nanila: (kusanagi: amused)
[personal profile] nanila2015-04-01 03:25 pm

Nature's April Fool

Zoology: Here be dragons

The abstract:
Emerging evidence indicates that dragons can no longer be dismissed as creatures of legend and fantasy, and that anthropogenic effects on the world's climate may inadvertently be paving the way for the resurgence of these beasts.

The calm was shaken briefly from 1586 to 1597 with The First Stir. Dragons behave no differently from other ectotherms in their brumation protocols, and they will periodically awaken from their slumber and check to see whether outside conditions justify ending the torpor. With their need to maintain extremely high temperatures in their buccal and nasal furnaces, it is crucially important for the fire-breathing species to ensure that the environmental conditions are energetically favourable before breaking their dormancy: there must be warmth and food. Fortunately, The First Stir coincided with the depths of the Little Ice Age and a bewildering lack of knights. Thus, the decision to return to slumber was made without hesitation.
jjhunter: Watercolor of daisy with blue dots zooming around it like Bohr model electrons (science flower)
[personal profile] jjhunter2014-04-30 08:12 am

'A Scientist Alphabet' + Looking for Science Quotes

If anyone's in a playful mood, come drop by and add stanzas for your favorite scientists. (Alphabetical order optional.) Odd letters (1st, 3rd, etc.) are 5-7-5, even 7-7.

[personal profile] jjhunter: Haikai Fest: 'A Scientist Alphabet'
A's Avogadro
whose constant counts up one mole
he summed mass in gas

Speaking of scientists past and present, I'm doing a neat little side project at work where I find and evocatively write up a short quote about science or science culture (or 'relevant to science education') every two weeks or so on the little whiteboard by my desk.

I'd love to feature more quotes from scientists of color, past or present, and/or scientists who are women — any recommendations? So far I've done quotes from Rosalind Franklin, Marie Curie, Maria Mitchell, Siddhartha Mukherjee re: Rudlof Virchow, Stephan Jay Gould, Atul Gawande, and Mario Livio (see all at tumblr).

Photo of example quote behind the cut )

Admins, might I trouble you for a 'science history' or 'history of science' tag of some kind? Many thanks!
nanila: fulla starz (lolcat: science)
[personal profile] nanila2013-07-15 09:22 pm
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Wave at Saturn on Friday/Saturday, 19/20 July

If you want to show a bit of love for a spacecraft currently in lonely orbit around a planet 900 million miles away, you can do so by waving at Saturn on Friday or Saturday, 19 or 20 July, depending on your time zone. Cassini will be taking a photograph that includes the Earth.

If you're in Britain you will be wanting to wave at around 10:30 PM on Friday. If you're on the west coast of the USA, you will be wanting wave at around 2:30 PM on Friday. If you're in (most parts of) Australia, you'll want to wave at 7:30 AM on Saturday.

The NASA page about the photo Cassini is going to take
The "Wave at Saturn" Facebook event page
Where to look in the sky for Saturn (US-centric)
"Wave at Saturn" banners in different languages

jjhunter: Drawing of human J.J. in red and brown inks with steampunk goggle glasses (red J.J. inked)
[personal profile] jjhunter2013-07-09 10:04 am

'World Without Us'-type thought experiment

Thought experiment I'm hosting over at my journal, [personal profile] jjhunter: Come All Ye Castles, Ancient and Neglected
So: castles. Let's do a version of [the 'Earth Without People'] thought experiment with a castle, say a château (-fort or otherwise) like the Château d'Ussé in France. If you take humans out of the picture for a hundred years, what happens to that building and the land immediately surrounding it? If we were to take snapshots of particular elements at 10, 20, 50, 100 years, what would that progression look like?
I'm particularly interested in what might happening chemically / structurally to the building itself and its contents if no one's doing preventative maintenance, and how the proportions of various animal and plant populations might shift over time if there's no selective breeding / weeding /etc. going on.

A/N: admins, can we have a tag of some kind for 'thought experiment'?
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OneTwoThree Death!

Saw this piece today, and thought it was worth sharing. It's an engaging little article about the awesomeness of the mantis shrimp.

The sea has all the best things.
jjhunter: Drawing of human JJ in ink tinted with blue watercolor; woman wearing glasses with arched eyebrows (JJ inked)
[personal profile] jjhunter2013-02-09 12:18 pm
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Science Alphabet

One of the threads at my Snow Day Soiree today begins A is for Antigen...

