What We Missed While Watching the Inauguration

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After coming home from the National Mall, where I froze my butt off watching the fun, I discovered that there's been quite a bit of interesting science news in the last few days:

The New York Times profiled scientists studying avalanches.

PZ Myers over at Pharyngula found carnivorous sea squirts in Australia, the land where everything will kill you. (Australian John Wilkins at Evolving Thoughts then provided advice on surviving his continent.)

That romantic mist in Europe, well, it's diminishing, which is contributing to rising temperatures there.

Abu Dhabi made a commitment to move toward green energy.

Scientific American's 60-Second Science asked whether tungsten could be harmful, like mercury and lead.

Scientists think there might be a link between water pollution and the increasing rate of male fertility problems.

Rebecca Skloot at the Culture Dish discussed the flaws in the famed “six degrees of separation” study.

And just in case you missed it, President Obama gave science a nice shout out in his inaugural address:

We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise healthcare's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

This wouldn’t seem to be a section likely to draw applause, but there were hundreds of people cheering the words where I was standing on the grounds of the Washington Monument. And they were all strangers to me.

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