The OC Blog Back Issues Our Mission Contact Us Masthead
Sudsy Wants You to Join the Oregon Commentator
 

Archive for the 'Science' Category

OSU’s “Open Minds” My Ass.

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Is it getting hot in here? Or is it global warming? If you’re asking Nicholas Drapela, it’s probably just Nicholas Drapela. This total hottie, according to RateMyProfessor, was fired from his teaching (professing?) position in the Department of Chemistry at Oregon State University. And not for the fact that “rape” is literally in the middle of his name, but because he spoke out against the University on a controversial issue.

Drapela challenged global warning, and claimed there was a conflict of interest among the University and science community to perpetuate the theory. The administration refused to give a reason for firing him but the motives were clear to those familiar with Drapela and the University’s stance. “I was probably the most visibly-outspoken critic of the Global Warming doctrine at OSU,” he said in an email to WattsUpWithThat.com. “I gave several public talks on the topic and did research in the area which I regularly posted on the web. I was also on a few talk radio shows in the area. I think they finally just said, we can’t have this.” Apparently Drapela’s spicy good looks couldn’t save him from termination, and he now has to look for other work in the godforsaken city of Corvallis.

Let’s keep in mind that the validity of global warming is not at all the issue here. What is important is the ability to show a dissenting opinion without fear of persecution. Both sides to a controversial issue should be respected in higher learning centers, and at OSU (zing!). We may poke fun, but ousting a well-liked and qualified person for having a differing opinion or agenda isn’t unique to OSU, lest we forget the Hat. I recommend that OSU students follow our example and don’t let this kind of action from their administration go unchecked. It may not bring their professor back, but it would show that if a respectable staff member gets fired for questionable reasons, the administration should prepare for a shirt-wearing shitstorm of moderate proportions.

A photo of free speech for professors.

EDIT: Thank you, “The Old Man,” for the correction.

Science Sunday!

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

NASA has discovered a black hole with a “heartbeat.” This is the smallest black hole ever found, and according to Zeenews.com:

 

The “heartbeat” pattern is caused by the regular cycles of matter accumulated into the black hole from its neighbouring star.

“Just as the heart rate of a mouse is faster than an elephant’s, the heartbeat signals from these black holes scales according to their masses,” said Diego Altamirano, an astrophysicist at the University of Amsterdam, who worked on the NASA project.

The heartbeat was referring to the intermittent X-ray bursts as gas is sucked from stars, forming a disc around the black hole, where it’s heated by friction to millions of degrees, hot enough to emit X-rays. Astronomers have named the new discovery – IGR J1091-3624.

 

Though it is only speculation, many experts believe that Chancellor Pernsteiner’s heart may in fact reside inside the tiny black hole.