Posts filed under “Science”

How Large is the Universe?

The mind-blowing answer comes from a theory describing the birth of the universe in the first instant of time. The universe has long captivated us with its immense scales of distance and time. How far does it stretch? Where does it end… and what lies beyond its star fields… and streams of galaxies extending as far as telescopes can see?

These questions are beginning to yield to a series of extraordinary new lines of investigation… and technologies that are letting us to peer into the most distant realms of the cosmos…

But also at the behavior of matter and energy on the smallest of scales. Remarkably, our growing understanding of this kingdom of the ultra-tiny, inside the nuclei of atoms, permits us to glimpse the largest vistas of space and time.

Category: Science, Weekend

On the Origin of Venn Diagrams . . .

On the Diagrammatic and Mechanical Representation of Propositions and Reasonings (Google Books).

Category: Science, Weekend

Honey Bee Extinction

Given all of the interest in AG these days, perhaps we should look at something that might lead to some extreme scarcity: Honey Bees.

Or more specifically, the decreasing number of them. Daily Infographic has today’s digital delight: This monstrous graphic looks at the mystery of the Honeybee die offs:

This is the first 10% of it:

full graphic after the jump

Read More

Category: Digital Media, Science

NASA: The Frontier Is Everywhere

FULL CREDIT goes to Michael Marantz for his brilliant original:

http://michaelmarantz.com/

AND OF COURSE to Carl Sagan. I made an entire page of credits and forgot to cite The Pale Blue Dot. Total brain fart on my part. I miss the man dearly.

I got frustrated with NASA and made this video. NASA is the most fascinating, adventurous, epic institution ever devised by human beings, and their media sucks. Seriously. None of their brilliant scientists appear to know how to connect with the social media crowd, which is now more important than ever. In fact, NASA is an institution whose funding directly depends on how the public views them.

In all of their brilliance, NASA seems to have forgotten to share their hopes and dreams in a way the public can relate to, leaving one of humanity’s grandest projects with terrible PR and massive funding cuts. I have a lot of ideas for a NASA marketing campaign, but I doubt they’d pay me even minimum wage to work for them. I literally have an MSWord document entitled NASAideas.doc full of ideas waiting to share. I thought maybe, just maybe someone might be able to work their magic for me on that. But the primary point of this post is to vent my frustration with NASA. Sure, they’ve fallen victim to budget cuts but I honestly think cutting media will seal NASA’s own fate. Unless they can find a way to relate to the general public, support for their projects will always be minimal, and their funding will follow suit. A social media department would easily pay for itself in government grants because it could rekindle the public interest in the space program.

Edit: Another video I put together:

Category: Science, Video

Why Can’t Humans Walk in a Straight Line?

NPR: A Mystery: Why Can’t We Walk Straight? from NPR on Vimeo. Hat tip boing boing

Category: Science, Weekend

GE on Energy & Dynamic Braking

From GE.com:

Energy: you can’t destroy it, but you can certainly waste it. That’s what most motorized vehicles do, including trains. Usually, the energy generated when you stop a moving vehicle is dissipated as heat, and is lost to the atmosphere. With GE’s ecomagination we’ve discovered that you can capture and store that energy, then reuse it – that’s how our hybrid systems work. Watch the video to see a simple illustration of the physics behind dynamic braking. Keep in mind an object’s force is measured in Newtons, using the equation “force = mass * acceleration.”

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Hat tip Flowing Data

Category: Science, Video

History of Atmospheric Carbon Changes

Huge NYT article on Charles David Keeling, the scientist who first measured the increased carbon in the atmosphere. The Keeling curve, as its now known, shows a steady increase in CO2 concentrations in our air over the past century. Keeling also discovered the seasonal variations of CO2 in the atmosphere. I thought the biography of…Read More

Category: Data Analysis, Quantitative, Science

Lunar Eclipse + Winter Solstice = Awesome

According to NASA: “This lunar eclipse falls on the date of the northern winter solstice. How rare is that? Total lunar eclipses in northern winter are fairly common. There have been three of them in the past ten years alone. A lunar eclipse smack-dab on the date of the solstice, however, is unusual. Geoff Chester…Read More

Category: Science, Weekend

Ten Questions Science Must Answer

For 350 years, the Royal Society has called on the world’s biggest brains to unravel the mysteries of science. Its president, Martin Rees, considers today’s big issues, while leading thinkers describe the puzzles they would love to see solved. The 10 big questions What is consciousness? What happened before the big bang? Will science and…Read More

Category: Science, Weekend

Your Brain is Beautiful (And Your Neurons Are Particularly Attractive)

From the NYT, these electron microscopy photos are strangely beautiful: The last few decades have produced an explosion of new techniques for probing the blobby, unprepossessing brain in search of the thinking, feeling, suffering, scheming mind. But the field remains technologically complicated, out of reach for the average nonscientist, and still defined by research so…Read More

Category: Science, Weekend