Monday, July 27, 2009

Electronic tattoo display runs on blood

Digital Tattoo Interface
Jim Mielke's wireless blood-fueled display is a true merging of technology and body art. At the recent Greener Gadgets Design Competition, the engineer demonstrated a subcutaneously implanted touch-screen that operates as a cell phone display, with the potential for 3G video calls that are visible just underneath the skin.



Wednesday, July 22, 2009

20 Fascinating Ancient Maps

Modern and Completely Correct Map of the Entire World, 1659
Works of art in and of themselves, these ancient maps reveal a great deal more than the geographical knowledge of our ancestors. They tell stories of war and triumph, reveal myths and biases, and document modes of thought that have long been obsolete.


Via: Free EDU

9 reasons why there wasn’t stress in the good old days

Bayer’s Heroin
Nowadays, people seem to be more and more stressed, even average people that at least apparently don’t take big gambles. Researchers have put a lot of time and money into the study of this problem, and came up with a whole lot of theories, but really, don’t let those fool you. Here’s the real deal, here’s why it was so easy in those days.


Via: ZME Science

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Conspiracy Theories

Fact and Fiction

On the 40th anniversary of the moon landing — or was it just a sinister hoax? — TIME looks back at 10 of the world's most enduring conspiracy theories

The JFK Assassination
9/11 Cover-up
Area 51 and the Aliens
Paul is Dead
Secret Societies Control the World
The Moon Landings Were Faked
Jesus and Mary Magdalene
Holocaust Revisionism
The CIA and AIDS
The Reptilian Elite


Via: Time

Friday, July 17, 2009

8 Moon-Landing Hoax Myths -- Busted w/Photos

The astronauts also accidentally bent the horizontal rods holding the flag in place several times, creating the appearance of a rippling flag in photographs.
Forty years after U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon, many conspiracy theorists still insist the Apollo 11 moon landing was an elaborate hoax. Examine the photographic evidence, and find out why experts say some of the most common claims simply don't hold water.


Via: National Geographic

DNA Not The Same In Every Cell Of Body: Major Genetic Differences Between Blood And Tissue Cells Revealed

New research calls into question one of the most basic assumptions of human genetics: that when it comes to DNA, every cell in the body is essentially identical to every other cell. (Credit: iStockphoto)
Research by a group of Montreal scientists calls into question one of the most basic assumptions of human genetics: that when it comes to DNA, every cell in the body is essentially identical to every other cell. Their results appear in the July issue of the journal Human Mutation.

This discovery may undercut the rationale behind numerous large-scale genetic studies conducted over the last 15 years, studies which were supposed to isolate the causes of scores of human diseases.


Via: Science Daily

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Adult brain can change within seconds

The human brain can adapt to changing demands even in adulthood, but MIT neuroscientists have now found evidence of it changing with unsuspected speed. Their findings suggest that the brain has a network of silent connections that underlie its plasticity.

"So the visual cortex changes its response almost immediately to sensory deprivation and to new input," Kanwisher explained. "Our study shows the stunning ability of the brain to adapt to moment-to-moment changes in experience even in adulthood."


Via: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Why do dogs bark?

Barking is the auditory signal associated with an evolved behavior known as mobbing
Not Only Dogs, But Deer, Monkeys And Birds Bark To Deal With Conflict.

Biologically speaking, many animals besides dogs bark, according to Kathryn Lord at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, but the evolutionary biologist also says domestic dogs vocalize in this way much more than birds, deer, monkeys and other wild animals that use barks. The reason is related to dogs’ 10,000-year history of hanging around human food refuse dumps, she suggests.


Via: Science Daily

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Quick 7: Seven Cases of Spontaneous Human Combustion

So, what do you think? Can SHC always be explained by things like smoldering cigarettes and strange alcohol reactions, or is there something more mysterious at work?
Don’t you hate it when you’re just sitting there at home, watching some TrueBlood (any other fans out there?) and enjoying a night at home on the couch, when all of a sudden your leg just randomly bursts into flames? No? Is it just me? Well, it’s not just me – there are about 200 reported cases of incidents that may have been spontaneous human combustion (SHC). Here are a few of those cases.


Via: Mental Floss

The Wonderful World of Big Science

For most of its history, science has always been done by individual or at best a small group of scientists. World War II changed that: during the war, government-sponsored laboratories employing thousands of scientists sprung up to do large-scale research on weapons and technology. Since then, scientific research has entered a new era dubbed "Big Science".

