By Bjorn CareyPosted 07.29.2009 at 2:35 pm 4 Comments
Shockingly, no major studies have been conducted on this topic. “The implications are, however, profound,” says Michael Raupp, an entomologist at the University of Maryland. “Reckless flying, passing out in frosty beer mugs, hitting on crane flies instead of mosquito babes. Frightening!” Fortunately, enough related research exists to make an educated guess.
Scientists have built a high-tech simulator to lay this important question to rest
By Jessica PortnerPosted 05.27.2009 at 7:16 am 30 Comments
When I slipped behind the wheel of the traffic simulator at Israel's Ben Gurion University recently, it was less than two minutes before I was bumping into the virtual cars and swerving around pedestrians. Maneuvering through the tree-lined urban roads projected in dayglo colors on giant screens was tricky--and I wasn't even one of their hard-drinking or toking research subjects.
No hooch-addled human in a bar likes to hear that he or she is being cut off. But what if the news came from a bowtie-wearing panda bear robot? Fewer fights, more peace in the world? That's the concept behind SOBEaR, the panda bear bartender who lets you (even wants you to!) breathe in its face, and then pours you the drink you should have -- rather than the one you want.
A veteran of the TV show Battlebots, Jamie Price has built plenty of destructive machines. But late last year, he designed a robot with a more mellow calling: offering cold beer and cocktails. The result — a masterpiece of plywood, plastic, aluminum and electric motors called Bar2D2 — serves up everything but the sage advice.
British government officials are planning to deploy search-engine optimization in their war on terror, working with certain Muslim groups to push "positive" depictions of Islam up in the Google rankings.
Also in today's links: watching your kids like a hawk, living like a pig, and more.
The cliche goes that women spend hours, weeks, years, even entire lifetimes trying to figure out how to land a man. Well, there's one item every lady looking to impress a fellow can cross off her list: Drinking. As drinking becomes the pastime of choice across college campuses, many women have started trying to match their male counterparts drink for drink in an effort to make an impression. An impression she might make, but a new study shows it isn't a good one.
Is your $30,000 bottle of Chateau Petrus Bordeaux truly a rare vintage, or is it just $30 merlot? Counterfeits plague rare-wine auctions, but researchers in Spain have built a handheld "electronic tongue" that detects them instantly. It measures the signature chemicals, acidity and sugar content in a drop of wine (typically one bottle from a case) and runs those against a database of certified vintage wines to catch fakes that might fool human tasters.
In December 1920, feeling the agony of Prohibition, the Popular Science editors -- as resourceful then as now -- put together this handy list of alternate ways to get sauced. None of them seem wholly pleasant, but with alcohol off the table, necessity is the mother of invention.
See if you don't get a shock
At the New York WhiskyFest this week, nobody wanted to talk much about technological innovations in the industry. Most of the whisky professionals I asked assured me that there was no such thing as innovation at their tradition-steeped distillery -- they were doing everything the same way it had been done for generations, thank you very much. Some distillers seemed put out that their companies had recently embraced such cutting-edge twentieth-century technology as labelling barrels with bar codes. The marketing side of the business is innovating to beat the band -- look for a new Irish whiskey called Feckin and a new rye called (rī)1 coming soon to bars near you -- but the production side remains defiantly old-fangled.
Tequila may be just another drink to those out in the town, but to a team of scientists in Mexico their country's native alcohol turned out to be a gem; a diamond, to be precise. Javier Morales, Luis Apátiga and Victor Castaño at the National Autonomous University of Mexico made the alchemist-worthy discovery while experimenting turning various organic solutions, such as acetone and ethanol, into diamonds. The scientists noted that 80-proof tequila (40 percent alcohol) had the ideal proportion of ethanol to water to create diamond films.