Popular Science

I guess we haven’t created a topic for science explanation videos and more general population friendly science articles etc. since moving forums some time ago. So let’s change that.

I’ve seen this story all over the place, but this is the first write-up that I’ve seen that has the observation that this is something many people have thought of before, worked out the results using basic concepts, and then not mentioned because it is a mundane idea based on semantics and not actual science.

Including me! How is this making the “news” when I worked it out in my head years ago? It came from thinking about the distance to the ISS, and how it is closer to Berlin than Munich, but only sometimes, and in average Munich is closer to Berlin than the ISS. I thought of that later when I read how Venus was the closest planet and I thought “but only sometimes, and not on average”. I didn’t even think it worth trying to prove that Mercury was closer more often, because it seemed obvious.

My desire to slay all pedants has been on a steady rise for quite some time now. Shit like this is only making it worse.

< pedant voice> No, the closest planet to Earth is obviously Earth…</ pedant voice>

Atoms in physical material have been typically thought to be in one of three states: they were either solid, liquid, or they were gas. But researchers have discovered some elements that can take on properties of two different states, posing a complication to that view.

“New state of matter” papers come along as often as “water on Mars” and “we all live in a simulation” and “voyager has left the solar system” papers.

That article failing to mention the fourth fundamental state of matter, plasma, makes it seems more like a catchy headline than actual news.