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View Poll Results: Do you subscribe to Popular Science?

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  • Yes

    1 12.50%
  • No

    4 50.00%
  • I subscribe to another science magazine

    3 37.50%
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Thread: Popular Science

  1. #1 Popular Science 
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    I am a long time subscriber of Popular Science, in my opinion the most scientifically accurate, most efficiently laid out, and prettiest scientific magazine out today. I love this magazine and wanted to see if you guys felt the same


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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Too glossy for my taste: there's more than a hint of dumbing down in the tone of the articles.
    Also, the name is a bit of misnomer. Popular Technology would be much more accurate.

    Give me Scientific American for something with a little more meat, but New Scientist for the best coverage of what's going on in the world of science combined with a kick-ass editorial policy.


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  4. #3  
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    I see what you mean. Scientific American is great though a little dense.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Masters Degree organic god's Avatar
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    new scientist ftw
    everything is mathematical.
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  6. #5  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Of course if we are serious about science we should at the very least be reading Nature, or Science. The subscription fees are mildly offputting if you can't access them through your school or university library. In that regard I find PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) is excellent, since their articles are free online after about one year and a selection of them are free as a full article from the outset.

    Even just browsing the abstracts in a range of journals can be useful. For example, here are a couple that caught my eye this week.

    There's a really neat one on carbonate precipitation and take up of magnesium in the calcite lattice, in Geochim et Cosmica Acta. The authors conclude "the results of this experimental study are consistent with present-day abiotic marine carbonates where low-Mg calcite cements are mainly associated with cool water while high-Mg carbonates are dominantly found in warm-water environments. This suggests that the apparent inverse relationship between the global average paleo-temperature and the Mg/Ca ratio in past formed marine carbonate may correspond to major changes in seawater saturation state or (Mg/Ca) ratios that in turn should reflect significant changes in the relative seawater geochemical cycles of these cations." If borne out by further research this explains an apparent anomaly between past and present and opens the door to further intriguing possibilities.

    And from PNAS this highly significant one by Payne et al "The maximum size of organisms has increased enormously since the initial appearance of life >3.5 billion years ago (Gya), but the pattern and timing of this size increase is poorly known. Consequently, controls underlying the size spectrum of the global biota have been difficult to evaluate. Our period-level compilation of the largest known fossil organisms demonstrates that maximum size increased by 16 orders of magnitude since life first appeared in the fossil record. The great majority of the increase is accounted for by 2 discrete steps of approximately equal magnitude: the first in the middle of the Paleoproterozoic Era (≈1.9 Gya) and the second during the late Neoproterozoic and early Paleozoic eras (0.6–0.45 Gya). Each size step required a major innovation in organismal complexity—first the eukaryotic cell and later eukaryotic multicellularity. These size steps coincide with, or slightly postdate, increases in the concentration of atmospheric oxygen, suggesting latent evolutionary potential was realized soon after environmental limitations were removed."

    And finally, there's an amusing one in the current edition of Icarus on possible pingos in the Utopia basin. Reading between the lines the authors are saying "We set out to establish once and for all if there are pingos anywhere on Mars. We couldn't reach any kind of conclusion, but since we'd spent months poring over all these photographs we thought we ought to at least get a publication out of it."
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