3453 posts tagged with science.
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Prime Vertebrae

Prime Vertebrae. PZ Myers discusses the critical difference between having six or seven cervical vertebrae.
posted by homunculus on Aug 13, 2007 - 15 comments

Slaves to Superstition

Episode one of controversial evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins' new series Enemies of Reason premieres on Channel 4 tonight. Here's a list of topics.
posted by chuckdarwin on Aug 13, 2007 - 310 comments

The Visual Image of Chemistry

The Visual Image of Chemistry: Perspectives from the History of Art and Science. [Via homunculus (no relation)]
posted by homunculus on Aug 12, 2007 - 10 comments

Evolution and Cooperation

In Games, an Insight Into the Rules of Evolution. Carl Zimmer writes about Martin Nowak (previously mentioned here), a mathematical biologist who uses games to understand how cooperation evolved. [Via MindHacks.]
posted by homunculus on Aug 11, 2007 - 4 comments

Awesome science tattoos

Awesome science tattoos.
posted by GuyZero on Aug 8, 2007 - 50 comments

Hope on the Battlefield

Hope on the Battlefield by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. An article on our "intense resistance to killing other people. A resistance so strong that, in many circumstances, soldiers on the battlefield will die before they can overcome it."
posted by chunking express on Aug 7, 2007 - 37 comments

Science and Islam

Science and the Islamic world—The quest for rapprochement. "Internal causes led to the decline of Islam's scientific greatness long before the era of mercantile imperialism. To contribute once again, Muslims must be introspective and ask what went wrong."
posted by homunculus on Aug 7, 2007 - 19 comments

Is "Virgin Birth" hyperbolic enough?

I'm sure everyone remembers last year's kerfuffle about Hwang Woo-Suk, the disgraced scientist who fraudulently claimed to have created human embryonic stem cells by cloning. Well, it turns out he actually did something more remarkable - he created human stem cells from unfertilised eggs by parthenogenesis. The verification of this was published with a suitably dry title for consumption by scientists, but the popular press was quick to jump on more loaded phrases.
posted by nowonmai on Aug 4, 2007 - 24 comments

The Universe is Finite

Remember CERN from The Da Vinci Code? And their mega-project the Large Hadron Collider(previously mentioned here?) This BBC Horizons show, The Six Billion Dollar Experiment, does a good job illustrating why such an experiment is so cool, important and fascinating. Apparently, the universe is finite. (Includes Google Video-last link)
posted by snsranch on Aug 2, 2007 - 75 comments

Science and Pseudoscience

Science and Pseudoscience - a 1973 lecture from Imre Lakatos.
posted by Wolfdog on Jul 30, 2007 - 16 comments

Biologists Helping Bookstores

Can't ever find what you are looking for at the bookstore? Tired of seeing pseudoscience or pop psychology books in the science section? Join a grassroots effort to re-shelve books to the appropriate section of the store: Biologists Helping Bookstores.
posted by corpse on Jul 28, 2007 - 31 comments

Welcome To The Top of Europe

The Sphinx Observatory atop the Jungfraujoch in the Swiss alps is one of the most amazing man-made objects I've ever seen. A UNESCO world-heritage site, it holds the distinction of being the highest (in altitude) structure in all of Europe. Approachable by a train that runs inside the mountain (via a tunnel dug between 1896 & 1926 at the cost of a small fortune, not to mention many lives), the Observatory rests atop a glacier which has been hollowed out to feature a year round gallery of never-melting ice scultptures (glacial ice is spectacularly pretty), and an elevator up to the research station.
posted by jonson on Jul 24, 2007 - 30 comments

motherfucking DUH

No @#&!, Sherlock: This Week in the Very Obvious.
posted by homunculus on Jul 22, 2007 - 28 comments

Peter Stafford, RIP

Peter Stafford, psychedelics investigator and author of the Psychedelics Encyclopedia (PDF preview), has died. [Via BB.]
posted by homunculus on Jul 21, 2007 - 17 comments

The Buckminster Fuller Institute Challenge

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 )
posted by loquacious on Jul 20, 2007 - 9 comments

