3453 posts tagged with science.
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Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

a mosquito being hit by a raindrop is roughly the equivalent of a human being whacked by a school bus, the typical bus being about 50 times the mass of a person. And worse, when it’s raining hard, each mosquito should expect to get smacked, grazed, or shoved by a raindrop every 25 seconds. So rain should be dangerous to a mosquito. And yet
why aren't mosquitos hurt or killed by raindrops?
posted by MartinWisse on Jun 27, 2015 - 47 comments

The fossil worm turns

“Finding the head is the main scientific result. There’s been lingering controversy about this.” - A new reconstruction of hallucigenia sparsa answers questions about the shape and orientation of the animal, something that was previously so mysterious that scientists in the 70s had it upside down.
posted by Artw on Jun 25, 2015 - 30 comments

the malleability of memory: Pixar's "Inside Out"

"Inside Out does well when it comes to the interplay of memory and emotion, but the memory basics are a bit misleading." - Jennifer Talarico, Gizmodo
Science Of Sadness And Joy: 'Inside Out' Gets Childhood Emotions Right - NPR
8 Things Inside Out Teaches Viewers About Emotions, Memory and the Mind - Ashley Lee, Time
Inside Out Nails the Science of How Our Memories Function - Alice Robb, Vulture
See also: FanFare
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jun 24, 2015 - 55 comments

Full cast and crew

David Lebovitz visits the Le Creuset factory in Fresnoy-le-Grand, France.
posted by a lungful of dragon on Jun 22, 2015 - 45 comments

I didn't think it was physically possible, but this both sucks and blows

French magician and juggler Antoine Terrieux created a series of remarkably self-sustaining sculptures using different arrangements of hair dryers, and has also incorporated them in funny ways in his stage performance. He also plays with a diabolo in ways that seem to defy gravity. [via]
posted by a lungful of dragon on Jun 19, 2015 - 19 comments

the age of foolishness, the epoch of incredulity

Lee McIntyre writes The Attack on Truth for The Chonicle of Higher Education
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 19, 2015 - 47 comments

Nothingness

At Robert Krulwich's NPR science blog, a couple of reflections on nothingness: Building Me and 2 Ways To Think About Nothing.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jun 19, 2015 - 7 comments

No Animals Were Killed in the Making Of This Cheese

You Can Thank Genetic Engineering For Your Delicious Cheese (io9) Eventually, calf stomachs became a byproduct of the veal industry. But in the 1970s, America’s growing appetite for cheese collided with its mounting aversion to killing newborn cows. Anticipating a crisis of supply and demand, researchers turned to a then-unprecedented technology in food science
posted by CrystalDave on Jun 15, 2015 - 56 comments

A super-human ability to instantly recognise faces they barely know.

The superpower police now use to tackle crime
Police officers with the rare ability to recognise faces they’ve barely glimpsed are helping identify criminals: take a test to find out if you share their talent.

Could you be a super-recogniser?
posted by andoatnp on Jun 14, 2015 - 103 comments

Let me tell you about my trouble with girls

Sir Tim Hunt FRS, who received the The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2001 for "discoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle" has resigned from his positions as Honorary Professor at University College London and member of the Royal Society's Biological Sciences Awards Committee after making controversial comments at the 2015 World Conference of Science Journalists in Seoul. He said: "Let me tell you about my trouble with girls ... three things happen when they are in the lab ... You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticise them, they cry." [more inside]
posted by James Scott-Brown on Jun 12, 2015 - 176 comments

A breakthrough in prosthetic technology.

"The limb, developed by Professor Hubert Egger of the FH Upper Austria (University of Applied Sciences), allows wearers to tell which surface they are walking on and dramatically improves amputee's balance and coordination. The development could wipe out the phenomenon of phantom pain, where amputees can experience severe discomfort as the brain receives no neural feedback from their missing limb." [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol on Jun 9, 2015 - 5 comments

The Angel's Glow: Battlefield Legend Meets Biology

Teenage American Civil War buff Bill Martin was fascinated by a legend of soldiers at the battle of Shiloh whose wounds glowed an eerie blue-green at night and who subsequently had better recoveries, a phenomenon dubbed "the angel's glow." He knew from his microbiologist mom's work that some soil bacteria were bioluminescent, and wondered if there could be a connection. Turns out, yes there probably was! [more inside]
posted by Wretch729 on Jun 9, 2015 - 5 comments

