Stochastic Scribbles
Random musings in a variety of subjects, from science to religion.

A look at a year of blogging

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!