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View Diary: Mars Rock Stuns NASA Scientists (162 comments)

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  •  sheeesh, this is impossible for the layman to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MeToo, mamamedusa

    understand. the only thing I was able to get from this diary was that they found my Birth stone, peridot, on Mars.

    can someone put this into grade school english ?

    "You've got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and a humorist to stay one" - Will Rogers

    by KnotIookin on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 08:47:02 AM PDT

    •  are you being ironic? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1, Aunt Pat, samanthab

      scientific illiteracy is a threat to our democracy and the world

      one has to try hard to understand

      the article is in grade school english compared to the scientific journals

      •  Now, Don. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MeToo, mamamedusa, Aunt Pat

        Agree with "scientific illiteracy is a threat to our democracy and the world".
        Disagree with condescending tone. I know many smart people who would have some trouble understanding this.

        What we need are real journalists whose primary degree is in science, economics, history, etc. who know how to do research and how to communicate complicated things to people.

        The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false. - Thomas Aquinas

        by oxley on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 09:36:14 AM PDT

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        •  advice to learn - read above your level (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mike101, 4Freedom, oxley, samanthab, Mr Robert

          it takes work to understand

          sometimes one has to go farther - look up some words, think about some area that is not your regular area

          and you can find out that some area contains stuff you never though about

          too many people are waiting to be spoon fed

          it is good to find something above your head - shows how much more to learn

          also, good to see what it takes to do science

          finally, science builds and it is not possible to go back to ground zero for every topic

          •  I googled up a bunch of papers to write this (7+ / 0-)

            It takes work to gain knowledge.

            I suggested that folks click the link to Emily's blog for background info and basic definitions. This post is already very long. There's no way to please everyone.

            look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

            by FishOutofWater on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 12:47:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Your posts are always excellent. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FishOutofWater, Aunt Pat, ozsea1

              No matter the topic. I don't have time to comment and often just lurk w/o signing in, but when you post something I usually pay attention.

              The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false. - Thomas Aquinas

              by oxley on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 04:40:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Well, as a scientist, I agree. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FishOutofWater, Aunt Pat, Mr Robert

            But the cumulative nature of science does make it difficult for folks with zero background.

            As far as this diary is concerned, I must say that Fish has done an excellent job, as usual.

            The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false. - Thomas Aquinas

            by oxley on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 04:37:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think there's nothing wrong with folks (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FishOutofWater

              learning something even if they don't come to understand all of it. Americans don't like to feel like something is out of their reach, but hmm...it always will be if you don't challenge yourself to learn. I mean, if peridot is your take away, then you've learned something you didn't know before.

              On the other hand, if you only pay attention when your birthstone comes up, then it does tend to make you sound self-involved and ugly American-ish. It's a really good thing to focus on things that aren't all about you! All the major world religions agree on this: thine ego is not thy friend. It's not just about getting a grasp on science. It's a habit of mind.

    •  I hear ya. I excelled in Geology 101... (3+ / 0-)

      My first thought when gleaning the diary was that it probably had something to do with Olivine (makes up 95% of the Earth's rock but we hardly see it on the surface) but I have other questions and the science gets layered in difficult explanations. I'd need more diagrams to understand this better myself.

      The main question I have is if the Earth basalt carried by Curiosity was tested first, is there a possibility of residue in the testing apparatus? These are the things I'm sure NASA thinks about when compiling the mission and experiments, but how can the lay person know that the analysis starts at a zero point?

      Also, where the Hell is my rocket belt?

      The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. Paul Cezanne

      by MeToo on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:21:35 AM PDT

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      •  Thanks FOoW. Added this to the Planetary Society (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FishOutofWater, mike101

        letter:

        http://www.planetary.org/...
        In the proposed 2013 budget, NASA's planetary exploration division was given a $309 million cut (about 21%). This kind of cut prevents NASA from pursuing the most important missions to Mars and Europa (not to mention anywhere else). Missions like Curiosity would be a thing of the past.
        So, 309 million... in other words... PBS-like percentages of government funding... What was that, .00014% of our domestic spending accounts for the 300 million to support PBS? Why are we talking about this? Triple the funding for both NASA and PBS and then we're really looking at the future!

        The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. Paul Cezanne

        by MeToo on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 11:43:13 AM PDT

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      •  Olivine, or pallasite, which is olivine and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MeToo, ozsea1

        peridot in an iron/nickel matrix, is found in a subgroup of meteorites. So "common" could actually include the entire solar system, and mayhap eve other places... :-)

        "In other words, if we bust our butts, there's an even chance things will get better; and if we sit on our butts, there's a major chance things will go completely to hell". --- G2geek

        by Lorinda Pike on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 03:32:32 PM PDT

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    •  Read Emily's blog post for a primer. (5+ / 0-)

      You could read the newspaper reports. Of course, you won't have a clue what's going on from reading them.

      I don't know if you're being ironic but I know there's no way to explain this science at the 5th grade level.

      If you're serious, please read Emily's blog post. She tries to explain some of the basic science. She's taught elementary school for a few years, so she's pretty good at explaining in simple terms.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 12:18:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i was being serious, while I am amazed at the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FishOutofWater

        findings and have always been fascinated with mars my background in science is limited and it isnt due to being unable or unwilling to read above my level lol since I have been reading above my level since kindergarten but it is hard to follow when one has little or no basic knowledge of a subject and while I COULD do research and study (starting from scratch) I, like many others, won't do that....  maybe I should have asked for the cliff notes version or just accepted that in depth discussion of this subject is and will remain above my pay grade :)

        "You've got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and a humorist to stay one" - Will Rogers

        by KnotIookin on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 02:12:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, this is easier than string theory. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KnotIookin, Aunt Pat, Mr Robert

          It could be harder. ;)

          look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

          by FishOutofWater on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 03:46:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  am actually fascinated by string theory (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FishOutofWater, Aunt Pat

            and have tried to educate myself with enough of that area of science to follow along with PBS shows on that subject.  BUT when someone gets to technical I get lost...  i have to be able to find a visual to connect with the science in order for it to make sense to my brain...and have hubby sitting next to me so that I can explain to him what I think I just learned and get feedback about if it is right :)

            "You've got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and a humorist to stay one" - Will Rogers

            by KnotIookin on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 04:00:16 PM PDT

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            •  don't worry about getting lost (4+ / 0-)

              just go with the flow

              look some things up

              good to hear that you did not just run away from hard stuff

            •  I'm a visual learner, too. FOOW is my daddy, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KnotIookin, FishOutofWater

              and when he gets too rambly, I just say, show me a picture so I can see it. I usually try to study the picture and go back to what he's saying, because I can't make sense of it without that connection. That's okay. Our schools try to make us feel like we have to learn something one way, but that's just silly. If you have to rely on the images to work it out, then rely on the images. We're not going to send nuns to your house to smack you with a ruler because you didn't do it the "right" way.

              •  some people are just more visual then others... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FishOutofWater, MeToo

                sad that schools don't make adjustments for that difference...  but it is a 'scientific fact' that some of us favor the left side of our brain and some of us favor the right :)

                When kids enter school they are tested for IQ but they should also be tested for HOW they will best learn...  for me, its always been visually :)

                "You've got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and a humorist to stay one" - Will Rogers

                by KnotIookin on Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 08:32:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

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