3568 posts tagged with science.
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Color my world

The iBookGuy explains how graphics worked within the memory constraints of the Commodore 64 and NES, and the Apple II and Atari 2600
posted by a lungful of dragon on Sep 24, 2015 - 9 comments

When science catches up to the pet trade: Geosesarma crabs

Geosesarma is a genus of small, colorful, land based freshwater crabs, roughly the size of an American quarter. Scientists struggle to properly catalog and describe the varieties of crabs they find in pet stores. [more inside]
posted by RogueTech on Sep 24, 2015 - 5 comments

This is another sure sign of intellectual dishonesty

From the Neurologica blog: "Creationists are engaged in science denial—denying evolutionary science. The purpose of denial is doubt and confusion, so they don’t have to create and defend a coherent explanation of the origins of life on Earth. They don’t have to provide an explanation for all the available evidence. All they have to do is muddy the waters as much as possible." [more inside]
posted by Flexagon on Sep 24, 2015 - 41 comments

One tiny warm spot in the center, and a narrow ring of mediocrity around

When shopping for a microwave oven, bring a box of appalams and cook four of them for 30 seconds. (via What if? xkcd via this amusing ELI5 about a microwave-resistant gnat)
posted by elgilito on Sep 21, 2015 - 38 comments

"Occasionally, we find that an invited guest is insane . . . "

Cormac McCarthy just did a short video on behalf of the Santa Fe Institute explaining why you should join their enterprise.
posted by jason's_planet on Sep 20, 2015 - 6 comments

Genetic modification via parasitic wasp

It's well understood that many species of parasitic wasp, when they lay their eggs on host caterpillars, also inject viruses that prevent the host's immune system from attacking the eggs. But it was recently discovered that some of those virus genes, as well as genes from parasitic wasps themselves, have become a part of the genome of some lepidopteran species (even protecting these species from a different type of virus), thus demonstrating horizontal gene transfer between insect species (link to paper).
posted by J.K. Seazer on Sep 18, 2015 - 23 comments

Breaking the communication barrier between dolphins and humans

“Head trainer Teri Turner Bolton presses her palms together over her head, the signal to innovate, and then puts her fists together, the sign for “tandem.” Comparative psychologist Stan Kuczaj records several seconds of audible chirping between [the dolphins] Hector and Han, then his camera captures them both slowly rolling over in unison and flapping their tails three times simultaneously. [...] Either one dolphin is mimicking the other [...] or it’s not an illusion at all: When they whistle back and forth beneath the surface, they’re literally discussing a plan.[more inside]
posted by Rangi on Sep 15, 2015 - 38 comments

A Butterfly Journey

A 17th-Century Woman Artist’s Butterfly Journey Despite her long career, her influence on contemporary natural knowledge, her vivid descriptions of distant Suriname, and her intrepid spirit, when she died in 1717 the city of Amsterdam’s register of deaths described her simply as a woman “without means.”
posted by Michele in California on Sep 13, 2015 - 9 comments

The battle between academia and business for research talent

Uber would like to buy your robotics department Today’s early-stage inquiry — so-called basic research, the Level 1 work, where scientists are still puzzling over fundamental questions — is financed almost exclusively by the federal government. It’s too far out, too speculative, to attract much investment; it isn’t clear if anyone will make any money on it. This wasn’t always the case.
posted by modernnomad on Sep 11, 2015 - 27 comments

How Scientific American makes its infographics

It’s important to remember that scientists present their data in ways that their fellow scientists can comprehend. Technical jargon and statistical error bars can efficiently communicate the legitimacy of a scientific breakthrough to a scientific audience. However, these same features can be both confusing and distracting when presented to a wider audience. For the public to be excited and informed about the latest scientific breakthroughs, technical data visualizations need to be transformed into engaging visual stories that a wider community can understand.
posted by sciatrix on Sep 11, 2015 - 6 comments

Get a D in science

Test your knowledge of science facts and applications of scientific principles by taking our short 12-question quiz. Then see how you did in comparison with a nationally representative group of 3,278 randomly selected U.S. adults surveyed online and by mail between Aug. 11 and Sept. 3, 2014 as members of the Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel.
posted by infini on Sep 11, 2015 - 162 comments

Drink your single malt and put your helmet on...

In 2011, Ardbeg, a prominent Scotch whisky distiller, sent vials of its whisky to the International Space Station to mature. Those vials have been returned to Earth and subjected to taste tests alongside samples of the same whisky matured at Ardbeg's distillery. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Sep 9, 2015 - 40 comments

Excavate!

