This is one of a whole deck of… well, they’re practically a technological tarot, really. They’re playing cards illustrating concepts in engineering. (The two of diamonds is also beautiful, though some might prefer the human figures in cards like the seven of clubs.) They were originally collected by William Barclay Parsons, the chief engineer of the New York City subway. He was on the library board from 1911 to 1932, when he died. More importantly, he also donated a set of mechanics playing cards from 1702. The whole engineering deck (and the other one) is viewable in the NY Public Library Digital Collections.
This is one of a whole deck of… well, they’re practically a technological tarot, really. They’re playing cards illustrating concepts in engineering. (The two of diamonds is also beautiful, though some might prefer the human figures in cards like the seven of clubs.)
They were originally collected by William Barclay Parsons, the chief engineer of the New York City subway. He was on the library board from 1911 to 1932, when he died. More importantly, he also donated a set of mechanics pla…
The one carries oxygen around, the other keeps the system clean. They’re teeny tiny.
Image from the Electron Microscopy Facility at The National Cancer Institute at Frederick (NCI-Frederick).
SOURCE:Based on “Lasers used to levitate glowing nanodiamonds in a vacuum”, Science Daily, 7 Sep 2015, as used in the post “A laser levitating glowing nanodiamonds in a vacuum..”
ABSTRACT: I really wanted to use “A laser levitating nanodiamonds in a vacuum” as a lyric, because it’s got such a great rhythm, but no, it didn’t happen.
Musically, things fell together well – I came up with chords on a guitar, and t…
ARTIST: grant, featuring Sebastian Balfour. (Originally by Harry Nilsson.)
SOURCE: It doesn’t have a research source. It’s a penitential cover of a haunting song by Harry Nilsson that Three Dog Night turned into a prog anthem, which Aimee Mann turned into stunning reclamation project. Nilsson still wins.
ABSTRACT: I’ve been a penitential cover* behind for months and months. I first had the idea of doing this song in something like this way …
I like the desert in Nevada already because of the sense of perspective – such wide, flat spaces (wider and flatter even than Florida’s water-level wet prairies), sometimes flanked by mountains just big enough to provide a frame of reference. This is how small you are. This is how far you have to go.
That’s the ideal landscape for this kind of project. How big are we really? How far away is the place next door?
This far away. …
This is a jellyfish drawn by Philip Henry Gosse, a naturalist and Creationist (!) who gave us the word “aquarium” as a place to see marine creatures. Before Gosse, an aquarium was a place to water cattle.
He built the very first public one as the “Fish House” of the London Zoo in 1853.
A few years later, he published a book trying to prove that fossils couldn’t disprove Genesis because of course the act of creation would make things appear to be older than they are. …
Aeon asks some interesting questions about what’s really making us fatter – and why: As Richard L Atkinson, Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Wisconsin and editor of the International Journal of Obesity, put it in 2005: ‘The previous belief of many lay people and health professionals that obesity is simply the result of a lack of willpower and an inability to discipline eating habits is no longer defensible.’ Consider, for example, this troublesome fact, reported in 2010 by the biostatistician David B Allison and his co-authors at the University of Alabama in Birmingham: over the past 20 years or more, as the American people were getting fatter, so were America’s marmosets. As were laboratory macaques, chimpanzees, vervet monkeys and mice, as well as domestic dogs, domestic cats, and domestic and feral rats from both rural and urban areas. In fact, the researchers examined records on those eight species and […]
Science Alert (citing Environmental Science & Technology) shows us a new way to think about chucking out all that delicious “non-biodegradable” garbage: Researchers led by Stanford University in US and Beihang University in China found that the mealworm – the larval form of the darkling beetle – can safely subsist on a diet of Styrofoam and other kinds of polystyrene, with bacteria in the worm’s gut biodegrading the plastic as part of its digestive process. … “Our findings have opened a new door to solve the global plastic pollution problem,” co-author Wei-Min Wu, a senior research engineer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford, said in a statement. In the study, 100 mealworms ate between 34 and 39 milligrams of Styrofoam each day, converting about half into carbon dioxide and the other excreting the bulk of the rest as biodegraded droppings. They remained healthy on the plastic diet, and their droppings appeared […]
