Here and There

Cosmic Variance
By Sean Carroll
Apr 19, 2009 2:15 AMNov 5, 2019 8:19 AM


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Do not be alarmed! The blog has not Gone Galt in protest of the encroaching socialist menace, or have we been dumping teabags in public parks at outrage over Obama's tax cuts. Sometimes, you know, the real world gets in the way. But the internet chugs on! Especially here at Discover. And a good thing, too. Of late:

  • You may have heard the news that celebrity blogger Phil Plait and Discover CEO Henry Donahue made a bet -- against themselves, basically -- and lost. Or won, depending on how you look at it. The bet was whether Bad Astronomy could get two million page views in a month, and the stakes were permanent: tatoos for everyone! Phil is thinking about a galaxy, while Henry is going for something more piscatorial, in the best tradition of scientific tattoos.

  • If Cosmic Variance gets over two million page views next month, I hereby promise that Julianne will get a tattoo.

  • Discover has also launched its first video game: Star Formation! Just what the title says, you get to play the Hand of God, using supernovae to nudge the interstellar medium into the right configuration to make new stars. After playing, we have more evidence that I would not be any good at being God.

  • Explain evolution in two minutes! It's biology, right, how hard can it be? This is a contest to make a video that communicates the idea of evolution in 120 seconds or less.

  • Quantum Diaries is back. A set of blogs by a bunch of physicists -- experimental particle physicists, more specifically -- who talk about the work they do and their lives as scientists. A crazy concept!

  • And speaking of crazy concepts: yes, a list has popped up on the internet of the 50 Most Brilliant Atheists of All Time. No Lucretius or La Mettrie or d'Holbach or Voltaire, but Mick Jagger is on there. Sex appeal sells, baby.

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