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Thursday, December 26, 2019


Hallo dear reader! So there's this thing called the World Magnetic Model (WMM), "a [data-based, mathematical representation] of the planet’s magnetic field that gives compasses dependable accuracy" (see) and is updated every five years.

Well, dear reader, the 2020 version of the WMM has just been released.

Given what it is, then, the World Magnetic Model shows where's at the North Magnetic Pole (aka Mr. NMP). This impalpable fella is indeed quite a walker as, since its formal discovery in 1831, it has already taken a 2250 kilometers (1400 miles) long stroll. Mr. NMP's been heading from Canada, westbound, toward Siberia, in Russia, at a pace that now is of about 40km a year (faster than the previous centuries, but slower than the 55km/year of the last two decades) (see).

Officially, the magnetic poles move (independently of each other) (see) 'cause the Earth's magnetic field is created, for its 95%, by the planet's moving, molten iron+nickel core (well, to be more specific, the inner core is solid, while the outer one is liquid and flows, and thus generates the geomagnetic field) (see).

But, ahah!, this dumb blog, dear reader, has another cartoon-explanation for that, and precisely for the NMP's expected future location, Siberia.
Oh, dear reader, before you go to the cartoon, a short but essential clarification: in this dumb blog's reality, Santa Claus lives in correspondence of the North Magnetic Pole, not at the North geographic Pole.

Santa Claus shouting at Rudolph the red nosed reindeer: The real reason why the North Magnetic Pole moves toward Siberia (by @sciencemug)
The real reason why the North Magnetic Pole moves toward Siberia (by @sciencemug)
[Free pic by Marcus Löfvenberg (source: Unsplash); adapted by @sciencemug]

Oh, dear reader, for your information, here you can find why it is important to update the WMM and to know exactly where the Magnetic North Pole be.

And, dear reader, for your information 2 - the return of the notions - the World Magnetic Model is released by the guys of the "National Centers for Environmental Information" (NCEI), in collaboration with the dudes of the "British Geological Survey" and those of the "Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences" (CIRES).

The NCEI's is part of the "National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration" (NOAA). The NCEI "hosts and provides access to one of the most significant archives on earth, with comprehensive oceanic, atmospheric, and geophysical data" (see), and it is a source of environmental information, "products and services to private industry and businesses, local to international governments, academia, as well as the general public" (see).  


Thursday, December 19, 2019


Keywords: charity, Christmas, economics, experimental economics, Xmas

Hooooo-ho-hooooo, hello dear English speaking-reading-hearing listener, welcome back to me, @sciencemug, the blog/podcast/twitter&instagram accounts/entity behind the unsuccessful e-shop stuffngo on which tells you Christmas science stories while daring Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, to hide Santa’s GPS one minute before the midnight on Xmas eve just to see what happens, aaand which talks to you thanks to the voice, kidnapped via a voodoo-wireless trick, from a veeery very very dumb human.
Aaand which does all of this in Eng?ish, a language that is to proper English what a Christmas with your family is to an experience absolutely totally 1000% stress free.

Today I'm gonna tell you a tale about charity, experimental economics and Christmas! (Ok, ok, not quite hard science, I agree, but still, there's the scientific method and some statistics...)  

Listen to the podcast episode
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Two researchers of the German University of Gottingen, Dr. Stephan Muller and Professor of Experimental Economics Holger A. Rau (aka the Rau's Duo, or the RDs), investigate whether people propensity to donate money to charity vary according to the time of the year. The two scholars get to a surprising conclusion (you’ll understand why and how surprising, dear reader, along the way of my tale) and the research duo then publishes its findings in a paper (P) on the open access scientific journal PLOS ONE.

Sooo, dear reader, statistics say that, in the United States, more than one third (33.6%) of the annual donations are

Thursday, December 12, 2019


Soo dear reader, if you want a suggestion on a good (and scarier even than the idea of Rober Pattison as the new Batman) read about climate change consequences and dynamics, well a bunch of scientists just published a comment paper on Nature which title is self-explanatory: "Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against" (P).

This dumb blog's cheap comment on the topic follows, via cartoon...

