- At partner blog The Trenches of Discovery, my colleague and regular co-author Shaun has put up the 4th part of a series of blog postings on "The ISW Mystery". The earlier ones are here, here and here. This is an ambitious attempt by him to describe some research we have recently done in a manner accessible to the layman. Definitely worth a little investment of time.
- Sean Carroll draws attention to some nice "back of the envelope" physics problems by Edward Purcell, and points out that quantum mechanics is needed to explain how our eyes work.
- In the UK, the STFC have decided that the gigantic Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope will be built in both South Africa and Australia and not in either country exclusively. Andy Lawrence evaluates the decision. (Incidentally, SKA is not known as SKA because the radio dishes will be placed over an area of a square kilometre on the ground -- that would actually be rather small for a radio telescope. Instead it is because the total area of the dishes themselves will add up to a square kilometre, which really is enormous.)
- The New York Review of Books features a journalistic report drawn in comic form, by artist and journalist Joe Sacco, about his visit to Kushinagar district in Uttar Pradesh, India. The novel presentation is worth a look in itself, but the report also deals with a very serious and important issue: the continuing caste-based discrimination faced by the Dalits in rural India, more than 60 years after such practices were officially outlawed in the constitution.
- Rhys has a very justified rant about the mindless abuse of scientific terms in art; he describes a particularly bad example of this "drivel".
- Peter Coles has an equally justified rant about a ridiculous article in The Guardian attempting to justify the astronomical profits made by academic publishers. See also here for a similar angry rebuttal by Mike Taylor.