3732 posts tagged with Science.
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"He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president"

The interval between the 2016 US election and inauguration of POTUS #45 continues. Donald likes an avid reader, but claims many bogus votes were cast and others believe it. Romney (previous, post title, transcript) emerges full of chocolate cake and glowing praise. The "swamp" continues to be filled, and despite 'leaving business' there are conflicts (multiple, many) of interest. There's recount news in Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin. Amongst voter suppression news (more, more, again), recent tactics arguably worked (more), Michigan is trying to pass tougher ID laws, legal issues continue in North Carolina, and the fight will be a hard and an unavoidable one. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Dec 2, 2016 - 811 comments

A Mammoth (or Mastodon) Discovery at Wilshire and La Brea

LA Times: Remains of ancient elephant unearthed at L.A. subway excavation site "The first discovery, made just before Thanksgiving, was of a 3-foot section of tusk fragments, as well as fragments of a mastodon tooth, found at a depth of 15 feet at the Wilshire and La Brea excavation site, said Metro spokesman Dave Sotero. [more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 on Dec 1, 2016 - 24 comments

Incredible discovery of 40,000-year-old tools for art and engineering

Ars Technica: "Humans began making paint and glue at roughly the same time with the same tools. Evidence from a cave in eastern Ethiopia has revealed something extraordinary about the origins of symbolic thought among humans." [more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 on Nov 30, 2016 - 11 comments

Time spent with cats is never wasted

A cat’s sandpapery tongue is actually a magical detangling hairbrush (WaPo)…you may be wondering why cat grooming mechanics matter. There are two big reasons: First, it might add insight to the field of soft robotics, which, among other things, is about making robots that can move through small spaces for search-and-rescue missions or surgeries. Second, it might help make a better brush that, Noel said, could herald “new ways to clean deeply embedded dirt in your carpet to wound cleaning advances in the medical field.” (alternate link for non-subscribers, lacks video of cat licking a blanket)
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Nov 30, 2016 - 12 comments

The Big Bell Test needs your help

Some scientists are hoping that you can help them prove Einstein wrong by choosing 1 or 0s!
posted by of strange foe on Nov 29, 2016 - 54 comments

Do you want a pet tardigrade? They're basically tiny Pokemon.

Tardigrades or "waterbears" are cute tiny nigh-indestructible 10-legged beasts that prefer to live in wet environments but can also survive the hard vacuum of space. They sound exotic, but they're probably right there in your own backyard. The Stanford Tardigrade Project has an easy guide for finding your own pet waterbears. There are several videos showing what you will see when you find them.
posted by Sleeper on Nov 29, 2016 - 33 comments

In space, no one can hear you flush.

NASA wants you to help astronauts deal with their poo in space: We can put a man on the moon but we can’t deny our bodily functions, no matter who you are. So the world’s leading space agency has put up a $US30,000 ($AU40,300) award for anyone who can come up with the most innovative “space poop” solution. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Nov 28, 2016 - 62 comments

"I have always been partial to pee."

I’ve studied all the body’s fluids and used each in diagnosing disease, and urine stands out in the wealth of information it grants about a patient’s condition. (WaPo) Conceived in the kidneys — a pair of bean-shaped organs tucked away in the abdomen’s rear — urine runs down the ureters and is conveniently stored in the bladder, from which it is gathered in plastic cups for testing. Urine analysis is performed frequently enough by physicians to have earned the shorthand “urinalysis” — no other bodily fluid can claim to be on a nickname-basis with the medical profession. (alternate link for non-subscribers, but no stock photo of a pee cup) [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Nov 27, 2016 - 33 comments

The physics behind the deadly 1919 Boston Molasses Flood

On January 15, 1919, in Boston's North End, a 50-foot-tall tank holding 2.3 million gallons of molasses burst, unleashing a deadly wave that rose nearly 25 feet high at one point. The disaster killed 21 people and injured another 150. Nearly one hundred years later, an analysis carried out by a group of Harvard fluid dynamics physicists explains how "cold temperatures and unusual currents conspired to turn slow sticky goop into a deadly speeding wave." [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Nov 26, 2016 - 23 comments

Understanding orgasm begins with a butt plug.

Nicole Prause (Wikipedia) studies the science of the connection between our brains and our genitals. This sometimes gets her into lots of trouble, but she couldn’t care less. Her study that indicated porn "addiction" was more like a high sex drive than true addiction (previously) generated calls for her to be fired. Her study of women's penis size preferences was the first to use 3-D printed phalluses.

Her current study asks the question "How do women really know if they are having an orgasm?" [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Nov 25, 2016 - 63 comments

What happens when you flush a bunch of sodium down the toilet?

