Disney and Marvel are giving high-school girls ages 14 and older the chance to meet their science heroes.
In the spirit of Thor: The Dark World's super-scientist Jane Foster, the National Academy of Sciences, Underwriters Laboratories and Dolby Laboratories have teamed up with the companies to give a group of girls the chance to meet some of the most successful women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), all while their experiences are filmed for a documentary short.
Funneling the sun’s energy
MIT engineers propose a new way of harnessing photons for electricity, with the potential for capturing a wider spectrum of solar energy.
The quest to harness a broader spectrum of sunlight’s energy to produce electricity has taken a radically new turn, with the proposal of a “solar energy funnel” that takes advantage of materials under elastic strain.
Reading this I was struck by a thought that really bothers me, and hadn’t surfaced in a coherent way until just now. Occasionally things like the above proposal will pop up, either here on my tumblr dashboard, someone’s post on FB, or just some article I’m directed to; it’s great, it’s wonderful to see scientists and engineers continuing to cultivate new and/or better ideas on how to harness clean energy, produce highly sustainable resources, and what have you. So what’s the problem? Actually doing so.
While people continue to dream of a bright new future, and others dream up ways to make it happen, everyone else seems hell bent on keeping it from happening. Politicians who could help things both come to fruition with funding and then have these wondrous projects implemented on a countrywide level are all in the pockets of their corporate masters. This is the second decade of the 21st century. Why aren’t we all in electric cars? Why are we still sucking every drop of oil out of the ground when we simply don’t need it? Why aren’t there fields of solar panels and windmills across the land? We passed acres of them in Spain the other day, and a couple solar towers which are like one giant solar panel which looks beautiful, like the ivory tower in the Never Ending Story. Every field of panels, every windmill “garden”, every solar tower we passed, honestly, I was feeling more and more outrage that we don’t have them in every damned State of the union. You should be pissed too.
Even from a corporate point of view, there’s money to be made there. If that’s your deal, if all you want is money, shit, just start producing green technology. What’s that old adage? ‘It takes money to make money’? If the CEO can take only a 10 bajillion dollar bonus this year instead of a 20 bajillion dollar one, and put that money into researching clean energy and the like, then spent the necessary funds to revamp the production facilities from making gas-guzzling cars to making electric ones… boom. I know some people refuse to sacrifice anything for anyone outside of their own family, so maybe they could just think of their children growing up in the desert wasteland their greed is creating. I digress (only a little), but it’s all so damned infuriating, and it’s all tied together. Greed, apathy, more greed, corruption, more greed, more apathy, etc. So, please people, get a little angry, spread some of that anger…
I guess I just had to vent here. I know the outrage of one stupid fat-ass American expat isn’t really going to start a revolution, but maybe if everyone else gets a little more outraged too we can all be outraged together. Who knows.
For the first time, scientists have visually captured a molecule at single-atom resolution in the act of rearranging its bonds. The images look startlingly similar to the stick diagrams in chemistry textbooks.
Until now, scientists were only able to infer molecular structures. Using atomic force microscopy, the individual atomic bonds — each a few ten-millionths of a millimeter long – that connect the carbon molecule’s 26 carbon and 14 hydrogen atoms are clearly visible. The results are reported online May 30 in Science.
read more at the link above
It looks like Geordi LaForge’s vision visor is already outdated. A tiny 3mm microchip has given vision back to the blind. Scientists and doctors in Oxford implanted a new “bionic eye” microchip in the eyes of two blind individuals last month during a grueling eight-hour operation. The chips were placed in the back of the eyes and connected with electrodes. Weeks later, both individuals — Chris James and Robin Millar — have regained ‘useful vision’ and are well on their way to recognizing faces and seeing once again, reports Sky News.
Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/bionic-eyes-activate-microchip-gives-sight-to-the-blind/#ixzz2MGEVuEDh
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Except, of course, we all know Geordi had the visor replaced with artificial eyes some time ago.
What an amazing outdoor campaign for Vancouver’s science museum. Strong headlines, strong visuals, the perfect ad. AND SCIENCE! As Jesse Pinkman would say, “YEAH SCIENCE!” probably add “bitch!” in there for safe measure.
A really out there execution that forces people to stop and read and walk away with a little something that they learned. What a great tagline too, “We can explain.” Damn good. File this under inspiration.
“They say the stones contain fossilised biological structures fused into the rock matrix and that their tests clearly rule out the possibility of terrestrial contamination. ”
13 Ways to Hunt Intelligent Aliens
Really. Where are all the aliens? We should have been probed, exterminated, assimilated, infected, invaded or abducted by now, shouldn’t we?