TheLocal.it looks at the petrified remains of Ancient Roman volcano victims: A recently launched project that is performing CAT scans on the remains of Pompeii victims contained within plaster casts has revealed that good health was widespread among people of the ancient city. “For sure, they ate better than we did,” orthodontist Elisa Vanacore said during a press conference in Pompeii on Tuesday, after analyzing some of the initial results. “They have really good teeth – they ate a diet that contained few sugars, and was high in fruit and vegetables,” she added…. The archaeological superintendent of Pompeii, Massimo Osanna, was quick to underscore the importance of the interdisciplinary project, which will see archaeologists working alongside computer engineers, radiologists and orthodontists. … Unfortunately, the machine only allows casts of a 70cm diameter to enter – so parts of the more portly residents of Pompeii will remain a mystery – although their heads and chests will […]
First Post shows how NASA’s not the only one with big space news today. India has just launched their own space observatory from Sriharikota spaceport: PSLV-C30 is carrying Astrosat, along with six other co-passengers, one satellite each from Indonesia and Canada, and four nanosatellites from the US. With the successful launch of Astrosat, India gained an entry into the select club of nations having its own space observatory after the US, Japan, Russia and Europe. … While ASTROSAT with a five-year life span weighed 1,513 kg, the six foreign satellites (four from the US and one each from Indonesia and Canada) together weighed 118 kg. According to an official of Antrix Corporation – the commercial arm of India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) – a deal has been signed to put into orbit nine American nano/microsatellites by the end of 2016. … Just over 22 minutes into the flight, the rocket slug ASTROSAT at an altitude […]
Science Daily looks closely at an affordable, efficient, non-toxic battery that runs your home smoothly from intermittent power sources: The mismatch between the availability of intermittent wind or sunshine and the variability of demand is a great obstacle to getting a large fraction of our electricity from renewable sources. This problem could be solved by a cost-effective means of storing large amounts of electrical energy for delivery over the long periods when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. In the operation of the battery, electrons are picked up and released by compounds composed of inexpensive, earth-abundant elements (carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, iron and potassium) dissolved in water. The compounds are non-toxic, non-flammable, and widely available, making them safer and cheaper than other battery systems. “This is chemistry I’d be happy to put in my basement,” says Michael J. Aziz, Gene and Tracy Sykes Professor of Materials and Energy Technologies at Harvard Paulson […]
SONG: “Levitating Diamonds (Tiny Impossible Things)”. [Download] ARTIST: grant. SOURCE:Based on “Lasers used to levitate glowing nanodiamonds in a vacuum”, Science Daily, 7 Sep 2015, as used in the post “A laser levitating glowing nanodiamonds in a vacuum..” ABSTRACT: I really wanted to use “A laser levitating nanodiamonds in a vacuum” as a lyric, because it’s got such a great rhythm, but no, it didn’t happen. Musically, things fell together well – I came up with chords on a guitar, and to save time, transposed them into a MIDI thing with an Irish harp soundfont or something like that. The only “live” guitar on here is the little accent tweedles at the end of each verse, laden with all kinds of distortion and delay. Idea-wise, I’m not sure this conveys how weird it is to have something large enough to witness (in some way) that’s in a Schrodinger’s Cat-style superposition. I mean, I’m not sure […]
New Scientist reveals how the first Americans made their way into Alaska and down… by eating salmon along the way: The bones were discovered in a hearth inside a house at the Upward Sun River site, the exact location where human remains were previously found of two buried infants and a cremated 3-year-old boy. Fish bones are fragile and not typically well preserved over time, but here they appear to have been rapidly buried and thus protected from acidic forest sediments. Using DNA analysis, researchers identified the remains as chum salmon. An examination of carbon and nitrogen isotopes showed that they had migrated upriver from the sea. … Carrin Halffman of the University of Alaska Fairbanks says the findings add to growing evidence that counters the view of early North American settlers as specialist big-game hunters.
