3668 posts tagged with science.
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Chimpanzee Memory

Working memory of numerals in chimpanzees. Are you smarter than a chimpanzee?
posted by homunculus on Dec 3, 2007 - 41 comments

Kadath in the Cold Waste

Landsat Image Mosaic Of Antarctica UK and US researchers peice together the most detailed map of Antarctica yet, searching through years of data to find cloud free images.
posted by Artw on Nov 27, 2007 - 17 comments

Why are evolutionary biologists bringing back extinct deadly viruses?

Darwin's Surprise. "There may be no biological process more complicated than the relationships that viruses have with their hosts. Could it be that their persistence made it possible for humans to thrive?" [Via Disinformation.]
posted by homunculus on Nov 27, 2007 - 63 comments

There's a hole in the Universe, dear Martha, dear Martha

Astronomers find a giant hole a billion light years across & located 8 billion light years away from us. They believe it could be evidence of another Universe at the edge of ours.
posted by scalefree on Nov 27, 2007 - 53 comments

Windmill output of up to one MegaTrumpton

Could giant magnetically levitated windmills be the solution to the worlds energy problems? Chinese scientist have reported 20 percent increase in capacity over traditional wind turbines using maglev turbines, and now Arizona-based based Maglev Wind Turbine Technologies claims their turbines will have 1000 times the capacity of a traditional turbine. Not everybody is convinced.
posted by Artw on Nov 26, 2007 - 84 comments

I could smother the child. I could not smother the child.

What Makes Us Moral and The Morality Quiz. It's war time, and you're hiding in a basement with a group of other people. Enemy soldiers are approaching outside and will be drawn to any sound. If you're found, you'll all be killed immediately. A baby hiding with you starts to cry loudly and cannot be stopped. Smothering it to death is the only way to silence it, saving the lives of everyone in the room. Assume that the parents of the baby are unknown and not present and there will be no penalty for killing the child. Could you be the one who smothered it if no one else would?
posted by amyms on Nov 25, 2007 - 147 comments

Atom

Atom. -- The Clash of the Titans -- The Key to the Cosmos -- The Illusion of Reality
posted by empath on Nov 24, 2007 - 20 comments

The Dalai Lama talks with neuroscientist about craving, suffering and choice

Traveling a lot this weekend? Long drive, plane or train ride? You can use that transit time to listen to the Dalai Lama talk for more than four hours with neuroscientists and Buddhist scholars on the topic of craving, suffering and choice. Part one. Part two. [iTunes links] If you're stuck at home, you can watch the video. The video link has the full list of participants.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 21, 2007 - 11 comments

They Might Be Giants

Scientists discover fossilized claw of enormous ancient sea scorpion. They estimate this thing was 2.5 meters long. Sorry about the nightmares. [via]
posted by flotson on Nov 21, 2007 - 49 comments

Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it

The changing role of the U.S. presidential science adviser. (PDF) [more inside]
posted by Terminal Verbosity on Nov 21, 2007 - 4 comments

Is the Stem Cell Debate (almost) Over?

After recent promising results demonstrating the ability to change mouse skin cells into stem cells, researchers have replicated this change in human skin cells in papers published in Science and Cell (access to full articles requires subscription) . The White House, somehow, is trying to take credit for this. The potential of all this: huge.
posted by switchsonic on Nov 21, 2007 - 57 comments

Of Beer And Chocolate

Chocolate and the Beer of the Ancients. New archaeological evidence suggests that primitive beer brewers were the first to discover the goodness of chocolate.
posted by amyms on Nov 20, 2007 - 21 comments

Surrealistic Lilliputian Realm

The Inner Life of an Intelligently Designed Cell? Remember The Inner Life of a Cell animation (discussed here)? Apparently the Discovery Institute (recently discussed here) is showing it in presentations with a new title and narration, and without attribution.
posted by homunculus on Nov 20, 2007 - 20 comments

A Theory of Humor | Why something is funny, why it sometimes is not, and when it crosses a line.

