Westworld vs. Realworld

Westworld vs. Realworld

(July 27, 2017) Along with my views on the utility of miniaturized modular nuclear reactors ("Nuclear Batteries," June 15), I suppose the opinion that generates the most unpopular reaction is my belief that...

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Early, Early Man in the Americas?

(July 13, 2017) Christmas some 30 years ago saw a half-dozen of us curious rubberneckers tramping over the so-called "Calico Early Man Site," located half an hour east of Barstow, California. How early?...

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Tabby's Star

(June 29, 2017) Fifty years ago — November 28, 1967 — a strange signal from the heavens was detected by radio astronomers in Cambridge, England. It was essentially a pulsing beep-beep-beep, the beeps...

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'Nuclear Batteries'

The future of electricity?

(June 15, 2017) In keeping with the "unpopular opinions" theme of this issue, I want to make a case for nuclear power. Not nuclear power as we normally think of it — vast...

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Measuring our Lives

(June 1, 2017) Hodgepodge. Mishmash. Dog's breakfast. How else to describe the many and various systems we blithely use to measure everything from time to gasoline to dress sizes to Starbuck's coffee? We...

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It's About Time

(May 18, 2017) When English novelist H.G. Wells published The Time Machine in 1895, the novel's plot device uncannily presaged Albert Einstein's 1905 Theory of Special Relativity. In Wells' yarn — since copied,...

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Puzzling

(May 4, 2017) Once again, for your edification and amusement, 10 puzzles. You'll find the answers on page 49 of this issue of the Journal. Let's start with the lovely "checkershadow" by...

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Bad Sea Rising

Part 2 of 2

(April 20, 2017) Last week, we looked at predictions for Global Sea Level Rise, GSLR, which average out to between 3 and 8 feet by 2100. The scientific consensus is that all contributions...

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Bad Sea Rising

(Part 1 of 2)

(April 13, 2017) As our climate warms, one of the more under-recognized consequences for future generations is global sea level rise (GSLR), especially considering that nearly 4 billion people on Earth live within...

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It's Nothing. Really.

(March 30, 2017) "Nothing" is about as slippery a concept as you can — or rather can't — imagine. Try to picture absolutely nothing at all. Is your nothing black, empty, soundless? Sorry,...

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The Weirdness of English

Part 2 of 2

(March 16, 2017) Last time, we saw how the precursor of English, Proto-Germanic, was an oddball among other languages derived from the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) spoken by nomads in present-day Ukraine around 6,000...

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The Weirdness of English

Part 1 of 2

(March 2, 2017) English is a mutt of a language, the bastard tongue of a bastard tongue, to use popular linguist John McWhorter's phrase. He was addressing the fact that the language you're...

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Sheep Dates

(February 16, 2017) The chronology of sheep, aka sheep dates, starts around the same time as the great change from nomadic hunting and gathering to settled agriculture, around 10,000 years ago. Sheep...

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Dawn Redwoods: Alive and Kicking!

(February 2, 2017) "If a man has to have a memorial or a monument to commemorate his life and his work, nothing could be more fitting than a living Dawn Redwood." — Andrew...

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How Sweet It Ain't

(January 19, 2017) Right about the time the U.S. government issued its first dietary guidelines in 1980, obesity and its evil twin, Type 2 diabetes, took off. In 1950, 12 percent of us...

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Crash Blossoms

(January 5, 2017) Ambiguity often gives a certain piquancy — and humor, per Groucho Marx — to our lives. Cover up the text below this paragraph and let's start off with a puzzle:...

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Recent Comments

  • Re: Westworld vs. Realworld

    • I was intending to add this video to my first reply because you made at…

    • on July 27, 2017
  • Re: Westworld vs. Realworld

    • First things first, fantastic article, great questions. Thank you for being vulnerable enough to put…

    • on July 27, 2017
  • Re: Tabby's Star

    • I'm predicting at least three planets will be found orbiting KIC 8462. One slightly larger…

    • on July 18, 2017
  • Re: Tabby's Star

    • Thanks Keith. I don't not share the belief that our future is uncharted. The hard…

    • on July 8, 2017
  • Re: Tabby's Star

    • Robert Lockett asked, "What's in it for humanity?" We journey into an uncharted future. Technological…

    • on July 8, 2017
  • More »

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