vendredi 15 décembre 2017

Puerto Rico still in the dark....

A depressing words-and-video feature about the continuing catastrophe in Puerto Rico, where most people have been without electricity since the hurricane three months ago.

Puerto Rico’s apagón, or “super blackout,” is the longest and largest major power outage in modern U.S. history. Without electricity, there is no reliable source of clean water. School is out, indefinitely. Health care is fraught. Small businesses are faltering. The tasks of daily life are both exhausting and dangerous. There is nothing to do but wait, and no one can say when the lights will come back on.

via International Skeptics Forum

Domestic violence - zero tolerance

BBC News: Backlash over 'stay with abuser' posts shared by Essex Police

"A police force has faced a backlash over social media posts that appeared to support domestic abuse victims staying with their partners.

Sheila's Story describes how a woman who "knew that the abuse in her relationship was wrong" is given help and support to stay with her husband.

Twitter and Facebook users criticised the "incredibly dangerous message".

Essex Police apologised for the offence caused by the post's use of "clumsy language".

"However, the stories featured in the campaign are real stories," a force spokesman said."

So basically today's message is that each and every instance of domestic violence should result in the victim leaving. Tehre is no other option.


via International Skeptics Forum

Have you contacted your Congress Person demanding you want net neutrality to stay?

Cause I think you should, unless

1) You don't believe that net neutrality is in danger of disappearing

2) You don't believe losing net neutrality affects you at all

via International Skeptics Forum

The Best Judges

I really recommend watching the video.


One of Donald Trump’s nominees to become a federal judge has failed to answer a string of basic questions about law.

Matthew Spencer Petersen admitted he was unfamiliar with several common legal terms during questioning by Republican Senator John Kennedy at a hearing earlier this week.

I love the bit about blogging and the KKK at the end too.

Maybe this one won't get confirmed...

via International Skeptics Forum

jeudi 14 décembre 2017

Anyone good at Latin here? I need a Latin translation

Latin knowers

I need a Latin name for a book I'm writing. I know nothing about Latin. I would like to know what would the name be for a creature named after the ship that found it (on a scientific expedition). The ship's name is the Semiramide so what would be the Latin term for Semiramide's fish and or beast be?

Thanks in advance

via International Skeptics Forum

Effective Public Debate

- In my opinion
1. Current public debate is almost totally ineffective and is seriously problematic.
2. But then, we desperately need public debate – effective public debate – especially, these days.
3. The world is becoming more and more polarized. We're sliding down both sides of multiple hills.
4. IOW, we humans seriously need a serious ability to communicate -- and negotiate -- with those with whom we disagree.

5. But then, most of the specific problems in public debate seem obvious.
6. As are potential solutions -- especially with the Internet at our fingertips.
7. Yet, no one seems to be trying to solve this problem.
8. It's as if we don’t think we have a serious problem here.
9. Or, we've simply decided that this particular problem cannot be solved -- or even, significantly improved upon.
10. I have, at least the beginnings of, a solution.

via International Skeptics Forum

Saturn's rings puzzle me

Apparently they puzzle astronomers too.


NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA—The rings of Saturn seem like permanent fixtures in the solar system, firing the imagination of poets and scientists alike. But observations made this year, in the final months of NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, and reported here at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) show they are surprisingly youthful: Until a few hundred million years ago, they did not exist. Saturn acquired its jewels relatively late in life. If any astronomers had gazed at the sky in the time of the dinosaurs, they might have seen a bare and boring Saturn.

It was then that some sort of catastrophe struck the gas giant. Perhaps a stray comet or asteroid struck an icy moon, tossing its remnants into orbit. Or maybe the orbits of Saturn’s moons somehow shifted, and the resulting gravitational tug-of-war pulled a moon apart. However it happened, two new lines of evidence from Cassini make it clear that the rings were not around in the early days of the solar system 4.5 billion years ago, as scientists had long believed, says Jeff Cuzzi, a ring specialist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. “It rules out the primordial ring story,” Cuzzi says. “That’s what it looks like to me.”
Some of those theories sound ridiculous to me. Particularly the one about somehow the orbits of Saturn's moons shifting and causing a "gravitational tug of war".

A comet colliding with a moon sounds like a good theory to me.

via International Skeptics Forum