Miles Kimball: Secular Humanism and Universalist Unitarianism

Teleotheism and the Purpose of Life - "Please give this sermon a try. I think it has much in it that will be of interest to a wide range of readers: philosophy, cosmology, evolutionary theory, and science fiction, as well as theology. And nothing in it depends on believing in God at all." Abstract: As an enlightened form of atheism, I turn to teleotheism. Teleotheism is the view that God comes at the end, not at the beginning, where I am defining “God” as “the greatest of all things that can come true.” In this view, the quest to discover what are the greatest things that are possible is of the utmost importance. The best of our religious heritage is just such an effort to discover the greatest things that are possible. (via; previously)
posted by kliuless on Jun 7, 2015 - 33 comments

Respect the Bass

Scientists say we should stop making fun of bass players.
posted by goatdog on Jun 6, 2015 - 110 comments

The art of motion control

Marbles, magnets, and sand - the hypnotic art of Bruce Shapiro [via]
posted by a lungful of dragon on Jun 3, 2015 - 7 comments

I .. did not believe there are structures .. that we are not aware of

"In a stunning discovery that overturns decades of textbook teaching, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist." While the article at Sciencedaily.com may be a bit breathlessly excited about it, even the more somber source article in Nature agrees that this "may call for a reassessment of basic assumptions in neuroimmunology"
posted by rmd1023 on Jun 2, 2015 - 95 comments

Solar Flight Telemetry, Live

The Solar Impulse, the world's first solar-powered manned long-haul flying machine, is currently in the midst of the longest leg in its pioneering round-the-world journey — China to Hawaii, which at a cruising speed of less than 30mph is anticipated to take most of a week. Follow along with live flight telemetry here. Swiss businessman André Borschberg and Swiss psychiatrist Bertrand Piccard, who both previously participated in the world's first round-the-world balloon voyage, in the Breitling Orbiter 3, are alternating flight legs. Borschberg is at the controls until the aircraft reaches Hawaii.
posted by killdevil on May 31, 2015 - 12 comments

But is it fools' gold?

The Golden Ratio or the Golden Mean is touted as universal principle of mathematics, aesthetics, and architecture. Its natural occurrences are often associated with beauty and health. But naysayers think the Golden Ratio is myth or even a scam. Golden ratio previously and previouslier.
posted by immlass on May 26, 2015 - 28 comments

"So, what do you do?"

A 10-step guide to party conversation for bioinformaticians
posted by a lungful of dragon on May 23, 2015 - 36 comments

“The brain is the station where every railway line passes through.”

Can evolution explain acts of kindness, and morality? [The Guardian]
We arranged a debate between a sceptical Tom Stoppard and the evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson. Stuart Jeffries acted as referee. We arranged for the two to meet recently in the grand boardroom of Wilson’s London publishers to discuss their differences, and reflect on two hard problems – what is the proper scope of science, and what is it to be human.

posted by Fizz on May 22, 2015 - 32 comments

A way to keep pollinating bees around without chemicals? There mite bee.

"The first 21 days of a bee's life in 60 seconds" is a time-lapse video by photographer Anand Varma, who discusses his collaboration with the bee lab at UC Davis in breeding a naturally mite-resistant line of honeybees. (Via.)
posted by a lungful of dragon on May 22, 2015 - 15 comments

Welcome... To the world of tomorrow!

Tomorrowland: how Walt Disney’s strange utopia shaped the world of tomorrow - cryogenically frozen head not included.
posted by Artw on May 21, 2015 - 21 comments

ARE FEMALES HUMAN?

Jill Lepore talks with Amelia Lester and David Haglund about the role of women in contemporary science fiction - A discussion on the New Yorker Podcast
posted by Lisitasan on May 20, 2015 - 29 comments

Growing up as a child research subject

If I do something clumsy or awkward, a sort of mental flag pops up in my head, and it bears a chimp’s face. Once someone caught me, at 13, picking my nose in school: was that a lingering habit from my time among the chimps? Our family cats hated me because I could not keep my hands off them; even more than usual for a small child, I always wanted to pick them up. Perhaps furry things seemed more welcoming to me than they did to other children. In my early 20s, I caught myself sitting cross-legged at a desk chair. That’s a regular habit of mine, but on that day I happened to be sitting in a courtroom — as counsel at a defense table. I blamed the chimps then, too. But that’s what I tell myself, of course. I don’t tell others about the chimps much.
In "Monkey Day Care," Michelle Dean writes for The Verge about her recollections of being a child participant in primate research, her frustrating attempt to find out more about the study, and about the history of and ethical questions about such research.
posted by Stacey on May 20, 2015 - 23 comments

