About 1.3 billion years ago, two black holes collided – and the whole fabric of space-time rang like a bell. Last September, researchers in the US detected the gravitational ripples. They announced it this week – and THAT, my friends, is awesome news. It’s not just the fact that Albert Einstein predicted them 100 years… More Einstein was right…again. Gravitational waves rule!
I saw something the other day by Neil de Grasse Tyson, explaining that anybody in the sciences who popularises the field is usually not regarded as a ‘serious’ scientist. He explained that even astrophysics – his field – is at best ‘neutral’ in such attitudes. I recall an episode of The Big Bang Theory where… More So when did popularising science make people bad scientists?
I once knew someone who had to prepare the ‘Your Stars’ column for the local newspaper. It was a serious job that had to be got right. The content arrived from an external service (as a lot of newspaper content of this ilk does) but there was only a certain amount of space for the… More I’m a bit cynical about astrology. No really.
I have always been fascinated by the human ability to make what we imagine seem real. And then to take that reality and imagine something else built on it, and so on. Eventually, we build a ‘reality’ that is built not on physical evidence, but on our chain of imagined concepts – which society picks… More Imaginings about imaginary imagination, tulips and climate
It’s funny how every new gadget, however trivial, comes wrapped in the idea that it is the Way Of The Future. The other week it was smart suitcases that text you from the luggage conveyor in airports. That, I admit, has a pretty good chance of taking off. But what about all the other stuff… More Where’s my flying car, then?
One of the disturbing uses of social media these days appears to be ‘shaming’ – picking on strangers over some superficial issue the ‘shamers’ demonise, in ignorance of context and circumstance. The fact that ‘shaming’ is so judgemental underscores what it actually is – bullying. History, alas, tells us that this sort of behaviour is part of the human… More Social media shaming is bullying – and must stop
I have never really understood the claim that the ‘old days’ were somehow simpler or easier. Actually, they usually weren’t. We only think they were. The cause is a curious mix of cognitive illusions, including the ‘recency’ phenomenon – by which whatever happened last week looms larger than something that happened last year or last… More The old days weren’t actually simpler – not really