#2346 29.10.2023 21:09 AP
The Baloney Detection Kit

The Marginalian: Carl Sagan’s Rules for Bullshit-Busting and Critical Thinking (2014)

The kit is brought out as a matter of course whenever new ideas are offered for consideration. If the new idea survives examination by the tools in our kit, we grant it warm, although tentative, acceptance. If you’re so inclined, if you don’t want to buy baloney even when it’s reassuring to do so, there are precautions that can be taken; there’s a tried-and-true, consumer-tested method.

#2290 08.10.2023 00:26 AP

RealClear Science: The Smartest Person Who Ever Lived

Nobody doubts that Isaac Newton was an intelligent man, but he also exhibited in spades the two other characteristics outlined above: knowledge and creativity.


Sadly, despite his fame, Isaac Newton led a very lonely life. His incomparable brilliance came at a hefty cost; his reclusive and anti-social nature strongly suggest that he was autistic, and his obsessive and disagreeable nature suggest mental illness, perhaps obsessive-compulsive disorder.

#2258 24.09.2023 15:10 AP

Scientific American: The Equinox Is Not What You Think It Is

On Saturday, September 23, at 6:50 A.M. UTC (2:50 A.M. EDT or 11:50 P.M. Friday PDT), the sun will be directly over Earth’s equator, which is how astronomers define the equinox.

#2197 27.08.2023 19:11 AP

Aeon: We are not empty

The concept of the atomic void is one of the most repeated mistakes in popular science. Molecules are packed with stuff

The empty atom picture is likely the most repeated mistake in popular science. It is unclear who created this myth, but it is sure that Carl Sagan, in his classic TV series Cosmos (1980), was crucial in popularising it. After wondering how small the nuclei are compared with the atom, Sagan concluded that

[M]ost of the mass of an atom is in its nucleus; the electrons are by comparison just clouds of moving fluff. Atoms are mainly empty space. Matter is composed chiefly of nothing.

#2183 23.08.2023 20:07 AP

Aufbau, Funktion und Aufgabe des CMS-Detektors am CERN

Der CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) ist einer der beiden Detektoren, die gemeinsam den Nachweis des Higgs-Bosons ermöglicht haben und ist eine dieser gigantischen Strukturen 100m unter der Erde am CERN and dem die vom LHC beschleunigten Teilchen untersucht werden.

Wie schon in den ersten beiden Raumzeit-Folgen der CERN-Serie ist der Gesprächspartner wieder ein Österreicher: Wolfgang Adam vom Institut für Hochenergiephysik.