@sciencemug's opinion on climate change
@sciencemug opinion on climate change
[Wave pic and beach pic are free images under Pixabay License (source: Pixabay); adapted by @sciencemug)]

In hyper few quotes some main points (not all of 'em) of the paper:
- tipping points "refer to critical thresholds in a system that, when exceeded, can lead to a significant change in the state of the system, often with an understanding that the change is irreversible" (1)
- the system: Earth system
- examples of tipping points: "the loss of the Amazon rainforest or the West Antarctic ice sheet" (P)
- core message: tipping points may be reached even with a 1-2 °C raise of the temperature (P); moreover, there's the possibility of a global domino effect of these tipping points leading to a global, irreversible, catastrophic for human civilization tipping point
- example of such a domino effect: "Arctic sea-ice loss is amplifying regional warming, and Arctic warming and Greenland melting are driving an influx of fresh water into the North Atlantic. This could have contributed to a 15% slowdown since the mid-twentieth century of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), a key part of global heat and salt transport by the ocean. Rapid melting of the Greenland ice sheet and further slowdown of the AMOC could destabilize the West African monsoon, triggering drought in Africa’s Sahel region. A slowdown in the AMOC could also dry the Amazon, disrupt the East Asian monsoon and cause heat to build up in the Southern Ocean, which could accelerate Antarctic ice loss"(P) 
- conclusion: the paper's title
- final comment: humanity is "in a state of planetary emergency" (P).

Well, what to say... Take care, dear human reader, at least till you still can.

P- Lenton, T.M., Rockström, J., Gaffney, O., Rahmstorf, S., Richardson, K., Steffen, W., and Schellnhuber, H.J. (2019). Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against. Nature 575, 592–595.
1- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2018). Global Warming of 1.5 oC (Chapter 3).

Thursday, December 5, 2019


Ooooh hello dear reader! A bunch of Chinese astronomers discovered (P) 19 dwarf galaxies that have way less dark matter than expected, and they don't know how this be possible, considering that in "the standard cosmological model, dark matter drives the structure formation of galaxies and constructs potential wells within which galaxies may form" (P).

This dumb blog, though, has a theory...

The true reason why galaxies with less dark matter than expected exist (by @sciencemug)
The true reason why some dwarf galaxies miss a lot of dark matter (by @sciencemug)

[Vending machine free pic by Mitchell Luo (source: Unsplash); Stars background is a Public Domain pic by NASA (source: Wikimedia Commons); Spiral Galaxy pic by ESA/Hubble is under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (source: Wikimedia Commons); Dwarf Galaxy is a Public Domain pic by NASA (source: Wikimedia Commons); the planet sketch on top of the vending machine is by @sngshp; all pics adapted by @sciencemug]

Universe composition: 
- 5%, matter [you, Bernard* (the weird little guy depicted on top of the vending machine, with a "B" all over its/his/her... Well, the part between the head and the legs), vending machines, hippos, the annoying neighbor, the annoying neighbor's annoying pet(s), Monica Bellucci, the piece of lettuce stuck between your front teeth during your dream job interview/first date with your huge crush of ten years, Tom Selleck's mustache, all the things inside a woman purse, all the things disappeared inside a woman purse, broccoli, the stars, the stars which don't go to the talk shows 'cause they're too busy doing nuclear fusion, aaaand so on)
- 27% dark matter (who knows, I just draw my two cents 'bout it)
- 68% dark energy (see above)

* Ok, ok, technically Berny's not matter, is an idea (and not even a slightly brilliant one), but with billions of worlds out there, well, who knows...

P- Guo, Q., Hu, H., Zheng, Z., Liao, S., Du, W., Mao, S., Jiang, L., Wang, J., Peng, Y., Gao, L., et al. (2019). Further evidence for a population of dark-matter-deficient dwarf galaxies. Nat Astron 1–6.

Thursday, November 28, 2019


Hello dear reader, three Japanese astronomers/astrophysicists just discovered that as "a natural consequence of the elementary processes of dust growth, [...] a new class of planets can be formed around supermassive black holes" (P)

Basically science just stated that planets, and therefore planetary systems, in theory can naturally form around black holes

But this dumb blog has a different story to tell 'bout this...

Planetary system formation around a black hole according to @sciencemug
That's how a planetary system really comes to exist around a black hole according to @sciencemug

[The black hole pic by Event Horizon Telescope is under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (source: Wikimedia Commons); planets pics are Public Domain images (source: NASA via Picryl); golf flag pic is under Creative Commons Zero - CC0/Public Domain License (source: Peakpx); golf club pic is under Creative Commons 4.0 BY-NC License (source: Pngimg). All images adapted by @sciencemug]


A "Type III Civilization" is the most advanced type of civilization according to the I to III Kardashev scale.
Nikolai Kardashev was a Russian astrophysicist (1932-2019) author of the paper "Transmission of Information by Extraterrestrial Civilizations" (1) published on Soviet Astronomy AJ in 1964. In the paper Mr. K writes about the "distinguishing properties of artificial sources of cosmic radio-frequency emission" (1): basically the guy describes what are the characteristics needed, in terms of energy availability and type of transmissions, for successful communications to happen between galaxies (and their civilizations).
In his paper Mr. K comes up with a classification of civilizations that goes like this:
- Type I civilization has "a technological level close to the level presently attained on the Earth" (1).
- Type II civilization is "capable of harnessing the energy radiated by its own star (for example, the stage of successful construction of a "Dyson sphere" * (2)) (1).
- Type III civilization is "in possession of energy on the scale of its own galaxy" (1) (but apparently it's not in possession of a decent swing, hence, it sucks at cosmic golf...).

