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Thank you, Mr. Wizard

I am saddened by the news that Don Herbert, aka "Mr. Wizard" died yesterday at the age of 89. His weekly program, on NBC from 1951 to 1965, brought simple science to children—and made it fun...

June 13, 2007 — Michael J. Battaglia

Good-Bye Blue Monday

Good-bye Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., whose resemblance to that other great American satirist, Mark Twain, is almost uncanny. And I believe his literary doppelganger would have enjoyed visiting the Vonnegutian universe populated by Kilgore Trout, Wanda June, Eliot Rosewater, Francine Pefko, Paul Proteus, Billy Pilgrim, Howard Campbell, Jr., the planet Tralfamadore, ice nine, granfalloons, foma, Illium, N.Y., and, of course, the lovely Montana Wildhack.Call him a pessimist, a stoic, or a dark and cranky curmudgeon, Vonnegut, like Twain, supplied what any self-satisfied civilization occasionally needs to keep it honest—a good thwacking from a brilliant satirist.And thwack he did...

April 13, 2007 — Michael J. Battaglia

When the Sky Falls, Where Will NASA Be?

Everybody duck and cover. Last week NASA shrugged and told Congress that it neither has the funding nor the resources to meet its goal of identifying 90 percent of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) 150 yards or more in diameter by 2020...

March 13, 2007 — Michael J. Battaglia

Big Decision: Head or Gut? Hmm ...

This week's paper is On Making the Right Choice: The Deliberation-Without-Attention Effect by Ap Dijksterhuis, Maarten W. Bos, Loran F. Nordgren and Rick B.

February 3, 2007 — David Dobbs

Are You a Global Warming Skeptic? Part IV

After a two-month hiatus, I've finally found the time to pick up the thread on doubts about global warming and humans' role in it. In previous installments, people wrote in with the reasons why they were skeptical and I tried to synthesize the responses...

July 5, 2006 — George Musser

Pawning NASA's Crown Jewels

So much in our vast universe seems hopelessly faraway, but with NASA's FY2007 budget even relatively close planetary neighbors like Mars and Europa now seem more distant.

February 8, 2006 — Michael J. Battaglia

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