Archive by category | Quotes of the day

Quotes of the day

“I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.”

Stephen Hawking warns of the risks of predatory alien species (Daily Mail).

“Bulgaria was given the greenlight to join the EU trade in carbon emissions permits.”

The European Commission’s ministry of environment and water finally approves Bulgaria’s 2008-20012 carbon plan, meaning the country can now trade in carbon (AFP).

“And to the scientists who are concerned with my methods – don’t worry, I fully plan on doing some statistics after the event. I know many earthquakes happen on a daily basis, so we’re looking to see if Boobquake significantly increases the number or severity of earthquakes.”

Jen McCreight comments on her hugely popular collaborative experiment to test the statement that “many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which increases earthquakes” (McCreight’s blog).

“We will set – and stick to – ambitious targets for a zero-carbon future.”

Nick Clegg, leader of the UK’s Liberal Democrats, launches his party’s green manifesto (Guardian).

“The first-time voters of today will be the ones who will live with the consequences of all of our decisions for years to come. Tackling climate change isn’t just about avoiding disaster but also ensuring we have a prosperous future and a fair one.”

Labour’s Ed Miliband launches his party’s green manifesto (press release).

Quotes of the day

“We’ve been flying for over 100 years, but volcanoes have been around for a lot longer and frankly, they win.”

Rory Kay, the head of air safety at the Air Line Pilots Association, comments on that blasted Icelandic volcano (NY Times).

“Bring It Baby, Eyjafjallajokull Rap.”

NPR adds another musical interlude to the Icelandic volcano canon.

“Today’s average sodium intake is several times what the body requires and its long-term effect on our health is very serious.”

The Food and Drug Administration admits salt levels are a problem, but then says it “is not currently working on regulations nor has it made a decision to regulate sodium content in foods at this time”.

“In proceedings last year, Mr Nicholson established the principle that a belief in the dangers of climate change was capable of being protected under the religious discrimination and philosophical belief regulations. He is pleased to have created an important point of law to support those individuals, like him, who hold a strong belief in the urgent need to combat climate change.”

Shah Qureshi, solicitor for Tim Nicholson, comments on his client’s £100,000 settlement with the company he says sacked him for his views on the environment (Daily Telegraph).

Quotes of the day

Quotes of the day

“The theatre of the absurd is alive and well in Brussels. The circumstances surrounding the European Union’s recent approval of cultivation of a genetically engineered potato—its first approval for any genetically engineered plant in 12 years—are reminiscent of Beckett and Ionesco: abstruse and bewildering.”  … Read more

Quotes of the day

“This is a real bomb we are dropping into the field of exoplanets.”

Amaury Triaud, of the Geneva Observatory, reports that six of 27 exoplanets analysed by his team orbit their stars in the ‘wrong’ direction (AFP).

“A fault has been identified and has been shared with the industry, which has moved to see if there is a larger problem.”

Peter Madigan, of wind energy body RenewableUK, comments on suggestions that offshore wind turbines may be sinking (Times).

“It dawned on me that if we could teach northern quolls to associate sickness with cane toads, we might have a way of conserving them.”

Jonathan Webb, of the University of Sydney, has been training Australian native marsupials to avoid eating poisonous cane toads by feeding them small toads laced with nausea-inducing chemicals (press release). Next step: aerially deployed, nausea-inducing toad sausages (Times).

“China should not slow down its pace of lunar exploration even if other countries change their plans.”

Ye Peijian, chief designer of China’s first lunar probe, says the country will keep on course for a second probe later this year despite NASA’s recent move away from return plans (Chinese Academy of Sciences).

Quotes of the day

“Both are correct heights. No measurement is absolute. This is a problem of scientific research.”

Raja Ram Chhatkuli, of Nepal’s survey department, confirms that China and Nepal have agreed to disagree over the exact height of Everest (Reuters).

“The way it is, one is inclined to say that South Africa was a springboard to contaminate the rest of the African continent by allowing multinationals to export from South African soil.”

Mariam Mayet, of the African Centre for Biosafety, is not happy about a shipment of GM maize from South Africa, which has now been seized by authorities in Kenya (Business Report, via BBC).

“This is step one, to identify programs that are going to be funded by this budget.”

NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden lays out the space agency’s new space programme budget (Reuters).

Quotes of the day

“Well, at least it hurt less than grad school at Cornell.”

‘Corey’ says getting a tattoo of fulvic acid – the subject of his PhD – on his back wasn’t so bad (The Loom).

