Posts

September 19, 2014

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8:55 PM | Covering Ebola
As of September 14, 2014, 2,630 people have lost their lives to the Ebola virus, according to the CDC, with a total case count of 5,347. The current outbreak has been the subject of extended media coverage globally. But as journalists, bloggers and scientists come together to discuss the causes, implications, 'what if's', challenges and potential solutions of this outbreak, many of us have questioned whether we are focusing on the right things. Are we being scientifically accurate? […]
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8:51 PM | Video: Peter Thiel On How We Can Make The Future Awesome
Peter Thiel The entrepreneur and author of a new book, Zero To One, stopped by the Popular Science offices for a chat. Popular Science Peter Thiel has never shied from speculating on the future—and then pouring money into technologies that match that vision. As a cofounder of Paypal, he pioneered a new form of e-commerce. As an investor, he made an early bet on Facebook and SpaceX. Breakout Labs, a program of the Thiel Foundation, provides philanthropic […]
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8:49 PM | On Paying Postdocs Whatever for Whatevs
There was a discussion on Twitter regarding postdoctoral compensation that veered off into the assertion that it is "easy" for PIs to give a 20% bump to their postdocs if they wanted to. It eventually incorporated some allegation that particular subspecialties (like computer/informatics jockeys) required a bonus bit of pay above normal for postdocs. Eventually […]
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8:45 PM | Inserting Captive-Bred Tigers Into the Wild: Will it Work?
By Joseph Allchin Dhaka, Bangladesh--The South China tiger has not been seen in the wild since the 1960s. Although Chinese delegates at a global tiger conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh this week are reluctant to admit it is extinct in the wild, it might as well be, because no confirmed sightings have been made since the 1970s. There were under 60 of the subspecies left in zoos worldwide in 2002. However there is now hope that captive tigers can be trained to be reintroduced and function in […]
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8:36 PM | Just cook it doesn’t cut it, Italian tragic version
After an 18-month child died of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) in Italy, an Italian doctor blamed the eating habits of his family. “You do not understand” – write the family – as such a finding may have relevance in search … Continue reading →
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8:36 PM | GelSight: Fingertip Sensor Gives Robot Dexterity In Real Time
Researchers have equipped a robot with a novel tactile sensor that lets it grasp a USB cable draped freely over a hook and insert it into a USB port. Its processing algorithm is faster, so it can give the robot feedback in real time.  The sensor is an adaptation of a technology called GelSight, which was developed by the lab of Edward Adelson, the John and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Vision Science at MIT, first described in 2009. The new sensor is less sensitive than the original […]
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8:34 PM | What happened at the book launch of Too [video]
WGBH Forum produced this video of US launch of my new book This Is Improbable Too. The launch happened Friday, September 5, at Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge. I and several members of the Ig Nobel gang  — Robin Abrahams, Melissa Franklin, Corky White, and Gus Rancatore — did brief dramatic readings from studies I wrote about in the book. You can get This Is Improbable […]
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8:34 PM | Coding is climbing
These days coding is all the rage. With phrases like “data science”, “big data”, and “machine learning” being thrown around with the promise of solving all the worlds problems and, gasp, actually getting you a job, I’m often asked by people how they could possibly learn to code. “But I’m 28!” they say, “I’m horrible […] The post Coding is climbing appeared first on The Berkeley Science Review.
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8:30 PM | The 28th Santa Fe Symposium on Jewelry Manufacturing Technology
The 28th annual Santa Fe Symposium® was held from 18th–21st May 2014 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, and attracted another large attendance of delegates from 15 countries worldwide, representing a good cross-section of those involved in jewellery manufacturing from mass manufacture to specialised craft operations. In general, many were finding the market is tougher now... The post The 28th Santa Fe Symposium on Jewelry Manufacturing Technology appeared first on Johnson Matthey […]
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8:30 PM | Next Week Is Climate Week
Climate Change Collage Wikimedia Commons Next week is Climate Week in New York City. The happenings begin on Sunday with what promises to be a massive march demanding action to curb human-propelled global warming. On Tuesday, the United Nations will hold an all-day climate-focused summit for world leaders. Each day will also brim with meetings, panels, and exhibits on climate change, energy, and resilience happening all over town. PopSci will be covering the […]
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8:30 PM | Baby Poop Sausage, And Other Winners From The 2014 Ig Nobel Awards
Last night, scientists from around the world gathered at Harvard's iconic Sanders Theatre for the "24rd First Annual" Ig Nobel Awards, the wonderfully peculiar annual awards ceremony that recognizes those achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think.Read more...
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8:15 PM | Extinction or Survival: Botanic Gardens as Agents of Change
  By Chipper Wichman, Director and CEO of the National Tropical Botanical Garden With climate change flexing its muscles and demographers from several universities and the United Nations projecting global population growth climbing towards 11 billion through the end of the 21st century, the conservation of our planet’s biodiversity has never been more important. At…
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8:15 PM | Examining Bill Cosby's Legacy As 'The Cosby Show' Turns 30
On the anniversary of the iconic series, NPR's Eric Deggans talks with the author of a new Bill Cosby biography about how the show and the comedian have shaped perceptions of black families.
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8:15 PM | Inside An Ebola Kit: A Little Chlorine And A Lot Of Hope
The Ebola epidemic is growing exponentially. And clinics don't have space for patients. So the U.S. government is giving families kits for treating people at home. Will this help slow the epidemic?
