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IFLS is Not Science

Another reason why we ban IFLS posts from our community. 
 
A Failure to Communicate

Have you heard about the coming ice age? You may have seen articles with titles such as “Thanks To Reduced Solar Activity, We Could Be Heading For A Mini Ice Age In 2030.” and “‘Mini Ice Age’ Not a Reason to Ignore Global Warming.” Of course such sensational headlines led to rebuttal articles such as “No, We Aren’t Heading Into A ‘Mini Ice Age’” Once again, a hyped headline is used to drive page views, and which only serves to mislead readers. Hence a follow up article on how “The ‘Mini Ice Age’ Hoopla Is A Giant Failure Of Science Communication.” Here’s the thing, though. All of these articles are from IFLS also known as “I’ll use profanity in my website title so people will think I’m edgy and cool.”

You might think IFLS just made a mistake and then made an honest effort to correct it. They didn’t. After their first article hit the press, there were soon legitimate science communicators writing rebuttals. It was clear from the get-go that the research presented did not support a mini ice age in 2030, but IFLS printed it anyway. They published their second article to double down on their hyped claims. Of course, once it was crystal clear that IFLS was wrong, they could have made a correction in the original article and linked to one of the better rebuttals. They didn’t. Instead, they retitled their second article “There Probably Won’t Be A “Mini Ice Age” In 15 Years” and linked to that at the bottom of the page. To this date, they still haven’t made clear that their first article is in error. Why correct your “mistakes” when your lies get you nearly 76,000 likes on Facebook? The last two articles aren’t even ones IFLS wrote. They were actually written on The Conversation and then reprinted on IFLS. Heaven forbid you direct traffic to another site.

This isn’t a failure in science communication. It is the willful promotion of ignorance. So I think a new name for the site is in order: “We’re Just Interested In Pageviews. The Science Can F Itself.”

HT to Yvette d’Entremont for pointing these articles out.
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Chris N.'s profile photoRomavic Antony's profile photoMarcin Bień's profile photoCrystal Jones's profile photo
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Truth be told, I am less interested in IFLS here than in +Brian Koberlein​. I have not read him constantly, but this article still caught my attention because it seemed atypical for him.

The underlying point is important, and I think he may have chosen IFLS as av example to illustrate it. As it is, he may have just missed the mark a little - or not, because the discussion is going on now. 
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Claudius Chimuka

Science Outreach  - 
 
hie good people, I have a problem on the determination of Langmuir parameters of metheylene blue number of activated carbons. I need your help
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Rajini Rao's profile photo
 
Your question is garbled, can you state it more clearly? Are you studying the adsorption of methylene blue on activated carbon?
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Gianmario Scotti (Mario)

Science Bytes (Memes, Cartoons, Images)  - 
 
This is a short video of a record player's needle scanning a groove, captured by a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The vinyl itself looks white because it's non-conductive and so it is charged by the electrons bombarding the surface.  People who use SEM often, know that it is important to make the sample conductive (usually by sputtering a thin film of chromium or gold), otherwise the charging will cause the image to be too bright and details become invisible.

Anyway, you know the meme: "we heard you like scanning...".


http://www.freshphotons.com/post/125252140331/thecreatorsproject-ever-wondered-what-spinning
thecreatorsproject: “Ever wondered what spinning vinyl looks like under a microscope? ”
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Hamzeh Alaei's profile photoHeath Loden's profile photo
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Siyavash Nekuruh

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
 
Express sarcasm. Then it is good for you and your recipient!

Sarcasm increases creativity for both expressers and recipients

In a series of studies, participants were randomly assigned to conditions labeled sarcastic, sincere, or neutral. They had a sarcastic, sincere or neutral conversation which was part of a simulated task. 

"“Those in the sarcasm conditions subsequently performed better on creativity tasks than those in the sincere conditions or the control condition" says Galinsky, one of the authors.  

Interesting is also that unlike sarcasm between parties who distrust each other, sarcasm between individuals who share a trusting relationship does not generate more contempt than sincerity

more about this study can be read here:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S074959781500076X

and here: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2015/07/go-ahead-be-sarcastic/
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Jon Eckberg's profile photoErwin van de Biezen's profile photosergio villarreal's profile photoJason Ferris's profile photo
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> unlike sarcasm between parties who distrust each other, sarcasm between individuals who share a trusting relationship does not generate more contempt than sincerity

What about situations in which one party trusts the other, but the second party doesn't trust the first?

