Residents of Moore got several minutes of warning before the tornado struck, saving perhaps hundreds of lives.
Can the U.S. afford to keep cutting resources from NASA and NOAA? Seriously?
Residents of Moore got several minutes of warning before the tornado struck, saving perhaps hundreds of lives.
Can the U.S. afford to keep cutting resources from NASA and NOAA? Seriously?
Geography and history teachers, you should watch this on the day after Feynman Day. Can you make use of this in your classes — say, after the state tests?
How about you physics and science teachers?
In 1998 NOVA produced and broadcast a film that rather defies categorization. Biography? Drama? Humor? Frustrated travelogue?
“Last Journey of a Genius” tells a lot of biography of Dick Feynman, but it focuses on his unusual drive to learn about, and travel to an obscure Central Asian country/province/area/culture called Tannu Tuva. Feynman’s close friend Ralph Leighton plays a big role in this film, too. This film reveals more about the character of Richard Feynman, his overwhelming curiosity and humanity, than you can get any other place, including his memoirs (which every civil human should read).
NOVA captivates me almost every week. Good fortune found me in front of a television somewhere when this was first broadcast. For several reasons, I’ve been unable to get a VHS, or a DVD version of the story despite many attempts over the years.
But fortune and good history smile again. Open Culture collected the film, and it’s available for free in their documentary section.
Drumming, story telling, geography, Cold War politics, ballet, more drumming, some nuclear physics, astronomy, a lot of good humor, and a plea for orange juice. It still makes me smile.
In 1989, PBS’ NOVA aired The Last Journey of a Genius, a television film that documents the final days of the great physicist Richard Feynman and his obsession with traveling to Tannu Tuva, a state outside of outer Mongolia, which then remained under Soviet control. For the better part of a decade, Feynman and his friend Ralph Leighton schemed to make their way to Tannu Tuva, but Cold War politics always frustrated their efforts. The video runs roughly 50 minutes and features an ailing Feynman talking about his wanderlust and their maneuverings. He died two weeks later, having never made the trip, though Ralph Leighton and Feyman’s daughter Michelle later landed in their Shangri-La. Her journey was recorded by the Russian service of the BBC.
The film now appears in the Documentary section of our collection of Free Movies Online.
Hang on to this link for Feynman Day 2014 (May 11). What’s your favorite Feynman story?
This kind of history and science is exactly the sort of stuff CSCOPE critics in Texas, and critics of the Common Core standards, worry that children will see. Very odd, because stuff this good is not even mentioned in CSCOPE, nor in CCSS.
Tip of the old scrub brush to Kenny Darrell, who found this film and let me know about it.
No, we’re not joking.
May 11 is the anniversary of the birth of Richard Feynman.
In addition to his winning the Nobel Prize for Quantum Electrodynamics (QED), Feynman popularized the critique of science and other enterprises with what we now call Cargo Cult science, or education, or whatever, where people follow the dance steps, but without the rhythm and music.
Those two things alone would make him a remarkable man. But, like a product offered for $19.95 as a good buy in a 2:00 a.m. infomercial, with Feynman, there’s more. With Feynman, there is always more.
I got alerted to Feynman in the first days of the old Quality Paperback Book Club, when they featured his new memoir, Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! QPBC was hot on the book, and with a title like that, how could I resist? When I got the book a week or so later, I read it within two days, while attending law school and working full time. I remember Feynman.
Norton published the book — and their description, alone, should make you want to read it:
A New York Times bestseller—the outrageous exploits of one of this century’s greatest scientific minds and a legendary American original.
In this phenomenal national bestseller, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard P. Feynman recounts in his inimitable voice his adventures trading ideas on atomic physics with Einstein and Bohr and ideas on gambling with Nick the Greek, painting a naked female toreador, accompanying a ballet on his bongo drums and much else of an eyebrow-raising and hilarious nature.
All true, and that’s not even the half of the outrageousness, all done with great good humor, about a life lived in great good humor through what should have been a memorable age, but often was just terrifying.
I think sometimes that Feynman’s calm, alone, borne of that great good humor and insatiable curiosity, may have gotten us through the birth of the atomic age and the Cold War.
Feynman was a giant, and we don’t revere him enough. Consider:
A special postal cancel was authorized by the USPS (United States Postal Service) to honor the 80th birthday of Richard Feynman. This cancel was used in Lake Worth, Florida. For this special day the post office was renamed “Feynman Station.”
