Saturn’s Strange Hexagon

March 30, 2007

Talk of the Nation Science Friday just mentioned the strange hexagon on the south pole of Saturn’s bizarre atmosphere.  Here’s what they’re talking about:
hexagon1 via Nasa.govanimated hexagon via nasa.govhexagon2 via nasa.gov

You can read the official Nasa findings on this formation here. This feature is big enough for 4 earths to fit in and at least 60 miles deep.  Skirmisher.org has an explination for this, based on some of Newton’s experiments in gravity.  Digg.com, of course, has even more theories

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Dr. Dunn recap

March 30, 2007

If you missed yesterday’s broadcast of Dr. Dunn on Meridian, you can listen to it now from the WKMS Newsroom archive.  He discusses MSU’s progress on the new Clark College building, the Science Building, Politics, and more. Dr. Dunn takes your questions on air again in April.


MSU President Randy Dunn on Meridian

March 27, 2007

Murray State President Dr. Randy Dunn will be on Meridian this Thursday at noon. He wants to hear from you! Email in your questions here or call 800-599-4737 during the show to talk to him live on air. 

Also, he’s launched a blog called “Open Book.” This is generating quite a bit of feedback, and may give you an idea about  what’s on Dr. Dunn’s agenda right now. Read the open book here.


Citizendium – “Can’t we do better?”

March 26, 2007

Today’s Morning Edition mentioned that Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia.org, is creating a rival site called Citizendium. He’s written about why Citizendium will succeed on his personal site. Here’s an excerpt:

the Citizendiumhas, I think, an immediate and broad appeal to many readers who are also potential writers.  The appeal to readers is obvious.  Finding factual or “encyclopedic” information about general topics is one of the main things people use search engines to do.  This no doubt is why we click on Wikipedia links so frequently: regardless of how dodgy the information might be, it does, after all, purport to be accurate information, which is what we’re looking for.

If we add reliability to this basic, winning formula, the appeal to readers increases hugely.  I suppose the reason Wikipedia articles are as attractive to search engine users as they are, is simply that they sum up a lot of information.  That implies a high signal-to-noise ratio.  But if an entry has been overseen by experts–that is, if the project as a whole is evidently devoted not just to boatloads of information, but boatloads of credible, expert-vetted information–then it becomes much more attractive.  

Clay Shirky, well-published web skeptic, isn’t convinced Citizendium will work. Read why.

You can check out the beta of Citizendium here.


Presidential Campaigns on Youtube

March 26, 2007

College student James Kotecki tracks many of the political ads on YouTube and posts his critiques on the Web site.  With unofficial ads popping up, like the 1984-style ad mocking Hillary Clinton (which it turns out was produced by a Barack Obama supporter without Obama’s approval), candidates have lost some control over their message, Kotecki tells Morning Edition‘s Renee Montagne.

“It is true that in the age of user-generated content, candidates are going to have a lot less control over what goes up,” he says. “I think that’s worse for candidates who fear loss of control and aren’t good at projecting nonchalant off-the-cuff versions of themselves and really require a very controlled image to be effective.”  Kotecki, 21, says he hopes the success of YouTube will get more people in his age group interested in politics. See some of the 2008 Online Campaigns (npr.org).

[edit: corrected link]


Spring Break!

March 16, 2007

Murray State’s Spring Break is here, which means a week of Feedback silence.  Feel free to comment and discuss among yourselves :). See you all on the 25th!


Feedback on Feedback

March 14, 2007

Looking back on our Spring Fundraiser, is there something you think we could have done better?  Let us know! Here are just a few questions to consider, or just leave a comment on whatever stood out to you. Your suggestions help us prepare for the next fundraiser, so please take a moment to share your thoughts with us.

sample questions:

1. How do you think we could make a stronger case for WKMS’ need for listener support?
2. Are the station’s financial needs clear to you?
3. Do you have suggestions as to how we can better handle the “thank you gifts”?
4. What would you think of a fundraiser without “thank you gifts”?
5. Did our “thank you gift” choices affect how much you pledged?
6. What additional choices for “thank you gifts” would you like to see?
7. What would you like to hear more of/less of during fundraiser?
8. What do you feel was most effective during the recent fundraiser? Least effective?
9. How did you feel about the decision to trim two days off the fundraiser?
10. Should we create better incentives for renewing your membership by mail?
11. Have you any suggestions for increasing the appeal of pledging on line?
12. On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being poor; 10 being excellent) how would you rate the recent fundraiser?