I recently stumbled across Time Scanners, a tech-heavy, pop-science reality show. And, get this you guys, I learned things. I know. From TV. It's crazy.
Shows in this genre have a bad reputation for vapid coverage of science, overuse of bad CGI, wild speculation in the name of drama, and (possibly the most obnoxious part) repeating the same facts and even the same sentences over and over and over for an audience that the show assumes is not really paying attention.
Time Scanners — show about the use of Light Detection and Ranging (or LiDAR) technology in archaeology — manages to avoid all of this, for the most part, while also being really interesting. LiDAR is a pretty cool tool that can produce detailed, 3D models of ruins, including features that really aren't easily visible to the naked eye. Time Scanners gets big points in my book for showing how scientists use this technology while simultaneously emphasizing that the technology doesn't just magically work without the interpretation of skilled researchers and while also showing the audience some really cool discoveries that were made without the aid of LiDAR. That last bit is all the more impressive given the fact that the show is covering archaeological sites we've all heard a lot about before. I watched episodes on the ancient city of Petra (of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade fame) and the Great Pyramid.
Here's one of the fascinating things I learned about Petra from the show. The whole city was carved out of the rock walls of a canyon — and it was carved from the top down. How do they know that? Because there's actually an unfinished building at Petra where you can see how the workers must have begun the construction of all the city's buildings. I'd never heard of it before, or seen it. (I wasn't able to find a good Creative Commons shot of Petra's Unfinished Tomb, but you can see several fantastic photos of the place on Flickr.) Definitely a TV series worth checking out.
Artists Jeff Louviere and Vanessa Brown explore cymatics, the study of wave phenomena and how they are represented visually. Using black-colored water, a laptop computer, and a modified guitar amp, they captured “portraits” of the 12 notes in the chromatic scale. From my sister-in-law Heather Sparks’s profile of their project in Nautilus: In each (“portrait”), […]
Yesterday’s science-by-press-release announcement that a research team had made a “breakthrough” in treating ALS thanks to funds raised in last year’s viral ice-bucket challenge turns out to be vaporware: the gene identified was already known to be implicated in ALS, but only affects 3% of cases, and the new refinement in the research suggests some […]
New research on trends in adult human height over the last century confirm that, no surprise, humans are getting taller overall due to better nutrition and disease control. However according to the health science group Non-Communicable Diseases Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC), the gain in adult height varies dramatically by country. From their paper, published in […]
Looks like all of your potential employers are hiring candidates with programming skills (which you don’t have). With all of the languages out there today, it’s tough to know where to start.With the Complete Front-End to Back-End Coding Bundle, you can beef your resume up in all the right places, no confusion necessary. This package of […]
Those of us who love music wish we could listen to it 24/7. But it’s impossible when we’re trying to converse with our friends, or when are swimming in the local pool.That is, until now. The KOAR Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headset, now 48% off, has changed the audio game.Made with lightweight titanium memory metal, this headset boasts patented bone conduction technology to transport sound […]
It’s one thing to enjoy dinner at home and a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with your best friend, Netflix, but it’s another thing entirely to make that meal from scratch and get that wine delivered right to your doorstep.But what if we told you there’s a way to make this possible? To keep your social life, […]