two years, 350 years

Feb 15th, 2010 Posted in history, science | no comment »

Yesterday marked two years of the current incarnation of this site. While this hasn’t exactly been the most verbose blog in the world, if nothing else it has at least served as a good sharing place for stuff that I’ve found interesting.

A fitting way to mark the last couple of years of publishing here is to look at the Royal Society, which has marked nearly 350 years of publishing scientific papers by highlighting 60 groundbreaking articles on its Trailblazing web site. They range from a 1666 paper on blood transfusions between dogs to a 2008 paper on engineering against global warming. Also included is a paper describing Benjamin Franklin’s famous kite experiment.

life-saving poison

Oct 15th, 2009 Posted in science | no comment »

The article says it best: “Scientists are starting to understand that death isn’t caused by oxygen deprivation itself, but by a chain of damaging chemical reactions that are triggered by sharply dropping oxygen levels.  The thing is, those reactions require the presence of some oxygen.”

So in principle, if you replace that small amount of oxygen with something like, say, the normally deadly hydrogen sulfide, it just might slow down those chemical reactions enough to buy your doctors time to save you.  Suspended animation in a more literal sense than the levitating mice from two posts ago…

science bits

Oct 11th, 2009 Posted in science | one comment »

A long hiatus, but a short recap of some recent science topics:  Giant plumes aren’t what you make, crashing on the moon… but LCROSS still got the data (congratulations, Rick!).  Using bacteria to render radioactive materials inert and to recover usable uranium from contaminated water. Finally, two words: mouse levitation.

jar heads

Feb 2nd, 2009 Posted in science | no comment »

Given the hype, money, and glamor surrounding the Super Bowl and the NFL in general, one can see how kids might be drawn into dreams of a football career.  However, as a study on the brains of several deceased football players shows, there is a definite price to be paid later on for all of those hits.

the evolution of abolition

Jan 28th, 2009 Posted in history, science | 2 comments »

Interesting article in the Sydney Morning Herald on the work of historians Adrian Desmond and James Moore, who explain in their book Darwin’s Sacred Cause that Charles Darwin’s work on the theory of evolution was actually motivated by his strong moral opposition to slavery.  Darwin set out to refute the commonly held belief that the different races were created inherently unequal (a philosophical basis for slavery) by showing that all humans had, in fact, evolved from a common ancestor.