Four minutes of the best moments of stuff burning, breaking, freezing, exploding, melting, and generally reacting in interesting ways. [more inside]
There must be a recognition of the self in its relation to the profession one proposes. If we do declare our profession, we must also keep the epistemological awareness. That is, if we are our profession, we must know it. [more inside]
For millennia, man has yearned to block the sun (with black plastic balls).
If an un-covered public water reservoir contains bromide, sunlight will combine the bromide with the chlorine used for reducing bacteria -- thus poisoning the water with carcinogenic bromate. Blocking the sunlight is the answer, but building a permanent cover for a huge reservoir is very costly. The solution for LA-area reservoirs, a few years ago: cover the entire water surface with millions of floating "bird balls"
, in effect turning the reservoir into a 10+ acre ball pit. [more inside]
Gamers solve molecular puzzle that baffled scientists
. The structure of a protein causing AIDS in rhesus monkeys had not been discovered in 15 years of attempts. Players of a videogame did it in ten days. Foldit
, the game in question. Abstract
At the beginning of last month, Scientific American unveiled a new network of 47 blogs with 55 bloggers
. Their latest posts can be found here
. [more inside]
Two new elements have been identified.
They will need to be named. The new elements have temporary titles of ununquadium and ununhexium. [more inside]
is a veteran American cartoonist best known for his delightful comic-book guides to science and history, many of which have previews online. Chief among them is his long-running Cartoon History of the Universe
(later The Cartoon History of the Modern World
), a sprawling multi-volume opus documenting everything from the Big Bang to the Bush administration. Published over the course of three decades, it takes a truly global view -- its time-traveling Professor thoroughly explores not only familiar topics like Rome and World War II but the oft-neglected stories of Asia and Africa, blending caricature and myth with careful scholarship (cited by fun illustrated bibliographies
) and tackling even the most obscure events with intelligence and wit
. This savvy satire carried over to Gonick's Zinn
chronicle The Cartoon History of the United States
, along with a bevy of Cartoon Guides
to other topics, including Genetics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, The Environment
, and (yes!) Sex
. Gonick has also maintained a few sideprojects, such as a webcomic look at Chinese invention
, assorted math comics
), the Muse magazine
mainstay Kokopelli & Co.
(featuring the shenanigans of his "New Muses"
), and more
. See also these lengthy interview snippets
, linked previously
. Want more? Amazon links to the complete oeuvre inside! [more inside]
From Draculin to Spermadine, Fucitol to Arsole, here is your guide to molecules with silly names
. (via kottke
The science education video series Sixty Symbols
) explores the Cadbury Creme Egg. [more inside]
. For those who think science could use more swearing. [Text is very NSFW, images are fine.] [more inside]
Now is the time on MetaFilter when we dance: with GROSSE FREIHEIT
, Mera naam Chin Chin Chu
(Hindi: मेरा नाम चिन चिन चू, Urdu: میرا نام چِن چِن چو) , and Occult Chemistry
While working on a PhD, did you ever feel no one understood your research? Well instead of writing your dissertation about your topic, ““Microtubule Catastrophe in Living Cells”
or “Hydrodynamic Trail Following in a Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina)”,
you can dance to it
. Or, if you don’t want to dance to a science topic, then change your topic and publish research about zombies as a disease model. [more inside]
A Dialogue With Sarah, Aged 3
: In which it is shown that if your dad is a chemistry professor, asking "why" can be dangerous
It's been an oxymoronic chemical curiosity since 1968, but "Dry Water" is getting some buzz of late
, mainly because of newly discovered applications.
Like its ability to absorb gases such as carbon dioxide
and methane. How long before molecular gastronomists figure out something clever to do with it?
