97 hours of consensus

The science on global warming/climate change is a lot more certain than some people seem to think it is. 97% of climate scientists agree, and only around half of Americans do and a good portion of those don’t realize just how sure the science is.

That’s the reason for 97 hours of consensus; to make people aware of the scientific consensus on the subject, which is a good cause even if the mere fact of consensus isn’t the best argument in their favor.

Year by year, decade by decade, gradually over long periods of time, we see that the earth’s temperature is rising and we know from very careful scientific studies that have been done, that the majority of this warming is due to human production of heat-trapping gases.
Professor Katharine Hayhoe


See all the quotes so far here.


Dreadnoughtus: Gigantic, exceptionally complete sauropod dinosaur

And it has such an awesome name too.

After Big Bang

The new 65-ton (59,300 kg) dinosaur species Dreadnoughtus schrani is the largest land animal for which body mass can be accurately calculated. Its skeleton is the most complete ever found of its type, with over 70 percent of the bones, excluding the head, represented. Because all previously discovered supermassive dinosaurs are known from relatively fragmentary remains, Dreadnoughtus offers an unprecedented window into the anatomy and biomechanics of the largest animals to ever walk the Earth.

Illustration: Jennifer Hall Illustration: Jennifer Hall

Dreadnoughtus schrani was astoundingly huge,” said Kenneth Lacovara, PhD, an associate professor in Drexel University’s College of Arts and Sciences, who discovered the Dreadnoughtus fossil skeleton in southern Patagonia in Argentina and led the excavation and analysis. “It weighed as much as a dozen African elephants or more than seven T. rex. Shockingly, skeletal evidence shows that when this 65-ton specimen died, it was not yet full grown. It is by…

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The crime against Jennifer Lawrence

In case you haven’t heard, nude pictures of several women, notably Jennifer Lawrence, were stolen and leaked a few days ago.

Out of the people talking about the incident, there is (sadly unsurprising) a lot of victim-blaming, but even among those who don’t go quite that far some have called it a “scandal” and more or less implied that what happened had more to do with the people in the pictures than the ones who stole them.

Well, this wasn’t a “scandal”, it was a crime. The blame lies entirely with the criminals.  The Belle Jar has a good account of what’s been going on and what’s wrong with it. (Reddit being the worst of the worst is equally unsurprising.)

Continue reading The crime against Jennifer Lawrence

Awesome music Thursday: Transformers EVO

There has long been a trend in anime of using random pop songs for openings rather than actually having specially made theme songs. Sometimes that works out just fine, other times not so much.

But one day a group of singers who didn’t like that trend got together and formed a group that would specialize in theme songs. And thus JAM Project was born.

Oh, did I mention that all those singers are very talented and that pretty much everything they’ve done as a group has been awesome?

Continue reading Awesome music Thursday: Transformers EVO

Entirely new form of life discovered

Yes, it was originally found in 1986 and not examined until recently. Still, a new organism that doesn’t seem to belong to any known phylum was discovered near Tasmania.

It’s very small, shaped vaguely like a mushroom, and might not share a common ancestor with any known living creature in the last 500 million years.

“We think it belongs in the animal kingdom somewhere; the question is where.” – Jorgen Olesen

Human nature

A lot of people seem to think that because they see a substantial amount of bad news, the present is worse than the past. (Of course there have been people saying that in every generation.) And “I’m losing my faith in humanity” is a common sentiment. (Really common: “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore” and other such memes are basically variations.)

Hessianwithteeth has a good post arguing against that view.

And then there are people who just claim that people are basically bad and always have been. Some religions endorse this view.

These are two different ideas, but they’re not completely separate. If the world is in fact getting better rather than worse, that is also evidence that people have more goodness than the cynics give them credit for.

Continue reading Human nature

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