Excavate! (Flash) Build a team of archaeologists to manage a dig in Poland. Discover ruins, catalog nails and tombstone pieces, deal with local officials and press, earn more research funding and see if you can achieve a master's in archaeology with this half-hour turn-based isometric exploration game.
posted by klangklangston on Sep 4, 2015 - 16 comments

Tricksy liquids

Youtuber brusspup (previously 1, 2) has some cool science tricks you can do with liquids. [more inside]
posted by Quietgal on Sep 1, 2015 - 14 comments

Theories of Everything, Mapped

Explore the deepest mysteries at the frontier of fundamental physics, and the most promising ideas put forth to solve them. A map of the frontier of fundamental physics built by interactive developer Emily Fuhrman.
posted by one teak forest on Sep 1, 2015 - 10 comments

Leaving Everywhere

I've looked at the US Census Bureau data, and the numbers don't lie. They paint a dire picture. On top of all that they closed one of my favorite mac & cheese joints. Look, I still love this place. Sometimes. But I'm done with wherever I am. Best of luck to those who stay wherever they are.
posted by a lungful of dragon on Aug 27, 2015 - 34 comments

"...pretty much all biologists love junk."

Last night, Virginia Tech grad student Ann Hilborn, her labmate Chris Rowe, and their research supervisor Marcella Kelly were posting pictures of animal genitals on their lab’s Twitter account (@Whapavt). When Hilborn added some more from her collection, one of their readers called it a “junk-off”. And thus a hashtag was born. [NSFW?]
posted by Room 641-A on Aug 26, 2015 - 29 comments

Big Dig

In Baylor County, paleontologists are assembling clues to the prehistoric world of Dimetrodon. [previously]
posted by brundlefly on Aug 26, 2015 - 6 comments

Everything you always wanted to know about panda sex

Since the pandas’ arrival, the team at Edinburgh zoo had already tried three times to breed the bears – with considerable fanfare and public attention – and each attempt had ended in disappointment. After a thoroughgoing review of these attempts in late 2014, this year’s season carried with it a sense of added pressure. But the keepers had also come up with one or two new tricks. A few weeks earlier, Maclean had daubed urine from Long Hui, an impressive male panda kept at Schönbrunn zoo, in Vienna, all over Yang Guang and Tian Tian’s enclosures, in order to spice the air with competition and possibility. “She spent a lot of time sniffing and seeing what was going on,” said Maclean. “He came out and was just like, ‘Whoa!’ He was all over the place.”
posted by ChuraChura on Aug 26, 2015 - 17 comments

The first case of Homosexual Necrophilia in the Mallard

The IgNobel paper that inspired an Opera [more inside]
posted by indianbadger1 on Aug 25, 2015 - 6 comments

Next time NASA lands on Mars, they want your name on the lander.

Your name could be on Mars in the next several months. You've already paid for it, so you might as well go. In March 2016, NASA is launching its Insight lander, which will be the first Mars mission to probe beneath the surface of the Red Planet and explore its interior in-depth. (In-depth, get it? Nevermind) They're offering to micro-etch the name of any Earthling who wishes on the lander. Here's where to sign up. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on Aug 21, 2015 - 28 comments

You need both sides of your brain to speak whistled Turkish

Whistled Turkish is a non-conformist. Most obviously, it bucks the normal language trend of using consonants and vowels, opting instead for a bird-like whistle. But more importantly, it departs from other language forms in a more fundamental respect: it's processed differently by the brain.
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 21, 2015 - 9 comments

Keeping the search for significance at Bayes

From FiveThirtyEight, a 3 part series on p-values, retraction, and the importance of experimental failure and nuanced interpretation: Science Isn't Broken.
posted by Lutoslawski on Aug 19, 2015 - 8 comments

“I have not met a single human being who’s motivated by bad news,”

The Weight of the World: Can Christiana Figueres persuade humanity to save itself? by Elizabeth Kolbert [New Yorker]
Of all the jobs in the world, Figueres’s may possess the very highest ratio of responsibility (preventing global collapse) to authority (practically none). The role entails convincing a hundred and ninety-five countries—many of which rely on selling fossil fuels for their national income and almost all of which depend on burning them for the bulk of their energy—that giving up such fuels is a good idea. When Figueres took over the Secretariat, in 2010, there were lots of people who thought the job so thankless that it ought to be abolished. This was in the aftermath of the fifteenth COP, held in Copenhagen, which had been expected to yield a historic agreement but ended in anger and recrimination.
posted by Fizz on Aug 19, 2015 - 33 comments

