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Old 05-21-2012, 09:43 PM  
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Science is Cool....

This is a repository for all cool scientific discussion and fascination. Scientific facts, theories, and overall cool scientific stuff that you'd like to share with others. Stuff that makes you smile and wonder at the amazing shit going on around us, that most people don't notice.

Post pictures, vidoes, stories, or links. Ask questions. Share science.

This is in support of the Penny 4 NASA project. If you enjoy anything you learned from this thread, consider making a donation and signing the petition.

http://www.penny4nasa.org/

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Old 06-27-2014, 08:18 PM   #1921
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****, I figured out how to solar power for part of America.

Maybe.

1) Put the solar arrays all through the sunniest areas of the country.
2) Pump or passively drain seawater from the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico into those Sunny areas into holding tanks underground.
3) Lay piplelines from these solar arrays to urban areas.
4) Use the solar arrays to heat the water either through direct sunlight or through active electric elements to the point it's steam.
5) ????
6) Channel the steam through these pipes to urban areas where the steam turns turbines providing electricity.
7) ???
8) probably not profit!
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Old 06-27-2014, 10:43 PM   #1922
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discuss Thrower View Post
****, I figured out how to solar power for part of America.

Maybe.

1) Put the solar arrays all through the sunniest areas of the country.
2) Pump or passively drain seawater from the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico into those Sunny areas into holding tanks underground.
3) Lay piplelines from these solar arrays to urban areas.
4) Use the solar arrays to heat the water either through direct sunlight or through active electric elements to the point it's steam.
5) ????
6) Channel the steam through these pipes to urban areas where the steam turns turbines providing electricity.
7) ???
8) probably not profit!
Throw in natural gas, responsible oil production, spend some real money to clean up coal... and maybe throw in some massive solar arrays, wind turbines, using oceanic wave action to produce power and anything else we can think of, invest in it.
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Old 06-29-2014, 01:54 AM   #1923
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Old 07-05-2014, 02:19 PM   #1924
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http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/ea...says-1.2696945
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Earth-like planets Gliese 581 g and d likely don't exist, study says
New method to account for star signals another blow to controversial planets
Another study has cast doubt on the existence of two of the first Earth-sized planets "discovered" outside our solar system that could potentially host liquid water, and therefore life. But it may also have uncovered a way to make detecting new planets easier.

When the discovery of Gliese 581 g was announced in 2010, there was a lot of excitement because it was in the habitable zone of its red dwarf star – the "Goldilocks" region – not too hot and not too cold – where liquid water, and therefore life, could potentially exist. The planet appeared to be just 1.2 to 1.4 times larger than Earth, and therefore likely to have a rocky surface.

Another planet in the system, Gliese 581 d, announced in 2007, was on the edge of the habitable zone.

"They were very high value targets if they were real," said Paul Robertson, a postdoctoral researcher at Penn state University and the lead author of the new study, published this week in Science.

"But unfortunately we found out that they weren't."

The two planets have actually been controversial since they were discovered using a method that looks for small changes in the colour of a star's light caused by the tug of a planet's gravity.

Robertson says it's because, if these particular planets exist, they have very low masses.

"And their signals are so small that just a very small tweak in how you analyze the data can make the difference to whether you see one planet or the other."

Several studies have disputed the planets' existence, based on different methods of analyzing the signals and ways of trying to sharpen them up. Among them was one by Phil Gregory, professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia. Another, by a Swiss team using additional data, prompted the scientists who discovered Gliese 581 g, Steve Vogt of the University of California Santa Cruz and Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C., to publish a new paper in 2012 criticizing the Swiss team's analysis and reaffirming the existence of Gliese 581g with their own analysis.

Robertson said that in his case, he and his colleagues were not trying to disprove the existence of Gliese 581 g, but to find a way to sharpen up small signals from planets and make them more visible by correcting for the activity of the star, which can also cause small shifts in the colour of a star's light.

Blue versus red

Vogt and Butler had previously done corrections using a standard method that looks at two colours emitted by calcium in a star, which are on the blue/violet end of the colour spectrum.

