Buzzfeed's Tom Phillips has done a pretty nice job of creating a series of GIFs that explain, in a simplified way, why this winter has been particularly shitty
in both North America and northern Europe — and why that can all be linked back to warming in the south Pacific. — Maggie
Yesterday, in the comments on my post about ways to use a breast pump more efficiently
, a couple of people lamented the lack of a regular, science-heavy parenting blog. Ah, but such a thing does actually exist. I highly recommend Science News' Growth Curve — a blog about the science of child development and kid raising by Laura Sanders. Recent posts include: The research that shows miracle sleep systems don't work
and a really nicely nuanced look at whether or not you need to worry about feeding kids organic food
. — Maggie
Three months ago, Pakistani exchange student Muhammad Shahzaib Bajwa was injured in a car wreck. He's been in a coma ever since, in a hospital in Duluth, Minn. Now, his family fears he will be deported while comatose — stuck on a plane with little medical aide and delivered to an area of Pakistan that doesn't have the medical infrastructure he needs. What's more, this kind of thing apparently happens all the time
There seems to be a lot of miscommunication happening in this case between the hospital, the State Department, and the family of Muhammad Bajwa. Case in point, the State Department has since told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that they are not seeking to deport Bajwa
, which seems to go counter to what the hospital understood and, possibly, what they told the Bajwas. — Maggie
This bird is known as the "white-necklaced tit".
If Leonardo da Vinci made the drawing using a recently deceased cadaver as a model, then the hernia could have very well been the reason said model was dead. — Maggie
WIPP. Photo: DOE.
Last Friday night, elevated levels of radioactive particles were measured at an underground nuclear waste site near Carlsbad, New Mexico [Map].
Here is the Department of Energy's official statement on the incident [PDF].
Snip: "DOE emphasizes there is no danger to human health or the environment. WIPP’s system of air monitors and protective filtration system continue to function as designed. The source of the airborne radiation is still being investigated."
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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."
has a double-header from science correspondent Miles O'Brien
on what's new and interesting in 3D printing.
Part one [transcript here] above explores how, with the push of a button, the emerging technology of 3D printing can produce food, plastic phone accessories, even human tissue. Miles explores how businesses and schools are creating everything from speakers to ballet shoes, as well as serious challenges and risks presented by ever-widening printing possibilities.
Read the rest
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
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.
A participant helps tag a blacktip shark.
Marine Biologist, blogger, and science-tweeter
David Shiffman sends word to Boing Boing readers of a wonderful opportunity to support shark research, and have a close encounter of your own with these beautiful creatures:
Have you always wanted to be a marine biologist? Have you been fascinated by sharks since you were young? For me, the answer to both questions is yes...and I'm currently living my childhood dream! I'd like to invite you to join me for a day of shark research with my lab, the University of Miami's RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program (SharkTagging.com and Facebook.com/SharkTagging). I'm participating in the 4th SciFund Challenge (SciFundChallenge.org), a crowd-funding event for scientific research.
The reward for a $400 donation to my project is a day on our lab's shark research boat!
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