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claymisher
06-15-2009, 07:41 PM
Origin of life science has had a little growth spurt:


“We finally have a molecule that’s immortal,” he said, meaning one whose information can be passed on indefinitely. The system is not alive, he says, but performs central functions of life like replication and adapting to new conditions.

NYT: New Glimpses of Life’s Puzzling Origins (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/16/science/16orig.html?hp=&pagewanted=all)

I'm SO awesome!
06-17-2009, 03:59 PM
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090616122106.htm

EVERYBODY'S GAY!

yay! this makes me excited to see "Bruno" when it comes out.

I'm SO awesome!
06-17-2009, 04:54 PM
synchronized fireflies:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBgq-_NJCl0

Starwatcher162536
06-19-2009, 10:14 AM
Not really sure if this counts as a story, but the below links to a fun little read about why experiment is the king of science, and not those gay math fags :D.

http://www.maa.org/pubs/Calc_articles/ma010.pdf

bjkeefe
06-19-2009, 11:46 AM
Not really sure if this counts as a story, but the below links to a fun little read about why experiment is the king of science, and not those gay math fags :D.


I had to read your comment three times before I realized you weren't saying meth. I blame the MSM.

Also, I wonder, is someone who's a "gay fag" in fact straight?

No need to answer. I can't get no satisfaction.

[Added] Except by following your link. Thanks. It was a fun read.

claymisher
06-19-2009, 12:04 PM
I had to read your comment three times before I realized you weren't saying meth. I blame the MSM.

Also, I wonder, is someone who's a "gay fag" in fact straight?

No need to answer. I can't get no satisfaction.

[Added] Except by following your link. Thanks. It was a fun read.

It's going to take me an hour to read through the math on that one. But I take this as a challenge! I'm going to do it. Maybe not today though.

bjkeefe
06-19-2009, 12:17 PM
It's going to take me an hour to read through the math on that one. But I take this as a challenge! I'm going to do it. Maybe not today though.

It's worth reading at least the first bit to contemplate the idea that when the tip of the latter nears the ground, it must be moving faster than the speed of light, according to the model typically taught in Calculus I.

I remember doing ladder problems, but I don't remember ever thinking about the y in the denominator. I guess the mechanical way we were taught to do them rearranged the terms before that possibility became apparent.

Like you, I will have to invest some more effort before I can say anything more.

claymisher
06-19-2009, 01:25 PM
It's worth reading at least the first bit to contemplate the idea that when the tip of the latter nears the ground, it must be moving faster than the speed of light, according to the model typically taught in Calculus I.


I had never thought of that before! That's true for anything with a limit in it. Yikes.

This has been another lesson in everything you know is wrong.

bjkeefe
06-19-2009, 02:27 PM
I had never thought of that before! That's true for anything with a limit in it. Yikes.

This has been another lesson in everything you know is wrong.

Well, no, not exactly. It's true, nominally, for anything with a limit tending to zero where the relevant variable is in the denominator. But recall from your calc classes that much time was spent on learning algebraic techniques to rearrange the terms to clear that apparent problem. Indeed, in the very limit definition of the first derivative:

x' = lim ((f(x+h) - f(x)) / h ), as h -> 0

you always appear to have, to start, a zero in the denominator.

Nonetheless, the hare does eventually catch the tortoise. Rabbits are renormalizable.

Starwatcher162536
06-19-2009, 02:37 PM
I remember doing ladder problems, but I don't remember ever thinking about the y in the denominator. I guess the mechanical way we were taught to do them rearranged the terms before that possibility became apparent.


You had a bad teacher then. You usually start getting into these related rates problems right after lerning about the chain rule, he should have had you all make it into a differential equation and solve for dy/dt algebraically, to show why you really need to be careful about the assumptions you make in your model.

bjkeefe
06-19-2009, 03:01 PM
You had a bad teacher then. You usually start getting into these related rates problems right after lerning about the chain rule, he should have had you all make it into a differential equation and solve for dy/dt algebraically, to show why you really need to be careful about the assumptions you make in your model.

No, I had great math teachers. Don't blame them for anything that I might have missed or forgotten.

I do remember, in general, that one has to watch out for implicit assumptions, and now that you mention it, sure, the caveats related to blind application of the chain rule come to mind. I just meant that I don't remember this aspect of the ladder problem, specifically.

Starwatcher162536
06-23-2009, 05:42 PM
http://www.siliconvalley.com/ci_12590357

boom!

bjkeefe
06-24-2009, 04:35 PM
http://www.siliconvalley.com/ci_12590357

boom!

I hope they clear it with Satya Harvey (http://www.examiner.com/x-12038-SF-Astrology-Examiner~y2009m6d10-Orbiter-crashing-into-the-moon) first, given that she had this to say about the earlier, similar Japanese mission (emph. added):

There is a Japanese lunar orbiter named Kaguya (http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20090610/sc_space/japaneseprobetoslamintomoontoday) that is scheduled to crash into the moon today at about 2:30 pm ET. Scientists hope to learn something about the moon’s composition by observing the debris that is kicked up.

In many traditions, including astrology, the moon represents the feminine. It is the yin, the intuitive, the emotions. Women are connected to the moon by their menstrual cycles while they are fertile, and all beings, including the earth herself, are affected by the pull of the tides.

Purposefully crashing something into the moon just to watch what happens is akin to a schoolboy cutting up a live frog to see what makes it jump. It is an example of the domination of the left-brained rational scientific approach over the intuitive.

Did these scientists talk to the moon? Tell her what they were doing? Ask her permission? Show her respect?

When we are connected into the web of life, we know that what we do to one part is what we do to all. Gaining knowledge by destruction is an empty victory.

Aren't you glad we already have the word moonbattery?

Starwatcher162536
07-01-2009, 12:19 AM
http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2009/06/playboy-bunnies-bouncing-back.html

Starwatcher162536
07-10-2009, 11:32 PM
A Slightly bigger....boom. (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v459/n7248/full/nature08096.html)


It has been established that, owing to the proximity of a resonance
with Jupiter, Mercury’s eccentricity can be pumped to values large
enough to allow collision with Venus within 5 Gyr (refs 1–3). This
conclusion, however, was established either with averaged equations1,2
that are not appropriate near the collisions or with nonrelativistic
models in which the resonance effect is greatly
enhanced by a decrease of the perihelion velocity of Mercury2,3.
In these previous studies, the Earth’s orbit was essentially unaffected.
Here we report numerical simulations of the evolution
of the Solar System over 5 Gyr, including contributions from
the Moon and general relativity. In a set of 2,501 orbits with
initial conditions that are in agreement with our present knowledge
of the parameters of the Solar System, we found, as in
previous studies2, that one per cent of the solutions lead to a large
increase in Mercury’s eccentricity—an increase large enough to
allow collisions with Venus or the Sun. More surprisingly, in one
of these high-eccentricity solutions, a subsequent decrease in
Mercury’s eccentricity induces a transfer of angular momentum
from the giant planets that destabilizes all the terrestrial planets
3.34 Gyr from now, with possible collisions of Mercury, Mars or
Venus with the Earth.

Interesting, completely useless, but interesting.

SkepticDoc
07-11-2009, 03:07 PM
This was supposed to be a fun thread...

bjkeefe
07-11-2009, 03:11 PM
This was supposed to be a fun thread...

I thought Starwatcher's post was fun. You just don't know how to party.

;^)

SkepticDoc
07-16-2009, 06:25 PM
http://www.nih.gov/news/health/jul2009/nhgri-16.htm

slightly funny, definitely amusing (to me)

claymisher
07-22-2009, 05:22 PM
Really delightful video of life in the oceans:

http://www.ted.com/talks/david_gallo_shows_underwater_astonishments.html

claymisher
08-07-2009, 03:21 PM
Bacteria make computers look like pocket calculators
Biologists have created a living computer from E. coli bacteria that can solve complex mathematical problems

The research, published today in the Journal of Biological Engineering, proves that bacteria can be used to solve a puzzle known as the Hamiltonian Path Problem. Imagine you want to tour the 10 biggest cities in the UK – one route might start in London (number 1) and finish in Bristol (number 10), for example. The solution to the Hamiltonian Path Problem would be the route that takes in each city just once.

This simple problem is surprisingly difficult to solve. There are over 3.5 million possible routes to choose from, and a regular computer must try them out one at a time to find the one that visits each city only once. Alternatively, a computer made from millions of bacteria can look at every route simultaneously. The biological world also has other advantages. As time goes by, a bacterial computer will actually increase in power as the bacteria reproduce.

Programming such a computer is no easy task, however. The researchers coded a simplified version of the problem, using just three cities, by modifying the DNA of Escherichia coli bacteria. The cities were represented by a combination of genes causing the bacteria to glow red or green, and the possible routes between the cities were explored by the random shuffling of DNA. Bacteria producing the correct answer glowed both colours, turning them yellow.



http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2009/jul/24/bacteria-computer

bjkeefe
08-07-2009, 03:38 PM
Bacteria make computers look like pocket calculators
Biologists have created a living computer from E. coli bacteria that can solve complex mathematical problems

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2009/jul/24/bacteria-computer

Bacteria that can operate as computers? Computers that can breed like bacteria?

WASN'T THIS SUPPOSED TO BE THE FUN SCIENCE THREAD???

;^)

Starwatcher162536
08-07-2009, 04:01 PM
That is a pretty cool proof of concept, but really is not that exciting from a results standpoint, that article really blows thing out of proportion. Isn't a hamiltonian path with three vertices...just a triangle? :/

claymisher
08-07-2009, 04:09 PM
That is a pretty cool proof of concept, but really is not that exciting from a results standpoint, that article really blows thing out of proportion. Isn't a hamiltonian path with three vertices...just a triangle? :/

Of course, you're right, but the point is that it was FUN! :)

claymisher
08-11-2009, 06:19 PM
In real time???!!!

Rather than sticking to a single DNA script, human brain cells harbor astonishing genomic variability, according to scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. The findings, to be published in the Aug. 5, 2009, advance online edition of Nature, could help explain brain development and individuality, as well as lead to a better understanding of neurological disease. The team ... found that human brain cells contain an unexpected number of so-called mobile elements—extraordinary pieces of DNA that insert extra copies of themselves throughout the genome using a "copy and paste" mechanism.

