Friday Funny – 'Giant sucking sound' over siphoning definition

Physicist demonstrates dictionary definition was dodgy It is the defining moment that demonstrates a QUT physicist was correct in pointing out a 99-year-old mistake to one of the world’s most authoritative dictionaries. QUT Senior Lecturer in Physics, Dr Stephen Hughes, sparked controversy over how a humble siphon worked when he noticed an incorrect definition in…

Not only do we have the slowest start to tornado season in a century, but tornado damage losses are in decline

So much for the “Years of Living Dangerously“ Dr. Roger Pielke Jr writes in the WSJ: So far in 2014, the United States has experienced fewer tornadoes than in any year since record-keeping began in 1953, or even before. Greg Carbin, a meteorologist with the Storm Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,…

Extreme Times

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach I read a curious statement on the web yesterday, and I don’t remember where. If the author wishes to claim priority, here’s your chance. The author said (paraphrasing): If you’re looking at any given time window on an autocorrelated time series, the extreme values are more likely to be at…

Some corals decide they can deal with warming

Some corals adjusting to rising ocean temperatures, Stanford researchers say Research led by Stanford scientist Steve Palumbi reveals how some corals can quickly switch on or off certain genes in order to survive in warmer-than-average tidal waters. To most people, 86-degree Fahrenheit water is pleasant for bathing and swimming. To most sea creatures, however, it’s…

An alternate theory for the terrestrial ice-age trigger

[Note: This essay discusses a theory that some people might consider as impossible, and it may very well be, even though there is some support for the idea that continental position plays a role in major ice ages. As seen below, Milankovitch cycles resulting in insolation variance is a leading theory that seems much more…

Quashing frack-fights with fools

From the American Chemical Society How to avoid water wars between ‘fracking’ industry and residents The shale gas boom has transformed the energy landscape in the U.S., but in some drier locations, it could cause conflict among the energy industry, residents and agricultural interests over already-scarce water resources, say researchers. They add that degraded water…