Shelf Life is the first episode in a new video blog from the American Museum of Natural History, in which scientists, curators, and collection specialists take you behind-the-scenes at the Museum. Bonus interview: Atlas Obscura.
CERN has begun webcasting a public seminar in which there may or may not be some announcement regarding the significance or otherwise of recent observations regarding the possible existence of something that might be the Higgs boson. I am not a nuclear physicist, so I will try and keep up but will mainly be trying to catch the significance of the observations they have collected so far. In case these are talked about in terms of sigmas (there's scuttlebutt going around that this is a 3.5 sigma event), here's a table of sigma and probability. [more inside]
The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich has some excellent online collections related to maritime history and technology, including telescopes, marine chronometers, sundials, and a whole lot more. Some stuff I've been looking at: John Harrison's chronometers (described in Dava Sobel's book Longitude), polyhedral sundials, and pocket globes.
Ignition sequence starts ... A spoken word documentary album of the flight of Apollo 11 to the moon. Dramatic - evocative - the right stuff. Provided by Hepcat Willy.
The Cathode Ray Tube Site Electronic glassware: history and physical equipment.
Plants in motion Time-lapse movies of plants doing plant-like things, such as growing, nutating, opening up, and being smelly. [requires quicktime]
Tsunami visualizations Visualizations of recent and historical tsunami episodes, collected by John McDaris at Carleton College. Includes large but visually effective animations, such as this NOAA visualization of the global propagation of the 26/12/04 tsunami (24MB Quicktime).
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, the five planets visible to the naked eye, can all be seen simultaneously after sunset over the next few weeks. Viewing details. The next opportunity will be in 2036.
Engines of Our Ingenuity is a web site run by John Lienhard of the University of Houston. The site includes almost 2000 short, three minute talks on the history of science, technology, and engineering. The talks are in the form of RealAudio files, with accompanying transcripts which often give you more links and references. The transcripts themselves are indexed by keywords and are also fully text-searchable. A simple idea but very effective, and kind of addictive. I've been finding out about Jacquard and Babbage, German women astronomers of the seventeenth century, and the deisgn of the zipper. There's also other cool stuff: what did people say about books in 1498?
A long list of links related to all aspects of the history of scientific instruments, such as sundials, slide rules, and pocket compasses.