Yes, this is a review of a nursing bra. No, this is not me getting all mommyblogger. If you are a woman with a new kid and you work, then milking yourself is a weird and frequent part of your work schedule. It's also obnoxious. So I want to make sure you know about two ways to make it a little less obnoxious. One is a Kickstarter-funded product (i.e., a handy solution to an everyday problem created by an inventive Maker). The other is a simple hack you can do at your desk for $1.50. In other words, this is about boobs and babies. And it's also very BoingBoing.
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A couple of weeks ago, on Twitter, a reader challenged my assumption that driving under the influence of marijuana would be dangerous. The conversation made me curious and I went to see what science had to say. Turns out, there is some interesting nuance behind the relative risks of stoned driving. Research shows that it's not safe to get behind a wheel while high ... but it is safer than driving while drunk
. — Maggie
To quote another journalist: "Well, that's going to be standing-room-only."
Psychologists: Internet trolls are horrible people
. Trolls: Why, thank you, good sirs. — Maggie
Yes, there is big news out of nuclear fusion energy research this week. For the first time, scientists at the National Ignition Facility created more energy via fusion than they used to start the reaction. This is a big
deal for anybody dreaming of futuristic sustainable energy. That said, the reaction time was shorter than the blink of an eye and it's a far from the long-hoped-for "ignition" — the point at which a controlled fusion reaction can sustain itself without more energy being poured in. But it's still really cool. David Biello at Scientific American has a good piece with lots of numbers and nuance
. — Maggie
From the first section of the 1856 Guano Islands Act:
Whenever any citizen of the United States discovers a deposit of guano on any island, rock, or key, not within the lawful jurisdiction of any other Government, and not occupied by the citizens of any other Government, and takes peaceable possession thereof, and occupies the same, such island, rock, or key may, at the discretion of the President, be considered as appertaining to the United States.
Or, as my friend Andrew put it: If you find an island with bird poop on it you can claim it for the USA.
Image: Guano Covered Rocks, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from wlscience's photostream
The Netherlands' Rijksmuseum encourages the public to download and remix its 150,000 artistic masterworks. Now, it's sponsoring a contest
. Use their art to create new art and you could win €1,500 and a chance to sell your work in their museum shop. — Maggie
Burnt bone charcoal
was once used as a pigment by ancient cave painters. In 2017, the same material will go to space, as part of the heat shield on the European Space Agency's new solar orbiter. — Maggie
Yesterday, I was delighted to discover that the Shedd Aquarium has a collection of Asian carp in their exhibit on fish of Great Lakes. The carp, as you'll recall, are gigantic, invasive fish that are quickly taking over Midwestern waterways. They can eat 40% of their own bodyweight in a day and have a dangerous fondness for jumping out of the water and, occasionally, smacking humans in the head when they do so.
This fine fellow — and the smaller Asian carp behind him — came from a lagoon (man-made lake) in Chicago. Charles Knapp, a scientist and the Aquarium's vice president for conservation, told me that they were probably originally bait fish, released into the lagoons by fishermen. He also introduced me to an entirely new concept, the charismatic invasive species.
Check out this series of photos from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. Mr. Bones, the alligator, had to be fully restrained to keep him from moving in the scanner.
The fossil record contains evidence of dinosaur poop. But it also turns out that we've got evidence of dinosaur pee, as well.
Specifically, divots and splatters in preserved in rock, some as large as 10 feet long, 5 feet wide, and 5 inches deep. Suffice to say, you don't want to stand under a sauropod when they're doing their business. — Maggie
The last time this much of the lake was frozen was in 1994, when 91% of the surface area was ice
. That deep freeze is having some interesting effects, including, potentially, aiding the survival of a threatened wolf population. An ice bridge from Isle Royale to the mainland
will hopefully bring much needed to genetic diversity to the island's wolves. — Maggie
The Burgess Shale, discovered in 1909 in the Canadian Rockies, has long been considered one of the greatest fossil sites ever found. Now, an extension of the site has been discovered
, which rivals the original in quantity and quality of specimens, including rare fossil evidence of soft tissue. — Maggie
. Researchers are finding all kinds of things in the beds left by retreating glaciers — both ancient artifacts and much more recent remains. A 1979 missing person case was recently solved when the body of a vanished mountain climber turned up on the north face of the Matterhorn. — Maggie
The Winter Olympics
. If emissions of carbon dioxide continue at current levels the resulting warming will quickly start to cut down on the number of places that can host the games — even with expensive snow machines like the ones used in Sochi. By midcentury, nine sites that have previously hosted winter games would be too warm. And by 2080 another four would be out of the cool runnings. — Maggie