Pretty much what you would expect. This is the same toilet that Cody's Lab used to flush 240lbs of mercury. It gives its all for Science when Grant Thompson (of Backyard Solar Death Ray fame) invites Cody to a flush-a-thon.
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Nov 21, 2016 - 50 comments

The Next Step for Neuromorphic Chips

World’s First Photonic Neural Network Unveiled. Relevant paper here.
posted by StrikeTheViol on Nov 20, 2016 - 15 comments

How I Wrote Arrival

After I was done with my rant, the Dans stared at me wide-eyed and said, “All that needs to be in the script. In fact, you can replace most of these little beats with that rant.” And they were right. So I cleaned up my own rant and made it Louise’s in the script, to the colonel trying to understand her reasoning.
Screenwriter Eric Heisserer writes about the process of adapting Ted Chiang's novella "Story of your Life" into the screenplay for Arrival. [more inside]
posted by Sokka shot first on Nov 15, 2016 - 44 comments

Climate goals rapidly moving out of reach

Ars Technica: "UN report: climate goals rapidly moving out of reach." Paris Agreement made progress, but 2°C warming limit takes much more. [more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 on Nov 4, 2016 - 31 comments

Conversations with Tyler

Tyler Cowen is an economics professor and chairman / general director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Since April 2015, he has been hosting "Conversations with Tyler", lengthy, one-on-one podcast interviews with "thought leaders from across the spectrum — economists, entrepreneurs, authors and innovators. All have one thing in common — they are making an impact on the world because of their ideas." His latest is with Steven Pinker. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 4, 2016 - 16 comments

Ducksters!

Here is our giant list of jokes, puns, and riddles for kids. Check out each joke category to find the type of joke, pun, or riddle you are looking for. Also: history, biographies, geography, science, and more.
posted by OverlappingElvis on Nov 3, 2016 - 15 comments

After birth babies’ guts are rapidly colonized from their moms'.

4. More people die of sepsis in the US than HIV, Prostate Cancer and Breast Cancer combined
Click through for more One Health Day Fun Facts from the University of Illinois Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology and the College of Veterinary Medicine! All Fun Facts include references! [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Nov 3, 2016 - 30 comments

50,000-year-old human settlements in Australian interior

"In a stunning discovery, a team of archaeologists in Australia has found extensive remains of a sophisticated human community living 50,000 years ago. The remains were found in a rock shelter in the continent's arid southern interior. Packed with a range of tools, decorative pigments, and animal bones, the shelter is a wide, roomy space located in the Flinders Ranges, which are the ancestral lands of the Adnyamathanha. The find overturns previous hypotheses of how humans colonized Australia, and it also proves that they interacted with now-extinct megafauna that ranged across the continent."
posted by Celsius1414 on Nov 2, 2016 - 25 comments

A Book by Its Cover: The strange history of books bound in human skin

"Anthropodermic bibliopegy, or books bound in human skin," writes Megan Rosenbloom in Lapham's Quarterly, "are some of the most mysterious and misunderstood books in the world’s libraries and museums. The historical reasons behind their creation vary [...] The best evidence most of these alleged skin books have ever had were rumors and perhaps a pencil-written note inside that said 'bound in human skin'...until now." Anthropodermic biblipegy on Metafilter previously and previously. Warning: links may contain details disturbing for some. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Oct 23, 2016 - 7 comments

The teacher that you always wanted

Mr. Wright of Louisville Male High School I found this while I was supposed to be doing homework. This is way more interesting. (Warning: It's dusty in here...)
posted by dfm500 on Oct 19, 2016 - 12 comments

Accept your impermanence in this bag of bones, live a fulfilled life

D.S. Moss produces an occasional podcast, titled The Adventures of Memento Mori, subtitled a cynic's guide for learning to live by remembering to die. He talks about his ideas in an interview with the Eternal Life Fan Club (website), which can be summarized as embracing life by accepting death. There are eight episodes in the Adventures of Memento Mori so far, covering Plan on Dying, Communicating with the Dead, The Science of Immortality, Past Life Regression, Escaping Death, Thoughts in Passing, and Digital Afterlife. Remember to Die is also on Twitter and Instagram, and I am Mori on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 14, 2016 - 2 comments

Obituary: Great Barrier Reef (25 Million BC-2016)

The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old.
posted by brundlefly on Oct 13, 2016 - 78 comments

Midlife Replication Crisis

Repeat After Me: Psychology's Reproducibility Problem a comic by Maki Naro
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 6, 2016 - 34 comments

Mary Cavendish: 17th century duchess, author, scientist, philosopher

Browse through the history of science fiction and you don't see many women named. One of the first is Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, who published a proto-SF novel in 1666, 152 years before Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Also notable, Mary Cavendish published her book, titled The Description of a New World, Called The Blazing-World (Internet Archive), under her own name. The book is a curious mixture of themes and styles: part science fiction, part fantasy, part scientific musing, part political tract, part social commentary and satire, and part autobiography. This diversity of topics reflected the amazing life and interests of its "Happy Creatoress," a woman of means but without formal education of her male peers. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 29, 2016 - 13 comments

Galactic Tick Day

September 29, 2016 is Galactic Tick Day, a celebration of our progress around the milky way.