Back in college, I routinely encountered professors who expressed sarcasm against their students, and I did not find it motivational.  One professor even asked a student who was having difficulty with the material at the beginning of a class on linear algebra in a course on discrete mathematics, "What's 1+1?"  Perhaps that professor trusted the student, but the student didn't find that very funny.  (Incidentally, he retorted, "Solving that is trivial, but proving it (set-theoretically) isn't necessarily.")
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Joan Schmelz

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 


Online Harassment: The Dangers and Damages

Suppose you are harassed by a famous person. Suppose that person is an expert in taking advantage of your insecurities and vulnerabilities. Suppose you find in yourself the strength and courage to fight back. That’s the story described here. Read more at Women in Astronomy:

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2015/07/online-harassment-dangers-and-damages.html
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Esben Østergaard

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
This question from the +WallStreet Journal is a tricky one: "Can we create an ethical #robot?" The more sophisticated #artificalintelligence becomes, the more decisions it is going to make by itself. But simply programming a machine to follow common rules won't be enough. What if a robot has to react to an unforseen, dangerous situation, when it is faced with the choice  between a great evil and a lesser one? WSJ has put some really interesting thoughts together. Of course, I would like to know what you are thinking about this topic: Can we create an ethical robot? #ethics #cobots #technology
Without our social sense, an android will buy that last muffin, and a driverless car might run over a child.
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Anthony Miller's profile photoRomavic Antony's profile photoMike Addison's profile photoBenjamin Russell's profile photo
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David -- Appending my name to your comments is not serving any useful purpose as we are not discussing the same topic.

Re: Whether or not an ethical Robot can be devised by human creativity.

Perhaps address future comments to a conspiracy enthusiast, or to the topic at hand.

In this way, you may avoid producing a non sequitur. 
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David Collantes

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
What I learned from the article:

> Consuming or inhaling aldehydes has been linked to increased risk of heart disease and cancer. Corn and sunflower oil generate very high levels of aldehydes.

> Lard is unhealthy, but rich in monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats had been shown to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.

> Frying with olive oil is the main advise, but using as little as possible, and frying as less as possible, specially at hight temperature, while removing the excess of oil with a paper towel.
Olive oil or sunflower? That is the question.
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Paolo Marc's profile photoOtto Hunt's profile photoTiberiu Igrisan's profile photo
3 comments
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Understanding Animal Research

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
Scientists have found a protein in the immune system of a patient that beat the MERS virus that might help develop a treatment. When put into mice, the protein (LCA60) drastically reduced the level of the virus in the lungs. The virus became undetectable in most mice within five days.

"No vaccines or treatments currently exist to treat MERS, which causes symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath and can be fatal. An ongoing MERS outbreak in South Korea and China has caused 186 infections and 36 deaths as of July 27. "

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/antibody-fights-mers-found
Original Paper: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/07/21/1510199112
Scientists have isolated a human immune protein that fights the MERS virus in mice.
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Ian Martin's profile photoabak hoben's profile photoKethana Vasireddy's profile photoVishnu Jaikumar's profile photo
 
Great news! 
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Lisa White

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
This is so much fun!  I tried it with some pencil leads that had nano diamonds in, and with some that were plain cheap ones to see which burned brightest with my 7 year old yesterday! #science   #electronics   #simplecircuits    
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Tomas Wallgren's profile photoS Cin's profile photoAitor Zandueta's profile photoJoseph Nardone's profile photo
6 comments
 
It has. I love learning about the history of science, although I still have much to learn and it's all fascinating! 😀
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Debaleena Ghosh

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
 Google’s medical research company, Calico, has announced that it had cut a deal for access to genetic information from Ancestry.com, the largest family tree website.
 
Ancestry.com and Google’s Calico to collaborate to find answer for long lasting life
Technology has been revolving human lives for a while now and this is not new, AncestryDNA and Google are coming together to find out ways to live longer. Isn't that
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Lou Flores

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
The Turing Test

Human or not?

In observing the resent film “Ex Machina” I learned of the “Turing Test” to determine a machine’s ability to demonstrate intelligence equal to a human being.  Alan Turing, the British mathematician and computer scientists, posited an examination where in separate rooms would be situated a researcher who would observe the responses to a conversation between a human and an android.  No one in the test would have visual contact, including the researcher, and the discussion would be restricted to text only as speech would not be necessary.  Turing’s test was to last a mere five minutes and in that time if the machine could convince the observer 70% of the time of its “human responses” then the machine passes the test.  
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James Benson's profile photoDarren Schebek's profile photoMandarr Betgeri's profile photo
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The Turing test has a lot of failings to it as a measure of intelligence as can be read about here on Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_test#Weaknesses_of_the_test

For instance:

One interesting feature of the Turing Test is the frequency with which hidden human foils are misidentified by interrogators as being machines. It has been suggested that interrogators are looking more for expected human responses rather than typical ones. As a result, some individuals can be often categorized as being machines. This can therefore work in favor of a competing machine.
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About this community

Science on Google+ is a community moderated by scientists, for all people interested in science, both professionals and the general public. The primary goal of this community is to bring real scientists to the public, for science outreach. A secondary and long-term goal is to create an environment that fosters interdisciplinary collaborations; thus, enabling and promoting cloud collaboration between scientists. See Guidelines and Rules section for additional details.

