Feature Post, Science

Spring is the season for citizen science – what you can do to have fun and help science!

soil-scoop

The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and citizen scientists… do citizen science! In case you’re not familiar with the concept, citizen science are activities supported (or sponsored) by universities, organizations, institutes or governments through which everyone can provide meaningful scientific contributions. Activities can vary greatly (from counting birds to analyzing galaxy clusters), and you can do it outside,

Animals, Biology, News

Awesome tiny birds cross the Atlantic in one go without stopping

The blackpoll warbler (Setophaga striata) in fall plumage. Image: Wikimedia Commons

More than half a century in question, scientists now confirm that the tiny blackpoll warbler flies nonstop over the North Atlantic Ocean each autumn from New England to South America. The trip takes three days, during which the bird foregoes any rest, sleep or meal. It also absorbs its own intestines.

News, Psychology

Ignoring the dress code can actually enhance status, but only if other people think you’re elite

Mark Zuckerberg clothes

There’s a fine line between being seen as a non-conformist (higher status) and sloppy dresser (lower status). But what sets apart people like Zuckerberg from regular people like you or me (apart from money, of course…)? Well, to get to the root of this silver line, the Harvard researchers studied the observers themselves to understand what are the boundary conditions and signals that make people confer higher status to nonconforming individuals over conforming ones.

Environment, News, Pollution

How glowing tampons help detect sewer leaks in your freshwater drain

glow in the dark tampon

Ironically enough, one male researcher from England used tampons to detect grey water contamination, or laundry system run off, that might be present in waterways. The tampons absorbed key signature chemicals that glow in the dark, making them easy to use and cheap. Moreover, it’s more reliable than consecrated and expensive methods.

Environment, Feature Post

How NYC Subway trains are thrown in the ocean – and why that’s a good thing

subway-coral-reef-05

Usually, whenever I hear about dumping things in the ocean, I just rage! I mean, there are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean, some other trillion pieces are trapped in the Artic ice, ocean sediments are basically a cemetery for plastic and there’s a garbage island twice as big as France in the Pacific Ocean! We really should start reducing the amount of garbage we dump in the ocean… and then there’s these guys.

Health & Medicine, Technology

Dentists will soon be able to 3D print you a new tooth in minutes

Image via 3D Future.

With the advancements in 3D printing, it only seems like a matter of time until it starts to actively affect our lives. Especially prosthetics may be revolutionized by 3D printing, as we’ve already seen time and time again. Now, a group of dentists believe they can 3D print teeth using a simple and cheap technique, only taking a few minutes for it.

Reviews

Book review: ‘On Sacrifice’

Moshe Halbertal On Sacrifice

I’d recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding the biblical sacrifice, but also the psychoanalytical reasoning behind sacrifice. Quite brilliant.

Chemistry, News, Nutrition

Simple way of cooking rice could halve its calories

file0001284357533

I know, the title sounds like one of those scams that promise you’ll lose weight – but this is all science all the way. Researchers in Sri Lanka have found a simple way of cooking the rice that not only reduces calories by half, but also provides other health benefits. The key addition is coconut oil.

Animals, Biology

Colugo (flying lemur): the most accomplished and cutest mammalian glider

colugo

It seems like us mammals were never meant to fly. Sure, bats can fly, but that’s kind of it. Even so, some mammals have learned alternative means of skipping at an altitude: gliding (feather-tailed possums, sifaka) or parachuting (cats). Yes, cats parachute, but enough of them. Chances have it you’ve seen on average 17 cats already since morning. Today’s post is about a gliding mammal that’s in much more need of attention: the adorable colugos.

Health & Medicine, News, Nutrition

High-fat diet might put your mental health at risk

high fat diet

Mice that had gut bacteria transferred from other mice fed with a high fat diet changed their behavior in a negative way, exhibiting anxiety or impaired memory. The findings suggest that apart from heart disease and stroke, obesity might put people’s mental health at risk as well.