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Brain tricks

Red and green dots have never been so interesting. At least to a geek like me. I love it when my brain plays tricks on me.
posted by jeremy on May 21, 2004 - 33 comments

Faraday Wave video

This cornstarch, it vibrates. (wmv 4MB)
posted by stbalbach on May 19, 2004 - 23 comments

90 Sols in 90 Seconds

With all this talk of wars in distant countries, it's easy to forget that there's exciting things going on just 300 million km from your back porch. NASA has provided 90 second videos of the first 90 sols of the Spirit [5MB .mov] and Opportunity rovers [5MB .mov].
posted by fatbobsmith on May 18, 2004 - 11 comments

Are you an Asinus Petasatus? Then you'll love this...

Arsole? Putrescine? Dickite? Moronic Acid? This list of Molecules with Silly or Unusual Names (one NSFW image) proves that scientists can be funny, as does this Stuffy Scientists page, and Mark Isaak's terribly thorough Curiosities of Biological Nomenclature (see, especially, Puns). If you are tempted to wonder what the Father of Taxonomy might have thought of the irreverence of those last two collections, keep in mind that Linnaeus himself named this plant "Clitoria Mariana" in honor of an 'acquaintance', according to this page.
posted by taz on May 18, 2004 - 10 comments

MetaNanoTech

Molecular Media Project.
posted by Gyan on May 16, 2004 - 7 comments

Matthew effect

The Matthew effect "It was Merton who identified and named the tendency always to assign exclusive scientific credit to the most eminent among all the plausible candidates. At least I hope it was he, though I'm sure Merton, who invented many wonderful jokes himself, would have been delighted if the credit for it turned out to be misattributed to him." Or is this called the flypaper effect? The question remains: Who popularized the phrase 'Shut up and Calculate!'
posted by vacapinta on May 15, 2004 - 2 comments

genuine compassion

“Medical Consequences of What Homosexuals Do” (warning: extremely graphic verbal description; for a different perspective, here's a critique on the use of some references). "Homosexuals are sexually troubled people engaging in dangerous activities. Because we care about them and those tempted to join them, it is important that we neither encourage nor legitimize such a destructive lifestyle." Discuss.
posted by 111 on May 14, 2004 - 188 comments

MetaCreativity

What is the modus operandi of creativity? According to two cognitive scientists, Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner, the subconscious operation of conceptual blending. The formal theory, known as the Network Model of Conceptual Integration (CI), seeks to explain how creative insights are derived from pre-existing knowledge and understanding.
[More Inside]
posted by Gyan on May 13, 2004 - 10 comments

ad aspera per astra

Ad Aspera Per Astra - an interview with Brother Guy Consolmagno, one of several full-time Vatican astromomers at the Vatican Observatory. He talks about the Church's take on astrobiology and the eventuality of encountering an alien race. The idea of the Church's mission beyond the Earth is something that's come up in a few good books, like The Sparrow and A Canticle for Leibowitz. Interesting to hear an actual Jesuit's take on the matter. [Via BoingBoing]
posted by ubersturm on May 13, 2004 - 8 comments

not so junk DNA

not so junk DNA the idea has always made me uncomfortable. now scientists are taking a closer look at base-pair sequences that have been generally overlooked till now.
posted by jessica on May 12, 2004 - 9 comments

Our glowing undersea friends.

Cuter than a fangtooth. Beautiful images of bioluminescent sea creatures. Learn the difference between fluorescence, phosphorescence, and bioluminescence, as well as the science behind the amazing chemical reaction. (I like the floppy-eared one the best--okay, the plastic bag looking one is nifty too.)
posted by lychee on May 12, 2004 - 4 comments

International ME/CFS/Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

May 12th is International ME/CFS/Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. If you aren't aware of these afflictions, then it's time to become so. "Fibromyalgia (FM) is an increasingly recognized chronic pain illness which is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal aches, pain and stiffness, soft tissue tenderness, general fatigue and sleep disturbances." The WebMD description. For those who live with chronic fatigue, systemic immunity problems, and long term pain, I think the rest of us, at least, owe our awareness of what these people cope with every day. Again, via the always excellent Watermark, who writes movingly of her relationship with Fibromyalgia.
posted by Wulfgar! on May 12, 2004 - 19 comments

Mammal Gene Memetics

Analysis Uncovers Critical Stretches of Human Genome.
posted by Gyan on May 11, 2004 - 9 comments

