Weekly Roundup

The planets… are aligning! And, for the next month, all viewable in the same night. Here’s a guide to spotting our 5 closest neighbours with the naked eye, as well as Neptune and Uranus if you’ve got a small telescope.

Stephen Hawking is at it again with his “optimistic” doom and gloom predictions about humanity ruining life on this planet. Luckily, we’ll have colonized other places by then, so the Earth’s destruction is no big deal.

Here’s Nathan Myhrvold’s latest volley in favour of government support for basic science at Scientific American, arguing against Matt Ridley’s position (popular with belt-tightening politicians) that government should leave scientific innovation to the scientists.

This was no garden of Eden but a relentless battle“: The Atlantic explores the life and work of 17th-century artist Maria Sibylla Merian, whose lavish, detail-oriented images of insects depicted ecological communities before such a concept existed.

Bad science won’t die, according to Jill Neimark at Quartz, because we readily accept results (even discredited ones) that confirm our innate fears of contagion.

And finally, to the disappointment of almost everyone, there’s not likely to ever be a spider-man. At least one one without 40% body surface devoted to wall-crawlin’.

 

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