Science links

October 27th, 2005

There’s a considerable leaf-litter of links in my ‘to-post’ folder. Let’s start with the science ones:

  • The Sokal hoax

    “…Social Text journal published an article by Allan Sokal, Professor of Physics at New York University, entitled “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity.” The article was a hoax … submitted to see if a leading journal of cultural studies would publish an article liberally salted with nonsense”

  • Is the internet making us more intelligent? I think so
  • Last year New Scientist published a riveting interview with Alexander Yuvchenko, a technician who was on duty at Chernobyl the night the reactor blew. Here’s an extract. You can’t read the article it in full unless you subscribe, but I can send it to you using their tell-a-friend feature. Please mail me if you’d like me to do so.

    “From where I stood I could see a huge beam of projected light flooding up into infinity from the reactor. It was like a laser light, caused by the ionisation of the air. It was light-bluish, and it was very beautiful. I watched it for several seconds. If I’d stood there for just a few minutes I would probably have died on the spot because of gamma rays and neutrons and everything else that was spewing out. But Tregub yanked me around the corner to get me out the way. He was older and more experienced.”

  • Wikipedia have an excellent article on the Chernobyl accident itself
  • In a similar vein, wikipedia article on the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. More soon on Richard Feynman, who sat on the investigation commission
  • Logarithmic Maps of the Universe. Thanks Pete
  • Robotperson is on his ways to 5. Cadmium, nickel and transuranic isotopes, that is. Human readers might be interested to know portion sizes of fruit and vegetables that make up your ways to 5
  • Worldometers
  • One for my Father. British plants, ordered by Latin names. Love that Shepherd’s purse

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