Vivax Solutions

Science Bytes (Memes, Cartoons, Images)  - 
 
What is gravity?

The phenomenon of gravity has been a hot topic since time immemorial with our understanding evolving over the centuries.

Newton, for instance, said it was a force of attraction and even quantified with a famous equation. It does explain the motion of planets around the Sun and still plays a big role in positioning satellites.

Einstein, however, with his General Theory of Relativity turned the whole thing upside down while bringing in the curved space theory, which for many people still remains mind-boggling.

Physicist come up with great theories; it is down to a great teacher to get the message to the masses.

This video, watched by over 13 million people so far, explains it brilliantly.
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Maido Merisalu

Science Outreach  - 
 
Assembling different materials with desired structure in an atomic scale may sound like a technology from distant future, but actually it has been possible already for decades! This exciting technique is called „Atomic Layer Deposition“  (ALD) and the Laboratory of thin film technology in the University of Tartu is one of many groups in the world using this method to improve our everyday life. Although this technique is not suitable for creating macroscopic objects, it can be used to significantly enhance their properties such as corrosion resistance, wetting (self cleaning surfaces) or even biocompatibility (for brain chips). This method is also already used in the production of some solar cells, microelectronic devices and nanostructures.
Heres how the technique works - The deposition process is carried out in a specially designed ALD reactor, where different chemicals enter reaction chamber one at a time and react with the substrates surface in a self limiting manner. With each deposition cycle a thin layer is deposited and by repeating the cycle thicker material layers can be obtained. An easy example would be the deposition of titanium dioxide by using titanium(IV) chloride and water as reacting chemicals (precursors) and nitrogen as carrier gas.
But lets take a step even further – atomic layer deposition of antimatter? An antihydrogen (antiproton with a positron around it) was produced already in 1995 and eventually higher mass antiatoms and even antimolecules may be synthesized. The same chemistry would likely work with antimolecules aswell and that would allow to create a small amount of antimatter with desired structure! Although this process would be ridiculously expensive, almost certainly impractical and perhaps even technologically impossible in the future even for synthesizing a low atomic mass compound such as anti(Al2O3).
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Mike DeSimone's profile photoRomavic Antony's profile photoAnthony Ao's profile photo
 
This is the kind of tech that the semiconductor folks love. We've been depositing gate insulation on chips with thicknesses of a few atoms for decades with processes similar to this.
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Phylogeny: a Fractal View

Imagine an application that makes information easy to explore by laying it out in ever smaller bubbles using a fractal structure and a zooming interface so that the computer never runs out of space to put the information no matter how much there is. The OneZoom project attempts this with the Tree of Life. Click on individual branches and explore! 
 
Climbing the tree of life

It's fun to explore the tree of life at http://www.onezoom.org

It only has amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals - and only those that are still alive today.  But still, it's fun to keep zooming in and see how your favorites are related!

One nice feature is that you can see when branches happened.  And at first it seemed shocking to how new so many mammals' branches are. 

To set the stage, remember that an asteroid hit the Earth and a lot of dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago.  About 24 million years ago, the Earth cooled enough that Antarctica becomes covered with ice.  This cooling trend also created the great grasslands of the world!  Humans split off from other apes about 5 million years ago: we are creatures of the grasslands.  The glacial cycles began just 2.5 million years ago... and Homo erectus is first known to have tamed fire 1.4 million years ago.

Now compare this:  the cats branched off from hyenas about 40 million years ago.  Cheetahs branched off from other cats only 17 million years ago.  That makes sense: we couldn't have cheetahs without grasslands!   But bobcats and lynxes branched off only 11 million years ago... and tigers just 6 million years ago!

So tigers are almost as new as us!  And the modern lion, Panthera leo, is even newer.  It showed up just 1 million years old, after we tamed fire.

This changed my views a bit: I tended to think of humanity as the "new kid on the block".  And okay, it's true that Homo sapiens is just 250,000 years old.  But we had relatives making stone tools and fires for a lot longer!  

Here's another fact that forced me to straighten out my mental chronology: the University of Oxford is older than the Aztec empire!   Teaching started in Oxford as early as 1096, and the University was officially founded in 1249.  On the other hand, we can say the Aztec empire officially  started with the founding in Tenochtitlán in 1325.