The Feynman Diagram used for the postal cancel on this envelope depicts what is known as a “bubble process.” It shows a high energy particle, for example, a cosmic ray (a) from a distant supernova, which emits a high energy photon, for example, a gamma ray (b). The photon, in turn, creates a particle (c) and an anti-particle (d) that exists for a brief moment and then recombines.
As Feynman liked to point out, an anti-particle is the same thing as a particle with negative energy traveling backward in time (which is why the arrow at (d) points backwards, i.e. to the left). So you could say the photon created only one particle that, at first, traveled forward in time (the bottom semi-circle) and then reversed and went back in time (the top semi-circle) and annihilated itself! By inventing diagrams like this, Richard Feynman made it much easier to understand what is going on in the interactions between sub-atomic particles without getting lost in tremendous amounts of tedious math
There’s more — a lot more. Feynman outlined our current generation of computer memory devices — in 1959. No, he didn’t patent the idea. He did patent an idea for a nuclear-powered spacecraft. Another delightful story.
Feynman served on the board that approved science books for the California school system — his stories of that work will shock some, but it will make others shake their heads as they recognize the current crop of cargo-cultists and political bullies who dominate textbook approval processes, knowing nothing at all about what they are doing, or why.
No, I didn’t forget his brilliant work on the commission that studied the Challenger disaster, for NASA. There’s so much stuff to glorify!
In history, Feynman should be remembered much as we remember Thomas Jefferson, as a renaissance man in his time, a man who put great intellect to great work for his nation and all humanity.
The sages say we shouldn’t have regrets, but I do have one. When the Challenger Commission was meeting in Washington, D.C., I was working on another commission up the street. I knew Feynman was ill, but our work was important, and we’d heard his disease was in remission. I didn’t goof off a day and go to any of the hearings to see him, to get an autograph, to meet the man. I though I’d have other opportunities to do that. Now I regret not having met him in person.
In print, and in film, I know him well. In our family, reading Feynman is something everybody does. Feynman’s memoir was one of the last books I read to our son, Kenny, as he was growing up, and growing into reading on his own. Even reading about Feynman, together, was an adventure. Our son, James, took us into the real physics of Feynman, and though I struggle with it more than James, we still read Feynman, for humor, and physics.
What would be appropriate ways to mark Feynman’s birth? At some future date, I hope we’ll have public readings of his books, showings of the documentaries about him, recreations of his lectures, perhaps. And then everyone can get in a circle, beating drums and singing about getting some orange juice, before sending postcards to our friends in Tuva.
Richard Feynman, we still need you, and miss you dearly.
There will always be “More” about Richard Feynman, if we’re lucky:
Our goldfinches left several weeks ago. The cedar waxwings came through in at least three big waves, starting in February (and the last just over a week ago). House finches moulted, and the breeding males have bright red heads. Migrating robins left us by the end of January, but a lot more residents stayed with us.
We have at least one, and maybe three cardinal families. A black-capped chickadee family stuck around. Haven’t seen a titmouse in a month, but I think they’re still in the neighborhood. The black-chinned hummingbird family is back, and maybe a few other hummers. The resident blue jays and white-winged doves duke it out every day. Carolina wren stayed, and may have already fledged; but there are too many wrens for one family — is that a Bewick’s wren?
It’s a rose-breasted grosbeak, Pheucticus ludovicianus. It seems late for migrating birds, but only because so many migratory species migrate earlier these days.
Would love to have a grosbeak family, but the Cornell ornithologists say this is fly-through territory. Maybe that explains why it won’t scare by the white-winged dove, Zenaida asiatica. Dallas is the western edge of the grosbeaks’ migratory path, but the eastern edge of the dove’s territory. They probably don’t see much of each other.
We don’t even advertise clean restrooms.
Not a word about condemning Rachel Carson. No plea to use DDT to try to poison Africa or Asia to health. That’s a great start.
He’s absolutely right.
What are you doing to fight malaria today?
This week is National Infant Immunization Week designated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Vaccinations worked miracles in extending human lifespans, and in making childhood much safer from disease, for those children who get vaccinated.
Information following comes directly from the CDC:
Protect Your Baby with Immunization
Immunization is one of the best ways parents can protect their infants from 14 serious childhood diseases before age two. Check to see if your baby is up to date on immunizations.
