Division of Labor Is a Good Thing for Science and Skepticism

Noted grouchy person John Horgan has found a new way to get people mad at him on the Internet, via a speech-turned-blog-post taking organized Skeptic groups to task for mostly going after “soft targets”. This has generated lots of angry blog posts in response, and a far greater number of people sighing heavily and saying […]

“Earthing” Is a Bunch of Crap

A little while back, I was put in touch with a Wall Street Journal writer who was looking into a new-ish health fad called “earthing,” which involves people sleeping on special grounded mats and that sort of thing. The basis of this particular bit of quackery is the notion that spending time indoors, out of […]

Simple Answers to Stupid Rhetorical Devices

Over at Scientific American, John Horgan has a blog post titled In Physics, Telling Cranks from Experts Ain’t Easy, which opens with an anecdote any scientist will recognize: A couple of decades ago, I made the mistake of faxing an ironic response to what I thought was an ironic faxed letter. The writer–let’s call him […]

Welcome to the Information Supercollider

The title is a .signature line that somebody– Emmet O’Brien, I think, but I’m not sure– used to use on Usenet, back in the mid-to-late 90’s, when some people referred to the Internet as the “Information Superhighway.” I’ve always thought it was pretty apt, especially as I’ve moved into blogdom, where a lot of what […]

The Real Point of Zero Point

While Kenneth Ford’s 101 Quantum Questions was generally good, there was one really regrettable bit, in Question 23: What is a “state of motion?” When giving examples of states, Ford defines the ground state as the lowest-energy state of a nucleus, then notes that its energy is not zero. He then writes: An object brought […]

Technology, Entertainment, and Quantum Kookiness

A reader emails to ask about a new-to-me theory of physics, called “Quantum Space Theory” being promoted by a fellow named Thad Roberts. I wouldn’t usually bother with this, but Roberts was one of the speakers at TEDx Boulder. this is disappointing, to put it mildly– TED is a respected organization, and I don’t like […]

The Physics of the Imbecile: Chopra Interviews Kaku

I don’t remember who pointed me at this transcript of Deepak Chopra interviewing Michio Kaku, but if I remember who it was, I fully intend to hate them. DC: Is our conversation affecting something in another galaxy right now? MK: In principle. What we’re talking about right is affecting another galaxy far, far beyond the […]