Fighting Ice With...Ice?
Posted in Cool

This series of images (click to enlarge) shows an aluminum sample with elevated grooves after 0, 1, 2, and 3 hours in a supersaturated environment. You can see that the ice is contained to the elevated grooves and grows upward over time. However, the ice stripes disrupted the usual behavior. There, the ice stripes grew upward, away from the surface. For example, we’d need a method for patterning ice stripes on a large object.

Allotropy: Why Winter Spells Trouble for the Tin Man
Posted in Cool

Tin is a commonplace metal that’s used industrially in a thousand different ways. From the solder that holds your computer’s motherboard together to the PVC plumbing under your sink, tin compounds are everywhere. This phenomenon, known as “tin pest”, is certainly not due a biological organism, but is widely mistaken for an oxidation reaction. Instead, tin pest happens thanks to something called allotropy—the metal’s atomic lattice can take on multiple different shapes, depending on the temperature it’s kept at. At room temperature, tin exists in its “beta” form.

Scientists Search for Rudolph's Red Nose, and other great stories.
Posted in Cool

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.

Unrivaled View of Brilliant ‘Planetary Nebula’ NGC 2899
Posted in Cool

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.

The Science of Spiritual Narcissism
Posted in Cool

Perhaps on the whole, spiritual practices really do help quiet the ego, and spiritual narcissism isn’t that widespread. SELF-CENTRALITY AND SPIRITUALITYIn the past few years, a number of high-quality studies have started to unearth the existence of spiritual narcissism and self-enhancement among spiritual practices that purport to quiet the ego. SPIRITUAL SUPERIORITY AND SPIRITUAL PRACTICESIn a more recent set of studies, Roos Vonk and Anouk Visser conducted an exploration of “spiritual superiority.” They interviewed several psychologists, spiritual trainers and lay people, and asked them to describe people who use spirituality as a self-enhancement tool. Interestingly, their scale of spiritual superiority was more strongly correlated with communal narcissism than self-esteem, providing evidence for the notion of “spiritual narcissism.” Indeed, it’s important to distinguish between healthy self-esteem and narcissism. Increases in healthy self-esteem as a result of spiritual practices may be a good thing, and are not necessarily indicative of spiritual narcissism, which is why it’s good that the researchers were able to tie their measure of spiritual superiority to a specific form of narcissism: communal narcissism.

The Timeless Journey of the Möbius Strip
Posted in Cool

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.

Climate Deniers Shift Tactics to ‘Inactivism’
Posted in Cool

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?

How to Avoid Becoming a Meal for a Cheetah
Posted in Cool

Think of it this way: for every cheetah on the planet, there are more than four Starbucks coffee shops. Even though these communication hubs only comprise around 10 percent of the landscape, cheetahs spend most—sometimes all—of their time within them. “This is basically a long-term tradition, which is passed on from cheetah generation to cheetah generation. “I told him, ‘Look, Wilfred, I have the idea that they are actually there because of these marking trees. In all, the number of calves lost to cheetah predation fell by a whopping 86 percent.

Can Your Car Have Too Many Bumper Stickers?
Posted in Cool

In the U.S., each state has different regulations governing the use of stickers on car windows. AdvertisementAdvertisementAccording to psychologist William Szlemko and a team of other researchers at Colorado State University, there's definitely such a thing as too many bumper stickers. That's because a study they conducted in 2008 found that the quantity of stickers on a car was a predictor of road rage. Bumper stickers represent a mainstream, and sometimes humorous, way for people to express themselves on every subject under the sun. But bumper stickers featuring profanity, a protected form of speech, occasionally lead to a citation or arrest.

How Did Elisa Lam End Up Dead in a Hotel Water Tank?
Posted in Cool

\" \" Authorities gathered on the roof of the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles after the discovery of Elisa Lam's body in the hotel's water tank. Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesWhen 21-year-old college student Elisa Lam was found dead in the water tank of the Cecil Hotel (now closed) in Los Angeles in 2013, the mysterious circumstances surrounding her case captured national attention. Her body was found after guests of the hotel complained about low water pressure and a strange taste, which led employees to investigate their water tanks. Lam traveled to Los Angeles from Vancouver alone, and went missing from her Cecil Hotel room soon after she arrived. If Lam had a manic episode, it's possible she thought someone was following her, perhaps causing her to hide in the water tank for safety.

