Buried in a story on alcohol and hangovers that comes to a lot of 'duh' conclusions (say, did you know that feeling crappy and swearing to never drink that much again is not a good predictor of actually
never drinking that much again?) is this odd little bit of correlation: Financial stress is linked to an increased likelihood of experiencing a hangover. — Maggie
A satellite imaging company is looking for volunteers
to help comb through satellite pictures for evidence of Flight MH370. — Maggie
At Mosaic — a new online publication funded by the Wellcome Trust that features long reads on science and medicine — Rose George has followed the story of Radha, a 16-year-old Nepali girl forced by custom into unsafe and unsanitary conditions every time she has her period.
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This is a single particle of interplanetary dust, its image captured with the help of a scanning electron microscope by researchers at the University of Washington and Germany's Institut für Planetologie.
Now zoom out and think about all the dust particles like this that float around the inner solar system. That amount of interplanetary dust is a "1 zodi", a unit of measurement I never even thought to assume existed.
Thanks, Lauren Rugani!
Image used via CC
This beautiful object is a corrosion cast of bronchi and trachea, c. 1880-1890, most likely from a rabbit, sheep, or dog. It's part of the new Body of Knowledge exhibition at the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture.
Corrosion casts have been part of anatomical teaching from the 17th century to the present, particularly for creating display specimens. A rapidly hardening substance, often metal or plastic, is injected into blood spaces or other cavities. Then the tissue is dissolved away by strong acids or bases. This cast was created using a mixture of bismuth, lead, tin, and cadmium. After injection, the tissue was dissolved in potassium hydroxide.
Body of Knowledge: A History of Anatomy (in 3 Parts)
Tristan writes, "The Open Source Beehives project is a partnership between the Open Tech Collaborative and Fab Lab Barcelona crowd-sourcing a solution to the bee colony collapse issue.
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In celebration of the new Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, Joel Achenbach wrote a feature for Smithsonian about Carl Sagan's enduring impact on the popularization of science. Achenbach visited the recently-available Sagan archive at the Library of Congress and highlighted some great bits, including details of Sagan and astronomer Frank Drake's 1974 visit with bOING bOING patron saint Timothy Leary while Tim was incarcerated. Sagan had enjoyed Tim's excellent (and now scarce) book Terra II, a philosophical manual for space migration.
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Stanford bioengineer Manu Prakash devised a pretty amazing paper microscope that uses cheap tiny spherical lenses. The "Foldoscope" costs around 50 cents.
“I wanted to make the best possible disease-detection instrument that we could almost distribute for free,” Prakash says. “What came out of this project is what we call use-and-throw microscopy.”
"Stanford bioengineer develops a 50-cent paper microscope"
A reboot of Cosmos
, starring Neil deGrasse Tyson, premiered last night to some phenomenal reviews. Jennifer Ouellette, a science journalist who focuses on physics, praised the reboot in the LA Times
. I have plans to watch it tonight on the FOX online streaming page. — Maggie
is the most-studied plant in the world, with a 50 day life cycle from germination to death. In a video at the Indiana University Plants in Motion site
, you can watch a time-lapse video of A. thaliana
living out its life cycle while, in the background, changing colored lights show you which genes are turning on and off at which stages of growth. — Maggie
Popular Science has a nice graph
showing where the plastic you recycle in the United States goes for processing. — Maggie
You've probably seen this image making the rounds on social media. It shows a method of doing basic subtraction that's intended to appear wildly nonsensical and much harder to follow than the "Old Fashion" [sic] way of just putting the 12 under the 32 and coming up with an answer. This method of teaching is often attributed to Common Core, a set of educational standards recently rolled out in the US.
But, explains math teacher and skeptic blogger Hemant Mehta, this image actually makes a lot more sense than it may seem to on first glance. In fact, for one thing, this method of teaching math isn't really new (our producer Jason Weisberger remembers learning it in high school). It's also not much different from the math you learned back when you were learning how to count change. It's meant to help kids be able to do math in their heads, without borrowing or scratch-paper notations or counting on fingers. What's more, he says, it has absolutely nothing to do with Common Core, which doesn't specify how subjects have to be taught.
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I missed this Ask Me Anything when it was live back in February, but it's definitely worth going back and reading. It features Eva Mozes Kor
, who was chosen at age 10, along with her twin sister, for experiments performed by Josef Mengele at Auschwitz. Really an amazing AMA. — Maggie
Arunachalam Muruganantham is an inventor who came up with a way to make sanitary pads available to women in rural India (and give local village women a source income in the process). We take them for granted in the West, but pads can be life-saving, writes Emily Bazelon at Slate. That's because without sanitary pads, women use whatever absorbent material they have handy and they don't often have a great way to disinfect that material when they reuse it.
Muruganantham's story of invention took more than four years and, at one point, got him branded as a pervert when neighbors caught him wandering around the village with a football bladder full of goat's blood under his clothes (part of an attempt to test the absorption rate of different materials).
You can read about him on Slate, or watch him tell his own tale in a talk at TEDxBangalore. Here, truly, is a man with a good attitude towards menstruation.