Our favorite autotuned scientists are back at it, with the seventh video in the “Symphony of Science” series. This video focuses on scientific/skeptical thought, explains creator John Boswell:
It is intended to promote scientific reasoning and skepticism in the face of growing amounts of pseudoscientific pursuits, such as Astrology and Homeopathy, and also to promote the scientific worldview as equally enlightening as religion.
Keep your eyes peeled for DISCOVER blogger Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy, who makes a few appearances!
If you haven’t seen the earlier iterations, I recommend a trip over to Symphony of Science headquarters to watch some of the previous videos. You can even pick up a seven-inch vinyl of the original “A Glorious Dawn” featuring Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan.
Discoblog: Carl Sagan Sings Again: Symphony of Science, Part 4
Discoblog: Scientist Dance Styles: Glee Episode, Spanish Whodunnit, Internet Love Orgy
Bad Astronomy: The Vaccine Song
Cosmic Variance: The Dark Energy Song
What happens when you give a brainy, hyperactive astronomer his own TV show? Well first off, explosions happen.
The excitement here at Discover headquarters is palpable–only three days until we get to watch our Bad Astronomy blogger, Phil Plait, tear up the Discovery Channel with his new TV show, Bad Universe. In the inaugural episode Phil examines the threat of an asteroid impact on Earth, and gets his hands on a whole lot–seriously, a whole truckload–of explosives to model the potential disaster. But it’s not all doom and gloom; he also explains what we can do “to keep an impact from ruining our whole day,” as he says.
The show premieres this Sunday, August 29th at 10 p.m. Here’s a sneak peak:
Last week’s Weird Science Roundup included a NASA-funded report warning if a glob of the sun’s plasma were to escape and enter the earth’s magnetic shield, it could disrupt our entire power grid… and basically cause the end of the world as we know it.
So just how credible is this theory? We asked our own Phil Plait for his thoughts on the matter, which, alarmingly, did not include it being a totally bogus possibility. Here’s what he had to say:
Actually, while they play up the worst cases, what they say is not totally out of bounds. I’m not sure about the number of deaths quoted, but the scenarios are plausible. Our grid is running nearly at capacity, and a huge DC current dumped into them from a geomagnetically induced current could overload a huge number of transformers. The 1989 Quebec event was a taste of how that could happen.
From what I understand, North America is more sensitive to this because of the huge granite slab that composes most of the continental plate; it sets up huge currents underground when the magnetic field of the Earth gets slammed from a CME from the Sun, and that induces current in the gird, and bang.