Posts

November 19, 2014

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4:37 PM | Cat Craze
Do cats make you crazy? This was the question posed at last week’s Science on Tap, a monthly science café held at the Philadelphia bar National Mechanics. By the end of the talk, the answer was clear. “Probably not, but you should still be careful.” The world’s felines have something in common, a trait shared by both domestic housecats and lions in the African savannah: they carry the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, a highly infectious protozoan that can […]
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3:57 AM | Slurstorm, and the flaws in “Shirtstorm” arguments
I hate writing posts like this.  I prefer to write about fun physics, history of science and cool horror fiction.  But some things are so appalling and disgusting that one must speak up, especially if one’s friends are attacked. You … Continue reading →

November 18, 2014

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2:46 AM | The Elementals, by Michael McDowell
Michael McDowell’s reprinted 1981 novel The Elementals conclusively answers a question that I’ve been wondering for years: why are there so few classic haunted house stories?  I’ve always been a fan of such stories, or more generally “old dark house” … Continue reading →

November 17, 2014

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10:26 PM | Thank you Jacob Bronowski for the inspiration [Vídeo]
Más info: El ascenso de Jacob Bronowski
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9:18 PM | The Cretaceous Tortoise and Hare
Once upon a time, in the autumn of 2011, I submitted an artwork requested by one Scott Persons of the University of Alberta via Art Evolved...Three years later, the resulting set of three illustrations -- a race between an Olorotitan and a Tarbosaurus -- was finally published in the press release for a study of hadrosaur locomotion by Dr. Phil Currie and Scott Persons, which I expect a number of our readers are already familiar with, either independently or via the Chasmosaurs Facebook page. […]
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6:58 PM | Vases in Pompeii Reveal Panic Before Eruption
The vases were found sealed under a layer of ash and pumice from Mount Vesuvius, and it appears they were just ready to be fired.
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6:49 PM | Pompeii Pottery Workshop Frozen in Time: Photos
See photos of vases and kilns as they dropped and abandoned as Mt. Vesuvius' erupted in 79 A.D.
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10:00 AM | An alternative philosophical supper?
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November 16, 2014

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5:00 PM | Auricular Training & The Little Deaf Child
I came across a copy of The Little Deaf Child: A Book for Parents, a short book published in 1928 reassuring parents of deaf children that with proper training and education, there was hope for their children. The book was written by … Continue reading →

November 15, 2014

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10:45 AM | Physics Week in Review (Philae Edition): November 15, 2014
“The Philae has landed!” Excitement over the Rosetta mission has been building for weeks, with tons of explanatory blog posts on what the lander is meant to find, helpful historical... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

November 13, 2014

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10:39 PM | On the Record
In the summer issue of the magazine we asked readers to submit their personal stories about pH meters. One of our readers, Alan Weiss, sent us a compelling tale that involves a tannery, a Beckman Model G pH meter, and a lot of guts. I graduated from P. S. duPont High School in Wilmington, Delaware, in January 1945, at the tender age of 16.  Just about all of my classmates went directly into military service, since World War II was still raging. But not me. I was too young. I […]
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10:39 PM | On the Record
In the summer issue of the magazine we asked readers to submit their personal stories about pH meters. One of our readers, Alan Weiss, sent us a compelling tale that involves a tannery, a Beckman Model G pH meter, and a lot of guts. I graduated from P. S. duPont High School in Wilmington, Delaware, in January 1945, at the tender age of 16.  Just about all of my classmates went directly into military service, since World War II was still raging. But not me. I was too young. I […]
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7:32 PM | Vintage Dinosaur Art: A New Look at Dinosaurs, National Geographic, August 1978
Anyone who knows the slightest thing about the history of dinosaur science will tell you that the '60s and '70s constituted a pivotal period - the 'Dinosaur Renaissance', during which the old ideas about dinosaurs being 'great fossil lizards' (as John McLoughlin memorably put it) were overturned, and a new, more exciting picture emerged. In August 1978, National Geographic published an article by none other than John Ostrom, the man who named Deinonychus and helped lead this new wave in […]
Editor's Pick
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6:12 PM | 5,000-Year-Old Footprints Found in Denmark
The Stone Age prints were found alongside a system of fishing weirs. Continue reading →
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5:14 PM | Earth’s Age and the Cosmic Calendar
During  the 19th century geologists realized that earth was quite older than previously believed, however this discovery posed an even greater question: what about the universe?  Did earth (like some fundamental creationists believed and still believe) predate the cosmos, were  earth and the cosmos created at the same time or came earth later? Early geologist [...]
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5:14 PM | Earth’s Age and the Cosmic Calendar
During  the 19th century geologists realized that earth was quite older than previously believed, however this discovery posed an even greater question: what about the universe?  Did earth (like some... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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4:35 PM | Gastronomía en el límite (V): Coprinus atramentarius [Bonus: La muerte de Keith Moon]
Todas las setas son comestibles. Todas...... lo que ocurre es que algunas solo se pueden comer la primera vez. :-PVale. No huyáis todavía. Chascarrillos aparte hoy hablaremos de un hongo que puede comerse las veces que te dé la gana sin que produzca ningún efecto tóxico adverso. Bueno, eso no es del todo cierto porque si bebes alcohol después de consumirlo, aunque sea en poca cantidad, te puedes poner muy malito.Nunca lo mezcles con alcohol | […]
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4:00 PM | Explainer: Other Terror Groups That Have Voiced Support for ISIS
ISIS may be getting the lion's share of the headlines, but the world is filled with terrorist organizations large and small. Tara explains which among them has provided either public nods or more tangible help to ISIS.

