Category Archives: YMMV

Two Fer

There are a lot of variations of the second tune depending on the make up of the band and the venue they are working in.

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That Ain’t Science

White Patches Found in Mars Trench Are Ice, Scientists Say Talk about religious fervor,

“It must be ice,” said Dr. Peter H. Smith of the University of Arizona, the mission’s principal investigator. “The whole science team thinks this. I think we feel this is definite proof that these are little chunks of icy material.”

Update:At −78.51° C or -109.3° F, carbon dioxide changes directly from a solid phase to a gaseous phase through sublimation, or from gaseous to solid through deposition.

The point being that observation is only a part of the art of science, experimentation also being a nice touch before asserting a thing.

Update: Teh Google.

Oh Still My Beating Heart

Darwinmania!

But hold on. Does he deserve all this? He wasn’t, after all, the first person to suggest that evolution happens. For example, his grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, speculated about it towards the end of the 18th century; at the beginning of the 19th, the great French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck made a strong case for it. Lamarck, however, failed to be generally persuasive because he didn’t have a plausible mechanism — he could see that evolution takes place, but he didn’t know how. That had to wait until the discovery of natural selection.

Natural selection is what we normally think of as Darwin’s big idea. Yet he wasn’t the first to discover that, either. At least two others — a doctor called William Wells, and a writer called Patrick Matthew — discovered it years before Darwin did. Wells described it (admittedly briefly) in 1818, when Darwin was just 9; Matthew did so in 1831, the year that Darwin set off on board HMS Beagle for what became a five-year voyage around the world.

All because methane eating bacteria had evolved and started farting oxygen.