clean house

What WC Is Reading


The weather sucks, WC is struggling with a head cold and it’s the same old same old among the yard birds. So WC has been doing a lot of reading. Much of it has turned out to be pretty good. Here’s a quick overview of recent, decent stuff. Michael Lewis famously write Moneyball, which somehow got…

Nine Year Microwave Sky The detailed, all-sky picture of the infant universe created from nine years of WMAP data. The image reveals 13.77 billion year old temperature fluctuations (shown as color differences) that correspond to the seeds that grew to become the galaxies. The signal from our galaxy was subtracted using the multi-frequency data. This image shows a temperature range of ± 200 microKelvin. Credit: NASA / WMAP Science Team WMAP # 121238 Image Caption 9 year WMAP image of background cosmic radiation (2012)

Cosmology 101: The Big Bang Brouhaha


We’re only a few days into the Trump Administration and WC is already tired of the Liar-in-Chief’s antics. Wickersham’s Conscience will take a break from politics and presidential churlishness and revert to the magpie principle. At least until WC’s atrophied moral outrage recovers. For a sense of perspective, lets talk about cosmology instead. Let’s focus on…

crispr_overview

CRSPR Critters


If you haven’t heard of CRISPR, you will, It’s a tool that, like the transistor in electronics, is utterly revolutionizing biology. Combined with gene drive, it has made alterations to genomes, including human genomes, within the means and skills of a bright high school biology student. Put on your horned-rim glasses and pocket protector; we’re going…

Lucy's Humerus

An Autopsy 3.2 Million Years in the Making


Lucy is the most famous Australopithecus afarensis in the world. And certainly the only one with a Facebook page. Lucy’s fossil was discovered in Ethiopia in 1974, and was a remarkable find because more than 40% of her skeleton was recovered. University of Texas at Austin paleoanthropologist John Kappelman arranged with the Ethiopian government and museum authorities…

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Do You Believe in the Theory of Gravity?


Gravity is just a theory. Sir Issac Newton tried to quantify it. In  Principia, published in 1687, he deduced the application of the inverse square law. Where F is the force, m1 and m2 are the masses of the objects interacting, r is the distance between the centers of the masses and G is the gravitational constant. The theory was only partially successul. It helped predict the…