Category Archives: Science

Scubacraft

So I think I decided what I want for Christmas… A Scubacraft (I saw it in Wired magazine).

It’s basically a boat that you can hit a button, and it will go underwater (up to 100 feet). It would be pretty awesome to go scuba diving and instead of leaving your boat at the surface, just take it under water with you when you get to the dive site. :) It’s not pressurized, so it’s not a submarine (you would still need scuba gear of course).

It also has an onboard computer that controls your ascent and descent so you don’t go to quickly and give yourself the bends.

I love you, Santa!

Astronaut Charged With Attempted Murder

Sweet… how would you like to be isolated on the International Space Station with a murderer? :)

NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak was ordered released Tuesday on an additional $10,000 bond on an attempted murder charge in Orlando, where she allegedly tried to subdue a purported romantic rival with pepper spray and kidnap her from an airport parking lot.

Nowak also was ordered to wear a global positioning satellite, or GPS, device.

Nowak, 43, appeared in court Tuesday afternoon to face the attempted first-degree murder charge.

Nowak is accused of accosting Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman, 30, in the Orlando airport parking lot early Monday, telling police she only wanted to talk with Shipman.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/02/06/astronaut.arrested/

Concrete That Cleans Air

Hmmm… concrete that eats pollution. That’s pretty slick if you ask me.

The results so far are astonishing: A street in the town of Segrate, near Milan, with an average traffic of 1,000 cars per hour, has been repaved with the compound, “and we have measured a reduction in nitric oxides of around 60%,” says Italcementi’s spokesperson Alberto Ghisalberti. In a test over an 8,000 square meter (or approximately 2 acres) industrial area paved with active blocks near Bergamo, Italcementi’s hometown, the reduction was measured at 45%.

In large cities such as Milan, with persistent pollution problems caused by car emissions, smoke from heating systems, and industrial activities, both the company and outside experts estimate that covering 15% of all visible urban surfaces (painting the walls, repaving the roads) with products containing TX Active could abate pollution by up to 50%, depending on the specific atmospheric conditions.

http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/nov2006/id20061108_116412.htm

Teleportation Coming Closer To Reality

“It is one step further because for the first time it involves teleportation between light and matter, two different objects. One is the carrier of information and the other one is the storage medium,” Polzik explained in an interview on Wednesday.

The experiment involved for the first time a macroscopic atomic object containing thousands of billions of atoms. They also teleported the information a distance of half a meter but believe it can be extended further.

“Teleportation between two single atoms had been done two years ago by two teams but this was done at a distance of a fraction of a millimeter,” Polzik, of the Danish National Research Foundation Center for Quantum Optics, explained.

“Our method allows teleportation to be taken over longer distances because it involves light as the carrier of entanglement,” he added.

Quantum entanglement involves entwining two or more particles without physical contact.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/10/04/teleportation.reut/

First Woman With Bionic Arm

I can’t wait until you can just cut off your own arms and legs and get some of these things by choice. :)

Mitchell, who lives in Ellicott City, is the fourth person — and first woman — to receive a “bionic” arm, which allows her to control parts of the device by her thoughts alone. The device, designed by physicians and engineers at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, works by detecting the movements of a chest muscle that has been rewired to the stumps of nerves that once went to her now-missing limb.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/13/AR2006091302271.html

(via Washington Post, via Engadget, via Bobby)

Correction And Apology

On August 25, 2006, I published some information that turned out to be entirely false. I sincerely apologize to those of you that I inadvertently mislead with this post.

In that entry, I stated that I didn’t get stitches from my surgery. But new information has come to light this morning that now leads me to believe that I did indeed get stitches. This information came from the surgeon that did my surgery. I attended my post-op checkup this morning and I made an inquiry about the lack of stitches and he stated, “You have stitches, but they are under the skin. The last stitch was tied off and cut at the skin, so you can’t see it.” While I have not actually cut myself open to examine myself to see if I indeed have stitches, I don’t have any reason to believe he would have lied to me about it.

Again, I apologize for disseminating false information.

No Stitches

I changed my little bandage thing today and uhm… I have no stitches. I have a 3 inch incision in my abdomen and I have no stitches. Does anyone besides me think that’s a little weird? What if my guts came spilling out or something if I cough too hard? :)

Vicodin Doesn’t Do Shit

I ended up taking 4 Vicodin last night, and it doesn’t do a God damn thing for me except make me feel like I’m about to puke. Certainly didn’t help with the pain.

So I don’t think I’m going to take anymore pain killers. Which I guess is a moot point because as long as I lay perfectly still it doesn’t hurt anyway. :)

I Was Stabbed

I had my incisional hernia repair surgery today, and it was quick and easy…

But now after the surgery, it straight up feels like I was stabbed with an 8″ blade in my gut, and then someone jammed it around in there just for good measure. Thank God I waited until after Costa Rica to do this.

Okay, I’m going back to laying down in the living room now.

Everyone Wants My Blood

I’ve had to give lots of blood lately. 2 vials were taken before I went to Costa Rica, a stone wall took some of my blood in Costa Rica, and then someone else wanted 1 vial of blood today.

Too bad we haven’t perfected human cloning yet. Then I could have myself cloned and harvest my clone’s organs later in life if I ever need them…

If anyone in Costa Rica would like to try that, you can find my blood and maybe some tissue samples on the wall/bridge in Manuel Antonio for the Costa Verde hotel (coming off the main road).

Update

I’m also available for sperm samples if the right person asks.

Note: That’s a joke BTW.

