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More lies from Wall Street?

Who can you trust if you can't trust the Wall Street Journal? RealClimate debunks the latest junk science on climate change from the pages of the Wall Street Journal.
posted by all-seeing eye dog on Jun 23, 2005 - 35 comments

View the universe in 3d

Ever have trouble visualizing how the solar system is put together, how the orbits work, how everything is positioned relative to everything else? This site helps you see how we think it all fits together.
posted by Fozzie on Jun 22, 2005 - 16 comments

R.I.P. Jack Kilby

Jack Kilby, inventor of the monolithic integrated circuit (microchip) at Texas Instruments in 1958, died Monday. His vision lives on through the Kilby International Awards and Kilby Laureates "who symbolize the power of the individual creative mind to change the world, forever."
posted by tpl1212 on Jun 22, 2005 - 5 comments

Making Waves

Resonata - A Wave Machine [Java]
posted by Gyan on Jun 21, 2005 - 13 comments

The Complexity of a Controversial Concept

The Logic of Diversity "A new book, The Wisdom of Crowds [..:] by The New Yorker columnist James Surowiecki, has recently popularized the idea that groups can, in some ways, be smarter than their members, which is superficially similar to Page's results. While Surowiecki gives many examples of what one might call collective cognition, where groups out-perform isolated individuals, he really has only one explanation for this phenomenon, based on one of his examples: jelly beans [...] averaging together many independent, unbiased guesses gives a result that is probably closer to the truth than any one guess. While true — it's the central limit theorem of statistics — it's far from being the only way in which diversity can be beneficial in problem solving." (Three-Toed Sloth)
posted by kliuless on Jun 20, 2005 - 6 comments

Green Alps?

A New Alpine Melt Theory: "The Alpine glaciers are shrinking, that much we know. But new research suggests that in the time of the Roman Empire, they were smaller than today. And 7,000 years ago they probably weren't around at all." Fascinating report from Der Spiegal about the "Green Alps" theory. This page has a small graphic showing the Alps today and how they might have looked in a warmer period. Another article here. Maybe Otzi forgot to pack his sunscreen?
posted by LarryC on Jun 18, 2005 - 9 comments

Time Travel

Back to the FutureDrawing Board
posted by Pretty_Generic on Jun 17, 2005 - 42 comments

Science! Sci-sci-science!

Source of stem cells idea sent me straight into my uncanny valley. (via aldaily)
posted by rainbaby on Jun 17, 2005 - 21 comments

Race-based pharmaceuticals?

Pharmaceutical company seeks approval for controversial heart drug BiDil for blacks only, even though the connection of a nitric oxide deficiency to the genetic makeup of the African-American population is an unsubstantiated hunch, in the words of the drug's own developer — and the drug had already once been denied approval. Is the FDA doing good science or ignoring science under the pressure of big business wanting to sell BiDil to a US$1Bln demographic?
posted by Rothko on Jun 16, 2005 - 27 comments

Liberals, Womens' Studies, and Kos.

Liberals, Womens' Studies, Beer Ads, and Kos.
posted by Tlogmer on Jun 15, 2005 - 91 comments

Pioneer Anomaly

The Pioneer Anomaly. Something's up in deep space: the Pioneer spacecraft, now out of contact, have shown an unexplained Doppler drift, indicating sunward acceleration, effectively decelerating the probes cumulatively. The effect may be be nongravitational, and could be explained by any number of factors: an undiscovered twist in Newtonian physics, localized cosmological contraction issues, or just venting gas. Other deep space probes may have experienced the anomaly as well, and a new mission could explore the puzzle; but for now, all we have is past Pioneer data, and that's stored on old 9 track tape which can only be read by antique readers. What's to be done? (Also see Pioneer Odyssey for a nostalgic romp through those early days of deep space exploration. And NASA, bring back the original Pioneer home page plz, kthx.)
posted by brownpau on Jun 13, 2005 - 21 comments

The Physics Evolution

The Physics Evolution - a flash based history from the Institute of Physics in London. Clickable maps with timelines and short biographies of the main figures. It's a bit superficial, but a lot of fun.
posted by thatwhichfalls on Jun 11, 2005 - 4 comments

Mutafilter

Evolution resources from the National Academy of Sciences.
posted by daksya on Jun 11, 2005 - 12 comments

Interactive Biology Instruction

Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Biointeractive - a nifty biology instruction site.
posted by Gyan on Jun 8, 2005 - 7 comments