"This is a potential mechanism to create the neural diversity that makes each person unique," says Gage. "The brain has 100 billion neurons with 100 trillion connections, but mobile pieces of DNA could give individual neurons a slightly different capacity from each other."

The only other human cells known to remodel their genome are the cells of the immune system. There the genes coding for antibodies are shuffled to create the necessary variety of antibodies capable of recognizing an infinite number of distinct antigens. ...

When Coufal measured matched samples (brain versus other body tissues) from numerous individuals, she found that some brain samples had as many as 100 extra copies per cell. "This was proof that these elements really are jumping in neurons," explains Coufal. Strikingly, it also means that not all cells are created equal—humans are true chimeras since the DNA in their brain cells is different from the DNA in the rest of their cells.

In this way, mobile elements may actually drive evolution, creating more diversity than would occur through normal cell division (which makes an exact copy of the genome, save the occasional typo). "It's a different way of looking at diversity," says Gage. "The brain lives for 80 years with the environment coming at us unpredictably, and this provides an added element of adaptability. It makes sense that there would be this added level of complexity."


http://esciencenews.com/articles/2009/08/05/on.move

Simon Willard
08-11-2009, 11:12 PM
Bacteria make computers look like pocket calculators
Biologists have created a living computer from E. coli bacteria that can solve complex mathematical problems

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2009/jul/24/bacteria-computer

Yeah, but can they master Windows Vista?

claymisher
08-25-2009, 06:31 PM
Seen at http://delicious.com/cshalizi

"The arrow-of-time dilemma states that the laws of physics are invariant for time inversion, whereas the familiar phenomena we see everyday are not (i.e., entropy increases). I show that, within a quantum mechanical framework, all phenomena which leave a trail of information behind (and hence can be studied by physics) are those where entropy necessarily increases or remains constant. All phenomena where the entropy decreases must not leave any information of their having happened. This situation is completely indistinguishable from their not having happened at all. In the light of this observation, the second law of thermodynamics is reduced to a mere tautology: physics cannot study those processes where entropy has decreased, even if they were commonplace."

http://scitation.aip.org/getabs/servlet/GetabsServlet?prog=normal&id=PRLTAO000103000008080401000001&idtype=cvips&gifs=Yes

I can almost understand this. I know what the parts mean but I can't put it together. Arg.

claymisher
08-25-2009, 06:37 PM
Aha!

http://focus.aps.org/story/v24/st7

Hey, that links to Sean Carroll. I didn't know he had an Arrow of Time FAQ:

http://preposterousuniverse.com/eternitytohere/faq.html

claymisher
08-27-2009, 11:20 PM
Are plants quantum computers?

First Evidence of Entanglement in Photosynthesis
(http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/23581/)

bjkeefe
08-27-2009, 11:34 PM
Are plants quantum computers?

First Evidence of Entanglement in Photosynthesis
(http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/23581/)

Interesting. Thanks for the link.

<cynicism>
I give it about a week before the woo crowd starts using this to claim that there is a scientific basis for mental telepathy.
</cynicism>

claymisher
08-28-2009, 12:04 AM
Interesting. Thanks for the link.

<cynicism>
I give it about a week before the woo crowd starts using this to claim that there is a scientific basis for mental telepathy.
</cynicism>

You should hear what my plants say about you.

bjkeefe
08-28-2009, 02:10 AM
You should hear what my plants say about you.

LOL!

(It's killing me that I can't riff off of this.)

SkepticDoc
08-30-2009, 12:14 AM
Awesome molecular picture:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1209726/Single-molecule-million-times-smaller-grain-sand-pictured-time.html

SkepticDoc
09-14-2009, 08:22 PM
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/photogalleries/week-in-space-pictures-48/images/primary/090623-01-sunspot-computer-model_big.jpg&imgrefurl=http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/photogalleries/week-in-space-pictures-48/&usg=__Ss3GQn6Szxj7wL6lxHSwqCS6YE4=&h=460&w=461&sz=265&hl=en&start=4&sig2=jSSYg88R9e_1iua4Zz-qiw&um=1&tbnid=KvbYe3WAOP2-8M:&tbnh=128&tbnw=128&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dcomputer%2Bgenerated%2Bsunspot%2Bimag e%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1B3GGGL_enUS330US332%26sa%3DX% 26um%3D1&ei=x8-uStT1JtTZlAedqtHQBg

Starwatcher162536
09-25-2009, 02:12 PM
Most of you that would care about this have probably already heard about this, but I think this guy gives did a good summary of whats happening.

Its kind of nice seeing a finding like this come from a country like India.

http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2009/09/the_moon_is_not_dehydrated.php

Starwatcher162536
10-05-2009, 02:52 PM
A unified theory of superman's powers (http://www.qwantz.com/fanart/superman.pdf)

claymisher
10-07-2009, 08:13 PM
http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/24204/

I like Kibler's because the rare earth elements don't pop out and the groups still line up!

http://img.skitch.com/20091007-j347ist44dncsccn2xppx2ycfk.png

http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0408104

bjkeefe
10-08-2009, 09:52 AM
http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/24204/

I like Kibler's because the rare earth elements don't pop out and the groups still line up!

But if I were to pick one to hang on my wall, I would definitely go with Abubakr's. (One nail, right through the center.)

Me&theboys
10-08-2009, 02:03 PM
Does Ardi (http://www.sciencemag.org/ardipithecus/) count as fun? I think so. (Free access to the articles in Science with registration.) And Nat Geo (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/10/091001-oldest-human-skeleton-ardi-missing-link-chimps-ardipithecus-ramidus.html), too.

bjkeefe
10-08-2009, 02:41 PM
Does Ardi (http://www.sciencemag.org/ardipithecus/) count as fun? I think so. (Free access to the articles in Science with registration.) And Nat Geo (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/10/091001-oldest-human-skeleton-ardi-missing-link-chimps-ardipithecus-ramidus.html), too.

Yes. At least I thought (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/10/paleoanthropology-update.html) so, thanks to Wonderment (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=132315#post132315).

Thanks for the additional links.

JonIrenicus
10-12-2009, 12:16 AM
nuclear batteries !

http://www.softsailor.com/news/8931-nuclear-power-in-your-own-pocket.html

Ocean
10-29-2009, 11:13 PM
What could reflect the true spirit of Fun Science than Stephen Colbert interviewing Brian Cox about the LHC (http://www.comedycentral.com/colbertreport/full-episodes/index.jhtml?episodeId=253942)?

claymisher
10-30-2009, 02:51 PM
There are tons of fun science articles on wikipedia. I love the orders of magnitude:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orders_of_magnitude_(length)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micro-

I feel like I should know a lot of these off the top of my head, but I don't. I didn't know a nanometer was a billionth of a meter.

bjkeefe
10-31-2009, 05:37 AM
There are tons of fun science articles on wikipedia. I love the orders of magnitude:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orders_of_magnitude_(length)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micro-

I feel like I should know a lot of these off the top of my head, but I don't. I didn't know a nanometer was a billionth of a meter.

Had someone asked, "Wanna bet whether clay knows what a nanometer is?," I would have said, "Hmmm. That guy knows all sorts of technical type stuff. Sure!"

Funny how we have these odd (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/08/another-random-factoid.html) little (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/08/movie-trivia.html) gaps (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/07/all-different.html) in (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/06/money.html) our (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/03/mooned.html) knowledge.

Starwatcher162536
11-02-2009, 12:16 PM
http://www.bodyspacesociety.eu/2009/11/02/love-the-swiss-way-sociologists-want-to-optimize-the-marriage-market/

Me&theboys
11-02-2009, 06:07 PM
What could reflect the true spirit of Fun Science than Stephen Colbert interviewing Brian Cox about the LHC (http://www.comedycentral.com/colbertreport/full-episodes/index.jhtml?episodeId=253942)?

That was excellent! Cox handled Colbert exactly right. Thanks for the link.

Ocean
11-02-2009, 07:00 PM
That was excellent! Cox handled Colbert exactly right. Thanks for the link.

You're welcome. And I agree with the comment.

claymisher
11-02-2009, 07:47 PM
Had someone asked, "Wanna bet whether clay knows what a nanometer is?," I would have said, "Hmmm. That guy knows all sorts of technical type stuff. Sure!"

Funny how we have these odd (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/08/another-random-factoid.html) little (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/08/movie-trivia.html) gaps (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/07/all-different.html) in (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/06/money.html) our (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/03/mooned.html) knowledge.

I hear you. I run with the geek crowd so I'm usually the dumb guy in the room. I'm ok with that.

bjkeefe
11-02-2009, 08:59 PM
I hear you. I run with the geek crowd so I'm usually the dumb guy in the room. I'm ok with that.

I know what you mean. I used to have a job like that, and though it was often embarrassing, it was more often rewarding.

claymisher
11-10-2009, 04:22 AM
Girls can do math:

http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2009/math-gender.html

claymisher
11-20-2009, 12:12 AM
cells communicate with photons?!


Last year, researchers at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago showed that human cells in culture could synchronize their internal chemical processes even though they were mechanically, chemically, and electrically isolated from one another. The cells, it seemed, were communicating through the exchange of photons.

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/24425/?a=f

SkepticDoc
11-20-2009, 06:46 AM
BS!

bjkeefe
11-20-2009, 08:36 AM
cells communicate with photons?!

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/24425/?a=f

I for one look forward to being able to beam my thoughts and shoot death rays from my eyes.

Ocean
11-20-2009, 08:41 AM
I for one look forward to being able to beam my thoughts and shoot death rays from my eyes.

What? I thought you were able to do that already...

bjkeefe
11-20-2009, 09:36 AM
What? I thought you were able to do that already...

No. Sadly, the best I can do at the moment is to beam Rays of Mild Discomfort.

popcorn_karate
11-20-2009, 01:36 PM
more here

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0006256

SkepticDoc
11-22-2009, 08:19 AM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/21/animals-that-light-up-pho_n_365263.html?slidenumber=05H1fhqKpfw%3D

Ocean
11-22-2009, 12:37 PM
How about less sinister luminescence?