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8:14 PM | The Prison in Thailand Where Inmates Fight Foreigners As Part of Their Rehab (Video)
In Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, approximately two hours north of Bangkok, lies the Klong Pai Prison. For most, a Thai prison may seem like a strange tourist destination, but Klong Pai is a special case. Starting in January of 2013, a program called “Prison Fight Thailand” has been bringing in eager foreign martial artists to engage in intense Muay Thai kickboxing matches with the inmates. Muay Thai is Thailand’s national sport and a major part of the […]
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8:11 PM | The Writer and the Valet: The Story of Dr. Zhivago
Frances Stonor Saunders in the LRB: In his youth Pasternak looked, Marina Tsvetaeva said, ‘like an Arab and his horse’. In older age, he looked the same. Sinewy and tanned from long walks and tending his orchard, at 66 he...
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8:10 PM | 3 found guilty in Georgia Salmonella trial
In a decision that may finally hold U.S. food producers accountable, a federal jury convicted three people Friday in connection with an outbreak of Salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number … Continue reading →
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8:03 PM | 'Cli-Fi': Literary Genre Rises To Prominence In The Shadow Of Climate Change
Could novels help us fight climate change? Credit: Asian Development Bank/flickrBy Stephanie LeMenager, University of OregonA frail risk analyst rediscovers his inner frontiersman in a devastating flood that hits Manhattan; an insightful rural woman glimpses the grace of god in the revelations of biological science; genetically engineered hominids who purr themselves to wellness inherit a devastated Earth. read more
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8:00 PM | Astounding Auroras, Hiding Black Holes, And More Amazing Images Of The Week
Small Galaxy, Big Hole Don’t underestimate little galaxies, because they can pack one big punch. On Wednesday, a team of astronomers recently revealed that the dwarf galaxy M60-UCD1 is actually home to a giant, supermassive black hole. The momentous discovery goes against the conventional belief that only big galaxies can house giant black holes at their center. With this unveiling, described in the journal Nature, it could mean that the universe is home to many […]
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8:00 PM | Review of T. Parsons' Articulating Medieval Logic
(I was asked to write a review of Terry Parsons' Articulating Medieval Logic for the Australasian Journal of Philosophy. This is what I've come up with so far. Comments welcome!)Scholars working on (Latin) medieval logic can be viewed as populating a spectrum. At one extremity are those who adopt a purely historical and textual approach to the material: they are the ones who produce the invaluable modern editions of important texts, without which the field would to a great extent simply not […]
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7:55 PM | New Dinosaur Rhinorex Raises Cretaceous Quandary
Rhinorex is an evocative name for a dinosaur. It sounds like a snarling theropod with a huge nasal …
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7:55 PM | Vancouver to Tokyo in just 60 minutes?
In modern times, cities and towns are spread out sometimes over 1000’s kilometers apart. Getting from one place to another can be really time consuming. Especially traveling anywhere with airplanes can be a really long journey. Sometimes it can take up to 14 hours on a continuous flight. Sitting in one spot can be frustrating […]
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7:53 PM | This Week in EPA Science
By Kacey Fitzpatrick For most of the U.S., access to clean drinking water is as easy as turning on the faucet. In fact, a lot of hard work has gone into making sure our waterways are healthy and the water we drink is safe. Forty years ago, Congress passed Safe Drinking Water Act and since […]
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7:51 PM | On ADHD
“Oh my god, a squirrel!” Just kidding. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most common mental disorders diagnosed in children. According to the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), about 3-7% of school-age children have ADHD. It seems today that ADHD is over diagnosed , which is most definitely true. What […]
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7:51 PM | They're Calling This New Species Of Hadrosaur The "King Nose"
Yes, it's got quite the schnoz — but you probably wouldn't want to mess with this giant herbivore. The recently identified species of hadrosaur measured some 30 feet long and weighed over 8,500 pounds.Read more...
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7:40 PM | Harvard Business School, Heal Thyself
Recently I wrote about a study performed by Harvard Business School assessing the way American business leaders feel about inequality in America. Somewhat surprisingly, HBS alumni indicated it's a problem. As a piece at Al Jazeera put it, alumni believed that “the weaknesses in elements that drive prosperity for the average American indicate that the American economy requires a strategy in order to do its full job." But former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich has an interesting […]
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7:40 PM | To Foil Russia's Food Ban, Imported Ingredients Go Incognito
Russia's ban on imported foods hasn't stopped its trendiest restaurants from sourcing top-quality ingredients like Italian cheese and Norwegian fish. How? Just slap on a "made in Belarus" label.
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7:40 PM | Wombats So Cute You Can't Look Away
These stocky little Aussie marsupials know how to bring the cuteness.
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7:38 PM | Illinois website now details restaurant inspections
Decades after other regions figured out how to do it and five years of trying to get restaurant inspection reports on their website, Illinois public health officials finally succeeded this month. The site — c-uphd.org/foodinspections.html — now delivers a wealth … Continue reading →
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7:34 PM | Tanzania Launches Plan to Fight Climate Impacts on Agriculture
Vital Signs is a key part of Tanzania’s new Agriculture Climate Resilience Plan, which presents a strategy for sustainable agricultural development in the face of shifting rainfall patterns and other effects of a changing climate.
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