Posts Tagged ‘ Science ’

What Is Hologrampy?


Meet, Hologrampy… One part decorative novelty item, one part speaker… it gives your listening experience a boost with a stunning visual accompaniment. It uses the latest in holographic tech to create enchanting patterns and shapes in vibrant colors that move and change depending on the music type or song you’re listening to. It’s equally perfect for setting the mood at parties as it is for soothing your mind at home.

via Yanko

10 Things You May Not Know About The Orgasm.


Check the method as author of the book “Bonk”, Mary Roach delves into obscure scientific research, some of it centuries old, to make 10 surprising claims about sexual climax, ranging from the bizarre to the hilarious. (This talk is aimed at adults. Viewer discretion advised.)

 

Top 10 Ridiculous Science Experiments You Can Do At Home.


article-0-15D08329000005DC-593_634x348

From time to time we enjoy posting some of the latest happenings in science on this blog, but it has come to our attention that a particular little future female scientists wanted some simpler things to read. Most of the science stuff is rather adult, but brining home-style science to younger readers is “elementary”… so here are 10 top home made science experiments that young ones can do at home.

 

Science Has Just Had A Global Breakthrough… Have You Heard?


140415-tech-graphene2_5a7bdfa7b9f6c1c5b7bba8c5555e13aa

Irish researchers have achieved a breakthrough in the production of ‘wonder material’ graphene.  Scientists at the AMBER, a materials science centre at Trinity College Dublin and funded by Science Foundation Ireland, have discovered a way to produce the material in industrial quantities.  What makes “Graphene” so incredible you may ask?  The substance is one the strongest known with a section 1mm thick being 200 times stronger than steel and a superconductor of electricity more than 1000 times more effective than copper.  It’s also 97.3 per cent transparent and extremely bendable.

graphene-chip

 

Until now, it was extremely difficult to produce because it is essentially a  single-atom thick sheets of carbon made from graphite.  In mass quantities, graphene could potentially revolutionize many parts of our lives, from providing the next step in battery technology, biomedical sensors, water filtration, to even photovoltaic cells used in solar panels  The Dublin findings are to be published in the Nature Materials publication, heralded as a ‘global breakthrough’.  “This shows how industry and academic collaboration can lead to research of the highest calibre, with real commercial applications,” Prof Jonathan Coleman from AMBER said.  “Graphene has been identified as a life changing material and to be involved at this stage of development is a wonderful achievement.”

IMG_0908-ibm-graphene-wafer-testing-hardware-1500px

Minister for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock praised the team’s work, saying producing graphene in mass quantities is “something that USA, China, Australia, UK, Germany and other leading nations have all been striving for and have not yet achieved”. Thomas Swan Ltd have now signed a contract with AMBER to scale-up production.  The project was part of the Graphene Flagship, spanning 17 countries with 126 academics as well as industry partners working on a common goal, and was part of the €1 billion research project announced by the EU, of which Ireland received 1 per cent.

18goj49pmg50fjpgA simple breakdown of what graphene based products could do for our world reads just like this…

Plug your phone in for five seconds and it would be all charged up. The downside here is that you won’t be able to use a dead phone as an excuse anymore.

 

What if we actually had a clear solution for cleaning up the tainted water near Fukushima? Scientists at Rice say graphene could potentially clump together radioactive waste, making disposal is a breeze.

 

Water, water everywhere and EVERY drop drinkable. MIT mindshave a plan for a graphene filter covered in tiny holes just big enough to let water through and small enough to keep salt out, making salt water safe for consumption.

 

Touchscreens that use graphene as their conductor could beslapped onto plastic rather than glass. That would mean super thin, unbreakable touchscreens and never worrying about shattering your phone ever again.

 

Just a single sheet of graphene could produce headphones that have a frequency response comparable to a pair of Sennheisers, as some scientists at UC Berkeley recently showed us.

 

High-power graphene supercapacitors would make batteries obsolete.  You wouldn’t have to charge your phone for years.

 

Graphene could pave the way for bionic devices in living tissues that could be connected directly to your neurons. So people with spinal injuries, for example, could re-learn how to use their limbs.

 

The Science Of Kissing.


the-science-of-kissing

How Siri Found Its Voice


Siri

Technology, science, art, and culture website The Verge have created a film giving us a unique look at the inner workings of Nuance Communications – the company responsible for creating Siri’s voice on iOS. The 10-minute documentary charts the history of voice synthesisation from its origins in cars like the Chrysler New Yorker in 1983 through to modern day use in products like TomTom and iPhone. We also hear from voiceover “talent” like Allison Dufty, who was first discovered while reading out the specials in a restaurant.