November 12, 2014

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2:35 PM | Ice Age Infant Skeletons Offer Clues to Burial Rites
The fragile skeletons may help researchers understand death rituals practiced during the last ice age in North America.
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2:15 PM | Skeleton Emerges From Mysterious Greek Tomb
The skeletal remains were found in and outside a wooden coffin that was contained within a limestone grave. Continue reading →

November 11, 2014

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11:14 PM | Experts Debunk Claim Jesus Was a Husband and Father
Jesus was a father and husband of two, claims a new book based on an ancient manuscript. Continue reading →
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6:43 PM | 'Ese punto azul pálido' ha quedado cuarto en los X Premios Bitácoras
Al menos él tiene una estatuilla :-(No ha podido ser. Después de luchar durante varias semanas y estar en tercera posición a pocas horas del final de las votaciones, EPAP ha quedado definitivamente apartado de la final de los X Premios Bitácoras. :-(Lo siento. Lo siento mucho por todos los que me habéis animado, apoyado y votado. Nunca hubiera llegado tan lejos (si lo miramos con perspectiva es un buen resultado) sin vuestra incondicional ayuda. De todo […]
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4:29 PM | Veteran's Day: History of the Salute
The salute probably developed as an alternative to raising a hat. Continue reading →
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4:23 PM | Explainer: Life as a Boko Haram Captive
Boko Haram has kidnapped an estimated 500 people since 2009, a majority of them women. A fortunate few have escaped and been able to offer a frightening picture of life as one of the group's captives.
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1:00 PM | Bronze Bell from Long-Lost Arctic Shipwreck Revealed
Divers recovered a bronze bell from the wreck of the HMS Erebus, a British ship that was missing for nearly 170 years after an ill-fated expedition to the Canadian Arctic.
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10:03 AM | The Renaissance Road Show – November 2014
If you happen to be in Nürnberg tomorrow evening (Wed 12 Nov) I shall be babbling on about Christoph Clavius in the Nicolaus Copernicus Planetarium (in German) at 7:00pm MET. This is an updated version of the lecture I held … Continue reading →
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6:37 AM | Gastronomía en el límite (IV): Comida basura
[Esta entrada participa en la I edición del Carnaval de Neurociencias]Cuando me refiero a «basura» lo hago con toda la cautela del mundo porque el término «comida basura» no me gusta especialmente, exige matices y es demasiado amplio y confuso. Pero para que nos entendamos, la comida basura es aquella que aporta cantidades desmesuradas de azúcares, grasas y sal.Comenzamos como venimos haciendo con esta serie. De forma audiovisual. En esta […]
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12:26 AM | Nobel Vintage: Fundamental Physics Prize Co-Winner Sells No Wine Before Its Time
Last night the winners of the 2015 Breakthrough Prizes were announced, including the $3 million Fundamental Physics Prize — likely the most lucrative such honor in science. And while prior... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

November 10, 2014

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9:30 PM | All Falls Down
The latest (and last) issue of Chemical Heritage is out. In the new issue we observe the grim centennial of World War I’s opening. We look at the war’s effects on scientists and the effects of their creations on the rest of us. (We’ll explore themes of the science behind World War I in even greater depth in the first issue of Distillations Magazine, Chemical Heritage’s successor, due out in March.) With so much misery on our mind we greet a cheerier anniversary […]
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9:30 PM | All Falls Down
The latest (and last) issue of Chemical Heritage is out. In the new issue we observe the grim centennial of World War I’s opening. We look at the war’s effects on scientists and the effects of their creations on the rest of us. (We’ll explore themes of the science behind World War I in even greater depth in the first issue of Distillations Magazine, Chemical Heritage’s successor, due out in March.) With so much misery on our mind we greet a cheerier anniversary […]
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