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Posts tagged “science

If Jupiter was the same distance away from Earth as the Moon is

Human Powered Helicopter Flies for 40 Seconds

Quantum Levitation

A robotic arm being able to flip a pancake is impressive, but a robotic arm learning and failing to flip a pancake is hilarious

As soon as it could actively analyze the pancake’s movement, it performed remarkably well. It’s interesting, because humans who tried flipping blind would most likely encounter the same initial results as the arm.

Home school out.

Antarctic Glacier’s Blood-Red Waterfall

My buddy Greg posted this on Facebook earlier today. No, this is not the blood of thousands of clubbed seals.

Roughly 2 million years ago, the Taylor Glacier sealed beneath it a small body of water which contained an ancient community of microbes. Trapped below a thick layer of ice, they have remained there ever since, isolated inside a natural time capsule. Evolving independently of the rest of the living world, these microbes exist without heat, light, or oxygen, and are essentially the definition of “primordial ooze.” The trapped lake has very high salinity and is rich in iron, which gives the waterfall its red color. A fissure in the glacier allows the subglacial lake to flow out, forming the falls without contaminating the ecosystem within.

Dr Zeus and The Masters of Lightning

Dr. Zeus (Terry Blake) & The Masters of Lightning (Steve Ward and Jeff Larson) use the Tesla Coils to set balloons on fire. I would love to see something like this live.

Thanks to Derek for the video!

New Deep Sea Creatures Discovered

These creatures were filmed in the deep sea between 1000/5000 meters deep and most of them are completely new species discovered with a new submarine which was used for the first time to make this documentary.

Definitely looks better in High Quality.

How Water Behaves in Space

Astronaut Don Pettit, inventor of the Zero-G Coffee Cup, plays with free-floating, head-sized water bubbles on the International Space Station. Make sure you stick around for the third experiment, where Pettit sticks an antacid tablet into one of the bubbles.

World’s First Skin Graft

Walter Yeo, the first person to receive plastic surgery, before (left) and after (right) skin graft surgery performed by Sir Harold Delf Gillies in 1917. The pictures of Walter’s face before the surgery are blurry and hard to come by. In the tragic accident he was recorded as having lost both his upper and lower eyelids. The surgery was some of the first to use a skin graft from an unaffected area of the body and paved the way for a sudden rash of improvements in this field.

Melting Steel with Sunlight

Home school taught me many useful survival skills; for example, how to burn small pieces of paper with a magnifying glass. I took this one step further and used coke bottles, old TV screens, and mirrors to set trees on fire from blocks away.

If you want to melt steel on your own, you’ll need the following:

  1. a piece of steel
  2. two nerds
  3. airplane hanger
  4. multi-million dollar mirror rig

Perfectly Round Circles?

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What Happens When Vortex Rings (Smoke Rings) Collide

The collision causes about 20 mini-vortices to form around the outer ring. The center also undergoes some surprising transformations. I think we should get together and make one of those giant smoke ring guns out of a metal trashcan. You can shoot them 30-40 yards away.

Class dismissed.

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Gravity Waves

In the earth’s atmosphere, gravity waves are important for transferring momentum from the troposphere to the mesosphere. Gravity waves are generated in the troposphere by frontal systems or by airflow over mountains. At first waves propagate through the atmosphere without affecting its mean velocity. But as the waves reach more rarefied air at higher altitudes, their amplitude increases, and nonlinear effects cause the waves to break, transferring their momentum to the mean flow.

This process plays a key role in controlling the dynamics of the middle atmosphere. The clouds in gravity waves can look like Altostratus undulatus clouds, and are sometimes confused with them, but the formation mechanism is different.

Class dismissed.

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Space Experiments

Astronaut Koichi Wakata, who has been living aboard the International Space Station since mid-March, has carried out a series of offbeat space experiments proposed by the Japanese public.

The experiments, which the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has dubbed “Try Zero-G,” consist mainly of physical exercises and gymnastics (including calisthenics, push-ups, flips, twirls, cartwheels, overhead soccer kicks, and swimming). In addition, Wakata folds clothes, rides a “magic carpet,” squirts water from a syringe, puts eyedrops in his eye, and attempts to propel himself through the room by flapping a fan. He also enlists the help of a fellow astronaut for some arm wrestling, hand-shaking, slap sumo, and tug of war.