Ironically, luciferin... (http://www.bio.davidson.edu/people/midorcas/animalphysiology/websites/2006/cahermes/index.htm)

Ocean
11-22-2009, 09:42 PM
I just came across this article (http://news.discovery.com/tech/firing-up-the-large-hadron-collider-again.html). I didn't know about the piece of bread. They are kidding, aren't they?

bjkeefe
12-09-2009, 11:22 AM
Dennis Overbye (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/10/science/10collide.html) has a brief note in today's NYT, copied here for your reading pleasure:

Collider Meets Its Goal for Power

The Large Hadron Collider achieved its goal to be most powerful physics machine in the world on Tuesday evening.

Scientists from CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, accelerated protons around the 17-mile underground racetrack outside Geneva to energies of 1.18 trillion electron volts apiece and then crashed them together. That broke a record held by the Tevatron at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois, making the European machine the most energetic in the world and ending a long American dominance in the field.

The collisions came after a week of steady progress in which the CERN physicists were colliding beams of protons at the lower energy of 450 billion electron volts in larger and larger numbers. At the end of the day Tuesday they briefly ramped the machine’s energy up to 1.18 trillion electron volts to produce the record-setting collisions. More are planned in the coming days before the collider is shut down for the holidays.

Next year the CERN physicists plan to run the collider at even higher power, up to 3.5 trillion electron volts, to perform physics experiments in search of forces and laws that prevailed during the first trillionth of a second of time.

So I guess it's next year that we'll all get swallowed up by the black holes.

SkepticDoc
12-09-2009, 04:10 PM
Why do they shut down for the "holidays"?

Do they have to go to Christmas midnight mass? :)



Just askin...

bjkeefe
12-09-2009, 05:54 PM
Why do they shut down for the "holidays"?

Do they have to go to Christmas midnight mass? :)



Just askin...

Oh, no. I'm sure it is a godless heathen celebration of the winter solstice, featuring that most pagan of symbols: a decorated evergreen tree.

SkepticDoc
12-09-2009, 06:07 PM
Or maybe it is the Saturnalia? (http://www.cs.utk.edu/~Mclennan/BA/Saturnalia.html)

or Sol invictus? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sol_Invictus)

Ocean
12-10-2009, 08:41 AM
So I guess it's next year that we'll all get swallowed up by the black holes.

Not so fast...

True or hoax? (http://news.discovery.com/space/mystery-spiral-appears-over-norway.html)

bjkeefe
12-10-2009, 09:55 AM
Not so fast...

True or hoax? (http://news.discovery.com/space/mystery-spiral-appears-over-norway.html)

That must be the spinning plasma vortex device used to cut crop circles (http://www.tonyrogers.com/news/levengood_crop_circles.htm).

AemJeff
12-10-2009, 10:51 AM
Not so fast...

True or hoax? (http://news.discovery.com/space/mystery-spiral-appears-over-norway.html)

Apparently true - it was seemingly a Russian rocket stage spiraling out control and spewing ejecta, possibly fuel.
The Bad Astronomer is on the case (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/12/09/awesomely-bizarre-light-show-freaks-out-norway/)!

Ocean
12-10-2009, 07:04 PM
That must be the spinning plasma vortex device used to cut crop circles (http://www.tonyrogers.com/news/levengood_crop_circles.htm).

No doubt.

Ocean
12-10-2009, 07:06 PM
Apparently true - it was seemingly a Russian rocket stage spiraling out control and spewing ejecta, possibly fuel.
The Bad Astronomer is on the case (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/12/09/awesomely-bizarre-light-show-freaks-out-norway/)!

Yes, I read that was a one of the possible explanations. The photograph that I saw online, looked so, but so perfect, that I thought it was more likely that someone had gotten really creative...

SkepticDoc
12-10-2009, 08:11 PM
http://trueslant.com/jimnash/2009/12/10/did-dinos-speak-spanish/

popcorn_karate
12-14-2009, 08:05 PM
very interesting article

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/print/200912/dobbs-orchid-gene

there are always two sides to the coin...

edit: explains how the alleles commonly identified as "risk factors" are also "exceptional factors" i.e. in one environment you get worse than "normal" results, but in others you get better than "normal" results by having a certain allele, and that is why they exist and have not been selected out by evolution.

AemJeff
12-15-2009, 04:39 PM
They’re more closely related to clams than to people. They’re not supposed to be smart. But it’s hard to argue with the evidence, and in recent years, researchers have grappled with the possibility that octopuses can even use tools.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/12/octopus-tools/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wired%2Findex+%28Wired%3A+Ind ex+3+%28Top+Stories+2%29%29&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher

bjkeefe
12-15-2009, 05:19 PM
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/12/octopus-tools/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wired%2Findex+%28Wired%3A+Ind ex+3+%28Top+Stories+2%29%29&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher

Like many, I wondered how PZ (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/12/must-see_tv.php) would react (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/12/id_better_mention_this_again.php).

[Added] Heh. Just noticed your subject line. Nice.

claymisher
12-15-2009, 06:03 PM
Octal! That gave me the giggles.

claymisher
12-16-2009, 05:02 PM
The stand-up scientist:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/15/science/15comic.html?_r=2

Ocean
12-20-2009, 12:01 AM
Cool video (http://news.discovery.com/space/your-weekend-wow.html) introduced by Jennifer Ouellette.

SkepticDoc
12-22-2009, 10:33 AM
http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=3167&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

bjkeefe
12-22-2009, 11:01 AM
http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=3167&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

He left out one that he could have cast in terms of transvestism -- an old Playboy cartoon I saw decades ago: "Don We Now Our Gay Apparel."

Ocean
12-26-2009, 06:59 PM
About the brain (http://www.ted.com/talks/henry_markram_supercomputing_the_brain_s_secrets.h tml)...

SkepticDoc
01-05-2010, 08:04 AM
http://www.kepler.nasa.gov/

bjkeefe
01-05-2010, 08:10 AM
http://www.kepler.nasa.gov/

Way cool. Thanks.

bjkeefe
01-05-2010, 10:00 AM
A good read:

Let's face it, science is boring (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20427392.300-lets-face-it-science-is-boring.html?full=true)

(h/t: Idea of the Day (http://ideas.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/24/friendship-unfriended/))

bjkeefe
01-05-2010, 07:36 PM
Can't guarantee they'll all be fun and non-depressing post, of course, but this tweet (http://twitter.com/seanmcarroll/status/7418975048) seemed to belong in this thread:

seanmcarroll NPR has a new science/culture blog, "13.7." That's one-billionth the number of years since the Big Bang! http://is.gd/5Nh3G (http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/)

SkepticDoc
01-07-2010, 02:07 PM
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/01/new-sky-mapping-infrared-telescope-sees-first-light/

SkepticDoc
01-07-2010, 02:09 PM
http://theoatmeal.com/comics/pigs

TwinSwords
01-10-2010, 08:59 PM
Discussing SixthSense, a wearable gestural computer interface.

http://www.snotr.com/video/3471

bjkeefe
01-13-2010, 07:36 PM
Male Chromosome May Evolve Fastest

A new look at the human Y chromosome has overturned longstanding ideas about its evolutionary history. Far from being in a state of decay, the Y chromosome is the fastest-changing part of the human genome and is constantly renewing itself.

The rest. (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/14/science/14gene.html)


(? (http://www.wordorigins.org/index.php/forums/viewthread/934/))

bjkeefe
01-27-2010, 01:14 PM
Okay, this is not science. But it was linked (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/01/chris_clarke_broke_into_my_hou.php) to by a science blogger, and it's way fun (http://faultline.org/index.php/site/item/incendiary/), especially some of the comments.

==========

On a coincidental note (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/01/bad_bad_spouse.php):

... I actually wrote something here as I was being driven to Chico, and my phone apparently ate it, making it a blank post. Which didn't stop anyone since it gathered 66 comments.

SkepticDoc
01-27-2010, 05:44 PM
http://www.cracked.com/article/18361_6-creepy-animal-behaviors-that-science-cant-explain/

Hopefully funnier...

bjkeefe
02-07-2010, 01:12 AM
Who knew Frederik Pohl is blogging (http://www.thewaythefutureblogs.com/)? Not I.

Here is part 1 (http://www.thewaythefutureblogs.com/2010/01/isaac) and here is part 2 (http://www.thewaythefutureblogs.com/2010/01/isaac-part-2/) of his early memories of Isaac Asimov.

h/t: John Scalzi (http://whatever.scalzi.com/2010/01/25/you-know/), who linked to the first, saying:

You Know —

Posts like this (http://www.thewaythefutureblogs.com/2010/01/isaac/) are why one of the best blogs you can read right now just happens to be written by a 90-year-old man.

Still need incentive? Pix at the lynx!

AemJeff
02-07-2010, 02:03 AM
Who knew Frederik Pohl is blogging (http://www.thewaythefutureblogs.com/)? Not I.

Here is part 1 (http://www.thewaythefutureblogs.com/2010/01/isaac) and here is part 2 (http://www.thewaythefutureblogs.com/2010/01/isaac-part-2/) of his early memories of Isaac Asimov.

h/t: John Scalzi (http://whatever.scalzi.com/2010/01/25/you-know/), who linked to the first, saying:



Still need incentive? Pix at the lynx!

Sweet.

TwinSwords
02-07-2010, 02:44 AM
Okay, this is not science. But it was linked (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/01/chris_clarke_broke_into_my_hou.php) to by a science blogger, and it's way fun (http://faultline.org/index.php/site/item/incendiary/), especially some of the comments.

Heh. That is awesome. And brilliant. And as you said, the comments are great, too.

bjkeefe
02-07-2010, 03:10 AM
Heh. That is awesome. And brilliant. And as you said, the comments are great, too.

Wow. I just went back and I see there are now about 600 comments.

bjkeefe
02-09-2010, 09:22 AM
Well, science-y news, at least:

The NYT has an article describing analysis that was done on their "Most Emailed" articles list, based on "checking it every 15 minutes for more than six months."

