web analytics

Articles Here

Extreme Pandemics Like COVID-19 Aren’t Rare, We Roll The Dice Each Year

Posted by on Sep 2, 2021 in Immunology | Comments Off on Extreme Pandemics Like COVID-19 Aren’t Rare, We Roll The Dice Each Year

COVID-19 is certainly worse than the SARS and MERS pandemics that occurred a few years prior, and the reasons why SARS-CoV-2 is worse than those others is open for debate, but one thing is not; pandemics, even extreme ones, are not as rare as many believe.

The big difference between pandemics now and those of prior generations is the prevalence of real-time media and worldwide connections never available before. We have no real way to know how many people the Asian Flu of the 1950s killed because there was even less transparency in China then than there is now. Likewise, the Spanish Flu may have killed far more than we know, just as we don't know how many died in a country like Brazil or China.

read more

Compact Speakers Can Be Better Than Ever, Thanks To Controlled Destruction Of Sound

Posted by on Sep 1, 2021 in Applied Physics | Comments Off on Compact Speakers Can Be Better Than Ever, Thanks To Controlled Destruction Of Sound

Devices we watch and listen on are smaller than ever, which means speakers for sound are as well. In the past, it was difficult to get quality sound from small parts because sound is still analog when it gets to us, and that takes surface area. 

Like synthetic grape flavor, using one important part when it requires lots means a result is not quite right. Today's compact speakers are more like synthetic banana flavor; you are unlikely to know the difference, and that is due to mastering physics beyond the surface area - controlled destruction of sound waves.

read more

Louisiana Has Important Things To Worry About, Lawyers Shouldn’t Invent A ‘Cancer Alley’ To Pile On

Posted by on Aug 31, 2021 in Chemistry | Comments Off on Louisiana Has Important Things To Worry About, Lawyers Shouldn’t Invent A ‘Cancer Alley’ To Pile On

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the American public fell back in love with science. In the first 19 years of this century, Californians denied vaccines to such an extent a law had to be passed to prevent coastal parents from creating a Whooping Cough pandemic. Every building had cancer warnings somewhere - even oncology wards in hospitals warned cancer patients they might get cancer by visiting their doctor - and Non-GMO Project rock salt(!) took off.

That has now changed.(1) For most of the country, Purell, Clorox, and Lysol replaced bottles of useless green-labeled goop that claimed to be natural alternatives. People wanted what worked.

read more

Exposure To Wildfire Smoke May Increase Preterm Birth Risk – But It Would Be The PM10, Not PM2.5

Posted by on Aug 25, 2021 in Atmospheric | Comments Off on Exposure To Wildfire Smoke May Increase Preterm Birth Risk – But It Would Be The PM10, Not PM2.5

A new study statistically correlates wildfire smoke to pre-term birth risk. There are a number of confounders in that, of course, like that exposure to wildfires creates a great deal of stress and often hurried actions and those are huge factors, but they instead dredged up a link to something that makes little sense - air quality far from fires. And since they came up with a suitably cosmic number - 7,000 extra preterm births in just 5 years!it is sure to get attention in a state where everyone hyperventilates over everything.

read more

EPA Is Lowering The Ethanol Mandate Below 2020 Levels – They Should Lower It To Zero

Posted by on Aug 21, 2021 in Energy | Comments Off on EPA Is Lowering The Ethanol Mandate Below 2020 Levels – They Should Lower It To Zero

I am not running for President so I don't have any need to cater to Iowa corn farmers and voters, as former Vice-President Al Gore admitted he was doing when he broke a tie in the Senate and forced ethanol mandates on Americans.

read more

Fact Check: Is Chewing Gum ‘Made’ Of Plastic?

Posted by on Aug 20, 2021 in Chemistry | Comments Off on Fact Check: Is Chewing Gum ‘Made’ Of Plastic?

A reader sent me an email asking about chewing gum and if it was really made of plastic and my first thought was 'Why ask me? Do what scientists do and go to Google, skip the first 10 entries, which will all be gamed by SEO experts at anti-science groups like Ecowatch, and then you will find the answer' but I was hooked when I saw the article linked was in The Economist.

read more

COVID-19: This Form Of Coronavirus Can Be Eradicated, But Is It Worth It?

Posted by on Aug 12, 2021 in Immunology | Comments Off on COVID-19: This Form Of Coronavirus Can Be Eradicated, But Is It Worth It?

We have shown diseases can be eliminated, like polio and smallpox, but can you eliminate something like COVID-19?

Coronavirus was only recognized as distinct from the common cold in the 1960s so it's impossible to know what impact it had throughout history and was just called flu or something else. COVID-19 was the third coronavirus pandemic of this century and we didn't worry about eradicating SARS and MERS, it was just important than the pandemic would stop.

Yet COVID-19 and the media attention it brought has thrown out the virology rulebook; some epidemiologists are overruling scientists and declaring everyone needs to wear masks until it is eradicated, but is that even possible?

read more

Chewing Gum, Lördagsgodis, And The Wild Swedish Studies That Settled The Debate On Sugar And Cavities

Posted by on Jul 29, 2021 in Public Health | Comments Off on Chewing Gum, Lördagsgodis, And The Wild Swedish Studies That Settled The Debate On Sugar And Cavities

Nearly 70 years ago, results of a Swedish experiment, now called the Vipeholm studies, correlated frequent candy consumption and tooth decay. With the benefit of scientific hindsight, this is no surprise. What is a surprise is how different cultures reacted. 

For example, instead of public awareness campaigns highlighting the effects of carbohydrates on oral health, as Americans might expect, Sweden asked people to cut back on candy drastically, to eating candy one day per week. Thus was born lördagsgodis - “Saturday sweets.” Parents only let their kids eat candy on Saturday.

read more

People Who Who Say They Trust Science More Are Also More Likely To Promote False Science-y Sounding Claims

Posted by on Jul 26, 2021 in Psychology | Comments Off on People Who Who Say They Trust Science More Are Also More Likely To Promote False Science-y Sounding Claims

A short while ago a prominent physicist made the offhand claim that bees were dying because of a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids - seed treatments that protect plants from pests at their most vulnerable stage and result in far less chemical use than mass spraying. It's not true, and bees are not dying off anywhere, but that claim was still made by environmental fundraising brochures and lawyers hoping to sue so it's no surprise Mother Jones readers believe it.

But a scientist?  That should be odd. Yet it isn't.

read more

Silent Spring Institute Claims Hundreds Of Chemicals Increase Breast Cancer ‘ Risk’

Posted by on Jul 21, 2021 in Chemistry | Comments Off on Silent Spring Institute Claims Hundreds Of Chemicals Increase Breast Cancer ‘ Risk’

A study by the Silent Spring Institute(1), with funding from the politically sympathetic National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences during the days of organic industry keynote speaker and Ramazzini Institute member Linda Birnbaum, claims that hundreds of chemicals are endocrine disruptors.

read more