Science & Medicine
[LESS INFO] 57 VIEWS | ADDED 14:10:00 02/03/12
NASA’s iconic images of Earth from space date back to the late 1960s--with snapshots taken by Apollo astronauts. The modern “blue marble” images are captured by machines and they’re not photos. They’re datasets collected by instruments aboard satellites and then translated into imagery on the ground.
[LESS INFO] 791 VIEWS | ADDED 14:10:00 01/27/12
Ice can be difficult to get a handle on, literally and figuratively. It can be cloudy or clear, as hard as concrete or as soft as a snowflake. We spoke with two ice experts--an ice sculptor and ice researcher--about the slippery material, to find out what fascinates them about frozen water.
[LESS INFO] 775 VIEWS | ADDED 14:10:00 01/20/12
From mantis shrimp to trap-jaw ants, some of the fastest organisms on the planet are ones you may have never heard of. Biologist Sheila Patek, of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, says the creatures she studies move at speeds that are hard for us to imagine, let alone perceive. A high-speed camera is a must.
[LESS INFO] 38 VIEWS | ADDED 14:10:00 01/13/12
Bubbles can do computations, says Stanford professor Manu Prakash. Just like electrons running through wires in your computer, Prakash directed bubbles through tiny etched tubes and showed basic computations were possible. Bubbles are bigger and slower than electrons, but they can carry things--meaning you could create as you compute, Prakash says.
[LESS INFO] 745 VIEWS | ADDED 14:10:00 01/06/12
Everything is a little bit magnetic, says physicist Richard Hill. So with a powerful magnet, it is possible to levitate almost anything--strawberries, water, insects. In a recent study, Hill levitated fruit flies to see how they behaved when they didn't have gravity pulling them down.
[LESS INFO] 1286 VIEWS | ADDED 14:10:00 12/23/11
In 1956, dentist and amateur ornithologist William Rhein captured the rare Imperial woodpecker on 16 mm color film. Although this 85 second clip is the only known photographic record of the bird, Rhein kept the film to himself until after he died. Writer and bird fanatic Tim Gallagher tells the story of Rhein’s expedition to look for the bird, and his own trip to the same mountains over 50 years later.
[LESS INFO] 787 VIEWS | ADDED 14:10:00 12/16/11
Researchers are designing tiny paper aircraft and making them fly using a pot, a speaker and a bunch of straws. When the subwoofer plays a low-frequency tone, it pushes the air above it up and down, which is funneled through the pot and straws, creating a flow of pulsing air. The system simulates flapping flight by taking the flap out of the wings and putting it into the air.
[LESS INFO] 429 VIEWS | ADDED 14:10:00 11/25/11
Visit Robert Sabin's pumpkin patch: he has been growing giant pumpkins--the breed is Atlantic Giant--for over ten years. Does his top pumpkin have the heft to win the Long Island Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off at Hicks Nurseries? We'll find out.
[LESS INFO] 487 VIEWS | ADDED 14:10:00 11/18/11
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons are getting their final checkup before their big day. John Piper and Jim Artle spill the secrets of inflation, explain how to calculate whether your balloon will float, and explain why the balloons look better after a little time in the sun.
[LESS INFO] 494 VIEWS | ADDED 14:10:00 11/04/11
A hawk moth feeds by hovering in front of flowers and slurping nectar through a proboscis, basically a body-length straw. To understand how these moths keep such a precise position in the air, Tyson Hedrick, a biomechanist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, tried destabilizing moths in a variety of different ways and tracked their responses using high speed cameras.
[LESS INFO] 591 VIEWS | ADDED 14:10:00 10/28/11
Theoretical physicist and mathematician Brian Greene takes us into his home office for a tour of his tidy workspace, in the second of Science Friday's Desktop Diaries series. Greene uses his desk mainly for calculations, often executed with pencil and paper--a tradition that dates back to his childhood when his father would give him 30-digit by 30-digit multiplication problems. Greene's father, Alan Greene, was a composer, and his music features in this video.
[LESS INFO] 595 VIEWS | ADDED 15:10:00 10/21/11
Carve first, scoop later--that's just one of the tips from Maniac Pumpkin Carvers Marc and Chris. Based in Brooklyn, these professional illustrators switch to the medium of pumpkin during October. They carve hundreds of pumpkins each fall, which go for a few hundred bucks and rarely end up on stoops.
[LESS INFO] 531 VIEWS | ADDED 15:10:00 10/14/11
If you try to spin a raw egg on a table, you will notice that it doesn’t twirl very well--at least compared to a hard-boiled egg. Astronaut Don Pettit wondered what would happen if you repeated the experiment in space. Any guesses?
[LESS INFO] 792 VIEWS | ADDED 15:10:00 10/07/11
Tadd Truscott and Dale Tree, engineers at Brigham Young University, are videoing fire with high speed cameras to try to make a 3D reconstruction of a flame. Poetic and practical, they say: quantifying flames could help us burn fuel more cleanly and efficiently.