Archive for the 'General' Category

On framing and perceptions

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

The Daily Show Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,The Daily Show on Facebook,Daily Show Video Archive Daily Show vaccine segment 02 June 2014 This segment on the Daily Show, and the reaction to it, set me to thinking about how our views as a population are shaped. To read even a smidgin of the literature […]

Willy Ley’s Exotic Zoology

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

This is the first of what I hope will be many posts on books that have brought me joy over the years. I am writing it for the selfish pleasure of remembering what it was like to read this book for the first time. But I hope that someone may, as a result of reading […]

Boojums, reanimated

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

Rising from the earth’s damp clutch, shaking off clods and looking around dumbly, the blog attempted to form a thought. “Me … alive?” If you found your way here, you know that this blog’s domain is now “” and not “” Long story. Let me just advise that, before you sign up with an ISP […]

The Power of Positive Ignorance, Part I

Monday, May 30th, 2011

People often ask me “Jimbobboy, what do you think science is like, anyway?” Or they would, if anyone who knew me gave a rat’s ass what I think science is like. Fortunately, answering questions no one has asked is exactly what we have blogs for! And today, the answer is that science is quantitative. The […]

Good morning!

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

Attention Conservation Notice:[1] Today’s post is self-indulgent, political, and contains no science. And it’s about stupidity. So you know. What prompts anyone to get back on the horse, even a trickless pony such as one’s own blog?  In my case, it was a column in the Denver Post by David Harsanyi. Titled “What if Palin […]


Monday, July 13th, 2009

Wow, that’s some echo.  There must be a lot of space back here, but I can’t see a damn thing … let’s prop that door open there, unh, OK that’s better.  Bring the shop light over, yeah, over there, shine it in the corner.   FFFFFHHHHHAWW, man it’s dusty, this is worse than Bérubé’s place when […]

All comments will be moderated for a few days.

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

The usual barrage of comment spam, as relentless and (ordinarily) unnoticed as cosmic rays, seems to be slipping more than usual through Akismet’s filter. Until I get it figured out, all comments will go to moderation. Sincerest apologies to both my readers.Update, 17 Oct.: Akismet seems to be catching them again, so I have turned […]

Plus ça change …

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

Eric Prince, the famously secretive CEO of Blackwater USA, has emerged from an unspecified location to testify before a House committee, and delivered a vigorous defense of his company’s performance in Iraq. Despite Blackwater’s vigorous defense, no casualties were reported among House members, staff or press, so the hearing was deemed a great success. Much […]

Monday Bristlecone Blogging

Monday, August 27th, 2007

A few months ago, on a tip from Abel Pharmboy of Terra Sigillata, I paid a visit to some of this planet’s senior residents — the bristlecone pines of Windy Ridge, near Alma, Colorado. These magnificent trees stand at the very edge of treeline, in a landscape barren of anything much larger than a tuft […]

Ruckelshaus, Sweeney and DDT

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

On June 2nd, 1972, William D. Ruckelshaus, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, issued an order effectively ending the agricultural use of DDT in the US. Thirty-five years later, that order is still the subject of fierce controversy. One claim often made by proponents of renewed DDT use is that Ruckelshaus’ decision was capricious and […]

Jaworowski 2003: A cornucopia of misinformation, Part 1

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

(Joint post with John Cross) In recent polls, the question most often asked by both of this blog’s readers has beenWhat are Zbigniew Jaworowski’s chances of repeating his stunning 2005 performance in this year’s Golden Horseshoes?It is our unfortunate duty to inform you that good ol’ Z, as he is affectionately referred to here at […]

Coffee break’s over.

Saturday, September 9th, 2006

Blogging is remarkable in how well it suits the needs of the lazy and the compulsively productive alike. Have a need to be heard every day? Pump out those posts! Just don’t feel the muse’s tickle? Let ’em sit! Never a posting dynamo, I have (obviously) been even less motivated than usual for the past […]

Milloy parrots Jaworowski: dog bites man yet again.

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

While I’m reporting news that shouldn’t surprise anybody … this just in! An alert reader[1] reports that Steven Milloy has discovered Zbigniew Jaworowski! Startlingly, Milloy concludes that Jaworowski casts doubt on anthropogenic global warming! But that’s not all. Are you sitting down? Fox News got the scoop! Enough of that; my sarcasmic center is saturating. […]

Inhofe Asks NSF Director to Warp Time: So What Else is New?

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

I will say this for US Sen. James Inhofe (R-Exxon): his relentlessly ideological view of science isolates him from the world, but at least that isolation is so robust and seamless that there’s not much risk of reality intruding and causing him to frighten the horses by saying something rational. Even his moments of most […]

Another detour

Friday, February 24th, 2006

To those who have asked me (or would have, if you’d thought of it), your eyes filled with hope and voices cracking ever so slightly, “Jim Bob Boy, will you ever post again on climate change?” I can only say, “Soon, dear hearts, soon.” In the meantime, we have another shameless detour, this time compounding […]

It’s not easy being indigo.

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

God, I love Boulder! As if it were not enough that this place is blessed with a perfect climate, heart-filling scenery, a lifetime’s worth of outdoor activities, an educated and tolerant populace, a great university and the NCAR library (happiest place on earth), we also enjoy the highest density of wacky beliefs per capita in […]

Blue-Green Algae and the Unbearable Importance of Linking

Thursday, January 5th, 2006

This is about something I learned nine years ago, and about how different the Web has made the world since then. In 1996, I was introduced to a product known as Blue-Green Algae. BGA, as I’ll call it, was presented as the nutritional supplement that would fix all the damage caused by our modern, nutrient-poor […]

Shaken, not stirred.

Friday, November 18th, 2005

A recent comment by Skeptico in response to my earlier post on Oscillococcinum has forced me to re-think the whole homeopathy[1] thing: Of course, by doing nothing at all they would still “enjoy all the benefits of homoeopathy”. With the added advantage that the fees would also be reduced to a homeopathic magnitude. Well, yeah, […]

A brief detour

Thursday, November 17th, 2005

I promised myself when I started this blog that I would not post unless I thought I could add some value to some discussion somewhere. Of course, the inevitable result is that this blog sees a new post only slightly more often than we see a new Pope. So, now we will break with tradition […]

Geese are where you find them.

Wednesday, November 16th, 2005

I was driving to work this morning, and heard a wonderful piece on the radio by Brigitte Mars, host of the herbal healing show Naturally. I was inspired to write her the following letter: Dear Ms. Mars, As a regular listener to KGNU, I have often enjoyed Naturally on Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Your segment […]