Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Dark Matter detection : potential breakthrough
3D map of the large-scale distribution of dark matter
(Source : Wikipedia)
The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), based on the International Space Station, is designed to  detect and analysis the flux of cosmic rays to great precision. The AMS team today announced the observation of an excess of positrons in the cosmic ray flux, possibly signalling the first detection of dark matter. 

Link to the news item

Thanks to IFLS for the link.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Albert Einstein's voice!

Einstein reads the essay, "The Common Language of Science". His voice is not too far off from what I would have expected. But it is the height of awesomeness to finally be able to listen to it!

Link, from Open Culture.

Women in Science # 3 : Maria Sibylla Merian

The practice of science has (almost) always been the domain of the patriarchy, the purview of carriers of the xy chromosome. There have been instances in history, however, when women have overcome nearly insurmountable obstacles to achieve immortality in the annals of science. Immortality in the annals, yes, not in the minds of people though. This series is an attempt to remind us of these extraordinary individuals, and perhaps (hopefully) inspire.

*                     *                        *

Maria Sibylla Merian (2 April 1647 - 13 January 1717) 

Swiss naturalist and illustrator. Known for her contributions to the field of entomology, especially her careful observation and documentation of the metamorphosis of the butterfly.

House Sigils for Literary Characters

HBO has been marketing the new season of Game Of Thrones pretty heavily, and has even started a new site that lets one creates one's own House Sigil. 

Ali Coluccio from Bookriot has made some very nice sigils. The picture on the left is one of them.

I tried my hand at it. Unfortunately, the result was far from encouraging. I shall henceforth cease and desist from such attempts.


(1) Join The Realm (HBO, Game of Thrones)

(2) Ali Coluccio, on Bookriot.

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Calvin & Hobbes : Baby Raccoon Storyline

Monday, April 01, 2013

Secret bookshelves passages thingy

This one is for the bibliogasmisers all over the world. You need a house first though. 

There are two posts to link to here. The first one is at Bookriot, and the second is at Saturday Salon.

Thanks a lot to Indy for this link.

Christopher Jonassen : Planets underneath a frying pan

Complex and beautiful artwork out of everyday object : that is the essence of Jonassen's art

The photo are of the bottoms of oft-used frying pans that look amazingly like planets.


Dennett speaks on religion, likens it to the common cold

Daniel Dennett is a philosopher, scientist and overall extremely cool dude. He is the author of the book Darwin's Dangerous Idea : Evolution and the Meanings of Life. For more, visit his personal webpage.

In this BBC interview, he compares religion to the common cold. He ends by describing religion as a "drug for the eyes and ears".

BBC News link

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Various uses of salt

I got this from facebook. Don't know if these work though.  :(

1. If you drop a whole egg on the floor, pour salt all over the egg, let it sit for awhile, then
use dustpan, the egg will come right up, without all that mess.

2. Soak stained hankies in salt water before washing.

3. Sprinkle salt on your shelves to keep ants away.

4. Soak fish in salt water before descaling; the scales will come off easier.

5. Put a few grains of rice in your saltshaker for easier pouring.

6. Add salt to green salads to prevent wilting.

7. Test the freshness of eggs in a cup of salt water; fresh eggs sink; bad ones float.

8. Add a little salt to your boiling water when cooking eggs; a cracked egg will stay in
its shell this way.

9. A tiny pinch of salt with egg whites makes them beat up fluffier.

10. Soak wrinkled apples in a mildly salted water solution to perk them up.

11. Rub salt on your pancake griddle and your flapjacks won't stick.

12. Soak toothbrushes in salt water before you first use them; they will last longer.

13. Use salt to clean your discolored coffee pot. 

14. Mix salt with turpentine to whiten you bathtub and toilet bowl.

Solar System Challenge

Thanks to IFLS for the link.

Solar System Challenge:

Featured on

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BBC News - Termites 'engineer fairy circles'

Well, I reckon we need bigger termites for crop circles then, eh!

BBC News - Termites 'engineer fairy circles':

Thanks to IFLS for the link!

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How a microbe chooses among seven sexes : Nature News & Comment

The original article can be found here.

How a microbe chooses among seven sexes : Nature News & Comment

Thanks to IFLS for the link.

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Retronaut - Hippo cart

I wonder what the top speed of this cart would be.

Retronaut - Hippo cart:

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Cameras to focus on dark energy : Nature News & Comment

The principle that they seek to exploit is called "weak gravitational lensing". An optical example can be seen below.

Nature News link

The Art of "Quotemanship" and "Misquotemanship"

I came across this piece after seeing the following quote, supposedly attributed to Orwell. 

"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed; everything else is public relations."

Even if it looks, sounds, walks, and quacks like an Orwell quote, it still might NOT be an Orwell quote

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5 fantasy series for A Song Of Ice And Fire fans | Den of Geek

5 fantasy series for A Song Of Ice And Fire fans | Den of Geek:

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