NeuroFilter

Interesting papers in neuroscience. From Wellcome Laboratory of Neurobiology.
PDFs
posted by Gyan on May 6, 2004 - 6 comments

Biodiversity Hotspots

The 25 richest and most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life on Earth. Of the 25, here are the hottest of the hotspots. An interactive map. And the latest news about how companies like Office Depot are helping Conservation International protect threatened animals who don't get to vote in even the world's [cough] most enlightened democracies.
posted by mediareport on May 3, 2004 - 3 comments

10.5

10.5 If you're like me, you probably just finished watching 10.5, and are still giggling at the "disastrous" screenplay and campy drama. Well, the science is in: Magnitude 10.5 is impossible, brick buildings would collapse long before the Space Needle, fault lines don't follow train tracks, California will not slide into the sea, bottomless pits do not swallow up unfortunate red-shirted extras, and for crying out loud, Lex, don't use nuclear warheads either to blow the tectonic plates apart or weld them shut.
posted by brownpau on May 3, 2004 - 28 comments

Comments on Bomb Crap

Advanced methods of bomb detection and investigation. New equipment developed to scan cars and people, such as a parking lot device which quickly bathes the car's trunk in invisible neutrons, a procedure that makes materials inside the trunk emit gamma-rays that would indicate the presence of explosives. Also, a bomb disposal robot which take[s] fingerprints before blowing [a] package up.
posted by mcgraw on May 3, 2004 - 17 comments

Hukka!

Project:Multiverse! AtariAge has a collection of scans of comics included with 1980's Atari console games.
posted by Snyder on May 2, 2004 - 6 comments

Genesis

Genesis. "Life" from inorganic mixture. Full PDF paper : Spontaneous Formation of Cellular Chemical System that Sustains Itself far from Thermodynamic Equilibrium.
posted by Gyan on Apr 27, 2004 - 9 comments

Look around you...

DREAM WORLD Given that green tea provides a more effective and environmentally-friendly method of preparing computer hard disks, pulsars are used to study gravitational waves with great precision, solar cells made from nanocrystals are found to be much more efficient, and scientists have discovered evidence for the earliest known wildfire in Earth's history, 443 to 417 million years ago, it would be hard to make the case that what we are living in is not, in fact, a Dreamworld.
posted by mcgraw on Apr 27, 2004 - 29 comments

LifeFilter

The Tree of Life.
posted by Gyan on Apr 26, 2004 - 8 comments

Thermochemical and biochemical conversion

First it was turkey parts, then pig waste and now straw added to the camels back. Thermochemical and biochemical conversion make use of natural processes such as enzymes, heat and pressure to create oil from garbage so one day landfills may become the new domestic oil fields.
posted by stbalbach on Apr 23, 2004 - 5 comments

Hippocretin oath

"The Conscientious Objector Policy Act" just passed the Michigan Assembly, and awaits voting in the state Senate. The bill legalizes the right for a doctor, or any health provider, to deny treatment based on "ethical, moral, or religious grounds." In addition to the obvious notion of restricting abortion, in the most extreme example the bill technically allows doctors to deny treatment to gays simply for believing that homosexuality is immoral.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Apr 22, 2004 - 90 comments

Send in the clones

Godsend Institute offers up this explanation of their cloning procedures. Since Dolly, several scientists have cloned other animals, including cows and mice. Now, at Godsend, we have pioneered a technique that allows a cell nucleus from a recently deceased child to be implanted within a human egg, allowing a mother to carry that child to term again.
posted by sciatica on Apr 15, 2004 - 33 comments

More than junk science?

Quake to hit LA "by September 5," predicts a geophysicist at UCLA's Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics. Some skeptical, while others say it's not junk science.
posted by valerie on Apr 15, 2004 - 34 comments

Attack of the Cloned Kittens

Genetic Savings and Clone is the first company to offer domestic animal cloning to the consumer. For just $50,000 you can have an exact replica of Fifi or Snowball. The company's founder claims this is a boon for loving pet owners. Others aren't so sure.
posted by falconred on Apr 15, 2004 - 16 comments

Pro-active pro-evolution resources

Just found this one. The San Francisco Chronicle reports on a Berkeley website for supporting science teachers teaching evolution. The project was built with a grant from the National Science Foundation and has received an additional grant to expand the site to develop content for students and adults. More coverage from The Daily Bruin at UCLA and a brief clip from Science News.
posted by KirkJobSluder on Apr 15, 2004 - 5 comments

