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Communications

NJ Museum Revives TIROS Satellite Dish After 40 Years 28

Posted by timothy
from the zip-zooming-along dept.
evanak writes TIROS was NASA's Television Infrared Observation Satellite. It launched in April 1960. One of the ground tracking stations was located at the U.S. Army's secret "Camps Evans" Signals Corps electronics R&D laboratory. That laboratory (originally a Marconi wireless telegraph lab) became the InfoAge Science Center in the 2000s. [Monday], after many years of restoration, InfoAge volunteers (led by Princeton U. professor Dan Marlowe) successfully received data from space. The dish is now operating for the first time in 40 years! The received data are in very raw form, but there is a clear peak riding on top of the noise background at 0.4 MHz (actually 1420.4 MHz), which is the well-known 21 cm radiation from the Milky Way. The dish was pointing south at an elevation of 45 degrees above the horizon.

+ - WSJ refused to publish Lawrence Krauss' response to "Science Proves Religion".

Submitted by Kubla Kahhhn!
Kubla Kahhhn! (3042441) writes "Recently, the WSJ posted a controversial piece "Science Increasingly Makes a Case for God", written by non-scientist and darling of the apologist crowd, Eric Metaxas. Noted astrophysicist Lawrence Krauss wrote a simple and clear retort in a letter to the editor, which the WSJ declined to publish. Is it an example of the kind of "fair and balanced reporting" we can expect, now that Wall Street Journal is owned by Rupert Murdoch?"

+ - 'Disco clam' lights up to scare predators away->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "When predators get close, the bright, orange-lipped “disco clam” flashes them to scare them off. But it's not just the light that's important. Researchers have found that the clam has sulfur in its fleshy lips and tentacles and suspect that, like another clam species that drop tentacles laden with sulfuric acid to deter predators, the disco clam's sulfur also gets converted into a distasteful substance. The flashing may warn predators away, similar to the bright orange of a monarch butterfly warning birds of its toxic taste."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:These crazy archeologist... (Score 1) 276

by SysKoll (#48662759) Attached to: TSA Has Record-Breaking Haul In 2014: Guns, Cannons, and Swords
I "escorted" a precious cargo on a flight once. It was in a padded plastic case looking a lot like this one. We simply bought a seat for the case! It was not an antique, it was a motherboard tester prototype. We simply couldn't risk getting one of these protos damaged or lost.

Comment: These crazy archeologist... (Score 3, Insightful) 276

by SysKoll (#48653239) Attached to: TSA Has Record-Breaking Haul In 2014: Guns, Cannons, and Swords

From the paternalist, condescending article: Beyond firearms, of course, TSA officers encounter an extremely wide variety of other prohibited items at airport checkpoints, including ... an unloaded cannon.

Because archeologist or collectors should absolutely check in priceless historical artifacts! It's not like baggage handler would steal anything, or the airlines would lose luggage, ho ho, how silly.

Hey, this thing was a firearm once, right? So it's totally justified, innit? Even though the picture even shows that the thing is rusty, unable to fire, and very old.

Do you know how funny it is in Dilbert cartoon when the PHB adopts a tone of condescending smugness to assert misinformed, ill-reasoned opinions? Well, somehow, these bureaucrats don't manage to make it funny.

The Media

Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics' 719

Posted by Soulskill
from the intellectual-brand-recognition dept.
Layzej writes: Prominent scientists, science communicators, and skeptic activists, are calling on the news media to stop using the word "skeptic" when referring to those who refuse to accept the reality of climate change, and instead refer to them by what they really are: science deniers. "Not all individuals who call themselves climate change skeptics are deniers. But virtually all deniers have falsely branded themselves as skeptics. By perpetrating this misnomer, journalists have granted undeserved credibility to those who reject science and scientific inquiry."
Education

Google Suggests Separating Students With 'Some CS Knowledge' From Novices 307

Posted by timothy
from the go-to-the-head-of-the-other-class dept.
theodp writes To address the challenge of rapidly increasing CS enrollments and increasing diversity, reports the Computing Education Blog, Google in November put out an RFP to universities for its invite-only 3X in 3 Years: CS Capacity Award program, which aims "to support faculty in finding innovative ways to address the capacity problem in their CS courses." In the linked-to RFP document, Google suggests that "students that have some CS background" should not be allowed to attend in-person intro CS courses where they "may be more likely to create a non-welcoming environment," and recommends that they instead be relegated to online courses. According to a recent NSF press release, this recommendation would largely exclude Asian and White boys from classrooms, which seems to be consistent with a Google-CodeCademy award program that offers $1,000 bonuses to teachers who get 10 or more high school kids to take a JavaScript course, but only counts students from "groups traditionally underrepresented in computer science (girls, or boys who identify as African American, Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native)." The project suggested in the Google RFP — which could be worth $1.5 million over 3 years to a large CS department — seems to embrace-and-extend a practice implemented at Harvey Mudd College years ago under President Maria Klawe, which divided the intro CS offering into separate sections based upon prior programming experience to — as the NY Times put it — reduce the intimidation factor of young men, already seasoned programmers, who dominated the class. Google Director of Education and University Relations Maggie Johnson, whose name appears on the CS Capacity RFP, is also on the Board of Code.org (where Klawe is coincidentally an Advisory Board member), the K-12 learn-to-code nonprofit that has received $3+ million from Google and many millions more from other tech giants and their execs. Earlier this week, Code.org received the blessing of the White House and NSF to train 25,000 teachers to teach CS, stirring unease among some educators concerned about the growing influence of corporations in public schools.

Comment: Best source(s) about your work on sunk submarines? (Score 2) 40

by SysKoll (#48330577) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Robert Ballard About Ocean Exploration

Your work on a certain luxury liner is very well documented. However, it's harder to find details about your work to locate and study the wrecks of U.S.S. Thresher and U.S.S. Scorpion.

How much of this is still classified? What good publicly available source(s) would you recommend to learn more about these missions?

Comment: Re:PETA! HELP! (Score 1) 164

by powerlinekid (#48329157) Attached to: Discovery Claims It Will Show a Man Being "Eaten Alive" By an Anaconda

We do not know that they can eat a person. We know they can kill a person however our shoulders cause issues for any snake trying to swallow us whole. Beyond that they tend eat things smaller than us. Consuming a 200 pound animal makes it very difficult for the snake to react defensively or flee from any threats.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E...
Relevant passage:
Many local stories and legends report the anaconda as a man-eater, but little evidence supports any such activity.

Regardless, this is stupid and it seems incredibly unlikely to be successful unless they found a horse jockey whose "snake proof suit" somehow can withstand the constriction while still being small enough to swallow.

"We shall reach greater and greater platitudes of achievement." -- Richard J. Daley

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