Smarty pantses

Beyond the science fair. Behind a veneer of shoddy web-design lies a brilliant idea: getting grade- and high-school students to do actual scientific work. For example, "10 students from New York, Texas and Virginia joined three World War II veterans and a retired railroader from Virginia" and discovered a way to make walls self-sterilize. The guy behind it is Carl Vermeulen.
posted by greatgefilte on Jun 7, 2005 - 6 comments

Art of Science

Art of Science Competition 2005 - A gallery of images celebrating the aesthetics of research at Princeton University. (via Amygdala)
posted by madamjujujive on Jun 5, 2005 - 11 comments

Science, race, and genetics

The Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence (PDF). A fascinating new theory from physicist turned renegade evolutionary theorist, Gregory Cochran (see this Atlantic Monthly cover story on Cochran's already path-breaking germ theory of disease), and genetic anthropologist Henry Harpending, proposes that a unique evolutionary history, and a number of improbably clustered neurologically related genetic diseases among Ashkenazi Jews could help explain their incredible intelligence test scores and extraordinary intellectual achievements (e.g. Ashkenazi Jews are 3% of the American population but win 27% of the Nobel Prizes). The paper is set for publication in the Journal of Biosocial Science, and is already getting major press in the New York Times and The Economist. Does the recent Harvard fracas over Larry Summers herald a new "arms race" in academic debate about genetics, man and society for the 21st century? [compelling post by Jason]
posted by mathowie on Jun 3, 2005 - 68 comments

The quake felt 'round the world

Worth picking up if you have a library with a subscription. The May 20th issue of Science was devoted to the Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake of December 24 describing the full power of that event, the most powerful recorded since the deployment of modern electronic sensors. The multiple effects claimed include swarm earthquakes in Alaska, a shock wave that moved every place on Earth a centimeter, and resonant waves continuing weeks after the event. It is also the the longest rupture recorded and took over an hour to complete. Animated simulations of aspects of the event are linked through PhysOrg.com.
posted by KirkJobSluder on Jun 3, 2005 - 4 comments

Oxytocin

The whiff of trust. "The possibility of reconciliation between individuals and the potential of healing rifts between political groups, even nations have arrived. " And the possible repercussions strain the imagination.
posted by semmi on Jun 2, 2005 - 12 comments

UBC Botanical Garden

News from the world of plants by way of the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden weblog. Beauty in science by way of the photo of the day.
posted by plep on Jun 2, 2005 - 5 comments

Scientific Americans

The US Postal Service has issued a series of postage stamps honoring great American scientists including: Josiah Willard Gibbs, thermodynamicist best known for the Gibbs Phase Rule; Barbara McClintock, geneticist who showed genes could transpose within chromosomes; John von Neumann, mathematician who made significant contributions in game theory and computer science; and Richard Feynman, infamous physicist best remembered for his work on quantum electrodynamics, the Manhattan Project, Feynman Diagrams, and his testimony at the Space Shuttle Challenger hearings.
posted by chicken nuglet on May 27, 2005 - 15 comments

keep your science off my children!

Why "Intelligent Design" Isn't. The New Yorker takes an informative look at the "factual" basis for so-called "Intelligent Design" theory, while an all too infrequent victory is won in Georgia.
posted by scrim on May 25, 2005 - 196 comments

Odd Spot on Titan Baffles Scientists

Unidentified Titan Object Saturn's moon Titan shows an unusual bright spot that has scientists mystified. The spot, approximately the size and shape of West Virginia, is just southeast of the bright region called Xanadu and is visible to multiple instruments on the Cassini spacecraft.
posted by Diamornte on May 25, 2005 - 32 comments

Vitamin D is not a vitamin but a hormone

"...but trust me on the sunscreen." That memorable, always-infallible commencement advice (not from Kurt Vonnegut) takes a hit as scientists now propose that we all need to get more direct sunlight, in order to... wait for it... fight cancer!
posted by soyjoy on May 23, 2005 - 32 comments

Uh-uh-uh! You didn't say the magic word!

Fig-leaf-eating Velociraptor Scandal! Look, I've got nothing against religion but if you believe a word of it you are, in the words of Robert Burns, "a dumbass fuck".
posted by Pretty_Generic on May 22, 2005 - 181 comments

Custom stem cells.

