This Week in Science and Technology, Episode 3

The entire universe in blog form
Feb. 27 2013 8:00 AM

TWIST Episode 3: INCOMING!

Things I learned today: Having a video series called "This Week in Science and Technology" makes it hard to introduce.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

"This week on This Week in Science and Technology…" Awkward.

Advertisement

So I'll just go with this:

This week on TWIST: A ginormous meteor over Russia, you are more bacterium then human, and antioxidants may actually be useful.

Also, don't take Carin to karaoke. But that's a judgment call.

Speaking of terrifying Russian meteors, in the week since the impact we've learned quite a bit about it. Scientists have taken the videos from all over the area around the asteroid's entry site and constructed an orbital path for it. It originally came from the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, though it had a highly elliptical path that brought it well inside Earth's orbit. Pieces of the meteorite found indicate it was a relatively common stony type, embedded with chondrules (small, usually round mineral deposits). It also was lined with stress fractures, indicating it had been struck by other bodies while out in space. All that's pretty typical, really.

Lots of pieces have been found, and predictably people are hawking what they claim to be from the meteorite on eBay and elsewhere. Approach those claims with extreme skepticism! It's not hard to buy meteorites online, but it can be tough to make sure they're authentic, or the kind you want. It's like buying anything else; you need to do your due diligence before plunking down your hard-earned filthy lucre.

I'll note that there have been a pile of reports of bright fireballs in the days since Chelyabinsk, also as expected. People are watching the skies more, and going online to look for more information. That's great; we're seeing a nice uptick in interest! I know that will wane with time, but hopefully people's attention to this issue will stay moved up a notch.

Incidentally, my apologies for getting this video posted late; I was on travel and had to learn how to embed video using the spiffy Slate viewer. The next one will be up in a more timely manner. And if you missed them, don't forget to watch TWIST Episode 1 and Episode 2!

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.