So Size Really Doesn't Matter

So you thought that old cliche about civil servants having only half a brain was just a conservative canard? Well, think again.
posted by saulgoodman on Jul 20, 2007 - 45 comments

AKARI IR Sky map

The AKARI mission has produced the first infra-red sky map in over 20 years.
posted by nthdegx on Jul 19, 2007 - 20 comments

Malaria: The Buzz of Death

This year, 500 million people will get malaria and about a million of them will die from it. Some scientists believe that one out of every two people who have ever lived have died of malaria. Here are some reports from Sierra Leone on efforts to control this deadly disease.
posted by mattbucher on Jul 18, 2007 - 43 comments

This Should be Played at High Voltage

Steve Ward's Singing Tesla Coil video. Previously.
posted by nthdegx on Jul 15, 2007 - 22 comments

Astronomers need your help

A team of astronomers needs your help. It's not terribly easy to get computers to distinguish between galaxy shapes, but fortunately humans are not only very good at it, but seem to actually enjoy gazing out in to space. So, go to galaxyzoo.org, look at a few pretty pictures from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey , and help classify millions of galaxies and aid research in to how they form and evolve while you're at it.
posted by edd on Jul 11, 2007 - 43 comments

It's a boobie revival!

Build bigger boobies from belly blubber! But how do they know to stop growing?
posted by (bb|[^b]{2}) on Jul 10, 2007 - 37 comments

Jaw Droppingly Beautiful Underground Japanese Observatory

The Super-K is a neutrino observatory in Japan; it is 1000 meters underground, contains a lake of 50,000 tons of pure water & every inch of the the 41 meter high walls are lined with over 11,000 photomultiplier tubes. It is also one of the most amazing man made objects I've ever seen images of. Super high res photos available here. More photos of the construction & recent restoration. Via.
posted by jonson on Jul 3, 2007 - 49 comments

Why do we yawn?

Why do we yawn? There are many theories. New research suggests it cools the brain.. a cooler brain is more alert.
posted by stbalbach on Jul 3, 2007 - 42 comments

...her maidenhead plane's now a torus.

Can you cut a hole in a 3x5 card that's large enough to crawl through? Topological trickery and some other classic science experiments.
posted by Wolfdog on Jul 2, 2007 - 40 comments

New age of ignorance

The new age of ignorance. A panel of well known (UK) scientists and artists are asked some basic questions about science. Except the questions weren't that basic (since when is the Second Law of Thermodynamics considered basic knowledge?) so the results weren't surprising... although some of the answers were amusing ("The sky is blue because the sea reflects on it."). The worrying thing is that the questions could have been much simpler ("How many planets are there in the Solar System?") and I suspect the results would have been much the same. Meanwhile, ignorance marches on.
posted by bobbyelliott on Jul 1, 2007 - 127 comments

Life from scratch

Dr. Craig Venter, known for his role as a pioneer in the human genome project, has taken a major step towards creating life from scratch: transplanting the entire genome from one bacterium cell to another. Commence the ethics wars.
posted by charmston on Jun 28, 2007 - 32 comments

1000 Science Lecture Videos

SciTalks - from the press release [19 June]: "The site launches today with over 1,000 lectures online, and more are being added daily. Segments range from a series of hour-long lectures by the late Richard Feynman, to a short, hilarious Ali G interview with Noam Chomsky, and a fascinating talk on designing a semiconductor-based brain, by up-and-coming Stanford researcher Kwabena Boahen." [via]
posted by peacay on Jun 25, 2007 - 7 comments

Earthlings

Earthlings (1 hr 35 min Google video) is "a feature length documentary about humanity's absolute dependence on animals (for pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and scientific research) but also illustrates our complete disrespect for these so-called 'non-human providers.'" Also in three parts on YouTube.
posted by homunculus on Jun 24, 2007 - 71 comments

"What a beautiful world this will be. What a glorious time to be free."