Custom stem cells. South Korea produces a significant gain in stem cell research. Experts have suggested that the new technique may sidestep some of the ethical concerns that have hampered research in the US.
posted by iron chef morimoto on May 19, 2005 - 24 comments

plate tectonics

An education served on a paper plate. "Paper Plate Education is an initiative to reduce complex notions to simple paper plate explanations. It promotes innovative hands-on Activities that you can experience across a range of interests."
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket on May 18, 2005 - 6 comments

Gender science

The Science of Gender Science. A debate by Pinker vs. Spelke on the research on mind, brain, and behavior that may be relevant to gender disparities in the sciences, including the studies of bias, discrimination and innate and acquired difference between the sexes. (via Edge)
posted by semmi on May 14, 2005 - 25 comments

"Family Values, My Ass!"

"Family Values, My Ass!" That article in the Lexington Herald-Leader inspired me to look up the Nation article it referred to. Now I'm beginning to see why many women won't go to "evangelical Christian" MDs: this guy Hager (previously brought up on MetaFilter in 2003, in fact twice, and then again in 2004) is strongly anti-abortion -- so pro-conception that he tried to keep the "morning-after pill" known as "Plan B" away from women -- but he's apparently pro- sodomy and pro-rape. It almost sounds like fiction.
posted by davy on May 13, 2005 - 86 comments

Feynan's letters

Richard Feynman wrote letters to all kinds of people. Here are some of them.
posted by TimothyMason on May 12, 2005 - 26 comments

How Does Your Water Feel?

The Hidden Messages in Water? Masaru Emoto claims that water has the ability "to absorb, hold, and even retransmit human feelings and emotions. Using high-speed photography, he found that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward it. Music, visual images, words written on paper, and photographs also have an impact on the crystal structure." The theory may be suspect, but the photos are beautiful.
posted by taz on May 11, 2005 - 115 comments

Christian fundamentalists and radical Islam: Two great tastes that go together over creationism!

"Set your irony meters on maximum." All this week, a three-member subcommittee of the Kansas State Board of Education is holding hearings on how to teach science. [background] Creationists, er, advocates of "intelligent design," are using it to bootstrap their claim that evolution through natural selection and creationism are two sides of a story. While many scientists are boycotting what one newspaper is calling "Barnum on steroids," IDers have brought out the big guns -- including one Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish, Muslim, newspaper columnist with a Masters in history and a close associaton with a group that presents evolution "as a conspiracy of the Jewish and American imperialists to promote new world order and fascist motives." Get your official scorecard to the Scopes Trial II here!
posted by docgonzo on May 10, 2005 - 125 comments

Picture yourself in a boat on a river

Eye Color calculator.
posted by fandango_matt on May 10, 2005 - 20 comments

Pheromones for everyone!

Different scent attraction for men, women, and homosexuals Interesting report about homosexual men responding differently to pheromones as heterosexual men but very similar to women. (NYT)
posted by dov3 on May 10, 2005 - 53 comments

a glitch of the electronics

Junk Science. George Monbiot has a critical look at some the claims put forward by "climate change" deniers. There's lots of interesting refutation, with some amusement: "But there was still one mystery to clear up. While Bellamy’s source claimed that 55% of 625 glaciers are advancing, Bellamy claimed that 555 of them – or 89% – are advancing. This figure appears to exist nowhere else. But on the standard English keyboard, 5 and % occupy the same key. If you try to hit %, but fail to press shift, you get 555, instead of 55%. This is the only explanation I can produce for his figure. When I challenged him, he admitted that there had been “a glitch of the electronics”."
posted by gsb on May 10, 2005 - 35 comments

Singularity

According to the developmental spiral we are heading towards an unfathomable point in time known as singularity. Could the futurists and science fiction writers such as Vernon Vinge be right?
posted by ttopher on May 6, 2005 - 57 comments

From the follow-up department

From the followup department: Global dimming? It stopped. "We see the dimming is no longer there," said Dr. Martin Wild, a climatologist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and the lead author of one of three papers analyzing sunlight that appear in today's issue of the journal Science. "If anything, there is a brightening." As always, use bugmenot to bypass registration.
posted by darukaru on May 6, 2005 - 9 comments

Gender Based Brain Research

A review of the current state of gender based brain research shows that women and men differ both in the way their brains are constructed and in how they function.
..correlation between brain region size in adults and sex steroid action in utero suggests that at least some sex differences in cognitive function do not result from cultural influences or the hormonal changes associated with puberty--they are there from birth.
Treatment for such things as schizophrenia and depression will likely have gender specific variations in the future. Previously, brain research that examined gender differences was considered controversial because it was argued that the results might give rise to more sex discrimination against women. That view may be changing.
posted by peacay on May 3, 2005 - 33 comments

SymmetryLab

Machine by SymmetryLab: fixed points, spinners, pistons, elastics, and connectors. Dig the frictionless world.