There are some interesting and uplifting observations, not least of which was the surprisingly large percentage of science articles that were, at least fleetingly, thought worth sharing. (By the coastalibrulintelleckshual elite, I mean.)

Nice bit of snark from Tierney, who says well what I'm sure many of us have thought at one time or another:

The results are surprising — well, to me, anyway. I would have hypothesized that there are two basic strategies for making the most-e-mailed list. One, which I’ve happily employed, is to write anything about sex. The other, which I’m still working on, is to write an article headlined: “How Your Pet’s Diet Threatens Your Marriage, and Why It’s Bush’s Fault.”

Anyway, here it is (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/09/science/09tier.html).

bjkeefe
02-24-2010, 01:22 AM
http://static.flickr.com/84/277416694_4815a71f46_d.jpg

Answer here (http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=3183).

We are a puny species, but you gotta give it up to us for spunk. That looks like a salmon climbing the falls to get back to its spawning grounds, if you ask me.

AemJeff
02-24-2010, 10:19 AM
http://static.flickr.com/84/277416694_4815a71f46_d.jpg

Answer here (http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=3183).

We are a puny species, but you gotta give it up to us for spunk. That looks like a salmon climbing the falls to get back to its spawning grounds, if you ask me.

That is a beautiful thing.

SkepticDoc
02-27-2010, 10:00 AM
http://www.cracked.com/article_18415_6-things-your-body-does-every-day-that-can-destroy-you.html

bjkeefe
02-27-2010, 08:06 PM
... pedestrian-only driver's ed!!!1! (http://www.treelobsters.com/2010/02/131-safety-measures.html)

(h/t: @kriswager (http://twitter.com/kriswager/status/9720809770))

popcorn_karate
02-28-2010, 11:21 PM
hehe I appreciated that.

bjkeefe
03-01-2010, 02:02 AM
... just remember that we're not all that much evolved from flatworms (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/02/saturday_night_penis_fencing.php).

Ocean
03-01-2010, 08:26 AM
... just remember that we're not all that much evolved from flatworms (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/02/saturday_night_penis_fencing.php).

Yeah, but whatever little we have evolved from them, I'm thankful for.

TwinSwords
03-01-2010, 01:09 PM
Yeah, but whatever little we have evolved from them, I'm thankful for.

LOL!!!

As freaky as that video was, I'm inclined to distance myself as much as possible.

bjkeefe
03-01-2010, 01:11 PM
As freaky as that video was, I'm inclined to distance myself as much as possible.

That's just because you feel inadequate, because you only have one and they have two.

SkepticDoc
03-01-2010, 02:14 PM
PZ may have some sort of penis envy...

http://markc1.typepad.com/relentlesslyoptimistic/2005/03/cephaloblogging.html

Squidblog consulted Pharyngula's post on Tentacle Sex and learned that "Male squid do not have a penis...they have a specially modified tentacle, the hectocotylus." This non-penis penis is used to scoop sperm from the male's spermatophore storage pouch "and place it inside the buccal or mantle cavity of the female." "...In some cephalopods, the end of the hectocotylus snaps off and remains imbedded in the female."

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/06/the_burden_of_bearing_a_massiv.php

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/03/the_giant_squid_has_a_penis.php

Ocean
03-01-2010, 07:01 PM
... just remember that we're not all that much evolved from flatworms (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/02/saturday_night_penis_fencing.php).

See? Look at what you have started in this thread!

bjkeefe
03-01-2010, 07:07 PM
See? Look at what you have started in this thread!

Fun! Science!

(Okay, one out of two.)

Ocean
03-01-2010, 07:10 PM
Fun! Science!

(Okay, one out of two.)

No. Giddy men talking about penises!

bjkeefe
03-01-2010, 07:12 PM
No. Giddy men talking about penises!

Fun! (for us) Science! (for you).

uncle ebeneezer
03-01-2010, 07:18 PM
Well at least PZ's mind is gender-balanced:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/01/what_about_mountain_dew.php

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/01/evolution_of_the_mammalian_vag.php

Ocean
03-01-2010, 07:24 PM
Fun! (for us) Science! (for you).

I'll refrain from answering this one.

bjkeefe
03-05-2010, 02:24 PM
Now appearing (http://twitter.com/seanmcarroll/status/10028537787) on a Twitter stream near you:

seanmcarroll (http://twitter.com/seanmcarroll) A Higgsophobic universe would be pretty easy to manipulate. http://is.gd/9KR7B (http://www.salon.com/ent/comics/tom_the_dancing_bug/2010/03/03/tom_the_dancing_bug)

bjkeefe
03-05-2010, 05:39 PM
... reposted by pourmecoffee (http://pourmecoffee.posterous.com/the-science-news-cycle-3).

bjkeefe
03-06-2010, 11:59 PM
A new SI prefix (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2010/03/yes-10-27-times-yes.html), that's what.

Admit it. You're not happy about yotta- holding the top slot, and neither is anyone else.

SkepticDoc
03-07-2010, 07:05 AM
This makes more sense... (http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-03/physics-student-petitions-hella-si-units)

bjkeefe
03-07-2010, 01:40 PM
There's an interesting piece in today's NYT in which an English lit student looks at Lewis Carroll's seminal work as a satire on the mathematical ideas (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/opinion/07bayley.html?pagewanted=all) that were new in his day, and argues that this is what made Alice in Wonderland not only his best effort, but something that would last.

(? (http://www.geom.uiuc.edu/~banchoff/Flatland/))

TwinSwords
03-07-2010, 09:14 PM
(? (http://www.geom.uiuc.edu/~banchoff/Flatland/))

Awesome book. I actually have a hard copy of that. What a wonderful story it is.

bjkeefe
03-08-2010, 12:59 AM
Awesome book. I actually have a hard copy of that. What a wonderful story it is.

Great! Always nice to hear that someone else has heard of one of my favorites.

SkepticDoc
03-08-2010, 08:30 AM
Is the fractal video Alice's hole? (http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/finding-your-roots/?hp)

bjkeefe
03-08-2010, 08:54 AM
Is the fractal video Alice's hole? (http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/finding-your-roots/?hp)

LOL! I was just coming to this thread to post that same link!

It does seem like falling through the looking glass, doesn't it?

SkepticDoc
03-08-2010, 09:02 AM
It's infinity and eternal life...

bjkeefe
03-08-2010, 09:08 AM
It's infinity and eternal life...

Actually, when I first started learning about recurrence relations and the beautiful complexity they can produce, I figured I had gotten a glimpse into how life, the universe, and everything had formed.

AemJeff
03-08-2010, 09:23 AM
Actually, when I first started learning about recurrence relations and the beautiful complexity they can produce, I figured I had gotten a glimpse into how life, the universe, and everything had formed.

I'm still convinced by that notion.

bjkeefe
03-08-2010, 09:32 AM
I'm still convinced by that notion.

Yes, I worded my comment poorly. I didn't mean to suggest I no longer think that -- although some of the initial excitement has abated, I still feel like I caught a glimpse of something profoundly deep.

AemJeff
03-08-2010, 10:27 AM
Yes, I worded my comment poorly. I didn't mean to suggest I no longer think that -- although some of the initial excitement has abated, I still feel like I caught a glimpse of something profoundly deep.

It's turtles, all the way down.

bjkeefe
03-08-2010, 11:01 AM
It's turtles, all the way down.

But the key is, we now know how turtle(n+1) is generated from turtle(n).

AemJeff
03-08-2010, 11:32 AM
But the key is, we now know how turtle(n+1) is generated from turtle(n).
I believe we do! (With apologies to all the non-coder/non-geeks scratching their heads over this.)
N.B. I haven't trued to compile this. If there are any syntax errors contained here, please blame the authors.

//
// Source Code Copyright (c) -http://upload.wikimedia.org/math/b/e/4/be4c703ed73456618ed283b892c6715a.png FSM/IPU Inc
//

class Turtle
{
Turtle::Turtle (int n) {m_pt = new Turtle (n+1);}
public:
Turtle *m_pt;
Turtle::~Turtle () {delete m_t;}
};
extern bool bArmageddon;

Main ()
{
Turtle t0 = new Turtle(0);
do {
while (!bArmageddon)
};
delete t0;
return http://upload.wikimedia.org/math/b/e/4/be4c703ed73456618ed283b892c6715a.png ;
}

claymisher
03-08-2010, 01:31 PM
http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/BLOOD_FALLSlg-565x330.jpg

http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/45981

SkepticDoc
03-12-2010, 02:15 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/03/12/pi.day.math/index.html?hpt=C1

SkepticDoc
03-12-2010, 04:48 PM
http://blog.speakingoffaith.org/post/76970025/a-three-pound-brain-contemplating-galaxies-rob

Ocean
03-14-2010, 11:19 PM
One day I'll have to go on a trip to the most Northern latitudes... it's soooo beautiful! (http://news.discovery.com/space/aurora-northern-lights-space-phenomena.html)

bjkeefe
03-15-2010, 06:39 AM
One day I'll have to go on a trip to the most Northern latitudes... it's soooo beautiful! (http://news.discovery.com/space/aurora-northern-lights-space-phenomena.html)

Take me with you -- I've never seen those.

Meantime, thanks for the link. I agree -- beautiful. (Also, the rollover captions were surprisingly informative.)

bjkeefe
03-15-2010, 09:16 AM
Okay, so this isn't (http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/11/30/when_we_were_just_beginning/) the fun kind of spanking ...

When we were just beginning work on our book, Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics, we stumbled on a curious but compelling relationship. In a state level analysis, we found a very high correlation between favoring corporal punishment of children and the 2004 Bush vote. To begin our TPM post, we thought it might be interesting to see whether the result replicated in 2008. It does.

... but it is kind of fun-ny.

