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Comment Re:It is about perception, and culture (Score 1) 545

Unfortunately, that rigorous empirical validation also told us that the glaciers on the Himalayas would be all melted by 2035... Actually it isn't, but it shows that the zealots on both sides are willing to bend the truth and fudge the details in an attempt to sway the masses. So it isn't natural for the masses to be a bit skeptical? If nothing else, it shows why you should stick to the rigorous empirical part and leave the FUD to the other side.

Comment Science is about money now (Score 2) 408

Like just about everything else in this world, science is about money. And how do you get money in science? By finding and/or hyping the next leap forward. Being successful in science is all about getting grants. You don't get tenure without bringing in grant money, you don't get grant money without publishing in the best journals, you don't publish in the best journals without finding the next leap. Your typical PhD finishes school in their late 20's, probably with significant school loan debt. He or she then gets a postdoc where they can barely afford to live in the city with the prestigious school that they think they need to further their career. At the same, it's probably time to think about starting a family (especially if you are a woman). And as a postdoc, the pressure to publish is even greater in a more compressed time frame. There is so much pressure there financially, emotionally and mentally, that is it is no wonder that some people cave and take shortcuts and fudge results. And then, if you do make it to a tenure track position, you don't do much science any more. Instead you spend all your time writing grants and churning through postdocs, who may or may not be fudging their results to get a recommendation to get a better position...

Submission + - Facebook trapped in MySQL 'fate worse than death' ( 1

wasimkadak writes: According to database pioneer Michael Stonebraker, Facebook is operating a huge, complex MySQL implementation equivalent to “a fate worse than death,” and the only way out is “bite the bullet and rewrite everything.”

Not that it’s necessarily Facebook’s fault, though. Stonebraker says the social network’s predicament is all too common among web startups that start small and grow to epic proportions.


Submission + - ISPs Throttle "Pirate's" Connections (

Medevilae writes: Americans who illegally download songs and movies may soon be in for a surprise: They will be warned to stop, and if they don't, they could find their Internet access slowing to a crawl.

After years of negotiations with Hollywood and the music industry, the nation's top Internet providers have agreed to a systematic approach to identifying customers suspected of digital copyright infringement and then alerting them via e-mail or other means.

Under the new process, which was announced Thursday, several warnings would be issued, with progressively harsher consequences if the initial cautions were ignored.

The companies took pains to say that the agreement did not oblige Internet providers to shut down a repeat offender's account, and that the system of alerts was meant to be "educational." But they noted that carriers would retain their right to cut off any user who violated their terms of service.


Website Sells Pubic Lice 319

A British website called will help you prove that there is literally nothing you can't find online by selling you pubic lice. A disclaimer on the site says the creators "do not endorse giving people lice," and the lice are for "novelty purposes only." The company also boasts about a facility "where we do all of our parasite husbandry and carefully considered selective breeding." Three different packages are available: "Green package - One colony that can lay as many as 30 eggs for about $20. Blue package - Three colonies to share with your friends or freeze a batch or two for about $35. Red package - A vial of 'shampoo-resistant F-strain crabs' which can take up to two weeks to kill for about $52."

Shuttle Reentry Over the Continental US 139

TheOtherChimeraTwin notes that the shuttle Discovery will land at Kennedy Space Center on Monday morning at 8:48 EDT. The craft will make a rare "descending node" overflight of the continental US en route to landing in Florida. Here are maps of the shuttle's path if is lands on orbit 222 as planned, or on the next orbit. says: " takes the shuttle about 35 minutes to traverse the path shown... Observers in the northwestern USA will see the shuttle shortly after 5 am PDT blazing like a meteoric fireball through the dawn sky. As Discovery makes its way east, it will enter daylight and fade into the bright blue background. If you can't see the shuttle, however, you might be able to hear it. The shuttle produces a sonic double-boom that reaches the ground about a minute and a half after passing overhead."

Supersizing the "Last Supper" 98

gandhi_2 writes "A pair of sibling scholars compared 52 artists' renditions of 'The Last Supper', and found that the size of the meal painted had grown through the years. Over the last millennium they found that entrees had increased by 70%, bread by 23%, and plate size by 65.6%. Their findings were published in the International Journal of Obesity. From the article: 'The apostles depicted during the Middle Ages appear to be the ascetics they are said to have been. But by 1498, when Leonardo da Vinci completed his masterpiece, the party was more lavishly fed. Almost a century later, the Mannerist painter Jacobo Tintoretto piled the food on the apostles' plates still higher.'"

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