Jeffrey Pomerantz

The scientific literature is strangely bereft of teaspoon related research

This is why I love NPR: Scientists Befuddled in Missing Teaspoon Caper The best part of this is that the article that NPR reports on was published in BMJ: The case of the disappearing teaspoons: longitudinal cohort study of the displacement of teaspoons in an Australian research institute “…the scientific literature is strangely bereft of teaspoon related research”? “The tragedy of the commons applies equally well to teaspoons”? Poetry. I’m totally nominating this.. Read More

Evidence that Republicans really are brain damaged

Activation Of Brain Region Predicts Altruism, from ScienceDaily “…fMRI scans showed that increased activity in the posterior superior temporal sulcus strongly predicted a person’s likelihood for altruistic behavior. …the ability to perceive other people’s actions as meaningful is critical for altruism…” So, the opposite of altruism then is sociopathy? That explains a lot.

More giant squids

As my students know, I have a thing for giant squids. So here’s some happy news: Researchers catch giant squid, from CNN The one pictured here is just a peanut, in giant squid terms: a mere 24 feet long. There are two things that are extremely cool about this: one, that the research team brought the squid to the surface and caught it there, and two, that they got video of it. This.. Read More

It ain’t rocket science

No, it’s librarianship. NASA can’t find original tape of moon landing, from Reuters In all, some 700 boxes of transmissions from the Apollo lunar missions are missing… The material was held by the National Archives but returned to NASA sometime in the late 1970s. And the moral of the story is, if you want something archived, let an archivist do it!

Tiny Bubbles

Actually 620 miles in diameter is not tiny at all. Unless you’re comparing it to the diameter of the Earth. Anyway, this is certainly the weirdest & most compelling headline I’ve seen in a long time. Earth Surrounded by Giant Fizzy Bubbles, from

Paleolimnology on Notice

Watching the Colbert Report now & he just did a bit where he put the Journal of Paleolimnology on notice. And he had Ric Ocasek on the show, groovily enough. Anyway, he referred to this article in the Journal of Paleolimnology: Nof, D., McKeague, I., & Paldor, N. (2006). Is There a Paleolimnological Explanation for ‘Walking on Water’ in the Sea of Galilee? Journal of Paleolimnology, 35(3), 417-439. And because I’m a.. Read More

2020 Visions

The current issue of Nature is a special issue containing articles on the future of computing; speculations on what computing will look like in 2020. Vernor Vinge suggests that “The Internet will have leaked out, to become coincident with Earth.” Sounds like Dan Simmons’ noosphere. This is why I love SF, folks. Two articles discuss how we will cope with an explosion of scientific data. Redefining Big Science: big as in yottabytes. Very.. Read More


As anyone who’s been in my office knows, I dedicate my spare computer clock cycles to the SETI@home project. My computer is one node in a massive supercomputer. But now your brain could be one node in a massive supercomputer! Public to look for dust grains in Stardust detectors In a new project called Stardust@home, University of California, Berkeley, researchers will invite Internet users to help them search for a few dozen submicroscopic.. Read More