Egg them on

And they're off! Apparently BBC3 plans to broadcast what it says is the first televised sperm race on April 15—on the educational show Lab Rats, naturally. The race will be filmed from inside two tiny glass tubes and relayed to a crowd watching at a pub. I wonder what the bookmakers have to say about the event?
posted by terrapin on Apr 9, 2004 - 2 comments

Paul Kurtz on the Enlightenment

Paul Kurtz on the Enlightenment. Unfortunately, there has been a massive retreat from Enlightenment ideals in recent years, a return to pre-modern mythologies. There has been a resurgence of fundamentalist religions worldwide—Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Roman Catholicism, and Orthodox Judaism. Added to this are occult-paranormal claims, which allegedly transcend the existing scientific paradigm. In the United States—the preeminent scientific-technological-military superpower in the world—significant numbers of Americans have embraced primitive forms of biblical religion. These focus on salvation, the Rapture, and the Second Coming of Jesus. Evangelical Protestant Christians have made alliances with conservative Roman Catholics and neo-conservative Jews, and they have captured political power—power they have used to oppose secular humanism and naturalism. via the council for secular humanism
posted by skallas on Apr 5, 2004 - 75 comments

New Elements: Uut and Uup

Time to replace your old Periodic Table. ...a joint American-Russian team has found two new elements—numbers 113 and 115 on the periodic table—hinting at an impending breakthrough in creating novel forms of matter that will test our understanding of atomic behavior.
posted by mcgraw on Mar 29, 2004 - 15 comments

Life On Mars's Meethane Traces Thought To Be Detected

Life on Mars? Methane has been found in the Martian atmosphere which scientists say could be a sign of present-day life on Mars. It was detected by telescopes on Earth and has recently been confirmed by instruments onboard the European Space Agency's orbiting Mars Express craft. Methane lives for a short time in the Martian atmosphere so it must be being constantly replenished. There are two possible ways to do this. Either active volcanoes, but none have yet been found on Mars, or microbes. The Independent has it as Methane find on Mars may be sign of life. The second group to detect signals of methane in the Martian atmosphere is led by Michael Mumma of Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland, who used powerful spectroscopic telescopes based on Earth. This team is even believed to have detected variations in the concentrations of methane, with a peak coming from the ancient Martian seabed of Meridiani Planum, which is being explored by a Nasa rover. This could indicate a subterranean source of methane which is pumping out the gas, either due to some residual geological activity or because of the presence of living organisms producing it as a waste gas. Asked whether the continual production of methane is strong evidence of a biological origin of the gas, Dr Mumma said: "I think it is, myself personally." As to how...
posted by y2karl on Mar 28, 2004 - 25 comments

The Science of Happiness

The Science of Happiness
posted by grumblebee on Mar 28, 2004 - 27 comments

Not quite a flying car, but we're getting there

X-43A Flight. "The unpiloted 12-foot-long X-43A vehicle, part aircraft and part spacecraft, will be dropped from the wing of a B-52 aircraft, lofted to nearly 100,000 feet by a booster rocket and released over the Pacific Ocean to briefly fly under its own power at seven times the speed of sound." Watch (RealPlayer) it live.
posted by cedar on Mar 27, 2004 - 34 comments

The Panda's Thumb

The Panda's Thumb is a multi-authored blog "dedicated to explaining the theory of evolution, critiquing the claims of the anti-evolution movement, and defending the integrity of science and science education in America and around the world." [Via The Loom.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 27, 2004 - 6 comments

Just don't be tapin' MY traps!

I want my LTV, brothuh! Interesting research in the field of trapping lobsters from the University of New Hampshire. Like so many people, I learned about lobsters on the street, so it's nice to see some hard science.
posted by Mayor Curley on Mar 25, 2004 - 9 comments

No stem cell research

Thou shalt not make scientific progress. "Medical research is poised to make a quantum leap that will benefit sufferers from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, muscular dystrophy, diabetes and other diseases. But George W. Bush's religious convictions stand in its way."
posted by homunculus on Mar 24, 2004 - 45 comments

Martian Sea

Old Mars and the Sea. A salty sea may once have covered the Opportunity rover's landing site on Mars, boosting the possibility that the planet may once have evolved life. (Of course, there are those who believe NASA has been conspiring to cover it all up, but the Bad Astronomer has words on that. Bunnies and faces, my foot.)
posted by brownpau on Mar 23, 2004 - 4 comments