Come bring what you're currently trying to figure out, and strike up a conversation thread or two!
jjhunter: Drawing of human JJ in ink tinted with blue watercolor; woman wearing glasses with arched eyebrows (JJ inked)
[personal profile] jjhunter2012-12-09 10:15 am
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Rec: "Signing Science"

New York Times interactive feature Signing Science:
Scientific terms like “organism” and “photosynthesis” have no widely accepted equivalent in sign language, so deaf students and professionals have unexpected hurdles when talking about science. Here, Lydia Callis, a professional sign language interpreter, translates a shortened version of an article by Douglas Quenqua, explaining how new signs are being developed that may enhance scientific learning and communication.

(Via [personal profile] snowynight)
nanila: (old-skool: science!)
[personal profile] nanila2011-07-06 01:29 pm

London summer science exhibition on now

The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition opened to the public yesterday in London! It's on at the Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton Terrace (just off The Mall) through Sunday 10 July. There are 22 exhibits from physics, chemistry, biology, maths, engineering and medicine. Loads of fun interactives, piles of free stuff and many eager energetic scientists to tell you about their work in memorable, bite-size chunks. Please do drop by if you have the time and are geographically compatible.

I'm on the Aurora Explorer stand tomorrow (Thursday 7 July) from 13:30 to 17:00, but will have to depart promptly to go to the Harry Potter premiere. I'm also there on Sunday 10 July from 14:30 to 18:00, when the exhibition closes. Tip: exhibitors will be looking to offload remaining freebies on Sunday, so if you want toys/magnets/keyrings/postcards/other swag, Sunday afternoon is the time to go.

The baby spacecraft I painted are currently having their 5 seconds of fame on the BBC web site here at 02:44, and you can explore the exhibits online on the RSSE web site here.
tassosss: (Default)
[personal profile] tassosss2010-11-17 02:56 pm

science in video

Boing_boing linked to this a few weeks ago, a science video contest sponsored by ars technica for <3min videos explaining a scientific concept for high schoolers.  The idea is to have a fun informative video of something you could show with stuff around your house.

The categories they have are
Bio: Anything's on the table, from biochemistry to evolutionary biology and ecology. Some ideas to get you started: photosynthesis, deep brain stimulation, speciation, the RNA world, defining consciousness, protein folding, PCR, and synthetic biology.

Physical: Physics underlies most of modern science, from geology to astronomy, so this category covers a lot of ground. Some examples: thermodynamics, the carbon cycle, time dilation, flood basalts, quantum tunneling, superconductivity, red shifts, the double-slit experiment, the black hole information paradox, dark matter, squeezed light, and neutron stars.

Math: Math is a powerful tool to help us understand the natural world, and has become a method of defining worlds—like those of string theory—that we may never be able to observe directly. Some math concepts that might make for good video explainers: higher dimensional geometries, imaginary numbers, exponential growth and decay, Turing machines, Godel's incompleteness theorem, P vs. NP, cellular automata, and the invention of the calculus.

I was thinking of doing one, and have a few ideas not on these lists to do with the water table, and I was wondering what sorts of ideas you would like explained, or would think would make a good science video?


[personal profile] semblance2010-03-19 02:07 pm
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Symphony of Science

I didn't see this link posted yet on passing glance, so I decided to go ahead and throw it out there. Apologies if this is an old hat.
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Ig Nobels

It's that time of year again and the 2009 Ig Nobel winners have been posted.

Warning: do not read this link while consuming food or drink. You could either choke or ruin your keyboard. No, really!
freya: (Default)
[personal profile] freya2009-05-07 05:32 pm
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Swine Flu, the way it should be. :D

For those that don't read popbitch (or, apparently, CNN), there's a guy who has translated a sequence of amino acids which code for one of the surface proteins in Swineflu into a piece of music.

The concept is A+++, even if the actual piece of music is a bit not good, really.
sqbr: pretty purple pi (I like pi!)
[personal profile] sqbr2009-04-22 05:09 pm

Molecular Gastronomy Hour

Hi, I wrote up a brief summary (with pictures!) of a cool science panel about making weird edible gels at a scifi con I went to recently, and it just struck me that you guys might be interested. (Hard to tell what's an appropriate post with such a new comm!)