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Creature in the Sonic Liquid

Corn starch is a shear thickening non-Newtonian fluid meaning that it becomes more viscous when it is disturbed. When it’s hit repeatedly by something like a speaker cone it forms weird tendrils.In layman’s terms, if you put the right gooey shit on speakers you get really, really weird results.

Thanks to Becca and Josh for the video!

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One of the Best Optical Illusions I Have Ever Seen

Usually I can figure out what is going to happen with these videos but this one definitely surprised me.

Kilt ‘em.

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Japanese Man Sets Record For Paper Plane Flight

Japanese engineer Takuo Toda has set the world record for the longest flight for a paper airplane, keeping his design aloft for 27.9 seconds. My paper airplanes never lasted more than 6 or 7 seconds.

After his record flight, Takuo said that his achievement was merely the next step in his ambition of launching a paper plane from space. “I had thought that the world record was impossible to break, but the key to breaking the record is how high you fly it.” Made of a single sheet of folded paper with no cuts, his design measured 10 cm from tip to tail. He plans to use the same shape to try to break his own record at another event for paper plane enthusiasts in September.


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What Happens When You Drop a Magnet Through a Copper Tube

This device is called an Eddy Current Tube. An Eddy current is set up in a conductor in response to a changing magnetic field. Lenz’s law predicts that the current moves in such a way as to create a magnetic field opposing the change; to do this in a conductor, electrons swirl in a plane perpendicular to the changing magnetic field.

Because the magnetic fields of the eddy currents oppose the magnetic field of the falling magnet; there is attraction between the two fields. Energy is converted into heat. This principle is used in damping the oscillation of the lever arm of mechanical balances.


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Does a Cannonball Float in Mercury?

Watch this video to find out.

The old man erupted in boils and died minutes after this video was filmed.

Did You Know?

Astronauts To Vote From Space

  • If the election comes down to a few votes I say we pin the blame on these nerds. I’m not saying they don’t deserve it, but I when I think “astronaut voting” I also think “voter fraud.”

“In this day and age, people engage in their right to vote from all over the world. But this Nov. 4, few ballots will have traveled as far as those cast by two NASA astronauts.

Commander Edward Michael Fincke and Flight Engineer and Science Officer Greg Chamitoff are living and working onboard the International Space Station. Though they are 220 miles above Earth and orbiting at 17,500 miles per hour, they will still be able to participate in the upcoming election. A 1997 bill passed by Texas legislators sets up a technical procedure for astronauts — nearly all of whom live in Houston — to vote from space.

A secure electronic ballot, generated by the Harris and Brazoria County Clerk’s office, is uplinked by NASA’s Johnson Space Center Mission Control Center. An e-mail with crew member-specific credentials is sent from the County Clerk to the crew member. These credentials allow the crew member to access the secure ballot.

The astronauts will cast their votes and a secure completed ballot is downlinked and delivered back to the County Clerk’s Office by e-mail to be officially recorded.”


Melting Steel With Solar Power

This is pretty intense. That piece of metal melts within 10 seconds of being exposed to that magnified sunlight. I’m really glad that nerds know how to use video cameras because this stuff is pretty entertaining.

Banjo Playing During Brain Surgery

Banjo player Eddie Adcock recently had brain surgery where surgeons installed deep brain stimulator electrodes to control a tremor in his right hand. Patients are sometimes kept awake during brain surgery to interact with the surgeon and help guide the procedure.

Check out the full story here

One in Four Mammals Facing Extinction

via BoingBoing

One in four mammal species are at risk of extinction, according to a new study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The assessment was done by more than 1,700 experts from 130 countries over the last five years. Who’s to blame? Humans, of course. The IUCN also updated its Red List of Threatened Species that now includes Tasmanian devils (above), parachute spiders, fishing cars, and a host of other beautiful beasties. From National Geographic:

“Our results paint a bleak picture of the global status of mammals worldwide,” the study authors wrote…

Humans are mostly to blame, as habitat loss, pollution, and hunting continue to squeeze at-risk species.

“Perversely, the species that humans show greatest affinity toward—the largest mammals such as primates, big cats, and whales—are significantly more likely to be threatened with extinction,” Barney Long, a biologist at the World Wildlife Fund in Washington, D.C., said in an email.