New York winters

No patterns that I can see. O New York, how cold will you be this winter? Because I come from Chennai and 22 deg. C is cold enough. Full data here.

The trouble ‘measuring’ geomagnetic events

The Richter scale describes the strength of earthquakes, and enough quakes have occurred across the spectrum of strengths for it to be well calibrated. On the Kp index scale, however, more occurrences of stronger and weaker flares are necessary for us to really know where each one sits on the scale.

Counting warheads

Two researchers associated with the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists have published their research on the number of nuclear warheads possessed by countries worldwide, together with data on where they have been deployed based on various sources. The best part is their paper is available for free, and from the looks of it many of the…… Continue reading Counting warheads

Toll of Jure landslide mounts

On August 2, a landslide in Nepal’s Sindhupalchowk district resulted in 33 deaths, with more than 120 missing and 400 displaced. A preliminary survey by the local District Disaster Relief Committee (DDRC) revealed 115 houses had been completely destroyed. The Nepali government has since declared all missing persons dead, bringing the total death toll to…… Continue reading Toll of Jure landslide mounts

Following up on the DBT/DST OA policy

Earlier in July, a group of people working with the Departments of Biotechnology and Science & Technology (DBT/DST) of the Government of India had drafted an open access policy covering research funded by federal grants, and mandating their availability in a national repository. The move was lauded because it meant Indian academia was finally making…… Continue reading Following up on the DBT/DST OA policy

Some research misconduct trends by the numbers

A study published in eLIFE on August 14, 2014, looked at data pertaining to some papers published between 1992 and 2012 that the Office of Research Integrity had determined contained research misconduct. From the abstract: Data relating to retracted manuscripts and authors found by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) to have committed misconduct were reviewed from…… Continue reading Some research misconduct trends by the numbers

Life on Titan’s world of goo

In the August 8 issue of Science, an international team of scientists has a paper that submits evidence of life in an asphalt lake in Trinidad. Despite having a low water content of 13.5%, it still possesses methane-digesting microbes huddled up in tiny water droplets. One of the authors, Dirk Schulze-Makuch, speculates in an Air &…… Continue reading Life on Titan’s world of goo

Curious Bends – Indian Luddites, an academic career, the great forgetting and more

Curious Bends is a weekly newsletter about science, tech., data and India. Akshat Rathi and I curate it. You can subscribe to it here. If have feedback, suggestions, or would just generally like to get in touch, just email us. 1. Say with pride that we’re Luddites Science is often confused with technology in India. The…… Continue reading Curious Bends – Indian Luddites, an academic career, the great forgetting and more

Wealth and religiosity disagree while some Hindus look the other way

My extended family’s annual trip to Tirupati is coming up. Because a more indecisive bunch doth not exist, my relatives have been planning the trip for the last week. One creepy fact their discussions threw up is that, in 2013, the temple earned Rs. 220 crore from its sale of human hair. Pilgrims shave their…… Continue reading Wealth and religiosity disagree while some Hindus look the other way