And that, in turn, might explain why cell phones don't work very well here in Oxford.  But I digress.  Check out the tree of life, here:

http://www.onezoom.org/ 
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Rhonda Roberts's profile photoRoberto Wachong's profile photo
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With their warm, waterlogged soils, rice paddies contribute up to 17 percent of global methane emissions, the equivalent of about 100 million tons each year. With the addition of a single gene, rice can be cultivated to emit virtually no methane from its paddies during growth. Read more at http://www.pnnl.gov/news/release.aspx?id=4214. 
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Raymond Tong's profile photoScience on Google+'s profile photoRomavic Antony's profile photo
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Yes, very high brow aren't they? 
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Scot Waring

​​​​​​​​​Earth  - 
 
Research raises renewed concerns about #fracking solution mixing with drinking #water.

ABSTRACT: Reports highlight the safety of hydraulic fracturing for drinking water if it occurs “many hundreds of meters to kilometers underground”. To our knowledge, however, no comprehensive analysis of hydraulic fracturing depths exists. Based on fracturing depths and water use for ∼44 000 wells reported between 2010 and 2013, the average fracturing depth across the United States was 8300 ft (∼2500 m). Many wells (6900; 16%) were fractured less than a mile from the surface, and 2600 wells (6%) were fractured above 3000 ft (900 m), particularly in Texas (850 wells), California (720), Arkansas (310), and Wyoming (300). Average water use per well nationally was 2 400 000 gallons (9 200 000 L), led by Arkansas (5 200 000 gallons), Louisiana (5 100 000 gallons), West Virginia (5 000 000 gallons), and Pennsylvania (4 500 000 gallons). Two thousand wells (∼5%) shallower than one mile and 350 wells (∼1%) shallower than 3000 ft were hydraulically fractured with >1 million gallons of water, particularly in Arkansas, New Mexico, Texas, Pennsylvania, and California. Because hydraulic fractures can propagate 2000 ft upward, shallow wells may warrant special safeguards, including a mandatory registry of locations, full chemical disclosure, and, where horizontal drilling is used, pre-drilling water testing to a radius 1000 ft beyond the greatest lateral extent.
Reports highlight the safety of hydraulic fracturing for drinking water if it occurs “many hundreds of meters to kilometers underground”. To our knowledge, however, no comprehensive analysis of hydraulic fracturing depths exists. Based on fracturing depths and water use for ∼44 000 wells ...
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Walt Shepard's profile photoChuck Wortman's profile photoNik Nazarevsky's profile photo
2 comments
 
Yay fracking! Cleaning up polluted drinking water, lots of jobs! Samec companies end up getting work too!
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David Collantes

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
Sleeping is important, as our brain do "maintenance" during that time. After a good night sleep we are more productive, and efficient.

Now its being found that not only protects current memories from being forgotten, it allows us to access them easier.
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Ken MacMillan's profile photoBenjamin Russell's profile photoKethana Vasireddy's profile photoFaith Umeizudike's profile photo
 
Good to hear! 
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Biology

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
An Invisible Copepod

This is a Sea Sapphire – a copepod covered in guanine crystals: they reflect light from its surface and make a Sea Sapphire visible or invisible. The colour of the reflected light depends on the angle it. Usually, guanine crystals reflect blue light, but when the light hits the Sea Sapphire at 45 degrees, the reflected light shifts into the ultraviolet and becomes invisible to the human eye!

http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2015/07/video-solving-mystery-invisible-sea-sapphire
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jy down's profile photoFrostbite WW2 (:D)'s profile photoElizabeth Gomez's profile photoShu-Rong Zhang (张树荣)'s profile photo
10 comments
 
wow these crustaceans are awesome, Thank you Dale Lanan, and Rajini Rao
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Hussain Nashydhu Moosa

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
 
Supercontinent Pangea with modern day borders ... 
This looks very interesting ... 
Can someone comment on the accuracy of this map ... 
Thanks ... 

http://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich/2013/09/12/221874851/a-most-delightful-map

#Pangea   #countries   #world   #worldmap   #continents  
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Daniel Sima's profile photoBarbara Gross's profile photoGuroo Kk's profile photoRichard Lee's profile photo
3 comments
 
What we have today is a scattered distribution of land masses, with Europe/Asia and the Americas on opposite sides of the globe. If all land masses were contiguous in the past, would there only be ocean on the opposite side of the planet. Wouldn't this make the land side of the globe 'heavier' than the sea side? How would this affect the rotation of the earth? Would it wobble?
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Hanan Parvez

Science News (Pop Sci)  - 
 
I love how the placebo effect makes a mockery out of medical science. But far from disappointing us, it should serve to remind us there's much more that we don't understand yet.
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Hanan Parvez's profile photoDebra Cleaver's profile photoMahnoor Mansoor's profile photo
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Our consciousness is the emergent part of our brain. One of the most fascinating things about this emergence is that it has convinced itself that it makes all decisions and is in full control, even though that is demonstrably not the case.
http://www.amazon.com/Self-Comes-Mind-Constructing-Conscious/dp/150124695X
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