The First Image from JWST is ASTOUNDING!

To say I’m amazed at this photo would be an understatement. To say I’m amazed at the work that went into producing the James Webb Space Telescope would also be an understatement. This is the culmination of decades of work and collaboration among the scientists and researchers under the JWST program. And this is only the first image! I can’t wait to see what other exciting discoveries JWST will make in its lifetime.

JWST’s First Deep Field image of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 reveals thousands of galaxies and structures. (Source)

This slice of the vast universe covers a patch of sky approximately the size of a grain of sand held at arm’s length by someone on the ground.

NASA, July 12, 2022

Read ^^^ that ^^^ quote again. Like what!? I love this about our universe (and indeed our world) the more you zoom in on something (either big or small) the more is revealed to you. It feels like a fractal of sorts.

This telescope is the most advanced telescope humanity has and it will let is see further back in time to see when the first stars, blackholes, and galaxies formed. It will answer questions we’ve been asking for a long time. It will answer questions we didn’t even think to ask. And it will have us ask questions we never thought to ask.

Great discoveries are not found by saying “Eureka! I found it!” but rather by saying, “Oh, that’s interesting. I wasn’t expecting that.”

Learn More:

Scientific American: “This is the first image from the James Webb Space Telescope — and it’s absolutely stunning” (Source)

Never Miss a Post

Enter your email address below to have posts delivered to your inbox.


Support My Work

Creators like me work hard to create content you love, but in order to continue creating content we need support from followers like you! Buy Me a Coffee to show your support.

By making a contribution, you can support me to make stories that matter and you enjoy and worry less about how I’m going to keep the power on. Contributions can be one-time, monthly, or yearly.

You can support me on my Buy Me a Coffee page or send money directly to me via PayPal. I do what I do because I love it, but it’s gratifying beyond measure to receive support from fans. Thanks for your support.


Join the Nanfito Space Newsletter

Nanfito Space is a VIP monthly newsletter sent to my readers and fans. As a subscriber of the Nanfito Space newsletter, you’ll get:

  • Updates on my current works-in-progress
  • Previews of stories and bonus short-stories
  • Links to my latest podcast episodes
  • News about my upcoming book releases

All of this conveniently delivered directly to your inbox.

When you join, I’ll send you a FREE gift: the prequel short story 2051: Initiative. Learn about how the virtual reality in my debut novel, 2149 Emergence, began.

Enter your email address below to receive your gift and future updates.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

07. Numbers Don’t Lie (Book Review)

Did you know cars are older than bicycles? That’s just one of the surprising facts we discuss on this latest episode where I share my impressions of Vaclav Smil’s book “Numbers Don’t Lie.” 

Script Notes

Welcome to Episode 7 of the Blinded by Science. Today on the show, I will be taking a different approach and reviewing a science book I read recently. The book is called Numbers Don’t Lie and is written by Vaclav Smil.

We’ll start with my initial impression of the book. The subtitle of the book is “71 Things You Need to Know About the World.” Each chapter is an essay written by Smil that breaks down a lot of the numbers and statistics we often see highlighted in the media. Smil takes these and provides a deeper and wider context to better understand what these numbers mean.

I particularly enjoyed this, because a lot of what we see in the news or other media outlets is, quite frankly, click bait. It’s about getting the views whether it is on traditional television or on more modern platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and other social media.

Remember, all of these platforms and traditional media are powered by advertising. So the more views they can get, then the more views they’ll have for advertisements. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this business model, but we have to remember that when dealing with sharing information and educating the public this can create conflicts of interests or dilute your purpose.

In other words, are you going to show me the best possible analysis of something or show me the stuff that gets me in an emotional state so that I’m more likely to click and share.

Something to keep in mind as we navigate this ever increasingly complex and nuanced world. And hence the goal of this podcast is not just to appreciate science but to use it to better understand our world.

Further, a single number—or statistic—does not always tell the full story. As humans, we love having things simplified and boiled down to their raw essence, but the world doesn’t work that way. It is much more nuanced and complex.

And this is what Smil aims to do with his book “Numbers Don’t Lie.” He shows us that the world is not always black and white, context and history matters when we look at what data is telling us, and to better understand our world we need to take a deeper and wider dive than what is often quoted in media headlines, news pundits, politicians, and your friends on social media.

My initial impression of the book is that it is quick to read, easily digestible, and great for getting a more contextualized view of the numbers we encounter in today’s modern, digital age.

The 71 topics are short essays, usually a page or two long. They’re also mostly disjoint topics so you don’t need to read it all in one sitting. You can pick it up and leave it and come back whenever you need to.

