That is a medical marvel of lifes persistece, albeit a grim one

The Eleventh Letter

No. We don’t always get what we want. But consider this: There are people who will never have what you have right now.

It’s the beginning of the year and sometimes it’s easier to dwell on the past, and fall into a pessimist attitude. We have so many things to be thankful for. When you run into some bumps in the road this year, keep some of these things in mind.

  1. Let me start by saying this … If you are reading this online, you are already blessed because 70 percent of the world has no access to the Internet.
  2. Free to worship? More than 75 percent of the world’s population lives in areas with severe religious restrictions. Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution simply because of their belief in Jesus Christ.
  3. Political freedom? About 1.6 billion people in the world live in repressive societies where…

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“Smartest may seem a little childish as a title for this post but there is  no equivalent term which covers such a vast swathe of what scientific minds refer to as intellectual capability. For me, there are three, not necessarily interchangeable fields involved in this question. The first is fluid, natural intelligence, which is what IQ tests purport to measure in a rather flawed way. The second type is practical intelligence, how to solve everyday problems and plan things efficiently. This is useful for logic puzzles and games such as chess. People such as Garry Kasparov and Terence Tao are contenders in this field as, though their achievements are legend, they are primarily lknown for their exceptionally high intelligence.

The other contingent of the argument pertains to what a person achieves academically in their lifetime, This is often well separated from the other fields as many other factors contribute to determining success. My top five in order here are

1 Leonardo Da Vinci,

2 Nikola Tesla,

3 Isaac Newton,

4 Albert Einstein,

5 Thomas Edison

This is a hard one to answer but Ill try my best. An IQ test is a comprehensive and accurate gauge of ones ability to answer IQ tests correctly

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,000 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 50 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

I am no expert on psychology but, as a teenage physics fanatic, I have met a large amount of people (myself possibly included who are considered to have a physics “plague” and avoided at all costs. Maybe its the scruffiness or the decidedly foreign language but exchange students from every corner of the globe don’t have this problem. Personally i believe it is a potent mixture of jealousy and that old chestnut, fear of the unknown, ie dogs hating dark spaces. Any true and sincere or just plain stupid answers appreciated.

For example, take a look at the first result when one googles scientist. (Personally I’d have put my money on Einstein with his tongue out.)


Throughout this site and others, these units are used to denote energy yield in large quantities due to asteroids, volcanoes, explosives etc. One ton of TNT is equal to 4184,000,000 joules… and multiples of such for higher energies.

A very simple question with a very complex answer. Various hypotheses have been postulated, the only almost generally agreed upon thing is that an impact from space near Chixclub, Mexico 65 million years ago dealt the final blow. There is evidence however to suggest that the great reptiles had been in decline for some time, possibly due to disease, climate change, or simply becoming too large to mate effectively. After the initial devastating impact, the frictional heat of reentry generated by the molten ejecta blasted into orbit may have caused a global firestorm, destroying many survivors. The remainder would have starved during the long impact winter which followed, in which sunlight was blocked by dust in the atmosphere.

I was pondering this in relation to a question in a physics quiz and noticed that there didnt seem to be a valid answer on the internet…or anywhere else. If anyone has an answer or can measure this directly I would appreciate the results. An A4 sheet weighs about 4g so the marking on it will probably be measured in microgrammes (no mu symbol on keyboard)

The size of the crater an impactor leaves has an inverse relationship with the frequency that such impacts occur. This means tht large impacts are much less common than small ones. We take a hit from a house sized object every few months and, though it releases the energy of a nuclear bomb, we only experience a flash and bang as the impactor is torn apart by friction high in the atmosphere. These airbursts can be dangerous though as the shockwave smashes glass nearby and bursts near the surface can cause severe flash burns. Objects above twenty kilometres across no longer strike the planet but an extinction level collision with an eight to twelve kilometre asteroid is almost certain within the next hundred million years or so . This would be just as bad as portrayed in movies — mega-tsunami, darened sky and quite possibly a global firestorm due to the frictional heat of reentry of the superheated rock blasted into space by the formation of the temporary crater.