A supernova in our galactic backyard may be on the verge of exploding. In the (unlikely) event that it happens tomorrow, how would you spend your last day on earth?
posted by Jubey
on May 25, 2002 -
has finished his book, "A New Kind of Science
," which purpotedly is being espoused as a paradigm shift in many fields. But, I'm starting to see a very reductionistic attitude in many of the main theorists of complextity theory and emergent phenomena. Is the idea that the Universe is in lines of code a phallus-extension/masculine overdriven idea? Isn't math a man made mapping and can the Universe be reduced to an equation by a man? Still this book is going to be groundbreaking. Read the following exceperpt from the wired.com
q: "I've got to ask you," I say. "How long do you envision this rule of the universe to be?"
w: "I'm guessing it's really very short."
q: "Like how long?"
w: "I don't know. In Mathematica, for example, perhaps three, four lines of code."
link via protofunk.org
, old similar thread
posted by nakedjon
on May 20, 2002 -
Cosmic Log - on msnbc.com
Alan Boyle, the science editor for msnbc.com (and former coworker who I respect) has ventured into the land of the blogs, his being primarily science-news based. MSNBC and Alan both seem to be viewing it as an experiment, and are soliciting feedback. If you think a journalist-as-blogger is a good thing (and like the quality of the content of course), you can send feedback, or anonymously rate the page (at bottom of page).
posted by kokogiak
on May 14, 2002 -
"The smartest scientist on the planet."
[NYT reg req] "Conducting experiments on a computer, where he says he has logged 100 million keystrokes in the last 10 years, Mr. Wolfram wrote simple programs that generated odd and intricate patterns to test his ideas about complexity. He argues that natural phenomena can be explored as if they were, in fact, computer programs." Stephen Wolfram's own company (Wolfram Media Inc.) is now publishing his 1,197-page book - "A New Kind Science
" - which was kept secret until now. They claim "..he is proposing a paradigm shift. A new twist on everything.." in explaining how the universe operates. Sounds big. Is it really?
posted by Voyageman
on May 11, 2002 -
Controversial new bill
to lay out reproductive technology guidelines. Canadian version of this battle doesn't seem to feature as many religious wackos. It's just not as fun without them.
posted by Leonard
on May 9, 2002 -
Excellent, now i can take over the WORLD!!
Please add, Predator like optics and Universal Soilder healing abilities - I expect to see them on thinkGeek
by the end of the month, thank you.
Although a little cruel, scientist have managed to put implants in rats brains, effectivley given them god like controls of the little vermin.
posted by monkeyJuice
on May 2, 2002 -
Introducing ... Ratbot!
Leave it to the good folks at SUNY to come up with a remote-controlled rat. Best of all: "If the rat correctly followed the cue and turned left, its reward-centre was stimulated, filling the rat with a feeling of well-being."
posted by risenc
on May 1, 2002 -
Why the towers fell.
PBS is airing a special episode of Nova
about the science behind while the World Trade Center towers collapse. Nova's reputation for converting esoteric science & engineering into understandable explanations for the layman should make the show something to watch. 7PM EDT/PDT on most PBS stations. Set your Tivos.
posted by Argyle
on Apr 30, 2002 -
"Australian scientists say they have created a "thinking cap" that will stimulate creative powers. It is based on the idea that we all have the sorts of extraordinary abilities usually associated with savants."
The device is said to improve drawing skills within 15 minutes.
posted by MintSauce
on Apr 17, 2002 -
Huge hydrogen stores found below Earth's crust.
"Scientists have discovered vast quantities of hydrogen gas, widely regarded as the most promising alternative to today's dwindling stocks of fossil fuels, lying beneath the Earth's crust. The discovery has stunned energy experts, who believe that it could provide virtually limitless supplies of clean fuel for cars, homes and industry." This discovery sounds too good to be true (for us energy-hungry humans that is, bad news for the bacteria.)
posted by homunculus
on Apr 15, 2002 -
Quark Star Observations of two stars, one unusually small and the other unusually cold, have led astronomers to think they are seeing evidence of a new form of matter and a new kind of star, one possibly made of elementary particles known as quarks and denser than any cosmic object other than a black hole.
(NYT link: yada yada) Here's a related link
on neutron stars and quark matter. I rather like the phrase strange quark matter
... Anybody else hear about this?
posted by y2karl
on Apr 11, 2002 -
I guess it trumps dying a horrible death (but not by much)
... "A young calf has his belly shaved. Many slashes are made in the skin. A prior batch of smallpox vaccine is dropped into the slashes and allowed to fester over a period of days. During this period of time, the calf stands in a head stall so that he can’t lick his belly. The calf is led out of the stock to a table where he is strapped down. His belly scabs and pus are scraped off and ground into a powder. The powder is the next batch of smallpox vaccine." (Excerpt from Vaccines : A Second Opinion, and link swiped wholesale from Randomwalks.)
posted by crunchland
on Apr 10, 2002 -
A Few Words About Jack Vance. Gersen entered a hall with a floor of immaculate white glass tiles. On one hand was the display wall, characteristic of middle-class European homes; here hung a panel intricately inlaid with wood, bone and shell: Lenka workmanship from Nowhere, one of the Concourse planets; a set of perfume points from Pamfile; a rectangle of polished and perforated obsidian; and one of the so-called "supplication slabs"* from Lupus 23II.