Theory of Humor. A scientific paper, written by Tom Veatch, describes his Theory of Humor. When is something funny? When is it not funny? When does it cross the line? Why are puns generally shitty? And the mysterious and magical powers elephant jokes have on children, revealed! A great data set to use for practice in applying the theories presented in the paper can be found here.
posted by iamkimiam on Nov 20, 2007 - 57 comments

Homeopathy

The Guardian discusses homeopathy: Jeannette Winterson supports it, Ben Goldacre opposes it.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Nov 19, 2007 - 208 comments

Collective Perception

Collective Perception
posted by Soup on Nov 18, 2007 - 38 comments

Sexy-smelling deceptive robot cockroaches!

Remember that X-files episode? The one with the robot cockroaches from outer space? Well, scientists in Belgium have created robots that act like cockroaches, and are accepted by the real cockroaches because they smell sexy to them. Better yet, the scientists were able to use the robots to change how the cockroaches behaved. [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer on Nov 17, 2007 - 16 comments

See For Yourself - Optical Illusions

See For Yourself - Purves Lab's optical illusions web page with empirical explanations of familiar and unfamiliar illusions.
posted by nthdegx on Nov 16, 2007 - 6 comments

Health Care and Innovation

Creative Destruction: The Best Case Against Universal Health Care. [Via The Mahablog.]
posted by homunculus on Nov 14, 2007 - 82 comments

Swarm

From Ants to People, an Instinct to Swarm. Carl Zimmer looks at the work of Iain Couzin. [Via The Loom.]
posted by homunculus on Nov 13, 2007 - 17 comments

A slice of a lost world

The forest preserve of Białowieza is considered to be the last primeval forest in lowland Europe. Because of its unique position on the border of the temperate and boreal climate zones, it contains a unique mixture of trees, such as Norway Spruce and oaks. It also contains an interesting mix of fauna, including the European Bison, beaver, wolves, and the Nazi re-creation of an extinct species. [more inside]
posted by never used baby shoes on Nov 13, 2007 - 18 comments

Hot space bot uses stirling engine

NASA proposes using a Stirling cooler (essentially a Stirling engine in reverse) to keep a probe cool on the surface of Venus, which has had a tendency to melt or smash previous probes. The cooler would maintain a 25cm sphere within the probe at 200°C -- 100°C above the boiling point of water but sufficiently cool for a high-temperature microcontroller to operate. The waste heat radiators on the exterior of the sphere would reach the temperature of 500°C, 40°C above the the normal Venusian surface temperature.
posted by Artw on Nov 12, 2007 - 40 comments

Proust, Cezanne, Sacks, and Umami - Lehrer's World

Jonah Lehrer is becoming one of the most interesting science writers around. The 26-year-old Rhodes scholar and former Le Bernardin cook just published his first book, Proust Was a Neuroscientist [first chapter excerpt - NYT], an investigation of the ways poets, novelists, and artists accurately modeled the brain and memory before science did. This week he hilariously reenacted Escoffier's distillation of umami-rich veal stock [hit the audio link] with NPR's Robert Krulwich of Radio Lab. He also just published a very insightful profile of Oliver Sacks in SEED (addressing the pioneering neurologist's own recent struggles with an eye ailment) and writes a wide-ranging science blog. A new writer to watch.
posted by digaman on Nov 9, 2007 - 46 comments

An 18th Century Debate About Intelligent Design

Sex Ratio Theory, Ancient and Modern - An 18th Century Debate about Intelligent Design and the Development of Models in Evolutionary Biology [pdf file]. The design argument for the existence of God took a probabilistic turn in the 17th and 18th centuries. Earlier versions, such as Thomas Aquinas’ 5th way, usually embraced the premise that goal-directed systems (things that “act for an end” or have a function) must have been created by an intelligent designer. This idea – which we might express by the slogan “no design without a designer” – survived into the 17th and 18th centuries, and it is with us still in the writings of many creationists. The new version of the argument, inspired by the emerging mathematical theory of probability, removed the premise of necessity. It begins with the thought that goal-directed systems might have arisen by intelligent design or by chance; the problem is to discern which hypothesis is more plausible. From Professor Elliott Sober.
posted by amyms on Nov 8, 2007 - 28 comments

Those mud pies were actually good for you.

