HAVE YOUR SAY.
Join us in The Bullpen, where the members of the Scientific Inquirer community get to shape the site’s editorial decision making. We’ll be discussing people and companies to profile on the site. On Wednesday, December 14 at 5:30pm EST, join us on Discord and let’s build the best Scientific Inquirer possible.
Tragedy has struck in the Middle East in a big way. Per the Associated Press,
A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked wide swaths of Turkey and Syria early Monday, toppling hundreds of buildings and killing more than 1,500 people. Hundreds were still believed to be trapped under rubble, and the toll was expected to rise as rescue workers searched mounds of wreckage in cities and towns across the area. On both sides of the border, residents jolted out of sleep by the pre-dawn quake rushed outside on a cold, rainy and snowy night. Buildings were reduced to piles of pancaked floors, and major aftershocks continued to rattle the region. Rescue workers and residents in multiple cities searched for survivors, working through tangles of metal and concrete. A hospital in Turkey collapsed, and patients, including newborns, were evacuated from facilities in Syria.
Thoughts and prayers. http://bit.ly/3wZUIe0
From tragedy to farce, a recent report examined the #diedsuddenly trend on social media and all of the pure, absolute, unadulterated disingenuousness of the people involved in labeling each and every death that happens a result of being vaccinated against Covid-19. Per the AP,
The use of “died suddenly” — or a misspelled version of it — has surged more than 740% in tweets about vaccines over the past two months compared with the two previous months, the media intelligence firm Zignal Labs found in an analysis conducted for The Associated Press. The phrase’s explosion began with the late November debut of an online “documentary” by the same name, giving power to what experts say is a new and damaging shorthand. “It’s kind of in-group language, kind of a wink wink, nudge nudge,” said Renee DiResta, technical research manager at the Stanford Internet Observatory. “They’re taking something that is a relatively routine way of describing something — people do, in fact, die unexpectedly — and then by assigning a hashtag to it, they aggregate all of these incidents in one place.”... Rigorous study and real-world evidence from hundreds of millions of administered shots prove that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Deaths caused by vaccination are extremely rare and the risks associated with not getting vaccinated are far higher than the risks of vaccination. But that hasn’t stopped conspiracy theorists from lobbing a variety of untrue accusations at the vaccines.
And of course, all of the people screaming about #diedsuddenly are doing so without much concern for the families and friends on the people who passed away. That would take too much self-awareness. http://bit.ly/40wrXmB
Just about all of us take water for granted, and I’m not just talking about it as a part of our lives, something to drink, bathe in, swim in, fish in. We also take for granted what water is. It’s H2O, right? Steam, liquid water, and ice. But it turns out, there’s still a lot of mystery surrounding the molecule and its nature when attached to other water molecules. Per the New York Times,
Shaken and chilled — but not stirred — ordinary frozen water turns into something different: a newly discovered form of ice made of a jumble of molecules with unique properties. “This is completely unexpected and very surprising,” said Christoph Salzmann, a chemistry professor at University College London in England and an author of a paper published on Thursday in the journal Science that described the ice. Water is a simple molecule that has been intently studied by scientists for centuries: two hydrogen atoms jutting off at a 104.5-degree angle in a V-shape from a central oxygen atom. The new discovery shows, once again, that water, a molecule without which life is not known to be able to exist, is still hiding scientific surprises yet to be revealed. This experiment employed relatively simple, inexpensive equipment to reveal a form of ice that could exist elsewhere in the solar system and throughout the universe.
I’ll never look at a glass of water again. http://bit.ly/3RQKypH
This is a great story. Ever have an obsession as a kid but lose it — for whatever reason — as an adult? Here’s a guy who clung on to it like a champ. Per The Guardian,
Josh Gabbatiss was nine when he precociously decided he was going to write an encyclopedia of every living creature, beginning with corals, worms and jellyfish. More than two decades later, aged 30, he has finally completed the project and could not be more proud. His final entry is one of our closest relatives, the chimpanzee. Gabbatiss, a climate journalist from south London, began “Josh’es Book of Animals” [sic] in 2001. His drawings and grammar have come a long way but the handwriting, he said, “has remained pretty terrible”. He recently shared his finished creation on Twitter, recalling that he copied the format he saw in “rival” animal books. “You can tell that I was in it for the long haul because instead of going straight for the big charismatic species I started with corals, worms etc.
Gotta love the complete and utter obsession and determination. When you combine those two, could things can happen. http://bit.ly/3I1dw2D
Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.