Claims of murder. Accusations of lying. Anthropology. This one's got it all. In April, Jared Diamond, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Guns, Germs, and Steel, found himself the target of a defamation lawsuit brought by two Handa tribesmen from Papua New Guinea. The suit alleges that Diamond erred when he wrote a New Yorker article claiming that the tribesmen* committed revenge-motivated murder.
The suit also names the New Yorker, and was instigated in part by Rhonda Shearer, the widow of famed paleontologist Stephen Gould.
The findings of a recent mice study suggest that smoking reduces allergic reactions by inhibiting mast cell activity. This, of course, begs the question, Was tobacco giant Altria in on this?
Also in today's links: thoughts of money, and "you Neanderthal" is no longer a putdown.
Overeating makes you overweight. I'll pause for a moment to let this mind-blowing scientific finding sink in.
In the annals of Science Confirms the Obvious, there's rarely a zinger like this one. And it's no surprise that the media's had a field day, churning out Onion-esque headlines like, well, the one above.
On Tuesday, a Hubble astronaut posted on the micro-blogging site from the great beyond. Stay tuned -- @Astro_Mike likes to update. Coming soon, we hope, @PopSci goes to space.
Also in today's links: robots ask for help and make art, spacing out is good for you, and more.
By Brian AshcraftPosted 05.14.2009 at 10:13 am 2 Comments
No, it's not a robot uprising. This is the Tokyo Fire Department's Rescue Robot, also known as RoboCue, taking a mock patient to safety as part of a training exercise for dirty-bomb containment and casualty rescue, held late last year in Tokyo.
Invention: Vascular Pathways
Inventor: Amir Belson
Time: 6 years
Is It Ready Yet? 1 2 3 4 5
When Amir Belson flew from Israel for a pediatric fellowship at Stanford University in 1998, he carried a list of 64 ideas for medical inventions. Many of the concepts were influenced by the years he served as a flight surgeon in the Israeli air force, while others came from time spent in a neonatal intensive-care unit. One of them was an idea for a better intravenous catheter, one that wouldn't damage veins or kink inside of them. By 2005, he had made his first prototype.
Drinking games, keg parties, waking up in somebody else’s bed (somewhat you don’t recognize). Ahhh....adulthood? These images used to conjure up memories of those infamous college years, but according to a new study, it's people in the post-college years who are partying the hardest. Collectively, these young adults are called "Cyber Millennials" and they are generally affluent, highly educated, and live in urban areas. Perhaps most surprisingly, they’re also some of the most health-conscious people in the country.
When light bulbs go on, questions come up. Here are some guidelines for those new to the inventor's bench
By Sarah Z. WexlerPosted 05.13.2009 at 12:31 pm 1 Comment
"Should I patent my invention?"
Getting a patent is expensive and time-consuming, so don't just start filling out an application as soon as you come up with a bright idea. John Calvert, the administrator for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Inventor Assistance Program, offers advice on whether it's truly worth it.
Behold Huia cavitympanum: the only frog species that can communicate through ultrasonic calls too high-pitched for humans to hear. Two scientists made the discovery by camping out with recording devices in the frog's native island of Borneo. Bonus points go to the guy who was "bitten by leeches and woke up several mornings soaked in blood."
Also in today's links: a reason to switch up your music, what to do with too many chicken feathers, and more.
Being a know-it-all is usually a bad thing—unless, that is, you really know your sh*t. In the case of Peter J. Bentley, PhD, and the author of The Science of Why Sh*it Happens, nothing could be more true. His new book dives into the science behind ordinary occurrences, focusing in particular on the everyday mishaps— from slipping in the shower to breaking a bone. Beyond writing books, Bentley, a computer scientists and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University College of London, spends most of his time studying the capabilities of fault-tolerant snake robots, computer networks with artificial immune systems, growing neural networks in electronics, and being an overall brainiac. PopSci.com caught up with him to see how he knows so much about, well, everything.