Dear Science Column

It’s Difficult to Say Nice Things About NDs

May 27th, 2009 | By | Category: Dear Science Column, Response to Critique

A recent column of mine responded to a question/rant about naturopathic medicine: A dear friend of mine is about to enter a prestigious program of naturopathic medicine. There—in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars and five years of his life—he will study homeopathy, osteopathy, water therapy, etc. Apparently, after gaining his ND credential, he […]

Yet Another Reason to Dislike CFLs: Horrible Power Factors

Apr 9th, 2009 | By | Category: Dear Science Column, Environmental

Many of you already know of my skepticism of compact fluorescent lightbulbs. Now utilities are joining in the hate: CFLs use about twice as much energy than previously claimed. Lightbulbs, TVs, ovens, baseboard heaters–whatever–draw energy from alternating current with varying degrees of efficiency, due to the funkiness of alternating current. Allow me to explain, by […]

The Carbon Impact of Reading On Paper or Online

Feb 13th, 2009 | By | Category: Dear Science Column, Environmental, Featured Articles

Is reading The Stranger online actually any greener than reading the printed-in-Yakima hard copy? It was time to roll up my sleeves and do some real, primary, research on the question. Allow me to show my work.

Special Bonus Dear Science: Why is My Car Shit in Snow?

Dec 21st, 2008 | By | Category: Dear Science Column

This just in to the Dear Science SNOWPOCALYPSE 2008 ™ (Hannukah eve again, bitches) crisis center war room control: Dear Science, Do AWD or 4WD help me STOP my vehicle faster in inclement weather? I’ve always assumed that even with my extra weight and wider tires this was true… hence my absent mindedness when tailgating […]

New Milk Knowledge

Dec 4th, 2008 | By | Category: Dear Science Column

First, Science Magazine is both impressed and disgusted by the clever chemistry behind melamine finding its way into infant formula: A weeks-long investigation into China’s tainted milk scandal has left scientists astonished by the technical sophistication of those who used melamine to adulterate food products. Chinese investigators, meanwhile, are puzzling over the precise mechanisms of […]

Mutating: The Results

Dec 2nd, 2008 | By | Category: Dear Science Column

I asked you to help me with an experiment as a follow up to a recent column on mutation. Here are the results: (Click on the image for a full-sized version.) Ultimately, I decided to not filter out all of the noise comments (including my own) that weren’t attempts to copy the original. Almost all […]

Why Do I Have to Poop When Browsing, Redux

Sep 18th, 2008 | By | Category: Response to Critique

This just in to the Dear Science mailbag: Dear Science, I recently read your response to Bothered Bowels’ inquiry from 2/13/2008. Sadly, BB is not alone. I actually know several people who experience this same issue, most with #2, but others with #1. Indeed, it particularly occurs at Value Village, libraries, bookstores, and also when […]

Science, Trashed

Jul 17th, 2008 | By | Category: Dear Science Column

What happens to biodegradable trash in a landfill? Entombed deeply in a landfill, your biodegradable trash is forced to degrade without oxygen, creating copious amounts of methane gas. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, far worse than carbon dioxide. If you’re sending something to a landfill, it’s better for the planet if it never degrades. […]

Dear Science: Lightning Round!

Sep 1st, 2007 | By | Category: Dear Science Column

Vegetarians: outsource your meat eating. Venus fly traps can go vegan, if with a shortened and miserable life. Hybrid drivers: stop duping yourselves and others. Hybrids are no more environmentally friendly than a small regular car, and maybe even a bit worse. Want to be sanctimonious? Ride a bike. Bus riders: time does slow down […]

Incubator Space

Aug 12th, 2007 | By | Category: Response to Critique, South Lake Union

So, let’s say I woke up this morning with a great idea to deal with three critical problems in embryonic stem cell therapies with one tidy little trick. Could I found a company in Lake Union? In Seattle? In the region? Finding a vacant warehouse, sweeping out the rats and installing some desks won’t cut […]