Alien Cells

Hmmm… alien microbes that fell in India? Odd but (maybe) true…

As bizarre as it may seem, the sample jars brimming with cloudy, reddish rainwater in Godfrey Louis’s laboratory in southern India may hold, well, aliens. In April, Louis, a solid-state physicist at Mahatma Gandhi University, published a paper in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Astrophysics and Space Science in which he hypothesizes that the samples—water taken from the mysterious blood-colored showers that fell sporadically across Louis’s home state of Kerala in the summer of 2001—contain microbes from outer space.

Specifically, Louis has isolated strange, thick-walled, red-tinted cell-like structures about 10 microns in size. Stranger still, dozens of his experiments suggest that the particles may lack DNA yet still reproduce plentifully, even in water superheated to nearly 600ËšF. (The known upper limit for life in water is about 250ËšF.) So how to explain them? Louis speculates that the particles could be extraterrestrial bacteria adapted to the harsh conditions of space and that the microbes hitched a ride on a comet or meteorite that later broke apart in the upper atmosphere and mixed with rain clouds above India. If his theory proves correct, the cells would be the first confirmed evidence of alien life and, as such, could yield tantalizing new clues to the origins of life on Earth.

http://www.popsci.com/popsci/science/2c21c0f98d07b010vgnvcm1000004eecbccdrcrd.html

Light Can Travel Backwards

Some interesting stuff here… light traveling at speeds other than the speed of light (slower, faster and backwards)…

Boyd, along with Rochester graduate students George M. Gehring and Aaron Schweinsberg, and undergraduates Christopher Barsi of Manhattan College and Natalie Kostinski of the University of Michigan, sent a burst of laser light through an optical fiber that had been laced with the element erbium. As the pulse exited the laser, it was split into two. One pulse went into the erbium fiber and the second traveled along undisturbed as a reference. The peak of the pulse emerged from the other end of the fiber before the peak entered the front of the fiber, and well ahead of the peak of the reference pulse.

But to find out if the pulse was truly traveling backward within the fiber, Boyd and his students had to cut back the fiber every few inches and re-measure the pulse peaks when they exited each pared-back section of the fiber. By arranging that data and playing it back in a time sequence, Boyd was able to depict, for the first time, that the pulse of light was moving backward within the fiber.

http://www.rochester.edu/news/show.php?id=2544

Chew Gum Instead Of Brush Teeth

Cool. :)

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Technology/story?id=1796227

There’s a new product in development that could change your nightly ritual forever.

The Wrigley Gum Company has paired up with the U.S. military to create an anti-bacterial chewing gum that actually cleans teeth so soldiers wouldn’t have to stop what they’re doing to brush their pearly whites.

If the military signs on to it, there’s a good chance it will end up in your medicine cabinet one day.

Family Walks On All Fours

I saw this a couple weeks ago, and just now ran across it again. Dammit, I forgot to post it the first time around… oh well… better late than never.

An extraordinary family who walk on all fours are being hailed as the breakthrough discovery which could shed light on the moment Man first stood upright.

Scientists believe that the five brothers and sisters found in Turkey could hold unique insights into human evolution.

The Kurdish siblings, aged between 18 and 34 and from the rural south, ‘bear crawl’ on their feet and palms.

Study of the five has shown the astonishing behaviour is not a hoax and they are largely unable to walk otherwise.

Researchers have found a genetic condition which accounts for their extraordinary movement.

And it could provide invaluable information on how humans evolved from a four-legged hominid into a creature walking on two feet.

Coke and Mentos

I’m not sure why, but the video oddly makes me want to try it myself to see if it really works. :)

Update

We confirmed that this does work. :) We didn’t quite have as good of a technique for getting the Mentos into the 2 liter bottle as quickly, but it does in fact work. Maybe Julien or Scott will post the video to YouTube.

Restless Leg Syndrome

I saw a commercial for some drug to help combat “restless leg syndrome” where you have a tingling feeling in your legs, and you have the urge to move/shift your legs. Is this a real thing?

Why do I feel like maybe a drug manufacturer made up this “disease”?

Maybe if your body is telling you to move your legs, you should move your legs, rather than take a drug to suppress the urge… But hey, what do I know? I’m not a doctor. :)

It seems like there are so many commercials for drugs these days. Most to help combat stuff you didn’t even know you had. Maybe we should leave prescriptions to doctors, rather than people going to the doctor to tell them what you need to take. eh?

Mixing Matter and Antimatter

Some dudes at UC Riverside think they may have created molecules that meld matter with antimatter…

Allen Mills of the University of California, Riverside, and his colleagues say they have seen telltale signs of positronium molecules, made from two positronium atoms1.

Positronium is an other-worldly mimic of hydrogen. In a hydrogen atom, a negatively charged electron moves around a proton, which has a positive charge. The electrical force of attraction between the two subatomic particles holds them together.

In positronium, hydrogen’s proton is replaced by a positron, which is the antimatter partner of an electron. A positron has the same positive charge as a proton, but has the same mass as an electron, which is just 1/1,836 that of a proton. So positronium is an extremely light ‘atom’.

Not terribly useful at this point since it existed for a fraction of a second and then self-destructed. Still interesting nonetheless.

Thunder & Lightning

Last night there was the craziest thunder and lightning storm I’ve ever seen. I swear it seemed like it was right outside my window. The thunder was like an earthquake and every time it hit you could hear car alarms going off everywhere in the neighborhood.

Scripps pier is the closest pier to me (about 3 miles away), and this was a picture taken from there last night during the storm.

Dust Devils On Mars

This picture is about a week old, but it’s still pretty cool. But I forgot about those two rovers that NASA has cruising around Mars (Spirit and Opportunity). They landed in January of 2004, and were supposed to be operational for 90 days. More than a year and a half later, both of them are still exploring the surface of Mars and beaming back pictures and data.

It would be cool if everything was made as tough as those little bastards.