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Current Topic: Science

Scientists baffled by unusual upper atmosphere shrinkage
Topic: Science 2:11 am EDT, Jul 18, 2010

An upper layer of Earth's atmosphere recently shrank so much that researchers are at a loss to adequately explain it, NASA said on Thursday.

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! RUN!

Scientists baffled by unusual upper atmosphere shrinkage

Has the Large Hadron Collider destroyed the world yet?
Topic: Science 3:53 pm EDT, Sep 10, 2008

Stay current on the issue. More here.

Has the Large Hadron Collider destroyed the world yet?

Man, 81, kills himself with shot from 'suicide robot' - Times Online
Topic: Science 12:31 pm EDT, Mar 21, 2008

An elderly man has killed himself by programming a robot to shoot him in the head after building the machine from plans downloaded from the internet.

Notes left by Mr Tovey — who was born in England — revealed that he had scoured the internet for plans before constructing his complex machine, which involved a jigsaw power tool and was connected to a .22 semi-automatic pistol loaded with four bullets. It could fire multiple shots once triggered remotely.

At 7am on Tuesday he set the robot up in the driveway of his £450,000 house and activated it.

His notes suggested that Mr Tovey chose to kill himself in the driveway because he knew there were workmen building a new house next door who would find his body.

The scheme worked, as carpenter Daniel Skewes heard gunshots and ran to Mr Tovey's home. "I thought I heard three shots and when we ran next door he was lying on the driveway with gunshot wounds to the head," Mr Skewes told the GCB.

This man sets a great example for makers everywhere. I know when I go out, it will most likely be at the hands of a robot I've built... It will probably an accident though, rather than something intentional like this...

Man, 81, kills himself with shot from 'suicide robot' - Times Online

Dynamic Periodic Table of Elements
Topic: Science 9:19 pm EST, Jan 30, 2008

Here is a Web 2.0 period table of elements. It has a slider for temperature that causes the table to show you the elements state at that temperature.

Dynamic Periodic Table of Elements

High Resolution Sandia Z Machine Photo
Topic: Science 11:08 pm EST, Jan  9, 2008

APOD posted a high-resolution version (2400x1586) of this photo a few years back. It's one of my favorite desktop backgrounds.

High Resolution Sandia Z Machine Photo

DragonCon 2007 | The con afterglow: Victory and Fatigue
Topic: Science 10:42 pm EDT, Sep  3, 2007

It was another great year at DragonCon.

This year I was on staff for the Space and Science Track again. Jonnyx will post more followup on the website. However, right now it's recovery time for everyone.. :)

Here are some quick highlights:

The Geek Group brought out their singing tesla coils. A YouTube video of one of them got a lot of attention here on MemeStreams. Some videos of the stuff in action this weekend should appear soon.

One of the telescopes at the Kitt Peak National Observatory was being operated over the Internet from one of the conference rooms. It got rained out two days in a row before the weather in Arizona decided to work with us..

The Orbital Commerce Project brought it's sub-orbital flight simulator out again.

Kari, Grant, and Tory from The MythBusters completely packed the biggest ballroom at the conference.

It was a ton of fun. I look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

A practical model for analyzing long tails
Topic: Science 3:30 pm EDT, Jun 28, 2007

In essence, the phrase “long tail” refers to those numerous objects that have very limited popularity but that together form a significant share of the total volume. The aim of this article is to make it possible for anyone to utilize the long tail concept not only as a general idea but also as a tool to make realistic and useful analysis of real phenomena.

A feasible analysis requires a mathematical model, enough raw data, and good understanding of the subject and the properties of the model. Thus not only is a formula necessary in this essay, in fact the selected formula forms the concrete basis for the whole analysis of long tails. Nevertheless, we have to be aware of the fact that there cannot be any simple formula that is able to explain all the diverse phenomena that result in a long tail distribution.

A practical model for analyzing long tails

'Mr. Wizard' dies at 89 - Los Angeles Times
Topic: Science 1:01 pm EDT, Jun 13, 2007

Don Herbert, who explained the wonderful world of science to millions of young baby boomers on television in the 1950s and '60s as "Mr. Wizard" and did the same for another generation of youngsters on the Nickelodeon cable TV channel in the 1980s, died Tuesday. He was 89.

"Over the years, Don has been personally responsible for more people going into the sciences than any other single person in this country," George Tressel, a National Science Foundation official, said in 1989.

"I fully realize the number is virtually endless when I talk to scientists," he said. "They all say that Mr. Wizard taught them to think."

RIP Mr. Wizard.

'Mr. Wizard' dies at 89 - Los Angeles Times

The wrath of 2007: America's great drought | Independent Online
Topic: Science 3:08 am EDT, Jun 11, 2007

America is facing its worst summer drought since the Dust Bowl years of the Great Depression. Or perhaps worse still.

From the mountains and desert of the West, now into an eighth consecutive dry year, to the wheat farms of Alabama, where crops are failing because of rainfall levels 12 inches lower than usual, to the vast soupy expanse of Lake Okeechobee in southern Florida, which has become so dry it actually caught fire a couple of weeks ago, a continent is crying out for water.

In the south-east, usually a lush, humid region, it is the driest few months since records began in 1895. California and Nevada, where burgeoning population centres co-exist with an often harsh, barren landscape, have seen less rain over the past year than at any time since 1924. The Sierra Nevada range, which straddles the two states, received only 27 per cent of its usual snowfall in winter, with immediate knock-on effects on water supplies for the populations of Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

But the long-term implications are escaping nobody. Climatologists see a growing volatility in the south-east's weather - today's drought coming close on the heels of devastating hurricanes two to three years ago. In the West, meanwhile, a growing body of scientific evidence suggests a movement towards a state of perpetual drought by the middle of this century. "The 1930s drought lasted less than a decade. This is something that could remain for 100 years," said Richard Seager a climatologist at Columbia University and lead researcher of a report published recently by the government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Be sure to let me know when we need to start running for the hills and or building defensive compounds in the desert.

The wrath of 2007: America's great drought | Independent Online - Vision Gear Bypasses the Eye
Topic: Science 6:27 pm EDT, Mar 27, 2007

The Forehead Retina System (FRS) uses a special headband to selectively stimulate different mechanoreceptors in forehead skin to allow visually impaired people to "see" a picture of what lies in front of them. The Forehead Retina System is the result of collaborative research by Tachi laboratory at the University of Tokyo and EyePlusPlus, Inc.

The Forehead Retina System uses tactile sensations in the forehead to present a "picture" of the outline of objects; this enables visually impaired people to "see" what is in front of them.

Yes, you could have eyes in the back if your head. Bald men could have 360 degree vision. There might be military uses for this. - Vision Gear Bypasses the Eye

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