How one climate scientist combats threats and misinformation from chemtrail conspiracists

MIT Technology Review

Last spring, Harvard climate scientist David Keith announced that he and a colleague intended to proceed with small-scale geoengineering experiments in the real world (see "Harvard scientists moving ahead on plans for atmospheric geoengineering experiments"). The basic idea behind the technology they're studying, known as solar geoengineering, is that spraying certain particles into the stratosphere could reflect enough heat back into space to offset some level of global warming. But the move from lab research to atmospheric experiments has sparked controversy. Among other concerns, critics argue it's far too dangerous to consider tinkering with the global climate system. But the field, and Keith's research in particular, has also gotten ensnared in conspiracy theories about "chemtrails."


The Nazis Were Obsessed With Magic

Slate

The really mainstream, well-known natural scientists--as far as I can tell, they were just ignored. So Himmler didn't put them in jail or anything, he just wouldn't give them the time of day when they wrote the letters. But if you were a person within the SS ambit, like this guy named Georg Hinzpeter, you were in trouble. All Hinzpeter said was, "You know, if we use what we've got in the last 30 years in terms of physics and geology, some calculations and claims that [co-progenitor of the theory Hans] Hörbiger made 40 years ago--not his fault, that was the 1890s--don't quite hold up, and maybe we should rethink these premises." And that was when Himmler and Scultetus and this other guy, Edmund Kiss, who wrote fantasy novels about Atlantis--not even a scientist!--they


Why males with beards and long hair have the smallest testicles

Daily Mail - Science & tech

It might seem counter-intuitive to keep an important male reproductive organs exposed to the elements outside of the body, however scientists have multiple theories about why testicles are not kept safely tucked away inside the body. Temperature control is the most obvious answer. Sperm production is at its most effective at 35 Celsius, which is two degrees below the temperature maintained inside the human body. Organs that perform best at 37 C are shielded by bones inside the cavity of the body, including the brain and the kidneys. However, there is some disagreement within the scientific community about the temperature thesis.


According to Game Theory, the Senate Is Already Lost

Slate

As described, the prisoner's dilemma is a one-shot deal. But if you play a one-shot game repeatedly, eventually you can build a strategy that allows for learning, bluffing, and retaliation. Repeated games turn out to be very complicated to understand mathematically--a good deal of insight into them has been generated by simulations, both computer and human. The most famous example of the latter was a "tournament" run by the University of Michigan social scientist Robert Axelrod in 1980. Axelrod invited game theorists and social scientists to repeatedly play prisoner's dilemma games against each other; in some cases the game incorporated memory of their previous plays and the plays of their opponents and the outcomes of these games.


Is Game Theory important for Data Scientists?

@machinelearnbot

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