Make your own glow sticks
! No, not like that
! With complete chemical recipes for different colors, information on how fluorescent dyes work, and bonus fun camera light balance behavior. [via]
is one man's collection of UseNET posts on the topics of Air Conditioning
, Electronic; Environment
, Pyrotechnics; Food
; Space mostly from a select group of authors
. It has been updated several times since it first appeared here in 2001
and it never fails to sucker me in for hours every time I stumble upon it from a Google Search. [more inside]
The Polar Discovery
team has documented science in action from pole to pole during the historic 2007-2009 International Polar Year, and covered five scientific expeditions
. The science projects explored a range of topics from climate change and glaciers, to Earth’s geology, biology, ocean chemistry, circulation, and technology at the icy ends of the earth. Through photo essays
and other multimedia
, they explain how scientists collected data and what they discovered about the rapidly changing polar regions. From the awesome folks at WHOI
Chemistry in its Element
- a weekly podcast from the Royal Society of Chemistry offering an engagingly-narrated stroll through the periodic table, element by element.
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have been able to confirm the production of the superheavy element 114, ten years after a group in Russia, at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, first claimed to have made it. The search for 114 has long been a key part of the quest for nuclear science’s hoped-for Island of Stability. [more inside]
scientifically summarises the scientific field of Creation Science (warning: science) [transcript]
Imagine nature's most elegant ideas organized by design and engineering function, so you can enter "filter salt from water" and see how mangroves, penguins, and shorebirds desalinate without fossil fuels. That's the idea behind AskNature
, the online inspiration source for the biomimicry
community. The featured pages
are a good starting point. Cross-pollinating biology with design. [more inside]
Dear valued customer [pdf]:
There is currently a global shortage of acetonitrile that is likely to last into the first half of 2009.
So, er, don't wait: Tackle the acetonitrile shortage!
World of Science
contains budding encyclopedias of astronomy
, scientific biography
, and physics
. This resource has been assembled over more than a decade by internet encyclopedist Eric Weisstein
with assistance from the internet community. MeFi visited Weisstein's Mathworld
a couple years ago.
Who Doesn't Like Soil Science? Well, OK, a lot of people. But there is a cool collection of 3-D models of significant compound in the field at the Virtual Museum of Minerals and Molecules
. Hosted at the University of Wisconsin, it currenly has 26 exhibits ranging from simple (I like graphite
) to complex (plastocyanin
should please everyone with its useful copper-holding functions).You can rotate the models in all directions and emphasize particular substructures to get a better look at them. Fun for anyone who like soil, chemistry, or playing with 3-D molecule models.
The Science of Scent.
An entertaining and enlightening TED talk by biophysicist Luca Turin.
The 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to scientists
who advanced the use of jellyfish green florescent protein, or GFP (previously)
, an indispensable tool in molecular biology. The man who discovered the GFP gene, however, is doing something quite different these days. [more inside]
A New State of Mind.
"New research is linking dopamine
to complex social phenomena and changing neuroscience in the process."
is a unique search engine for science videos focusing on Physics, Chemistry, and Space. For example, things
to do with sulfur hexafluoride
. Still growing, the editors are presently indexing other scientific fields of study including Geology, Psychology, Robotics and Computers. Ever wonder why things go bang
to the "Periodic Table of Videos". Tables charting the chemical elements have been around since the 19th century - but this modern version
will have a short video about each one."(YT subscription
) (via kottke)
The hills of other earths might not be green
...The Color(s) Out of Space
. [more inside]
Carl Zimmer's Science Tattoo Emporium
- "Underneath their sober lab coats and flannel shirts, scientists hide images of their scientific passions. Here they are revealed to all." From the science journalist and writer
responsible for The Loom
and numerous other published works
, dubbed the "Father
of Molecular Gastronomy
", is also known as the man who unboiled an egg
Scientific esthetics- Made With Molecules.
, some trashy
, and some just plain cute
. [more inside]
Theodore Gray's interactive periodic table
isn't the only periodic table online -- another one
was posted to MeFi last month -- but I think it's the most gorgeous, informative, and ambitious periodic table I've ever seen, featuring actual samples of most of the elements and their practical uses
, a fascinating display of uranium isotopes
, and explosive "sodium party
" videos and more from Gray's many years of obsession with the elements.