It is important for children to be fully immunized. Diseases that can be prevented with vaccines can be very serious – even deadly – especially for infants and young children. For example, children younger than 2 years old are at the highest risk for serious pneumococcal disease like pneumonia, blood infection (sepsis), and meningitis. Before the pneumococcal vaccine was used routinely, an estimated 17,000 cases of severe types of pneumococcal infection, like meningitis, occurred each year.
Immunization. Power to Protect.
Immunizations have helped to greatly improve the health of children in the United States. Most parents today have never seen first-hand the devastating consequences that vaccine-preventable diseases have on a family or community. While most of these diseases are not common in the United States, they persist around the world. It is important that we continue to protect our children with vaccines because outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases can and do occasionally occur in this country.
For example, in 2010, there were 27,550 people reported to have “whooping cough” (pertussis) in the United States. Twenty-seven deaths were reported – 25 of these were in children younger than 1 year old. In 2011, 222 people were reported to have measles in the United States – that’s more than any year since 1996. Measles is brought into the United States by unvaccinated U.S. residents and foreign visitors who get infected when they are in other countries. Measles is still common in many parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. In fact, in France alone, more than 15,000 people were reported to have measles in 2011. Measles spreads easily, and it can be serious, causing hospitalization and even death. Young children are at highest risk for serious complications from measles.
Vaccinating your baby according to the recommended immunization schedule gives him or her the best protection against 14 serious childhood illnesses – like measles and whooping cough – before he is two years old. The recommended schedule is designed to protect infants and children early in life, when they are most vulnerable and before they are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases.
Visit CDC’s vaccine website for parents.
The Diseases Vaccines Prevent
The recommended immunization schedule for babies includes vaccination protection against all of the following diseases:
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
- Pneumococcal disease
- Rubella (German measles)
- Tetanus (lockjaw)
- Varicella (chickenpox)
Vaccinate On Time, Every Time
Even though the United States experiences outbreaks of some vaccine-preventable diseases, the spread of disease usually slows or stops because of immunization. If we stopped vaccinating, even the few cases we have in this country could very quickly become tens or hundreds of thousands of cases. Fortunately, most parents choose to vaccinate their children and immunization rates in this country are at or near record high levels. In fact, less than 1% of children do not receive any vaccines. However, some children have not received all of their vaccines and therefore are not fully immunized. It’s important that children receive all doses of the vaccines according to the recommended immunization schedule. Not receiving all doses of a vaccine leaves a child vulnerable to catching serious diseases.
That’s why it’s important to make sure that your child is up to date on his or her immunizations. Call your pediatrician to find out if your child is due for any vaccinations. Or, you can use this online tool to enter your child’s current record and quickly see if any doses have been skipped or missed. It is important to your child’s health to be up to date on immunizations.
Paying for Immunization
Most health insurance plans cover the cost of vaccinations, but you should check with your insurance provider before going to the doctor. If you don’t have health insurance, or if your insurance does not cover vaccinations, the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program may be able to help with the cost.
The VFC program helps families of eligible children who might not otherwise have access to immunization. The program provides vaccinations at no cost. Children younger than 19 years of age are eligible for VFC vaccines if they are:
- American Indian or Alaska Native,
- Underinsured and vaccinated in Federally Qualified Health Centers or Rural Health Clinics.
Parents of uninsured or underinsured children who receive vaccines at no cost through the VFC Program should check with their health care providers about possible administration fees that might apply. These fees help providers cover the costs of giving the vaccines, including storing the vaccines and paying staff members to give vaccines to patients. However, VFC vaccines cannot be denied to an eligible child if a family can’t afford the fee.
Have Questions about Immunization?
- Talk with your child’s health care professional, contact your local or state health department, or call the CDC at 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636).
- Visit CDC’s vaccine website for parents
- Parents’ Guide to Childhood Immunizations
- Immunization Schedule Tools
- Infant Immunizations FAQs
- Diseases & the Vaccines that Prevent Them
- If You Choose Not to Vaccinate Your Child, Understand the Risks and Responsibilities [PDF - 448KB]
- Immunization Requirements for Child Care and School
- Vaccine Information Statements, including side effects
- How to Hold Your Child during Vaccinations [PDF 156KB]
- Keeping Track of Vaccination Records
- Get The Picture: Childhood Immunizations Video
CDC works 24/7 saving lives and protecting people from health threats to have a more secure nation. A US federal agency, CDC helps make the healthy choice the easy choice by putting science and prevention into action. CDC works to help people live longer, healthier and more productive lives.