(h/t: John Allen Paulos (http://twitter.com/JohnAllenPaulos/status/10175260924))

bjkeefe
03-21-2010, 01:32 AM
Daniel Holz (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2010/03/18/highest-energy-ever/) of Cosmic Variance passes along this tale from Lyn Evans, project leader of the LHC:*

They use superfluid (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superfluid) helium to cool the superconducting magnets. One of the many weird properties of this stuff is that it has zero viscosity. Which means that, if there’s any sort of hairline fracture anywhere in the 27 kilometer long tunnel, the stuff comes spewing out, and very, very bad things happen (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/2008/09/19/lhc-first-magnet-failure/trackback/). Every component, every joint, every one of the tens of thousands of tiny connections has to be perfect. It is this sort of failure which brought the machine to its knees shortly after commissioning, over a year ago.

The magnets are kept very, very cold; the superfluid helium is at 1.9 Kelvin (-271 Celsius), or a couple of degrees above absolute zero. We’re not talking a little vial in a laboratory being kept at this temperature. We’re talking many thousands of tonnes of magnets, kept just above absolute zero (using 96 tonnes of liquid helium). As things cool down, they naturally contract. The decks on bridges do the same thing, hence those serrated grills at the ends of bridges to absorb the expansion and contraction due to weather (if you’ve ever motorcycled across a bridge, you know exactly what I’m talking about). There are equivalent serrated joints in the LHC beam pipe to ensure that it doesn’t contract and rip open upon cooling (which, needless to say, would be bad). But upon reheating a section of the LHC, it turned out some of these devices left little fibers in the beam tube. Not good. How to find them, without ripping open the entire collider (costing millions of dollars and setting the project back precious months)? They ended up blowing a ping pong ball (with electronics embedded) down the tube, and tracking where it would get stuck. A simple, elegant, cheap solution to fix a multi-billion dollar enterprise.

==========

* Initializations may be preferable in this case (http://www.dependablerenegade.com/dependable_renegade/2010/03/thats-entirely-different-never-mind.html).

listener
03-21-2010, 02:29 AM
We are a puny species, but you gotta give it up to us for spunk.

Yes, that is a cool and inspiring image. 3 cheers for our spunky little species! I also enjoyed the comment on that page regarding the photo: "I love the timestamps down in the right corner. It’s like my MOM is on the ISS and she just happened to grab her Minolta one-shot in time to add the shuttle launch shot to her holiday photos."

Okay, now that were' all puffed up, here's something totally awe-inspiring to maybe cut us back down to size re: our place in the universe: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap090910.html

AemJeff
03-21-2010, 02:31 AM
Yes, that is a cool and inspiring image. 3 cheers for our spunky little species! I also enjoyed the comment on that page regarding the photo: "I love the timestamps down in the right corner. It’s like my MOM is on the ISS and she just happened to grab her Minolta one-shot in time to add the shuttle launch shot to her holiday photos."

Okay, now that were' all puffed up, here's something totally awe-inspiring to maybe cut us back down to size re: our place in the universe: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap090910.html

Now, where (http://eponym327.blogspot.com/2009/09/saturnebula.html) have I seen that image before? :)

listener
03-21-2010, 02:46 AM
Now, where (http://eponym327.blogspot.com/2009/09/saturnebula.html) have I seen that image before? :)

Well, what can I say? I admire your taste in photographs! :)

AemJeff
03-21-2010, 02:47 AM
Well, what can I say? I admire your taste in photographs! :)

That really is a spectacularly gorgeous thing.

listener
03-21-2010, 03:00 AM
Yeah, it took my breath away when I first saw it.

Ocean
03-21-2010, 12:04 PM
My guess is that most commenters in this forum will like the implications in this article.

Are you all happy? (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/17/talk-deeply-be-happy/?src=me&ref=homepage)

Starwatcher162536
03-24-2010, 04:31 AM
Most people tend to be drawn to big ideas. Ideas that have vast cosmic meaning. Ideas that attempt to explain the nature of the universe at it's most fundamental level or the inner workings of the human mind. Ideas that change how we view reality itself.

Me? I am content to try to understand the mysteries of the peanut.

A slightly different way of looking at a mechanical wristwatch (http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/126)

apheresis machine explained (http://academicearth.org/lectures/intro-to-chemical-engineering-5)

heat exchanger explained (http://academicearth.org/lectures/intro-to-chemical-engineering-11)

Fractionation distillation explained (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractional_distillation)

Background knowledge not required, but as always, it is useful to have.

Ocean
03-25-2010, 11:13 PM
Easy and cool human evolution time line (from NAP, free PDF download) (http://www.nap.edu/catalog/12825.html):

In summary, the major evolutionary events in human evolution are:
1. The split from chimpanzees at 8-6 Ma.
2. The development of bipedal locomotion, probably occurring at the split.
3. The slow evolutionary change to bigger teeth, thicker enamel, and reduction
of canines that characterize a 5-Ma-long lineage from Sahelanthropus and
Orrorin (if those are not the same as Ardipithecus), through Ardipithecus, to
Australopithecus, and finally to Paranthropus.
4. A splitting event between 3 and 2.5 Ma that produced Homo from an
Australopithecus ancestor.
5. The development of stone tool technology at about 2.6 Ma.
6. The origin of a more carnivorous species, Homo erectus, at about 1.9 Ma.
7. The first dispersal by hominins out of Africa, by 1.8 Ma.
8. The development of the Acheulean stone tool culture at about 1.6 Ma.
9. An increase in cranial capacity in H. heidelbergensis at about 500 ka.
10. The origin of Homo sapiens at about 200 ka.
11. The origin of symbolic language.
12. The successive innovations in culture and lifestyle that led to the second
dispersal event out of Africa at about 60 ka.
13. Expression of symbolic language in cave paintings and sculptures by
about 60-30 ka.
14. The domestication of plants and animals within the last tens of thousands
of years in different parts of the world.
15. The ever-accelerating spread and dominance of humans over global
ecosystems in the last few thousand years.

SkepticDoc
03-26-2010, 11:27 PM
What moves the stones?

http://scienceray.com/earth-sciences/geology/the-mysterious-sailing-stones/

Ocean
03-30-2010, 09:51 PM
LHC! (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/31/science/31collider.html?ref=science)

Starwatcher162536
03-31-2010, 02:40 AM
After 16 years and $10 billion...

How intimidating. Sixty years ago a particle physicist could get by with a $10,000 cyclotron and the help of a few grad students.

uncle ebeneezer
04-01-2010, 02:41 PM
Should have put THIS (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=5098) in this thread. After all if gay animals aren't fun science, I dunno what is!

claymisher
04-02-2010, 04:42 PM
Alert Nicholas Wade!

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2010/04/01/scientists-discover-gene-and-part-of-brain-that-make-people-gullible/

bjkeefe
04-02-2010, 05:08 PM
Alert Nicholas Wade!

WIN.

Simon Willard
04-02-2010, 05:18 PM
Discover Magazine? I believe it completely.

SkepticDoc
04-02-2010, 05:52 PM
April Fool!

inferior supra-credulus

bjkeefe
04-03-2010, 06:00 PM
Some aspects of the Fibonacci sequence, illustrated in a video short: Nature by Numbers (http://www.etereaestudios.com/docs_html/nbyn_htm/movie_index.htm).

(h/t: Sam Harris (http://twitter.com/SamHarrisOrg/status/11539919444))

SkepticDoc
04-03-2010, 06:17 PM
Wow!!! Thanks

bjkeefe
04-05-2010, 01:50 PM
X-37! X-37! X-37! (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2010/04/x-37.html)

(Sorry, too lazy to rejigger the post from HTML to BBcode.)

listener
04-05-2010, 02:53 PM
April Fool!


Yes, I was just going to ask, was this posted on April 1?

listener
04-05-2010, 02:59 PM
http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2009/06/playboy-bunnies-bouncing-back.html

Okay, I admit it, your title made me click on this. :)

bjkeefe
04-07-2010, 02:55 PM
In more ways than one (http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/25011/).

And no, this is not a story about an Oompa-Loompa. It is a report on a failed <strike>state</strike> star, wandering alone through space (*sniff*), but happily! right in our neighborhood, as interstellar distances go.

(h/t: Thoreau (http://highclearing.com/index.php/archives/2010/04/06/10982))

listener
04-07-2010, 03:02 PM
In more ways than one (http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/25011/).

And no, this is not a story about an Oompa-Loompa. It is a report on a failed <strike>state</strike> star, wandering alone through space (*sniff*), but happily! right in our neighborhood, as interstellar distances go.

(h/t: Thoreau (http://highclearing.com/index.php/archives/2010/04/06/10982))

Cool stuff.

And I liked the final sentence, too:

Expect to hear more about UGPSJ0722-05 from Lucas and others. A decent name would be a good start.

listener
04-07-2010, 08:53 PM
My first contribution to Fun Science!

I don't want to spoil the surprise, so I will only say that this is the first time that a Colbert Report segment (http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/269864/april-05-2010/dean-kamen) made me weep not from laughter, but because my emotions were so deeply touched by what I saw. For me, this was truly inspirational, and that's no joke.

Ocean
04-07-2010, 09:03 PM
My first contribution to Fun Science!

I don't want to spoil the surprise, so I will only say that this is the first time that a Colbert Report segment (http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/269864/april-05-2010/dean-kamen) made me weep not from laughter, but because my emotions were so deeply touched by what I saw. For me, this was truly inspirational, and that's no joke.

Yes, I watched it yesterday. They didn't explain how it works but the human aspect of it was certainly moving. I loved the fact that Dean promotes these teams of kids and professionals working together. I have heard about that model, but never really got into the details of how they set it up. But, I agree, a great use of technology.

bjkeefe
04-11-2010, 07:19 PM
CRADLE OF HUMANKIND, South Africa — Nine-year-old Matthew Berger dashed after his dog, Tau, into the high grass here one sunny morning, tripped over a log and stumbled onto a major archaeological discovery. Scientists announced Thursday that he had found the bones of a new hominid species that lived almost two million years ago during the fateful, still mysterious period spanning the emergence of the human family.

“Dad, I found a fossil!” Matthew said he cried out to his father, Lee R. Berger (http://www.profleeberger.com/), an American paleoanthropologist, who had been searching for hominid bones just a hill and a half away for almost two decades. Fossil hunters have profitably scoured these rolling grasslands north of Johannesburg since the 1930s.

