Monthly Archives: February 2013

Wind surpasses nuclear in China

Wind has overtaken nuclear as an electricity source in China. In 2012, wind farms generated 2 percent more electricity than nuclear power plants did, a gap that will likely widen dramatically over the next few years as wind surges ahead. Since 2007, nuclear power generation has risen by 10 percent annually, compared with wind’s explosive […] … learn more→

Stop calling It \’Digital Humanities\’

A persistent criticism of the digital-humanities movement is that it is elitist and exclusive because it requires the resources of a major university (faculty, infrastructure, money), and is thus more suited to campuses with a research focus. Academics and administrators at small liberal-arts colleges may read about DH and, however exciting it sounds, decide that […] … learn more→

University democracy in democracies?

The Issue Egypt recently moved toward the election of deans and presidents in its public universities. Wherever dictatorship falls and governments are suddenly elected by the citizens, as in the Middle East today or Eastern Europe in 1989, or more sporadically over time in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, a major higher education question arises: […] … learn more→

Goodbye, for a while, to the Large Hadron Collider

The lord of the particle accelerator, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), went out of particle collision business for almost two years as of late last week. For particle physicists, Valentine’s Day 2013 will be remembered for the successful completion of phase 1 of the LHC’s operations. But the two-year shutdown won’t involve much relaxing for […] … learn more→

Lunch and dinner with Julian Assange, in prison

Everybody warned this would be no ordinary invitation, and they were right. Three hundred metres from Knightsbridge underground station, just a stone’s throw from fashion-conscious Harrods, I suddenly encounter a wall of police. I try to remember my instructions. Look straight ahead. Avoid eye contact. If asked my name, reply with a question. Ask who […] … learn more→

RIOT gear: your online trail just got way more visible

The recent publication of a leaked video demonstrating American security firm Raytheon’s social media mining tool RIOT (Rapid Information Overlay Technology) has rightly incensed individuals and online privacy groups. In a nutshell, RIOT – already shared with US government and industry as part of a joint research and development effort in 2010 – uses social […] … learn more→

Forensic astronomy: the Russian meteor and 2012 DA14

One of the most exciting things about science is the detective work, and never was this more the case than Friday. Within an hour or so of the event, almost everyone had seen the dramatic footage of the meteor over Russia. With the fly-by of another asteroid 2012 DA14 due only hours later, the obvious […] … learn more→

There is no such thing as climate change denial

In a sense, there is no such thing as climate change denial. No one denies that climate changes (in fact, the most common climate myth is the argument that past climate change is evidence that current global warming is also natural). Then what is being denied? Quite simply, the scientific consensus that humans are disrupting […] … learn more→

A Professor vs. Fox News

Students in a political science class at West Liberty University were given an assignment recently to keep a \”politics journal\” in which they would record their reactions to various articles they had selected. The instructor at the West Virginia public institution included some possible news sources, such as The Economist, BBC, CNN and The Huffington […] … learn more→