Science glossary

The Diamantina Institute at the University of Queensland has a useful glossary of research terms online.

How dangerous is that cult?

Isaac Bonewits has a series of questions that gives cults a rating for how dangerous they are: “Advanced Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Frame.”

From the introduction:

“Brainwashing,” beatings, child abuse, rapes, murders, mass suicides, military drilling and gunrunning, meddling in civil governments, international terrorism, and other crimes have been charged against leaders and members of many groups, and in far too many cases those accusations have been correct. None of this has been very surprising to historians of religion or to other scholars of what are usually labelled “new” religions…

…members of the Religious Reich and their fellow theocrats will find that their own organizations (and quite a few large mainstream churches) are far more “cult-like” than many of the minority belief systems they so bitterly oppose.

New punk blogs

These look interesting:

Fun with geography:

The Waymarking site lets you pinpoint where you’ve been and what you found there. There’s even a category for Town Clocks, such as this one in the small town of Stayner. You can use it to find the nearest geocaches or even the nearest hotels. The reason I’m focusing on Stayner is because the town clock is near some 19th-Century buildings that I photographed there.


Science papers online

Here’s a boost to research: more than half a million science papers online at arXiv. Their content description lists these subjects:

  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Quantitative Biology
  • Quantitative Finance
  • Statistics

In other words, these are papers that deal with mathematics and with quantifying results.

It’s one of the ways in which the Web makes science much more accessible to us.

Hat tip to Blake Stacey at Science After Sunclipse.

Rocks at has a lot of nice articles about rocks and rock formation by Andrew Alden. Already this morning, I’ve learned how to tell siltstone from shale or sandstone or mudstone, what a thunder egg is, that agate and chert are both types of chalcedony, that alabaster is a kind of travertine, and how banded iron formations were formed. They date back to when the earth’s atmosphere mostly free of oxygen, and any oxygen produced by photosynthetic bacteria quickly bonded with iron in the earth’s crust.

Two science resources

In the discussion over at Pharyngula about CNN closing its science news department, someone mentioned two good resources for science news: Eureka Alert! and Technology Review.

Religious intolerance in the Bible

The Brick Testament has published several new Bible stories from the Chronicles of the kings. The Rev. Brendan Powell Smith says:

Does extreme religious intolerance stir your soul? Does rampant destruction of cultural artifacts move you deep within? Does the slaughter of innocent civilians en masse inspire your heart and mind? If so, the seven newly illustrated Bible stories that bring the King Solomon section of The Brick Testament to a close are certain to leave you feeling just a little closer to God:

While the southern kingdom of Judah struggles to find just the right mix of death and destruction to appease Yahweh into granting them peace, the northern kingdom of Israel suffers much bloodshed due to a system of political succession in which anyone who murders the king in cold blood is immediately granted the kingship. Though for thousands of years this was indeed how many nations appointed their leaders, fortunately here in the United States we learned our lesson and swiftly amended the Constitution after the brief but turbulent Oswald and Ruby administrations of the 1960s.

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