Nova Science Now
recently ran a segment on lightning (quicktime, real, and windows video here
). I figured that subject was over and done with shortly after Franklin flew a kite, but it turns out we don't really know exactly what causes a bolt to start
. The coolest part of the segment was these researchers in Florida
. Scientists know how hard it was to observe, monitor, and even find lightning bolts, so these guys built their own rig. High-powered model rockets attached to a couple thousand feet of wire, which is grounded to larger metal structures on the ground. The result? Shoot a rocket into a storm cloud and you get instant lightning you can count on, measure, and control
posted by mathowie
on Oct 22, 2005 -
I posted the story
about how researchers had discovered that both sexes cared about appearance when selecting dates. Today Stanford
(!!) releases the startling discovery that cars get hot when parked in the sun. Meanwhile K State learns that women feel better
about their bodies when complemented, and the other shocker story is that problem gamblers share traits with substance abusers
. And how about that New Scientist story about the fact we're entering a dark age
? So what's up with science lately, particularly in America?
posted by Fozzie
on Jul 5, 2005 -
The Logic of Diversity
"A new book, The Wisdom of Crowds
] by The New Yorker
columnist James Surowiecki, has recently popularized the idea that groups can, in some ways, be smarter than their members, which is superficially similar to Page's results
. While Surowiecki gives many examples of what one might call collective cognition, where groups out-perform isolated individuals, he really has only one explanation for this phenomenon, based on one of his examples: jelly beans [...
] averaging together many independent, unbiased guesses gives a result that is probably closer to the truth than any one guess. While true — it's the central limit theorem
of statistics — it's far from being the only way in which diversity
can be beneficial in problem solving." (Three-Toed Sloth)
posted by kliuless
on Jun 20, 2005 -
Nature Publishing Group's Connotea
is an experimental bookmarking service for scientists. Created by Nature Publishing Group
it lets you keep links to articles and websites you use and helps you find them again. It is also a place where you can discover new articles and websites through sharing links with other users. By saving your links and references to Connotea they are instantly on the web.
posted by tidecat
on Feb 16, 2005 -
- follow physicists from around the world as they experience the World Year of Physics 2005.
posted by Gyan
on Feb 1, 2005 -
No pain, no gain, they say, and when it comes to real pain, the inverse is true as well
now have research indicating there's a memory of chronic pain,"
said Dr. Doris K. Cope, director of chronic and cancer pain for the
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. It changes the genic code
sometimes, it changes the biochemistry, and it causes new proteins to
Or in other words, the more pain you have, the more pain you have. (More on this
.) It's no wonder, then, that more money is spent on pain relief than any other medical problem, and that there has been so much pain research
and so many clinical trials
revealing such painful facts as redheads feel more pain
, men feel less pain
, and that there's a genetic difference
between tough guys and wimps. (Much more pain inside.)
posted by taz
on Sep 20, 2004 -
Let there be light - Canadian researchers have devised a new polymer material by manipulating buckyballs (carbon atoms that look like soccer balls). The technology could be used to create optical (light based) switches to replace electronic network switches. It could lead to an Internet based entirely on light.
posted by paladin
on Aug 22, 2004 -
The False Controversy of Stem Cell Research.
Kinsley: In fact, thinking it through is a moral obligation, especially if you are on the side of the argument that wants to stop or slow this research.
It's not complicated. An embryo used in stem-cell research (and fertility treatments) is three to five days past conception. It consists of a few dozen cells that together are too small to be seen without a microscope. It has no consciousness, no self-awareness, no ability to feel love or pain. The smallest insect is far more human in every respect except potential.
posted by skallas
on May 31, 2004 -
“Medical Consequences of What Homosexuals Do”
(warning: extremely graphic verbal description; for a different perspective, here's a critique
on the use of some references). "Homosexuals are sexually troubled people engaging in dangerous activities. Because we care about them and those tempted to join them, it is important that we neither encourage nor legitimize such a destructive lifestyle."
posted by 111
on May 14, 2004 -
Thou shalt not make scientific progress.
"Medical research is poised to make a quantum leap that will benefit sufferers from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, muscular dystrophy, diabetes and other diseases. But George W. Bush's religious convictions stand in its way."
posted by homunculus
on Mar 24, 2004 -
Scientists Accuse White House of Distorting Facts
The Bush administration has deliberately and systematically distorted scientific fact in the service of policy goals on the environment, health, biomedical research and nuclear weaponry at home and abroad, a group of about 60 influential scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates, said in a statement issued today.--would you believe the scientists or the people's (almost) choice? May need free reg for NY Times.
posted by Postroad
on Feb 18, 2004 -
is a large and diverse site created and maintained by John Walker, co-creator of AutoCAD and founder of Autodesk, Inc. A few sub-sites have been mentioned here over the years, but there is plenty to explore -- ranging from free computing utilities, science tools, a diet plan, original fiction and educational texts, to a page on RetroPsychoKinesis
: influencing the past with your mind.
posted by ewagoner
on Aug 8, 2003 -
Gene Prevents 'Brains Everywhere'
The human version of the gene probably is not involved in keeping the human brain inside the skull, but likely plays some other role in nervous system development in human embryos, says Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado, a developmental biologist at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
posted by Grod
on Oct 11, 2002 -
"We think of an orange as a constant, but in reality it's not."
Canadian study finds that fruits and vegetables have lost much of their nutritional value in the last decades--potatoes, for example, have lost 100% of their Vitamin A. The reason, it appears, is mass production and a market that values appearance over substance. Is this symptomatic of deeper problems within a system where produce travels so far before reaching the consumer? Here in B.C., for example, the stores are full of California produce, despite the fact that we grow much the same fruits and vegetables locally.
posted by jokeefe
on Jul 6, 2002 -
UMass Researcher Finds Most People Lie In Everyday Conversation
UMass Researcher Finds Most People Lie In Everyday Conversation
"Most people lie in everyday conversation when they are trying to appear likable and competent, according to a study conducted by University of Massachusetts psychologist Robert S. Feldman and published in the most recent Journal of Basic and Applied Social Psychology…The study also found that lies told by men and women differ in content, though not in quantity. Feldman said the results showed that men do not lie more than women or vice versa, but that men and women lie in different ways. "Women were more likely to lie to make the person they were talking to feel good, while men lied most often to make themselves look better," Feldman said."
Are you a liar? C’mon now, tell the truth.
posted by martk
on Jun 12, 2002 -