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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
on iTunes
on Podcast Machine

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.