With the end of the first year that I have begun blogging on Stochastic Scribbles, this seems to be a good time to take a retrospective look at what I wrote about and list the more major posts. Given my interest in science, it’s no surprise that a lot of the articles are about astronomy and physics. A lot of them were about spacecraft or astronomical discoveries in the news, but there were also a few introductory science articles on things that I found interesting or had wondered about.
- Quark stars from stellar explosion remnants
- Talks about what makes a white dwarf, neutron star, and quark star, and the possible observation of the birth of a quark star.
- Is fine-tuning really fine-tuning?
- Discusses fine-tuning arguments for the existence of intelligent life as arguments from ignorance.
- Light: from particle to wave
- A brief look at the history of how scientific models of light changed from particle models to wave models thanks to experimental evidence.
- Matter over antimatter
- Why there is matter instead of nothing at all in the universe.
- Why dark matter is more diffuse than ordinary matter
- Why dark matter does not all collapse into black holes despite having attracted ordinary matter to form galaxies.
- Sound in space
- Talks about the fact that there is sound in space.
- The fine-structure constant and its relation to the number 137.
- Exploring the heliosphere with IBEX
- How IBEX studies the boundary of the heliosphere without actually going there.
- A farewell to Phoenix
- The Phoenix Mars Lander is a NASA spacecraft that landed near the north pole of Mars and sampled water ice in the Martian ground. Contact was lost with the coming of winter.
- Coloring a plane
- Proving that a coloring of an ideal plane must satisfy certain properties.
- The probability of a probability
- Puzzles through the somewhat odd concept of the probability of a probability.
On the other hand, I also wrote quite a bit about political matters. I always thought myself to be rather apolitical, so the large portion of political content is somewhat of a surprise. It might be an indication of what I think of the political state around the world, even though the presidential election in the United States was also a factor.
- Terrorism naivete
- Talks about how the Republicans have been less than impressive against terrorism despite their rhetoric to the contrary.
- Vote McCain for president
- An obsolete satirical plea to vote John McCain for president for the sake of comedy.
- Where McCain went wrong
- My opinion on what John McCain did wrong in his presidential campaign.
- A less than perfect human nature
- A rebuttal of another blogger’s idyllic view of the past.
- Capitalism as a description, not an ideology
- Why blanket condemnation of capitalism annoys me.
Given that I’m a laid-back atheist, I usually don’t talk much about religion, but that doesn’t mean I don’t write about the topic at all.
- God of the gaps
- Another reason for why god of the gaps arguments suck.
- Being moral is in the eyes of the beholder
- Great good for one person can be a great evil for another, and vice versa.
However, I still have open questions about some of the stuff I wrote about during the year. I might never know the answer to some of these questions …
- Is dark flow real, and if so, what might be its cause?
- Where was the water when a fork was stuck in Mars?
- What’s behind the flare-ups of Comet Holmes?
- What’s the source of the methane hotspots on Mars?
- I still haven’t seen slam-dunk evidence, or even a particularly strong collection of weak evidence, for the accusations against Dr. Bruce Ivins.
- What is the real story behind the killing of a South Korean tourist by North Korea?
Here’s hoping for another year of fruitful blogging, and have a Happy New Year!