It's been nearly 50 years since the beginning of the International Geophysical Year (IGY), an 18-month period of scientific activities and discoveries that ran from July 1, 1957, to December 31, 1958. Both the US and the USSR launched the world's first artificial satellites during the IGY (Sputnik 1 and Explorer 1). Other achievements of the IGY included the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts and the mapping of mid-ocean ridges. The IGY also inspired at least one artistic endeavor: Steely Dan's Donald Fagen wrote his 1982 solo song "I.G.Y. (International Geophysical Year)" [YouTube] as an homage to 50s optimism.
posted by amyms on Jun 21, 2007 - 14 comments

Do it for SCIENCE!!!

Popular Science's Annual Worst Jobs... in Science
posted by spec80 on Jun 19, 2007 - 42 comments

HANDLE CAREFULLY. NOT EXPECTED TO BE A HEALTH HAZARD.

In an attempt to curb the production of crystal meth, more than 30 states have now outlawed or require registration for common lab equipment. In Texas, you need to register the purchase of Erlenmeyer flasks or three-necked beakers. The same state where I do not have to register a handgun, forces me to register a glass beaker.
America's War on Science: Chemistry sets and model rockets, the staples of any geeky childhood, have essentially become a thing of the past.Wired has more on how a security obsessed society is robbing both children and adults of the opportunity to discover science for themelves.
posted by [expletive deleted] on Jun 17, 2007 - 68 comments

The future is not clean and antiseptic

Slime molds may control our future computers and robots, and fungi may protect us in outer space.
posted by bad grammar on Jun 16, 2007 - 25 comments

Metafilter has a front page. This is a post. Post is on the front page. Post is about language.

Recursion and Human Thought - Why the Piraha don't have numbers
posted by Gyan on Jun 13, 2007 - 47 comments

photographing science

Felice Frankel's photography "When people call Felice Frankel an artist, she winces. In the first place, the photographs she makes don't sell. In the second place, her images are not full of emotion or ideology or any other kind of message. As she says, "My stuff is about phenomena." [via]
posted by dhruva on Jun 12, 2007 - 29 comments

RIP Mr. Wizard

RIP Don Herbert Better known as Mr. Wizard, you taught several generations basic science and a love of experimentation. You will be missed. Sorry for the one-link ObitFilter
posted by JMOZ on Jun 12, 2007 - 103 comments

Ptolemy would be proud

Even the Vatican now affirms that Galileo was right, even if it did take them more than three centuries to admit it. The latest General Social Survey has been released, and nearly twenty percent of Americans haven't yet gotten the clue. Is it the crazification factor at work? More commentary here, here, and here.
posted by bcveen on Jun 9, 2007 - 48 comments

Calling All Meatbeards

Scientists are testing a new diet pill that expands to the size of a tennis ball in your stomach. When taken with two glasses of water, the slow-growing 'gelatinous blob' gives one the feeling of having eaten a plate of food. Although it's no replacement for diet and exercise, it could help some people control their urges.
posted by chuckdarwin on Jun 8, 2007 - 66 comments

Embryo-free Embryonic Stem-Cells

Simple switch turns cells embryonic. "Researchers have finally hit the jackpot: Embryo-free embryonic stem-cells!"
posted by homunculus on Jun 7, 2007 - 55 comments

Nightmare In A Jar

Alex cf is a young British artist, fresh off of a series of extremely creepy visualizations of Alice in Wonderland characters. His current project is creating amazing looking HP Lovecraft inspired nightmares in specimen jars, which he is more than happy to build on commission.
posted by jonson on Jun 1, 2007 - 9 comments

"The field of evolution attracts significantly more speculation than the average area of science."

"Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution." Despite Theodosius Dobzhansky's succint description of natural selection at the core of biological research since Darwin's fateful trip to the Galapagos, evolutionary biologist Michael Lynch respectfully dissents, asking "whether natural selection is a necessary or sufficient force to explain" the complexity of multicellular organisms we see today, where mutation, recombination and genetic drift are often overlooked, but critical factors in evolutionary theory and understanding.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on May 29, 2007 - 90 comments

This ought to make the insurance companies happy

Controversial geneticist Jim Watson will soon be the first man to receve a fully-decoded copy of his own DNA blueprint. Watson and Crick discovered the structure of the DNA molecule and won the Nobel Prize in 1962. Watson is also known for his frank opinions. Very frank, indeed.
posted by chuckdarwin on May 27, 2007 - 36 comments

But who wants to do math? Math is hard. Scaring ignorant people is easy.

