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Reid Parsons
107 followers -
A concerned planetary scientist
A concerned planetary scientist

107 followers
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Reid's posts

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The GRAIL mission to moon has discovered a low density lunar crust, with large cracks filled with solidified magma - not bad for a 2 yr mission.  Also, I wonder how Sally Ride would feel about being named after a crater formed from a crashing spacecraft - seems a bit insulting to an astronaut.

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I want to read this book if only for the following line:
"There is no escape to Mars for us. We're stuck here, and we don't own the place - it would be the height of arrogance to assume that we do. We're tenants here, not owners, but we're tenants with hope for a long-term tenancy"

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A message to the climate skeptics/deniers:
1) Unless you've evaluated the observations for yourself and you understand  ice core and sea/lake sediment data (oxygen isotopes, for instance) and unless you understand how gasses in our atmosphere absorb and emit radiation from different parts of the spectrum, and unless you've taken some geology to know the natural variability in the Earth's climate, and unless you've actually seen results from climate models then you aren't really in a position to question the phenomenon of anthropogenic climate change, are you?  I'm not saying this to be a snob, and I'm all for being skeptical, but unless you have the technical skill and background to assess whether these scientific findings are correct, I'm sorry, but you can't be part of the jury.
2) But, luckily, there is a jury of other scientists that do scrutinize this stuff, and the ruling is overwhelming ... 97% of scientists say man-made climate change is real. "But wait", you say, "what if these scientists are conspiring together to convince the public of climate change so they can line their pockets with funding money?" I'm sorry but that's insulting.  If you go to the doctor and you're diagnosed with an illness.  Being a skeptic, you go to another doctor, and another, and another, and 97% of them give you the same diagnosis, do you say "my, God! it's a conspiracy that these doctors want me to be sick so they can make money treating me!"  It's an insult to these scientist and the scientific process. So please, go on being a skeptic, just be a reasonable one.

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Let's explore!

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A very cool mission concept which could make observations that tie lander and orbiter data together ... can we get one for Mars as well as Titan?

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A great article on how the focus on education reform in America should be focusing on equality.

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Two years late, and 50% over-budget, but I'm thrilled and relieved to see Curiosity on its way to Mars to analyze the Mars sedimentary record as it climbs a 3km high mound in Gale Crater. I'll be holding my breath during the sky crane landing maneuver (8.5 months from now)

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An uplifting video that brought tears to my eyes ... to consider the trials and accomplishments of our species (not of individual nations) struck a chord with me. However in the closing phrase of the song: "This [humans] most successful of all mammals ... " I might disagree with - depending on how you define "successful." The criterion I would choose would use to define a successful species would probably be longevity rather than intelligence or its position on the food chain.

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It seems as though the more computer programming I learn, the more I use a computer like I did in the days of DOS prompt. This makes sense in terms of the programs I write, but even the programs I use to do my research have gone from graphical interfaces with windows and drop-down menus to command line function-calling (in GIS I've gone from ArcView and ArcGIS to Generic Mapping Tools; in data analysis/visualization I've gone from MATLAB to Python-based matplotlib) I guess power-computing makes you look like a matrix hacker ...
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