Archive for the ‘research’ Category

Dr. Goldacre’s American House Call

February 6, 2013

Dr Goldacre's American House Call

Writer and physician Ben Goldacre is coming to the USA and Canada this month:

“Ben Goldacre’s Bad Pharma North American Tour,” Scott Gavura, Science-Based Pharmacy

(more…)

Advertisements

Phrenology & fMRI

December 4, 2012

Phrenology & fMRI

“In 1849, six years prior to the first edition of Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman visited the Phrenological Cabinet of Fowler & Wells (at the corner of Beekman and Nassau Streets) to get his head examined. This method of discerning one’s character by mapping and measuring the topography of the skull first appeared in 1796, with the research of a German neuroanatomist named Franz Joseph Gall who went on to publish The Anatomy and Physiology of the Nervous System in General, and of the Brain in Particular, with Observations upon the possibility of ascertaining the several intellectual and moral dispositions of man and animal by the configuration of their Heads.”

— “Amativeness, ideality, ‘God spot.’ On the seductive promise of phrenology and its progeny,” Jena Osman, Triple Canopy (navigate through it with the horizontal sliders).

“Most of the interesting things that the brain does involve many different pieces of tissue working together. Saying that emotion is in the amygdala, or that decision-making is the prefrontal cortex, is at best a shorthand, and a misleading one at that.”

— “Neuroscience Fiction,” Gary Marcus, New Yorker blog

___________________

Short Link:  http://wp.me/p6sb6-faa

Image (“The 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

NASA Explores New Car Smell

November 26, 2012

NASA Explores New Car Smell

Attention space travelers: That new space capsule may smell good, but that aroma isn’t good for you. NASA’s Goddard Laboratory is on the case:

“For some people, the best part about buying a new car is its factory-fresh new car smell, a distinctive aroma created when the chemicals and residual solvents used to manufacture dashboards, car seats, carpeting and other vehicle appointments that outgas and fill the cabin. While the scent may be alluring to some, many researchers believe exposure to these gases isn’t particularly healthy — so unhealthy, in fact, that some recommend that drivers keep their new cars ventilated while driving.

Outgassed solvents, epoxies, lubricants, and other materials aren’t especially wholesome for contamination-sensitive telescope mirrors, thermal-control units, high-voltage electronic boxes, cryogenic instruments, detectors and solar arrays, either. As a result, NASA engineers are always looking for new techniques to prevent these gases from adhering to instrument and spacecraft surfaces and potentially shortening their lives.

(more…)

Playing Games

October 30, 2012

Playing Games

You bought that tablet computer for work or school, right? A study shows that you really use it for games and entertainment. Together, those account for almost 80 percent of tablet device usage. Even your smartphone is more task-oriented.

“Tablets are ‘media machines’ with games the most popular app category,” Stuart Dredge, The Guardian

________________

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-ePO

Image  (“Blonde With iPad, after Harry L. Barton, Jr.”) 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

The Truth About Dishonesty

September 18, 2012

Duke professor and behavioral economist Dan Ariely recently addressed the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) on the topic of honesty. Video of his lecture is here, but the short animated excerpt above is even more fun.

Illustrator: Andrew Park of Cognitive Media for RSA Animate.

___________________

Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-ecs

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

Beach Research

September 10, 2012

Beach Research

An astounding new wave of beach research is breaking in science circles. The latest findings will sweep you away: people prefer to bask on beaches on sunny days.

Mind-boggling. This follows an earlier study proving that it’s harder to swim with your clothes on.

_______________________________
Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-e7J

Image (“Beach Blogging, after Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron aka Cassandre”) 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.

Energy Drinks? Have a Banana.

July 14, 2012

Energy Drinks? Have a Banana.
The original study comparing energy drinks and bananas is here, but Kathy Orlinsky sumarizes it concisely:

“Of the 103 metabolites that were tested for, only one differed between the banana group and the energy drink group: banana eaters had much higher levels of dopamine. Those levels continued to rise even an hour after exercising. It seems that not only was the banana just as good at replenishing athletes during intense exercise, but it made them feel better too.”

“Ditch the energy drinks and eat a banana,” Kathy Orlinsky, The Stochastic Scientist

(more…)

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