Nerds and Words: Week 20

By Kyle Hill | May 18, 2014 1:28 pm

Digging through the web this week, I uncovered all this geeky goodness. You can find the thousands of links from previous weeks here.


I have marked my favorite links with a. Enjoy.


Science to Read, Watch

 Why a dead blue whale is so important to science

The third picture in this BBC piece on remote-controlled surgery completely blows my mind

What Seven Years at the Bottom of the Sea Does to a Shipping Container

Potentially the biggest dinosaur ever discovered has man-sized bones

Everything tastes salty, and only salty, to whales. They’re unlike all other mammals

GE has made new MRIs that are getting ever closer to frog levitation

Title of study including 1.2 million children: “Vaccines are not associated with autism

More than 10,000 American toddlers 2 or 3 years old are being medicated for ADHD outside pediatric guidelines

The scariest inhabitant of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Petrichor: The smell after it rains

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: top posts
MORE ABOUT: biology, GIFs, math, physics, science

The Water That The Coast Guard Won’t Save You From

By Kyle Hill | May 16, 2014 11:11 am

Barrier SchematicsAbout 25 miles south of Chicago lies a stretch of water that nothing lives in. It’s not pollution or over-fishing that has wiped out nearly everything save for insects and bacteria here, it’s electricity. At the river bottom there are multiple 160-foot wide grids of electrodes issuing 2.3 volts per inch every 2.5 milliseconds.

The Chicago Electric Dispersal Barrier was implemented to repel fish traveling up the shipping and sanitary canals to the Great Lakes. Specifically, the barrier’s voltage was meant to turn away Asian Carp—a voracious invasive species that most worry would destroy Great Lakes fisheries. And the electricity does its job. It turns away larger fish, and so far the Great Lakes haven’t been overrun.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment

Nerds and Words: Week 19

By Kyle Hill | May 11, 2014 10:33 am

Digging through the web this week, I uncovered all this geeky goodness. You can find the thousands of links from previous weeks here.


I have marked my favorite links with a. Enjoy.


Science to Read, Watch

Dead Whale Diaries, Day 3: a ribcage emerges

How far should we take anesthesia? The Hidden Dangers of Going Under

In Defense of GIFs in Science Writing

“…A law designed to satisfy the unfounded fears of foodies.” This Economist piece on Vermont is spot-on

The Cyanometer Is a 225-Year-Old Tool for Measuring the Blueness of the Sky

Confirmation bias is the better reason as to why we think dolphins “protect” us from sharks

The universe’s story is already written…Isn’t that a cheery thought.”

The undersea master of slime whose teeth look ridiculously like the cover of Tremors

The biggest creature on earth is definitely not a blue whale

This is aluminum powder exploding like a supernova

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: top posts
MORE ABOUT: GIFs, physics, science

Was Yoda’s Advice Any Good Psychologically?

By Kyle Hill | May 6, 2014 10:00 am

109502259_c702516eee_bSomething always bothered me about Star Wars. It wasn’t Lucas’ re-editing or the three prequels damned to sci-fi hell by angry nerds—I always thought Yoda made no sense. The little green guru was supposed to be profound and insightful but what emerged from his backwards speech struck me as banal. Yoda’s lines about fear and bravery sounded less like philosophy honed by 900 years and more like the vacuous pronouncements of a life coach. On top of all that, I wasn’t sure that Yoda’s advice was even helpful. Instructing Luke to never get angry, to never fear his enemies, seemed ignorant of human nature—perhaps even psychologically harmful. So I asked a psychologist to find out if Yoda’s advice was psychologically any good.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts

Nerds and Words: Week 18

By Kyle Hill | May 4, 2014 11:30 am

Digging through the web this week, I uncovered all this geeky goodness. You can find the thousands of links from previous weeks here.


I have marked my favorite links with a. Enjoy.


Science to Read, Watch

New periodic charts with have a 117th element: “ununseptium

 “And so it seems that in perpetually dangerous Australia, even the sex can kill you.”

The Baltimore “sinkhole” was actually a landslide, because geology

Parasites can indeed be a cuisine, depending on how you feel about lampreys…

Do you even know what you’re saying? Depends on if a psychologist is messing with you

From now on, use your middle initial, or make one up: One letter makes you seem smarter

Birds chirping in Chernobyl adapting to low doses of radiation

You can see the eyes of this jumping spider move inside of its head

Your “lip dimple” betrays how your face formed

What’s the Pressure Inside an Exploding Whale?

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: top posts
MORE ABOUT: biology, GIFs, math, physics, science

A Star Fox Barrel Roll Isn’t, And Wouldn’t Even Help

By Kyle Hill | April 29, 2014 10:30 am

On my 8th birthday I opened up a large box to find a Nintendo 64. A few weeks later I opened up a smaller box to find a game about the adventures of a space-faring fox. A few years later the Internet helped create a meme that became larger than the game itself.

