This week’s science links are brought you to by the letters Z and Q and the number e.
ichi) An interesting article about Titan’s atmosphere and how similar (and different) it is to Earth’s. Proof that you don’t need to make up exciting new planets, there are plenty of real ones out there.
ni) I linked a while back about the plastic garbage patch we’re growing out in the Pacific Ocean. Well now some scientists have discovered we’re growing another garbage dump in the deep ocean. Sounds like something out of a horror story to me.
san) Pigeons can use technology too! A study demonstrates that pigeons can pass a simple intelligence test called the “string test” on a touchscreen. Watch the video linked in the article, it’s awesome!
shi) In Australia they are having a problem with feral cats are growing huge and eating anything that will fit in their mouths. This brings up interesting ideas about domesticated species and what might happen to them if humans are eliminated from the food chain. WARNING: Article contains pictures of dead cats. If that’s the kind of thing that upsets you don’t click.
go) To make up for the ugliness of the previous entry, here’s a beautiful time lapse video of the aurora over Crater Lake earlier this week.
I hope you enjoyed the quick tour around the world of science this week!
Hearts and puppies,
Edited to add: I had bookmarked this early on in the week and meant to pass it along here, but I forgot, so you get an extra bonus link! Robot bees. Nuff said.
Welcome to the triumphant return of Science Affliction! I know I said last week that I wasn’t going to make my story fodder posts just about science anymore, but you know what? Science is freaking awesome. So we’re going to stick with that, but if I happen to see some cool artwork or other inspirational stuff I’ll add it in too, because I make the rules! Anyway, without further ado we’ll get to the science.
eins) A link I should have posted a long time ago. AstroPics has some of the most wonderful HD images of space on the internet. If you can look at Wally Pacholka’s amazing works of art and not be inspired, there just might be something wrong with you. Along the same lines NASA shares an Astronomy Picture of the Day that has some unbelievable images. Today’s image is the Featured
zwei) An interesting study showing that apes display emotional responses to the outcome of decisions.
drei) I would like to go on record saying that I want to place my order for a mammoth clone grown from the running blood of a deep frozen mammoth now. To be running at -10 mammoths must have had some kind of innate anti-freeze. While I do love to speculate what other forms of life might be out there in the universe, we have some pretty awesome ones right here.
vier) The fourth entry is a neat little story about a guy who wants to make robot drone pets. His ideas for what they could do involve following you around taking pictures, posting your status updates, that sort of thing. Personally, I can imagine some much better items to have my drone do, the dishes for example. I need me a Rosie from the Jetsons.
fünf) I’ve saved my favorite link of the week for last. Every wanted to be more involved in space exploration? Now you can! A Kickstarter project to fund a public telescope is a wonderfully exciting idea. Depending on your donation level you can get pictures of yourself in space, point the telescope at anything and get your own personal picture of space objects, or sponsor a school telescope time.
That’s all for this week. I hope you enjoyed the brief overview of the week in science!
Here’s your weekly science stuff!
Number 1 is a bit of depressing news on the global warming front. We may see a complete collapse of the Arctic sea ice shelf within four years.
To cheer you up a bit from that, number 2 is a look at several plants in an MRI. Very awesome!
Number 3 is a story about how we may find a better pain killer in the most unlikely place, a black mamba’s mouth. The world really is just awesome.
In number 4, French bees invade a Mars factory, eat some M&Ms and then produce blue honey. No, that’s not fiction, I promise.
Number 5 is all about how yo momma was a Neandertal.
Special bonus link, because we’re all about the books here: a list of can’t wait for science fiction and fantasy coming out in October from io9. The list includes a new suburban fantasy by Jacqueline Carey that I’m really jazzed about and a new Cory Doctorow book about the copyright apocalypse, just to name two.
Look, not an astronomy link in the bunch. *Snoopy dance*
Let’s get right to the science.
1) Some of you may remember my rant from last year denouncing the Council of Europe’s stance on wireless emissions (if not, here’s a link). Today’s first story from ScienceDaily is yet another study that shows no correlation between wireless and the supposed health problems some people say they cause.
2) A bit of cool mad sciencery that will hopefully help explain how life came about on our pretty blue marble.
3) Enjoy this stunning time lapse video of Joshua Tree National Park that was posted at io9.
4) Warp Drive? Why yes, I’ll take one. Gizmodo had a story this week about NASA working on development of a real-life warp drive. I don’t know how much is wishful thinking and how much is practical, but it’s all-around awesome.
5) A new astronomical toy called the Dark Energy Cam is all the rage. They will use it to gather data on cosmic acceleration that will hopefully allow a accurate estimates of the motion of our Universe. Heavy stuff.
That’s all the science news for now. Check back next week when I promise there will be slightly less astronomy… maybe.
PS – A bonus entry that’s more science fiction than science, a very cool space short film by the name of Grounded.
It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these but some recent news has convinced me that I should start it up again. When Curiosity landed on Mars I stayed up way too late into the night to make sure the cutest little laser-wielding robot ever landed safely.What I remember most was what one of the folks in the JPL said right after they confirmed a safe landing, “Let’s see where our Curiosity takes us.” Cheesy as hell, sure, but it gave me goosebumps.
I’m not sure if I’ve said it on here, but to my mind curiosity is the most underrated human trait. I simply can’t understand people that don’t want to learn random stuff whenever they can. I. Just. Don’t. Get. It. I meet people all the time that are amazed about the random useless stuff I know and they want to know how I picked it all up. I read. That’s all. I sometimes want to shout at people who can’t see past the tiny speck of their own lives to the marvelous wonder that is the universe. Use that big brain for something, will ya?
Sorry about the mini-rant… Anyway, as part my own battle against mental atrophy I’ll share some of the coolest and most awesome stuff I read in science news every week.
Uno: This first piece comes from my latest obsession. I haven’t shared it on here yet, mostly because I wasn’t sure anyone who came here looking for my writerly blog would be the slightest bit interested in aquariums. However, if that’s not the case let me know in the comments and I’ll share more about aquariums than you’ll ever want to know. I promise. Anywho, here’s a story about some male snails that have it pretty rough. Not only do they have to play Mr. Mom to the prospective brood, but they can even get stuck watching baby snails that don’t even belong to them.
Dos: From a new obsession to an old one: horses. Recent research has determined that specialized gaits in horses can be tracked to a single gene. Gene DMRT3 is used in the production of neurons in the horse’s spine, and thus can alter the way the horse’s limbs are controlled.
Tres: Astronomy news, just because it’s one of my favorite topics. The discovery of a possibly habitable planet in a binary star system has all the astronomers aflutter.
Quatro: You knew there was going to be some Curiosity news in here somewhere, didn’t you? The first human voice heard on another planet is officially Charlie Boulden, the administrator of NASA.
Cinco: More astronomy, just cuz. An interesting paradox regarding the most widely accepted theory of how the moon came into being.
That’s all for this week, kiddies. I hope you enjoyed your scientific snack. More to come next week!