I posted a video about chromatography, but first I want to talk about focus and cell phones. The comic is almost a verbatim conversation I had with my wife. It’s hard to escape my phone even for the time it takes to use the restroom. That can’t be good for my psyche.
I was thinking about doing a deeper dive on that, but it just doesn’t fit the theme of the blog/vlog any more. It fits better over at my other site, Student Pro Tips, but I have not updated that for a long time. Then I thought, maybe I SHOULD update that site and maybe add a video, too! Because I need more projects. I have not done that yet… we will see. [EDIT: I posted the video and blog post about this whole thing]
Research summary on the subject:
- There have been several meta-analyses and reviews on smartphone addiction and smartphone effects on cognition and learning.
- There’s a thing called Nomophobia now: “The term NOMOPHOBIA or NO MObile PHone PhoBIA is used to describe a psychological condition when people have a fear of being detached from mobile phone connectivity.”
All that from a comic.
Ok, about chromatography. Here’s the video.
I made a video about the bio-engineered pig heart transplant. When my wife and I were talking about it a month ago, the patient was still alive and we were really rooting for him, and that inspired the comic (thanks to Cygnus Design for the artwork). It’s too bad the poor guy died in the mean time, but he made a real gift to science by participating in the experiment.
In case you didn’t know, people used to use pigs to hunt truffles in the wild (the fungi, not the chocolates). But the pigs badly want to eat the truffles, so you have to fight the pig every time you find some. People have moved on to using dogs.
I made a video about luciferase. Some conspiracy theorists think they THEY are putting LUCIFER-ase in the vaccines. I think it’s just a misunderstanding of a paper like Schlake et al. (“Developing MRNA-Vaccine Technologies.” RNA Biology 9.11 (2012): 1319–1330. https://doi.org/10.4161/rna.22269). I have been trying to end videos with some kind of call to action, but in this case I’ve been coming up blank. There are people who apparently believe the name luciferase means bioscientists are satanists and are dropping little “hiding-in-plain-sight” hints about it. What can we do about people who are that deep into conspiracy-theory cult-think?
I went for a walk and took some pictures of nature today at a bunch of scales. Microscopes, macro lenses, and I even saw a couple of mallards. Just fun to get out and see some tiny bits of the world. I made a video version of this little outing on youtube.
I don’t have quite so many links, videos and articles to share this week. But I took a bunch of pictures, check them out below the fold.
A few weeks ago, I made a video about hydra, the little freshwater creatures, not the mythical beast or the Marvel villains. I got people up in my comments talking about a conspiracy theory I’d never heard of. According to this theory, “THEY” are adding HYDRA to the vaccines (along with NANOCHIPS with NANO-ONIONS)! My cat is more wise than i am with regard to YouTube comments (in that he has no idea they exist).
So, I started reading about what the best practices are for talking with conspiracy theory believers and science deniers. And that led to the video I uploaded last weekend.
I was inspired by this talk by Naomi Oreskes called “Why Trust Science?” Dr. Oreskes wrote a book about that topic that was published before COVID-19. It is especially relevant now, thanks to all of the anti-science talk on social media. She asks a simple but important question: why should we trust science, and more practically, why should people trust scientists?
Ultimately, scientists are people. Science is a human endeavor. There will be problems. But scientists are accountable to reality. Scientists are accountable to experiment. Scientists are accountable to observation and data. That’s the final, highest authority.
On a mostly unrelated note, here are two terrible aquatic creature jokes I made up:
- What do you call a baby frog caught in a storm? A SQUALL-iwog.
- What’s a jellyfish’s favorite exercise? Pull Ups (polyps).