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Posts

April 18, 2014

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8:31 PM | The Intellectual and Other Wanderings of Walter Benjamin
Peter Gordon in The New Republic: Walter Benjamin passed some of the happiest moments of his life wandering shirtless in the sun on the Spanish island of Ibiza. In a letter in 1932, he wrote that the little Mediterranean island...
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8:19 PM | Tripedal to the Metal That’s some loco motion, huh? Found...
Tripedal to the Metal That’s some loco motion, huh? Found this neat little GIF showing how an ant’s legs move at a full gallop. While calmly strolling though the picnic grounds, ants have five of their six legs at a time in contact with the ground. But when it’s time to put the (tiny) pedal to the metal, they change their gait to this alternating tripod motion. This pattern isn’t controlled by the insect’s brain, but rather by bundles of neurons in the leg called […]
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8:17 PM | Discover the STEM Power of Walmart — From Farm Production and Fleet Truck Design to Energy Efficiency and Skilled Trade Employment!
  Many people know Walmart as the largest corporate retailer in the world, but did you also realize it is a leading innovator and employer in STEM? At Festival Expo 2014, you’ll discover in unforgettable ways this other side of Walmart, which this year is serving as an Americum-level Sponsor of the Festival! Walmart’s imprint on STEM is…
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8:04 PM | Asteroid, Meteorite Impacts Can Preserve Biodata for Millions of Years
In two separate studies, geologists led by Dr Haley Sapers from the University of Western Ontario and Dr Pete Schultz of Brown University have found floral, microbial and organic matter in glass created by ancient asteroid, comet and meteorite impacts. Such glass samples could provide a snapshot of environmental conditions at the time of those [...]
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8:03 PM | Did Chicken Little have it right? Maybe, if Chicken Little had been on Iapetus
Did the sky really fall on one of Saturn's moons?
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8:02 PM | crownedrose: perpetualartistsblock: Request (sorta) by...
crownedrose: perpetualartistsblock: Request (sorta) by karamundy: something picturing non-dinosaurs that are often wrongly considered dinosaurs. There’s probably other stuff I could’ve put in, but that’s basically everything I could think of. Fun fact: this chart also doubles as a chart depicting what I can and cannot draw well. I’m just going to put this on a t-shirt so I don’t have to explain it anymore haha. Useful chart is useful. Disappointed about the
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7:54 PM | I have a feeling that silk scarves printed with NASA satellite...
I have a feeling that silk scarves printed with NASA satellite and Hubble images are a thing that some of you might need, in a “shut up and take my money” way. Check ‘em out at Slow Factory.
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7:53 PM | Chimps Prefer Nests Made of Ugandan Ironwood, New Research Finds
Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) select a certain type of wood to make their nests, says a team of biologists from the United States. Daily construction of a nest is a universal behavior among large-bodied hominoids. Among chimpanzees, most populations select certain tree species to sleep in more frequently than other, but the reason for selecting a [...]
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7:45 PM | Smart Rear-View Mirror Sees Through The Stuff Piled In Your Back Seat
Nissan Smart Rear-View Mirror Corinne Iozzio A rear-view mirror is only useful if you can see out of the back of your car -- something, it happens, that's gotten increasingly difficult to do. We pack the trunks of our SUVs and hatch-backs to the ceiling with boxes and bags, or pile kids and pets into the backseat. Sometimes even the car itself is the culprit: As rooflines in coupes and sedans slope more aggressively downward, rear windshields are being overtaken by massive blindspots. […]
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7:06 PM | First Success Witnessed In World's Longest-Running Experiment
Here comes the pitch...  ... ... In baseball, that phrase would quickly be followed by an outcome, like strike three! But in the world's longest-running scientific experiment, waiting is the game. And so far, humans have struck out.  In 1927, scientists at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, heated up a bunch of pitch, a derivative of tar once used for waterproofing boats. After letting it settle for three years they opened the seal […]
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6:48 PM | LADEE meets Moon: High-speed impact ends probe’s mission
To preserve lunar sites, NASA cleans up its potential orbital messes.
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6:43 PM | RIP LADEE: 9/6/2013 – 4/18/2014
NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission ended April 18.
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6:33 PM | What are the next generation’s science standards?
Science literacy in the United States is substandard, and the reasons are far too numerous to list in a single blog post. Experts in the field of education concluded that one of the factors was our lack of up to date national science standards. The last time that national science standards were developed and recommended in the U.S. was 1996. Because adoption of the standards was not compulsory, each state developed its own set leading to large discrepancies in the quality of science education […]
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6:20 PM | “Hockey stick” climate scientist’s e-mail protected from disclosure
Global warming skeptics lose bid for scientist's e-mail.