Box Jellyfish


box-jellyfish_482_600x450

The infamous box jellyfish developed its frighteningly powerful venom to instantly stun or kill prey, like fish and shrimp, so their struggle to escape wouldn’t damage its delicate tentacles. Their venom is considered to be among the most deadly in the world, containing toxins that attack the heart, nervous system, and skin cells. It is so overpoweringly painful, human victims have been known to go into shock and drown or die of heart failure before even reaching shore. Survivors can experience considerable pain for weeks and often have significant scarring where the tentacles made contact. Box jellies, also called sea wasps and marine stingers, live primarily in coastal waters off Northern Australia and throughout the Indo-Pacific. They are pale blue and transparent in color and get their name from the cube-like shape of their bell. Up to 15 tentacles grow from each corner of the bell and can reach 10 feet (3 meters) in length. Each tentacle has about 5,000 stinging cells, which are triggered not by touch but by the presence of a chemical on the outer layer of its prey.

desktop-wallpaper-animals-box-jellyfish-underwater-wallpapers

Box jellies are highly advanced among jellyfish. They have developed the ability to move rather than just drift, jetting at up to four knots through the water. They also have eyes grouped in clusters of six on the four sides of their bell. Each cluster includes a pair of eyes with a sophisticated lens, retina, iris and cornea, although without a central nervous system, scientists aren’t sure how they process what they see.

Box Jellyfish5

18 Amazing Facts About the Human Body – Infographic


human-body

Fossil of Long-Extinct Whale Found on Seafloor


J-Reef-tool-test.jpg1356118176

Researchers diving off the coast of Georgia may have found the remains of an Atlantic gray whale, a relic of a population that was hunted to extinction by the 18th century.

But this particular specimen died long before whalers became a threat. Carbon dating showed that the fossil, a left jawbone, is about 36,000 years old.

The big bone was first discovered along with two badly eroded vertebrae near Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary about 20 miles (32 kilometers) off southeast Georgia in 2008. It took the researchers two years to pull out all of the pieces of the fossil, which was embedded in layers of shell and sand 70 feet (21 meters) below the surface. The jawbone was recovered in sections and measures 5 feet (1.5 m) in length.

The researchers say the bone is clearly from a baleen whale — or whales that use baleen plates in their mouths to filter meals of tiny organisms out of seawater — and looks very similar to that of the gray whale, Eschrichtius robustus. This species is only locally extinct. Gray whales can be found today in quite strong numbers, but only in the Pacific Ocean, and even these had once teetered on the brink of extinction during eras when the whaling industry reigned.

Scientists previously believed that the Atlantic gray whale had been a distinct species. But recent research has shown these vanished whales and the living ones in the Pacific are actually one in the same.

“The California grays looked exactly like the bones that were dug up in Scandinavia back in the 19th century,” Ervan Garrison, a geoarchaeology professor at the University of Georgia, said in a statement, describing it as “one of the first instances where a living species was named based on the fossil evidence.”

The new specimen’s age of approximately 36,570 years old makes it one of the oldest fossil finds in the western Atlantic basin, the researchers say. And if the find indeed represents a Pleistocene-age gray whale, its oldest counterpart is a specimen found on the southern North Sea dating to 42,800 years ago.

2439_0hi

Scientists Create Artifical Muscles.


I’ve been a self proclaimed science nerd for years now, but when I saw this, I was kinda blown away.  By observing the inner workings of an octopus’s leg or an elephant’s trunk, scientists have created muscles from carbon nanotubes that could one day power machines.

“Nature has been developing her technologies for many hundreds of millions of years,” said Ray Baughman. “By looking at the way in which nature has solved problems like muscles, we can advance our own technologies.”  Baughman is Director of the NanoTech Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas. His lab creates very tiny artificial muscles by spinning filaments of invisibly small carbon nanotubes into an extraordinary yarn.  Pound per pound, this nano-yarn is stronger than steel, yet is so light it almost floats in air.

Controlled Quantum Levitation = Real Life Video Games.


