Category Archives: Science

Scientific terms list for spell-checkers/spelling dictionaries

[UPDATE: This post is out of date. Please see my static page Scientific word list for spell-checkers/spelling dictionaries for up-to-date information about these scientific word lists. I mean, the links to the files custom_scientific_US.txt and custom_scientific_UK.txt below will take you … Continue reading

Posted in Career, Language, Science, Writing | 11 Comments

Synapses, neural connections, stars, and atoms in the universe

Possibly because of the movie Amélie and possibly because people like to quote statistics or calculations without knowing what they mean, it’s fairly easy to find some absurd claims about the number of synapses or “neural connections” in the human … Continue reading

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The en dash vs. the hyphen: more examples for precise English usage

As I wrote in my first post about the en dash and as I explain more extensively in the hyphen vs. en dash section of my grammar page, the en dash can provide wonderful clarity where the hyphen cannot in … Continue reading

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Superstitions and fetishes make for bad writing and editing

Scientific editors are a difficult group to deal with. Most of them are either bad writers or not experts on the topic they’re editing at a given time, or both. Either shortcoming often leads them to make unnecessary, unwise, or … Continue reading

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December miscellany

My brother told me about the web page Symphony of Science, where its proprietor, John Boswell, mixes the voices of famous scientists (e.g., Carl Sagan, Michio Kaku, Richard Feynman) with an autotuner and puts them over R & B–style music. … Continue reading

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Monkey-proof passwords

You know what’s stupid? That old saying (I guess it qualifies as an “old saying” now) that if a million monkeys banged away at a million typewriters, they would eventually reproduce the complete works of Shakespeare. Obviously you could fill … Continue reading

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The stomachion, the world’s earliest known puzzle

In my searches related to the aforementioned 3D puzzles, I came across some puzzle vendor and enthusiast sites, one of which contained the text of this New York Times article about the stomachion, a children’s game that seemed to be … Continue reading

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Link of the day: Gigagalaxy Zoom

Gigagalaxy Zoom Because the universe is awesome and beautiful. (HT: Dark Roasted Blend.)

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Gummy bear explosions

Chemistry is cool:

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Optical illusions and visual phenomena

Check out Michael Bach’s amazing and expansive collection of optical illusions. Some of them will undoubtedly be familiar to you from your youth, and you’ve probably also seen a couple of the more sophisticated ones on computers more recently. But … Continue reading

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Expensive running shoes are a waste of money and make us injury-prone

So claims one Christopher McDougall in a new book, Born To Run. The book was largely inspired by his discovrery of the Tarahumara indians of Mexico, a reclusive tribe populated by the greatest long-distance runners in the world. Read Random … Continue reading

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