Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August 9th notes

  • This story about "DNA" being found on rocks from space is really hard to wrap my head around.  The headlines generally seem to be wrong:  They didn't find DNA on a space rock.  If they had, that would have been really amazing.  What they found was molecules that go into building DNA.  Is that even surprising?  Even the official release from NASA is pretty unclear as to why this is so amazing.  Maybe I just don't get it.
  • I've also been following this story about the weird orange goo in Alaska.  What they've found now is that it is eggs (duh?), but they really don't know what kind of eggs.  Surely someone is doing a DNA test right?  The weird thing is the eggs were found in buckets and random places on shore as well as the ocean itself.  I could absolutely see that some species that normally doesn't produce a lot of eggs randomly did and they washed ashore.  I don't understand how they would have gotten into the areas that aren't near shore.  Some kind of storm event?
  • My interest in analyzing things extends beyond science, believe it or not.  I'm always fascinated by the comments left on internet articles.  The comments from this one, an article about the impressions of two people seeing the last Harry Potter movie without having ever seen anything about the series previously, are particularly hilarious.
  • Humans simply overwhelmed Neanderthals with raw numbers.  Poor near-humans.