Our planet Earth, along with the rest of the Solar System travels around the galactic center of the Milky Way Galaxy every 225 million Earth years. One centi-arcsecond of this rotation is called a Galactic Tick. A Galactic Tick happens every 633.7 days, or 1.7361 years.

Galactic Tick Day is set aside to acknowledge our Sun's motion, our progress around the home galaxy, and to celebrate humanity's knowledge of this motion.

Note: No spoons were harmed in the creation of this FPP. [more inside]
posted by Herodios on Sep 29, 2016 - 30 comments

Heavy flow

Ever wonder what it would be like to flush a toilet with mercury instead of water?
posted by Rhomboid on Sep 27, 2016 - 80 comments

Bad Science

The Inevitable Evolution of Bad Science "Now, imagine you’re a researcher who wants to game this system. Here’s what you do. Run many small and statistically weak studies. Tweak your methods on the fly to ensure positive results. If you get negative results, sweep them under the rug. Never try to check old results; only pursue new and exciting ones. These are not just flights of fancy. We know that such practices abound."
posted by dhruva on Sep 26, 2016 - 15 comments

Scientific Breakthroughs 10 Years On

Where are some of the celebrity molecules featured in past scientific breakthroughs? Science takes the time to follow up. [more inside]
posted by mark k on Sep 26, 2016 - 10 comments

I should have just eaten the 18 pounds of Red Leicester.

Deccan Chronicle: "In a study that has been widely welcomed, researchers from the University of Copenhagen found that eating cheese is good for our hearts." More from [askmen] [delish] [allure] [Telegraph - mentions other studies]. The actual research article conclusion: "A high daily intake of regular-fat cheese for 12 weeks did not alter LDL cholesterol or MetS risk factors differently than an equal intake of reduced-fat cheese or an isocaloric amount of carbohydrate-rich foods."
posted by Wordshore on Sep 24, 2016 - 40 comments

“Genius is the recovery of childhood at will.”

ARTS MacArthur Foundation Announces 2016 ‘Genius’ Grant Winners [The New York Times] This year’s winners of the MacArthur fellowships, awarded for exceptional “originality, insight and potential,” and publicly announced on Thursday, include writers, visual artists, scientists, nonprofit organization leaders and others, who are chosen at a moment when the recognition and money — a no-strings-attached grant of $625,000 distributed over five years — will make a difference. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Sep 22, 2016 - 39 comments

The Atlas of Living Australia

The Atlas of Living Australia contains information on all the known species (animals, plants and more) in Australia, aggregated from a wide range of data providers: museums, herbaria, community groups, government departments, individuals and universities. It contains more than 50 million occurrence records, based on specimens, field observations and surveys. These records are enriched by additional information including molecular data, photographs, maps, sound recordings and literature. Explore your area! [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Sep 22, 2016 - 28 comments

Elements of humour, intrigue, and parody can be found

Cartoon Abstracts Academic papers summarised in cartoon form.
posted by Segundus on Sep 18, 2016 - 5 comments

Moving The Window of Acceptability

How Morality Changes in a Foreign Language. Studies show that the way we think about moral questions is subtly influenced by the language we're using at the time. People using a non-native language tend to be more cerebral and less emotional. What does this say about the concept of the moral center, or "just knowing" what's right and what's wrong?
posted by Kevin Street on Sep 15, 2016 - 12 comments

Intimidate, obfuscate, deny, litigate

Science silenced by subpoena "If scientific results conflict with right-wing ideas, the scientists must be lying."
posted by bitmage on Sep 14, 2016 - 45 comments

Eleven days

The Evolution of Bacteria on a “MEGA-Plate” Petri Dish - a cinematic approach to visualizing drug resistance
posted by a lungful of dragon on Sep 10, 2016 - 17 comments

Dataism: Getting out of the 'job loop' and into the 'knowledge loop'

From deities to data - "For thousands of years humans believed that authority came from the gods. Then, during the modern era, humanism gradually shifted authority from deities to people... Now, a fresh shift is taking place. Just as divine authority was legitimised by religious mythologies, and human authority was legitimised by humanist ideologies, so high-tech gurus and Silicon Valley prophets are creating a new universal narrative that legitimises the authority of algorithms and Big Data." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 7, 2016 - 45 comments

These products will no longer be sold under misleading marketing.