* The nonhuman natives of Peninsula 4A, Lupus 23II, devote the greater part of their lives to the working of these slabs, which apparently have a religious significance. Twice each year, at the solstices, two hundred and twenty-four microscopically exact slabs are placed aboard a ceremonial barge, which is then allowed to drift out upon the ocean. The Lupus Salvage Company maintains a ship just over the horizon from peninsula 4A. As soon as the raft has drifted out of sight of land, it is recovered, the slabs are removed, exported and sold as objets d'art.
(Not for season ticket holders to The Short Attention Span Theater
posted by y2karl
on Apr 10, 2002 -
On average people laugh 18 times a day
"It makes us less stressed, lowers our blood pressure and reduces anxiety. It's more common than sex, eating or singing."
Still 18 times a day doesn't sound like its enough. Simple solution. "Tickle, the most ancient and reliable stimulus of laughter, is undervalued...
posted by Voyageman
on Apr 3, 2002 -
Spinning Egg mystery solved
Still recovering from the cold fusion 'breakthrough', the scientific world has finally cracked another mystery: why does a spinning egg flip to a vertical positon ? A few days before Easter, what a coincidence!
posted by swordfishtrombones
on Mar 28, 2002 -
Space, Here We Come!
The Chinese make significant progress in their quest for the stars. A good bit of background from Wired
explains that they're leveraging off of Russian tech but China still considered the program their #1 sci-tech advance last year
. As an aside, some nice spy pictures
are available of the Jiuquan Space Facility although I imagine it's been a developed a bit since then.
So, will getting a man into space signficantly change the world's opinion of China as it slowly evolves in a major world player? For Americans, will it be 1957
all over again
except the little beep beep
is replaced by a Chinese man waving back at them?
posted by warhol
on Mar 26, 2002 -
Professor becomes world's first cyborg
Surgeons have carried out a ground-breaking operation on a cybernetics professor so that his nervous system can be wired up to a computer.
It is hoped that the procedure could lead to a medical breakthrough for people paralysed by spinal cord damage, like Superman actor Christopher Reeve.
Prof Warwick believes it also opens up the possibility of a sci-fi world of cyborgs, where the human brain can one day be upgraded with implants for extra memory, intelligence or X-ray vision.
The medical possibilities with this are amazing, so why does it make me feel so uneasy?
posted by Tarrama
on Mar 22, 2002 -
corpse exhibit, Körperwelten
(Body Worlds), is set to display human corpses in London, UK in two days. UK health department concluded that the exhibit did not breach the 1984 Anatomy Act as the law did not cover the preservation of corpses by means of plastination, a technique invented by Professor Gunther von Hagens
, the creator of the exhibit.
posted by frenetic
on Mar 21, 2002 -
Growing meat in a laboratory
may seem like a good idea. They evey suggest that it might stop us "having to slaughter animals for food." But, to do it, they have to soak the meat in the blood of unborn baby cows.... Somehow, that doesn't sound right.....
posted by dwivian
on Mar 21, 2002 -
seems to be on the rise. Working in a hospital lab I've seen an increase in tests for HPV
It's enough to make one wonder if sex is worth the risk.
posted by Apoch
on Mar 20, 2002 -
N.Y. taxpayers' welfare Viagra bill rises to $6M.
Conservative Party chairman Michael Long called the expense "an unconscionable waste of taxpayer money."
I would tend to agree. It doesn't seem right. The money could have gone to those who really need it, instead of a bunch of old folks who just want to get laid.
posted by susanlucci
on Mar 18, 2002 -
Seven minutes to midnight.
"Today, the Board of Directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moves the minute hand of the 'Doomsday Clock,' the symbol of nuclear danger, from nine to seven minutes to midnight, the same setting at which the clock debuted 55 years ago. Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, this is the third time the hand has moved forward."
posted by dnash
on Feb 27, 2002 -
"Life science researchers -- even those who work in academic settings -- are finding that corporations are just as eager to patent the tools as they are the data, and in many cases, universities are bending over backward to let the private sector have its way. As a result, a growing number of bioinformatics researchers are beginning to look to the free-software and open-source software movements for inspiration in their quest for bio freedom."
posted by homunculus
on Feb 26, 2002 -