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Marie Curie Voted ‘Greatest Polish Woman’ Ever

March 7, 2011 Leave a comment
Portrait of Marie Skłodowska-Curie (November 7...

Marie Curie ca. 1898 - Image via Wikipedia

It seems that the Museum of Polish History conducted a poll to find out who was the greatest Polish woman in history.

The winner came out to be physicist Marie Sklodowska-Curie, known for her work in radioactivity.

Curie also was the first female professor at the University of Paris, as well as the first person ever to be awarded two Nobel Prizes; one in physics and the other in chemistry.

She past away in 1934 due to complications from radiation poisoning, but she did get a physical constant named after her: the Curie (Ci) which is 3.7 x 1010 decays per second, which is about the radioactivity of 1 gram of Radium-226.

What Does NASA Have to Say about the Meteorite “Bacteria”?

March 7, 2011 Leave a comment

If you’ve been following the drama around the Richard Hoover article in the Journal of Cosmology about fossilized alien bacteria in a meteorite, you may have been wondering what NASA thinks about all this.

I mean, Hoover works for NASA. They should have said something, right? Wouldn’t they want to get in on this publicity if they could?

Well the reaction has been less than positive. My review of the paper is that it is flimsy at best, and crap at worst.

But NASA did release a statement today about the paper. Via Spaceref:

“NASA is a scientific and technical agency committed to a culture of openness with the media and public. While we value the free exchange of ideas, data, and information as part of scientific and technical inquiry, NASA cannot stand behind or support a scientific claim unless it has been peer-reviewed or thoroughly examined by other qualified experts. This paper was submitted in 2007 to the International Journal of Astrobiology. However, the peer review process was not completed for that submission. NASA also was unaware of the recent submission of the paper to the Journal of Cosmology or of the paper’s subsequent publication. Additional questions should be directed to the author of the paper.” – Dr. Paul Hertz, chief scientist of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington

So they are basically saying that Hoover tried to publish this work a few years ago, and it didn’t make the cut. So NASA is distancing themselves from this claim as much as possible.

No one would be happier than me if evidence of alien life was discovered. But it hasn’t.