The free development of each is the condition of the war against all

Some Paths to the True Knowledge[*] - "Attention conservation notice: A 5000+ word attempt to provide real ancestors and support for an imaginary ideology I don't actually accept, drawing on fields in which I am in no way an expert. Contains long quotations from even-longer-dead writers, reckless extrapolation from arcane scientific theories, and an unwarranted tone of patiently explaining harsh, basic truths. Altogether, academic in one of the worst senses. Also, spoilers for several of MacLeod's novels, notably but not just The Cassini Division. Written for, and cross-posted to, Crooked Timber's seminar on MacLeod, where I will not be reading the comments."
posted by kliuless on May 19, 2015 - 12 comments

(⌒▽⌒)

When Birds Squawk, Other Species Seem to Listen by Christopher Solomon [New York Times]
A professor’s hunch is that birds are saying much more in warning of danger than previously suspected, and that other animals have evolved to understand the signals.

posted by Fizz on May 18, 2015 - 28 comments

Homemade Lava

Hot out of the furnace. Instructions included. Banana for scale. (SLArs) (previously)
posted by dobi on May 18, 2015 - 22 comments

Carpe Atmospherum

How spaceships die
posted by Artw on May 17, 2015 - 15 comments

What's the deep history of birdiness?

Scientists say they have reversed a bit of bird evolution in the lab and re-created a dinosaurlike snout in developing chickens.
posted by curious nu on May 13, 2015 - 28 comments

WELCOME TO SWEDEN

The Singing Sailor Underwater Defense System - the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society sends out a message of peace, love, understanding and respect to Russian submariners cruising through the Stockholm archepelago
posted by a lungful of dragon on May 12, 2015 - 8 comments

The Northwest Indian College Space Center

The joke was funny because this was just a tiny, two-year college, with no engineering program. Getting into space was the last thing on the minds of these students; they were just trying to escape poverty. Next thing they knew, NASA was calling them up.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 8, 2015 - 14 comments

Are we the only living thing in the entire universe?

Kurz Gesagt explains the Fermi Paradox (SLYT)
posted by Gelatin on May 8, 2015 - 60 comments

Getting to the bottom of the highest peak in the Lower 48

The history of a surprisingly enigmatic Sierra Nevada mountain range.
posted by Long Way To Go on May 7, 2015 - 8 comments

ancient star raises prospects of intelligent life

can life survive for billions of years longer than the expected timeline on Earth? as scientists continue to discover older and older solar systems & galaxies, it’s likely that before long we’ll find an ancient planet in a habitable zone. knowing if life is possible on this exoplanet would have immense implications for habitability and the development of ancient life according to researcher Tiago Campante's paper "An Ancient Extrasolar System with Five Sub-Earth-Size Planets". this animation starts by showing us Kepler's field-of-view in the direction of the constellations Cygnus and Lyra, and then we're taken to the vicinity of the Kepler-444 planetary system, located some 117 light years away.
posted by talaitha on May 7, 2015 - 25 comments

Bad Biology: How Adaptationist Thinking Corrupts Science

Biologist/blogger PZ Myers provides a nice introduction to evolutionary theory, and explains how classical Darwinism is distorted by proponents of scientific racism and other pseudoscientific movements.
posted by overeducated_alligator on May 4, 2015 - 16 comments

On biological ensembles

Biologists E. O. Wilson and Sean Carroll in conversation @ Mosaic Science. [more inside]
posted by khonostrov on May 4, 2015 - 4 comments

The Days of the Enola Gay

Science Needs a New Ritual
And so transcendence can take the form of blindness to differences between people and to our own biases. We assume scientists all think and believe the same things, even beyond the unequivocal data. We are all equal as scientists if we all value the same principles. And what we value comes almost entirely from Enlightenment-era Europe. This is a troubling state of affairs if we claim to strive for all humanity.

posted by jaguar on May 2, 2015 - 51 comments

UNIMAGINABLY DENSE MATERIAL

Science on science on Jeopardy! Take the quiz!
posted by a lungful of dragon on May 1, 2015 - 16 comments

Most assuredly *not* 42

This is my vision of life. A conversation with evolutionary biologist and author Richard Dawkins. (Video and transcript)
posted by zarq on May 1, 2015 - 4 comments