Matthew held the ancient remains of a 4-foot-2 boy who had been just a few years older than Matthew himself. Dr. Berger, with the Institute for Human Evolution at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and his fellow researchers have since found much more of the boy’s skeleton, including his extraordinarily well-preserved skull, and three other individuals. South Africa’s children will compete to name the boy.

In a report being published Friday in the journal Science, Dr. Berger, 44, and a team of scientists said the fossils from the boy and a woman were a surprising and distinctive mixture of primitive and advanced anatomy and thus qualified as a new species of hominid, the ancestors and other close relatives of humans. It has been named Australopithecus sediba.

The species sediba, which means fountain or wellspring in Sotho, strode upright on long legs, with human-shaped hips and pelvis, but still climbed through trees on apelike arms. It had the small teeth and more modern face of Homo, the genus that includes modern humans, but the relatively primitive feet and “tiny brain” of Australopithecus, Dr. Berger said.

The rest. (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/09/science/09fossil.html?pagewanted=all)

listener
04-11-2010, 09:04 PM
Thanks for that interesting article. In related news, (http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/57573/title/Ancient_DNA_suggests_new__hominid_line) a fossil recently found in Siberia suggests a new hominid line may have been discovered there, and may lead scientists to revise their ideas about how and when hominids began to spread out geographically.

Starwatcher162536
04-12-2010, 11:47 PM
Imagine you are in the line at the checkout counter for your local grocery store and you begin to chat it up with the girl in front of you. After a few minutes of small talk you ask her what she does for a living and she answers with...

"Oh, I study how hierarchical group dynamics in pigeon flocks relates to flock motion patterns"

Synopsis: http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100407/full/news.2010.168.html

Abstract: Animals that travel together in groups display a variety of fascinating motion patterns thought to be the result of delicate local interactions among group members1, 2, 3. Although the most informative way of investigating and interpreting collective movement phenomena would be afforded by the collection of high-resolution spatiotemporal data from moving individuals, such data are scarce4, 5, 6, 7 and are virtually non-existent for long-distance group motion within a natural setting because of the associated technological difficulties8. Here we present results of experiments in which track logs of homing pigeons flying in flocks of up to 10 individuals have been obtained by high-resolution lightweight GPS devices and analysed using a variety of correlation functions inspired by approaches common in statistical physics. We find a well-defined hierarchy among flock members from data concerning leading roles in pairwise interactions, defined on the basis of characteristic delay times between birds’ directional choices. The average spatial position of a pigeon within the flock strongly correlates with its place in the hierarchy, and birds respond more quickly to conspecifics perceived primarily through the left eye—both results revealing differential roles for birds that assume different positions with respect to flock-mates. From an evolutionary perspective, our results suggest that hierarchical organization of group flight may be more efficient than an egalitarian one, at least for those flock sizes that permit regular pairwise interactions among group members, during which leader–follower relationships are consistently manifested.

Ocean
04-18-2010, 12:35 PM
Science podcast for those who are interested. Click on "listen to the full Science podcast" (http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2010/04/podcast-wormholes-the-origin-of-.html?etoc)

listener
04-21-2010, 08:43 AM
From NPR science correspondent Robert Krulwich, an early example of human compassion for animals:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126051517

bjkeefe
04-21-2010, 02:44 PM
Kinda surprised a certain other member (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/member.php?u=160) of this community hasn't linked to this (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8631486.stm) already ...

(h/t: Ken Layne (http://wonkette.com/414961/everybody-gets-high-for-hitlers-birthday))

listener
04-21-2010, 03:19 PM
Kinda surprised a certain other member (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/member.php?u=160) of this community hasn't linked to this (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8631486.stm) already ...

(h/t: Ken Layne (http://wonkette.com/414961/everybody-gets-high-for-hitlers-birthday))

Yeah, but can it tie a slip knot?

Seriously, though, very cool!

Ocean
04-22-2010, 10:07 AM
From NPR science correspondent Robert Krulwich, an early example of human compassion for animals:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126051517

What a sweet story!

http://media.npr.org/assets/news/2010/04/19/mousejail.jpg?t=1271449043&s=4


And those sad eyes!

bjkeefe
04-22-2010, 12:42 PM
What a sweet story!

And those sad eyes!

Reminded me of one of my favorite books (http://www.amazon.com/Ben-Me-Astonishing-Benjamin-Franklin/dp/0316517305), way back when.

Ocean
04-22-2010, 12:44 PM
Reminded me of one of my favorite books (http://www.amazon.com/Ben-Me-Astonishing-Benjamin-Franklin/dp/0316517305), way back when.

Yes. It also reminds me of a kids poem my mother used to tell me. It's in Spanish though...

bjkeefe
04-22-2010, 01:00 PM
I spent an awfully long time this morning staring at the slide show (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2010/04/19/science/042010-cassini_index.html) of moon shots and this other sidebar image (http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2010/04/20/science/space/20cassini_graphic.html) that accompanied the NYT's fascinating article (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/20/science/space/20cassini.html) on using Titan's gravity to move Cassini around the Saturnian system.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/04/20/science/space/20cassini_graphic/20cassini_graphic-popup.jpg

Ocean
04-22-2010, 01:03 PM
I spent an awfully long time this morning staring at the slide show (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2010/04/19/science/042010-cassini_index.html) of moon shots ...



Are you OK? Do you need help? ;)

bjkeefe
04-22-2010, 01:47 PM
Are you OK? Do you need help? ;)

Maybe the NYT does. I mean, all this talk of particle plumes, probes, attractions, Dione, Tethys, Pandora, Phoebe, ... not to mention Saturn's G-ring ...

;^)

Ocean
04-22-2010, 01:51 PM
Maybe the NYT does. I mean, all this talk of particle plumes, probes, attractions, Dione, Tethys, Pandora, Phoebe, ... not to mention Saturn's G-ring ...

;^)

It's spring time.

;')

listener
04-22-2010, 04:54 PM
Via NPR (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126191021)

bjkeefe
04-22-2010, 07:00 PM
Via NPR (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126191021)

Way cool! Thanks.

(Way hot, actually.)

Ocean
04-23-2010, 07:46 PM
Aircruise (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bP15Vgt55Gk&feature=player_embedded#!) anyone?

bjkeefe
04-26-2010, 03:48 PM
From Ken Layne (http://wonkette.com/415031/republican-approved-bipartisan-financial-regulations-attacked-by-republicans):

The Hubble Telescope turned 20 years old on Saturday. If you’re old enough to remember what pre-Hubble astronomical imagery was like, then you are maybe capable of still feeling awe & wonder, while looking at these fantastic pictures that also happened to change the science of studying space. [Ars Technica (http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010/04/hubble-turns-20-a-retrospective-in-pictures.ars)/National Geographic (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/04/photogalleries/100424-hubble-telescope-20th-anniversary-pictures/#hubble-dying-star-eskimo-nebula_19427_600x450.jpg)]

Ocean
04-26-2010, 03:53 PM
The Hubble Telescope turned 20 years old on Saturday. If you’re old enough to remember what pre-Hubble astronomical imagery was like, then you are maybe capable of still feeling awe & wonder, while looking at these fantastic pictures that also happened to change the science of studying space. [Ars Technica/National Geographic]

Beautiful images! I wish I had something brainier to say, but hey! I'll go with the literal: goosebumps!

SkepticDoc
04-26-2010, 04:01 PM
Stephen Hawking has a nice series: http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/stephen-hawking/

The "Aliens" episode may better enjoyed under the influence of mind altering substances...

Ocean
04-26-2010, 04:27 PM
The "Aliens" episode may better enjoyed under the influence of mind altering substances...

Is that the reason for those annoying Target pharmacy ads in between?

bjkeefe
04-26-2010, 07:04 PM
B'head Emeritus Carl Zimmer has an interesting article (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/27/science/27gene.html?pagewanted=all) in tomorrow's NYT about progress in work discovering connections among genes that would seem at first glance to have nothing to do with each other.

"There was a lot of screaming in the halls ..."

Whoa. That was out of context. How about the lede, instead?

Edward M. Marcotte is looking for drugs that can kill tumors by stopping blood vessel growth, and he and his colleagues at the University of Texas at Austin recently found some good targets — five human genes that are essential for that growth. Now they’re hunting for drugs that can stop those genes from working. Strangely, though, Dr. Marcotte did not discover the new genes in the human genome, nor in lab mice or even fruit flies. He and his colleagues found the genes in yeast.

“On the face of it, it’s just crazy,” Dr. Marcotte said. After all, these single-cell fungi don’t make blood vessels. They don’t even make blood. In yeast, it turns out, these five genes work together on a completely unrelated task: fixing cell walls.

Crazier still, Dr. Marcotte and his colleagues have discovered hundreds of other genes involved in human disorders by looking at distantly related species. They have found genes associated with deafness in plants, for example, and genes associated with breast cancer in nematode worms. The researchers reported their results (http://www.pnas.org/content/107/14/6544.long) recently in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

And then there's the part about the link between Waardenburg syndrome in humans and genes that help the mustard plant sense gravity.

It is truly all mixed up (closely related) out there.

SkepticDoc
05-06-2010, 08:06 PM
http://sciencemag.org/special/neandertal/

Ocean
05-06-2010, 08:58 PM
Gosh!

I had bookmarked the same link to post it here. I just didn't have the chance to do it yet!

Interesting, isn't it?

JoeK
05-06-2010, 09:56 PM
Neanderthals mated with some modern humans after all and left their imprint in the human genome, a team of biologists has reported in the first detailed analysis of the Neanderthal genetic sequence. (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/07/science/07neanderthal.html?pagewanted=2&ref=science)

SkepticDoc
05-06-2010, 11:38 PM
Grammar Police query: Neanderthal or Neandertal?

Ocean
05-06-2010, 11:42 PM
Grammar Police query: Neanderthal or Neandertal?

Wiki: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neanderthal)

The Neanderthal (pronounced /niːˈændərtɑːl/, /niːˈændərθɔːl/), or /neɪˈændərtɑːl/),[1] also spelled Neandertal,[2] ...

