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CSIRO takes axe to education and children’s outreach work to meet cuts

1 August 2014

CSIRO has had to make hard choices following government funding cuts.

Who needs to inspire Australian kids to love science? Who needs astronomy?

I’d write to the Minister for Science if the government hadn’t cut that too.

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First Aid Kit cover Jack White

1 August 2014

Triple j‘s Like a Version is always a must-listen on my way into work on a Friday morning. Today’s was an excellent amalgam of two of my favourite acts: First Aid Kit covering Jack White’s “Love Interruption”.

If you’re a Tenacious D fan, watch from the start (a bit of a Jack Black/Jack White contrast). Otherwise, the serious stuff starts from about 1:00.

You can see their harmonious original song, “My Silver Lining”, here.

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Jack White’s “Lazaretto”

24 April 2014
Not Johnny Depp. Or Tim Burton. Or Robert Smith.

Not Johnny Depp. Or Tim Burton. Or Robert Smith.

Here’s the next track from Jack White‘s second solo album, the titular “Lazaretto”.

This sounds like bluesy Rage Against The Machine. That’s promising.

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News of the Obvious: Homeopathy is Nonsense

9 April 2014

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From Lifehacker:

The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has released a new draft paper on the effectiveness of homeopathy following an in-depth analysis across 68 different health conditions. Unsurprisingly, the paper concludes that there is no reliable evidence that homoeopathy is effective for treating any ailment. Rather, it’s a potentially dangerous pseudoscience that can dupe patients into rejecting conventional and effective treatments.

The emphasis is mine.

It will take a lot more than this restatement of obvious science before the scores of homeopathic “treatments” disappear from Australian pharmacy shelves, or before the government stops listening to “alternative” medicine lobby groups.

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Instrumental taste of the second Jack White solo album, Lazaretto

3 April 2014

The Man Who Can Do No Musical Wrong has released a taster from his second solo album. Jack White’s Lazaretto will come out in June.

“High Ball Stepper” is a weird choice: a Zeppelinesque slab of crunching guitar instrumentals. Every second of it thrills me.

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Art vs Science – Create/Destroy

18 March 2014

A band I already like creates a track with thumping bass and falsetto vocals? I’m in.

Fun video too.

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Primordial gravitational waves, and ants in the curl of space

18 March 2014
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Bicep2

You know a scientific discovery is big when it makes the regular news, and the apparent discovery of primordial gravitational waves has done that.

These results are believed to show what happened in the early universe, right after the Big Bang. If they survive peer review then they’ll be the final confirmation of Einstein’s general theory of relativity, and the first direct evidence of universal inflation. These are big deals because they further strengthen some already very strong theories.

For an interesting illustration of what led to the BICEP2 project and how it was carried out, read this story on Scienceblogs’ Dynamics of Cats.

Being a very clever ant, you realise that you can figure out something about the lake [in which you're floating]!
For example, you realise that while it is a very deep lake, it is not infinitely deep.
In fact you can, eg by measuring some of the swirls, and where the waves break, figure there are shallows in some parts of the lake.

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