Posts

September 21, 2014

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5:30 PM | Skepchick Sundaylies: Scottish Art, Student Privacy, Dating with Kids, and the Intersection of Racism and Ableism
Categories: Meta StuffTags: ableismartbookscollegedatingdisability activistseducationEscepticagrounded parentsKanye WestLGBTQMad Art Labmovie reviewsParentingphysicsQueerekaschool of doubtScienceScottish independenceSkeptabilitysleepstuden privacyTeen SkepchickvaccinesTeen Skepchick The Physics Philes, lesson 115: The Doppler Shift Mindy learns about Doppler shift at non-relativistic speeds. Mad Art Lab Making a Book Celia and Treelobsters make a book ...(Read more...)
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2:45 AM | Seemingly futile cycles are not thermodynamically futile
Scientists discover an on/off switch for aging cells The switch controls the growth of telomeres, the timekeepers of cells September 19, 2014 Excerpt: Understanding how this “off” switch can be manipulated–thereby slowing down the telomere shortening process–could lead to treatments...Read more

September 20, 2014

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8:56 PM | Morsels For The Mind – 19/09/2014
Every day we provide you with Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast to nibble away at. Here you can fill your brain with the most intellectually stimulating “amuse bouches” from the past week – a veritable smorgasbord for the cranium. They’re all here for you to load up your plate – this week’s “Morsels for the mind”. Enjoy! If you do nothing else, make sure to check out the “Reads / views / listens of the week”. **** Feather, fur […]
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8:56 PM | Morsels For The Mind – 19/09/2014
Every day we provide you with Six Incredible Things Before Breakfast to nibble away at. Here you can fill your brain with the most intellectually stimulating “amuse bouches” from the past week – a veritable smorgasbord for the cranium. They’re all here for you to load up your plate – this week’s “Morsels for the mind”. Enjoy! If you do nothing else, make sure to check out the “Reads / views / listens of the week”. **** Feather, fur […]
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5:52 PM | Solving the metal problem: new polymer used in organic solar cells to allow wide use of metal cathodes, improve efficiency
Organic solar cells (OSC) are an exciting next-generation option for photovoltaics.  The main advantage is that they’re cheap, easily processed using solution-based methods, which opens up many innovative applications – printable cells, even solar paint! The main issue holding OSCs back is … Continue reading →

Page, Z., Liu, Y., Duzhko, V., Russell, T. & Emrick, T. (2014). Fulleropyrrolidine interlayers: Tailoring electrodes to raise organic solar cell efficiency, Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1255826

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9:40 AM | Physics Week in Review: September 20, 2014
On the latest episode of the Know Brainer Podcast, I chatted with host Christina Ochoa about Self- Experimentation, Time and Identity, and Body Fluids in Art. It’s available on iTunes or via... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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7:00 AM | Should We Believe Our Eyes?
Since I first heard of quantum mechanics, I became very interested in particle physics and theoretical physics. I think it’s really cool to imagine how the universe could be very different from what we experience and to think that our world might be just part of the reality. One of the interesting things I encountered […]
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6:54 AM | So Time is Actually… Relative?!
– a Simple Explanation of Time Dilation We think about “time” all the time- a project coming due, an appointment slotted into schedule, events with conflicting times between which we are forced to choose. Time is important to us as a reference frame because to us it seems absolute, universally unchanging. But is it really? […]
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5:49 AM | Quantum Levitational Vehicle
Although modern transportation (for example: cars, busses, trains, etc.) can be very beneficial to our everyday lives, it is a factor of negative effects on the well-being of humans and the earth. Global warming, acid rain, air and water pollution, and smog are only a few out of the immense list of disadvantages of modern […]
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2:47 AM | Writing Activity Metric Tracking
I'm playing around with tracking metrics on my writing activities today.  Clearly I need to enhance my charting presentation skills, but the information here is kind of interesting to me.  It's about me, so of course it is, but it's interesting to think about in terms of why a writing log is useful as well.  Here's what I learned  As the semester has ramped up, I've been doing more writing on EM homework and less on EM notes in preparation for class.  That's not a […]