SkepticDoc
05-06-2010, 11:48 PM
Gracias!

listener
05-07-2010, 02:44 AM
When it comes to engineering dams on a large scale, humans are apparently no match for the mighty beaver (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#37008071).

Ocean
05-09-2010, 02:39 PM
Neanderthals mated with some modern humans after all and left their imprint in the human genome, a team of biologists has reported in the first detailed analysis of the Neanderthal genetic sequence. (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/07/science/07neanderthal.html?pagewanted=2&ref=science)

Dating tips. (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/opinion/09wayne.html)

SkepticDoc
05-09-2010, 02:50 PM
Andy Borowitz idea (http://www.borowitzreport.com/2010/05/09/mating-between-humans-and-neanderthals-could-explain-glenn-beck/)

Ocean
05-09-2010, 04:06 PM
Andy Borowitz idea (http://www.borowitzreport.com/2010/05/09/mating-between-humans-and-neanderthals-could-explain-glenn-beck/)

Hey, my friend! Thank you for the link! I had lost track of Andy Borowitz, one of my favorite humorous readings from years ago.

listener
05-28-2010, 03:34 AM
everything you always wanted to know about sh#t (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/37390471#37390471)*

*but were afraid to ask

bjkeefe
05-31-2010, 05:16 PM
... but kudos to China's National Supercomputing Center for zooming past the one quadrillion flop milestone (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/01/science/01compute.html).

bjkeefe
06-04-2010, 05:38 PM
Beginning of a piece of good news from the NYT (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/05/science/space/05rocket.html):

Private Rocket Has Successful First Flight

The maiden flight of a privately-developed rocket that may eventually carry NASA astronauts to space took off Friday afternoon and reached orbit in what appeared to be an almost flawless flight.

The Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, SpaceX for short, launched the 154-foot, 735,000-pound Falcon 9 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, heading eastward over the Atlantic. The nine first-stage engines ignited at 2:45 p.m. Eastern time. After burning for three minutes, the first stage dropped off into the ocean while the second-stage engine burned about six minutes to place a capsule into orbit.

It is not reported whether Dan Quayle asked about "the first nine."

SkepticDoc
06-24-2010, 01:47 PM
on oceanic bacteria...

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/2010/06/24/36000000000000000000000000000000/

bjkeefe
06-24-2010, 04:52 PM
on oceanic bacteria...

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/2010/06/24/36000000000000000000000000000000/

Thanks for the heads-up. Will try to set aside some time for it.

(That URL looks funny, also too.)

Ocean
06-24-2010, 06:12 PM
Thanks for the heads-up. Will try to set aside some time for it.

(That URL looks funny, also too.)

There's a dinosaur roaring ad here that scared the heck out of me when I opened this thread. Sheeesh! :mad:

SkepticDoc
06-24-2010, 07:58 PM
You are afraid of dinosaurs??!!!

Ocean
06-24-2010, 08:35 PM
You are afraid of dinosaurs??!!!

The last one I ran into was pretty friendly, so I should say, no, I'm not afraid. ;)

It's just that the roar is so loud and unexpected that it startles me. And it happened again now. Crap!

SkepticDoc
06-24-2010, 08:39 PM
I am a little worried about you...:)

AemJeff
06-24-2010, 08:49 PM
The last one I ran into was pretty friendly, so I should say, no, I'm not afraid. ;)

It's just that the roar is so loud and unexpected that it startles me. And it happened again now. Crap!

My niece's cat has the same problem with lions. One day not too long after we brought him here, I queued up a DVD - I don't remember which, but it was obviously something from MGM. I made a mistake trying to set the volume while an apparently silent DVD menu played, and the movie automatically started before I realized that. So I'm sitting on my couch, the (still wary of me since he really doesn't know me yet) cat is sitting on the floor about eight feet away, between me and the screen, when the MGM lion appeared and roared at full (400+ watts) volume in surround. The poor cat leaped directly away from the screen and literally bounced off my chest before disappearing under a bed somewhere for the rest of the night. He still slinks warily away when we start up movies.

Ocean
06-24-2010, 08:51 PM
My niece's cat has the same problem with lions. One day not too long after we brought him here, I queued up a DVD - I don't remember which, but it was obviously something from MGM. I made a mistake trying to set the volume while an apparently silent DVD menu played, and the movie automatically started before I realized that. So I'm sitting on my couch, the (still wary of me since he really doesn't know me yet) cat is sitting on the floor about eight feet away, between me and the screen, when the MGM lion appeared and roared at full (400+ watts) volume in surround. The poor cat leaped directly away from the screen and literally bounced off my chest before disappearing under a bed somewhere for the rest of the night. He still slinks warily away when we start up movies.

Yes, I have some bruises too. ;)

SkepticDoc
06-29-2010, 08:41 PM
http://eurovision3.feedroom.com/?skin=showcase&fr_chl=ff514afb93462930eb1c755a400a1693571be6d7

Nobel Laureates at Lindau (http://www.lindau-nobel.org/WebHome.AxCMS)

disclaimer: I have not listened to any yet!

Ocean
06-29-2010, 10:13 PM
Chasmology update. (http://www.nerve.in/news:253500321018)

listener
06-29-2010, 11:59 PM
Chasmology update. (http://www.nerve.in/news:253500321018)

This could change one's perspective on the whole day (just think of seeing the person across from you on the bus yawning).

Anyway, I can't write any more now, I'm so tired (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxJOpr6Y5yI)...

bjkeefe
06-30-2010, 08:15 PM
Chasmology update. (http://www.nerve.in/news:253500321018)

The yawing/sexual desire connection is well-known. It is a mechanism that evolved to give males an excuse to drape their arms around their dates in movie theaters.

bjkeefe
06-30-2010, 08:18 PM
I apologize because this is a bit of a depressing story, but in my own defense, the memories sure are fun.

I pass along some sad news, from a selfish perspective, at least: Olivia Judson, the fine biology blogger for the NYT, is going on sabbatical for a year. I wish her all the best, but I wish for myself that she comes back and picks up where she left off.

Her closing column (http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/so-long-and-thanks/) is well worth a read, and if you've been following my blog for a while, you know that I've been recommending her pieces for some time now (e.g. (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2008/08/optimism-in-evolution.html), e.g. (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/12/your-moment-of-eye-candy.html)). You could do a lot worse than to take a stroll through her NYT archives (http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/author/olivia-judson/) and stop to smell a few of the flowers there.

uncle ebeneezer
06-30-2010, 08:18 PM
And for women to claim that they are too tired. ;)

bjkeefe
06-30-2010, 08:21 PM
And for women to claim that they are too tired. ;)

Hah! A contraindicator!

Ocean
06-30-2010, 08:28 PM
Hah! A contraindicator!

No, no, it doesn't work that way. It's an excuse for the woman to softly place her head on the man's shoulder and cuddle with semi-closed eyes.

uncle ebeneezer
06-30-2010, 08:39 PM
Awww...(with warm/fuzzy inflection)

AemJeff
06-30-2010, 08:43 PM
Awww...(with warm/fuzzy inflection)

Get that man some antibiotics!

uncle ebeneezer
06-30-2010, 08:48 PM
Yes. His case is... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA6id4--BDg)

bjkeefe
07-05-2010, 03:36 PM
Who woulda thunk stuffed animals could be therapeutic for others besides small children?

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/07/05/us/05robot1_span/05robot1_span-articleLarge.jpg

Or does this article (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/05/science/05robot.html?pagewanted=all) reveal an especially insidious new tactic being developed by our coming robot overlords?

In other words: Do you ♥ this animal or do you ♣ it?

SkepticDoc
07-05-2010, 03:57 PM
It is very sad that we may need to rely on machines to provide warmth and comfort, on the practical side, no need to housebreak...

Ocean
07-05-2010, 04:05 PM
It is very sad that we may need to rely on machines to provide warmth and comfort, on the practical side, no need to housebreak...

People with dementia revert to more immature (childlike) patterns of behavior. Finding a stuffed animal/doll comforting isn't surprising.

SkepticDoc
07-05-2010, 04:08 PM
I still think it is sad...

Ocean
07-05-2010, 04:13 PM
Who woulda thunk stuffed animals could be therapeutic for others besides small children?


This (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/bhharl.html)is the way we're wired, pardon the pun.

An excerpt:

Harlow was intrigued by love. He questioned the theories then current which stated that love began as a feeding bond with the mother and applied by extension to other family members. Other theories claimed that humans and other social animals lived in organized societies simply to regularize sexual contact. Starting in 1957, Harlow worked with rhesus monkeys, which are more mature at birth than humans, but like human babies show a range of emotions and need to be nursed. He took infant monkeys away from their real mothers, giving them instead two artificial mothers, one model made of wire and the other made of cloth. The wire model was outfitted with a bottle to feed the baby monkey. But the babies rarely stayed with the wire model longer than it took to get the necessary food. They clearly preferred cuddling with the softer cloth model, especially if they were scared. (When the cloth model had the bottle, they didn't go to the wire model at all.)

This experiment is most interesting if one wants to interpret it from utilitarian or evolutionary perspectives.

Ocean
07-05-2010, 04:15 PM
I still think it is sad...

Did you ever play with dolls?

On second thought, please, don't answer that question. ;)

SkepticDoc
07-05-2010, 04:17 PM
I had a G.I. Joe and a space capsule...

uncle ebeneezer
07-05-2010, 04:20 PM
To me the saddest part is scared baby monkeys. (I know, experiments need to be done for exploration etc.) But man, it just shows why I would never be good at experimental biology, I'm way too much a softie for animals.

Ocean
07-05-2010, 04:27 PM
To me the saddest part is scared baby monkeys. (I know, experiments need to be done for exploration etc.) But man, it just shows why I would never be good at experimental biology, I'm way too much a softie for animals.

Yes, I can relate to that. But if you entered the field of research you may adapt.

bjkeefe
07-05-2010, 04:28 PM
Did you ever play with dolls?

On second thought, please, don't answer that question. ;)

I had a G.I. Joe and a space capsule...

Show me on the space capsule where Wernher von Braun touched you.

;)

listener
07-05-2010, 07:44 PM
Yes, I can relate to that. But if you entered the field of research you may adapt.

