Tour the Solar System AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT

An eye-opening new video really puts the sheer size of the solar system in perspective. It shows that even if you travel at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second), the trek from the sun to the Earth and other planets takes a really long time.

The 45-minute-long video, created by Los Angeles-based artist Alphonse Swinehart and posted on Vimeo Jan. 26, starts at the sun and zooms out into the solar system. You reach the Earth and our moon at around 8:20, and the journey ends after reaching Jupiter and its moons at around 43:20.

Watch and feel insignificant:

Don’t Tell Me What to Do!

Pesident Obama (correctly) says parents should vaccinate their children so of course, Republican and conservative pundits are now against it.

Fox News troll Sean Hannity was accompanied on his show last night by the “Fox News Medical A-Team” who indicated that we should been vaccinating our children (but it shouldn’t be mandatory), while Hannity insisted that he is “not trusting President Obama” to tell him “whether to vaccinate” his kids.

If President Obama is for it, we have to be against it.

Meanwhile, Representative Sean Duffy (R-WI) told MSNBC that the last thing we need is the oppressive big government telling us what to do.

I want that to be my choice as a parent,” Duffy, a father of seven, said said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Rundown With José Díaz-Balart.” “I know my kids best. I know what morals and values are right for my children. I think we should not have an oppressive state telling us what to do.

It’s not much of a  stretch to say that the GOP’s vaccine contrarianism and trutherism will endanger even more children’s lives. That’s exactly what it has done and will continue to do.

Although I am looking forward to that moment when the presidential hopefuls are asked to raise their hands if they believe vaccination should be a choice.

Americans vs. Scientists

A study published in the journal Science last week found that Americans are seriously misinformed when it comes to scientific topics like evolution, the safety of GM foods and vaccinations, as well as humanity’s role in climate change. The survey, jointly conducted by the Pew Research Center and American Association for the Advancement of Science, compared opinions about scientific matters of the public and AAAS’ member scientists:

The results are…discouraging. Thirty-one percent of Americans believe that humans have been in “their present form” since their creation, while 24 percent believe that humans evolved but under the guidance of some God-like figure. Only 2 percent of AAAS scientists do not believe in evolution (which is scary in and of itself).

The numbers were even worse when it came to climate change. Only half of the those surveyed agreed with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change view that climate change is mostly driven by human activity. Nearly half said there was either no good evidence for global warming, or that the recent warming of the Earth was due to natural climate variability.

Alan Leshner, the CEO of AAAS and Executive Publisher of Science said:

“There is a disconnect between the way the public perceives science and the way that scientists see science. Scientists need to do something to turn this around.”

Personally, I would place the majority of the blame on the media, with their bias toward appearing neutral instead of being objective when it comes to matters of scientific consensus, rather than on the scientists themselves.

Which News Network is Wrong the Most?

It’s Fox. Don’t pretend you didn’t know it was Fox.

According to a fact-checking watchdog, Fox News broadcasts the most false information among TV news outlets, and they’re only getting worse.

Politifact regularly examines claims made on air by pundits, hosts, and paid contributors and ranks those statements by accuracy.

Their latest scorecard shows that more than 60 percent of the claims made on Fox News were “Mostly False” or worse:

Politifact found that only 39 percent of the claims made on air during Fox News broadcasts had some basis in fact, with 10 percent that could be proven as “True,” 11 percent rated as “Mostly True,” and 18 percent that were “Half True.”

A nearly equal number, 38 percent, of the claims made on Fox News were demonstrably “False,” while 26 percent of them were “Mostly False,” and 11 percent were mocked as “Pants on Fire” lies, the highest of any cable news network by a long stretch.

A little less than half, 44 percent, of claims made on MSNBC and NBC News were rated “Mostly False” or worse, a 1 percent improvement over their previous scorecard:

CNN was rated the most accurate cable news network, despite theories of black holes swallowing airliners and asking human rights lawyers if they support ISIS, with a full 80 percent of its claims rated as “Half True” or better:

Politifact cautions against relying too heavily on its scorecard to determine network accuracy pointing out that only some claims, not all, are fact-checked.

Statements made by candidates, government officials, or their representatives are not included in the scorecard.