Evolution Lab

"What could you possibly have in common with a mushroom, or a dinosaur, or even a bacterium? More than you might think. In this Lab, you’ll puzzle out the evolutionary relationships linking together a spectacular array of species. Explore the tree of life and get a front row seat to what some have called the greatest show on Earth. That show is evolution." Evolution Lab is a educational game created by the Life on Earth Project and NOVA Labs
posted by brundlefly on Apr 28, 2015 - 13 comments

Teaching evolution to Muslim students

Associate Professor Rana Dajani describes why she teaches evolution to Muslim students in Jordan.
posted by 1head2arms2legs on Apr 25, 2015 - 23 comments

The Tyranny of Pew-Pew: How Fun Fantasy Violence Became Inescapable

1977 changed everything in Hollywood. "I'm not here to wonder whether Star Wars: Rebels is legacy pop culture — like DC and Marvel superheroes — that parents might be forcing on their kids the way white boomer dads evangelize Steely Dan. Instead, as the Avengers kick off another summer of mighty Marvel mook-blasting, I just want to ask: Why do we (mostly) agree, today, that this material is appropriate? And is something lost when pew-pew action/adventure follows the trajectory of soft drinks and fast food — going from occasional treat to everyday staple? In short, how did the decapitations of orcs and robots become the very center of our media culture?"
posted by tunewell on Apr 24, 2015 - 109 comments

Day 1,825

1,825 days after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Perrin Ireland (@experrinment) and the Natural Resources Defense Council ask: Where'd the oil go?
posted by ChuraChura on Apr 20, 2015 - 31 comments

A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature's Deep Design

Frank Wilczek: Physics in 100 Years [pdf] - "Here I indulge in wide-ranging speculations on the shape of physics, and technology closely related to physics, over the next one hundred years. Themes include the many faces of unification, the re-imagining of quantum theory, and new forms of engineering on small, intermediate, and large scales." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 19, 2015 - 11 comments

The golden ratio has spawned a beautiful new curve: the Harriss spiral

is a new fractal discovered by mathematician Edmund Harriss.
posted by boo_radley on Apr 18, 2015 - 29 comments

Jawbreaker Broken

What happens when you put a red hot ball of nickel on a huge novelty jawbreaker (Red hot nickel ball previously)
posted by The Whelk on Apr 18, 2015 - 117 comments

Charging toward an era of genetically modified humans

The CRISPR Revolution [ungated: 1,2,3] - "Biologists continue to hone their tools for deleting, replacing or otherwise editing DNA and a strategy called CRISPR has quickly become one of the most popular ways to do genome engineering. Utilizing a modified bacterial protein and a RNA that guides it to a specific DNA sequence, the CRISPR system provides unprecedented control over genes in many species, including perhaps humans. This control has allowed many new types of experiments, but also raised questions about what CRISPR can enable." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 16, 2015 - 28 comments

Sweeter for its evidence than its tone

Mary Putnam Jacobi challenged Clarke’s thinly veiled justification for discrimination with 232 pages of hard numbers, charts, and analysis. She gathered survey results covering a woman’s monthly pain, cycle length, daily exercise, and education along with physiological indicators like pulse, rectal temperature, and ounces of urine. To really bring her argument home, Jacobi had test subjects undergo muscle strength tests before, during, and after menstruation. The paper was almost painfully evenhanded. Her scientific method-supported mic drop: “There is nothing in the nature of menstruation to imply the necessity, or even the desirability, of rest.”
posted by sciatrix on Apr 15, 2015 - 5 comments

I wish I could speak whale.

The Nautilus and her Corps of Exploration are mapping and exploring ocean features from the Gulf Coast up to British Columbia. Yesterday, they found a whale. You can watch live to see what they find next!
posted by ChuraChura on Apr 15, 2015 - 26 comments

“Yes, but…”

"Second, it is a mistake to pit post-modernism and social constructivism against evolutionary psychology as though they are in an intellectual death match that only one side can win. This tribalistic, us-versus-them thinking isn't helpful to science. Much like partitioning the causes of human behavior into nurture versus nature or culture versus biology or learned versus innate, social constructivism versus evolutionary psychology is a false dichotomy that may feel intuitively correct but should not be utilized very often by serious scientists (exceptions include behavioral genetics studies)."
posted by huguini on Apr 13, 2015 - 69 comments

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