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.
posted by Artw on May 25, 2007 - 52 comments

Support your local Reptoid

Skeptoid: Critical Analysis of Pop Phenomena was born in October, 2006 to help fight the good fight against the overwhelming majority of noise in the media supporting useless alternative medicine systems, psychics preying upon the vulnerable, the erosion of science education in the classroom, xenophobia of advanced energy and food production methods, and generally anything that distracts attention and public funding from scientific advancement. Episodes feature such prominent MeFi discussion material as organic food myths, blood for oil, chiropractics, and SUVs. Links are to podcast transcripts. Full episode guide.
posted by arcticwoman on May 24, 2007 - 38 comments

Forget hybrid cars. Spring for a hybrid house.

Enertia is producing "innovative new homes of remarkable strength, economy, and beauty, brought to life by an elegant new architecture and the discovery of a new source of pollution-free energy." The design took first prize in the Modern Marvels/Invent Now competition (previously). In an interview, the inventor, Michael Sykes, says "he was inspired by the way the earth’s own atmosphere keeps the planet at a relatively constant comfortable temperature despite the frigidity of space." He also notes that his wife calls herself a "homemaker," natch.
posted by pithy comment on May 17, 2007 - 17 comments

Hair today

Bald? A swift blow to the head might solve that problem. If nothing else, it will give you something else to worry about for a while. Note: procedure tested on mice; results in humans may vary. Possible side effects include gaping head wounds. via Slate
posted by veggieboy on May 17, 2007 - 36 comments

My God, it's full of squeaky toys

Two nice conversations between a man and his dog on the subject of quantum physics.
[many worlds interpretation, uncertainty principle]
posted by moonbird on May 14, 2007 - 21 comments

People say that you'll die / faster than without water

No one really knows exactly why we need so much sleep, but it seems obvious that many of us aren't getting enough. Tu veux coucher avec moi? I'm bushed.
posted by chuckdarwin on May 14, 2007 - 29 comments

Douglas Crockford Teaches JavaScript

Douglas Crockford, leading JavaScript Architect for Yahoo!, has been teaching a series of classes on JavaScript programming for other Yahoo! employees.
The JavaScript Programming Language [4 video clips: 1 (31 min) 2 (31 min) 3 (29min) 4 (20 min), presentation slides: zipped PPT]
An Inconvenient API: The Theory of the DOM [3 video clips: 1 (31 min) 2 (21 min) 3 (26 min), presentation slides: zipped PPT]
Advanced JavaScript [3 video clips: 1 (31 min) 2 (25 min) 3 (11 min), presentation slides: zipped PPT]
posted by ijoshua on May 10, 2007 - 27 comments

Encyclopedia of Life

The Encyclopedia of Life project will create a compendium of every aspect of the biosphere. It aims to compile data on all of Earth's 1.8 million known species on one Web site, and will include species descriptions, pictures, maps, videos, sound, sightings by amateurs, and links to entire genomes and scientific journal papers. E. O. Wilson is getting his wish. [Via BB.]
posted by homunculus on May 9, 2007 - 31 comments

Breaking: Science fiction is fiction

Ruining science fiction: Not only are the science fiction cliches humorously skewered in the Tough Guide to the Known Galaxy, but the science itself is wrong. For example, despite the best efforts of SF writers, interstellar trade will never work, unless wine costs $11 billion a bottle. Slower-than-light travel is much harder than you think, and warp drives are far away. Space battles, if they happen, won't have fighters and dramatic dogfights, but instead involve vast distances and maneuvers lasting years. And you can ruin a whole lot more science fiction with real science (and wonderful examples) at Atomic Rocket. Don't follow the links if you want to read Heinlein or watch Battlestar Galactica with a light heart.
posted by blahblahblah on May 8, 2007 - 185 comments

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