That said, I felt these short and easy to read essays in each chapter were also missing an in-depth look at some of the topics. Sometimes it felt very surface level. However, I should note he does have other books that I have not read and I think they go into a more in-depth look. Also, it should be noted that at the end of the book he does have suggestions for further reading.

That said, this book covers a wide variety of topics around People, Machines, Fuel, Transport, Food, and Environment. Because of that I don’t think the aim of this book is to give an in-depth look, but rather to give the reader a broader view of the context behind numbers from data, statistics, and headlines.

And for this, I am grateful because it has left me curious and wanting more. As such, I have selected several chapters from this book to be the focus of future episodes where we can take a more in-depth look at these topics.

To give you a preview, here are seven surprising things I learned after reading this book. In no particular order, here is short list:

  1. Most of our modern world was built in the 1800s. The technology has been improved, but we haven’t made any significant technological leaps or created as many new inventions and technologies as were created in the 1800s.
  2. The GDP is often cited as the primary metric for a country’s quality of life and overall economic health, but Smil argues that Infant Mortality is a better indicator of a country’s quality of life and economic health.
  3. The best return on investment is: Vaccines. This seems especially relevant in semi-post-covid pandemic world.
  4. Technological progress is much slower than we think it is. Which is partially why we’re still waiting for electric cars, flying cars, and hoverboards.
  5. The combustion engine is older than bicycles. And it has to do with the design as well as the tires used on bicycles.
  6. Humans like to think of this as our planet, but if you were an extraterrestrial alien conducting reconnaissance from space you might be inclined to think it is actually a planet of cows instead of humans.
  7. Lastly, plane crashes are terrifying and tragic, yet they are extremely rare—making flying one of the safest modes of transportation.

We’ll take a deeper dive into these topics and more in future episodes. If you want to read the book and follow along, check out the link in the description. Please note, this is an affiliate link with Amazon and I receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Purchasing with this link helps support me and the show.

Alright, that’s it for this special book review episode of Blinded by Science. If there are other science books you want me to review, send an email to blindedbysciencepodcast (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks for listening.


Thanks for listening! If you enjoyed the show, share it with a friend.

To support me and the show, consider buying me a coffee: http://buymeacoffee.com/wordsbyfifi.

STAY CONNECTED

 – Website: https://blindedbysciencepodcast.wordpress.com 

 – Newsletter: http://mailchi.mp/ec95629e22a1/nanfitospace 

 – Email: blindedbysciencepodcast (at) gmail (dot) com

If you listen to the show on Apple Podcasts, consider leaving a review. This helps others discover the show so they can appreciate science too! 

SOURCES

 – “Numbers Don’t Lie” by Vaclav Smil: https://amzn.to/3wpTZQH (Affiliate Link: I get a small commission at NO extra charge to you. See anthonynanfito.com/disclosure for full Disclosure).

CREDITS

Theme Music: Aerosol Of My Love by Kevin MacLeod

Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/7013-aerosol-of-my-love  

License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license 

The logo was designed by Anthony Nanfito using the app Over with image credit to http://nasa.gov.  

Producers: Connie Nanfito

If you want your name as a producer, join my members at http://buymeacoffee.com/wordsbyfifi/membership 

SUBSCRIBE & SUPPORT

For full episodes, subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. Search for “Blinded by Science” on the Anchor Podcast App, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more! Learn more at https://blindedbysciencepodcast.wordpress.com.  

Creators like me work hard to create content you love, but in order to continue creating content we need support from followers like you! If you’ve ever enjoyed any of my creations, you can show your support at http://buymeacoffee.com/wordsbyfifi/.

NEED A VOICE TALENT FOR YOUR PROJECT?If you like the sound of my voice and you’re working on an audio project that needs a voice over artist, consider hiring me via my gig on Fiverr: https://www.fiverr.com/s2/87fc202790​. You provide the script and I’ll provide the voice and audio file. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me before ordering.

BONUS: Science did what?? (Extended Edition)

Summary

BONUS Episode: Extended Edition of Science did what??

Thanks so much for listening to the show. Let me know what you think or want to hear in future episodes. Send an email to nanfitospace (at) gmail (dot) com OR send me a message on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/wordsbyfifi/ or on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/haikubyfifi/. 

Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe for more episodes. If you listen to the show on Apple Podcasts, consider leaving a review. This helps others discover the show so they can appreciate science too! 

