3359 posts tagged with science.
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2000 light years away

"I did not evolve from Turkana Boy or anything like it" says Bishop Boniface Adoyo of Nairobi Pentecostal Church, who is championing the 'hide-the-fossils' campaign to force the National Museums of Kenya to not discredit the Christian belief of a universe that is only a few thousand years old.
posted by four panels on Feb 8, 2007 - 62 comments

KSJTracker

Knight Science Journalism Tracker is a new-ish blog (project of a program at MIT and Charles Petit) that follows science writing and reporting in a very wide range of publications. It's a good way to learn about how science news is reported, and an efficient way to keep up with the news itself. [some recent examples]
posted by grobstein on Feb 7, 2007 - 4 comments

White House reverses stance on existence of global warming

Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman has endorsed the recent IPCC report, reversing the White House stance on the existence of global warming. Bodman claims that the Bush administration has always accepted scientific studies pointing to man-made climate change, even as Henry Waxman, House oversight committee chair, has been holding hearings on the White House's misleading the public on global warming for the last six years; hearing documents. Bodman also rejects caps on CO2 emissions, claiming that the US is "a small contributor when you look at the rest of the world," when in fact it's the largest contributor worldwide (and has an even greater share of cumulative CO2 emissions). Previously: IPCC, Waxman.
posted by russilwvong on Feb 6, 2007 - 29 comments

The music of things.

If you've ever thought that music can be an extremely intuitive and effective way to communicate things, then Stanford Professor Jonathan Berger (samples of his music) is doing some research that might interest you. (via)
posted by wander on Feb 6, 2007 - 8 comments

Restore reality-based government

How Congress can safeguard science from distortion, something of which both parties are historically guilty. An op-ed on politics and science by author Chris Mooney and physics professor Alan Sokal, the man behind the infamous Sokal Hoax.
posted by homunculus on Feb 5, 2007 - 11 comments

"We're Not Good."

Robert Krulwich tells the tale of Dr. Alan Rabinowitz and his friend... "Dawi told Alan the terrible secret that explained why there were so few Taron (left in the world). And then Alan told Dawi a secret of his own..." (includes audio link)
posted by ZachsMind on Feb 3, 2007 - 12 comments

Physics simulators. Lots of physics simulators.

PhET - Physics Education Technology offers this astoundingly large library of online physics simulations. Play orbital billiards. Land on a cheesy moon. Experiment with sound. Or try more advanced quantum physics simulators. Still bored? Try the "cutting edge" catagory. Here's the complete index. (Warnings: Frames, Flash, Javascript, Java applets, graphics, sound, quantum timesuck.)
posted by loquacious on Feb 3, 2007 - 7 comments

"We're space explorers, and we need space!"

Where did you want to live when you grew up? If you're like me, you read Clarke's SF classic, Rendezvous with Rama (soon to be a major motion picture?). Donald E. Davis took what we dreamed about and illustrated it, for NASA. His depictions of O'Neill Cylinders, Stanford Tori, and Bernal Spheres are in the public domain (and make excellent desktop wallpaper).
posted by Eideteker on Feb 2, 2007 - 24 comments

High Speed Slow Motion Video Gallery

Please now enjoy this ginormous gallery of slow motion videos from a high speed digital camera.
posted by loquacious on Jan 31, 2007 - 39 comments

Hubble ACS, We Hardly Knew You

Hubble's ACS Has Died. Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys has apparently gone into safe mode, with little hope of return. The ACS was installed in 2002, and added amazing upgrades to Hubble's imaging capabilities. Though its lifespan was only projected at five years, scientists had hoped it would hold out longer. Though a final shuttle servicing mission is scheduled for 2008, the mission objectives plate is already too full to consider its repair. Alas, more of those beautiful pictures (as well as extended research capabilities) will have to wait until the James Webb Space Telescope is launched in 2013.
posted by Brak on Jan 29, 2007 - 23 comments

A delightfully nerdy page for nerds

Dr. James B. Calvert, professor emeritus of engineering at the University of Denver, has an incredibly rich and deep personal webpage, which includes such gems as Latin for mountain men, the correct corn-hog ratio, travel by brachistochrone, anomalous sound propagation and the guns of Barisal, and about a billion other awesomely nerdy topics.
posted by sergeant sandwich on Jan 28, 2007 - 16 comments

Wired: What We Don't Know

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.
posted by loquacious on Jan 26, 2007 - 45 comments

Virgin Birth? No, Virgin Hatch.

A virgin birth? No, but a virgin hatch. The process by which this happened is nothing new, but appears to be the first recorded instance in this species. Maybe this phenomenon could also help solve a controversial human problem.
posted by The Deej on Jan 24, 2007 - 13 comments

How did that get there?

