Seriously. If you haven't figured out by now that the world is not ending and that any Mayan predictions claiming otherwise are largely fabricated pseudoarchaeology, then I'm not sure that I can help you. One last try, though. Please read this excellent FAQ, written by actual archaeologist (and my former professor) John Hoopes. I did an interview with Dr. Hoopes last year about the 2012 as a phenomenon, but the new FAQ covers, in detail, why a 2012 apocalypse is bunk, and what sources you can check out to find further accurate information about the confluence of ancient Mayan mythology and modern Western mythology. And that is all I have to say about this for the rest of the year. Coming in 2013, though: Lots of stories about Mayan archaeology. Just to mess with you.
Christian Stangl (previously here) turned a common process into a gorgeous abstract short film using macro footage of things as they dry out. Life needs water. But this fluid tends to evaporate over time into a gaseous state. Drying out is a chemical process that takes hours, days or even weeks. Without enough water the… READ THE REST
Researchers closely studied the wings of two moth species from China and Africa, and found that their tiny scales form a "metamaterial" that absorbs bat sonar — thus becoming an acoustic cloaking device. Pretty darn cool. The paper is paywalled here, but Nature has a good lay-persons' writeup … The researchers measured the acoustic reflections… READ THE REST
Cody from Cody's Lab bought 10 kilograms of bananas at the store, then proceeded to extract 9 grams of potassium from them. He could have gotten about twice that, but his condensation device had a design issue that caused the condensate to solidify and clog the tube. Great fun to see him toss it in… READ THE REST
Sometimes, you'd really rather just boost the temperature in your bedroom or home office by a few degrees without firing up your central heating and paying to pump that heat throughout the entire house. In that case, you just need a portable heater that can wrap a cocoon of warmth around a relatively small, contained… READ THE REST
Earlier this month, stargazers were dazzled by a rare celestial event as The Great Conjunction offered a view of Jupiter and Saturn huddled close together in the night sky. The planets themselves aren't actually in closer proximity to each other, but just the idea of seeing this optical convergence that hasn't been viewed from Earth… READ THE REST
None of us are getting any younger. And while the ravages of time work differently on everyone, there seems to be one area where everyone from seniors down to the way-too-young start feeling discomfort first. Oh, that aching back. A lot of that may have to do with how many of us spend huge portions… READ THE REST