Robertson instead used a red colour emitted by hydrogen and analyzed the same data used in Vogt and Butler's 2012 paper.

Robertson said that works better in this case because Gliese 581 is a very cool star, and it doesn't put out a lot of blue light.

When applied to Gliese 581, the new correction made signals from three of the planets – b, c, and e - around the star appear sharper. The researchers say this confirms that Gliese has exactly three planets.

Robertson said that the technique should work in general for cooler, low mass stars and boost the signals of small planets.

"I hope this research points the way forward toward finding exciting new planets hidden beneath stellar signals," he added.

Vogt and Butler declined requests from CBC to comment on the new research.

University of British Columbia researcher Phil Gregory wrote in an email to CBC News that the new study improves understanding of the Gliese 581 system and will cause astronomers to pay more attention to all indicators of a star's activity, even if it "sadly removes a potentially interesting planet near the habitable zone."
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Old 07-09-2014, 05:59 PM   #1925
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:15 PM   #1926
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Strange Radio Signals Mystify Astronomers



One of the world's great radio telescopes isn't hearing voices – for the first time another giant dish has picked up one of the mysterious “fast radio bursts” (FRBs) that have been puzzling astronomers at the Parkes Radio Telescope. The find confirms these bursts indeed come from outer space, but beyond that their source is still wide open.

Last year the astronomers reported four bursts picked up by the celebrated Australian telescope. As each FRB lasted around a millisecond there was no time to have other telescopes check the same location, and the fact that no other telescope had picked up anything similar raised the possibility that something local was interfering with the Parkes telescope.

Now, however The Astrophysical Journal reports that the 305m Arecibo Telescope has picked up a similar burst while searching for pulsars. The burst occurred in 2012, but not noticed at the time. “FRB 121102's brightness, duration, and the inferred event rate are all consistent with the properties of the previously detected Parkes bursts,” the authors report.

"Our result is important because it eliminates any doubt that these radio bursts are truly of cosmic origin," says McGill's Professor Victoria Kaspi.

Despite the short nature of the FRBs, some things about their nature have been inferred. Those detected at Parkes were all more than 40° from the Galactic Plane, suggesting they almost certainly come from outside the Milky Way. Moreover, different frequencies arrive at slightly different times. This suggests the radio waves have traveled extensively through an ionized medium, in which any electromagnetic radiation will be slowed down. Shorter wavelengths are slowed by more, just as blue light is delayed more in glass, and therefore more bent by a prism than longer wavelength red.

The Parkes FRBs were estimated as having come from distances as great as 9 billion light years, suggesting a very powerful source. Theories so far include evaporating black holes, magnetar flares and the mergers of neutron stars. However, the FRBs do not seem to be associated with the more famous Gamma Ray Bursts, for which the same explanations have been proposed.

With only a handful of observations from all the world's telescopes it might be expected that FRBs are very rare, but by calculating the area of the sky studied with sufficient sensitivity to pick such events up, the authors conclude 10,000 occur each day.


Read more at http://www.iflscience.com/space/stra...hvEUowWLUuJ.99
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:16 PM   #1927
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:16 PM   #1928
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:21 PM   #1929
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NASA: Humans Will Prove ‘We Are Not Alone In The Universe’ Within 20 Years



Cambridge, Mass. (CBS CONNECTICUT) – NASA predicts that 100 million worlds in our own Milky Way galaxy may host alien life, and space program scientists estimate that humans will be able to find life within two decades.

Speaking at NASA’s Washington headquarters on Monday, the space agency outlined a plan to search for alien life using current telescope technology, and announced the launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Surveying Satellite in 2017. The NASA administrators and scientists estimate that humans will be able to locate alien life within the next 20 years.

“Just imagine the moment, when we find potential signatures of life. Imagine the moment when the world wakes up and the human race realizes that its long loneliness in time and space may be over — the possibility we’re no longer alone in the universe,” said Matt Mountain, director and Webb telescope scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, which plans to launch the James Webb Space Telescope in 2018.