The origins of the vagina Only mammals have 'em. Why? (via markmaynard).
posted by klangklangston on Jan 23, 2007 - 36 comments

Unique aircraft testing videos.

Load testing a Boeing 777 wing. To failure! Also, engine testing, and maximum rejected takeoff.
posted by loquacious on Jan 22, 2007 - 26 comments

Cancer

Cheap, safe drug kills most cancers. That's the good news. The bad news is that because there's no patent and it's so cheap to make, researchers may not be able to get funding from the private sector for further research since the treatment wouldn't make a profit. [Via Hullabaloo.]
posted by homunculus on Jan 18, 2007 - 122 comments

Truth in advertising

Is Airborne science or snake oil ? The official website is flashy, but short on empirical evidence, and even admits that there is "no cure" for the common cold. The first doubts were from ABC News. Then David Cowan blogged about it. Now Michael Shermer from the Scientific American, and publisher of Skeptic weighs in an article called Airborne Baloney
posted by lobstah on Jan 16, 2007 - 165 comments

Neanderthals & Modern Humans Interbred. A New Hybrid Skull Unearthed in Romania...

Neanderthals & Modern Humans Interbred. Hybrid Skull Unearthed in Romania ...
... that includes features of both modern humans and Neanderthals, possibly suggesting that the two may have interbred thousands of years ago. Neanderthals were replaced by early modern humans. Researchers have long debated whether the two groups mixed together, though most doubt it. The last evidence for Neanderthals dates from at least 24,000 years ago

posted by Bodyguard on Jan 16, 2007 - 62 comments

Physician uses Google to Save Dying Family - Days from Death

Physician uses Google to Save Dying Family - Days from Certain Death. Entire Family had Days to live from an almost 100% fatal poison. Physician finds experimental cure in Google Scholar — but it is not approved in USA. How do you get through theMassive FDA red tape in days, as the family is nearing the end? Compassionate manufacturers and a persistant Doctor all came together to help - with mere days left for family already in the process of dying. Read about the Miracles that finally occurred.
posted by Bodyguard on Jan 15, 2007 - 42 comments

Kinseyian mathematics, of a kind

The "Darwinian paradox" of homosexuality presents the conundrum of how a potential genetic basis for homosexual behavior could provide a survival benefit to offpsring and extend through generations, when sexual reproduction would seem to place strong selection pressure against such a "gene". Recently developed mathematical models (PDF) from researchers Sergey Gavrilets and William Rice not only show how a "gay gene" might proliferate within a population, but also provides testable hypotheses, including predictions of "widespread bisexuality" (subscription req'd).
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 14, 2007 - 68 comments

The Art of Psychiatry

Dictionary of Disorder - shaping the DSM
posted by Gyan on Jan 13, 2007 - 13 comments

Physikshow! Boom! Zap!

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.
posted by loquacious on Jan 11, 2007 - 29 comments

Insert You Momma So Fat Joke Here

High BMI Now Means Cognitive Difficulties Later? A study published in Neurology attempts to discover if there is a link between cognitive function, cognitive decline and BMI (body mass index) over time. Yes, I am aware that BMI is a flawed metric.
Full Text (sub. req'd).
posted by fenriq on Jan 10, 2007 - 32 comments

Your boyfriend must have solved the problem for you.

"Ben Barres's work is much better than his sister's," one scientist remarked to another. The only problem is that Ben Barres and his “sister” Barbara Barres were the same person. An FTM transsexual offers a unique view of the impact of gender discrimination in science, having seen it from both sides. Despite the fact that recent studies have shown that a woman has to be 2.5 times as productive to be judged as scientifically competant as a man in the sciences, many still argue that there is actually a level playing field, a source of some frustration for many women in the field. (For a somewhat easier to read and referenced response to the Physics Today letters, check out Evalyn Gates’ reply at the end.)
posted by kyrademon on Jan 10, 2007 - 87 comments

Beyond Belief

Beyond Belief. Google Video of the complete proceedings of the conference Beyond Belief: Science, Reason, Religion and Survival, which took place on November 5-7, 2006 at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California. (There are ten sessions, which average about two hours each.) Bios of the speakers who attended. A NYT article on the conference: "By the third day, the arguments were so heated that Dr. [Melvin] Konner was reminded of 'a den of vipers.' " Further conversation concerning the conference, in which Scott Atran writes, "I find it fascinating that among the brilliant scientists and philosophers at the conference, there was no convincing evidence presented that they know how to deal with the basic irrationality of human life and society other than to insist against all reason and evidence that things ought to be rational and evidence based. It makes me embarrassed to be a scientist and atheist."
posted by Prospero on Jan 9, 2007 - 114 comments

