Archive for Science

Some notes on the history of temperature scales

Yesterday’s xkcd led me down a Wikipedia rabbit hole about the history of temperature scales. Some particular things that struck me: It hadn’t occurred to me that standardized temperature scales weren’t invented until around 1700, and thus that before that, there were no standardized numerical representations of temperature. Galileo or someone connected to him invented […]

RAW and the couch stampedes

My father was a big fan of Robert Anton Wilson. I read the Illuminatus! trilogy in the summer between 8th and 9th grade (it changed my life). All through high school, I would occasionally pick up one of my father’s Wilson books and read some random bit of it, but aside from Illuminatus!, I never […]

Terraforming Mars and atmospheric pressure

When I described the boardgame Terraforming Mars to someone a couple months back (I forget who, sorry), the first thing they asked was “What about atmospheric pressure?” I hadn’t thought of that question, but it seemed like an excellent question after they raised it. Presumably you would need to significantly increase atmospheric pressure to make […]