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A picture is made of a thousand notes

"Cymatics is the science of visualizing audio frequencies." [more inside]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on Nov 23, 2014 - 6 comments

the cost of a Calvin

How much damage can a 6 year-old possibly do? An analysis of the cost of raising a child like Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes [more inside]
posted by flex on Oct 11, 2014 - 31 comments

Why do we have blood types?

"Isn't it amazing?" says Ajit Varki, a biologist at the University of California, San Diego. "Almost a hundred years after the Nobel Prize was awarded for this discovery, we still don't know exactly what they're for."
Popular science writer Carl Zimmer investigates: Why do we have blood types? [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Jul 15, 2014 - 64 comments

A connection between the Mandelbrot set and the way nature operates...

Arthur C. Clarke, Benoit Mandelbrot, Stephen Hawking, David Gilmour and many more trip the fuck out about Fractals, the Colors of Infinity.
posted by loquacious on Apr 3, 2014 - 19 comments

Possibly the end of The Big Bang Theory? (Not the TV show)

Nature covers a brane based theory of cosmological creation... Is the universe a 3D brane created from a 4D star collapsing into a black hole? [more inside]
posted by Samizdata on Sep 16, 2013 - 110 comments

Drunk vs Stoned

"Anything else you want to add? Don't do drugs kids?" "Yeah That's a good one." In a highly (un)scientific experiment, BuzzFeed video producer Andrew Gauthier spent one night drunk and one night stoned while performing identical tasks. He filmed the results for our entertainment education..
posted by quin on Aug 27, 2013 - 26 comments

...you're a jerk; shoulda got a Nobel for my work...

Rosalind Franklin vs. Watson & Crick - Science History Rap Battle [more inside]
posted by latkes on Aug 20, 2013 - 12 comments

Ovaries! Time MAchines!

British comedian Josie Long explores All the Planet's Wonders in a very short series on BBC radio: Collecting. Animals. Astronomy. Plants.
posted by 1f2frfbf on Jul 8, 2013 - 11 comments

Fruit Flies at the Whole Foods

"Is organic produce better for you?" is a simple question asked by a middle schooler in a science fair. Using fruit flies fed organic vs. conventional produce, Ria Chhabra tracked the flies and saw improvements based on their diet. Now barely a sophomore in high school, the project lead to university research labs, science fair awards, publication in top-tier peer-reviewed journals, and quite likely, scholarships at her pick of top-flight universities.
posted by mathowie on Apr 18, 2013 - 90 comments

A little sunshine on a rainy day...

The Virtual Power Plant: "Critics of renewables have always claimed that sun and wind are only intermittent producers of electricity and need fossil fuel plants as back-up to make them viable. But German engineers have proved this is not so." A pilot program funded by the German Federal Ministry of the Environment offers a rebuttal to critics who claim renewable energy sources have an insurmountable variability problem.
posted by saulgoodman on Apr 5, 2013 - 24 comments

The average human vagina

Do you secretly suspect that your vagina is above average? It may be, but how would you know?
posted by latkes on Apr 1, 2013 - 66 comments

Evolution: Maybe It's Not Just for the Fittest Anymore

Is it time to put natural selection in its place? Jello Biafra once famously wrote that "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve." But while it likely comes as no surprise to specialists working in the field or to those who've been following developments in evolutionary biology closely, there's an emerging view among experts that Darwin's view of natural selection as the primary driver of speciation and evolutionary change may be incorrect or at least drastically overstated. It's long been understood that non-adaptive evolutionary mechanisms like "genetic drift" and random mutation also play non-trivial roles in evolutionary processes, but a recent study (link to abstract with full-text PDF available) casts new doubts on the primary role of natural selection, finding that "Neutral models, in which genetic change arises through random variation without fitness differences have proven remarkably successful in describing observed patterns of biodiversity." [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on Mar 28, 2013 - 51 comments

Doing What We Could Because We Can.

Wayside Creations: the studio that produced the surprisingly high-budget fallout Fan series: Nuka Break (with Dougie Jones!) (previously, previously) have turned their attention to the office politics of our favorite hive of mad science: Aperture R&D.
posted by The Whelk on Mar 18, 2013 - 15 comments

Greetings from the Red Planet

NASA recently announced that the latest results from NASA's Curiosity Rover on Mars provide clear physical evidence that Mars once had all the conditions necessary to support life. Despite the skeptical reception given to recent news that the rover may also have found indirect evidence of organic compounds and active microbiological activity, other recent scientific results have gone even further. One Australian study from 2011 concluded, given what we know about Mars now, 3% of its total volume (as compared to 1% of Earth's) is likely habitable to known terrestrial lifeforms. And more recently, further analysis of the results of experiments performed by the 1976 Viking Lander mission suggests that we have likely detected active microbiological activity on Mars already, with one researcher going so far as to claim a 99% certainty that those earlier results detected life. (Previously).
posted by saulgoodman on Mar 15, 2013 - 78 comments

"...it's always good for a scientist to be proven wrong..."

