Category: Unsettled Science

The Sound Of Settled Science

…about 300 years ago, Sir Isaac Newton introduced the idea that all matter exists at points called particles. One hundred fifty years after that, James Clerk Maxwell introduced the electromagnetic wave – the underlying and often invisible form of magnetism, electricity and light. The particle served as the building block for mechanics and the wave for electromagnetism – and the public settled on the particle and the wave as the two building blocks of matter. Together, the particles and waves became the building blocks of all kinds of matter.

The Sound Of Settled Science

ScienceAlert;

As Voyager 2 moves farther and farther from the Sun, the density of space is increasing.
 
It’s not the first time this density increase has been detected. Voyager 1, which entered interstellar space in 2012, detected a similar density gradient at a separate location.
 
Voyager 2’s new data show that not only was Voyager 1’s detection legit, but that the increase in density may be a large-scale feature of the very local interstellar medium (VLIM).

The Sound Of Settled Science

Revisiting the surface stations;

A new study published in the ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing presents clear-sky surface UHI (SUHI) intensities for 497 urbanized areas in the United States by combining remotely-sensed data products with multiple US census-defined urban areas.
 
The SUHI intensity is the difference in surface temperature between the built-up and non-built up pixels of an urbanized area.
 
The study reported that the daytime summer SUHI was 1.91 °C higher and the daytime winter SUHI was 0.87 °C higher.

The Sound Of Settled Science

UPI;

Archaeologists recently discovered 8,000-year-old stone fluted points on the Arabian Peninsula, the same technology developed by Native Americans 13,000 years ago, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS One.
 
When the stone tools were first unearthed, researchers suspected there was something familiar about them. Scientists took note of the flute-like grooves texturing the sides of the stone points.
 
The tools examined for the study were found in Manayzah in Yemen and Ad-Dahariz in Oman, researchers said.
 
“We recognized this technique as … probably the most famous of the prehistoric techniques used in the American continent,” lead researcher Remy Crassard, head of archaeology at the French Center for Archaeology and Social Sciences, told UPI. “It took us little time to recognize it, but it took us more time to understand why fluting was present in Arabia.”

By “understand”, they mean “take a wild ass guess”.

The Sound Of Settled Science

Hold the cheeses.

The most popular theory of the moon’s origins contends the satellite was formed when a Mars-sized object collided with Earth, vaporizing large portions of Earth’s upper crust.
 
While Earth’s upper crust is poor in metals, new research — published Wednesday in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters — suggests the moon’s subsurface is surprisingly metal-rich, undermining the satellite’s proposed origin story.

Science By Jury

The RoundUp Method;

Johnson & Johnson has announced that it will stop selling talcum baby powder in the United States and Canada. Why? Because of predatory trial lawyers who enrich themselves by lying about science.
 
Talcum powder is absorptive, so it’s mainly used to help keep otherwise moist body parts dry. (You can use your imagination here, but this SNL skit provides a hint.) For years, there have been rumblings that talcum powder is linked to ovarian cancer. But just like the fictitious link between hexavalent chromium in drinking water and cancer popularized by the movie Erin Brockovich, the link between talcum powder and cancer is basically anecdotal.
 
A new review published in January 2020 by JAMA Oncology concluded that “there was not a statistically significant association between use of powder in the genital area and incident ovarian cancer.” Though the report cautions that there still could be a tiny causal effect that is too small to be detected, the sample size was large (more than 250,000 women observed over a total of 3.8 million person-years). This indicates that the conclusion of no causal effect is probably correct.
 
The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) touted the results on its website, proclaiming, “‘No evidence’ that talcum powder causes ovarian cancer new review finds.” But for reasons that I will never understand, American websites remain wishy-washy. The American Cancer Society, for instance, says that the evidence is “less clear.”

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