The Secret Life of Machines and the amazing Tim Hunkin

All the episodes of The Secret Life of Machines are available online. Created by engineer, artist, tinkerer and cartoonist Tim Hunkin, the show took a look at the science and mechanics behind common household objects, with a bit of social history, homemade laboratory experiments, and downplayed humor. The series grew out of a long-running strip, which Hunkin has now offers as his own cartoon encyclopedia. You can also try some experiments of your own, marvel at the coin-operated contraptions he made for the Under the Pier Show in Suffolk (don't miss the film), and read his thoughts about his brief foray into the fine art world and his ruminations about how art and engineering mix.
posted by hydrophonic on Jan 5, 2007 - 27 comments

Google Research Picks for Videos of the Year

Google Research Picks for Videos of the Year
Some examples: Ron Avitzur tells The Graphing Calculator Story [mefi thread], Dr. James Watson on DNA and the Brain, Steve Wozniak talks about founding Apple and Silicon Valley's boom period, Doug Lenat (of Cyc) on Computers versus Common Sense and a talk on The Archimedes Palimpsest [a little info]
posted by MetaMonkey on Jan 4, 2007 - 7 comments

Science Service Historical Image Collection

"The Science Service Historical Image Collection represents twentieth-century scientific research consisting of images and original captions as they appeared in period publications." For an easy browse, check out the fun randomly selected thumbnail images. Science Service is a nonprofit organization founded in 1921 to increase public interest in science. These images, culled from their past publications, span 40 years of innovations in electricity. Science Service currently publishes Science News.
posted by unknowncommand on Jan 4, 2007 - 6 comments

The Lights in the Sky Are Stars

Universe Today is a news site for astronomy geeks. Don't miss its sibling, the Bad Astronomy Forum, which not only features examples of bad astronomy, but also discussions of space exploration and astrophotography. (If you like astrophotography, you're probably already aware of NASA's astronomy photo of the day.) But my favorite part of the whole site is the free astronomy eBook, What's Up 2007: 365 Days of Skywatching. If only it would only stop raining, maybe I'd grab some binoculars and go outside for some stargazing...
posted by jdroth on Jan 3, 2007 - 6 comments

A day to be thankful for resublimated thiotimoline.

Think you get a lot done? Isaac Asimov (pronounced like "has, him, of" without the h's) , who would have turned 87 today, wrote or edited over 500 books, including science-fiction novels, introductions to organic chemistry (a field in which he held a professorship at B.U.) , indispensable anthologies of early science fiction, jokebooks, guides to Shakespeare, and collections of lively essays on science that have introduced thousands of people to the pleasures of thinking hard about the universe. He also found the time to write a few essays and write postcards to his fans. His story "Runaround" , from his 1950 collection I, Robot, is the only piece of fiction I know centered on the properties of a differential equation. His Foundation Trilogy was given a special Hugo award in 1966 as the best science fiction series of all time; a movie version, to be written by Jeff Vintar and directed by Shekhar Kapur, is currently in development. Previous AsimovFilter: here, here, here. Feel like a slacker yet? Stop reading MetaFilter and get to work!
posted by escabeche on Jan 2, 2007 - 95 comments

“Allowing parents to select their children’s sexual orientation would further a parent’s freedom to raise the sort of children they want to raise.”

Cure for teh gay? I was relaxing in front of X-Men 3 when a friend mentioned that the United States "gay sheep" experiments were wrapping up (though not uneventfully), with considerable successes. Lesbian tennis champ Martina Navaratilova has been fighting to end the tests for some time, but it appears a "gay vaccine" for pregnant mothers may be inevitable. Meanwhile, the GOP's only gay congressman retires.
posted by mek on Dec 31, 2006 - 294 comments

Science

Free Science and Video Lectures Online A nice blog collecting science videos. The most recent post on Cognitive Computing, Consciousness, Science Philosophy and Mind Video Lectures has some hum-dingers.
posted by MetaMonkey on Dec 30, 2006 - 10 comments

Nature gone Wild

Birds that rap and cows with accents. The big picture is urban adaptation, which is pretty cool. (...and the egg wins.)
posted by ewkpates on Dec 28, 2006 - 17 comments

Filter Filter

The end of mad cow disease? Scientists announce a filter that can remove the prions that cause vCJD - blocking the spread of the disease, at least via blood transfusions.
posted by Artw on Dec 24, 2006 - 16 comments

A Happy Family is a World's First

"There are few world firsts nowadays, but it may be one." - A quote used to describe triplets born to a woman with two wombs. Double uterus is an uncommon condition that is often undetected until a woman becomes pregnant. The outcome for such pregnancies is usually good, though posing a higher risk for breech positioning. The odds of triplets (twins in one womb, one fetus in the other) are 25 million to one.
posted by grapefruitmoon on Dec 21, 2006 - 29 comments

Vein Viewer Infrared-absorption interactive "X-ray" gadget.

