Test your science I.Q. …

The Pew Research Center has an interesting online quiz to test your knowledge of science currently in the news.

I don’t want to brag, but I scored 100 percent. The sad thing, though, is that only 10 percent of people in the United States score so well. That wouldn’t bug me so much, except that we let people in the United States vote. Argh.

— Steve


11 thoughts on “Test your science I.Q. …

  1. Nik: I thought it was an interesting quiz. I would hope most people would score well on it, because all those items have been in the news and such, but I don’t know how many people pay attention to science news anymore.


  2. Maybe we’re unusual cases–you’re a journalist, and I work at a major university. It’s kind of hard for us to not pay attention to science news.

    I great website to get science news, often before it even becomes news, is futurity.org. It gathers the results and findings and breakthroughs of cutting-edge research at something like three dozen major research universities in North America.

    On a completely unrelated note, I wanted to let you know about a book I found that I think you’d be interested in owning (if you don’t already). I seem to remember you being as fan of Ramsey Campbell’s Ryre. Well, in 1996 Necronomicon Press published “Far Away & Never,” a compilation of all of Campbell’s heroic fantasy (maybe 7 or 8 tales). I Found a copy online for $11, but I’ve seen it going for well over $100. Just wanted to let you know it’s out there and you can find it at an affordable price if you’re patient in your search.


  3. Nik: You just became my favorite “Swords Against Boredom” commenter of the month. A cool Web site recommendation AND a kick-ass awesome book recommendation? That’s very much appreciated!

    Campbell’s Ryre stories really stand out to me. In a lot of sword-and-sorcery stuff, you don’t get the feeling the hero might really buy the farm. In the Ryre stories, you keep wondering if he’s gonna make it. Good, scary stuff.

    — Steve


  4. 100% here as well.

    Looking at the question breakdown and the four lowest scores by adults, it is sad that so many adults do not have a clear understanding of stem-cells and, especially, antibiotics, and also lack a basic physical science knowledge (lasers and electrons). And I am sure that some of those who missed the four questions related to what should be basic common knowledge, have very strong opinions about issues related to them.


  5. Steve,
    Not to hijack this thread, but I was wondering if you could point me at some publications that have Ryre stories? I had never heard of these tales until this thread. They sound like an interesting possibility for future reading, however as mentioned above the collected stories are a bit pricey. Are there existing anthos out there that might be affordable that have a Ryre tale or two?



  6. Jason–

    All the Ryre stories can be found in the five Swords Against Darkness anthologies edited by Andrew Offutt. Zebra Books published them back in the late seventies and early eighties; you should be able to find used copies on eBay, Amazon, etc. without any trouble. They’re well worth it for the Ryre stories alone, but they contain a lot of other great stories, as well.

    Happy reading.



  7. Sorry, Steve. I just realized Jason’s question was addressed to you, not the thread in general. Guess I was just excited someone else was interested in Ryre.


  8. Nik: No need to apologize, and I’ll second your recommendation of the “Swords Against Darkness” anthos. That’s where I got acquainted with Ryre.

    Jason: Campbell is primarily a horror guy, of course, and that tends to come out strong in his sword-and-sorcery work. Enjoy!


  9. Thanks Nik and Steve for the responses, I appreciate it. I think it will be interesting to see that horror at work in his S&S stories, as it seems that they could work quite well together if done right. I think I recall reading that Karl Wagner considered his Kane stories to be gothic horror in nature as well.


  10. Wagner’s Kane material covers some of the same territory as the Ryre stories, and I like Kane, but the key difference to me is that Kane has some supernatural might of his own, whereas Ryre is simply tough and resourceful and occasionally damned lucky.

    I prefer Campbell’s prose to Wagner’s, too. Campbell has a way of sneaking atmosphere into even minor descriptions simply through cunning word choices. He sets the stage for a fright even before the story starts heading that way.


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