal surgeries.  It left me with permanent partial disability, a fused spine, and in pain 24/7/365.  Sadly, once the injury had been suffered, there was nothing that medical science could do but treat its resulting symptoms (rather than their cause), and prop up the damaged spinal structure around the affected nerves.  The nerve injuries themselves, and their permanent effects, could not be healed. Now comes news that future such injuries might be treated in a whole new way. When your body suffers trauma, its fierce army of immune cells go

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Political correctness gone mad, yet again

A Christian doctor in England has apparently lost his job because he refused to acquiesce to politically correct nonsense. Dr David Mackereth, 56, claims he was sacked as a disability benefits assessor by the Department of Work and Pensions over his religious beliefs. The father-of-four alleges he was asked in a conversation with a line manager: “If you have a man six foot tall with a beard who says he wants to be addressed as ‘she’ and ‘Mrs’, would you do that?” Dr Mackereth, an evangelist who now works as an emergency doctor in Shropshire, claims his contract was then terminated over

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Yes, you really can compare apples to oranges

Old NFO sent me a link to an article proving that the old “apples to oranges” comparison is actually not as silly as it might seem.  It’s from Improbable Research, the people who bring us the annual Ig Nobel awards. … it is not difficult to demonstrate that apples and oranges can, in fact, be compared (see figure 1). Materials and Methods Both samples were prepared by gently desiccating them in a convection oven at low temperature over the course of several days. The dried samples were then mixed with potassium bromide and ground in a small ball-bearing mill for two minutes. One hundred milligrams of

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I think the Vatican – and chromosomes – have the right of it

Speaking the truth, in the face of popular rejection of it, has never been easy or safe;  but if one wants to be honest, it has to be done.  I commend the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education for doing precisely that. The Vatican condemned gender theory on Monday as part of a “confused concept of freedom”, saying in a new document that the idea of gender being determined by personal feeling rather than biology was an attempt to “annihilate nature”. LGBT rights advocates denounced the 30-page document, called “Male and Female He Created Them”, as harmful and confusing, saying it would encourage hatred

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Sunscreen may not be as harmless as we thought

Wired reports: Today, researchers at the FDA revealed the results of a small clinical trial designed to test how four of the most common sun-filtering molecules on the market behave after they’ve been sprayed on and rubbed in. The results, published in the journal JAMA, show that contrary to what sunscreen manufacturers have been saying, UV-blocking chemicals do seep into circulation. Now, don’t panic and toss your tubes. There’s no evidence yet that they’re doing anything harmful inside the body. But the revelation will have serious impacts on sunscreen manufacturers going forward, and may change what options you’ll find on drugstore

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HIV as a way to cure other diseases???

I was astonished to read this report. US scientists say they used HIV to make a gene therapy that cured eight infants of severe combined immunodeficiency, or “bubble boy” disease. . . . The babies, born with little to no immune protection, now have fully functional immune systems. Untreated babies with this disorder have to live in completely sterile conditions and tend to die as infants. The gene therapy involved collecting the babies’ bone marrow and correcting the genetic defect in their DNA soon after their birth. The “correct” gene – used to fix the defect – was inserted into an altered

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