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.
posted by loquacious on Dec 20, 2006 - 19 comments

Billions and Billions... of Blog Posts

Carl Sagan has a posse. Today marks the ten year anniversary of the passing of Carl Sagan, scientist and popularizer of science, and bloggers are planning to mark the day with posts about the man and how he's affected their lives. The initiative has the blessing of at least one member of the Sagan clan, and has already spawned a site where those without blogs of their own can post their thoughts online. Yes, Sagan could be prickly at times, and there might have been things he could have been more open about in his lifetime. But few scientists have done more to bring science to the public. These days, we could use another of him. Maybe two.
posted by jscalzi on Dec 20, 2006 - 43 comments

Medics face death in Libyan HIV case

Death by firing squad is imminent (timeline) for a Palestinian doctor and five Bulgarian nurses accused of infecting 426 girls and boys at the al-Fatah Hospital in Benghazi with HIV, after having the sentence lifted a year ago and sent to retrial. Libya stands accused of using the children as diplomatic pawns and torturing confessions out of the health workers. Nature has published a series of articles refuting the dubious evidence provided by Libyan researchers, which many think was concocted to cover up the poor hospital hygiene that likely caused the infections in the first place. [previously]
posted by blendor on Dec 19, 2006 - 35 comments

What a dish!

Beautiful Petri Gardens
posted by machaus on Dec 17, 2006 - 20 comments

The Natural Arch and Bridge Society

The Natural Arch and Bridge Society has many, many interesting pictures and lots of info.
posted by mediareport on Dec 17, 2006 - 8 comments

Obesity and Diabetes

Obesity and Diabetes - another free supplement by Nature
posted by Gyan on Dec 15, 2006 - 17 comments

Moonbase: Alpha

NASA Plans Permanent Moonbase. The base, a potential stepping stone for further Mars exploration, will likely be situated near one of the poles. The advantages of a polar site (pdf) include a relatively moderate climate, possible hydrogen and oxygen resources, unexplored terrain and abundant solar power. They have apparently abandoned plans to use nuclear reactors, which is probably for the best.
posted by justkevin on Dec 4, 2006 - 137 comments

Mandelbrot on Fractals as A Theory of Roughness.

A talk with Benoît Mandelbrot, entitled Fractals in Science, Engineering and Finance (Roughness and Beauty) [video, 80mins, realplayer] about fractals as A Theory of Roughness.
posted by MetaMonkey on Dec 3, 2006 - 5 comments

It's elemental, my dear Tungsten

"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.
posted by Terminal Verbosity on Nov 29, 2006 - 34 comments

Forgot how to dissect a frog?

Journal of Visualized Experiments is an online research journal for publishing visualized (video-based) biological experiments
posted by Gyan on Nov 29, 2006 - 2 comments

Renaissance bling

The King's Kunstkammer - en vogue in Renaissance Europe, kunstkammers were status symbols of kings, vast collections of art, curiosities, and scientific and natural objects. This is a partial reconstruction of the Royal Danish Kunstkammer, established by King Frederik III in the mid-1600s. Exploring the collection's 250 objects offers insight into princely preoccupations of the era.
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 22, 2006 - 13 comments

Good times, good times!

Autodidactic goodies on a budget: Free computer books and online lectures, seminars and instructional materials from a variety of renowned institutions.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Nov 21, 2006 - 19 comments

Biggest breakthroughs of the next 50 years

What will be the biggest scientific breakthroughs of the next 50 years? As part of their 50th anniversary celebration, the New Scientist asked 70 prominent minds for ideas on the subject. You can read the thoughts of scientists like Freeman Dyson, Benoit Mandelbrot and Jane Goodall individually, or browse by topic. For example, eight thinkers have something to say about alien life. The links to browse by topic can be found at the beginning of the main link. Also, compare with this thread about similar predictions from 1950.
posted by jeffmshaw on Nov 19, 2006 - 89 comments

bacterial art

The Art of Edgar Lissel " Lissel works with bacteria, using their photo-tactical characteristics for his images."
posted by dhruva on Nov 15, 2006 - 2 comments

throw away the wires

wireless electricity is said to be possible by some researchers. the only question is: what will become of this industry?
posted by localhuman on Nov 15, 2006 - 45 comments

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