Tornado Quest Gee-O-Science Links For Aug. 12 – 18, 2013

Quite a variety of topics to cover this week which is one of the nice things about science. It’s one of the few disciplines that can touch a wide spectrum of topics and opinions. Here’s a look at a few select links…

TECHNOLOGY

An overview of browser extensions that help protect your privacy.

The end of privacy and the rise of a surveillance society…a disturbing tech trend with no easy solutions for society at large.

Some are low tech, some higher tech…but here are 10 innovations you didn’t know were Swedish.

If you’re like me, you can spend up to 16-18 hours a day at your workstation. Here’s some valuable tips on how to set up and ergonomic workstation.

The solution to the problems of sharing scientific data isn’t an easy one.

CITIZEN SCIENCE

The Precipitation Identification Near Ground (PING) project at the Nat’l Severe Storms Laboratory is one of the coolest citizen science projects to come along in quite some time!

Read how citizen scientists are helping scientists gather climate data and information for research.

EVOLUTION, CRITICAL THINKING, & SOCIAL SCIENCES

I can’t improve or improvise better on this headline: “The New York Times hosts a superfluous debate on evolution vs. creationism, including more dumb accusations that science is based on faith.”

A brilliant essay by Stephen Pinker (Science Is Not The Enemy Of The Humanities) and an interesting rebuttal to Pinker’s “patronizing” article.

GEOGRAPHY

A very interesting map from The Atlantic on race in the US based on the 2010 census.  Would be interesting to see other maps constructed of different census data.

GEOSCIENCE

Here’s a very cool info-graphic of 50 amazing facts about our own planet.

Monitoring slow earthquakes could help seismologists foretell more significant seismic events.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE

Many folks in arid southwestern US cities are losing their lawns…and I like the sound of this concept.

Very interesting read from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists…”How big is your carbon debt?”

ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE

Would you like a weather forecast or a life-saving warning? Pony up, Mack! Ya want it, ya gotta pay for it!

Related to the previous link…storms, even hurricanes, used to be a surprise. Here’s a nice history of hurricane warnings.

Sprites (and blue jets) are an atmospheric phenomenon that has fascinated me for years. Here’s a look at these rarely photographed spectacles.

An op-ed piece on soil science and it’s relation to climate science.

Could cutting soot and methane have little or no effect on slowing climate change?

Crowdsourcing weather data using smartphone batteries…and interesting concept.

How will crops fare under climate change? It depends on how you ask.

Research from the Univ. of Arizona shows a change in plant growth across 50 years and it’s connection to climate change.

Nice comparison by Climate Central of US drought conditions between 2012 and 2013 & relation to climate change.

While on the topic of the 2012 drought, here’s one opinion that feels it’s related to natural climactic trends.

On the other side of the coin, another read that feels the climatic extremes are fueled by climate change.

Attention apple lovers…the fruit, not the hardware…climate change could have an effect on your favorite fruit.

The challenge of conveying climate science to a public that is indifferent to the topic is a challenge that will be with us for some time.

Here’s an amazing AP photo essay following several students affected by the Moore, OK tornado of May 20, 2013.

THE QUIXOTIC SIDE

A bizarre example of archaic sexism (for both genders) that, frightfully enough, is still valid for a certain ilk of our modern society.

A perfect example of media hype which shows (1) media is often “slack on the facts” and (2) wishful thinking by some feeds the hype.

NIKE is releasing “weatherman” shoes…at $200 a pop, they’re at least $150 overpriced.

Across the contiguous US, we’re looking at a return to more traditional weather patterns this week with a ridge of high pressure bringing warm temps back into the plains states. For now, the Atlantic tropics are somewhat quiet…but we have several weeks left in the hurricane season…so stay weather aware.

See you good folks next week…

Cheers!

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