I hope almost everyone remembers the epic video game Wipe-Out.  Basically you flew around on floating ships and raced on ridiculously gravity defying track in a futuristic world that made you wonder “when will people ever be able to actually do this?”  Luckily for the kids out there that had this thought in their heads… The brilliant minds over at the Japan Institute Of Science and Technology have used Quantum Levitation to create a scale model track.  Quantum Levitation is something I’ve covered in a previous post, and its wild to see just how fast this advancement is taking strides forward.  In the nearer future, we just might see a breakthrough in transportation.   Check the method below.

5 Unethical Experiments Done in the Name of Science.


Robbers Cave Experiments

Thanks to sites that publish interesting lists everybody seems to know about the Stanford Prison experiment. By now anyone you ask will tell you that this was a horrible study where university students were placed in one of two conflicting groups in order to replicate the conditions inside a prison. The experiment was so bad that it had to be stopped weeks before it was supposed to end. What few people know is that the same experiment was done with twelve year old kids that didn’t even know they were in an experiment, and it was done THREE TIMES!

A group of scientists led by Carolyn Wood Sherif gathered several 11 and 12 year old boys and took them on a summer camping trip, without telling anyone that this was actually an experiment. The scientists had them divided into two groups, making sure to break apart any friendships that the boys had established previously. Once on the campgrounds the scientists encouraged the boys to call each other names and pull pranks on the other group. But don’t worry they also had planned some group-building activities at the end of the whole experiment, such as cutting the water supply and let the kids figure out how to avoid thirst.

In both of the first and second experiments the boys rebelled against the experimenters, probably realizing they were mad scientists. Of course these two experiments were not published originally; Sherif only publicized the results from the third test where the boys apparently resolved their conflicts at the end of camp. This prompted the scientists to declare this a successful experiment in conflict resolution; although the study did not monitor the boys over long periods of times to see if a summer spent in a camp where they were constantly insulted did any lasting psychological damage.

S

Monster Study

The last study might have left you with a sliver of hope that maybe scientists didn’t run such bad experiments after all. If that is the case, please consider the case of the monster study. This is an experiment that tells you right from the title it’s going to be painful to read.

The only purpose of the experiment was to destroy the self-confidence of 11 children in hopes that psychologists could discover why stuttering happens. Even if the experiment was successful, nothing would have been gained aside from abstract knowledge; no one is interested in making more people stutter. Yet for some reason that is exactly what Iowa speech professor Wendell Johnson set out to do.

He picked out orphans, because no parent should willingly submit their kid to this kind of experiment, and over the course of six months constantly belittled everything they did. He would point out every tiny imperfection in pronunciation and every small mistake in spelling, all so that he could prove a theory that claimed stuttering was a learned behavior.

None of the children became stutterers, but several of them remained traumatized for life. Depression and loss of self-esteem were the most common problems among the 11 children that participated in the study. But at least the university sent them all an apology letter, years later after they got sued for allowing this study.

S

Little Albert

Of course the previous example is not the only case of scientists being completely insensitive towards children. John B. Watson wanted to prove that you could condition a child into becoming irrationally afraid. Why exactly this needed to be proved is not really clear, but apparently it was vital to the advancement of science.

In order to accomplish the task of scaring a child, Watson took an eleven month old baby and showed him a rat, a rabbit and several fuzzy things. Whenever little Albert tried to play with the objects he was shown a loud noise would be played in the background. This was repeated over and over again until Albert became scared of anything that was white and fuzzy including blankets and beards. In case you were wondering Albert remained terrified of old Santa Claus-looking men for the whole duration of the experiment.

Once the baby was terrified of the world around him, Watson returned him to the parents. He didn’t try to erase the results of the conditioning or monitor the child as he grew up. No one knows what happened to little Albert with several theories arguing that he ended up committing suicide. While this is probably an exaggeration, one thing is for sure: that child didn’t enjoy any Christmases for the rest of his life.

S

MK-Ultra

Moving away from scientists who hated children we have the CIA and their famous experiments with drugs during the 50’s and 60’s. This period was marked by a heightened paranoia of Soviet spies infiltrating the American society. So in order to protect the Unites States the CIA decided to test LSD on a bunch of unsuspecting citizens.

If the above sentence doesn’t seem to make sense to you, congratulations! You’re more logical than the CIA .

The first stop on their testing agenda was injecting several of their own agents, with acid, mescaline and LSD in order to see if they would reveal secret information. Think about it like torturing your own men to see if they would crack under pressure.

Once they collected the data on this stage of the experiment the CIA moved on to testing drugs on the general population. They did this by setting up nightclubs and paying women to slip drugs into men’s drinks. They even went as far as using brothels as a testing ground for various drugs since they knew that the male customers would be too embarrassed to report what happened.