Last syndicated: April 19, 2013
This content is brought to you by: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
It’s spring. The grasses are sprouting.
Texas is a good place for grasses.
Spring sunlight is spectacular on the new flowers; winter sunlight, in the afternoon, shows a different kind of spectacular.
Lindheimer’s muhly grass, Muhlenbergia lindheimeri, shows beauty from soon after it sprouts until long after it’s gone dormant. A garden is a year-around project, and joy.
History lives in those grasses, too. You can find some at the Native Plant Society of Texas’s website, and its description of Lindheimer’s muhly.
This seems pretty dumb now, but many years ago when I first heard about so many grasses called “muley,” I was puzzled about that name. I’d heard of muley cattle such as polled Herefords, but not hornless grass! Needless to say, as soon as I looked up Lindheimer muhly, I could see it is in a genus named after a Mr. Muhlenberg.
Gotthilf Hunrich Ernst Muhlenberg lived from 1753 to 1815. He was born into a prominent Pennsylvania family, and his father and brothers were influential patriots during the Revolutionary War. Because of his family’s involvement in the Revolution, Muhlenberg was on the British hit list.
While he was hiding out in a rural area away from Philadelphia during the Revolution, Muhlenberg became interested in botany. Through his extensive collections, Muhlenberg made major contributions to botany, and many plants have been named in his honor. For example, among our local flora are several species of muhly grass (Muhlenbergia) and Chinquapin oak (Quercus muhlenbergii).
Lindheimer muhly was named in honor of Ferdinand Lindheimer, the “Father of Texas Botany.” Many other plants native to the Texas Hill Country also bear the name “Lindheimer” or “Lindheimer’s.” Most of these plants were first collected by Lindheimer, who settled on the banks of the Comal River in New Braunfels in 1845.
Another entry in the Blackland Prairie Almanac, perhaps.
You could write it off to pareidolia, once. Like faces in clouds, some people claimed to see a link. The first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, coincided with Lenin’s birthday. There was no link — Earth Day was scheduled for a spring Wednesday. Now, years later, with almost-annual repeats of the claim from the braying right wing, it’s just a cruel hoax.
No, there’s no link between Earth Day and the birthday of V. I. Lenin:
One surefire way to tell an Earth Day post is done by an Earth Day denialist: They’ll note that the first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, was an anniversary of the birth of Lenin.
Coincidentally, yes, Lenin was born on April 22 (new style calendar; it was April 10 on the calendar when he was born — but that’s a digression for another day).
It’s a hoax. There is no meaning to the first Earth Day’s falling on Lenin’s birthday — Lenin was not prescient enough to plan his birthday to fall in the middle of Earth Week, a hundred years before Earth Week was even planned.
Does Earth Day Promote Communism?
Earth Day 1970 was initially conceived as a teach-in, modeled on the teach-ins used successfully by Vietnam War protesters to spread their message and generate support on U.S. college campuses. It is generally believed that April 22 was chosen for Earth Day because it was a Wednesday that fell between spring break and final exams—a day when a majority of college students would be able to participate.
U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson, the guy who dreamed up the nationwide teach-in that became Earth Day, once tried to put the whole “Earth Day as communist plot” idea into perspective.
“On any given day, a lot of both good and bad people were born,” Nelson said. “A person many consider the world’s first environmentalist, Saint Francis of Assisi, was born on April 22. So was Queen Isabella. More importantly, so was my Aunt Tillie.”
April 22 is also the birthday of J. Sterling Morton, the Nebraska newspaper editor who founded Arbor Day (a national holiday devoted to planting trees) on April 22, 1872, when Lenin was still in diapers. Maybe April 22 was chosen to honor Morton and nobody knew. Maybe environmentalists were trying to send a subliminal message to the national subconscious that would transform people into tree-planting zombies. One birthday “plot” seems just about as likely as the other. What’s the chance that one person in a thousand could tell you when either of these guys were born.
My guess is that only a few really wacko conservatives know that April 22 is Lenin’s birthday (was it ever celebrated in the Soviet Union?). No one else bothers to think about it, or say anything about it, nor especially, to celebrate it.
Wisconsin’s U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson, usually recognized as the founder and father of Earth Day, told how and why the organizers came to pick April 22:
Senator Nelson chose the date in order to maximize participation on college campuses for what he conceived as an “environmental teach-in.” He determined the week of April 19–25 was the best bet; it did not fall during exams or spring breaks, did not conflict with religious holidays such as Easter or Passover, and was late enough in spring to have decent weather. More students were likely to be in class, and there would be less competition with other mid-week events—so he chose Wednesday, April 22.
