Earthquake hazard area from injection wells expands with evidence for additional mechanism

This is a fascinating new study of the earthquakes in Oklahoma related to fluid injection. I have not seen it out in the media yet. The 2016 Mw5.1 Fairview, Oklahoma earthquakes: Evidence for long-range poroelastic triggering at >40 km from fluid disposal wells T.H.W. Goebel, M. Weingarten, X. Chen, J. Haffener, E.E. Brodsky. Earth and Planetary…

Why the Darwin Awards Should Die

A recent tragic story in the news reminded me once again that people can be callous and unthinking in reaction to others’ misfortune. A 19-year old girl shot her boyfriend by his request with the goal of making a viral YouTube video showing how a book can stop a bullet. It didn’t stop it. He’s…

Astrophysical comedy and education

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson paid a visit to Hershey, PA this week. It was a packed house, which was encouraging to see. All ages, from kids as young as 6 to elderly folks, were in attendance. That’s pretty remarkable. Hershey is an upper middle-class area with many professionals employed at the large teaching hospital, Penn…

Scottish poltergeist story is highly questionable, even if the police say they saw something

A story about a family in Rutherglen, Scotland, who called in police to report paranormal phenomena, rode the media wave yesterday into today. The original source was the local Rutherglen Reformer paper that appears digitally on the Daily Record (UK) website. Here is the main story: Rutherglen family call in police after witnessing paranormal activity A desperate Rutherglen…

Add science then stir

A ubiquitous, overly-simplistic idea about science should be put to death. It is that of the public as an empty vessel that awaits filling with scientific facts. Then education will be achieved (level up!) and we can all make smart and informed decisions. That’s utter tosh (as the British say). Nonsense. As much as we…

Psychical Research President states scientific disbelief in psi is “pathological”

What a very strange “President’s Letter” is in Issue 77 of the Paranormal Review published by the Society of Psychical Research (Winter 2016). I read and re-read it trying to make heads or tales out of Dr. Poynton’s meaning and assertions. He seems to despise the application of reason and questioning, wishing the stodgy “pathological” scientists and…

John Oliver f**king skewers media science

John Oliver skewered pop media “science” coverage on his recent show. It wasn’t all that funny but it was true. And depressing. What has our society become? So smart, we get stupid. As an observer of the relationship between science and the public, he’s totally right for pointing out disturbing trends of morning news shows…