The New Science Wars

The New Science Wars. When a leading psychologist like Harvard's Howard Gardner calls the president's science adviser a "prostitute," it's a safe bet that all is not well in the realm of government science policy. Indeed, in the past month, the United States has been engulfed by a kind of "science war," one pitting much of the nation's scientific community against the current administration. Led by twenty Nobel laureates, the scientists say Bush's government has systematically distorted and undermined scientific information in pursuit of political objectives.
posted by skallas on Mar 23, 2004 - 23 comments

Observing the five planets

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, the five planets visible to the naked eye, can all be seen simultaneously after sunset over the next few weeks. Viewing details. The next opportunity will be in 2036.
posted by carter on Mar 21, 2004 - 8 comments

Mathematicians go to the garden gate but they never venture through to appreciate the delights within. -- M.C.Escher

Tessellations :: the intersection between symmetry, mathematics, and art.
posted by anastasiav on Mar 11, 2004 - 9 comments

Neuroethics

Whose life would you save? Carl Zimmer takes a look at the work of philospher-neuroscientist Joshua Greene in the emerging field of the neuroscience of ethics and morality (Leon Kass, take note.) [Via Dynamist Blog.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 10, 2004 - 6 comments

Hubble Ultra Deep Field Images

Hubble's Deepest View Ever of the Universe Unveils Earliest Galaxies. The deepest portrait of the visible universe yet taken -- 400 million years after the Big Bang. Mirrors here and here.
posted by QuestionableSwami on Mar 9, 2004 - 9 comments

No two moments are any more alike than two snowflakes. -- Zora Neale Hurston

The Bentley Collection of Snowflake Photographs
posted by anastasiav on Mar 8, 2004 - 5 comments

Big heads wobbling on wee necks?....

Nootropics ("smart" drugs) - all wish to be smarter, correct ? And - while exercise, nutrition, learning, travel, and social interaction (the last 3 via release of neurotrophins) effectively do this, Nootropic drugs have been researched since the 1950's and have been shown to cause at least short term cognitive function enhancement. Piracetam, the first of this drugs, shows promise in the treatment of Alzheimer's and Attention deficit Disorder. Alas, as with poor little Algernon, the effect seems temporary. Nootropics can be a little difficult to acquire in the US. Beer is not a nootropic, but sex on the other hand.....
posted by troutfishing on Mar 5, 2004 - 20 comments

FoodExpert-ID Chip

"A single test can now reveal the presence of meat from any of 32 different species in food samples, enabling a wide range of important questions to be answered. These include whether chicken has been bulked up with beef or pork extracts; whether expensive albacore tuna is really cheap skipjack tuna; whether rats, mice or even bits of people fell into the mincer when your burger was being made..."
posted by taragl on Mar 4, 2004 - 15 comments

Office Supply Geeks Unite!

The Early Office Museum :: check out communications technologies used by our Grandparents, as well as Punched Card Tabulating Machines and much, much more!
posted by anastasiav on Mar 3, 2004 - 10 comments

Scientists Accuse White House of Distorting Facts

Scientists Accuse White House of Distorting Facts The Bush administration has deliberately and systematically distorted scientific fact in the service of policy goals on the environment, health, biomedical research and nuclear weaponry at home and abroad, a group of about 60 influential scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates, said in a statement issued today.--would you believe the scientists or the people's (almost) choice? May need free reg for NY Times.
posted by Postroad on Feb 18, 2004 - 28 comments

Magnificent Obsession # 1872

leadholder.com :: the online drafting pencil museum
posted by anastasiav on Feb 17, 2004 - 11 comments

I can see for nanometers and nanometers

Zooooooooom. Videos of common objects zoomed seemlessly to the near-atomic level. [RealVideo with audio commentary]
posted by gwint on Feb 6, 2004 - 9 comments

Can't Get No Satisfaction

Can't Get No Satisfaction - This unassuming essay (it's in a state of half-decay with missing figures) is a fascinating (and accessible) overview of phase transitions in NP systems (it explains those terms). In other words: complex physical systems and difficult problems in computing are related. The seminal paper is here, and this is a list of other essays by the same author (links at foot of page).
posted by andrew cooke on Feb 5, 2004 - 4 comments

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