Boing Boing 

Does water freeze or boil in space?


Both.

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The emergence of science hacking in Madagascar

Ariel Waldman reports on how one of the world’s poorest countries is tackling developmental challenges.

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LISTEN: Systems thinking and medicine -- brilliant lecture on systemic problem-solving

The lecturer for the BBC's 2014 Reith lectures is Dr Atul Gawande, a celebrated author and MD whose book The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right is a classic on how to think about systemic problem solving (which pays attention to how different people and activities come together to make and solve problems).

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Detoxing is bullshit


It's true that people with substance abuse problems can "detox" when they get clean, but the kind of "detoxing" offered by stuff in the grocery store or pharmacy has no basis in science and is just a scammy way to scare you into opening your wallet (the companies that sell "detox" can't even say what "toxins" they're getting rid of).

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Why no one wants to hear from James Watson

The co-recipient of the Nobel for revealing the double-helix structure of DNA is selling his medal because "no one really wants to admit" he exists -- but why is that?

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Hour documentary about the nature of reality

From BBC One, an episode of Horizon exploring that good ol' mindfucking question "What is reality?"

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Physics, or sorcery?


This table is being held up by the weight of the buckets that are resting on it!

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Nature makes all its papers free to view


The premiere science publisher will make shareable "read-only" links to its all papers stretching back to 1869, using technology from a startup that its parent company, Macmillan, has invested in.

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Milky Way over Devils Tower

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David Lane's absolutely stunning image of the Milky Way over Devils Tower. If everything's ready here on the Dark Side of the Moon... play the five tones.

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Creationist "just can't" with museum's evolution propaganda

This lady just can't with the Chicago Field Museum's evolution propaganda. She rambles on about it for over 30 minutes in this video—and it's as hilarious as you might imagine.

This comes via the Bilerico Project, who had this to say:

Anyone who follows the infuriating "debates" about topics like climate change, vaccinations, and the choice myth of sexual orientation -- where fear, misinformation, urban legends, and pseudoscience are presented alongside scientific consensus as though both "sides" are equally legitimate -- knows that we've got a serious idiocy problem here in America.... (She can't pronounce "eukaryotes," but she knows her facts, you guys!)

Read their full post on the video here.

XKCD versus neurobollocks

In his latest strip, fMRI, Randall "XKCD" Munroe nails the problems with brain imaging studies that claim to have found the neuroanatomical link between certain kinds of thoughts and regions of the brain (see 2013's Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience for more).

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A neural "off-switch" for pain documented

In Endogenous adenosine A3 receptor activation selectively alleviates persistent pain states, a paper in Brain by researchers led from the St Louis University Medical School, scientists document their work in switching off neural pain pathways by activating an adenosine receptor.

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Solar system drinking glasses


The Planetary Glass Set comprises ten glasses (one for each planet, plus one each for Pluto and Sol) representing the bodies of our solar system, very very very loosely sized to express their relative dimensions.

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Youtube nukes 7 hours' worth of science symposium audio due to background music during lunch break

Yannick writes, "We live-streamed our second annual Canadian conference of Citizens' Climate Lobby, a day of speeches, with a very interesting panel discussion."

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Strange thrust: the unproven science that could propel our children into space

For many decades, a fantasy among space enthusiasts has been to invent a device that produces a net thrust in one direction, without any need for reaction mass. Of course, a reactionless space drive of this type is impossible. Or is it? By Charles Platt

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Handbook for fighting climate-denialism


From 2011, Skeptical Science's excellent Debunking Handbook, a short guide for having discussions about climate change denial that tries to signpost the common errors that advocates of the reality of anthropogenic global warming make when talking to people who disbelieve.

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Gates Foundation mandates open access for all the research it funds

Effective January 17, all research funded in whole or in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation must be published in journals that are immediately free-to-access, under a Creative Commons Attribution-only license.

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A master of otherworldly space art

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Above, the extrasolar planet 16 Cygni Bb as rendered by artist Ron Miller, illustrator of science, astronomy, and science fiction, and author of "The Art of Space: The History of Space Art, from the Earliest Visions to the Graphics of the Modern Era."

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How to fold the world-record-setting paper airplane "Suzanne"

Here's John M Collins narrating the technique he used to create "Suzanne," his world-championship-winning paper airplane, which set a distance record in 2012 -- the whole thing, along with many more super-advanced paper aviation techniques are laid out in his book, The New World Champion Paper Airplane Book: Featuring the World Record-Breaking Design, with Tear-Out Planes to Fold and Fly.

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Driving a legobot with a simulated worm nervous-system

More news from the Openworm project, whose Kickstarter I posted in April: they've sequenced the connectome of all 302 neurons in a C. Elegans worm, simulated them in software, and put them to work driving a Lego robot.

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Beautiful brain images take over Times Square

Brain City, this beautiful film by Noah Hutton made from neuroimagery collected at leading brain science labs, will screen in New York City just before midnight on Times Square's massive electronic billboards every night this month.

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Slowwwwww Ooooooobleck

The always-entertaining and informative Slow Mo Guys dumped some oobleck (aka non-Newtonian fluid) inside a speaker cone and filmed the fantastic results at 1600 frames-per-second.

Relative Scale of the Solar System Planets, in Fruits

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Image by Avi Solomon, shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool.

Photos of forgotten brains in a mental hospital

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In the basement of the University of Texas Mental Hospital, photographer Adam Voorhes stumbled upon hundreds of strange brains in formaldehyde that had been abandoned for decades.

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Italian scientists acquitted of culpability in L'Aquila quake


Seven natural disaster specialists had previously been convicted of manslaughter for not being emphatic enough about the 2009 quake, which killed 309 people, but that conviction's been overturned by an appeals court.

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Planet formation around HL Tau, 450 light years from Earth

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"In a vast disc of dust and gas, dark rings are clearly visible," reports the BBC's Jonathan Webb. "Gaps in the cloud, swept clear by brand new planets in orbit.

We listen to sad music to feel nostalgic

If sadness is an unpleasant emotion, then why are we at times so drawn to sad music? By Dan Ruderman

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$100K life-size T-Rex skeleton replica


It's 40' long from nose to tail, is composed of 190 bones, is billed as "museum grade" and comes with an assembly crew that will stage it in any "anatomically possible" pose. His name is Stan.

The aqua-hamster and the artificial gill (1964)

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Fifty years ago, General Electric Research Lab scientist Walter Robb was on the cover of Science News for creating an ultra-thin membrane that acted like an "artificial gill," pulling enough oxygen from the water to keep a hamster alive in a submerged box wrapped in the stuff.

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