Perrin Ireland’s work combines art with science, using shape and color to tell visual stories about cerebral subjects like microbiomes and the Higgs-Boson particle....more
Posts Tagged: science
Some scientific experiments can sound ridiculous, especially to us writerly types—like, for instance, a study measuring mosquitoes’ attraction to limburger cheese.
There’s even a fake prize dedicated to mocking such studies: the “Ig Nobel,” which the aforementioned mosquito story won several years back....more
What happens when you put a well-regarded social psychologist fixated on order in an academic system that rewards breakthrough experiments over failed ones?
You get one of the biggest con jobs in academic history.
The New York Times Magazine profiles Diederik Stapel, whose experiments on behavioral issues like racism and greed were completely faked....more
Glasses, extra light wheelchairs, satellite technology, and even moon boot technology in KangaROOs.
But even more impressive is NASA’s ability to get Gloria Steinem and Charlton Heston in the same room. Just a few days after many were disappointed by the update from the Curiosity, Wired shares vintage PSAs that are endearingly genuine reminders of all that Space Technology has done for us....more
Scientists have been putting the blame on almost everyone when it comes to climate change and subsequent natural disasters.
In L’Aquila, Italy, however, the tables have turned as six scientists and one government official potentially face six years in prison for charges of manslaughter after “lying” to the public about a deadly earthquake in 2006....more
BoingBoing documents the research of Backyard Brains, which, as of late, has consisted of monitoring how playing Cyprus Hill affects a squid’s chromatophores. The results look not unlike an iTunes Visualizer:
“Greg Gage of the DIY neuroscience company Backyard Brains stimulated the axons of a squid with the electrical signals coming out of a headphone jack plugged into an iPhone playing a Cypress Hill song....more
Last night, NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on the surface of Mars, beginning its year long exploration of the planet.
The Guardian has compiled a short history of Mars musing, which highlights scientists’ fascination with the planet. Since their first sightings in the 17th century, scientists argued about the planet’s capability for sustaining life:
“Lowell eventually ‘saw’ and published maps of not only canals but also vastly thick lines of cultivated vegetation, oases and cities, standing out against ‘one vast Sahara’....more
Yesterday marked the fortieth anniversary of the launch of Landsat, America’s longest running Earth-imaging satellite program.
Since the NASA-run program began in 1972, Landsat has captured more than three million images of our planet. To look at some particularly stunning photographs taken by the satellite (pictures chosen through Nasa’s ‘Earth as Art’ contest), click here....more
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysicist, American Museum of Natural History. Author: Space Chronicle, The Pluto Files. Host: StarTalk Radio) on Baseball:
@AllStarGame compells me to Tweet what Baseball looks like through the lens of an astrophysicist…
> In the 1960s, when we still dreamed, we named a dome, a baseball team, and even the artificial turf they played on “Astro”
> If baseball reported averages to 4 decimal places instead of 3, then a three-hundred hitter would be batting “three thousand”
“I went into this party wondering what kind of guys I’d be attracted to just on the basis of pheromone smell. Could I clear away all the flotsam in my heart – the fetishes for big noses and curly hair that I’ve had since high school, or my habit of falling for cocky artists and writers?”...more
According to scholars, Homer never mentioned the color blue in any of his works; neither did the Bible, nor an abundance of ancient texts. Also, linguists have found a near-universal pattern in which languages developed color in stages, and blue was always the last to be named....more
Guernica examines the intersections of science, emotion, and memory by way of an exchange between novelist Rivka Galchen and neuroscience professor David Linden, featured in the Rubin Museum’s Brainwave series.
“As Linden explains in his book, ‘memory retrieval is an active and dynamic process.’ Thus recollecting past experiences—reliving them again and again or retelling them to others—subtly modifies the memories we keep....more
The Animal Kingdom, specifically the marine insect known as the water skater, has devised a new use for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, using the expanse of pelagic plastics as a space to lay its eggs.
The Patch, now 100 times bigger than it was in the ’70s, has a formidable impact on the ocean ecosystem as it spreads pollutants and its smaller bits are ingested by marine life at a tremendous rate. With the addition of a more robust water skater population destabilizing the food chain, the Patch may very well be the most troubled neighborhood in the seven seas. Here’s to hoping they develop a mutant appetite for high-density polyethylene....more
According to a new study, “beer makes men smarter,” or more scientifically stated, drinking alcohol “may enhance creativity problem solving by reducing the mind’s working memory capacity, which is the ability to concentrate on something in particular.”
While these findings were deemed surprising, what’s more curious is that the study didn’t include the ladies....more
“Since the 19th century people have speculated that the essence of human identity is stored in the connections between our neurons. Today we have the technology to find out if this is true.”
This year the Human Connectome Project will begin ambitiously mapping the “large-scale connections” of 1200 human brains....more
“While Rembrandt was an astonishingly talented artist, our response to his art is conditioned by all sorts of variables that have nothing to do with oil paint. Many of these variables are capable of distorting our perceptions, so that we imagine differences that don’t actually exist; the verdict of art history warps what we see.”
Jonah Lehrer explores how the brain perceives art....more
Psychologists believe that the brain has two complementary modes of thought. If you’re curious about the difference between system 1 (fast mode) and system 2 (slow mode), check out this Guardian review of Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. Because it’s never too late in the week to be reminded of our self-delusions....more
Carl Zimmer’s Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed reveals the crossroads between the sciences and tattoo culture. The result is “a weird and wonderful almanac of the lovable geek who immortalized passion for science on their living flesh,” according to Brain Pickings, which previews several of the images curated and categorized in the book....more
A new study suggests that drinking more than one cup of coffee a day may prevent the onset of depression in women. And the more you drink, the better: “The biggest coffee drinkers saw the largest reduction in risk, according to the study....more
It’s not always oil that we spill into the ecosystem. Every now and then a pet cockatoo is let loose or escapes, joins a wild flock, and teaches the natives how to speak. The phenomenon accounts for “numerous” reports by Australians who think they are hearing voices....more
Here is a map to help you visualize human migration over the course of our 200,000 year existence. Using data based on mitochondrial DNA difference, the map models migratory patterns as humans “moved outward from Africa into Asia, and later the Americas, Indonesia and Australia.” The visual distinguishes between land and water or temporary land/ice bridges, while highlighting genetic populations and the extent of ice....more
Fossils found in a South African cave may be “the most plausible known ancestor of archaic and modern humans,” argue the scientists who discovered the bones, citing the combination of apelike and human features in the newfound species—dubbed Australopithecus sediba.
Some scientists disagree that the fossils represent a transitional link between the australopithecines and humans, suggesting instead that the discovery provides important evidence of the extensive diversity of australopithecine apes and the difficulty of determining which is actually the ancestral species....more
Headed by the University of Vermont’s Isabel Klouman, a team of researchers did a massive language study that revealed an optimistic tendency of the English language—there are more positive words than negative. Compiling words from years of the New York Times, tweets, popular song lyrics and Google Books, they then analyzed the most common from each source, and finally rated each word’s relative positivity from the 10,122-word list....more
Atlantis just returned from its last mission and here we are with our feet firmly on the ground. But surely there is an alternative to NASA.
For inspiration into space travel here on earth experience the short film Life as An Independent Astronaut and an interview with the documentary’s star and director David Wilson....more