Been so busy lately I didn’t even notice my wonderful fortune. I finally made it as an editor on the science tag along with the others in the recent new wave, I had to do a double take as I didn’t think I saw it right at first. I’ve been waiting for this all of my life. Yet another reason I need to invest in a smart phone.
Just figured I’d throw it out there I will be absent from direct blogging for the next week [ish] as I will be leaving for vacation in Canada very soon [within the next day]. It rushed up on me and I didn’t get everything I wanted to done, but I need to unplug from the internet, breathe, and focus on some personally important things.
I will be taking my laptop along, but I doubt I’ll have much time to sit down and check my email, much less blog to my heart’s desire, so as always, there’s a queue full of sciencey goodness for everyone to enjoy. Hopefully I’ll be able to get the current This Week in Science done, but if I don’t I sincerely apologize ahead of time for those of you looking forward to it. I also hope you’re all having a wonderful beginning of your springtime and that everyone has a wonderful rest of their week. [:
I’m here to teach people about science, and if me defending myself ON MY OWN BLOG when I don’t want to get hit on makes your ignorant sexist self mad and concerned with my personal sex life, then feel free to unfollow, my blog will be much better without you.
For the rest of my lovely followers who are concerned with my intellectual prowess and knowledge I have to share, I’m sorry these people are being ridiculously rude and irrationally stupid.
To be blunt the most interesting thing in the universe, I feel, is humanity, if not the whole of Earth. I know you were probably looking for a specific nebula, black hole, planet, or something along those lines, but those are things that will be forever existent. [Forever as in as long as the universe is in existence.]
We are all of that though, we’re walking talking stardust trying to figure itself out during a very short period of time. As my main man Carl once stated, “We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.”
We’re somehow completely aware of our existence, as well as the existence of all that is and possibly was, so much so that we, generation to generation, explore everything around us including ourselves with the beautiful tool we call science. What could be more interesting than that?
Our brains create languages out of squiggles and shapes, and we somehow understand them. Our brains, each independently, see various colours of the visible spectrum, and consequently these colours change for each viewer. We understand body language and basic instincts with out even consciously thinking about it. We’re endlessly amazing not only in mental terms, but physically as well. And even in this day and age of great discoveries and groundbreaking research, we can barely understand ourselves fully, much less many of the universe’s grand cosmological bodies.
What sticks out most to me about us is that we’re so amazing we have love. Just think about that for a while. Conscious and evolved stardust brought to it’s knees, the world over, by a universally acknowledged emotion. Through all of our civilizations, religions, and historical conflicts, it is always noted in the various languages that our brains talk to each other in, that the basis of all fairy tales is possibly the truest claim for human beings since the beginning of time; love conquers all. And I’m not even speaking strictly romantic, but familial and friendly love as well. Love that makes us sympathetic for fellow humans [and animals], known or unknown, when they are in pain or lacking the very much overlooked emotional power of shared human experience and emotions.
As much war, tragedy, and endless heartache we cast upon one another, love is always there and always will be. If we didn’t have all the bad, we wouldn’t value the possibly purest goodness that love provides for us no matter what. We’re beautiful and we’re damaged, we’re endlessly curious and constantly questioning, and if there’s anything that should amaze people the most, it is ourselves.
As I forever quote Carl Sagan, I’ll leave you with another of his quotes, that I feel, should be recognized as a golden rule of sorts, “Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.”
[Made rebloggable by request.]
I can not stand people who talk purely to hear themselves talk.
I hope all of my readers are having a fantastic Caturday! Adiele and I are hitting the books hard, well mostly myself, whilst she lays on my notebooks and supervises.
Well, assuming you’re talking about this post, I just read it and I completely agree honestly. The negative stigma [from both sexes] concerning women in STEM fields is beyond appalling, and we need to encourage our fellow [future and current] women and girls to branch into these areas of expertise, whether it be a profession, or as paradox-explained pointed out even more importantly, the classroom.
I say more importantly in the classroom because that’s where it starts. If you look at recent studies, that I apologetically can’t find right now, when it comes to classroom response within the girl-students they are substantially less responsive statistically compared to boy-students’ responses to the teacher[s] and material being taught within the course[s] themselves. Even when the playing field is evened out, and girls are given equal attention and opportunity to respond as the boys, the boys, and sometimes even male teachers, feel that the girls are getting “too much” attention and are having “too much” of a voice. This is due to the usual accustomed settings of girl-classmates being “quiet” and less reactive than the boys as a whole.
