Archive for the ‘research’ Category

Easter Island Today

July 7, 2012

Easter Island Today

The moai of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) are large stone sculptures, heads and torsos carved of hardened volcanic ash. The average size of the stone figures is 13 feet tall and 14 tons, but some are even bigger, up to 72 feet tall, 150 tons. There are 887 moai on the island, 288 of them standing on their stone foundations at locations around Rapa Nui. They were carved and sited between 1250 and 1500 when there were no draft animals or wheels on the island. So how did they get to their locations? Some island residents say they walked, and some scholars think they’re right, in a way.

The statues didn’t walk themselves, say archeologists Terry Hunt, Carl Lipo, and Sergio Rapu; they were “walked” by teams of men using ropes to move them in a rocking motion, moving them to locations up to 11 miles from the stone quarry.

(more…)

The Physics of Pizza

June 3, 2012

The Physics of Pizza

“… the linear or helical hand motions commonly used by pizza chefs … for single tosses maximize energy efficiency and the dough’s airborne rotational speed; on the other hand, the semielliptical hand motions used for multiple tosses make it easier to maintain dough rotation at the maximum speed.”

“Rotating bouncing disks, tossing pizza dough, and the behavior of ultrasonic motors,” KC Liu, J. Friend, L. Yeo, Physical Review E: Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, in “The physics of tossing pizza dough,” Discover Magazine Discoblog

___________________

Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-dcQ

Image (“And God Created Pizza, after the Bible Moralisée, ca. 1250″) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

The Power of Networks

May 29, 2012

Manuel Lima, Senior UX Design Lead at Microsoft Bing and founder of VisualComplexity.com, recently addressed the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). Video of his lecture is here, but the short animated excerpt above is more fun.

Illustrator: Andrew Park of Cognitive Media for RSA Animate.

___________________

Short Link:  http://wp.me/p6sb6-ddJ

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Organic Foodies: Naturally Selfish?

May 23, 2012

Organic Foodies: Naturally Selfish?

“Does organic food turn people into jerks?” asks Diane Mapes at MSNBC. “Study Suggests that Eating Organic Foods Contributes to Moral Depravity,” elaborates Doug Barry at Jezebel.

The study in question:

“Wholesome Foods and Wholesome Morals? Organic Foods Reduce Prosocial Behavior and Harshen Moral Judgments,” Kendall J. Eskine, Social Psychological and Personality Science (abstract)

The moral? “Stop organics, become a better person,” says Tom Jacobs at Pacific Standard.

___________________

Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-dbL

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Shocking New Discovery of Oldest Cave Art

May 14, 2012

Shocking New discovery of Oldest Cave Art

Scientists have determined that a big block of rock in southern France is engraved with the earliest example of prehistoric wall art. Research indicates that the limestone carving is 37,000 years old and shows what Early Aurignacian human artists were thinking about.

The carvings are of prehistoric lady bits. This is important for art historians and huge news for standup comic/archeologists.

More:

“Engravings of Female Genitalia May Be World’s Oldest Cave Art,” Michael Balter, ScienceNOW

___________________

Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-d9i

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

A Juicy Helping of Lab-Grown Meat

April 23, 2012

A Juicy Helping of Lab-Grown Meat

Reporter William Little visited a laboratory that’s manufacturing meat, and wrote about it in the Financial Times:

“You wouldn’t normally expect to find a thick red steak quietly pulsating in an oversized Petri dish inside a laboratory. But such is the hype around the team scheduled to produce the world’s first lab-grown cut of meat this October that I can’t help but imagine it. The research being done by bioengineer Dr Mark Post at Maastricht University in the Netherlands has provoked global headlines about “test tube meat” and fierce ethical and scientific debate. Getting access to his laboratory is about as exciting as it gets in the world of food engineering.

But when I arrive, the home of in vitro meat is quiet – no research assistants racing to turn out joints of beef, chicken or lamb. Instead, Post slowly opens the door to what looks like a large fridge, or a bioreactor. Within lie row upon row of tiny Petri dishes in which float minute fibres of almost transparent meat. I find it rather deflating but Post is excited. ‘I’ll need about 3,000 pellets of meat to make a hamburger,’ he says.”

It’s a meaty article. Read it here:

“How do you like your meat?” William Little, Financial Times Magazine

___________________

Short Link:  http://wp.me/p6sb6-d2z

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Leave Congress, Cash In

March 15, 2012

Leave Congress, Cash In

It’s a sad day when our public servants leave the halls of Congress. They cry all the way to the bank. An analysis by Lee Fang finds that when congressmen become lobbyists, their income increases astronomically:

“When a Congressman Becomes a Lobbyist, He Gets a 1,452% Raise (on Average),” Lee Fang, Republic Report

___________________

Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-cM8

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

What a Pair

February 24, 2012

What a Pair

Foot fetishes flourish during epidemics of sexually-transmitted diseases, according to a 1998 study. The paper, published in the PubMed database of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), was unearthed by the Discovery Magazine Discoblog:

(more…)

Brevity is the Soul of PowerPoint

February 22, 2012

Brevity is the Soul of PowerPoint

At last, a study that proves what you already knew about PowerPoint:

“Slide presentations as speech suppressors: When and why learners miss oral information,”  Christof Wecker, Computers & Education (2012) [abstract]

There’s a nice summary by Eric Horow, but here it is in bullet points:

  • If your slides aren’t brief, you should
  • A)  Speak without them, or
  • B) Put the entire presentation on slides and don’t say a word.

We’ve always liked Guy Kawasaki’s rule of thumb: 10 slides, 20 minutes, 30-point font.

What happens when your slides aren’t concise?

(more…)

Thoughts of Women Stupify Male Brains

January 22, 2012

Thoughts of Women Stupify Male Brains

“Casually mentioning a female instead of a male name was sufficient to impair men’s cognitive performance,” according to a research team from Radboud University in the Netherlands. “Moreover, these effects occur even if men do not get information about the woman’s attractiveness.”

When heterosexual males interact with attractive women, they put so much effort into trying to make a good impression that they don’t have the resources left to think clearly. Caveat: by “males” the scientists mean their usual research animals, university students.

More:

“Sex on the Brain Proves Costly for Men,” Tom Jacobs, Miller-McCune

___________________

Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-cil

Image (“American Male Mind”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 141 other followers