Unfortunately most of the documents on these experiments were destroyed in the 70’s so there is no hard evidence on which the CIA could be prosecuted.

S

The Oklahoma City Sonic Boom Test

Continuing with experiments performed by the U.S. government without the public’s knowledge we have the Oklahoma Sonic Boom test. The idea behind this experiment was to test how much noise a citiy’s population would accept before they started having serious psychological trouble.

This wasn’t the first test of its kind with the government flying planes over populated areas on purpose, several times in the past. However, this was the first time that the government conducted a long term experiment, measuring the sociological as well as the economic impact.

The experimenters even went as far as setting up fake complaint hotlines where the city’s population could leave detailed descriptions of how much they hated the planes flying over their houses. Of course nothing would be done about it and the experiment went on for six very loud months.

Superhydrophobic Spray.


$10 to anyone who knew what that meant before reading this post.  Ross Technology Corp, a company that focuses on steel products has created a new product based on the spray known as NeverWet – which aside from being useful, is also pretty cool.  Now, this doesn’t seem particularly interesting, but it is (at least if you ask me; it is built from nanoparticles and it is hydrophobic) not only that it stops water from wetting it, but it shoots water right off from the surface on which it was applied.  Even if at first they wanted to apply this technology to steel, they quickly realized the enormous list of applications this can have, from shoes and clothes that wouldn’t require washing any more, to your phone that could become waterproof, or just on stuff that you don’t want bacteria to get on.  This spray will be released as a commercial product next year. Check out this video to see exactly how it works.

Quantom Levitation Is A Realtiy.


Few motifs of science fiction cinema have been more appealing to us than the subtle defiance of gravity offered by futuristic hovercraft. So every once in a while we check in to see how humanity is progressing on that front, and whether the promise of hoverboards will be delivered by 2015 as evidenced in Back to the Future Part 2. We’re not quite there yet, but we’re definitely getting off the ground, so to speak.  Get ready to hover your brain around the art of quantum levitation.

10 Interesting Facts About the Human Body.


Click to enlarge.

Is Your Child Teething?


Yesterday was father’s day, and I spent the day talking to a few of my friends lucky enough to be proud parents.  One of the complaints I heard from a homegirl of mine was that her son was being an “asshole-ish version of Satan himself” because his adult teeth were growing in.  I don’t remember all of what it was like going through the process (cept for realizing the tooth fairy was my mom noisily shoving a dollar under my pillow every other month while she thought I was asleep), but coincidentally I came across a scientific art piece that helped me shed some light on her predicament.  Below is a REAL skull of a human child with their adult teeth growing in.  Seeing it made me understand that sometimes kids go through things I’m happy I don’t have to.  So if you have a little one who’s adult teeth are coming in, cut them some slack.  It can be a painful process.

If that was my face, I'd be cranky too.

Ricky Gervais vs. Noah’s Ark.


The other day after my little incident in Emeryville with the police, I came home only to to be engaged in an annoying conversation with a disgruntled female, and afterwards the only thing I could think to bring my irritated mood, was a bit of stand up.  When I say I watch stand up, I literally mean I’ll watch no less than 5 or 6 specials from 3 or 4 comedians for 6 or 7 hours while I work at home.  One of the best acts I watched that day was a little piece from British comedian Ricky Gervais about Noah’s Ark.  Gervais has an uncanny ability to take a simple story, and point out facts that seem like they should be obvious in a way you never really thought about before.  The section of his most recent stand up (Out Of England 2) thats named “The Book Of Noah” had me cracking up the entire time.  I wasn’t able to find the entire 17 minute piece, but the video below is a good chunk of Ricki Gervais’ best.  Check the method below.

Science x Photography


Caleb Charland is a Maine-based photographer who combines a love of scientific experiments and photographs into wonderful and amazing photographs. If Isaac Newton or Benjamin Franklin were into photography, their photographs might look something like these:

Candle in Vortex of Water

In regards to his work, Charland has stated: “Wonder is a state of mind somewhere between knowledge and uncertainty. It is the basis of my practice and results in images that are simultaneously familiar and strange. I utilize everyday objects and fundamental forces to illustrate experiences of wonder. Each photograph begins with a simple question “How would this look? Is that possible? What would happen if…?” and develops through a sculptural process of experimentation. As I explore the garage and search through the basement to solve these pictures, I find ways to exploit the mysterious qualities of these everyday objects and familiar materials.”