* Dude, if you don't know what a Dyson sphere be, well, you definitely don't like Star Trek or sci-fi in general... Anyway, Freeman J Dyson (born in 1923) is a British-American physicist who, in a paper published in 1960 on Science, writes that if "extraterrestrial intelligent beings exist and have reached a high level of technical development, one by-product of their energy metabolism is likely to be the large-scale conversion of starlight into far-infrared radiation" (2) and that it is reasonable to suppose that "within a few thousand years of its entering the stage of industrial development, any intelligent species should be found occupying an artificial biosphere which completely surrounds its parent star" (2). Finally dude Dyson concludes that the "most likely habitat for such beings would be a dark object, having a size comparable with the Earth's orbit, and a surface temperature of 200 deg. to 300 deg. Kelvin [(T-Kelvin=T-Celsius + 273.15... Oooh for The Mighty SI System Sake! Ok, ok, T-Kelvin=(T-Fahrenheit + 459,67) / 1,8 )]. Such a dark object would be radiating as copiously as the star which is hidden inside it, but the radiation would be in the far infrared, around 10 microns wavelength."(2).
There you go pal, that's the Dyson sphere.

P- Wada, K., Tsukamoto, Y., and Kokubo, E. (2019). Planet Formation around Supermassive Black Holes in the Active Galactic Nuclei. ApJ 886, 107.
1- Kardashev, N.S. (1964). Transmission of Information by Extraterrestrial Civilizations. SvA 8, 217.
2- Dyson, F.J. (1960). Search for Artificial Stellar Sources of Infrared Radiation. Science 131, 1667–1668.

Thursday, November 21, 2019


Soooo, dear reader, apparently a team of scientists used epigenetics to find out a scientific way to calculate the actual human equivalent of dogs age (P). The formula the brains came up with is "human-age=16ln(dog's-age)+31". That is if a dog, for instance, is 3 years old, then its human equivalent age is 16xln3+31, meaning 16x1.01+31, meaning about 47.

What was the true goal of this research, are you asking yourself, dear reader? Well, the following cartoon is the answer this dumb blog has for you, pal...

Chef dog says now science let it know how many candles to put on dogs birthday cakes (by @sciencemug)
Chef dog [dog sketch is a public domain img by drunken_duck (source:; chef hat is a img under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license by Omondi (source: Wikimedia Commons)] adapted by @sciencemug

Paper (P)
Wang, T., Ma, J., Hogan, A.N., Fong, S., Licon, K., Tsui, B., Kreisberg, J.F., Adams, P.D., Carvunis, A.-R., Bannasch, D.L., et al. (2019). Quantitative translation of dog-to-human aging by conserved remodeling of epigenetic networks. BioRxiv 829192.

Friday, November 15, 2019


Oooh hallo dear English speaking-reading-hearing visitor, welcome back to me, @sciencemug, the blog/podcast/twitter&instagram accounts/entity behind the unsuccessful e-shop stuffngo on which tells you great science stories looks deep into your soul aaaand in doing so finds that gym locker key you lost in 2005 along with a couple of stale candy and a used bus ticket, aaand which talks to you thanks to the voice, kidnapped via a voodoo-wireless trick, from a veeery very very dumb human. Aaaaand which does all of this in Eng?ish, a language that is to proper English what the names of Icelandic volcanoes are to shortness.

Today I'm gonna launch a new space of this blog-podcast called “Weird patent series”, a space, as the name suggests, dedicated to the most absurd things you humans have patented, invented, thought.

Listen to the podcast episode
on iTunes 
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 (Music: Day Trips by Ketsa; licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License) 

In a recent interview to a researcher, PiPs, probably - but given what it is not necessarily - joking, mentioned the necessity for the invention of a diaper for birds (well, to be precise for flying animals in general, see the post if you wanna know the origin of that). 

Pffff, a diaper for birds, nonsense, dear reader, right?