Have You Eaten Your Dirt Today, Honey? A New Approach To The Hygiene Hypothesis. The hypothesis argues: The reason why there is so much asthma, eczema, allergies and maybe even childhood diabetes in the modern world is because we — well infants really — live in too clean a universe. What our baby immune systems need is a kickstart by exposure to viruses, bacteria, worms, pollutants and so on. If you don’t get an infant hit from these icons of uncleanliness, the immune system goes haywire and your body over-reacts to all sorts of invasive things that normally could be ignored. Via. [more inside]
posted by amyms on Nov 6, 2007 - 97 comments

The Anatomy Of Taste

Yummy Science. Researchers unravel the complex combination of physical and emotional reactions that influence our perceptions of what tastes good. Once upon a time, flavor research was a matter of asking housewives to munch a few potato chips... Now it's about providing an exceptional flavor "experience." And as scientists learn to exploit the ways we perceive flavor, food manufacturers will be able to refine their products to appeal to us as individuals. Welcome to the world of personally tailored mass-produced food.
posted by amyms on Nov 5, 2007 - 17 comments

William Hamilton and the Flaming Fields of Vesuvius

British diplomat William Hamilton (whose 2nd wife Emma is perhaps best known for having a scandalous public affair with Horatio Nelson) loved volcanoes. His 1776 book Campi Flegrei: Observations on the volcanoes of the two Sicilies* used stunning hand-coloured illustrations by Peter Fabris to demonstrate to the scientific world that volcanic processes can be beautifully creative as well as horribly destructive. [via this post at the nonist, which, in case you hadn't noticed, has been really great lately] [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Nov 4, 2007 - 14 comments

Stem Cells Today

Stem Cell Treatment in China. A site showcasing Beike Biotech, a company that seems to be getting more attention nowadays, with a very straightforward approach. Meanwhile, some recent hard science.
posted by StrikeTheViol on Nov 1, 2007 - 14 comments

The Pope with the Robotic Head

Gerbert D'Aurillac: mathemetician and engineer, Pope, ghost, and meddler with dark forces. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Nov 1, 2007 - 17 comments

Elementary, My Dear Watson

Theodore Gray's interactive periodic table isn't the only periodic table online -- another one was posted to MeFi last month -- but I think it's the most gorgeous, informative, and ambitious periodic table I've ever seen, featuring actual samples of most of the elements and their practical uses, a fascinating display of uranium isotopes, and explosive "sodium party" videos and more from Gray's many years of obsession with the elements.
posted by digaman on Nov 1, 2007 - 14 comments

Nicod Lectures

Since 1993, the Institut Jean Nicod has awarded the annual Jean Nicod Prize to a leading philosopher or cognitive scientist for his or her work in the interdisciplinary study of the mind. The recipient is expected to deliver a series of lectures. The lecture series of this past year's winner, philosopher Stephen Stich, is entitled "Moral Theory Meets Cognitive Science: How Cognitive Science Can Transform Traditional Debates", and is now available online in video form. Also available is the lecture series of the previous year's winner, evolutionary anthropologist Michael Tomasello: "Origins of Human Communication". [more inside]
posted by painquale on Oct 29, 2007 - 2 comments

Never run after a bus. There'll always be another one.

A 400 year old clam has been slaughtered by ruthless 'scientists'. How much could this clam have told us about history, about longevity, about life? Probably not much--it's a clam.
posted by hexatron on Oct 28, 2007 - 62 comments

Water, water everywh—Oh dear.

So you've all heard about how global warming will lead to rising sea-levels, but what about falling freshwater levels? [more inside]
posted by Weebot on Oct 26, 2007 - 43 comments

To Read or Not to Read

MindPapers - David Chalmers organizes, streamlines and expands his collection of papers related to mind and neuroscience.
posted by Gyan on Oct 25, 2007 - 32 comments

Memory and Sleep

Mapping Memory. "Turn the human brain upside down and all around to see how memories are saved (or lost)." National Geographic has a great interactive 3D map of the brain as part of an excellent feature on memory. [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 24, 2007 - 5 comments