Professor Martyn Poliakoff of Periodic Table Videos fame learns something about burning balloons full of hydrogen via high speed camera footage.
posted by loquacious on Jan 11, 2013 - 34 comments

16 hours = overnight, 64 hours = overweekend, > 7 days = forgotten about

Your scientific Twitter hashtag of the week: #overlyhonestmethods [more inside]
posted by maryr on Jan 8, 2013 - 36 comments

Pew, Pew Pew Pew

Here's a cool video of a red hot nickel ball in water. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski on Jan 5, 2013 - 34 comments

For SCIENCE!

Decay is a free, downloadable zombie film set entirely at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 22, 2012 - 15 comments

Photons: Corpuscules of Light.

Richard Feynman delivers a charming talk about Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Electrodynamics and the versatile, enigmatic photon. (SLYT - 1:17:58)
posted by loquacious on Dec 11, 2012 - 12 comments

Sasha Issenberg: the new science of winning campaigns

A Vast Left-Wing Competency: "How Democrats became the party of effective campaigning — and why the GOP isn’t catching up anytime soon." Sasha Issenberg, author of The Victory Lab, has been writing a series of posts on Slate that focus on different aspects of "the new science of winning campaigns". [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 8, 2012 - 103 comments

melodysheep - remixes for the soul & symphony of science

Our Story in 1 Minute: "A tapestry of footage tracing the cosmic and biological origins of our species, set to original music" by Melodysheep (John D. Boswell). Aside from this latest video, Melodysheep has also recently posted a Bill Hicks/George Carlin remix - The Big Electron ("Two legendary comedians offer their perspectives on life, through song"); a remix of comedian Jim Breuer called Metal Songs for Kids, and a new Symphony of Science - Our Biggest Challenge: "A musical investigation into the causes and effects of global climate change and our opportunities to use science to offset it; featuring Bill Nye, David Attenborough, Richard Alley and Isaac Asimov." [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 2, 2012 - 6 comments

monsters are people too!

12-year-old uses Dungeons & Dragons to help scientist dad with his research: Cognitive scientist Alan Kingstone wanted to test whether people look at each others' eyes or simply to the center of faces. Some had suggested an answer would be impossible to discern because humans' eyes are in the center of their faces. But Alan’s son, Julian, a fan of D&D, told his father about D&D monster characters that have eyes in unusual places, such as on their hands or tail. “[Julian suggested] if you just showed them these images, you could find out whether they are looking for the eyes or not. I thought, actually, that’s a very good idea,” Kingstone said (summarized from Cosmos). The paper describing the results - "Monsters are people too" - was published in the British Royal Society journal Biology Letters this month, with 14-year-old Julian named as the lead author.
posted by flex on Nov 1, 2012 - 42 comments

"dawn of the deed"

Secrets of T-Rex sex! An interview with John Long, author of The Dawn of the Deed: The Prehistoric Origins of Sex. Long's four-part series on Evolution: This View of Life - 1) Down and Dirty in the Devonian; 2) Palaeozoic Paternity Problems; 3) From Bones to Behavior; 4) From Clasper to Penis. Also a Scientific American video ("Long discusses a fossil central to this new view of the origin of copulation and live birth: a 375-million-year-old expectant mother fish dubbed Materpiscis attenboroughi").
posted by flex on Oct 30, 2012 - 23 comments

But you're like a brother to me!

Scientists confirm: friendzone is real. [more inside]
posted by thirteenkiller on Oct 25, 2012 - 202 comments

Chicken Noodle Soup

The broth is just chicken and onions, with a confetti of vegetables added at the end where their flavor remains bright. The noodles are wide and winding... But, for me, the real triumph was giving the chicken parts and onion a saute... before adding water to make the soup. This deepened flavor base makes for magical soup, with a bronzed color, more robust flavor and significantly reduced prep time. ... With all of the blustery, cold days to go this winter, everyone... deserves to have a homemade, from-scratch chicken noodle soup that can be pulled off in just about an hour in their back pocket. [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Oct 10, 2012 - 57 comments

F*ing magnets, how do they work?