Chimpanzees and monkeys have entered the Stone Age

We think of the Stone Age as something that early humans lived through. But we are not the only species that has invented it.
posted by brundlefly on Aug 18, 2015 - 15 comments

Take Me Out to the Brain Game

Baseball, perhaps more than any sport, is always straddling that delicate line between old school and new.
posted by MoonOrb on Aug 15, 2015 - 5 comments

"If someone doesn’t want to have sex with you, don’t have sex with them"

In the United States, only 22 states require that sex education should be taught in their schools. Of those, only 13 insist upon medical accuracy. There is no federal standard. As a result, classroom lessons that teach purity culture – the idea that virginity is a state of moral accomplishment – are pervasive. John Oliver's Last Week Tonight covers Sex Education in America. (NSFW) The end of the segment features a modern sex education video created by LWT, narrated by several celebrities (including Laverne Cox, Nick Offerman, Jonathan Banks, Kristen Schaal and Aisha Tyler) that touches on topics outdated lessons may be ignoring. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 15, 2015 - 45 comments

The Sims

Interactive simulations for science and math for teachers and interested students, from acids and bases to waves
posted by a lungful of dragon on Aug 14, 2015 - 4 comments

ASO Right To Know

Spreading awareness of Artificially Selected Organisms. They have a Facebook page full of images sure to go viral, and even a White House petition. [This is satire.]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Aug 12, 2015 - 56 comments

The Sci-Fi Corridor Archive

Screenshots of corridors from SF movies. [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight on Aug 11, 2015 - 35 comments

Cosmic Call

“In 1999, two Canadian astrophysicists, Stéphane Dumas and Yvan Dutil, composed and sent a message into space. The message was composed of twenty-three pages of bitmapped data, and was sent from the RT-70 radio telescope in Yevpatoria, Ukraine, as part of a set of messages called Cosmic Call.” [more inside]
posted by mbrubeck on Aug 11, 2015 - 20 comments

A Clock That Tics Once A Year

"Erik, photojournalist, and I have come here to try and get the measure of this place. Nevada is the uncanny locus of disparate monuments all concerned with charting deep time, leaving messages for future generations of human beings to puzzle over the meaning of: a star map, a nuclear waste repository and a clock able to keep time for 10,000 years—all of them within a few hours drive of Las Vegas through the harsh desert." -- Built For Eternity, Elmo Keep on structures designed to potentially outlast human civilization. (Motherboard)
posted by The Whelk on Aug 9, 2015 - 67 comments

Reinventing Science

Science "explains things" in various ways. You can start with initial conditions, and apply laws of motion (classical kinematics). Or you can predict things via evolving probabilities (quantum mechanics). Or you can find emergent laws (thermodynamics). Or ... - There are many different modes of explanation. Recently, David Deutsch invented a new one: Constructor Theory. [more inside]
posted by andrewcooke on Aug 8, 2015 - 22 comments

Small Science

Not all science is about going to Pluto, curing cancer, or ripping apart the fabric of the universe. Chris Buddle gives an object lesson in curiosity, passion and science for its own sake. [more inside]
posted by Devonian on Aug 8, 2015 - 8 comments

Good science is boring science

A study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE suggests that measures currently afoot in nearly every area of science to increase the transparency requirements for research will mean we can expect to see more of these seemingly dull results in the future -- and that's a good thing. Far from boring, those trials that find a drug doesn't do what we hoped can be equally as important -- or even more so -- than the ones that do.
posted by sammyo on Aug 6, 2015 - 10 comments

ENHANCE!

A computational approach for obstruction-free photography takes out the chain link fence obscuring the target of your photo, removes reflections, and--this is the crazy TV show part--can even build a separate image from the reflection. It uses multiple frames and magic math to build up the two "clean" images. [more inside]
posted by wintersweet on Aug 5, 2015 - 28 comments

#FieldWorkFail

"Accidentally glued myself to a crocodile while attaching a radio transmitter." The #fieldworkfail hashtag reveals the hilarious perils experienced by the Science side of Twitter.
posted by magstheaxe on Aug 4, 2015 - 17 comments

The Frontier of Biotech

The boom in mini stomachs, brains, breasts, kidneys and more
posted by StrikeTheViol on Jul 31, 2015 - 7 comments

Game changer

New Ebola vaccine shows 100% success rate in clinical trial. Today the World Health Organization has announced that the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine had a 100% success rate in preventing onset of the disease if administered within 10 days of exposure (n=4,000). In response to the current outbreak in West Africa that has afflicted over 27,000 and killed over 11,000, this collaborative effort led by the WHO pushed the vaccine through a process that usually takes more than a decade in just 12 months. Official paper from The Lancet here (pdf).
posted by Ufez Jones on Jul 31, 2015 - 23 comments

“Writing is healing. Writing is art. Writing is learning.”

