International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2019 —

International Day of Women in Science

February 11 marks International Day of Women and Girls in Science, a day designed to celebrate the often-forgotten achievements of female scientists as well as to encourage and inspire women and girls to make their mark in this male-dominated sphere.

While huge leaps have been made in recent years to combat inequality in science, long-standing biases and gender stereotypes often discourage girls and women away from science related fields.

And while there are women science pioneers of the past and present, many of their discoveries and contributions remain unrecognised […]

via International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2019: The female scientists who changed history


How the Gospel of Luke came to be — Why Evolution Is True


While this video by NonStampCollector—a videomaker previously unknown to me—may strike you as a visual comic, it really is a serious attempt to show and explain the differences between two of the canonical gospels: Mark (the first to be written) and Luke (an altered copy of the stories in Mark). Based on sources like Bart […]

via How the Gospel of Luke came to be — Why Evolution Is True

Must read more things like this 2k19!

Of climate change and human survival

The number of people who aren’t actively involved in the discourse about climate change is depressingly high. And the number that chooses to vote for leaders who lack the conviction to do something about it also remains high. But there are those who have gone on to respond to the consequent ecological disruption; and this group includes scientists, artists, captains of industry, and those who are actually charged with dealing with the myriad problems involved. They all seem to be coming to the same conclusion: humans would rather stay at home and adapt rather than move to safer territory. Not exactly the most draw-dropping of findings, I know. But how realistic is it?

Let’s go back to the basic and see what global warming is. It is this hot-button topic in the geopolitical landscape that is cited as the reason for climate change, glaciers melting, the increase in ocean temperature, the degradation of coral reefs, the increase in storm severity, and the rise in sea levels.

The fundamental causes are both man-made and natural. Humans are mostly to blame here for their activities that cause a direct blow to nature, beauty, and

equilibrium. Carbon dioxide increases global temperatures and there are two sources of this gas: one, man-made carbon emissions, and two, the natural and anthropogenic causes.

Anthropogenic causes consist of carbon emissions from energy generation units, manufacturing industries, agricultural sources like ethanol and fertilizer production among others. Electricity generation grabs a major chunk of the pie with a good 72%. Human and animal respiration contributes to this overall, but the statistics are more or less negligible if we do not consider the alarming rate of population increase.

While there are other sources of greenhouse gases like methane and water vapor, they are not easy to be regulated. But carbon dioxide can be controlled. Natural causes and things like respiration are out of the prevention equation unless we develop strategies for population control. But the most straightforward thing to do is to control carbon emissions. Cleaner sources of energy generation, unfortunately, are not very cost-effective. But money in the right hands of power can get the work done. Here’s where the political game begins.

Another energy source can be from nuclear units, but this creates new problems like what must be done with the nuclear wastes. Technology and innovation are advancing and there are better solutions today but it is doubtful if we can ever catch up to prevent a crisis.

In that case, the option of adaptation appears. We are homebodies after all and we need to come up with good adaptation strategies. If the seas were understood to keep rising, the strategies to adapt to a modest 20 or 40 cm rise would mean raising homes on stilts ad walkways on stones. This may be doable in the face of one-change-at-a-time. But we’re actually going to be dealing with a rise by multiple meters by the end of the century. Migration might be the next try.


Some of the cli-fi that revolves around such a doomsday event is are New York 2140 and Stephen Baxter’s Flood. Which are improbable. But all bets are off if the worst-case scenarios start coming true. In the far future, the sun will only get hotter and brighter. Ultimately, humans will have to find a new home and relocate. Or we die.

Global Energy Balances … Except When It Doesn’t — Watts Up With That?


Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach. I came across an interesting 2014 paper called “The energy balance over land and oceans: an assessment based on direct observations and CMIP5 climate models“. In it, they make a number of comparisons between observational data and 43 climate models regarding the large-scale energy flows of the planet. Here’s a typical…

via Global Energy Balances … Except When It Doesn’t — Watts Up With That?

I miss my ducks — Why Evolution Is True


Thinking back about the whole duck mishigaas last year, I realize it was a mixture of joy, terror, and anxiety. Mostly joy, as I got to make friends and commune with real wild birds. But also terror and pain, as when I had to retrieve a drowned duckling and watch another one die in my […]

via I miss my ducks — Why Evolution Is True

I’m not very sentimental, but this is ugh.. I can’t even..

Flowering plants remain viable after passing through the guts of waterfowl — Why Evolution Is True


We’ve long known that plant seeds can remain viable not only after floating a long time in fresh or salt water, but also when passing through the guts of birds, including waterfowl. In fact, I believe that at least half of the plants that arrive on oceanic islands, later to form new species, come from […]

via Flowering plants remain viable after passing through the guts of waterfowl — Why Evolution Is True

This is a rare Darwinesque find. Read.