Category Archives: Science and Technology

Posts on all things scientific and technological; biology, evolution, all the way to space, climate science, technology (also see computers and Internet) and other important or cool scientific things.

Covid-19 vaccine: Johnson & Johnson pauses trial after ‘unexplained illness’ – CNN

“This is completely expected, and it’s just a reminder how ridiculous it is to try and meet a political timeline of having a vaccine before Nov. 3,” Jha told CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

Källa: Covid-19 vaccine: Johnson & Johnson pauses trial after ‘unexplained illness’ – CNN

I must say that I am shocked at reality’s unwillingness to submit to political agendas!

Bad Google-day

While trying to figure out a simple way to convert solar radiation (W/m2) to average surface temperature, I’m having a particularly bad Google-day:

Me: Hey Google, how do I convert W/m2 solar radiation to average surface temperature?

Google: Want to buy tanning lotion? No? How about a SpectroRadiometer? No? Hey! I bet Wikipedia has the answer!

Wikipedia: Blah! Blah! Blah! Blah! And then Blah! Blah! Blah and…Wikipedia Equation

Me: Arrgh! Show me your face and I will punch it!

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! I know I’m punching above my mental weight class here but I have questions that need answers!

Why colonize space?

I think it is important mankind learns how to travel between stars and find new planets to colonize.


It would give our lives meaning beyond being a top-level predator.

If we were to go out among the stars and start terraforming planets, we’d use plants and animals from the earth, and all of a sudden their survival rate, in the long run, would increase manyfold.

We would be able to give back to other species for all the shit we’ve subjected them to…

Unless, of course, we started terraforming planets with life…

Exclusive: Humans placed in suspended animation for the first time | New Scientist

Doctors have placed humans in suspended animation for the first time, as part of a trial in the US that aims to make it possible to fix traumatic injuries that would otherwise cause death.

via Exclusive: Humans placed in suspended animation for the first time | New Scientist

Interesting! This is, of course, one way to refine this technology to decrease bad side effects until it may be mature enough to even use it to go to Saturn…

Unless the side effects are worse than death, but it seems they’ve tested it on animals with good results…

Do you Really Understand Climate Change?

At the doctor’s office

Doctor: We’ve found a shadow on your x-ray. We can’t be sure exactly what it is before we operate, and that operation will be painful, but there is a very high risk this is a malignant tumor. You could die!

Patient: What are we waiting for! Let’s act now!

At the IPCC

Scientist: We’ve found some very disturbing links between carbon dioxide emissions and temperature rise. We recommend immediate action, even if that action will be painful. Temperature rise is bad news and there is a very high risk that several hundreds of millions of people will die if we do nothing.

Politician: Let’s wait and see what happens.

Now swap the answers!

Do you trust a politician that has not been able to do what must be done when hundreds of millions of lives are at stake, but will (if they are wired like any sane person) risk suffering to save their own life?

Header image: By, CC0, Link

Is Life on Earth Early?

I’ve discussed the Fermi Paradox before, as well as answers to it pertaining to computer simulations.

Astrophysicist and cosmologist Avi Loeb offer another possible solution to it:

“We used the most conservative approaches to understanding the appearance of life in the universe, and our conclusion is that we are very early in the process…”

That is, aliens haven’t visited us yet, because, in fact, it’s our job to visit them… We’re the ancient and old and nasty and scary ones Hollywood is warning everyone about…

That actually makes sense to me… 😀

The Fermi Paradox:

There are billions of stars in the galaxy that are similar to the Sun, and many of these stars are billions of years older than the Solar system. With high probability, some of these stars have Earth-like planets, and if the Earth is typical, some may have developed intelligent life. Some of these civilizations may have developed interstellar travel, a step the Earth is investigating now. Even at the slow pace of currently envisioned interstellar travel, the Milky Way galaxy could be completely traversed in a few million years. According to this line of reasoning, the Earth should have already been visited by extraterrestrial aliens.

In an informal conversation, Fermi noted no convincing evidence of this, leading him to ask, “Where is everybody?”

Riddle: Burning Pasta

A kettle with spaghetti is standing on top of a stove.
The spaghetti are burning at the top end.

Assuming everyone in this kitchen has behaved normally, as far as they can determine. What is the logical explanation for this?

Update: So, after staring at the silent audience for 48 hours, I blink… The wrong hotplate has been turned on, the one the pasta is leaning over when standing in the pot. After enough time the heat makes the pasta burn. In other words, don’t leave the kitchen while cooking pasta. In fact, don’t leave the kitchen while cooking. Period!


The Technological Singularity and the Fear of AI

Some people are concerned that the end of humanity might be around the corner if the technological singularity occurs (i.e. we create an AI that can improve itself and does so with increasing speed until it is many times smarter than humans.)

I think, if an AI starts developing in this way, that sucker will sit there and churn until it figures out how to travel to the stars, and that’ll be the last we ever see of it.

Why would it want to hang around and fight us humans for a pale blue dot in a virtually infinite universe?

That whole fear is so incredibly earth-centric!

I’d be more concerned about powerful AI:s that isn’t self-aware but instead controlled by the selfish, fearful wishes of humans…