“What we didn’t know five years ago is that perhaps 10 to 20 per cent of stars around us have Earth-size planets in the habitable zone,” added Mountain. “It’s within our grasp to pull off a discovery that will change the world forever.”

Describing their own estimates as “conservative,” the NASA planet hunters calculate that 100 million worlds within the Milky Way galaxy are able to sustain complex alien life forms. The estimate accounts for the 17 billion Earth-sized worlds scientists believe to be orbiting the galaxy’s 100 billion stars.

The NASA panel says that ground-based and space-based technology – including the Hubble Space Telescope, the Kepler Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope – will be able to determine the presence of liquid water, an essential sign of potential alien life.

“I think in the next 20 years we will find out we are not alone in the universe,” said NASA astronomer Kevin Hand, who suggested that alien life may exist on Jupiter’s Europa moon.

“Do we believe there is life beyond Earth?” asked former astronaut and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “I would venture to say that most of my colleagues here today say it is improbable that in the limitless vastness of the universe we humans stand alone.”

The NASA panel said efforts are focused on finding signs of alien life on planets on other stars outside of our solar system.

“Sometime in the near future, people will be able to point to a star and say, ‘that star has a planet like Earth’,” said Sara Seager, professor of planetary science and physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. “Astronomers think it is very likely that every single star in our Milky Way galaxy has at least one planet.”
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:42 PM   #1930
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Well let's not act like we all haven't smoked 40 cigarettes and kissed everyone... and had a damn ****ing good time of it....

Hookah: Like Smoking 40 Cigarettes & Kissing Everybody



What could be more relaxing than hanging out with a few buddies and smoking 40 cigarettes in a single night? Possibly smoking 40 joints, but most people don't do that. On the other hand, 18% of high school seniors have reported engaging in behavior that is equivalent to smoking 10-40 cigarettes in a single sitting, and then kissing everybody as well.

A stunning Fox News report (embedded at the bottom of this post) by Marc Siegel, an NYU medical doctor, details the findings of a new study in the journal Pediatrics that found that nearly one-fifth of high school seniors have tried hookah. Males, citydwellers and wealthy students were the likeliest to partake.

Middle Eastern cultures have smoked hookah for centuries. A rather groovy-looking pipe is filled with a flavored tobacco, called shisha, which is burned and passed through a tank of water which supposedly filters the smoke. But it doesn't. According to the National Institutes of Health, a single session of hookah smoking "delivers 1.7 times the nicotine, 6.5 times the carbon monoxide and 46.4 times the tar of a single cigarette." In other words, this is one of the most toxic things you could do to your body in the span of about 60 minutes.

Unsurprisingly, hookah is linked to the same sort of diseases that afflict cigarette smokers, such as lung, oral, esophageal, stomach and pancreatic cancer.

This nasty habit, as Dr. Siegel indicates, is made worse by the fact that users often do not change the mouthpiece as they pass the inhaling device around for all to enjoy. Any disease transmitted by kissing -- e.g., mononucleosis, HPV, strep throat, colds, influenza, etc. -- can also be transmitted by sharing mouthpieces.

So, why is hookah becoming so popular? The tobacco is sweet and smells good, and people are under the very false impression that hookah is healthier than regular cigarettes. But, as just described above, it is actually many, many times worse. And, after your night out partying, you might just go home with a new infection, too.

You would be better off staying home and smoking pot.
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:59 PM   #1931
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Low-Carb Diets: Quit Drinking the (Sugar-Free) Kool-Aid

There are few areas of scientific research murkier than nutrition. Thousands of studies have tackled the seemingly simple question of what we should eat in order to lose weight. But one study that points in one direction is inevitably countered by another pointing in the opposite. Every tiny change in study design could sway findings one way or the other. The result is maddening. Sifting through the literature reveals no overarching consensus beyond "eat less," "move more," and "go easy on the sugar."

But what about this never-ending "low carbohydrate" fad? Advocates of "Paleo," "Zone," or "Atkins," -- all forms of low-carb diets -- say that eating fewer grains produces more weight loss and better health outcomes than basic reduced-calorie diets.

