How to Fortify Your (and Your Kids’) Screen Time with a Dose of Physics
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Physics Toolbox Play consists of seven gamified tasks that introduce learners to sensors, basic physicsprinciples, data representations, and careers that make use of sensors. Children can observe the air pressure decrease as they go up a flight of stairs or climb a hill, and increase as they go back down. Since 2017, over one million users have downloaded Physics Toolbox Play. However, one of the best places to do science is home, especially in the presence of families.Completing the Physics Toolbox Play tasks takes around 30-45 minutes for most family groups. Completing the tasks with Physics Toolbox Play takes only a short period of time, but any spark of interest in physics can last a lifetime!

What Everyone Gets Wrong About Newton's Apple
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Image Credit: APS Physics(Click to enlarge)A passage from a manuscript written by one of Newton's contemporaries, recording the version of the apple tree story as Newton tells it: \"...therefore the apple draws the earth, as well as the earth draws the apple.\" Image Credit: The Royal Society, Memoirs of Sir Isaac Newton's Life by Sir William StukeleyIf you can decipher that kind of handwriting, you can read the full text free online at the link above! It's not the apple bit that I have a problem with; that's an important part of the story, and even historically accurate! In a flash of insight, he realizes that there must be some force pulling the apple toward the earth. The man himself is recorded as saying that his \"eureka\" moment really did come after seeing an apple fall from a tree.

Scientists Search for Rudolph's Red Nose, and other great stories.
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Green light (530nm) is readily absorbed by both oxygenated and deoxygenated blood but bounces (scatters) off of the surrounding tissue. Shining green light inside the nose of reindeer and humans, the researchers were able to take detailed videos of the nasal circulatory system, tracking the rate of blood flow through individual blood vessels.The researchers wrote their own image analysis software that can determine the density of blood vessels and track velocity of red blood cells through the dense network of blood vessels.Despite the tongue-in-cheek premise of this study, researchers have not previously used this imaging technique to study nasal circulation. The team found that humans and reindeer noses both feature hairpin-shaped blood vessels and similar capillary networks. Most pertinent to their aim, they found that the density of blood vessels in reindeer noses is 25% greater than the density in human noses, leading to a rosy tint. \"These factors explain why the nose of Rudolph, the lead flying reindeer employed by Santa Claus to pull his sleigh, is red and well adapted to carrying out his duties in extreme temperatures,\" the authors conclude in their paper.The annual BMJ holiday issue is a great read-- check out other great findings from the holiday issues including: whether 27 is actually the dangerous age for musicians, how fast you have to walk to beat Grim Reaper , and the dreamed-of expose on tooth fairy malpractice.

The Timeless Journey of the Möbius Strip
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If you were to trace both “sides” of a Möbius strip, you would never have to lift your finger. The figurative and narrative implications of the Möbius strip are rich: when you try to go forward, you ring sideways, when you try to circle in, you find yourself outside. The continuum of crossing a Möbius strip is emblematic of how we experience time in a nonlinear way. ‘Time passes.’ ‘That’s how it goes,’ Aureliano admitted, ‘but not so much.’”The unorientable quality of the Möbius strip is perhaps its most distinctive. The Möbius band is used in hardware and popular imagery, but the mathematical and scientific fascination with the Möbius strip has also endured for over a century.

Unrivaled View of Brilliant ‘Planetary Nebula’ NGC 2899
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A star at the center of this tie-dye apparition is collapsing, a process scientists have watched and measured for decades. In 2020 astronomers overcame the 3,000 to 6,500 light-years separating us from this celestial beauty, named NGC 2899, for the clearest picture of it yet. Though the phenomenon is called a planetary nebula, the term is a misnomer. In the image of NGC 2899, oxygen (blue) is surrounded by hydrogen (pink). Discovered in 1835 by English astronomer John Herschel in the constellation Vela, NGC 2899 looks like a butterfly because it is made of two stars.

Climate Deniers Shift Tactics to ‘Inactivism’
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The graph also helped make the researcher a target of attacks by climate change deniers. They have merely changed their tactics, Mann contends in his book The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet. You argue that the climate change deniers are going extinct and being replaced by a new group that you call “the inactivists.” Who are the inactivists? They are trying to convince people that climate change is not the result of their corporate policies but of our own individual actions. Can you give some concrete examples of how the fossil fuel industry has been working to create divisions within the environmental community?