SONG: “One (Is The Loneliest Number)”. ARTIST: grant, featuring Sebastian Balfour. (Originally by Harry Nilsson.) SOURCE: It doesn’t have a research source. It’s a penitential cover of a haunting song by Harry Nilsson that Three Dog Night turned into a prog anthem, which Aimee Mann turned into stunning reclamation project. Nilsson still wins. ABSTRACT: I’ve been a penitential cover* behind for months and months. I first had the idea of doing this song in something like this way years ago, in fact. It’s such a peculiar little song – a kind of lament bass behind a meditation on number theory, or a heartbroken projection into mathematics… what *is* he thinking, anyway? The existential grief of binary? Two can be as bad as one. It makes sense, though, doesn’t it? Instinctively? Yes? No? This recording kind of shows off all the weaknesses of my not-really-monitoring setup (a pair of Koss Portapro headphones with no foam covers […]
To Scale: The Solar System from Wylie Overstreet on Vimeo. I like the desert in Nevada already because of the sense of perspective – such wide, flat spaces (wider and flatter even than Florida’s water-level wet prairies), sometimes flanked by mountains just big enough to provide a frame of reference. This is how small you are. This is how far you have to go. That’s the ideal landscape for this kind of project. How big are we really? How far away is the place next door? This far away. This small. [via jawtry]
The New York Times wouldn’t call it “soylent green buffalo,” but I would. Picture, if you would, vats of yeast engineered to give off THC, cannabidiol and other compounds from marijuana: “This is something that could literally change the lives of millions of people,” said Kevin Chen, the chief executive of Hyasynth Bio, a company working to create yeasts that produce THC and cannabidiol, another marijuana compound of medicinal interest. In a paper published this month in the journal Biotechnology Letters, biochemists at the Technical University of Dortmund in Germany reported that they had engineered a strain of yeast that produces THC. They also have unpublished data to show they succeeded in creating a yeast strain that can make cannabidiol. Both yeasts rely on so-called precursor molecules — not simple sugars, which would be ideal — and can produce only small amounts of THC and cannabidiol. But Oliver Kayser, a biochemist at the university, hopes […]
PLOS Biology wants us to know that in a cost/benefit analysis, love comes out ahead: A new study published in PLOS Biology by Malika Ihle, Bart Kempenaers, and Wolfgang Forstmeier attempts to use a model animal in an elegant experiment designed to tease apart the reproductive consequences of mate choice. The authors took advantage of the fact that the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata, a native bird of Australia; Fig 1) shares many characteristics with humans, mating monogamously for life and sharing the burden of parental care. It was already known that the female finches choose mates in a way that is specific to the individual, and there is little consensus among females as to who is the cutest male. Using a population of 160 birds that had recently been isolated from the wild, the authors set up a speed-dating session, leaving groups of 20 females to choose freely between 20 males. Once the birds had […]
It’s tough being a bee for lots of reasons, but at least, as New Scientist reports, brain damage from chemical warfare won’t be as much of a problem any more – not in the United States. (Because it was, you know.) But now, America has banned one new neonicotinoid pesticide: As a result of the US decisions, rules on the controversial chemicals in the US and European Union are in bizarre contradiction. The US has approved most neonicotinoids while now banning sulfoxaflor. But the EU has banned most neonicotinoids for use on flowering crops and spring sown crops since 2013, but approved sulfoxaflor in July on the basis that it would not have any unacceptable effects on the environment. “The public will be justifiably confused and concerned,” says Matt Shardlow, CEO of Buglife, a British group that campaigns against neonicotinoids. The US ruling against sulfoxaflor, which is manufactured by Dow AgroSciences, was made by a […]