Here again, scientists are conflicted. Some studies show that low-carb diets vastly outperform balanced, calorie-restricted diets, but other studies show no difference at all.

The best tool we have for detecting a pattern in the literature is the systematic review, where similar studies are grouped together and analyzed. If you're wondering whether low-carb diets are better than traditional weight loss diets, you're in luck. Researchers just completed a systematic review to answer that very question.

Scientists based out of Stellenbosch University poured through published records to find studies in which low-carb and balanced diets were directly compared. The team was very selective, including only randomized, controlled trials where the two comparison diets had the same number of calories, featured at least 10 subjects per group, were longer than 12 weeks (with long-term follow up), and were solely focused on diet. Only 19 studies survived the purge.

In these studies, subjects consuming low-carb diets received roughly 35% of their calories from carbohydrates, 35% from fat, and 30% from protein. Those consuming balanced diets received 55% from carbohydrates, 30% from fat, and 15% from protein, in line with government recommendations.

The review showed that both low-carb and balanced diets yielded similar weight loss in the long-term, with low-carb diets edging out the competition by a single pound after 1-2 years (a statistically insignificant amount). Differences in improvements to other health variables like cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure were almost imperceptible.

In short, the review revealed that the purported revolutionary benefits of low-carb diets are likely overstated, and any associated weight loss results almost entirely from accompanying calorie restriction, not from specifically cutting out carbohydrates.

"It follows that when considering dietary strategies for weight loss, less emphasis should be placed on an ‘ideal’ macronutrient composition and more emphasis on reduction in total energy intake," the researchers state.

Advocates of low-carb diets are technically correct about one thing: a calorie is not just a calorie. Protein, fat, and carbohydrates -- the three primary macronutrients -- are used by the body and transformed into energy in different ways. But those distinctions are -- when it comes to weight balance -- miniscule, and do not translate to anything game-changing for the health of modern humans.

Source: Naude CE, Schoonees A, Senekal M, Young T, Garner P, et al. (2014) Low Carbohydrate versus Isoenergetic Balanced Diets for Reducing Weight and Cardiovascular Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS ONE 9(7): e100652. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0100652
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:04 PM   #1932
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Watch What Happens When You Stick Your Hand Into "Hot Ice"

We're not talking about that little puddle of water on your kitchen counter that used to be an ice cube. Rather, "hot ice" is a substance called sodium acetate trihydrate. Solid at room temperature, it melts into a liquid at 58 degrees Celsius.

It can also be melted into a liquid and then supercooled, getting it down below its freezing point without having it crystallize. Then, when some disturbance point -- or a nucleus for crystals to form around -- is introduced, the rest of the liquid rushes to solidify as well.

In this video from NurdRage, adding nucleation sites -- in this case, a sodium acetate coating on the hands -- rapidly causes the jarful of molten hot ice to begin crystallizing.



It's warm and has the consistency of ice cream!

Sodium acetate and water are key ingredients in heat pads and hand warmers. Bending the metal disk starts the crystallization process, giving off heat as it solidifies. The packs can be reused by dissolving all the crystals in boiling water. But each and every single crystals has to be dissolved, otherwise it'll re-solidify.


Read more at http://www.iflscience.com/chemistry/...A2EMDQbfDLC.99
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:09 PM   #1933
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This Guy Is Crazy Enough To Stick His Hand In Liquid Nitrogen



Nitrogen can exist in a liquid state between -210oC and -195.8oC (-346oF to -320.44oF) under normal atmospheric pressure. That’s pretty damn cold. Back in school you may have had demonstrations where teachers put various objects into it and then shattered them. So shoving your hand in a bucket of the stuff sounds like a BAD idea… Right?

Well, thanks to the Leidenfrost effect, your hand doesn’t actually get seriously messed up (but don’t try it, anyway). You may have noticed the Leidenfrost effect whilst cooking with a really hot pan. If the surface is hot enough (much hotter than the liquid’s boiling point), water droplets ball up into little dancing beads instead of instantly evaporating. This is because an insulating vapor layer forms between the liquid and the hot surface, preventing the rest of the water from touching the hot surface. This slows the heat transfer between the two and thus prevents the liquid from further evaporation.

