Category: Forbes

Favourites List (29.11.13)


The week in six bits:

1. Self-tickling is impossible even if you think someone else is doing it. Allowing me to break new ground by posting a picture of a cat on the internet.

2. Evolution Doesn’t Look Like You Think It Does. This has always annoyed me too. This, and allegations that giraffes got long necks from reaching up to high branches.

3. Exploding Whale Video. As in this week’s exploding whale video. Not to be confused with this, older, exploding whale video. Or this one. Or, for that matter, this one.

4. Hydrogen Peroxide Mixed With Potassium Iodide. As in this:

(Pic: imgur)

(Pic: imgur)

5. Deepak Chopra Gets Upset, Tries The Harvard Gambit. Steven Salzberg explains how Deepak Chopra gets offended by Jerry Coyne, and so mounts the following terrific counter-argument: “I frequently speak at Harvard, therefore I am right“.

6. Why Do People Hate The Word ‘Chemicals’? Because people are fools, BBC. That’s why.

Once more, with feeling: ‘Weather’ is NOT ‘climate’

What is it with some media outlets and their tendency to gloss over the difference between ‘weather‘ and ‘climate‘? Let me give you the basics. Here’s the Wikipedia* explanation of the term ‘weather‘:

…the state of the atmosphere, to the degree that it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloudy.

And here’s the one for ‘climate‘:

…the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, precipitation, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elemental measurements in a given region over long periods. Climate can be contrasted to weather, which is the present condition of these elements and their variations over shorter periods. 

[*Those with a morbid mistrust of Wikipedia can consult the corresponding Oxford English Dictionary definitions here and here. (Hint: weather = ‘…at a particular place and time‘; climate = ‘…over a long period‘. You know. The same as in Wikipedia.)]

Weather is that short-term burst of meteorological whatchamacallit that just happens to be occurring right now, perhaps as the result of — hey, I don’t know — a “ridge of low pressure” or something. Like, today it happens to be rainy and cold. That’s weather.

Climate, on the other hand, is Continue reading “Once more, with feeling: ‘Weather’ is NOT ‘climate’”

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