In this episode of Cocktail Party Science, host Chuck Cage sits down with Popular Science writer Rena Pacella, author of Extreme Engineering and Executive Editor Mike Haney to get the inside scoop on all six of the Extreme Engineering projects featured in the March issue. From the tallest skyscraper to the deepest oil well, today's most ambitious projects are bigger and wilder than ever. Prepare to be amazed.
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Weight loss is a money making industry. And where money can be made, gambling will occur. So from pre-wedding bets to company-wide pools, people are putting the forks down to avoid forking over cash. As belly-betting becomes the latest fad in the health care industry, its critical to ensure winners emerge fairly and accurately. The results of March Madness pools aren't calculated with a slide rule; nor should your weight be measured using the counterweight balance from 1974 in your company's gym.
Over the past decade, no topic has been more controversial in the worlds of science, politics, and religion than stem cell research. Of course, the debate has centered over the ethics of harvesting embryonic stem cells to cure degenerative diseases. But researchers at the universities of Edinburgh and Toronto may have solved the problem by devising a method to turn human skin cells into stem cells so that can be safely transplanted into humans.
Texting slang is, according to one report, more an art than a crutch for the semi-literate. The study found more of a correlation between reading ability and "sound-based textisms," such as "wiv" for "with," than with acronyms like "lol." (No word on who pronounces "with" so that it sounds like "wiv," though.)
Also in today's links: robot psychotherapy; nerds on The Daily Show, and more.
The chemistry cornerstone celebrates its 140th birthday
By Chris Sweeney Posted 03.04.2009 at 11:44 am 2 Comments
Ah, the periodic table. The Rosetta Stone of chemistry, if you will. Well, today, this great tormentor of high school science students celebrates its 140th birthday, so lets take a quick look at a bit of the history behind this scientific gem.
Few things in sports have changed less than bowling shoes. From the color schemes to the odor spray, they're as constant as stale bowling alley hot dogs and, um, 'uniquely' qualified bar staff. But, what about the balls?
While ten pounds has remained ten pounds, little else has been maintained. The impact of technology has received plenty of coverage with regard to golf, swimming and tennis, but achieving a perfect game in bowling over the past 30 years has also become less of an art and more of a science. In homage to the good old days, the Professional Bowling Association (PBA), hosted the first ever Geico Plastic Ball Championship, where competitors rolled with identical decades-old balls. We offer a brief review for those heading to the lanes next weekend and hoping to impress a date.
We bet that SciKu, the delicate science poetry that belongs to everyone, will last and last. As did, apparently, a 300-million-year-old brain found inside a rock in northeast Kansas:
Fish brain turned to stone
It's not just for bone
This iniopterygian fossil, discovered in Kansas, is an extinct relative of modern chimaeras, a distant relative of sharks and rays. Iniopterygians have unusual features, including large skulls and eye sockets, rows of shark-like teeth, clubbed tails, and fins tipped with spikes and hooks. Previously, only flattened fossils of this relatively small fish -- which averages around six inches in length -- were known to exist. The new finding, the first three-dimensional iniopterygian fossil, is remarkable for having the oldest fossilized brain ever found.