Ugh. That is all I have to say about this week. Just, Ugh.
Now let's top it all off with a hurricane! Amazing!
just keep swimming. just keep swimming.
No seriously. If you're on the East Coast of the U.S., stay safe this weekend. And go buy some toilet paper. It's the law, or something.
Meanwhile, here are some links from cool stuff on the web that I enjoyed this week. I hope you do to. Have a great weekend, kids!
How new trends in education are failing introverted students. It's like someone took all my complaints about school - the group work, the lack of reading time, the emphasis on asking questions instead of quietly listening - and wrote it down all in one great article. I'm an introvert,but I never thought that could be part of the reason that I dislike certain school and work environments. (The Atlantic)
Hemingway's idea of heaven and hell - a letter to Fitzgerald. I like his idea of owning a country house and a town house. I wouldn't need two town houses, though. I'm quite modest. (Brain Pickings)
The X-Files is back! Watch the trailer here. (Tor)
Not the Log Lady! I have such mixed feelings about Twin Peaks (what was with those soap opera scenes?), but the Log Lady and the other bizarre and dark creations of that show were the best part. (The Nerdist)
I want to read this graphic novel about life in the 70's from a kids perspective. (NY Times)
Um, why have I not seen this video of Bill Murray doing a reading from Huckleberry Finn until now? (Open Culture)
Was I the only one that thought NASA's water on Mars announcement was a whole lot of hype? Turns out no, I'm not the only one. (WaPo)
The only direct evidence the authors of that paper have was of hydrated salts. True, salt would help raise water's boiling point, which could prevent the liquid from boiling away into gas, even at Mars's low atmospheric pressure. But we have no evidence that this salt water is actually sitting around or percolating through the soil (despite what those images suggest, that could be a completely unrelated phenomena). So again, the only direct evidence these scientists have is of hydrated salts, which they suggests indicates the presence of water. Sure, maybe, but show me the water. Oh, wouldn't you know it? The spectroscopic instrumentation only takes measurements at 3 p.m. when Mars is at its hottest and all the liquid may have evaporated away. Because they haven't detected water. They detected hydrated salts.
So I don't know, this announcement just feels off to me. Like they wanted everyone to get everyone really excited about all this liquid water - that we have no direct evidence of (just in time for The Martian too..., a movie NASA has been cross-marketing promoting.)
It sucks that climate change doubters have made "skeptic" a dirty word, but being a responsible scientist means being skeptical of results until your experiments have ruled out as many possible hypotheses as possible until there's only one likely conclusion. I'm sure these scientists did very careful work, but it's their (or the media's) conclusion that seems a little optimistic to me. Report the facts: You have evidence of hydrated salts, which suggests there might be liquid water on Mars at certain times of the day. But until you actually observe that liquid water, you can't responsibly report that conclusion.