Magnetic resonance images of fruits and vegetables. And more MRI of more foods. Another 3D rendering of a broccoli MRI. [more inside]
posted by sararah on Oct 4, 2012 - 20 comments

Passion in My Pants

Mentos + Coke + Condom. SLYT. Safe for work, unless you're against balloons.
posted by Apropos of Something on Sep 18, 2012 - 33 comments

I love the T-Rex bit

Engineers at Rose Hulman design a pretty cool prosthetic arm for a kid according to his specs (4min, video). Looks like it's part of a program to connect students with kids in need that has produced similar projects in the past.
posted by mathowie on Aug 23, 2012 - 9 comments

two Erics summarize SCIENCE! for life improvement & greater understanding

Barking Up The Wrong Tree distils scientific research, focused on its motto: "I want to understand why we do what we do and use the answers to be awesome at life." With a gradual shift to more digest posts packed with links to summaries & sources, a sampling of the past couple weeks includes: What are 10 things you should do every day to improve your life? - What are 10 things you should do every week to improve your life? - 25 research-based ways to increase your intelligence - What are 7 things that can make you happier in 7 seconds? - 7 steps to never procrastinating again. Another blog along the same lines but less glib & immediate is Peer-Reviewed By My Neurons; recently: How confusion facilitates learning - The science of coming on too strong - Want to be creative? Play Dungeons & Dragons [more inside]
posted by flex on Aug 5, 2012 - 39 comments

You never know; this could be valuable information one day!

How many rubber-bands does it take to make a watermelon explode? [slyt] [via]
posted by quin on Jul 21, 2012 - 63 comments

This post is just in time for the annual spaghetti harvest.

In the late 1970s the UK's Anglia Television ran a respected weekly documentary series: Science Report. But when the show was cancelled in 1977, the producers decided to channel Orson Welles in their final episode. The result was Alternative 3. Over the course of the hour, the audience would learn that a Science Report investigation into the UK "brain drain" had uncovered shocking revelations: man-made pollution had resulted in catastrophic climate change, the Earth would soon be rendered uninhabitable, and a secret American / Soviet joint plan was in place to establish colonies on the Moon and Mars. The show ended with footage of a US/Soviet Mars landing from May 22, 1962. After Alternative 3 aired, thousands of panicked viewers phoned the production company and demanded to know how long they had left to change planets. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 20, 2012 - 22 comments

The Big Train

"The Big Train" and other classic 1950s and 60s publicity reels from the New York Central Railroad. Lots of footage of trains, railroad infrastructure, well-dressed office minions, teletypes, punchcard machines, men in white lab coats, bubbling beakers, and even an "atomic signal light." [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048 on Jun 19, 2012 - 10 comments

Richard Wiseman: quirky tricks, science, & jokes

10 bets that you will always win is a video collection of clever tricks (& science) from Richard Wiseman's Quirkology YouTube channel; see also top 10 quirky science tricks for parties, 10 more science stunts for parties, another 10 quirky science stunts, and 5 amazing mind tricks (previously: 10 practical jokes). Wiseman is a psychologist, magician, and author who created LaughLab: the scientific search for the world's funniest joke; the final report & top jokes* are available here (PDF) and over 1000 LaughLab jokes (all clean!) here (also PDF). Previously: his research on luck. (via voices + gizmodo)
posted by flex on Jun 16, 2012 - 16 comments

Sylvia's Super-Awesome Maker Show

Sylvia's Super-Awesome Maker Show (demo reel) is a DIY webshow featuring 10-year-old Sylvia and her various science, tech, and craft projects. She will be on the cover of Make Magazine's Summer 2012 "School's Out! Best Summer Ever" issue. [more inside]
posted by flex on Apr 29, 2012 - 3 comments

Before and after science.

Writing in the New York Review of Books, Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg discusses his reason for suspecting that advances in particle physics and astronomy will not just slow down in the coming years, but cease entirely.
posted by Nomyte on Apr 23, 2012 - 41 comments

"...information based in part on theory and conjecture."

In 1973 and 1975, two one-hour television documentaries aired in the US: In Search of Ancient Astronauts (Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) and In Search of Ancient Mysteries (Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). The same producers also put out The Outer Space Connection (Parts 1 and 2) in 1975. All were narrated by Twilight Zone's Rod Serling. In 1976 a series was developed. Since Serling had passed away in 1975, popular actor Leonard Nimoy was chosen as host. In Search of... ran for six seasons, from 1976 - 1982, and was devoted to discussing unusual mysteries and phenomena. All 144 episodes can be seen on YouTube. Playlists: Seasons 1 and 2. Seasons 3 and 4. Seasons 5 and 6.
posted by zarq on Apr 23, 2012 - 51 comments

Not quite 20,000 leagues under the sea. Our apologies.