This obviously can be a bit intimidating being a women or girl in a STEM course or profession when you have the pre assumption that “you have to work twice as hard as a man in the same position would to be just as smart or get just as noticed” which is complete bullshit, if you ask me. We need to get to the point where we no longer base one’s [potential] career or interests based off of their gender, but rather their capability and intelligence.
If we keep doing crap public advertisements/projects like Axe’s Apollo Space Academy’s [whole presentation], and instilling simple ideas projected through mere commercials, such as Fireman Vs. Astronaut, that basically spell out “if you go to space, and leave as a man, through this contest and come back you’ll be a ‘hero’ and win the pretty girl”, in this case over the fireman, and assuming you’re interested in women, then we will continue to be telling young girls and young women that there are certain things that are ‘better left to the men’, I feel. [I understand it’s not just for men but the advertisements and websites made for the general public tend to visually display otherwise, and if you get pissy about that in response to what I said then you’re completely missing my point.] Have the video if you think I’m joking:
And the site’s home page that clearly says “Leave a man come back a hero.”
But for the sake of me trying not to rant too much here’s a quote to show you exactly what I’m talking about in a bit better wording: “Teachers are often unaware of the gender distribution of talk in their classrooms. They usually consider that they give equal amounts of attention to girls and boys, and it is only when they make a tape recording that they realize that boys are dominating the interactions.
Dale Spender, an Australian feminist who has been a strong advocate of female rights in this area, noted that teachers who tried to restore the balance by deliberately ‘favouring’ the girls were astounded to find that despite their efforts they continued to devote more time to the boys in their classrooms. Another study reported that a male science teacher who managed to create an atmosphere in which girls and boys contributed more equally to discussion felt that he was devoting 90 per cent of his attention to the girls. And so did his male pupils. They complained vociferously that the girls were getting too much talking time.
In other public contexts, too, such as seminars and debates, when women and men are deliberately given an equal amount of the highly valued talking time, there is often a perception that they are getting more than their fair share. Dale Spender explains this as follows:
The talkativeness of women has been gauged in comparison not with men but with silence. Women have not been judged on the grounds of whether they talk more than men, but of whether they talk more than silent women.
In other words, if women talk at all, this may be perceived as ‘too much’ by men who expect them to provide a silent, decorative background in many social contexts. This may sound outrageous, but think about how you react when precocious children dominate the talk at an adult party. As women begin to make inroads into formerly ‘male’ domains such as business and professional contexts, we should not be surprised to find that their contributions are not always perceived positively or even accurately.”—[x]
It seems a bit shocking when you look at it on paper, but it’s an all too-real every day occurrence. This, I feel, is even more true for STEM based classes. So yes, I agree with the post in question whole heartedly enough to say here here! We need more girls and women getting interested in, and consequently actively participating in, STEM courses and professions. And above all, we need more girls and women of all races and walks of life supporting and encouraging each other to get inspired and, quoting the original post, “Take a deep breath and jump right in.”
[Made rebloggable by request.]
Since launching The Science of Reality’s facebook page, I’ve received ten times more odd/random friend requests on my personal page than I usually do. More times than not said requestees have no mutual friends, nor have I ever heard the names of the people that keep sending me friend requests, so I’m very weary about adding anyone I honestly don’t know irl.
That being said, if you are from tumblr & find my personal facebook [and we don’t necessarily talk personally here or through emailing or something*] I’ve now put the option up to “follow” my posts on my personal page with out having to add me as a friend. [I don’t know if people actually do this but I’ll give it a shot.] *But, if we have talked more than a handful of times, and you genuinely do want to “friend” me or what ever then send me a message letting me know who you are [on tumblr] and all that. I feel bad turning down so many friend requests from people who are probably TSR fans, but I’m sure you can understand my concerns, thus I suggest following me instead of sending a friend request. Thanks!
Forever waiting for the snow to end & spring to kick in. I need some moonlight and clear skies, I’m missing all this comet action!