Kidney Dialysis Is a Booming Business—Is It Also a Rigged One?
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What's more, both are widely known to donate hundreds of millions of dollars to the American Kidney Fund, covering the vast majority of the nonprofit’s budget. The social worker paused, then asked if she’d heard about the American Kidney Fund. They found fewer kidney transplants, higher rates of hospitalization, and lower rates of overall survival among dialysis patients at for-profit clinics. Records from the California Secretary of State showed that dialysis corporations forked over upwards of $110 million via the California Dialysis Council in 2018. Unlike Karabasz, who blames AB 290 and those behind it for the uncertainty of her position, Carroll says some responsibility falls on the American Kidney Fund.

How Do I Get Rid of a Dead Animal Smell in My Car?
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If you can find the dead animal yourself, carefully remove it using gloves. Donning gloves again, scrub down all surfaces that had any contact with the dead creature with a commercial disinfectant or diluted bleach solution and let the car air out as much as possible. While Simmons says that dead animal calls are \"pretty rare,\" he's seen cases where rodents have climbed into the air conditioner's evaporator unit and gotten trapped, spreading the stench throughout the whole vehicle. You could try to sell it, but who's going to buy a car that wreaks of dead opossum? Not only could the dead animal result in physical damage to the engine, but its decomposing fumes might count as a biohazard.

Ridiculous History: How MLK Influenced the Direction of 'Star Trek'
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\" \" Nichelle Nichols stars as Lt. Uhura in the \"Star Trek\" episode \"Spock's Brain.\" After the first season of \"Star Trek,\" she was approached with the opportunity to return to the stage and decided to take it. Nichols' continued presence on the show cemented Lieutenant Uhura as a cultural icon in science fiction and American pop culture. \" Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner lock lips on the \"Star Trek\" episode \"Plato's Stepchildren,\" originally aired Nov. 22, 1968. The play aired in 1962, years before the fateful \"Star Trek\" scene.

The Mastodon Graveyard That Stole Thomas Jefferson's Heart
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\" \" Big Bone Lick National Park Mark ManciniFor the Sage of Monticello, science was a patriotic pursuit. In lieu of live specimens, Lewis sent the president a couple of new mastodon fossils from Big Bone Lick. In 1960, the Big Bone Lick fossil site was incorporated into a new state park. At the entrance, visitors are greeted by a sign that reads \"Big Bone Lick Historic Site: Birthplace of American Vertebrate Paleontology.\" Now That's Interesting The American mastodon was named Michigan's official state fossil in 2002 because its remains are common in the Lower Peninsula.

Capicola: The Italian Dried Meat Tony Soprano Called 'Gabagool'
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\" \" Capicola, or capocollo, is an Italian cold cut traditionally made from the cured muscle of the neck and shoulder of the pig. Capicola – which is also referred to as capocollo and coppa – is made from pork shoulder. You take some pork shoulder, then add salt and various spices, such as coriander, fennel, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves or paprika. Once you've seasoned the pork shoulder, place the meat in a natural casing, then tie it up and hang it to dry, preferably for about three months. The cured meat has a high fat content and is exceptionally salty.

Some Ecological Damage from Trump’s Rushed Border Wall Could Be Repaired
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Hours after his inauguration last Wednesday, incoming president Joe Biden issued an executive order calling for a “pause” to border wall construction within seven days. Most of the newest work is on remote, rugged federal lands that previous administrations bypassed for fence construction. What Restoration Might CostWith fence construction halted, CBP and the Army Corp of Engineers, which jointly oversee fence construction, could end up turning right around to deconstruct projects now in progress. “Trump’s border wall has been hugely destructive to the environment, to wildlife, to habitat connectivity.”Now Biden needs to act quickly, Nicol says. “That scar will always be there.”*Editor’s Note (1/25/21): This sentence was edited after posting to clarify the use of environmental review waivers for border fence construction.

Farm Protests in India Are Writing the Green Revolution’s Obituary
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The move enraged farmers—especially in the northwestern state of Punjab, an epicenter of the Green Revolution since the 1950s. After protesting in vain for two months, tens of thousands of Punjab farmers began a march to New Delhi in late November. In a broader perspective, however, this agitation is writing the obituary of the Green Revolution. Underlying this broad base of discontent is the failure of the Green Revolution. In short, the Green Revolution secured cheap cereals in exchange for justice and ecological sustainability.

