02 December 2011


Why yes, now that you mention it, it is Science Friday. Here is a selection of topics, one or more of which will hopefully tickle your fancy.

The Truth about 'Science' on TV ~ four pie charts showing the proportionate science content and non-science content of four cable TV shows ~ the Science Channel, the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and the History Channel. Whoa.

Global Food Demand May Double by 2050 ~ and we're not prepared. The author proposes that "The Green Revolution can only take us so far and we need a great deal of additional investment in transgenic agriculture to develop drought tolerant crops that require less water, fertilizer, and fossil fuel to produce." Nowhere is there any mention of the true root of the problem ~ too many people. We are already exceeding the planet's carrying capacity for the human species, with the added cost of driving species extinct and destroying entire ecosystems. We must find a humane way to decrease our numbers to one-tenth their current (7 billion) level. Who'll be the first to bite the bullet? I did my part 34 years ago, when I made a decision of conscience to father only one child. Others I know have made the choice to have no children. It's a start, but barely.

Why the Study of Evolution Matters ~ "Teaching science without evolution is like teaching sentence structure without the alphabet." ~ Dr. Carin Bondar. This link takes to to a series of interviews with women scientists who understand the vital importance of teaching evolution in public schools. To do less is to deprive our children of the tools they need to understand not only biology, but any number of dynamic processes which affect us all.

The Power of the Pentatonic Scale ~ What? Doesn't music fall within the circle of the arts, not the sciences? Not so fast, Grasshopper. There is much overlap. Painting relies on chemistry and physics. Music is composed (ahem) of physics as well, and all speak the common language of mathematics. But there's more. Click on the link, and you'll watch Bobby McFerrin perform his magic, eliciting the instinctive musical understanding which resides in us all. I've seen the video before, and it remains magical.

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