Hello there! Why, thank you! My blog really loves you as well. [:
That’s a loaded question, and one, I must admit, that I have still not even answered to my fullest extent as of yet. Surprising, I know, lol. I’m in the same boat as you though, I’ve seen arguments for both stances [for and against] a complete conversion to vegetarianism, and even some that went far enough to propose world-wide veganism. As for the entomophagy, correct me if I’m wrong, I’m pretty sure a lot of different parts of the world already practice this due to availability/location etc. which I’ve honestly never heard anything bad about, surprisingly. [Then again I probably just haven’t kept my eyes open enough for any studies done on these types of diets.] So I feel that would be more viable as a “whole conversion” type of thing before vegetarianism on a world-wide scale, and especially before complete veganism.
Now the question that is important as well, I feel, is how necessary a complete conversion would be in our future, as opposed to a pure revamping of the whole of the food industry in general, including all the issues around meat, which I feel could possibly work out if done correctly.
To answer your question, though, as simply as possible, I’m not 100% sure as to where exactly we are headed as a whole community [world-wide], though I can say it’s not in a completely good path. Surely it’s easy to say we’re running out of resources, that we’re taking tons of them faster than our Earth can naturally reproduce and replace them, but it’s quite the opposite when it comes to reform of diet or even the food industry itself due to the availability of food sources and all the politics tied in. [And of course, when discussing food sources, we also must take into account the plethora of fresh water used for not only the crops but to hydrate the meat as well.] Especially when you have countries, such as the U.S., that are literally lands of over-indulgence and endless waste. Have some numbers to see what I’m talking about: “We [U.S. citizens] make up 5 percent of the global population, but use 20 percent of the world’s energy. We eat 15 percent of the world’s meat. We produce 40 percent of the world’s garbage.” [x]
For example, the U.S. produces about 40% of the world’s corn crops, which is practically the largest individual corn producer in the world. Imagine how much of that goes to waste in many different ways. And that’s JUST corn! “As much as 50% of all food produced in the world ends up as waste every year according to figures from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. The IME estimate that 30-50% (1.2-2bn tonnes) of all food produced is “lost before reaching a human stomach”. ” [x]
As I mentioned earlier, this poses the question, how much water are we consequently using, and even wasting, as well? “Approximately 3.8tn cubic metres of water is used by humans annually with 70% being consumed by the global agriculture sector. The amount of water wasted globally in growing crops that never reach the consumer is estimated at 550bn cubic metres.
IME claim that water requirements to meet food demand in 2050 could reach between 10-13.5tn cubic metres per year - about triple the current amount used annually by humans.
Meat production requires a much higher amount of water than vegetables. IME state that to produce 1kg of meat requires between 5,000 and 20,000 litres of water whereas to produce 1kg of wheat requires between 500 and 4,000 litres of water.
The table below shows typical values for the volume of water required to produce common foodstuffs. Chocolate tops the list with 17,196 litres of water need to produce 1kg of the product. Beef, sheep and pork meat all require high volumes of water for production also. Tea, beer and wine use the least according to the list. Compared to the production of meat, vegetable foodstuffs require considerably less water - 1kg of potatoes for example uses 287 litres of water.” [x]
So as you can see, we use, and sadly waste, more food and thus water continuously every year than some could possibly imagine. With all the regular food items we’ve grown accustomed to, such as chocolate, for example, it would be much easier to somehow as I mentioned earlier “revamp” the whole of the food industry and how it is produced as well as distributed than to convert everyone to a vegetarian, vegan, or even an entomophagy-based diet in one sweep. What ever we do, we need to do it fast. Water is already becoming an issue on many fronts, and our wasteful lifestyles are giving no aid to our dwindling resources.
We’re either going to reconstruct our consumerist lives and mindsets or we’re going to start seeing even more backlash from not only nature, but the economies and societies of the world as well. The harder it is to get certain [food] items the more prices will go up, and the more certain cultures will “hoard”, for lack of a better word, certain produces and/or meats.
I’m sorry I can’t give you a clear-cut answer of my opinion on this, like I said in the beginning, it’s a loaded question. But, if you’d like to continue this further off-anon I would definitely be open to a more in-depth discussion.
[Made rebloggable by request.]
I hope one day everyone, especially women, will be able to receive equal and proper education. Until then, those of us who have such readily available access to a plethora of educational resources and institutions must remember others are not so lucky. We should not be taking it for granted that so many have to literally fight just to attain what many of us perceive as a “birth-given” or “God-given” right. We should be thankful and try as much as possible to aid others in this battle for knowledge.
