LYING, for free

A science communicator and writer at The New Yorker, Jonah Lehrer has destroyed his career by…. lying.

Lehrer fabricated quotes attributing them to Bob Dylan and oddly enough, plagiarised his own work, lifting passages from his blog for his book Imagine: How Creativity Works.

Sam Harris has written a short book on the subject of lying, called it Lying and in honour of Lehrer, has offered it for free as a download and for the Kindle. Should be a interesting read!

It’s only there for the rest of the week, so get downloading and tell your friends!

It’s Carl Sagan Day

Happy Birthday dead, Carl Sagan. He was a great communicator of science, and still is!

Here is a bit explaining how and why other dimension are unobservable to us, I stumbled on it a few years ago and it’s still wonderful to watch:

Channel 4s Documentary on GMOs, Animal Farm

“SHEEP WITH HUMAN ORGANS, GOATS THAT PRODUCE SPIDER WEB IN THEIR MILK, RABBITS WITH FLUORESCENT EYES AND AN ALLOTMENT OF GROWING HUMAN NOSES: WELCOME TO CHANNEL 4’S ANIMAL FARM”

and blogger with a foaming mouth, with advertising like this of course I was excited to watch Animal Farm.

The three part series covers the state for genetic modification and engineering today, from selective breeding to transgenic species.

Presented by Dr Olivia Judson a biologist and a food critic, Giles Coren the documentary seems greatly bias against GM products for the out set. The two presenters make their views clear at the start – Doc is pro, critic is, well, a critic. To me, the narration also seemed skewed against GMOs.

The brand of documentary requires serious objectivity, which granted is not as sexy or easy to sell as Frankenstein scientists scaremongering. However, GMOs are the future and will be required more and more as the population continues to grow and that’s that this documentary lacked. Serious refection as to why scientists are creating these animals and crops.

Increase crop yield, reduce land requirements. Simple, right?

Wrong, the lack of refutation towards Giles comments was annoying and the biggest issue with this documentary, if someone makes a derogatory comment on either side it should be, specially in a documentary, be rebutted.

Regardless, I did enjoy the documentary but more due to the fact that it does show some pretty amazing creations. From glow in the dark pigs to a herd of cloned cattle to mega muscular cows the show is filled with curious things that are pretty amazing. Watch it!

It’s available of 4OD for viewers in Ireland and the UK here. If you’re outside IRL and the UK you might find it somewhere else.

A cute way of telling a miserable story

Here’s a great little animation explaining briefly but accurately the EU Common Fisheries Policy. I particuraly like how they show how politicans use logic, reason and scientific data to generate sustainable species quota.

As usual, it’s all politics. So be sure to know where your politician lies on the serious issue of overfishing!