The Fermi Paradox ponders the lack of evidence of another transmitting intelligent civilization — of all the stars and all the galaxies in the universe, you’d think one intelligent alien race would have bothered to call by now? Either we’re on the interstellar “do not call” list, or we’re the most advanced life form out here (scary thought), or (even scarier) we’re the only life form out here.
The search for any extraterrestrial life is one of the most profound things we, as a species, can do. But as any other life beyond Earth’s shores has yet to be discovered, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) can be a hard-sell. Still, the search continues and scientists are thinking up more and more extreme ways to fine-tune our high-tech array of astronomical instruments to detect intelligence in the stars.
Here are the weird and wonderful ways scientists hope to snare an intelligent alien.
My only problem with this is the section I “bolded” above; those aren’t the only options. There are myriad other situations which may be the case. Perhaps intelligent life as we know it (and thus the sort we’re looking for communication from) is developing at a very similar rate to that on Earth. If that’s the case, any radio signals (which it seems is the only sort of signal we’re looking for, which seems a little narrow-viewed) might simply not have reached us yet. Space is pretty damn large. There’s also my favorite theory which is that there’s plenty of inter-stellar communication, but we’re not advanced enough to hear it.
Making closed statements like the one above are what gall me the most in regards to articles about the search for life, and science in general.
Edit: My astrobiologist wife thinks that they meant, at least partly, what I just wrote by “do-not-call list,” however I still disagree. I disagree on the grounds that a “do-not-call list” is a negative thing. I’m arguing that perhaps we’re the neolithic bushmen to their star-faring greatness, and that’s not someone you put on a do not call list. That’s someone you perhaps send an anthropologist (or zoologist) to study, talk to, learn about. Do-not-call lists tend to be stocked with people you don’t want to talk to. People you dislike, or rivals. It has negative connotations. It’s the former employee you don’t want coming back on company grounds. It’s the PTA parent you don’t call for field trip volunteering because they got drunk on that trip to DC.
Obviously everyone’s entitled to their opinions, but mine is that they worded the article poorly.
Racism: I don’t like your SNPs.
Prejudice: Because I don’t like your SNPs, I’m going to assume things about you and stereotype you.
Discrimination: Because I don’t like your SNPs, I’m going to act on my prejudice.
Sexism: I don’t like your two x chromosomes.
Misogyny: Because I don’t like your two x chromosomes, I’m going to express hatred toward you.
Being scientifically literate shows you how truly stupid these and related views really are.
(Sierra Voices) - Texas textbooks determine what children learn nationwide.
“I believe that dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark … somebody’s got to stand up to these experts.” (Don McElroy, former member of the Texas State Board of Education).
Like others have said many times, I don’t care if you want to believe in magical men in the sky and zombies eating bread and fishes, but you keep that to yourselves and certainly keep it out of the school system.
The same team took the first-ever single-molecule image in 2009 and more recently published images of a molecule shaped like the Olympic rings.
The new work opens up the prospect of studying imperfections in the “wonder material” graphene or plotting where electrons go during chemical reactions.
The images are published in Science.
Living Inside the Matrix?
There are many reasons why I love physicists, and this is one of them. Physicists at Cornell are now testing the hypothesis formed by the University of Oxford professor, Nick Bostrom, who argued that we are most certainly in a computer simulation. These researchers came up with a viable option to test whether we are in a computer simulation or not, and researchers from the University of Washington, and ones in Germany have also agreed that this method will work. These researchers are building their own simulated models using lattice quantum chromodynamics. I know that flew way over everyone’s heads, but it’s basically just a system using huge computers to help us understand particle and nuclear physics experiments. While these simulations can only model up to scales of an atom right now, if these principles can be applied to larger scales, this theory could be successfully tested. This is the first idea made that could test this. If energy signatures in the simulation match those we see in real life, there is a good chance we might exist inside a computer. These researchers have taken this a step further; if we do exist inside a computer, should we attempt to communicate with whomever made us? Is it possible that these people made other universes using the same platform, and if so, should we try and communicate with those other universes?
At the end of the day it all comes down to the iconic question, “Will you take the red pill or the blue pill?”
Happy Monday followers! Have questions? Love astronomy? Ask me!
Better than a Matrix reference, one should watch the “13th Floor” and then reread this article.
New Brain Gene Gives Us Edge Over Apes, Study Suggests
ScienceDaily (Nov. 14, 2012) — Scientists have taken a step forward in helping to solve one of life’s greatest mysteries — what makes us human? An international team of researchers have discovered a new gene that helps explain how humans evolved from chimpanzees.
My only problem with a scientific article’s abstract is when it has a blatantly incorrect statement in it — like when talking about evolution, and stating that humans evolved from chimps. We and chimps have a common ancestor, but we’re not “from chimpanzees”. If we’re going to post an article about evolution, let’s start on the right foot.