Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow?

Brian Fies‘s 2012 graphic novel Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? expresses a beautiful, melancholic and hopeful longing for (and suspicion of) the futuristic optimism of America’s 20th century, starting with the 1939 World’s Fair. Cory Doctorow finally got caught up with the future and read it.

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X-ray of the Smithsonian's two-headed shark and other specimens

sharktwo The National Museum of Natural History's Sandra Raredon maintains the "fish library," a job that includes X-raying the specimens like this two-headed smooth-hound shark. Below, a small tooth sawfish and Atlantic angel shark.

"A Two-Headed Shark and Other X-Rayed Beauties at the Smithsonian"

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$35 electrochemical analyzer


Aaron writes, "The good folks of the George Whitesides Laboratory have been dedicated to making cheap medical tests and analytical gadgets for quite some time. Now, they've really outdone themselves with this beautiful $35 electrochemical analyzer that can do everything from glucose tests to environmental analysis."

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Biology student in Colombia faces jail for reposting scholarly article


Colombia's draconian copyright law (passed after US pressure) provides for prison sentences for simple copyright infringement; Diego Gomez, a biodiversity conservation Master's candidate at University of Quindío shared a paper related to his fieldwork, and the paper's author has brought a prosecution against him.

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Bright golden bat

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Named after King Midas, the Myotis midastactus golden bat that calls Bolivia's tropical savanna home was recently determined to be its own unusual species.

“Apparently it isn’t related to camouflage, because two other species of Myotis that occur in the same area are consistently darker and use similar [daytime] roosts,” Oswaldo Crus Foundation wildlife biologist Ricardo Moratelli told National Geographic.

The bat's curious coloring may be a result of its particular insect diet.

Particle Clicker: meth-addictive supercollider sim


The game, which I found absolutely and delightfully addictive, was created in a weekend by a group of undergrads at the CERN Webfest.

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Trailer for Stephen Hawking movie

The trailer for "The Theory of Everything," the Stephen Hawking biopic based on his first wife Jane Hawking's memoir "Traveling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen."

Video: fun physics phenomena

(Veritasium)

Orbiting a comet

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Today, ESA's Rosetta spacecraft became the first probe to orbit a comet. Later this year, Rosetta's Philae lander is expected to touch down on the surface.

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Stunning great white shark footage

Absolutely breathtaking great white shark footage captured by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution researchers using their SharkCam underwater drone near Mexico's Guadalupe Island.

REMUS SharkCam is a specially outfitted REMUS-100 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) equipped with video cameras and navigational and scientific instrumentation that enable it to locate, track, and film up close a tagged marine animal, such as a North Atlantic white shark (great white). The vehicle is pre-programmed to home in on a signal from a transponder beacon attached to the animal at depths up to 100 meters (330 feet) and in a variety of patterns and configurations.

Dery on disease and art

Over at Thought Catalog, BB contributor Mark Dery goes deep into the pathological sublime with Richard Barnett, author of "The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration":

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In Ohio, half a million people told not to drink contaminated tap water

A massive algae bloom in Lake Erie in October, 2011 is seen in this Landsat-5 satellite image. The green scum is mostly Microcystis, which produces a liver toxin and can cause skin irritation. (Image: NASA)


A massive algae bloom in Lake Erie in October, 2011 is seen in this Landsat-5 satellite image. The green scum is mostly Microcystis, which produces a liver toxin and can cause skin irritation. (Image: NASA)

"Water at a Toledo, Ohio, treatment plant has tested positive for a dangerous toxin, and nearly 500,000 Ohio residents have been told not drink the tap water," reports the Los Angeles Times. Ohio Gov. John Kasich declared a state of emergency today in three counties. Two water samples have tested positive for microcystin, a toxin possibly caused by an algae bloom in Lake Erie.

Experimental drugs tested in African Ebola outbreak

There are several Ebola drugs in development and they're starting to reach struggling victims, especially Western aid workers, who agree to participate in ad hoc trials.

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Most social science results have never been replicated

Replication — where researchers re-do experiments to see if they get the same result — is a really important part of the scientific process. And it's hardly ever done in social science.

Mysterious holes in Siberia may be craters of climate change explosions

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Holes like this one have been appearing in Siberia — at least three are known so far. There are a couple of theories for what's causing them and both are linked to climate change.

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