Science & Medicine
[LESS INFO] 494 VIEWS | ADDED 15:10:00 05/20/11
Theoretical physicist and futurist Michio Kaku takes us on a tour of his office, where he writes his bestsellers and records his radio shows. The futuristic 1950s TV show Flash Gordon jump-started his interest in science. Watching it as a kid, Kaku realized that it was the problem-solving scientist, not the chiseled crimefighter Flash, who was really the hero.
[LESS INFO] 472 VIEWS | ADDED 15:10:00 05/13/11
A magnifying glass looks harmless. But combine it with a nice sunny day and you have a weapon of ant destruction and a fire hazard. Even if cheap pyrotechnics isn't your thing, the optics of how this works is relevant to anyone with eyes.
[LESS INFO] 524 VIEWS | ADDED 15:10:00 05/06/11
In 1968, the New Jersey Senate decreed the town of Franklin a geological wonder: "The Fluorescent Mineral Capital of the World." Over 350 different minerals have been found in the area, ninety of which glow brilliantly under ultraviolet light.
[LESS INFO] 453 VIEWS | ADDED 15:10:00 04/29/11
Drop a clump of fire ants into water and they will assemble into a raft that stays afloat for weeks, according to a new study. In other breaking bug news, researchers are investigating how caterpillars roll away from prey as inspiration for the design of a jointless, soft-bodied robot.
[LESS INFO] 438 VIEWS | ADDED 15:10:00 04/22/11
Astronauts are allowed to bring special “crew preference” items when they go up in space. NASA astronaut Don Pettit chose candy corn for his five and a half month stint aboard the International Space Station. But these candy corn were more than a snack, Pettit used them for experimentation.
[LESS INFO] 145 VIEWS | ADDED 15:10:00 04/22/11
About ten years ago, two scientists had a little extra time on board NASA's low gravity aircraft and came up with the idea of popping water balloons. Mechanical engineers Seth Lichter, of Northwestern University, and Mark Weislogel, of Portland State University, use the floating water balls to explain some basic principles of physics.
[LESS INFO] 335 VIEWS | ADDED 15:10:00 04/22/11
Astronaut Jeff Hoffman made five space flights. (Now he's a professor at MIT.) In 1985, Hoffman made his first trip on orbit in space shuttle Discovery. Go on a spacewalk with Hoffman and find out what a yo-yo does in zero gravity.
[LESS INFO] 378 VIEWS | ADDED 15:10:00 04/08/11
Many mammals have whiskers but not all whisk. Cats don't. Rats do. To whisk, rats use special muscles in their face to brush their whiskers against an object. From the bending bristles, rats seem to be able to decode an object's shape and texture and Mitra Hartmann wants to understand how.
[LESS INFO] 401 VIEWS | ADDED 15:10:00 04/01/11
Crocuses, robins, spring peepers aren't the only creatures to signal spring. We visited the "Insect Compactor" at the American Museum of Natural History in New York to learn about which bugs to look out for as the weather warms. Keep your eyes on the willow trees--that's where early bees like to hang out.
[LESS INFO] 475 VIEWS | ADDED 15:10:00 03/25/11
Of the suit he wore on the moon, Neil Armstrong wrote, “it was tough, reliable, and almost cuddly.” But that cuddly suit, made by the company Playtex, had some stiff competition (literally) from rival rigid, metal designs. This video features archival NASA footage of mobility tests for several spacesuit prototypes. Music is from the band One Ring Zero’s album "Planets".
[LESS INFO] 258 VIEWS | ADDED 14:10:00 03/25/11
Doug Wilson, a geophysicist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, explains what we'd encounter if we drilled 6000 meters below the seafloor to the Earth's mantle. The crust is made up of three layers--lava flows, sheeted dikes and gabbro--all formed from magma that seeped up from the mantle.
[LESS INFO] 419 VIEWS | ADDED 14:10:00 03/18/11
The male orchid flowers in the genus catasetum evolved an unusual pollination program. They propel a package of pollen onto the backs of visiting bees. The bees endure the blow (which would be like a 150-pound person getting hit with a few bowling balls) in exchange for orchid aromas that the bees use to attract mates.
[LESS INFO] 473 VIEWS | ADDED 14:10:00 02/25/11
French philosopher Henri Bergson has a famous quote: "The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend." Bergson probably meant it metaphorically, but it seems to be literally true according to research by psychologist Martin Rolfs and colleagues. Rolfs studies the role of rapid eye movements in visual perception.
[LESS INFO] 571 VIEWS | ADDED 14:10:00 02/18/11
Get up close and personal with burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia). Mac Stone, wildlife photographer and field biologist for the National Audubon Society, hid his camera in a traffic cone and set it up outside of an owl burrow to capture these beauty shots of the birds. The video is a time-lapse of their daily movements and behaviors.