Science News of the Day

Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:06 pm

A Teacher on the Front Line as Faith and Science Clash

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Blurb:

Amy Harmon, The New York Times: "In February, the Florida Department of Education modified its standards to explicitly require, for the first time, the state's public schools to teach evolution, calling it "the organizing principle of life science." Spurred in part by legal rulings against school districts seeking to favor religious versions of natural history, over a dozen other states have also given more emphasis in recent years to what has long been the scientific consensus: that all of the diverse life forms on Earth descended from a common ancestor, through a process of mutation and natural selection, over billions of years."
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:59 am

DAR
How is it that people who modify their vehicle with a completely bogus "hydrogen booster" (or whatever), or buy an expensive gas or oil additive, can find they have increased their mileage (usually by a little bit)? Yet, when these products are tested properly in the laboratory (the "hydrogen booster" isn't tested because it's too stupid to bother testing) no improvement is found.

Here is the clue:

"Tests performed by Ford Motor Company found that 48 motorists coached by eco-driving experts saw an average fuel economy improvement of 24%. Coaches told drivers to employ smoother breaking and accelerating, monitor their RPMs and drive at a moderate speed. (Peak Oil Review 8/28, #16)"

Twenty four percent is substantial, and it's possible to drive more efficiently without even realizing you are doing it.

D.
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:30 pm

DAR
Stunningly beautiful pictures of the source of all our power.

This one too.
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Buckypaper

Postby Doug » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:08 am

It's called "buckypaper" and looks a lot like ordinary carbon paper, but don't be fooled by the cute name or flimsy appearance. It could revolutionize the way everything from airplanes to TVs are made.

Buckypaper is 10 times lighter but potentially 500 times stronger than steel when sheets of it are stacked and pressed together to form a composite. Unlike conventional composite materials, though, it conducts electricity like copper or silicon and disperses heat like steel or brass.

"All those things are what a lot of people in nanotechnology have been working toward as sort of Holy Grails," said Wade Adams, a scientist at Rice University.

That idea -- that there is great future promise for buckypaper and other derivatives of the ultra-tiny cylinders known as carbon nanotubes -- has been floated for years now. However, researchers at Florida State University say they have made important progress that may soon turn hype into reality.

...So far, the Florida State institute has been able to produce buckypaper with half the strength of the best existing composite material, known as IM7. Wang expects to close the gap quickly.

"By the end of next year we should have a buckypaper composite as strong as IM7, and it's 35 percent lighter," Wang said.

Buckypaper now is being made only in the laboratory, but Florida State is in the early stages of spinning out a company to make commercial buckypaper.

See a video of buckypaper here.
"We could have done something important Max. We could have fought child abuse or Republicans!" --Oona Hart (played by Victoria Foyt), in the 1995 movie "Last Summer in the Hamptons."
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:13 pm

The Stink in Farts Controls Blood Pressure

Amelia Tomas

livescience.com – Thu Oct 23, 3:21 pm ET

A smelly rotten-egg gas in farts controls blood pressure in mice, a new study finds.

The unpleasant aroma of the gas, called hydrogen sulfide (H2S), can be a little too familiar, as it is expelled by bacteria living in the human colon and eventually makes its way, well, out.

The new research found that cells lining mice's blood vessels naturally make the gas and this action can help keep the rodents' blood pressure low by relaxing the blood vessels to prevent hypertension (high blood pressure). This gas is "no doubt" produced in cells lining human blood vessels too, the researchers said.

"Now that we know hydrogen sulfide's role in regulating blood pressure, it may be possible to design drug therapies that enhance its formation as an alternative to the current methods of treatment for hypertension," said Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Solomon H. Snyder, M.D., a co-author of the study detailed in the Oct. 24th issue of the journal Science.

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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:15 am

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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:07 pm

DAR
Dar to Obama: Please fire her husband!

***
NASA chief's wife to Obama: Don't fire my husband

By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer

WASHINGTON – Late on Christmas Eve, one last wish was sent, by e-mail: Please let NASA Administrator Michael Griffin keep his job. It was from his wife.

Rebecca Griffin, who works in marketing, sent her message with the subject line "Campaign for Mike" to friends and family. It asked them to sign an online petition to President-elect Barack Obama "to consider keeping Mike Griffin on as NASA Administrator."

