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. …

Fossil Friday

#FossilFriday: Slab of sea-star fossils

gmF516A

It’s chique, awesome looking and really old – it’s the paleontological equivalent of a Louis Vuitton! ……

News, Videos

Why the seesaw is such a great physics lesson (TedED)

lever

Archimedes once famously said “give me a place to stand, and I shall move the Earth.” This wasn’t some bogus philosophical statement. The ancient physicist was just trying to illustrate a simple, but highly effective machine: the lever. A lever amplifies an input force to provide a greater output force, which is said to provide leverage. Every lever consists of three main components:…

Climate, Feature Post, Great Pics

Repeat Photography From the 1920s and Now Shows Incredible Glacier Retreat

hokz0yw

Repeat photography (or rephotography) is a technique in which photographs are taken repeatedly at a site to see how it evolves. It’s especially useful for glaciers, particularly because other remote ways of estimating glacial mass, depth, and rate of retreat are imperfect. These photos depict how this technique was used at a number of locations in Alaska. Here, we see…

Animals, Great Pics, News

Cute bunny species observed for the first time in 20 years

It's extremely cute, and extremely endangered.

There’s good news, and bad news. The good news is that an extremely rare bunny has been observed for the first time in 20 years, but the bad news is that their numbers seem to have dwindled more than ever, and we may never see them again.

Feature Post, Science

The ‘Next Big Things’ in Science Ten Years from Now

the-next-big-thing-0423

So, what’s the future going to look like ten years from now? What’s the next big thing? Genomics, big data, nanotech, a Martian colony and nuclear fusion, to name a few. …

Art, Great Pics, Videos

This camera shaped like a gun shoots 8 bit photos of your Nintendo self

8bit camera

Time to get a bit geeky with Dmitriy Morozov latest contraption: an 8 bit camera that prints photos on a receipt. How’s that for recycling tech? As you can notice, the display is handled by none another than the Game Boy, while the hardware is controlled via the ever trusty Arduino. Morozov is a Moscow-based artist whose ‘thing’ is mixing art with diy electronics….

Feature Post, Great Pics, News

Humidity-powered seed drills itself in the ground

erodium

The Stork’s Bill (Erodium circutarium) is a incredible plant which evolved its own seed drilling mechanism. The  vitamin K rich seeds have little tails that coil and uncoil with changes in humidity, burying the seed. When there’s high humidity, the seeds turn clockwise. When it’s dry, they turn counter-clockwise. This makes it particularly brilliant since no matter how wet it is outside, the seeds will still drill in the ground like a screw, thereby increasing the chance of sprouting….

Feature Post, Psychology

Breaking the Backlash – A take on the social psychology of discrimination

AFP Photo/Guillaume Souvant

On January 7th 2015, the world looked on in horror as news of the Charlie Hebdo shootings broke. The story of two brothers, identifying as members of the militant Islamist group Al-Qaeda, who forced their way into the satirical magazine’s Paris offices and killed 11 people is one that is now sadly well-known to people across the globe. A story that might be less well known, however, is that of the ramifications that the brothers actions had for members of the very faith that they were claiming to represent….

News, Offbeat, Space

The science behind the supertide that stranded the French Abbey

A supertide envelopes Mont Saint-Michel. Associated Press

A shocking image went viral a few days ago, with an 11th-century French abbey completely surrounded by water following a super tide. Naturally, many similar photos followed, and many “explanations” emerged, most vaguely referencing the solar eclipse, something about gravitational cycles, and some even stated it was caused by the “tide of the century”, although the “tide of the century” comes by every 18 years. So let’s take a look at what actually happened.