In his own words, Nelson spoke of what he was trying to do:
After President Kennedy’s [conservation] tour, I still hoped for some idea that would thrust the environment into the political mainstream. Six years would pass before the idea that became Earth Day occurred to me while on a conservation speaking tour out West in the summer of 1969. At the time, anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, called “teach-ins,” had spread to college campuses all across the nation. Suddenly, the idea occurred to me – why not organize a huge grassroots protest over what was happening to our environment?
I was satisfied that if we could tap into the environmental concerns of the general public and infuse the student anti-war energy into the environmental cause, we could generate a demonstration that would force this issue onto the political agenda. It was a big gamble, but worth a try.
At a conference in Seattle in September 1969, I announced that in the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment and invited everyone to participate. The wire services carried the story from coast to coast. The response was electric. It took off like gangbusters. Telegrams, letters, and telephone inquiries poured in from all across the country. The American people finally had a forum to express its concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes, and air – and they did so with spectacular exuberance. For the next four months, two members of my Senate staff, Linda Billings and John Heritage, managed Earth Day affairs out of my Senate office.
Five months before Earth Day, on Sunday, November 30, 1969, The New York Times carried a lengthy article by Gladwin Hill reporting on the astonishing proliferation of environmental events:
“Rising concern about the environmental crisis is sweeping the nation’s campuses with an intensity that may be on its way to eclipsing student discontent over the war in Vietnam…a national day of observance of environmental problems…is being planned for next spring…when a nationwide environmental ‘teach-in’…coordinated from the office of Senator Gaylord Nelson is planned….”
Nelson, a veteran of the U.S. armed services (Okinawa campaign), flag-waving ex-governor of Wisconsin (Sen. Joe McCarthy’s home state, but also the home of Aldo Leopold and birthplace of John Muir), was working to raise America’s consciousness and conscience about environmental issues.
Lenin on the environment? Think of the Aral Sea disaster, the horrible pollution from Soviet mines and mills, and the dreadful record of the Soviet Union on protecting any resource. Lenin believed in exploiting resources, not conservation.
So, why are all these conservative denialists claiming, against history and politics, that Lenin’s birthday has anything to do with Earth Day?
Can you say “propaganda?” Can you say “political smear?”
2013 Resources and Good News:
Good information for 2012:
Good information from 2011:
Good information from 2010:
2013 Wall of Shame:
Wall of Lenin’s Birthday Propaganda Shame from 2012:
Wall of Lenin’s Birthday Propaganda Shame from 2011:
Wall of Lenin’s Birthday Propaganda Shame from 2010:
Spread the word. Have you found someone spreading the hoax, claiming Earth Day honors Lenin instead? Give us the link in comments.
Welcome, refugees and truth-seekers from WUWT: If this site seems a little unusual to you, you should know that at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub we try to stick to science, and we don’t censor opposing opinions. Genuinely interested in the DDT/Malaria issue? See this collection.
A couple of physicists get together in a podcast from the Ayn Rand Institute,
Poke in Your Eye to Eye, and demonstrate that they don’t know biology well, they know less about history, but they don’t hesitate to tell whoppers about Rachel Carson and the value of DDT: “Silent Spring 50 Years Later [a special Earth Day podcast].“
Earth Day must be coming up. The usual suspects trot out their usual disinformation and hoax campaigns — and it will continue through Earth Day on April 22, International Malaria Day on April 25, through Rachel Carson’s birthday, and probably all summer.
Mencken warned us that hoaxes, once out of the bottle, can’t be put back. Twain (and others) remind us that whopping falsehoods travel around the world “while truth is getting its boots on.” Amanda Maxham, who is listed as an astrophysicist at the Rand site, interviewed physicist Keith Lockitch — and they repeat almost all the hoary old false fables invented by Gordon Edwards and Steven Milloy about malaria, DDT, and Rachel Carson.
A few of the errors committed by the polemicists at the Ayn Rand Institute:
Rachel Carson’s life is a model for budding scientists, aspiring journalists, and teachers of ethics. That so many people spend so much time making up false claims against her, in favor of a deadly toxin, and against science, tells us much more about the subrosa intentions of the claim fakers than about Rachel Carson.