September 19, 2014

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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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6:22 PM | In re slipping on a banana peel
Bethany Brookshire (aka SciCurious) attended last night’s Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. Her report (in Science News)  about the physics prize winner, begins: Banana peel slipperiness wins IgNobel prize in physics BOSTON — We’ve all seen the cartoons. Bugs Bunny wolfs down a banana and casually tosses the skin onto the floor. Moments later, Elmer Fudd comes […]
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6:08 PM | How slippery is a banana peel? Very basic, award-winning research
Everyone has seen the slip on a banana peel gag in cartoons or old slap stick movies, but what kind of an inquisitive mind decides to actually measure just how slippery a banana peel is?  Well, here's a report on this award-winning research. And the award?  Why the Ignoble, of course! Highly coveted you may be assured. 
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6:00 PM | Though It Seems Crazy Now, the Neutron Bomb Was Intended to Be Humane
Until the day he died, physicist Samuel Cohen declared that his invention, the neutron bomb, was a "moral" and "sane" weapon that would kill enemy combatants, while sparing civilians and cities. But, despite the support of fans like Ronald Reagan, this weapon of not-as-much mass destruction proved to be a hard sell.Read more...
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12:10 PM | Uncertain Dots 22
After a long absence due to travel (some of which is discussed), Uncertain dots returns! Rhett and I talk about recent travels, how people going into internet-based physics outreach these days would probably do better to make videos than blog, physics in science fiction, celestial navigation, and as always, our current courses. Some links: –…
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8:00 AM | And that’s the Rest of the … Rainbow
Ring Around the Rainbow What a rainbow looks like when the earth doesn’t get in the way.
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1:31 AM | Throwback Thursday: Finding the Universe’s first atoms (Synopsis)
“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” -Carl Sagan That might be true: all the heavy elements — in theory — were created after at least one generation…

September 18, 2014

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11:05 PM | Quantum physics meets Evolutionary Psychology News
Capturing the motion of a single molecule in real time as it oscillates from one quantum state to another September 18, 2014 Excerpt: “It also moves researchers a step closer to viewing the molecular world in action — being able...Read more
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10:48 PM | The Creative Power of Destruction
Today, I ran into a beloved biochemistry professor of mine at the groundbreaking ceremony for UGA’s new Science Learning Center. I told him about a book I’m reading called Life Unfolding: How the Human Body Creates Itself by Jamie Davies and about how Chapter 17 began with a quote off a car bumper sticker: “Support bacteria–they’re the […]
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9:40 PM | An Astrophysicist Came Up With A Better Way To Destroy Alderaan
Considering the Death Star's ruinous design flaw, it's hardly surprising that the Empire developed a rather inefficient way to blow up planets. According to astrophysicist Ethan Siegel, the massive-green-energy-beam approach might look cool, but to get the job done right, you need something else.Read more...
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4:53 PM | Big things, small packages Don’t be fooled by the small...
Big things, small packages Don’t be fooled by the small size of ultracompact dwarf galaxy M60-UCD1 — it harbors a supermassive black hole, according to a study published yesterday in Nature.  The result makes M60-UCD1 (shown in inset above) the smallest known galaxy to contain a supermassive black hole. And the astronomers’ findings could indicate that other ultracompact dwarf galaxies likely contain such gargantuan black holes at their centers. By measuring the motion of […]
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4:00 PM | Mystery Signal Could be Dark Matter Hint in ISS Detector
Analysis of 41 billion cosmic rays striking the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer particle detector aboard the International Space Station shows an unknown phenomena that is 'consistent with a dark matter particle' known as a neutralino.
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8:26 AM | Rube-y Goldberg Tuesday: Optics Version
(OK, it’s Thursday, but this was supposed to run on Tuesday but didn’t, owing to operator error) A Clever Rube Goldberg Machine That Runs on Light The amplified light fuels a number of different elements like a tub of water and a marble moving down a chute, but it all keeps coming back to optics. [...]
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5:48 AM | Witness The Singularity AI Nanotech Co-Evolutionary Merger
How is this for some exciting news, straight from the same source as “I Let My Computer Use My Brain” three years ago, but much advanced in the ways artificial intelligence (AI) has integrated itself further so that most anybody can now work with it, or better, play with it and do cutting edge research nevertheless:  read more
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5:48 AM | Witness The Singularity AI Nanotech Co-Evolutionary Merger
How is this for some exciting news, straight from the same source as “I Let My Computer Use My Brain” three years ago, but much advanced in the ways artificial intelligence (AI) has integrated itself further so that most anybody can now work with it, or better, play with it and do cutting edge research nevertheless:  read more
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2:52 AM | The Physics of the Death Star (Synopsis)
“What’s that star? It’s the Death Star. What does it do? It does Death. It does Death, buddy. Get out of my way!” -Eddie Izzard It’s said — at least by Darth Vader — that the power to destroy a planet is nothing compared to the power of the force. But how much energy is that,…