Could a Galactic Civilization Survive the End of the Universe?
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\" \" Galactic civilizations looking to postpone the end of the universe may be wise to stock up on a few stars like our sun. But it's also possible that you, gentle reader, are an immortal member of a galactic civilization in a distant future. If you're the former, then have a listen to the recent Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast episode \"Galactic Civilization's End.\" In 2018, astrophysicist Dan Hooper pondered the question of a galactic civilization's long-term survival and contended that annihilation might at least be postponed with a little hoarding. If star-jacking isn't your style, physicist Alan Guth – who, by the way, developed cosmic inflation theory – told the BBC that a galactic civilization might be capable of creating its own pocket universe.

Boris-Biden phone call photo sparks bizarre anti-Tory conspiracy theory - 'This is weird!'
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Downing Street said Mr Johnson was the first European leader to receive a call from the President since his inauguration in Washington last Wednesday. The phone cable should be visible in the mirror descending from Boris Johnson’s watch, in this official Downing St picture. The Prime Minister is regarded with deep suspicion by some senior Democrats around Mr Biden who - unlike the former president - was no fan of Brexit. \"We're in no doubt of the importance that President Biden places on the UK and US relationship and the Prime Minister looks forward to having a close relationship with him.\" Washington insider issues Joe Biden trade deal warning[SPOTLIGHT]Boris Johnson tweeted: 'Great to speak to Joe Biden'

Running on Empty? How Bad Is It for Your Car?
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Don Farrall/Getty ImagesExperts say you should keep your gas tank at least a quarter full at all times. AdvertisementAdvertisementYou could also get debris stuck in your fuel pump by running your tank too low. If you're constantly running your gas tank dry, the fuel pump could be overheating, which will cause it to wear out prematurely. Now that you know that driving on empty is actually bad for your car, it should be easier to break the habit. That said, if you find yourself in a situation where you're running low, you won't ruin your car if it's only the first or second time it happens.

Our Improbable Existence Is No Evidence for a Multiverse
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However, experts in the mathematics of probability have identified the inference from the fine-tuning to the multiverse as an instance of fallacious reasoning. Specifically, multiverse theorists commit the inverse gambler’s fallacy, which is a slight twist on the regular gambler’s fallacy. Some physicists do indeed think there is a tentative empirical evidence for a kind of multiverse, that described by the hypothesis of eternal inflation. The reason some scientists take seriously the possibility of a multiverse in which the constants vary in different universes is that it seems to explain the fine-tuning. But on closer examination, the inference from fine-tuning to the multiverse proves to be instance of flawed reasoning.

Premature Freak-Outs about Techno-Enhancement
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I’m venting now because I’ve discovered a phrase that elegantly captures my peeve: wishful worries. How can we protect privacy in an age of tech-enabled telepathy?”We expect boosters of techno-enhancement to minimize technical obstacles. Brain chips could, in principle, give us enormous power over our brains, hence minds, hence behavior. He and others also warned that tyrants might use brain chips to monitor and control our thoughts. In 2003 the U.S. Council on Bioethics, a group convened by President George Bush, brooded over brain chips’ possible effects on STEM education.

Twitter Was Telling The World About COVID-19 When China Was Still Suppressing Information
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\"In hindsight, the evidence was there despite China rushing to suppress it, even telling the World Health Organisation to state that the disease could not be transmitted from human to human...or else. Anomalous evolution of pneumonia-related tweets posted across Europe since December 2019. (a) Cumulative rescaled number of tweets citing pneumonia from 10 December 2019 to 1 March 2020. They put paid environmental activists on panels to \"investigate\" chemicals their lawyers were suing companies about. Independent investigation like this, which shows value, will lead to the private sector creating better analysis tools specifically optimized for these kinds of events.

Physics, Flocks, and Fire Ants
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Though small, ants are mighty; individual ants can withstand more than 5,000 times their own weight by some estimates. “Ants are like no living thing on Earth,”In addition to their strength, speed, and raft-crafting abilities, ants are also excellent atFlocking physics Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have studied the unique collective behavior that arises when fire ants band together. Physics offers a few hints.Flocking (like raft-forming) is an example of active matter: systems whose constituent elements consume energy. Active matter is still a relatively new classification of soft matter; one of the most well-known mathematical models describing active matter — the Vicsek model — was published in 1995. Collective behavior arises as a property of groups but is not necessarily shared by the individual participants themselves.

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