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Tag Archives: science

Anatomical illustration from Edo-period Japan, this one’s supposed to be of a human skeleton and is dated to 1732. Wowzers.

Halloween is coming up, i’m getting in the spirit!

The future is going to happen no matter what we do. The future will feel even faster than it does now.

Douglas Coupland’s guide to the next ten years.

There’s something comforting about this story: even Nobel-winning economists procrastinate! Many of us go through life with an array of undone tasks, large and small, nibbling at our conscience. But Akerlof saw the experience, for all its familiarity, as mysterious. He genuinely intended to send the box to his friend, yet, as he wrote, in a paper called “Procrastination and Obedience” (1991), “each morning for over eight months I woke up and decided that the next morning would be the day to send the Stiglitz box.” He was always about to send the box, but the moment to act never arrived. Akerlof, who became one of the central figures in behavioral economics, came to the realization that procrastination might be more than just a bad habit. He argued that it revealed something important about the limits of rational thinking and that it could teach useful lessons about phenomena as diverse as substance abuse and savings habits. Since his essay was published, the study of procrastination has become a significant field in academia, with philosophers, psychologists, and economists all weighing in.

Later: What does procrastination tell us about ourselves? in The New Yorker via Nellie

Just listened to this weeks Fresh Air featuring Harold McGee. The podcast is chock-full Some really fascinating things about the science and chemistry of cooking. Some interesting points:

  • Salt actually helps the flavor of food by encouraging foods to release aromas.
  • Vegetables and thin fish are actually cooked in microwaves very efficiently, and if done well, more efficiently than cooking them on a stove.
  • (One of my favorite food anecdotes) MSG is meant to imitate the flavor the Japanese call Umami, which is sort of an aged salt flavor that usually is restricted to foods like expensive aged Parmesan cheeses. (It’s definately in the chips at Jimmy Johns).
  • -It’s actually better to put spice and herbs on when the dish is at serving temperature in terms of bringing out that flavor, instead of just letting the herbs and spices meld into the dish and cooking them for a long time.
  • The way that meat is cooked in Chinese restaurants, by cutting it into small pieces and cooking it at extremely hot temperatures in a Wok that cook the meat through within 15-17 seconds, is actually probably the best way to bring out the flavors of meat.

There are even more tips on the website and in the podcast, so check it out. You can also find the book by clicking here.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory technicians John Hollis (right) and Jim McElroy install a SIDE camera in the target bay of the NIF in January of 2009. The camera was the last of NIF’s 6,206 various opto-mechanical and controls system modules called “line replaceable units” or LRUs to be installed. The first LRU, a flashlamp, was installed on Sept. 26, 2001. (NIF/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

and

“Creating a miniature star on Earth” is the goal of the National Ignition Facility (NIF), home to the world’s largest and highest-energy laser in Livermore, California.

This would have been a good idea for a movie like 10 years ago, before it was actually happening. Between this and the LHC (Large Hydron Collider), humans are taking some unbelievable strides in physics through international cooperation that didn’t exist a hundred years ago.

2001 would give a little insight into my metaphysical interests… I’d be very surprised if the universe wasn’t full of an intelligence of an order that to us would seem God-like. I find it very exciting to have a semi-logical belief that there’s a great deal to the universe we don’t understand, and that there is an intelligence of an incredible magnitude outside the Earth. It’s something I’ve become more and more interested in. I find it a very exciting and satisfying hope.

Stanley Kubrick (via itsfullofstars)

Bioprocessor

Colony collapse disorder, researched, solved! In a poetic way this news made me tear up, it’s been on my mind for years.

Since 2006, 20 to 40 percent of the bee colonies in the United States alone have suffered “colony collapse.” Suspected culprits ranged from pesticides to genetically modified food. Now, a unique partnership — of military scientists and entomologists — appears to have achieved a major breakthrough: identifying a new suspect, or two.

A fungus tag-teaming with a virus have apparently interacted to cause the problem, according to a paper by Army scientists in Maryland and bee experts in Montana in the online science journal PLoS One.

Via my friend Nellie: “This makes me excited for the world. Working together to save honeybees!! What can we work together on next? 😉 http://nyti.ms/bSsEq1

Cassini’s approach

 The Misconception: Kissing is only an expression of love.

The Truth: Kissing transmits germs from the male to the female to bolster the female immune system before and during pregnancy.

Sperm just don’t cut it when it comes to transmitting immunity.

According to the research, kissing transmits germs from man to woman, and after about six months of it she becomes immune to the bad stuff in the man’s body. By the time the baby is born, it is immune to the things the parents are immune to.

full article