Cool: Scientists have genetically tweaked bacteria to create simple computers. Scary (probably unnecessarily): They're E.coli bacteria. Funny: The bacteria are able to solve the “Burnt Pancake Problem”. Money quote: “It’s kind of like that computer in ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. It’s been working on a problem so long that by the time it comes up with an answer, everybody forgot the question.”
Car of the Future, NOVA's latest episode, is fully online and includes a slew of extras including CC-licensed content, a brief historical overview of "innovative" automobiles, Amory Lovins flogging his Hypercar concept, the Car Talk guys making nuisances of themselves, and much more. (It's no Design for Dreaming, but really, what could be?)
Swinging from pendulums and facing down wrecking balls, MIT professor Walter Lewin shows students the zany beauty of science.
The observable universe just got a bit smaller. Johan Mauritsson and his colleagues at Lund University in Sweden have released what appears to be a video of an electron oscillating on a wave of light.
Quantum Mechanics: Myths and Facts (pdf), a recently-updated paper on the Cornell arXiv peer-review site. By Hrvoje Nikolić of the Rudjer Bošković Institute in Croatia. [more inside]
Crystal Meth: Friend or Foe High school science project alchemy: dumb shit into comedy gold.
Whooosh! London to Sydney in 5 hours on the A2 Hypersonic from Reaction Engines. Green too. If they can pull it off.
Crazy Rulers of the World: The Men Who Stare at Goats - A rather clear look at attempts to use the paranormal in the US military. (Part 2: Funny Torture, Part 3: Psychic Foot Soldiers)
Freethought Multimedia contains dozens of interviews, conversations and lectures on a variety of topics with/by several contemporary skeptics and freethinkers, including Michael Shermer, James Randi, Daniel Dennett, Steven Pinker and Richard Dawkins. (There's a great links section at the bottom of the page, as well. Particularly good are the University Lectures section and the Lectures Archive.)
Cinema Fiction vs. Physics Reality (PDF -- HTML version without addendum here) Two physicists examine certain features of popular myths regarding ghosts, vampires, and zombies as they appear in film and folklore. See also Real Zombies (audio) on the science of zombiefication. Also of interest are Psychological significance of Immortal beings (audio) and Blood Fighting: Dawn of the Robots and Zombies (video), which delve into the prominence of vampires, zombies and other things that go bump in the night in popular culture. Not to your liking? Well, check out some classic (and some not-so-classic) horror tales inside. [more inside]
They don't smoke marijuana in Muskogee, but my fellow Okies have given LSD to their elephants, all in the name of SCIENCE! — The Top 20 Most Bizarre Experiments of All Time [more inside]
Inside Out A topographical bedtime story. (Warning, contains spheres!)
Bald Cock. SFW.
The Buckminster Fuller Institute is now accepting submissions for it's new, annual design challenge contest. Submissions must be applicable with real-world technology, solving real-world problems with a minimum of ecological impact. The offered prize is $100,000, on par with some of NASA's challenges. ( Buckminster Fuller on Wikipedia, and E2 )
Wi-fi Routers: Silent blinking death. Via badscience.net, where it was posted in response to what sounds like a truly awful show. Electrosensitivity previously discussed here.
Sharpest manmade object This site via has a huge collection of wonderful images, some CG, some actual. Black hole merger. Solid state microrefrigerator. Helium nanodroplets used to chill Nitrogen Oxide. Playing a nanoguitar.
Yipee ti-yi - zap! The original Singing Cowboy, Gene Autry, defends his Radio Ranch (Autry was a radio star at the time) from
gunslingers and Indians evil scientists, and robots from an underground civilization, in a 1935 twelve-chapter movie serial. It's Autry's first movie role (playing a singing cowboy named Gene Autry), and the first talking science fiction film. Longer plot summary of Chapter 1 and Chapter 4.
The Tanner Lectures on Human Values are all online for you to peruse. The library consists of around 180 full text PDFs by a wide variety of authors -- Christine Korsgaard, Antonin Scalia, Jared Diamond, John Rawls, Richard Dawkins, Frans de Waal E.O. Wilson, Francis Fukuyama and the previously mentioned Elaine Scarry among them. Lots of interesting reading to be... read. Navigation is to the left. The collection is sorted alphabetically by author.
"UNTIL you experiment with chlorine, you have missed some of the biggest thrills your home laboratory can give you." Sound like fun? Bet you'll want to set up your own home chemistry lab and try it out. But don't stop there - the wonders of hydrogen and mercury await! Make a gas that gives you the giggles, then blow stuff up for more guffaws. And that's just part of only one section of Modern Mechanix - "Yesterday's Tomorrow, Today!"