Want the facts about Rachel Carson? Try William Souder’s marvelous biography from last year, On a Farther Shore. Want facts on DDT? Try EPA’s official DDT history online (or look at some of the posts here at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub). Want the facts about malaria? Check with the world’s longest running, most ambitious malaria fighting campaign operated by the good people at the World Health Organization, Roll Back Malaria, or see Sonia Shah’s underappreciated history, The Fever: How malaria has ruled mankind for 500,000 years.
Wall of Shame (hoax spreaders to watch out for this week):
On April 20, 1902, Marie and Pierre Curie succeeded in isolating a chunk of the element radium, one of the earliest radioactive elements studied.
Pierre died in 1906; Marie won a second Nobel, in Chemistry, in 1911. Pierre was run over by a horse-drawn carriage. Marie died in 1934 of aplastic anemia, a disease probably caused by her having received so much radiation over the course of her career.
We shouldn’t get out of April 19 — a day marked by significant historic events through the past couple hundred years — without remembering that it is also the anniversary of the death of Darwin.
Immortality? Regardless Darwin’s religious beliefs (I’ll argue he remained Christian, thank you, if you wish to argue), he achieved immortality solely on the strength of his brilliant work in science. Of course he’s best known for being the first to figure out that natural and sexual selection worked as tools to sculpt species over time, a theory whose announcement he shared with Alfred Russel Wallace, who independently arrived at almost exactly the same theory but without the deep evidentiary backup Darwin had amassed.
But had evolution turned out to be a bum theory, Darwin’s other works would have qualified him as one of the greatest scientists of all time, including:
Any of those accomplishments would have been a career-capping work for a scientist. Darwin’s mountains of work still form foundations of geology and biology, and are touchstones for genetics.
Born within a few hours of Abraham Lincoln on February 12, 1809, Darwin survived 17 years longer — 17 extremely productive years. Ill through much of his life with mystery ailments, perhaps Chaga’s Disease, or perhaps some other odd parasite or virus he picked up on his world travels, Darwin succumbed to heart disease on April 19, 1882.
If you needed turf grass, would you buy it from someone who doesn’t know beans about pesticides and ecosystems? Shouldn’t a turf grass provider know a bit more about ecology?
Found this in the on-line newsletter of the Saskatchewan Turfgrass Association:
“State of Fear” written around 2006 by author Michael Crichton had interesting things to say about the once popular insecticide DDT. He wrote that arguably the greatest tragedy of the 20th Century was the removal of DDT for control of mosquitoes. DDT was the best insecticide on the market. Despite reviews to the contrary, no other products were as efficient, or as safe. Since the removal of DDT, it has been estimated that 30 to 50 million people have died unnecessarily. Before the removal of DDT, malaria had become almost a minor illness with only 50,000 deaths per year throughout the world. Remember the figures above are from 2006.
Malaria deaths are at historic lows, probably the lowest they’ve been in human history – thanks to Rachel Carson‘s integrated vector management methods and hard work by African malaria fighters working without DDT, mostly.
So, after the lie gets around the world before the truth gets its boots on, does the lie ever stop? Probably not.
We’re coming up on World Malaria Day on April 25. Corporately-funded hoaxsters will be spreading a lot of disinformation about malaria, about DDT, and about Rachel Carson, over the next month or so. And, probably for years beyond that.
Which do you think eats more destructive insects, a frog or a dragonfly?
In the war between frogs and dragonflies, for which do we cheer?
You should read Natalie Angier’s entire piece about dragonflies from yesterday’s New York Times, of course. But first, you should watch the video above, by Andrew Mountcastle, which accompanies the piece. You should watch it again and again and again.
Fireworks for James Madison’s birthday?
I love fireworks. Kathryn and I have been known to drive a couple hundred miles to see a good show. Fireworks in honor of the guy who gave us the Constitution and the First Amendment (and much more), seems a great idea to me.
But no one did it . . .
Sometimes the Sun, Moon, stars and planets conspire.
Here’s one of the best, most inspiring five minutes you’ll spend this week. Look what the Sun sent us, filmed in time-lapse glory above Eureka, Alaska, on March 16, 2013, the anniversary of James Madison’s birthday; from AlaskaDispatch.com:
A timelapse of the Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights, over Eureka, Alaska on March 16, 2013. Taken with a Canon 5D Mark III and 24mm f/1.4 and 70-200 f/2.8 lenses. Compiled from 3800 images, with exposures between 2 seconds and 30 seconds.
Tip of the old scrub brush to Dr. M. P. Bumsted.