She wrote, "Yes, once again I am embarrassing my husband by reaching out to our friends and 'imposing' on them.... And if this is inappropriate, I'm sorry."

The petition drive, which said the President George W. Bush appointee "has brought a sense of order and purpose to the U.S. space agency," was organized by Scott "Doc" Horowitz of Park City, Utah, an ex-astronaut and former NASA associate administrator.

A cash-strapped NASA last week also sent — by priority mail costing $6.75 a package — copies of a new NASA book called "Leadership in Space: Selected Speeches of NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, May 2005-October 2008."

Link

Interesting article on this here:

NASA's Michael Griffin: How Not to Talk to Your (Future) Boss
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:40 pm

Wind Now Employs More People Than Coal

Here's a talking point in the green jobs debate: The wind industry now employs more people than coal mining in the United States.

Wind industry jobs jumped to 85,000 in 2008, a 70% increase from the previous year, according to a report released Tuesday from the American Wind Energy Association. In contrast, the coal industry employs about 81,000 workers. (Those figures are from a 2007 U.S. Department of Energy report but coal employment has remained steady in recent years though it's down by nearly 50% since 1986.) Wind industry employment includes 13,000 manufacturing jobs concentrated in regions of the country hard hit by the deindustrialization of the past two decades.

The big spike in wind jobs was a result of a record-setting 50% increase in installed wind capacity, with 8,358 megawatts coming online in 2008 (enough to power some 2 million homes). That's a third of the nation's total 25,170 megawatts of wind power generation. Wind farms generating more than 4,000 megawatts of electricity were completed in the last three months of 2008 alone.

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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Doug » Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:28 pm

Image
February 18, 2009—A rare quail from the Philippines was photographed for the first time before being sold as food at a poultry market, experts say.

Found only on the island of Luzon, Worcester's buttonquail was known solely through drawings based on dated museum specimens collected several decades ago.

Scientists had suspected the species—listed as "data deficient" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's 2008 Red List—was extinct.

A TV crew documented the live bird in the market (above) before it was sold in January, according to the Agence France-Press news agency.

See here.
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:50 am

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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:33 pm

Scientists' stem cell breakthrough ends ethical dilemma

"Scientists have found a way to make an almost limitless supply of stem cells that could safely be used in patients while avoiding the ethical dilemma of destroying embryos.

In a breakthrough that could have huge implications, British and Canadian scientists have found a way of reprogramming skin cells taken from adults, effectively winding the clock back on the cells until they were in an embryonic form.

The work has been hailed as a major step forward by scientists and welcomed by pro-life organisations, who called on researchers to halt other experiments which use stem cells collected from embryos made at IVF clinics."

LINK
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:53 am

COSMIC NEAR MISS

PASADENA, Calif. — An asteroid about the size of one that blasted Siberia a century ago just buzzed by Earth.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory reported that the asteroid zoomed past Monday morning.

The asteroid named 2009 DD45 was about 48,800 miles from Earth. That is just twice the height of some telecommunications satellites and about a fifth of the distance to the Moon.

The space ball measured between 69 feet and 154 feet in diameter. The Planetary Society said that made it the same size as an asteroid that exploded over Siberia in 1908 and leveled more than 800 square miles of forest.

Most people probably didn't notice the cosmic close call. The asteroid was only spotted two days ago and at its closest point passed over the Pacific Ocean near Tahiti.

LINK
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:11 am

Opinion: Anti-evolution resolution introduced in Oklahoma House
By Bart B. Van Bockstaele.

Rep. Todd Thomsen, has filed two resolutions in the Oklahoma House to oppose the teaching of the theory of evolution at the department of Zoology at the University of Oklahoma and to oppose an invitation to Richard Dawkins to speak on Campus. Sometimes, facts are stranger than fiction, and here are these facts:

HR 1014 − By Thomsen
A resolution disapproving certain actions of the University of Oklahoma regarding the
theory of evolution; distribution.

HR 1015 − By Thomsen
A resolution opposing the invitation to Richard Dawkins to speak at the University of
Oklahoma and encouraging certain discussion; distribution.

Both resolutions were filed on March 3, 2009. To the best of my knowledge, they have not been discussed or voted and they are not binding. It is truly remarkable however, that a politician is trying to tell a scientific institution that it cannot teach science, and that it cannot invite prominent scientists.