The Role of Writers in a STEM Obsessed Society
“As writers, it’s easy to think of how we matter to literature classrooms, but what the appointment of writers-in-residence in hospitals, history classrooms, foreign language learning spaces, and cooking schools reminds us is that we are relevant wherever there is humanity—which is to say, wherever humans are with their stories. Writing is healing. Writing is art. Writing is learning. As such, writing across the disciplines matters. Many models of artist residencies depend upon the retreat model, wherein the artist sequesters herself away with a small community of other artists. While these models have value, especially when considering how solitude relates to the creative process, it’s heartening to me to see more models catch on that value the place of the writer in society, rather than hidden away from it.”
posted by Fizz on Jul 30, 2015 - 44 comments

Boron is a Subdued Element...

Kaycie D. is an animator and artist who grew up on Disney films and has used that inspiration to create her own anthropomorphized illustrations of the chemical elements.
posted by Navelgazer on Jul 29, 2015 - 22 comments

Famous Fluid Equations Are Incomplete

The Singular Mind of Terry Tao - "Imagine, he said, that someone awfully clever could construct a machine out of pure water. It would be built not of rods and gears but from a pattern of interacting currents." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 29, 2015 - 17 comments

Forcasting rapid growth

Proceedings of the Natural Institute of Science is an open-access scientific journal with a mandate to publish papers from academics and non-academics alike. Boasting a strong peer review process and a high impact factor, it's only partly serious. (Previously)
posted by bismol on Jul 28, 2015 - 8 comments

What is thy name?

"Humans as Superorganisms: How Microbes, Viruses, Imprinted Genes and Other Selfish Entities Shape Our Behavior" by Peter Kramer and Paola Bressan discusses the idea that an individual homo sapiens is only one component of the human superorganism we call a person, focusing on the psychological and psychiatric ramifications thereof. (Paola Bressan previously.)
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth on Jul 27, 2015 - 17 comments

Tetrapodophis: an early four-legged snake?

What were snakes doing before they lost their legs? A new fossil discovery of an early snake with four tiny, stubby legs might shed some light on that question. Assuming it really is a snake, of course. However, the status of this fossil as a specimen from a private collection raises ethical questions. This is likely to be an illegally obtained specimen, like 2012's controversial Tarbosaurus bataar (previously, previously). Is it ethical for Science to promote findings from unethically sourced fossils when these are an increasing problem for paleontology? (Previously, previously.)
posted by sciatrix on Jul 25, 2015 - 22 comments

My Periodic Table

Bismuth is element 83.
I do not think I will see my 83rd birthday, but I feel there is something hopeful, something encouraging, about having “83” around. Moreover, I have a soft spot for bismuth, a modest gray metal, often unregarded, ignored, even by metal lovers. My feeling as a doctor for the mistreated or marginalized extends into the inorganic world and finds a parallel in my feeling for bismuth.
Oliver Sacks on dying. (SLNYT)
posted by gaspode on Jul 24, 2015 - 20 comments

There's a new fermion, you guys

Princeton researchers have discovered a long-theorized, never-observed variety of massless (quasi)-particle called the Weyl fermion. Exciting things to come maybe! (Bat-signal: expert.) [more inside]
posted by Zerowensboring on Jul 23, 2015 - 25 comments

Phone Home

Yuri Milner gives $100 million to buoy the search for extraterrestrial life.
posted by delight on Jul 21, 2015 - 73 comments

Today, I broke your solar system. Oops.

Pluto Shits on the Universe - a poem by Fatimah Asghar. Here's the text. [via]
posted by brundlefly on Jul 17, 2015 - 25 comments

Rosin Cerate

Rosin Cerate is an "intensely researched blog" bringing you all kinds of interesting and odd knowledge about biology and creatures and how certain esoteric metals give you garlic breath. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by moonmilk on Jul 17, 2015 - 5 comments

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