All entries by this author

Bright, Hot, then Cold: The City After Nuclear Blast

Dec 28th, 2016 | By | Category: Arstechnica, Nukes

Nuclear war offers a multitude of bad ways to die. The bulk of the initial deaths from a nuclear bomb come from the intense heat from the detonation itself, followed by the firestorms triggered by the blast. Extrapolating from the incendiary bomb attacks in World War II (Tokyo and Dresden being among the more infamous), […]

Sustainability, Not Fear: What CFCs Can Teach Us About Beating Climate Change

Oct 28th, 2015 | By | Category: Energy, Environmental, Featured Articles, Lead Article, Science and Society

Cliff Mass (meterologist, and a smart man with a consistently different take on global warming issues), makes an interesting point in a recent post: By focusing on global warming as a moral issue (and from his perspective, using scare tactics about the weather to promote concern) environmental activists are failing to convince the public to […]

The American Health Care Market Just Became Less Opaque

May 8th, 2013 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Lead Article, Medicine

How much a plate of spaghetti is going to cost you isn’t usually a mystery. Sure, the price can vary quite a bit–from a few cents if you’re making the plate yourself from groceries, to dozens of dollars at a fancy restaurant. You shouldn’t be too surprised by the bill at the end; the price […]

The Fukushima Disaster

Mar 17th, 2011 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Lead Article, Nukes

Like many of you, I’ve been closely following the developments at the Fukushima reactor complex. Below is a set of links to articles I’ve written for the Stranger, as the events have unfolded. 3/12/2011 Explosion at Fukushima Nuclear Plant, Cesium Detected 3/14/2011 Don’t Panic Geiger Counter Readings Rise in Tokyo 3/15/2011 What’s on Fire at […]

The Gold Standard: Inflation, Wealth and Economic Growth

Oct 12th, 2010 | By | Category: Economics, Featured Articles, Lead Article

Conservative commentators have been riling up their audiences recently with lots of talk about America ‘devaluing our money’ and expressing the horrors that befell us after the United States left the Gold Standard in 1972.

Let’s talk macroeconomic theory, and see why they’re wrong.

Take Your Generosity and Shove It, Buddy

Sep 3rd, 2010 | By | Category: Lit Round-up

Who would you vote off the island: the selfish ass or the generous spirit? The selfish ass, right? Rational. WSU scientist Craig Parks along with Asako Stone set out to figure out exactly how much loutish behavior a group will tolerate before throwing the selfish out. What they discovered is far more interesting: …we also […]

The HIV Vaccine…. Success

Oct 21st, 2009 | By | Category: Public Health

Sixteen thousand people volunteered for the study; unlike most, these weren’t people engaging in high risk behaviors like sex work or IV drug abuse. All received condoms, HIV prevention counseling, and an offer for HAART therapy if they became positive. Eight thousand received a placebo shot, the other half six doses of two distinct (and […]

One Superconducting Ring to Bind Them All

Oct 15th, 2009 | By | Category: Energy

The United States power grid is currently (get it? get it!?) split into three distinct chunks: an Eastern interconnection, a Western interconnection (of which Seattle and Washington State are members) and Texas. Why is Texas separate from the rest? Why indeed. Surplus power generated in one interconnection, at this time, cannot be transferred to another. […]

The Health Care Debate

Oct 7th, 2009 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Lead Article, Medicine

The US healthcare system, in its present state, is a failure. It fails those with and without coverage. We spend more, care for fewer and are sicker than the citizens of any other industrialized nation.

Drugs and Devices

Oct 1st, 2009 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Medicine

Why are prescription drugs so damn expensive? Or that test your doctor ordered–requiring you to be contorted into some ornate machine–that costs thousands of dollars?