The BBC has produced a fabulous infographic showing the ocean zones: Sunlight, Twilight, Midnight, Lower Midnight, and The Trenches. The page also includes videos showing: what happens to material at 100, 1000, and 10,000 meters down; the animals living in the Abyssal Plains (described in a lovely Scottish accent); and the story of Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh going down to the Mariana Trench in 1960. No one has been back there since, but director James Cameron and Richard Branson are among the contenders who are going to make a go of it. (Rumour has it that Cameron intends to be the sole person in the sub, while Branson is just financing a team.) Meanwhile, the Doer team (backed by Eric Schmidt of Google), says it's all about the science and not just being first in this century's race. And there's even a yellow submarine for the rest of us, if by "rest of us" one means "has $250,000 to spare for a single trip". Don't forget to click the links at the top of the infographic page to see everything.
posted by maudlin on Feb 24, 2012 - 17 comments

"Please state the nature of the medical emergency."

Qualcomm and the X Prize Foundation have launched a new contest: Envision and build the equivalent of Star Trek's medical tricorder, a portable health monitoring device that can remotely diagnose patients. The winner will receive $10 million. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 2, 2012 - 85 comments

Apollo 18

Is Newt Gingrich’s plan for a moon mine science fiction? The technology may be in place, but is there any reason to go?
posted by Artw on Jan 27, 2012 - 178 comments

insert humorous quip re: correlation & causation, with an extra side of beans

Relating SCIENCE! to everyday life, Ouch: A Year's Worth of Occasionally Disturbing Research on How to Get Ahead is comedic advice on how to excel in the new year (from the usually-more-serious Harvard Business Review's "The Daily Stat") - reminiscent of Barking Up The Wrong Tree, a blog of tongue-in-cheek nuggets of research by Eric Barker.
posted by flex on Dec 31, 2011 - 1 comment

"You kind of expect it to be quite so... WOW!!"

Chemical Reactions. Four minutes of the best moments of stuff burning, breaking, freezing, exploding, melting, and generally reacting in interesting ways. [more inside]
posted by quin on Dec 30, 2011 - 15 comments

It Happened at the World's Fair

Century 21 Calling - Dreamily retro footage of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, AKA the Century 21 Exposition, including a visit to the Bell Systems pavilion. A slice of space age science propaganda, the fair gave Seattle some of its most enduring landmarks in the form of the Space Needle and the Alweg Monorail, and, of course, brought Elvis to town.
posted by Artw on Dec 12, 2011 - 35 comments

SciGuy Eric Berger

One of my favorite blogs happens to be local to me. Eric Berger, the Houston Chronicle's "SciGuy" usually reports on the weather. But he also posts entertaining and serious stuff as well. [more inside]
posted by PapaLobo on Nov 22, 2011 - 3 comments

Someone Thinks of the Children

"There's just so much science, nature, music, arts, technology, storytelling and assorted good stuff out there that my kids (and maybe your kids) haven't seen. It's most likely not stuff that was made for them... But we don't underestimate kids around here." [Via.]
posted by chavenet on Aug 25, 2011 - 10 comments

Consider the following...

Bill Nye, the-Sci-ence Guy
Biill Nyye, the Science Guuy
Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill!
Bill Nye, the-Sci-ence Guy
(Science rules)
Bill Nye, the-Sci-ence Guy
(Inertia is a property of matter)
Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill-Bill-Bill-
Biill Nyye, the Science Guuy
Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill!
(T-minus seven seconds)
Bill Nye, the-Sci-ence Guy

[more inside]
posted by troll on Aug 4, 2011 - 101 comments

Let's settle this with science (and a side of fries)

In-N-Out vs. Five Guys vs. Shake Shack: a careful comparison of three hamburger heavyweights. (Previously.)
posted by rewil on May 18, 2011 - 259 comments

Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, on YouTube

Over 100 full episodes of the Marlin Perkins-hosted television show Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom (previously) are now available on YouTube. That is all.
posted by cog_nate on May 16, 2011 - 52 comments

What in the blue blazes is that?

A string of electrical transformers exploding in Fort Worth, TX. [more inside]
posted by loquacious on May 12, 2011 - 48 comments

Use Cheap Vodka

"The Bloody Mary has been called the world's most complex cocktail, and from the standpoint of flavor chemistry, you've got a blend of hundreds of flavor compounds that act on the taste senses. It covers almost the entire range of human taste sensations -- sweet, salty, sour and umami or savory -- but not bitter." Research that's part of the International Year of Chemistry.
posted by chavenet on Apr 1, 2011 - 146 comments

"And how are we today?" "Better." "Better?"

bites "is a unique comprehensive resource for all those with a personal or professional interest in food safety. Dr. [Doug] Powell of Kansas State University, and associates, search out credible, current, evidence-based information on food safety and make it accessible to domestic and international audiences through multiple media. Sources of food safety information include government regulatory agencies, international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), peer-reviewed scientific publications, academia, recognized experts in the field and other sources as appropriate." (Description from website.) The folks responsible for bites also run the more entertainingly named barfblog.
posted by cog_nate on Mar 2, 2011 - 10 comments

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