What's the Difference Between Enabling and Supporting?
Posted in Cool

Although enabling behaviors are usually done out of love, they can actually backfire for everyone involved. AdvertisementAdvertisementThe Difference Between Enabling and SupportingIt's often tough for a person in the thick of it to realize which type of behavior they're engaged in. Another reason that enabling behaviors persist is because often it's easier to go along with the problem than trying to fight it. Wedding photographer Erica Hartwig calls stopping the cycle of enabling \"emotionally one of the hardest things you can do. The website DrugAbuse.com has a lot of resources for people looking for treatment options for loved ones, as does the U.S.-government-run SAMHSA.gov.

Some Ecological Damage from Trump’s Rushed Border Wall Could Be Repaired
Posted in Cool

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.

Can Shocking Images Persuade Doubters of COVID’s Dangers?
Posted in Cool

Images are visceral reminders of the pandemic’s dangers, revealing unsettling events behind closed doors, showing us suffering’s human face. Is there evidence showing that shocking images reliably persuade? In our study, we found that participants also believed shocking images would deliver a persuasive punch, moving people’s attitudes about the risks of the coronavirus. Viewing disturbing images, we use the sadness or outrage we ourselves feel as a guide to understand how others will feel. If you entered our study doubting the threat, the images didn’t shock you and, accordingly, didn’t move your thinking.

Ancient Dogs Had Complex Genetic Histories
Posted in Cool

He and his colleagues studied the genomes of 27 ancient dog bones dug up around the world. Bergström: “To a large degree the history of dogs seems to have been shaped by human history, so likely reflecting how when humans moved they would have brought their dogs with them.”Ancient humans clearly found dogs to be very useful. [Anders Bergström et al, Origins and genetic legacy of prehistoric dogs]One odd finding: about 11,000 years ago it looks like dogs spread more widely than humans did. So how could the dog spread so quickly and widely? The number of copies of a starch-digesting gene in both humans and dogs increased in the generations following the invention of agriculture.

Could a Galactic Civilization Survive the End of the Universe?
Posted in Cool

\" \" 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.

New Ruling Cracks Down on Emotional Support Animals on Planes
Posted in Cool

Richard Atrero de Guzman/Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesIn a long-awaited ruling, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced on Dec. 2, 2020, that \"carriers are not required to recognize emotional support animals as service animals and may treat them as pets.\" This ruling came after a skyrocketing number of pets flying as service and \"emotional support animals\" (ESAs) — up 150 percent between 2015 and 2017, according to Delta — had prompted the airline and others to enact more stringent requirements for on-board animals. \"The research on the positive impact that emotional support animals have on people who are struggling with mental illness is pretty plentiful,\" says psychologist Tanisha Ranger, who works mainly with veterans. Many passengers looking to avoid this fee had started to classify their pets as emotional support animals. And when untrained animals attack innocent bystanders, it further creates stigma for those who actually need service animals.\"

Inside the CIA's Treasure Trove of bin Laden Files
Posted in Cool

When bin Laden became a wanted man, running from the U.S. government, he began wearing a black cowboy hat when out in public, thinking it would shield his identity from spy satellites and drones. Bin Laden was an intense and religious person, joining the zealous Muslim Brotherhood in high school. Initially, bin Laden denied involvement, but in October 2004, he released a video claiming responsibility and decrying American intervention in the Middle East. But it was the final release on Nov. 1, 2017 that featured what seemed like a treasure trove of data, including 79,000 audio and image files, plus al-Qaida \"home videos.\" But what seems to pique everyone's curiosity is bin Laden's obsession with hentai — anime porn.

Running on Empty? How Bad Is It for Your Car?
Posted in Cool

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.

10 Widely Believed U.S. Government Conspiracy Theories
Posted in Cool

Muslim terrorist group al-Qaida claimed responsibility for the attacks. But almost immediately, conspiracy theories started flying around. Some theorists believed that the U.S. government had advance warning of the attacks, but let them happen anyway. Others claimed that the government actually engineered the attacks, and that al-Qaida wasn't even involved. There was also a lack of booming sounds and flashes of light characteristic of explosions [source: Thomas].

Boris-Biden phone call photo sparks bizarre anti-Tory conspiracy theory - 'This is weird!'
Posted in Cool

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'

About Us

When you want to outsmart the world, you turn to the facts. And the facts are in the science.

Subscribe to our newsletter!