Inside the mind of a killer whale: A Q+A with the neuroscientist from ‘Blackfish’.

A common tactic to squash dissent.


The ad hominem argument is where you seek to discredit someone’s argument by drawing attention to their motive, character, authority, education, age, state of mind, etc., rather than showing what is wrong with the argument itself. It is one of the most common logical fallacies and ways to derail an argument.

For example, if a senator argues for a pay raise you might say:

Of course he would say that. He’s a senator.

It is a logical fallacy, a fault in reasoning, because it fails to point out what is wrong with the senator’s argument. Arguments stand or fall on their own merits, not on who made them and why.

That applies even to arguments made by authorities and experts. Good ideas often come from outsiders. If the argument is wrong there will be a mistake in it somewhere – no matter who made it.

It is…

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That wasn’t very satisfying.


Hey. Hi. Wanna know if Tony died or not at the end of The Sopranos? Do you really? Because David Chase has apparently answered the question, and it’s tucked inside a lengthy piece at Vox about the man and his motivations and influences.

Okay, here goes: Is Tony dead or what?

We were in a tiny coffee shop, when, in the middle of a low-key chat about a writing problem I was having, I popped the question. Chase startled me by turning toward me and saying with sudden, explosive anger, “Why are we talking about this?” I answered, “I’m just curious.” And then, for whatever reason, he told me. […]

He shook his head “no.” And he said simply, “No he isn’t.” That was all.

There you have it. Now you know. Not dead. And all it took was seven years of badgering David Chase about it until…

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Yes they’ve been trying to kill us!

Science is essential!

TED Blog

DNA. It’s what encodes the genetic material of every living thing. And it also makes a yummy cocktail.

This video, which stars TED Fellow synthetic biologist Oliver Medvedik, shows you how to make a delicious adult beverage out of frozen strawberries, pineapple juice and Bacardi 151. Follow the adorably animated instructions, and you’ll be able to isolate the DNA of strawberries while making a shot. Throughout it all, Medvedik — who co-founded New York City’s community biolab GenSpace (see photos of their incredible office building) — shares the science of why he chose strawberries for this recipe and reveals exactly what each step does toward isolating DNA.

Some of you may be wondering: can you make a non-alcoholic version? Yes, says Medevik, but it would require using a substance like chloroform or phenol. Medevik explains, “It would have to be an organic solvent where the DNA is poorly…

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Comment of the Day: “We Simply Must Assume Life in the Universe is Abundant”.