Whether "big" science is any better than "small" science is a matter of controversy. Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory Alvin Weinberg (who coined the term "Big Science" in the 1960s) defended the organization and big-budget financing of Big Science as the only way to continue research into progressively more complex scientific matters. On the other hand, science historian Paul Forman posited that defense-related funding by the government shifted the focus in physics from basic to applied research.

Whatever the answer, Big Science is here to stay. So let’s take a look at some of the biggest Big Science projects in the World:


Via: Neatorama

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Why You Can’t Keep Your Foot Out of Your Mouth

The harder we try not to say or do or think something, the more likely we are to slip — and often at the worst possible time.
Using ingenious experiments to reveal the brain’s hidden machinations, Wegner and others have found that our brains expend steady, conscious effort to avoid talking about ex-girlfriends on first dates, sending putts off the green, or letting slip the real reason you were late for work.

But when our conscious minds are stressed and preoccupied — by, for example, a desire not to screw up — a subconscious process devoted to guarding against the mistake slips through. Unwanted thoughts pop into the forefront of your mind.


Via: Wired

The Weird, Wacky World of The Platypus

The Platypus Is Not A Fake. Photo Via Urville Djasim
Long has the platypus been referred to as a “freak” or a “joke by God.” But darn it, these critters are awesome, interesting and unique. If anything, they’re really super animals and everyone else is just jealous. After all, they take a little bit of all kinds of good animals and make one excellent and one-of-a-kind family of animals.


Via: Neatorama

Renovated Church Home in Kyloe, Northumberland

The exterior remains mostly untouched
A nondescript exterior and a yard dominated by headstones give no indication of the residential nature of this historic church in Kyloe, Northumberland. A couple decided to purchase and readapt the structure, investing nearly three times the purchase price into renovations over the course of several years.


Via: SwipeLife

Strawberries: Sweet and Tasty Treat with Anti-Aging Power

Strawberries are widely known for their potential health benefits due to their high vitamin C, fiber, B-vitamins, potassium, and folic acid contents
Strawberries are one of nature’s healthiest "packages" of power nutrients. There is strong evidence that strawberries are a heart-protective fruit, an anti-cancer fruit, and an anti-inflammatory fruit all rolled into one ripe treat.

Let’s have a look at strawberries health benefits.


Via: HealthAssist

Friday, July 10, 2009

Yes, I Suck: Self-Help Through Negative Thinking

An Oprah's Book Club book titled A Million Little Pieces by James Frey (center) and other self-help books at a Borders Book store
In the past 50 years, people with mental problems have spent untold millions of hours in therapists' offices, and millions more reading self-help books, trying to turn negative thoughts like "I never do anything right" into positive ones like "I can succeed." For many people — including well-educated, highly trained therapists, for whom "cognitive restructuring" is a central goal — the very definition of psychotherapy is the process of changing self-defeating attitudes into constructive ones.

But was Norman Vincent Peale right? Is there power in positive thinking? A study just published in the journal Psychological Science says trying to get people to think more positively can actually have the opposite effect: it can simply highlight how unhappy they are.


Via: Time

New wonder material, one-atom thick, has scientists abuzz

Imagine a carbon sheet that's only one atom thick but is stronger than diamond and conducts electricity 100 times faster than the silicon in computer chips.

That's graphene, the latest wonder material coming out of science laboratories around the world. It's creating tremendous buzz among physicists, chemists and electronic engineers.

"It is the thinnest known material in the universe, and the strongest ever measured," Andre Geim , a physicist at the University of Manchester, England , wrote in the June 19 issue of the journal Science.


Via: Yahoo News

5 Rules of Thumb and Their Inventors

William of Occam
It is a popular custom among learned society to toss around the names of theories without explanation or elaboration– Murphy’s Law, Occam’s Razor, and so on. But who were Murphy and Occam, and who are they to come up with these life-governing rules? Below are five well-known rules and laws, and the stories behind their namesakes.


Via: Mental Floss

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A pill for longer life?

Could a pill one day slow ageing in humans?Punchstock
Rapamycin, a drug commonly used in humans to prevent transplanted organs from being rejected, has been found to extend the lives of mice by up to 14% — even when given to the mice late in life.

In flies and worms, drug treatments have been shown to prolong lifespan, but until now, the only robust way to extend life in mammals has been to heavily restrict diet.

