Noted in Passing – 28th July 2013


Friends under a banana leaf: Photograph by Kendisan Seruyan (via twistedsifter)

I tend to take alarmist claims about the demise of species with a large grain of salt. As supported by this story about a species of North American bumblebee which virtually disappeared and which has now reappeared.

I don’t believe the scientists who say they know the secret of Usain Bolt and his speed.

Matt Ridley compares HS2 to Hadrian’s Wall.

For a “settled science”, there is a great deal which is still being found about how carbon dioxide affects plants. Wetland plants are found not only to absorb more carbon dioxide with high concentration of the gas but they also then emit less carbon dioxide.

John Hawks considers the Denisovans and the pre-Toba, post-Toba question.

Joschka Fischer who was German Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor from 1998-2005 considers Egypt after Morsi.

Global population of polar bears keeps increasing (about 5,000 since 2001) even though some vested interests keep adjusting the numbers to try and show that there has been no significant change. They seem however to have abandoned efforts to show numbers declining.

That science is self-correcting may be true in the long term (more than a few decades) but it is largely a myth within the lifetime of scientists.

In the New Yorker, Atul Gawande considers the contrasting speeds at which anesthesia and the use of antiseptics spread and generally how ideas disseminate in the practice of medicine.

His involvement with¬†Muammar Gaddafi is no great surprise but I suspect that we have not yet heard the full history of Tony Blair’s venality.

Any even natural number greater than 2 can be written as the sum of two prime numbers. Plus Maths on the Goldbach Conjecture.


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