Bob Ross is one of the great humans of recent memory. He’s in the same pantheon as Fred Rogers and Steve Irwin. In addition to being a great painter, he had a quite, calming, and positive outlook even when things were tough.
Bob Ross painted more than 1,000 landscapes for his television show; but these paintings are hard to find. The NY Times solves one of the internet’s favorite little mysteries.
Anyone who says that “the science is settled” is a fool or a charlatan.
That’s the first sentence of the post; he’s certainly not burying the lede. The professor then walks us through a piece by David Gelertner who credibly argues there is essentially no evidence of evolution creating new species. Gelertner also cites our current understanding of molecular biology and the very large numbers of possible protein combinations: for a protein containing 150 amino acids (the average protein has 250), the odds of creating new useful protein by random mutation is approximately 1 in 10^77. We currently estimate the universe contains 10^80 atoms. When you consider the thousands, or maybe millions, of protein changes that would be required to evolve a new species, and the requirement to do it every time you want to evolve the millions of species on earth, the odds are overwhelming.
I’m not smart enough to propose a theory of how the diversity of living creatures on our planet came to be. But I’m pretty sure Darwinism isn’t the answer, and I’m equally sure that seven-thousand-years-ago-god-created-the-earth-and-everything-in-it isn’t the answer either. The science is far from settled.
The science is far from settled in many other scientific domains: we had to invent dark matter and dark energy to make our observations of the universe fit with Einstein’s theory of general relativity. We don’t really know what dark matter and dark energy are, but we need these “weird things” to explain how fast stars orbit around galaxies and why the universe is expanding faster than Einstein’s model predicts.
As statistician George Box said, “All models are wrong, but some are useful.” Darwinian evolution and general relativity have proven enormously useful. I think our current climate models are wrong, but also useful. I’m wary of anyone who thinks our climate models are good enough to remake entire economies at the cost of trillions of dollars. And I think anyone who says climate science is settled is a fool.
When I was 12 years old, I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. An outpatient surgical procedure saved my life. The dermatologist put the fear of the sun in us, and everyone in our family started wearing sunscreen all the time.
Rowan Jacobsen writes Is Sunscreen the New Margarine? for Outside Magazine about emerging research which seems to indicate that avoiding sun exposure increases your risk of death:
Some of the best came from Pelle Lindqvist, a senior research fellow in obstetrics and gynecology at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, home of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Lindqvist tracked the sunbathing habits of nearly 30,000 women in Sweden over 20 years. Originally, he was studying blood clots, which he found occurred less frequently in women who spent more time in the sun—and less frequently during the summer. Lindqvist looked at diabetes next. Sure enough, the sun worshippers had much lower rates. Melanoma? True, the sun worshippers had a higher incidence of it—but they were eight times less likely to die from it.
So Lindqvist decided to look at overall mortality rates, and the results were shocking. Over the 20 years of the study, sun avoiders were twice as likely to die as sun worshippers.
There are not many daily lifestyle choices that double your risk of dying. In a 2016 study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, Lindqvist’s team put it in perspective: “Avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor of a similar magnitude as smoking, in terms of life expectancy.”
Most dermatologists recommend their patients follow the American Academy of Dermatology’s zero-tolerance stance on sun exposure. Every one of my dermatologists has given me the same advice. I have also repeatedly tested as Vitamin D deficient.
I like the sun, and I like the way I feel when I’m outside. I’m going to use less sunscreen.
How does a famous anonymous artist authenticate her work? Banksy created a company called Pest Control, which issues Certificates of Authenticity with a paper based public key crypto system. The paper stapled to the certificate is a fake Tenner with Lady Diana’s picture on it, torn in half.
RCS, the next generation replacement for SMS, has been around since 2008. It went exactly nowhere until the summer of 2018, when Google announced a big push to get it adopted by Android manufacturers and carriers. There was a bit of press saying how this would be great for everyone. Turns out, the RCS Chat rollout is a big mess. Hard to see this turning around and being successful.
And who sponsors a new chat infrastucture that doesn’t support end-to-end encryption?