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6:04 PM | The Hallmarks of Cancer 8: Tumor-Promoting Inflammation
The Hallmarks of Cancer are ten underlying principles shared by all cancers. You can read the first seven Hallmarks of Cancer articles here. The eighth Hallmark of Cancer is defined as... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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6:00 PM | Make a Model Eardrum to Detect Sound Waves
Target Grades: 6th – 8thContent Areas: Physical ScienceActivity Type: Build a ModelNGSS: MS-PS4-2  Sound is the transfer of energy in the form of waves through a substance, or medium, such as air, water, or a flexible solid. You can picture sound waves as a series of nudges that cause particles in a medium to bump into one another in successive collisions. Sound can also travel between different media, which is why you can hear loud music coming from a room with […]
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6:00 PM | An Unexplored Island in Mozambique
In the summer monsoon season of late November to mid-March the rain clouds ride on the trade winds of the Indian Ocean into the center of Mozambique. Crossing the coast, they refresh the miombo dry forest of the Cheringoma Plateau, then the savanna and floodplain grasslands of the Great Rift Valley. They run aground on the windward slopes of Mount Gorongosa, where, like a benediction to the fertility of Africa, they release great torrents of rain. […]
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5:26 PM | Two National Marine Sanctuaries May More Than Double in Size
Two national marine sanctuaries along the Northern California coast, renown for their rich animal life, may more than double in size if NOAA has its way.
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5:12 PM | Is Psychology really science? Why, yes it is!
The following is a guest blog post by Tanya Karam, @PsychAllDay on Twitter. In my own research in science and environmental communication, I've recently discovered the importance of human psychology in understanding human processing of scientific information and human behaviors toward the environment. So I asked Tanya to write a blog post about the science of psychology... Enjoy! On the first day of the first psychology class I ever taught, before I was able to get through the syllabus, a […]
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5:12 PM | Is Psychology really science? Why, yes it is!
The following is a guest blog post by Tanya Karam, @PsychAllDay on Twitter. In my own research in science and environmental communication, I've recently discovered the importance of human psychology in understanding human processing of scientific information and human behaviors toward the environment. So I asked Tanya to write a blog post about the science of psychology... Enjoy! On the first day of the first psychology class I ever taught, before I was able to get through the syllabus, a […]
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5:12 PM | Educate Yourself
As I have more and more discussions on-line one of the most common responses to rejecting claims that I have heard is “educate yourself”. This is a utterly useless statement. It’s a throwaway. It’s a statement to make when someone has no interest in continuing the discussion. That’s usually (in my experience) because they cannot […]
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5:11 PM | ‘Updike’ by Adam Begley
Michael Dirda at The Washington Post: Compared to most lives, John Updike’s was golden from the get-go. The adored only son of a highly educated mother (who herself wrote fiction, some of it eventually published in the New Yorker), the...
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5:08 PM | virginia woolf on george eliot
from a 1925 essay by Virginia Woolf in berfrois: To read George Eliot attentively is to become aware how little one knows about her. It is also to become aware of the credulity, not very creditable to one’s insight, with...
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5:04 PM | The story of Italy and its citrus fruit
Clarissa Hyman at the Times Literary Supplement: A paradox pervades the Sicilian citrus groves and gardens. The scent is intoxicating but too often the fruit lies rotten on the ground, unwanted and worthless. In this maddening, singular island, where they...
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5:00 PM | Authors retract study suggesting magnesium prevents Alzheimer’s in mice
The authors of a 2013 Journal of Neuroscience study suggesting that “elevation of brain magnesium…may have therapeutic potential for treating [Alzheimer's disease] in humans” have retracted it after finding errors in the work. Here’s the original abstract: Profound synapse loss is one of the major pathological hallmarks associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and might underlie […]
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5:00 PM | Events In Your Past Determine Which Microbes Live On You
Trillions of microbes live in and on our body. We don’t yet fully understand how these microbial ecosystems develop or the full extent to which they influence our health. Some provide essential nutrients, while others cause disease. A new study now provides some unexpected influences on the contents of these communities, as scientists have found that life history, including level of education, can affect the sorts of microbes that flourish. They think this could help in the diagnosis and […]
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5:00 PM | Shakespeare: Did radical astronomy inspire Hamlet?
From a supernova in 1572 to the discovery of Jupiter's four biggest moons – astronomical discoveries of Shakespeare's time may pop up in his work (full text available to subscribers)
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4:39 PM | The LADEE killers: NASA has crashed probe into moon
The lunar spacecraft has been intentionally smashed into the far side of the moon after months spent measuring dust and testing laser-based broadband
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4:32 PM | SpaceX tries again on Space Station resupply, booster landing
Weather permitting, SpaceX hopes for a controlled booster landing in the ocean.
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4:24 PM | First Human Clone Embryos Created From Adults' Skin Cells
Human Embryonic Stem Cells—Not the Cloned Cells Described Below This image comes from a lab unrelated to the research described below. Clay Glennon, University of Wisconsin-Madison Scientists have created cloned embryos from the cells of two adults. This feat is the first hard evidence that it's possible to create clones from cells taken from adult humans. The idea is that in the future, doctors could create cloned embryos of patients when the patients need an organ transplant, for […]
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