Category Archive: Science

Mar 24 2014

Can you spot the liar?

If you follow this link it will take you to ten short videos that were created as part of a study to see to what extent people give off cues as to whether they are lying or not. Each person was told to either tell the truth or lie in response of a question.

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Mar 21 2014

Update on our smelling prowess

Some time ago, I wrote about a study that said that we humans could smell 390 different smells. This seemed big enough to me but as commenter ChasCPeterson pointed out, this was not the full story because that number referred to the distinct number of olfactory sensors we have that can identify specific molecules but …

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Mar 19 2014

Homing pythons

Ed Yong has a fascinating story about six Burmese pythons who were captured in the Florida Everglades (where they have become a voracious invasive species killing off the native wildlife), implanted with radio-transmitters to track their movements, and then let loose at various locations that were 21 to 36 kilometers away from their point of …

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Mar 18 2014

The complex life of Giordano Bruno

Giordano Bruno was a 16th century philosopher, theologian, and monk who was an early supporter of Copernicus’s heliocentric model of the universe. He was also burned at the stake by the Catholic church in 1600 at the age of 42 after being found guilty of heresy by the Roman Inquisition. That combination of circumstances has …

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Mar 17 2014

Detection of early inflation

A team of scientists has announced that they have detected direct evidence for one of the key elements of the inflationary model of the universe, that there was a rapid rate of expansion soon after ‘the beginning’, i.e., at times shortly after t=0. They did this by using a radiotelescope located at the South Pole …

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Mar 17 2014

A mystery solved?

It happens to me quite often. When I encounter people, especially in a location other than where I usually meet them, I often do not recognize them and cannot place them or recall their names. The problem is that those people seem to recognize me at once and smile and wave and even come up …

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Mar 16 2014

The danger posed by anti-vaxxers

There has been a disturbing rise in the number of people who refuse to give their children the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine because of the bogus fears, stoked by some celebrities, that the vaccines can cause autism. Those claims, revealed to be not only without any basis but based on initial fraudulent studies that …

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Mar 14 2014

Why the π?

Today is March 14, otherwise known as Pi Day by math and science nerds, although a case can be made for July 22 being Pi Day since 22/7 is a better approximation for π than 3.14.

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Mar 13 2014

This is pretty amazing

Those who have played or watched table tennis at a high level know that it requires great skill, speed, coordination, and excellent reflexes. In the video below, we see a robot named KUKA play against Timo Boll, a German champion of the game. I particularly liked the way it did the open-palm serve one-handed. (Via …

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Mar 11 2014

A 50-cent microscope to detect tropical parasites

Blood borne tropical diseases like malaria, African sleeping sickness, schistosomiasis, and Chagas seriously harm millions of people. Early detection would help in treating them but traditional microscopes are expensive and scarce and not easily stored and maintained in remote areas.

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