FEATURED NEWS STORIES

 – https://www.nasa.gov/feature/new-horizons-spacecraft-answers-question-how-dark-is-space 

 – https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/01/shocking-discovery-electric-eels-hunt-packs-amazon-rivers

 – https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/01/05/mars-canyon-larger-than-grand-canyon-biggest-solar-system-nasa/4141377001/

 – https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-01-nanoparticle-drug-delivery-brain-disorders.html

 – https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap201227.html 

Script Notes: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/wordsbyfifi/latest-science-discoveries-blinded-science

“Cosmic Latte”
Source: NASA.gov

CREDITS

Theme Music: Aerosol Of My Love by Kevin MacLeod

Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/7013-aerosol-of-my-love  

License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license 

The logo was designed by Anthony Nanfito using the app Over with image credit to http://nasa.gov.  

SUBSCRIBE & SUPPORT

For weekly episodes, subscribe to the podcast wherever you get your podcasts. 

To support the show financially, learn how to subscribe, or listen to previous episodes, visit https://anchor.fm/blindedbyscience/support for more details. 

EQUIPMENT  

Samson SAC01UPRO Microphone https://amzn.to/2KNRK7z (*)

MY SCI-FI DYSTOPIAN NOVEL

2149: Emergence https://amzn.to/3lfNqKt (*)

Description: Laura’s world is virtual until the glitch. She awakes to a failed utopia and a lost legacy. Can she shift the balance of power before it’s too late?

ENJOYING THE SOUND OF MY VOICE? THEN HIRE ME FOR YOUR AUDIO PROJECT!

If you like the sound of my voice and you’re working on an audio project that needs a voice over artist, consider hiring me via my gig on Fiverr: https://www.fiverr.com/s2/87fc202790​. You provide the script and I’ll provide the voice and audio file. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me before ordering.

LET’S CONNECT!

 – My Website: http://nanfito.wordpress.com

 – Podcast Website: https://anchor.fm/blindedbyscience

 – Twitter: http://twitter.com/wordsbyfifi

 – Instagram: http://instagram.com/haikubyfifi

 – Monthly vlog (Tea with Tony): http://mailchi.mp/ec95629e22a1/nanfitospace 

(*) Affiliate link, see Disclosure: https://nanfito.wordpress.com/disclosure/

This episode is sponsored by

· Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/blindedbyscience/message

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/blindedbyscience/support

01. What is science?

Summary

In this inaugural episode of Blinded by Science, we appreciate science itself; the process of science, how it works, and why it’s important. Thanks for listening. Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe for more episodes. 

NOTES

 – According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, science is defined as, “knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method.” 

 – ScienceCouncil.org describes science as, “ the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence.”

Script Notes: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/wordsbyfifi/what-science-blinded-science

SOURCES

 – Dictionary definition of science: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/science 

 – Science Council’s definition of science: https://sciencecouncil.org/about-science/our-definition-of-science/

 – NASA’s Space Place’s definition of science: https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/science/en/

 – Scientific Method: https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/review/science-fair/scientific-method.html 

 – The Science Asylum “How science works?” https://youtu.be/jHL_4DGsntE 

 – “Prospects for Life on Venus Fade—but Aren’t Dead Yet” by Alexandria Witze, Scientific American, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/prospects-for-life-on-venus-fade-but-arent-dead-yet/ 

 – “Possible sign of life on Venus stirs up heated debate” by Nadia Drake, National Geographic, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/09/possible-sign-of-life-found-on-venus-phosphine-gas/ 

CREDITS

Theme Music: Aerosol Of My Love by Kevin MacLeod

Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/7013-aerosol-of-my-love  

License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license 

The logo was designed by Anthony Nanfito using the app Over with image credit to http://nasa.gov.  

Special thanks to Marisa for her insightful feedback in creating this inaugural episode.

SUBSCRIBE & SUPPORT

For weekly episodes, subscribe to the podcast wherever you get your podcasts. 

To support the show financially, learn how to subscribe, or listen to previous episodes, visit http://anchor.fm/blindedbyscience/ for more details. 

EQUIPMENT  

Samson SAC01UPRO Microphone https://amzn.to/2KNRK7z (*)

MY SCI-FI DYSTOPIAN NOVEL

2149: Emergence https://amzn.to/3lfNqKt (*)

Description: Laura’s world is virtual until the glitch. She awakes to a failed utopia and a lost legacy. Can she shift the balance of power before it’s too late?

LET’S CONNECT!

 – My Website: http://nanfito.wordpress.com

 – Podcast Website: https://anchor.fm/blindedbyscience

 – Twitter: http://twitter.com/wordsbyfifi

 – Instagram: http://instagram.com/haikubyfifi

 – Monthly vlog (Tea with Tony): http://mailchi.mp/ec95629e22a1/nanfitospace 

(*) Affiliate link, see Disclosure: https://nanfito.wordspress.com/disclosure/

This episode is sponsored by

· Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/blindedbyscience/message

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/blindedbyscience/support