It’d be fantastically interesting to witness a huge experiment where thousands of people, on the same day at the same exact time, jump up and down and record the related seismic activity. Imagine how big it could get through the number of participants.
For example, I’m sure everyone’s heard of the Foo Fighters concert in New Zealand:
“Scientists said the 50,000 fans dancing at the Foo Fighters gig on Tuesday most likely caused the seismic activity in Western Springs, New Zealand.
The scientists wrote: ‘The cause of the shaking is most likely the weight of the 50,000 fans dancing, as 50,000 fans is equal to around 5,000 tonnes of mass moving on the ground.
‘This set up a nice harmonic vibration in the ground which was recorded in our nearby borehole seismometers.’” [x]
Maybe it’s just me, but I think that’d be cool to look into, especially on a much larger scale than a concert. What’s your idea for an interesting, and possibly crazy, science experiment?
I consistently get asked about good scientific and/or informative blogs to follow on tumblr; so I created a page with a master list, in no particular order, of suggested blogs. All are blogs I follow myself, and personally recommend giving a look. Go explore, expand, and enjoy!
It’s despicable, to say the least, to come across so many hardworking and kind scientists, science students, and science enthusiasts that are attacked for their personal religious and/or spiritual beliefs by others who ignorantly assume science and anti-religion and/or atheism are synonymous. Anyone who thinks this way and attacks others for not agreeing are showcasing their ignorance on an outstanding level, not to mention playing up a misleading and offensive stereotype of the science-minded community.
I know, interact with, and have come across plenty of scientists who are very religious and/or spiritual people. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS! For some people, science has helped them come to the conclusion there is no God, or probably isn’t a God/true designer of the universe. For others, science has helped them come to the conclusion that there is no other way for the universe to exist, than for there to be a God or an intelligent designer, and ultimately brought them closer to their religion/spiritual beliefs. Sometimes science has no influence on one’s belief[s] at all, it all depends on the person. There are so many variables, science can’t be shoved into one-size-fits-all definition, nor can religion, you know? I, as one personally who doesn’t accept there is a God or have any religious or spiritual beliefs, personally HATE when people use science and atheism/anti-theism interchangeably.
Either way, it’s your choice, and if people judge you for it then that’s their issue, not yours. As long as in the end, you keep questioning, and never just ‘accept things as they are’, you’re good to go. The argument, I feel, shouldn’t be religion vs. science [because that’s obviously stupid], it should be ignorance vs. knowledge.
Just keep educating yourself, exploring, and never stop expanding. Science is never stagnant, which is the best part about it, because the only constant in life is change, and we’re trying to understand those changes. Your viewpoints of the world due to science will likely evolve as well, but with that change your knowledge will grow. It would be awesome to just stop bickering amongst each other about such small things, but I doubt that will happen. Until then, rest assured, those who tell you you can not be involved in ‘true science’ whilst being ‘truly religious’ are ignorant, and should be ignored.
Like Carl Sagan said, “Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light‐years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.”
Originally from a few different scienceandreligion asks I’ve answered.
One of the biggest downfalls of our societies, world wide, I feel, is the hostility towards those who ask “stupid questions”. I can not tell you the amount of times I’ve heard people complain about others asking clarifying questions concerning “basic knowledge” facts. As if some of the simplest facts in life are pre-programmed into everyone’s brains and are automatically mentally acknowledged, and if you ask you are publicly labeled as ‘ignorant’ or ‘dumb’. This is wrong.
As Carl Sagan put it so eloquently, “There are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every question is a cry to understand the world. There is no such thing as a dumb question.”
So if any of my readers don’t understand something that seems to be common knowledge for everyone else, even if you think it’s “dumb”, please, feel free to ask! I have the option for asking anonymously on 24/7 purely for this purpose. The only person you’re hurting by pretending you know something instead of asking is yourself. And if there is anything I don’t want my readers to be, it’s being apprehensive about asking questions concerning something you don’t know about and wish to further understand, especially if it’s perceived as “basic knowledge”. I will take each and every one of your questions and try my best to help you understand what ever you wish to learn about. As I said before, please don’t be afraid because some people might tell you it’s a “stupid question”. I’m here to help you in your quest for knowledge, and if I can’t, I have contact with a large array of people who are just as willing to help as I am.
Keep exploring and expanding your minds, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it!