I'm with Uncle Ebeneezer on this. Though it seems that the results of the study did help to undercut then-prevailing overly simplistic theories of love, which is probably a good thing, I wonder whether such cruelty can be justified (especially in the name of love!), and whether the same conclusions could have been reached by more humane means.

I suppose, though (or at least I hope), that studies of this kind reflect the moral environment of the time in which they were conducted (perhaps we are evolving morally, after all!).

Ocean
07-05-2010, 07:49 PM
I'm with Uncle Ebeneezer on this. Though it seems that the results of the study did help to undercut then-prevailing overly simplistic theories of love, which is probably a good thing, I wonder whether such cruelty can be justified (especially in the name of love!), and whether the same conclusions could have been reached by more humane means.

I don't know. It's highly unlikely that the researchers had any sadistic intentions towards primates, so I will assume that they didn't find other ways of studying this phenomenon. Can you come up with a different way of getting similar information? Or perhaps, they just shouldn't have done the research at all?

listener
07-05-2010, 09:40 PM
I don't know. It's highly unlikely that the researchers had any sadistic intentions towards primates, so I will assume that they didn't find other ways of studying this phenomenon. Can you come up with a different way of getting similar information? Or perhaps, they just shouldn't have done the research at all?

I'm not assuming sadistic intentions on the part of the researchers either; as I said, I suspect that such animal experimentation was part of the ethos of the times. The researchers may not have looked for alternate ways of studying the phenomenon because the methods that they used were not considered cruel or unusual by the standards of the day.

As for coming up with a different way of getting similar information, I have no idea of how to design a scientific study, so I have no answer for that. I suppose that if there were no more humane alternate way, if I were in charge, yes, I would say don't do the research at all in this particular instance.

Ocean
07-05-2010, 10:01 PM
I'm not assuming sadistic intentions on the part of the researchers either; as I said, I suspect that such animal experimentation was part of the ethos of the times. The researchers may not have looked for alternate ways of studying the phenomenon because the methods that they used were not considered cruel or unusual by the standards of the day.

As for coming up with a different way of getting similar information, I have no idea of how to design a scientific study, so I have no answer for that. I suppose that if there were no more humane alternate way, if I were in charge, yes, I would say don't do the research at all in this particular instance.

I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I agree that the most traumatic experiments should not be conducted. But, when it comes to experiments that cause only temporary disturbance, they may be justified if the results have a potential to advance science in significant ways. I also agree that at the time the standards for "subject protection" were very loose if existent at all.

I never thought of the experiment with cloth vs wire mothers as being extremely disruptive or traumatic, but I don't know enough about the design of the study to give an informed opinion.

bjkeefe
07-05-2010, 10:07 PM
[...]

Claymisher is going to beat you and Ocean up. This is supposed to be a ...

Fun Science Thread! (only fun science! no depressing stories!)

Ocean
07-05-2010, 10:16 PM
Claymisher is going to beat you and Ocean up. This is supposed to be a ...

We'll give him a wire companion then.

bjkeefe
07-05-2010, 10:26 PM
We'll give him a wire companion then.

I bow down.

uncle ebeneezer
07-06-2010, 05:03 PM
To clarify, I have no issue with the research or the motivations of the researchers, I was just pointing out that (like many) that's a job I couldn't do because of my own emotional reactions.

bjkeefe
07-07-2010, 01:17 PM
They can rotate their ankles 180 degrees, and so keep a grip while climbing no matter which way they’re facing.

Can you guess which animal we're talking about? It's a fascinating article (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/06/science/06angi.html) in many other ways, too.

uncle ebeneezer
07-07-2010, 01:38 PM
Very cool. Thanks for sharing that.

Ocean
07-07-2010, 01:57 PM
X-Ray Laser (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/06/science/06atom.html?src=un&feedurl=http%3A%2F%2Fjson8.nytimes.com%2Fpages%2Fs cience%2Findex.jsonp): Another fascinating article!

listener
07-08-2010, 02:08 AM
Can you guess which animal we're talking about? It's a fascinating article (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/06/science/06angi.html) in many other ways, too.

Cool! Sign me up as a charter member of the SADL.

SkepticDoc
07-08-2010, 07:50 PM
http://science.dodlive.mil/2010/07/08/ibreathe-a-mobile-app-for-stress-reduction/

Bonus:

http://science.dodlive.mil/2010/07/08/cybercom%E2%80%99s-secret-code-demystified/#more-2600

bjkeefe
07-08-2010, 09:57 PM
Bonus:

http://science.dodlive.mil/2010/07/08/cybercom%E2%80%99s-secret-code-demystified/#more-2600

Will Ann Althouse demand that CYBERCOM release the decoded message, to be sure that the message is not people talking about her?

bjkeefe
07-09-2010, 05:25 PM
... since now I will have to feel even more guilty for those times when I'm a slacker, and of course we will have to deal with even more smugness from the gym rats and compulsive joggers, but "Phys Ed: Your Brain on Exercise (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/07/your-brain-on-exercise/)" is still pretty cool.

uncle ebeneezer
07-09-2010, 05:38 PM
Cool. From a related link. Massages, what are they good for?? (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/02/phys-ed-does-massage-help-after-exercise/)

Ocean
07-09-2010, 05:41 PM
Cool. From a related link. Massages, what are they good for?? (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/02/phys-ed-does-massage-help-after-exercise/)

I'm with Mrs. Tschakovsky.

Ocean
07-09-2010, 05:42 PM
... since now I will have to feel even more guilty for those times when I'm a slacker, and of course we will have to deal with even more smugness from the gym rats and compulsive joggers, but "Phys Ed: Your Brain on Exercise (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/07/your-brain-on-exercise/)" is still pretty cool.

Do we have to conclude that jocks are geniuses?

AemJeff
07-09-2010, 06:03 PM
Do we have to conclude that jocks are geniuses?

:)

bjkeefe
07-09-2010, 06:21 PM
Do we have to conclude that jocks are geniuses?

No. We could instead conjecture that they are merely trying to stave off complete retardation.

(I'm a former jock, so I get to say that. Now I am just a retard.)

Ocean
07-09-2010, 06:35 PM
No. We could instead conjecture that they are merely trying to stave off complete retardation.

(I'm a former jock, so I get to say that. Now I am just a retard.)

Oh, Brendan! I had such hopes! ;)

Ocean
07-09-2010, 06:36 PM
:)

;)

SkepticDoc
07-09-2010, 06:45 PM
Cool. From a related link. Massages, what are they good for?? (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/02/phys-ed-does-massage-help-after-exercise/)

Keep Al Gore happy? :)

bjkeefe
07-09-2010, 06:54 PM
Keep Al Gore happy? :)

He didn't seem too happy about the last massage he got (allegedly)!

uncle ebeneezer
07-09-2010, 07:11 PM
Me too. Lactic acid or no, there is nothing better after a serious workout. Ok, well maybe something (http://www.liveyachting.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/amnesia-jacuzzi.jpg).

Ocean
07-09-2010, 07:21 PM
Me too. Lactic acid or no, there is nothing better after a serious workout. Ok, well maybe something (http://www.liveyachting.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/amnesia-jacuzzi.jpg).

Agree. Nice picture.

bjkeefe
07-10-2010, 01:08 PM
... is set in a world which has been revolutionized by nanotechnology. Invisible atomic-scale robots roam through our bodies, repairing damage. Unfortunately, nearly all of the damage they are called on to repair is related to the extremely aggressive carcinogenicity of the previous generation of nano-scale robots, which nobody knows how to remove from the atmosphere. The two lead characters are class action liability lawyers, as are roughly 50% of the population of the developed world by 2115. It's basically an exploration of the consequences of a world without death, in which 75% of GDP is dedicated to the settlement of century-old mesothelioma lawsuits. (Update: the company that makes them is incredibly profitable, of course - it just ends up spending all of its cashflow on long-tailed past liabilities)

In the sequel, the lead character is a technologist who invents a new species of parasitical nanobot which can clear the air of the Generation One carcinogens. The final volume of the trilogy is dedicated to the litigation surrounding the consequences of the Generation Threes. Working title: "I Don't Know Why She Swallowed A Fly".

-- D-squared (http://d-squareddigest.blogspot.com/2010/07/my-unwritten-science-fiction-novel.html)

bjkeefe
07-12-2010, 08:07 PM
Out of the 500 to 1,000 species of microbes identified in people’s mouths, for example, only about 100 to 200 live in any one person’s mouth at any given moment. Only 13 percent of the species on two people’s hands are the same. Only 17 percent of the species living on one person’s left hand also live on the right one.

Erstwhile B'head Carl Zimmer reports on progress in understanding the human microbiome (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/13/science/13micro.html?pagewanted=all).

(I hope "fecal transplantation" can considered be considered "fun!")

SkepticDoc
07-12-2010, 08:17 PM
Several years ago, before HIV was a concern, "normal" stool enemas had been tried to treat colitis! (before these Wikipedia references)

Fecal bacteriotherapy involves the infusion of human probiotics through fecal enemas.[12] It suggests that the cause of ulcerative colitis may be a previous infection by a still unknown pathogen. This initial infection resolves itself naturally, but somehow causes an imbalance in the colonic bacterial flora, leading to a cycle of inflammation which can be broken by "recolonizing" the colon with bacteria from a healthy bowel. There have been several reported cases of patients who have remained in remission for up to 13 years.[13]

^ Borody TJ, Warren EF, Leis SM, Surace R, Ashman O, Siarakas S (July 2004). "Bacteriotherapy using fecal flora: toying with human motions". J. Clin. Gastroenterol. 38 (6): 475–83. PMID 15220681.
^ Borody TJ, Warren EF, Leis S, Surace R, Ashman O (July 2003). "Treatment of ulcerative colitis using fecal bacteriotherapy". J. Clin. Gastroenterol. 37 (1): 42–7. PMID 12811208.


EWWW!!!

listener
07-12-2010, 09:06 PM
(I hope "fecal transplantation" can considered be considered "fun!")

Hey, if that's not considered "fun," then someone tell me what is! :D