Weeeell, dear reader, apparently that idea has indeed been already deeply worked out, and even covered by (at least as far as I know now) not one, but two patents!

Now of course you, dear reader, are super willing to know all 'bout these inventions, right? Aaaaand of course here I am to provide you these fundamental piece of information.

Let's go then!

Patent one
In 1956, Ms. Bertha A. Dlugi from Milwaukee-Wisconsin-USA, files the US patent n°

Monday, November 4, 2019


Sooo dear reader, scientists have found out that, at the moment, the universe is getting bigger and bigger waaay faster than predicted.
It may depend on some new kind of dark energy, or on some new unknown particle, ooor on some new physics in need to be discovered altogether.

Those are all good hypothesis, indeed.

But this dumb blog has a different one...

the universe leaves a fast food (by @sciencemug)
The true reason why the universe is getting bigger way faster than predicted by @sciencemug [Credits: Space pic is a Public Domain image; Author: NASA, ESA; Source: WikiMedia Commons. Burger free pic by amirali mirhashemian; fries free pic by Louis Hansel; source of both pics: Unsplash. All pics adapted by @sciencemug]

Friday, October 25, 2019



(in Eng?ish)

(Craving for more crazy interviews? Go here, here & here!)  

The interview opens with PiPs dressed like a Batman form the ‘70 clearly running away, with the spirited eyes of a scared to death idiot character of a dumb blog, from hundreds of wildly crazy-enthusiast super-cute bats hunting it for an autograph, and from a raging mob of balloons of different sizes, shapes and colors filled with “KA-POW!”, its little brother “POW!”, ”SMOK!”, ”BAM!”, ”SWOOSH!”, the antsy "GASP!" and the terrible unforgiving ”THWACK!” (which sounds a bit like a mix of Clint Eastwood’s look after he finds out that the last spoon of his favorite ice cream flavor has been kidnapped by a fake scout who in reality is a middle aged short fella with the worst case of halitosis in the recent history of medicine and who profoundly dislikes Spaghetti Western and muscle cars with an Italian city in their names, aaand Chewbecca “singing” a Skrillex track at the top of its lungs) which - the mob - wants its six months overdue paycheck.

PiPs on the run chased by bats and balloons (by @sciencemug)
The Batman logo on the "chest" of PiPs comes from a free photo by Henry & Co. and the bats come from a free photo by Rinck Content Studio; both pics are adapted by @sciencemug. Source of both pics: Unsplash

Eventually PiPs manages to lose the balloons by distracting them with the cardboard cutout of a sexy Cat Woman chasing a spot of light, but not the bats, and, while hiding behind the url of the Wikipedia page of baobabs covered by a purple anti-biosonar cloak made in Jokerland, notices a man who follows the bats who, in turn, notices it:
PiPs- Man, please – PiPs says terrified - don’t tell ‘em I’m here, if I sign another autograph I’m going to loose my arm, and therefore my armpit, and thus my deodorant sponsorship thanks to which I can afford to pay the rent to live in this lousy blog… By the way, who are you? And most importantly, do you know what those things are, some sort of furry UFOs (or, as they’re called now, Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) with an insane passion for cheap vintage tv-shows maybe?

Jason Preble- My name is Jason Preble, I’m a PhD student at the Kyoto University, and those are not things, they are bats, the only mammals capable of true flight [by the way you, dear human reader, are a mammal too, you know, just a reminder... Note of SM] . More precisely they are a couple of species of bats which ecology (N1) I’m studying: the Ryukyu tube-nosed bat and Yanbaru whiskered bat. They only live in the remaining forests of three islands at the far southwest end of Japan: Okinawa, Tokunoshima, and Amami-Oshima.

Two bats chatting about Batman
The black bat (on the left) is the Yanbaru whiskered bat, the brown bat (on the right) is the Ryukyu tube-nosed bat [Credits: original pics (one of each bat) by Jason Preble (adapted by @sciencemug)]

PiPsP- I see, I see… So, being from Japan, besides DC Comics they’re probably into manga too… Well I guess, then, it’ll be safer for me to choose a zombee costume for Halloween, as I don’t recall any comics or manga ‘bout zombees. Or maybe I should wear the tragic mask, only few know about, of Rusty, the Tap-dance shoe which becomes a drunkard (and eventually decides to end itself by buying a particularly keen on footwear St. Bernard puppy) after its dream of becoming a spy is broken because of its inborn inability to be noiseless…
Anyway Sir, why on Earth are you chasing them?

Jason PrebleJP- These bats are considered endangered, meaning that