The FDA has banned antibacterial soaps. Manufacturers have one year to pull products containing any of 19 chemicals, including the common triclosan and triclocarbon, found in many liquid and bar antibacterial soaps. Recent studies have suggested that soap containing these chemicals is no better at getting you clean, and might actually be harmful to the environment and your body.
posted by Huck500 on Sep 2, 2016 - 66 comments

"It’s time-released food"

Scientists think cockroach milk could be the superfood of the future. Although most cockroaches don’t actually produce milk, Diploptera punctate, which is the only known cockroach to give birth to live young, has been shown to pump out a type of ‘milk’ containing protein crystals to feed its babies…Who needs kale and quinoa when you have cockroach milk supplements? [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Sep 1, 2016 - 101 comments

The mesa is a little darker today. Roger Tsien 1952-2016.

UCSD Chemistry Nobel laureate Roger Tsien dies. Amongst many other achievements, he is most well known as co-discoverer of Green Fluorescent Protein, which, as well as making headlines with glow-in-the dark rats, initiated a field that revolutionized biology and our understanding of the molecular and genetic basis of disease and life itself. More reaction and links from In The Pipeline. [more inside]
posted by lalochezia on Sep 1, 2016 - 14 comments

Testing Nexus on 'NIMH' mice

Nanowire Mesh Monitors Mouse Brains - "Injectable 'neural lace'* brain-computer interface works in mice for months at a time." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 30, 2016 - 31 comments

Sad Face

Can smiling make you happier? Maybe not. We have no idea. ... The basic finding of Strack’s research—that a facial expression can change your feelings even if you don’t know that you’re making it—has now been reproduced, at least conceptually, many, many times. ... In recent years, it has even formed the basis for the treatment of mental illness. An idea that Strack himself had scoffed at in the 1980s now is taken very seriously: Several recent, randomized clinical trials found that injecting patients’ faces with Botox to make their “frown lines” go away also helped them to recover from depression. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna on Aug 29, 2016 - 19 comments

A Swarm of Controversy

In their struggle for survival against killer mites, bees get an unlikely ally: Monsanto. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Aug 29, 2016 - 12 comments

It's science, not mind-control!

The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is an Alaska-based research facility that studies an energetic and active region of the upper atmosphere. It is a group of high-frequency radio transmitters that send a focused beam of radio-wave energy into the aurora zone. Last year, instead of shutting it down, the US Military sold HAARP to the University of Alaska Fairbanks . But conspiracy theories abound: for example, HAARP caused the Haiti earthquake, or controls the weather” This weekend, HAARP's new owner will hold an open house to prove the facility 'is not capable of mind control’
posted by leahwrenn on Aug 24, 2016 - 64 comments

Here, we see a mefite in her natural habitat!

How natural are nature documentaries?
posted by ChuraChura on Aug 20, 2016 - 57 comments

Somewhere Between A Bottle Of Nail Polish And A Can Of Soda

FiveThirtyEight's "Science Questions from a Toddler" series aims to "use the curiosity of kids ages 5 and younger as a jumping-off point to investigate the scientific wonders that adults don’t even think to ask about. The answers are for adults, but they wouldn’t be possible without the wonder only a child can bring." Their most recent article is "How Big is a Fart?" [more inside]
posted by chainsofreedom on Aug 17, 2016 - 39 comments

Pac animal

World-record-holding balloon fiend Twinkie hunts down ghosts and balloons (but mostly balloons) in Pac-Dog
posted by a lungful of dragon on Aug 17, 2016 - 11 comments

"I wanted to try something a little bit different."

Generating fantasy maps - source code
posted by a lungful of dragon on Aug 16, 2016 - 30 comments

get back to the sponges

The NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer is currently livestreaming its exploratin of the uncharted deep sea ecosystems and seafloor the Wake Atoll Unit of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. Tune in between 0830 and 1630 Fiji time for coverage; come for the corals, stay for the scientist banter. (Previous voyages from 2013 and 2014.)
posted by fight or flight on Aug 15, 2016 - 7 comments

Everything is Fucked: The Syllabus

PSY 607: Everything is Fucked. What does it mean, in science, for something to be fucked? Fucked needs to mean more than that something is complicated or must be undertaken with thought and care, as that would be trivially true of everything in science. In this class we will go a step further and say that something is fucked if it presents hard conceptual challenges to which implementable, real-world solutions for working scientists are either not available or routinely ignored in practice. [more inside]
posted by srboisvert on Aug 12, 2016 - 14 comments

Long in the Tooth

"She was born during the reign of James I, was a youngster when René Descartes set out his rules of thought and the great fire of London raged, saw out her adolescent years as George II ascended the throne, reached adulthood around the time that the American revolution kicked off, and lived through two world wars. Living to an estimated age of nearly 400 years, a female Greenland shark has set a new record for longevity, scientists have revealed." [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Aug 11, 2016 - 32 comments

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