Art, Physics, Videos

Beautiful Flow Visualization Explains Surface Tension

Marangoni flow

Ever heard of “tears of wine” or the phrase “the wine caught legs”? It’s common when you pour wine in a glass to see  a ring of clear liquid that forms near the top the glass above the surface of wine. These drops continuously form and fall in rivulets back into the liquid and are influenced by a physical phenomenon called …

News, Space

Comets stink: space probe finds odor of urine, rotten eggs and alcohol

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Credit: AFP/ESA/Rosetta/MPS

Ever wondered how a comet smells? Well even if you could, you might wish you hadn’t: rotten eggs, horse pee, alcohol and bitter almonds are just a couple of the fragrances you could sniff. A smelly comet These volatile compounds were detected by  a mass spectrometer aboard the Rosetta probe which is currently studying the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The mass spectrometer analyzed the…

Environmental Issues, News, Renewable Energy

EU Meeting underway in Brussels hints of Divided Interests

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European Union leaders are currently meeting in Brussels to discuss the terms under which the Union will set its 2030 energy targets. Right now on the table, the plan is to cut CO2 emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by raising energy efficiency and the renewable energy slice. Such a convention is never without compromise, however. Some states have difficulties adhering…

News, Technology

Algorithm predicts the Price of Bitcoin – Developers Double Their Investment in 50 Days

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A team at MIT has developed a prediction algorithm that allows them to determine when the price of the infamous volatile cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, will drop or rise. Using this method, the researchers managed to double their initial investment in 50 days, all through an automated process that involved more than 2,800 transactions. Money forecast Since the last year or so, Bitcoin…

Anthropology, News

Humans first interbred with Neanderthals at least 50,000 Years Ago

This reconstruction of another ancient modern human found in Romania 43,000 years ago gives us a glimpse of how the Siberian man might have looked like.

Following the genome sequence of the oldest modern human remains outside of Africa using the most refined DNA analysis to data, scientists believe they arrived at a more price time frame when humans and Neanderthals first interbred – sometimes between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago. The findings also suggest modern humans arrived in northern Eurasia substantially earlier than some scientists thought. A…

News, Science

Over half of 2007-2012 published research is now available for free

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More than half of all peer-reviewed studies published between 2007 and 2012 are now available, for free, on the internet, for everyone to access. The results were published in a report made by the European Commission. The report is part of the European Commission’s effort to monitor the evolution of scientific data availability. “A substantial part of the material openly available…

News, Physics, Technology

Tractor beam smashes existing records

Drs Shvedov (L) and Hnatovsky used a doughnut-shaped laser beam to push and pull small glass spheres

A team of scientists has managed to develop a tractor beam which can pull and push objects over 20 cm – 100 times more than previous records. There are a myriad of potential applications for this kind of research, including studying atmospheric pollutants or retrieving delicate particles of material for examination. “Recent advances in lightwave technology have already led to small-scale…

News, Pollution

Texas chief toxicologist: No need for smog regulations, just stay indoor

Downtown Houston in October, 2008. The city has severe smog issues and new research suggests that pollution from fracking contributes significantly to the problem.
CREDIT: AP/DAVID J. PHILLIP

Dr. Michael Honeycutt, the top toxicologist in the state of Texas argued that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shouldn’t tighten smog rules because there would be little to no health benefit. “Ozone is an outdoor air pollutant because systems such as air conditioning remove it from indoor air,” he argues on a blog post on the TCEQ website. “Since most…

Feature Post, Other, Psychology

Your Taste in Music Might Reveal How Dumb (or Smart) You Are

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Virgil Griffith, a student at Caltech, embarked on a most interesting project to seek whether there’s any connection between the music you enjoy and, uhm, your intellectual abilities.  Griffith used aggregated Facebook data about the favorite bands among students of various colleges and plotted them against the average SAT scores at those schools. This allowed him to make a very rough…