“If this problem isn’t addressed then there is a real possibility that gonorrhoea will become a very difficult infection to treat.”

Catherine Ison, of the UK’s Health Protection Agency, warns that the sexually transmitted disease may be becoming drug resistant (BBC).

“For more than 30 years Britain has not done space rockets. But perhaps there is hope.”

Doug Millard, of the Science Museum, ponders the UK’s new space agency (Daily Telegraph).

Quotes of the day

“While some companies clearly need science and engineering graduates, the chief growth in graduate employment over the past quarter-century has been in finance, business, medicine, law, leisure and public administration. The only other country that took science-first seriously after the 1950s was the Soviet Union … It forgot about economics, politics and, some might say, humanity – and paid a heavy price.”

Simon Jenkins decrys the bias in UK funding towards science at the expense of arts and humanities (Guardian).

“The monsoon is one of the most powerful atmospheric circulation systems on the planet, and it happens to form right over a heavily polluted region. As a result, the monsoon provides a pathway for transporting pollutants up to the stratosphere.”

William Randel, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, comments on his research showing that pollution in Asia is carried up into the stratosphere by the monsoon (AFP).

“This is a significant step forward in saving Bletchley Park. It should be flagged up as it is the first time the Government has provided any funding”

Simon Greenish, chief executive of the Bletchley Park Trust, praises £250,000 in government funding for repairs to the historic site (ComputerActive).

“As you might imagine, waiting 20 years is a pretty nasty chore.”

Roy Weinstein, emeritus professor at the University of Houston, has finally received a patent for his superconducting magnets, 20 years after submitting the application (Houston Chronicle).

Quotes of the day

“This monkey is not outsmarting us. This monkey is getting away based on its athletic ability developed over years and years of evolution.”

Gary Morse, of Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, comments on internet sensation ‘the mystery monkey of Tampa Bay’ and his/her continued dodging of the long arm of the animal law (Christian Science Monitor).

“I think what FDA really needs is a 5- to 10-year building effort/re-building effort. And it’s not just rebuilding to what it was. I think it’s being a part of building the science of the future.”

Jesse Goodman, chief scientist at the FDA, tells American lawmakers the agency might need a decade to rebuild (The Pink Sheet, via Pharmalot).

“The RealClimate commentary reads like a distorted fairground mirror of the Guardian investigation – one that highlights the uncomfortable bits but blurs the rest.”

James Randerson, of the Guardian newspaper, defends his paper against the attacks of the Real Climate blog.

Quotes of the day

“The last thousand years have witnessed dramatic increases in the production, availability, safety, abundance and affordability of food. We think that as art imitates life, these changes have been reflected in paintings of history’s most famous dinner.”

Brian Wansink, of Cornell University, says depictions of portion sizes in paintings of the last supper have grown over time (BBC).

“There have been horrific examples where scientists are being sued for alleged defamation…ending libel tourism is very important.”

UK Justice Secretary Jack Straw backs calls for libel reform (Press Gazette).

“The captive carry flight signifies the start of what we believe will be extremely exciting and successful spaceship flight test program.”

Burt Rutan, of Scaled Composites, comments on the first test flight of Virgin Galactic’s VSS Enterprise craft, carried below a plane (CNN).

Quotes of the day

“We developed a method of showing video to an octopus, which was the first time this has been successful with any cephalopod.”

Renata Pronk, of Macquarie University in Sydney, tells the BBC why it’s useful for researchers to have octopuses that can watch television in their labs and how this can be used to show their ‘episodic personalities’.

“To diversify the STEM fields we must take a hard look at the stereotypes and biases that still pervade our culture. Encouraging more girls and women to enter these vital fields will require careful attention to the environment in our classrooms and workplaces and throughout our culture.”

The American Association of University Women’s Why So Few? report finds stereotypes are still holding back women in science (report, NYT coverage).

“We welcome interactions with industry that are positive and collaborative. But where I think the line should not be crossed and where we are not going to allow our full-time or part-time faculty to engage is in marketing.”

Philip Pizzo, dean of Stanford medical school, tells the New York Times why the school is banning even volunteer teaching staff from giving speeches paid for by drug companies.

“Paleontologists have stumbled across a scientific first that’s sure to inspire both fascination and disgust: coprolites, or fossilized fecal matter, bearing the distinct impressions of a creature’s teeth.”

Wired discusses how a crocodilian turd came to have shark teeth marks on it.