The researchers caution, however, that using this drug to extend the lifespan of humans might be problematic because it suppresses the immune system — potentially making people who take it more susceptible to infectious diseases.


Via: Nature

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Oldest known Bible goes online

The British government bought most of the pages of the ancient manuscript in 1933
LONDON, England (CNN) -- The world's oldest known Christian Bible goes online Monday -- but the 1,600-year-old text doesn't match the one you'll find in churches today.

Discovered in a monastery in the Sinai desert in Egypt more than 160 years ago, the handwritten Codex Sinaiticus includes two books that are not part of the official New Testament and at least seven books that are not in the Old Testament.

The New Testament books are in a different order, and include numerous handwritten corrections -- some made as much as 800 years after the texts were written, according to scholars who worked on the project of putting the Bible online. The changes range from the alteration of a single letter to the insertion of whole sentences.


Via: CNN

Wikipedia entry for Codex Sinaiticus

Monday, July 6, 2009

Five Myths about America’s Origins

Five Myths about America’s Origins
As students of American history, most children learn about the heroes of the Revolutionary War, the discovery of the American continent, and other stories that illuminate the courageous people who contributed to the formation of the United States. In learning about Christopher Columbus, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington, we’re regaled with stories of their personal valor—how Washington chopped down his cherry tree, how Columbus proved the flat-earthers wrong, and how Franklin discovered electricity in a lightning storm.

We learn all these quaint and quixotic stories, despite the fact that not one of them is true. George Washington never chopped down a cherry tree; geological evidence from his boyhood home shows that no cherry trees have ever grown there. A preacher looking to sell books propagated the story. As we prepare for our country’s 233rd birthday, we should think about the fact that many of the stories sold as historical fact would be better categorized as sheer fiction.


Via: Divine Caroline

How to build a bigger brain

That's the finding from a group of researchers at UCLA who used high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to scan the brains of people who meditate
Push-ups, crunches, gyms, personal trainers — people have many strategies for building bigger muscles and stronger bones. But what can one do to build a bigger brain?


That's the finding from a group of researchers at UCLA who used high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to scan the brains of people who meditate. In a study published in the journal NeuroImage and currently available online (by subscription), the researchers report that certain regions in the brains of long-term meditators were larger than in a similar control group.


Via: UCLA Newsroom

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Rand Corporation: The Think Tank That Controls America

The think tank currently employs close to 1,000 researchers, who spend their time analyzing everything from renewable energy and obesity to hurricanes and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
If you think the Internet came out of Silicon Valley, that NASA planned the first satellite to orbit Earth, or that IBM created the modern computer—think again. Each one of these breakthroughs was conceived at RAND, a shadowy think tank in Santa Monica, California.


Via: Mental Floss

8 Science Kit Reviews and 8 DIY Experiments You Can Do for Free

Genetics & DNA Thames & Kosmos; ages 10+
Science kits aren't what they used to be. If you look at a kit from, say, 1950, you may notice that it is full of complex, mechanical parts, requires adult supervision just to read the directions and doesn't shy away from including dangerous elements (u-238 included!). Modern-day kits don't dumb lessons down, but are easier to play with, solo, and appeal to the diverse, real-world interests of contemporary kids. Being big, curious kids ourselves, we ordered eight kits on different subjects and tested an experiment from each. But homemade experiments can be just as complex and educational (while costing up to $100 less), so we found alternatives to each of the boxed kits that teach similar lessons just as well. Bottom line: Whether preassembled or drawn from kitchen cupboards, science kits can be educational and fun.


Via: Popular Mechanics

Scientists find a biological 'fountain of youth' in new world bat caves

Scientists from Texas are batty over a new discovery which could lead to the single most important medical breakthrough in human history -- significantly longer lifespans. The discovery, featured on the cover of the July 2009 print issue of The FASEB Journal, shows that proper protein folding over time in long-lived bats explains why they live significantly longer than other mammals of comparable size, such as mice.



World's first ever 'self-watering' plant discovered in Israel

The Desert Rhubarb can hold 16 times more water than its rivals and has developed a unique ability to effectively water itself in its barren habitat.

Researchers were confounded by the metre-wide plant's giant leaves, compared to its desert counterparts, whose tiny leaves stop dangerous moisture loss.

But they found the plant's large leaves are the key to its success, because they are covered in microscopic streams through which water can be channelled.


Via: The Telegraph