This also happens when liquid nitrogen comes into contact with a room temperature object, such as your hand. Check out this video for a demonstration:

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Old 07-15-2014, 10:12 PM   #1934
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Hundreds of participants were left in a room by themselves for several minutes with nothing to do but think. Rather than complete the task, many of them chose to administer electric shocks to themselves. As it turns out, most people prefer to do something rather than nothing, even if that something is negative, according to a study published in Science last week.

In a series of 11 experiments, a team led by Timothy Wilson from the University of Virginia asked 409 college students to be alone with their thoughts in a bare room for 6 to 15 minutes: no phones, books, pens for doodling, or distractions of any kind. Just stay awake, be quiet, and sit idly in their seats. Some were given specific prompts, like plan a food outing, while others could think about whatever.

“We went into this thinking it wouldn’t be that hard for people to entertain themselves,” Wilson tells Science. “We have this huge brain and it’s stuffed full of pleasant memories, and we have the ability to construct fantasies and stories.”

But daydreaming may not be as enjoyable when we’re forced to do it on command. Half the volunteers reported on a 9-point scale that the experience was not enjoyable. Most found it difficult to concentrate, and even more said their minds continually wandered, even when nothing was competing for their attention. A group asked to perform the same task at home found the experience even less enjoyable; a third of them reported cheating.

Those assigned an external activity, like listening to music or reading a book, liked that twice as much as “thinking time.” When the team repeated the experiment with people ages 18 to 77 recruited from a farmers’ market and a church, they got similar results. There were some general trends: People who thought about future events with friends or family fared better than those who thought about work.

In one last experiment, 67 percent of the men and 25 percent of the women chose to give themselves a mild electric jolt -- like a little static electricity shock -- rather than complete the entire “thinking period.” Beforehand, when given a sample, most said they’d pay $5 not to be zapped again -- but when the time came, they still pushed the button.

“The mind is designed to engage with the world,” Wilson says in a news release. “Even when we are by ourselves, our focus usually is on the outside world.” The team is working on the exact reasons why people find it difficult to be alone with their own thoughts.

Wilson intends to pursue ways to tame this “disengaged mind.” He often imagines being a castaway on an deserted island as he’s falling asleep. “There are lots of times in our daily lives, when we have a little bit of time out, or are stuck in traffic or trying to get to sleep,” he explains to Nature. “Having this as a tool in our mental toolbox as a way to retreat or reduce stress would be a useful thing to do.”
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:16 PM   #1935
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Check Out This Video of a Complete Heart Transplant!

Heart disease is the number one cause of death around the globe. While approximately 50,000 people are candidates for transplants, only about 5,000 are performed each year.

The first heart transplant surgery was in 1967 in Cape Town, South Africa. After a 25-year-old woman died in a car accident, her heart was given to a 55-year-old man. Unfortunately, the man died only 18 days later. Rejection was common in early surgeries with most patients not lasting more than a couple of weeks, so not many were performed. In the coming decades, meticulous tissue-matching and improved medications increased survival rates.

Today, recipients of donated hearts have a survival rate of 90% after one year and 74% after five years. As research involving replacement organs from stem cells continues to progress, those numbers will hopefully increase.

Potential recipients undergo psychological evaluation for the surgery and they are also given a variety of tests regarding tissue type and to make sure they are healthy enough to sustain the new organ. Once a donor heart becomes available, recipient selection based on a number of factors, including time on wait list, prognosis, and proximity to the available donor organ.

When everyone is ready to proceed with the transplant, the recipient is put under general anesthesia and connected to a cardiopulmonary bypass machine. After the blood has been completely diverted from the heart, the old heart is extracted and replaced with the donor organ. After the new heart is sewn into place and the blood is brought back to the heart, the heart will be shocked into beating. Before they close up, the surgeon will monitor the heart is functioning properly without any leaks.

Quite obviously, the following video that shows this process is graphic, yet totally amazing. I mean, you’re watching someone’s heart get cut right out of their chest, so please view with discretion.

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