The danger here is great. The theory of evolution is not merely a funny story we tell our children to amuse them just before bed.

Not teaching evolution in zoology class, is comparable to not teaching arithmetic in maths class, or not teaching gravity in physics class. In other words, without it, there is simply no science to talk about, just a collection of loose, unrelated facts that make no sense.

LINK

Dawkins responds.
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby redheadedskeptic » Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:10 am

Here is another link to the Dawkins intro that is a little longer and a bit easier to understand.

http://www.richarddawkins.net/article,3646,Richard-Dawkins-at-the-University-of-Oklahoma---Introduction,Richard-Dawkins

Love it! :D
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:37 am

Inhofe's 400 Global Warming Deniers Debunked

List of "Scientists" Includes Economists, Amateurs, TV Weathermen and Industry Hacks

Link

In contrast...

Excerpt:

"If you hunger for lists of skeptics – the scientific kind with true expertise – we have some recommendations.

For instance, the American Geophysical Union, which includes 50,000 earth, ocean and atmospheric scientists, among others, whose first mission is to value the scientific method (rational skepticism), has stated since 2003 that "Human activities are increasingly altering the Earth's climate. These effects add to natural influences that have been present over Earth's history. Scientific evidence strongly indicates that natural influences cannot explain the rapid increase in global near-surface temperatures observed during the second half of the 20th century. ... The unprecedented increases in greenhouse gas concentrations, together with other human influences on climate over the past century and those anticipated for the future, constitute a real basis for concern."
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:48 am

GM and Segway unveil new two-wheeled urban vehicle

Image

By BREE FOWLER and DAN STRUMPF, AP

NEW YORK – A solution to the world's urban transportation problems could lie in two wheels not four, according to executives for General Motors Corp. and Segway Inc.

The companies announced Tuesday that they are working together to develop a two-wheeled, two-seat electric vehicle designed to be a fast, safe, inexpensive and clean alternative to traditional cars and trucks for cities across the world.

The Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility, or PUMA, project also would involve a vast communications network that would allow vehicles to interact with each other, regulate the flow of traffic and prevent crashes from happening.

"We're excited about doing more with less," said Jim Norrod, chief executive of Segway, the Bedford, N.H.-based maker of electric scooters. "Less emissions, less dependability on foreign oil and less space."

The 300-pound prototype runs on a lithium-ion battery and uses Segway's characteristic two-wheel balancing technology, along with dual electric motors. It's designed to reach speeds of up to 35 miles-per-hour and can run 35 miles on a single charge.

The companies did not release a projected cost for the vehicle, but said ideally its total operating cost — including purchase price, insurance, maintenance and fuel — would total between one-fourth and one-third of that of the average traditional vehicle.

LINK
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Doug » Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:23 am

Darrel wrote:GM and Segway unveil new two-wheeled urban vehicle


DOUG
I saw it on the Today show this morning. Meredith Viera and some driver were going around in it. It was very stable and very maneuverable. They did not announce any price range.
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby tmiller51 » Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:54 pm

Cool. I wonder how it handles stomping on the brakes? It looks like it would want to flip end over end.

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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Doug » Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:34 pm

tmiller51 wrote:Cool. I wonder how it handles stomping on the brakes? It looks like it would want to flip end over end.

Tim


DOUG
It's like a Segway in that is on two wheels (the little wheels fore and aft are just for when you turn it off) and it has an onboard computer that keeps it balanced.

I want one!!
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Re: Science News of the Day

Postby Dardedar » Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:02 pm

tmiller51 wrote:Cool. I wonder how it handles stomping on the brakes? It looks like it would want to flip end over end.


DAR
That's the magic trick of these things. It has a really fast computer that takes care of it. Short answer, it would quickly accelerate in order to lean you backward and then it hits the brakes balancing the whole thing at the same time. Remember, the majority of weight is very low between the wheels. It's quite a neat combo of computer power and physics. I have ridden a Segway and have seen a presentation on some of his other products. He had/has a wheel chair that can go up stairs. It also can adjust it's wheels so one is on top of the other making the person quite tall instead of low down. Here's a pic:

Image

He then went up to this thing, in the tall setting and shoved it as hard as he could. It quickly readjusted itself zip, zip, zip, and didn't come remotely close to going over.

Kamen is a genius.

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