September 17, 2014

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3:01 PM | Dark Matter Is A A Bose-Einstein Condensate?
What is dark matter? No one can say because it can't be detected or measured, but in science inference can help and we know that something is making gravity not work properly at the large scale. What we know as matter - stars, planets, us and other organisms - is baryonic matter, but it is only a small fraction of the universe. The rest gets lumped under blanket terms like dark energy and dark matter. Dark matter must be a form of matter the particles of which move slowly in comparison […]
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3:01 PM | Dark Matter Is A Bose-Einstein Condensate?
What is dark matter? No one can say because it can't be detected or measured, but in science inference can help and we know that something is making gravity not work properly at the large scale. What we know as matter - stars, planets, us and other organisms - is baryonic matter, but it is only a small fraction of the universe. The rest gets lumped under blanket terms like dark energy and dark matter. Dark matter must be a form of matter the particles of which move slowly in comparison […]
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12:00 PM | Should I Stay Or Should I Go
Biology concepts – bacteria, motility, flagella, quorum sensing, bacterial swarming, biofilms, pathogenesisNomads are wanderers. They come in different flavors. Hunter-gatherers follow the animals as they graze in different places. Pastoral nomads have animal herds and move them around to where the grazing is best. But the interesting ones are the peripatetic nomads. These are people that move around within cities and other populated areas, often to sell services or trades. Romanis, or […]

Gloag ES, Turnbull L, Huang A, Vallotton P, Wang H, Nolan LM, Mililli L, Hunt C, Lu J, Osvath SR & Monahan LG (2013). Self-organization of bacterial biofilms is facilitated by extracellular DNA., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110 (28) 11541-6. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23798445

Deng P, de Vargas Roditi L, van Ditmarsch D & Xavier JB (2014). The ecological basis of morphogenesis: branching patterns in swarming colonies of bacteria., New journal of physics, 16 15006-15006. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24587694

McCall J, Hidalgo G, Asadishad B & Tufenkji N (2013). Cranberry impairs selected behaviors essential for virulence in Proteus mirabilis HI4320., Canadian journal of microbiology, 59 (6) 430-6. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23750959

Alteri CJ, Himpsl SD, Pickens SR, Lindner JR, Zora JS, Miller JE, Arno PD, Straight SW & Mobley HL (2013). Multicellular bacteria deploy the type VI secretion system to preemptively strike neighboring cells., PLoS pathogens, 9 (9) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24039579

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9:27 AM | John Ellis On The Ascent Of The Standard Model
Being at CERN for a couple of weeks, I could not refrain from following yesterday's talks in the Main Auditorium, which celebrated the 90th birthday of Herwig Schopper, who directed CERN in the crucial years of the LEP construction.A talk I found most enjoyable was John Ellis'. He gave an overview of the historical context preceding the decision to build LEP, and then a summary of the incredible bounty of knowledge that the machine produced in the 1990s.read more
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