SymmetryLab's other stuff is noteworthy as well.
posted by gramschmidt on Apr 30, 2005 - 5 comments

The Dance of the Manakin

Manakins (Manacus sp.) are small, colorful sparrow-sized birds found all over Central and South America. Manakin males engage in elaborate courtship dances, including rhythmic sounds they produce with their wings. No one really knew how the birds made this sounds, until Kimberly Bostwick, Curator of Birds and Mammals at the Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates, went into the jungles of Ecuador to film the birds at 1000 frames per second. As it turns out, different species of manakin use entirely different motion to produce the sounds. The Journal of Experimental Biology has published the results, complete with videos. Mark Barres, who studies avian genetic population structures at the Univ. of Wisconsin, has also filmed the mating dance of the Manakins [.mov].
posted by monju_bosatsu on Apr 29, 2005 - 8 comments

Desktop Fusion

Putterman also suggests the crystals could be used as microthrusters for tiny spacecraft. By accelerating deuterium in one direction, the spacecraft would be propelled in the opposite direction.
Ok, so I know nothing about physics, apart from what I learned getting beat up in grade school, but this seems both legit and cool. Here's a MeFi discussion of the other kind of desktop fusion, you know, the kind with the bubbles. A picture of the bubble machine.
posted by OmieWise on Apr 28, 2005 - 11 comments

Experiments in the Revival of Organisms

Experiments in the Revival of Organisms 'Of course technique is everything...' Introduced by renowned Marxist scientist and geneticist JBS Haldane, this Soviet film depicts the artificial maintenance of individual organs, a severed dog's head, and finally a dog in toto (excuse the pun).
posted by derangedlarid on Apr 25, 2005 - 8 comments

We may have to drill

Research at Purdue University yields answers to one of the world's largest unsolved mysteries.
posted by Ron on Apr 21, 2005 - 12 comments

90% Matematch guaranteed or your money back

The Mathematics of Love - predicting, with 90% accuracy, what will happen to a relationship over a three-year period.
posted by daksya on Apr 19, 2005 - 33 comments

Each of us a cell of awareness

The mitochondrion, the Krebs cycle and other cell biology animations. Flash.
posted by Wolfdog on Apr 17, 2005 - 13 comments

Reith Lecture 2005

Reith Lecture 2005: The Triumph of Technology Lord Broers -In the five lectures, he sets out his belief that technology can and should hold the key to the future. He says: "It is time to wake up to this fact. Applied science is rivalling pure science both in importance and in intellectual interest. We cannot leave technology to the technologists; we must all embrace it. We have lived through a revolution in which technology has affected all our lives and altered our societies for ever."
posted by srboisvert on Apr 16, 2005 - 8 comments

Organismal biology

BIODIDAC A bank of digital resources for teaching biology: And much, much, more, including B&W and color diagrams (with annotations), photographs, and some videos. Copying the material is permitted with conditions. Also available en français.

And if that is not enough taxonavigation for you, head over to Wikispecies.
posted by piskycritter on Apr 15, 2005 - 5 comments

NewPoopFlingers.com

This monkey business has finally gone too far [warning: cackling].
posted by thedevildancedlightly on Apr 13, 2005 - 17 comments

Journey to the Center of the Earth?

Hole Drilled to Bottom of Earth's Crust, Breakthrough to Mantle Looms --Should we be doing this? What will happen? The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) seeks the elusive "Moho," a boundary formally known as the Mohorovicic discontinuity. It marks the division between Earth's brittle outer crust and the hotter, softer mantle. (the creamy nougat center?)
posted by amberglow on Apr 7, 2005 - 50 comments

Self Experimentation is Credible Science??

"Chance favours the prepared mind" (Pasteur) but can a science of n = 1 be credible? Seth Roberts is a UCBerkeley Psychology Professor who is into generating novel scientific ideas from self-experimentation. He has written a very serious journal article (abstract) in Behaviour and Brain Science in which he alleges: Seeing faces in the morning on television decreased mood in the evening and improved mood the next day . . . Standing 8 hours per day reduced early awakening and made sleep more restorative . . . Drinking unflavored fructose water caused a large weight loss that has lasted more than 1 year.. among other things. The entire paper was published along with formal peer reviews and a response from Roberts [warning: 63page .pdf] (Peers came down about 50:50 in support/dissenting) A short review/discussion of the article and followup and a short followup Roberts paper with experimental replications (pdf) via
posted by peacay on Apr 7, 2005 - 26 comments

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