Global Theme Issue: Poverty

The Public Library of Science has collected articles about global poverty as part of the Council of Science Editors Global Theme Issue on the subject. While many of the articles listed at the CSE site are not online, some journals, like the American Journal of Nursing have their articles available.
posted by OmieWise on Oct 24, 2007 - 2 comments

A Profound Sense of Time

A Profound Sense of Time. "PZ Myers on the process that prompts the growth of all vertebrates from embryos to unspecialized segments to multicellular animals."
posted by homunculus on Oct 20, 2007 - 12 comments

The Hooke Folio

The Hooke Folio : A digitized version of Robert Hooke's minutes of the Royal Society.
posted by dhruva on Oct 15, 2007 - 9 comments

September 2007 polar sea ice anomaly

Video (8MB, MPEG) of arctic sea ice extent, recorded from January to September 2007. [other formats] This summer a dramatic decrease compared to previous years in the extent of the north pole ice cap was observed. Scientists are freaked out [bugmenot]. This summer, the Northwest Passage was open for a few weeks, allowing three ships to traverse it. [more inside]
posted by sergeant sandwich on Oct 12, 2007 - 32 comments

doctor delicious and molecular gastronomy

Carbonated watermelon. Gelatin spheres with liquid centers. Broths and sauces whipped into foams. When the world's best chefs want something that defies the laws of physics, they come to one man: Dave Arnold, the DIY guru of high-tech cooking. Want to turn your kitchen into a science lab? Check out 25 extreme kitchen gadgets. Related, previously on Mefi: molecular gastronomy.
posted by madamjujujive on Oct 10, 2007 - 51 comments

Neuroscience and Mysticism

Searching for God in the Brain. "Researchers are unearthing the roots of religious feeling in the neural commotion that accompanies the spiritual epiphanies of nuns, Buddhists and other people of faith." [Via MindHacks, which points out a few niggling omissions in the article.]
posted by homunculus on Oct 9, 2007 - 57 comments

Rube Goldberg meets Flash Friday

Launchball : Think a stylised, fluoro version of The Incredible Machine. And when you finish the level, it reveals a science fact -- which you can pretend to read and claim it's educational...
posted by robcorr on Oct 9, 2007 - 36 comments

get your ghoul on

Morbid Anatomy - an excellent blog with a focus on art, medicine, death, and culture. Great viewing anytime, but it might also be a good reference source for any macabre seasonal celebrations!
posted by madamjujujive on Oct 8, 2007 - 5 comments

Philosophy and Neuroscience

The Philosophy and Neuroscience Movement (PDF). A paper by Andrew Brook and Pete Mandik on the relationship between neuroscience and philosophy. [Via MindHacks.] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 5, 2007 - 15 comments

Sex like a handshake

Sex like a handshake (even baby sex?) Titilation and humor from Vanessa Woods, researcher at the Lola Bonobo sanctuary. (Previously)
posted by imposster on Oct 4, 2007 - 30 comments

You can’t trade with balls of frozen methane.

Geoff Ryman on mundane science fiction. [previously, via]
posted by brundlefly on Sep 22, 2007 - 82 comments

Rigging a study to make conservatives look stupid

Rigging a study to make conservatives look stupid.
posted by veedubya on Sep 22, 2007 - 56 comments

Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.

COLOURlovers blog - science, design, art, culture, travel - you name it, they can relate it back to color. [more inside]
posted by bijou on Sep 20, 2007 - 8 comments

"What Makes Us Healthy", or "Was Woody Right"

"Sleeper":
Dr. Melik: This morning for breakfast he requested something called "wheat germ, organic honey and tiger's milk."
Dr. Aragon: [chuckling] Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.
Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or... hot fudge?
Dr. Aragon: Those were thought to be unhealthy... precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.
Dr. Melik: Incredible.
Has anything changed?
posted by caddis on Sep 19, 2007 - 11 comments

Cheers | Prost | Gayola | Na zdraví | Skål | Slainte | etc.

Multicultural toasting as an accoutrement for Gunther Anderson's guide to making liqueurs at home [ Principles | Science | Materials | Example recipe | and more... ]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 19, 2007 - 10 comments

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