In the year 1900, Ladies Home Journal writer John Elfreth Watkins Jr wrote an article entitled What May Happen In The Next 100 Years". This is apparently what the most learned, conservative men of the "greatest institutions of science and learning" had to say about the coming hundred years.
All these worlds are yours, save Europa. Attempt no landings he...llo! What the hell is wrong with you!? Did you just nuke Jupiter?
Bay Area Yuri's Night 2007 Bay Area Yuri's Night 2007 Yuri's Night Bay Area will be held at Moffett Field in the NASA Ames Research Center's massive SOFIA hangar, home to the world's largest aerial observatory. Our host for the evening is pioneering space traveler Anousheh Anasari, the first privately funded female to reach orbit. She is joined by Dr. Chris McKay, world renowned expert in astrobiology and terraformation with the Space Science Division of NASA Ames Research Center, as they welcome you to a dazzling array of interactive art installations and science demos, interwoven with musical and acrobatic performances by some of the world's finest entertainers. Complete write up. Partially via MeFi's own lannanh.
Don't try this at home. Watch in awe, bedazzlement, and concern as a lone Australian (with no professional training) builds tesla coils, lasers, railguns and exploding wires -- in his own garage. [Previous mad science on MeFi]
Have you ever wondered what a solar eclipse would look like from space? The STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) has just sent back its view (awe-inspiring video included). It has also sent back some gorgeous pictures of our sun (and the McNaught Comet). For more media, check out the other galleries (including some 3D images). For more about the project, see NASA's STEREO homepage. Be sure to also stop by the Johns Hopkins University STEREO Page, where you can download a mission guide (pdf), view animations, watch a video of the launch, or even make your own papercraft STEREO model (pdf). You can also learn more in six minute segments with their series of short educational videos.
Speculative Grammarian is the premier scholarly journal featuring research in the neglected field of satirical linguistics. Don't miss: Re-Rating the World's Languages, Hunting the Elusive Labio-Nasal, The Endangered Languages Armamentation Programme, New speech disorder linguists contracted discovered! and of course Choose Your Own Career in Linguistics.
Sea Squirt Regrows Entire Body from One Blood Vessel. Most famous as the creature that settles down and eats its own brain (though that is not exactly correct), it appears the humble sea squirt has spectacular regenerative abilities as well, thanks to regeneration niches packed with stem cells. All glory to the sea squirt!
Female koalas indulge in lesbian "sex sessions", rejecting male suitors and attempting to mate with each other, sometimes up to five at a time, according to researchers.
Wired: What We Don't Know How did life begin? What's the universe made of? Why do we sleep? Is the universe actually made of information? How does the brain produce consciousness? Why do we still have big questions? 42 of the biggest unanswered questions in science.
Liquid Nitrogen bomb! A ship floating on invisible hexaflourid gas! Smoking can kill you and weld metal! Nuclear Chain reaction... with balls! Detonating gas in a can!! Water flowing uphill! 100,000,000 volts and a Faraday cage! And more from Physikshow at University of Bonn.
Walking on liquids, corn starch rocking out to the beat of a subwoofer and materials that expand as they stretch are just some of the cool videos mentioned in The Stuff of Dreams (plenty more links in the last link).
Hey, Mum, look at the hairless monkeys! A group of hairless monkeys are the latest exhibit at Adelaide Zoo. Some background information on the project is available here (you may wonder, as I did, why it took a news site to provide the background to the project) and a live stream from the enclosure here. [more inside]
VeinViewer is an infrared-absorption interactive "X-ray" device using advanced real time signal processing and a projector. Google video. YouTube video with short explanation.
See this glass. It's solid matter, right? See this glass. It's solid matter, right? But in point of fact, the solid parts of this glass --the protons, quarks, your neutrons and electrons -they comprise only one quadrillionth of its total volume. The science behind Buckaroo Banzai and the Oscillation Overthruster (via)
"Gold is one of the few elements you can find just lying on the ground. This one-ounce pure gold nugget was found in Alaska around 1890 by Hogamorth Marion, while on a trip to sell shoes to Eskimoes. Seriously."
An interactive periodical table.
An interactive periodical table.
Spice Test. [warning: jackass style antics]
Nanotech. Apply directly to the bleeding. Nanotech. Apply directly to the bleeding. Nanotech. Apply directly to the bleeding. [RealMedia] Nanotech is not yet available at retailers nationwide.
TV's Mythbusters, (and as such Metafilter's 'very own' asavage), hopes to use the global reach of Youtube to send a yawn around the world. "If only one per cent of the global population took part in the Yawn Around The World experiment then 65 million people would have yawned across the globe" Savage was quoted as saying. The equivalent amount of air exhaled would "be able raise the Titanic or even inflate all the bicycle tyres in Beijing." Fascinating stuff! Watch the (hopefully) yawn inducing footage here.