Barrel Roll“Do a Barrel Roll!” spun its way into pop culture in 1997, when team member Peppy Hare encouraged the player in Star Fox 64 to deflect incoming enemy barrages by performing a horizontal spin. Peppy’s urgent advice lived on in the minds of nerds everywhere—an inside joke for gaming enthusiasts. The saying eventually became a meme, with the zenith of its popularity coming after Google used the phrase to make its whole search page do the roll.

While gaming aficionados laughed, aviation aficionados cringed. It can’t be stated more clearly, you never did a barrel roll.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts

Nerds and Words: Week 17

By Kyle Hill | April 27, 2014 12:52 pm

Digging through the web this week, I uncovered all this geeky goodness. You can find the thousands of links from previous weeks here.


I have marked my favorite links with a. Enjoy.


Science to Read, Watch

Chernobyl’s Bugs: Illustrating and tracking the curious effects of radioactive exposure

Forget Icarus, Fly As Close To The Sun As You Want!

180 years ago, a “sponging EVE” laid the groundwork for changing these clever dolphin’s diets

What happens if you chill water in a full, indestructible container? “Ice VI“!

The Real-Life Pokémon That Can Regenerate Missing Limbs

How we know that the Earth is literally older than dirt

Foam rollers are actually good for a workout

Why you get clumsier in space and get a stuffy nose and loss of taste and a spherical heart and…

“Oh, evolution. You were doing so well with the lynx—and then you made it sound like this

Finally! Watch the Virus Hunters short series, based on David Quammen’s amazing book

 If we ever build photon torpedoes, we’ll have also solved the energy crisis

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: top posts
MORE ABOUT: astronomy, GIFs, physics, science

Forget Icarus, Fly As Close To The Sun As You Want!

By Kyle Hill | April 22, 2014 10:30 am

Then he caught sight of the feathers on the waves, and cursed his inventions. He laid the body to rest, in a tomb, and the island was named Icaria after his buried child. —Metamorphoses Book VIII

Draper_Herbert_James_Mourning_for_Icarus

In a mythology beset by monsters created by malice (and sometimes bestiality) shines one crafted out of hope and ultimately hubris—the ill-fated Icarus. Though his fatal flight was mentioned only in passing over 2,000 years ago, Icarus remains an enduring symbol of human folly. The fate of Icarus—flying too close to the Sun—proliferated into Western culture as a warning against excessive ambition and a tale of its consequences. But in reality, Icarus should have flown as close to the Sun as he could. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts

Nerds and Words: Week 16

By Kyle Hill | April 20, 2014 2:17 pm

Digging through the Internet this week, I uncovered all this geeky goodness. You can find the thousands of links from previous weeks here.


I have marked my favorite links with a. Enjoy.


Science to Read, Watch

We found a new sex organ in insects. It’s a female “penis”, and it’s the only one.

To make video games feel more realistic, you have to slow them down. Less Sonic, more Call of Duty

New study about the cognitive dangers of marijuana may be half-baked

MIT has made a material that is both mirror and window

Another perpetually recycled workout myth bites the dust: “Cool downs” have no real benefit

 You are a forgery and stubbing your toe on a rock is actually a family squabble

Using nearly every form of media to explore the peeps and suspended animation of a frozen frog

Breathe deep and inhale the dust–the story of the universe, our planet, and our world

 “We’re confident that ballistic methods are reliable ways of computing pi, should the apocalypse occur”

This unlucky viper messed with the wrong centipede

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: top posts
MORE ABOUT: GIFs, physics, science

Why You Never Actually Feel the Need For Speed In Video Games

By Kyle Hill | April 15, 2014 10:30 am

You might have the need for speed, but in video games, you never feel it. Maybe that’s why we went from sprinting at super-human speeds in Doom to trudging along in Call of Duty.

Meet_cyberdemon

The grand father of modern first-person shooters, Doom.

Video games have to fool us into thinking we are going fast or slow. Like how you judge the speed of traffic when merging onto a highway, video game developers use the relative positions of objects to give players a sense of speed. When you hit the gas in GTA V, for example, you get the impression that you are moving quickly because the clueless pedestrians move past the car (or hit it) at a faster rate. But you never quite feel like you are moving faster.

Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts
NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

But Not Simpler

It has been said that you should try to make a problem as simple as possible, but not simpler. Here, that problem is finding the real science behind pop culture. But Not Simpler is a place where you can ask the questions you thought were too nerdy for real answers. The physics of video games? Sure! The chemistry of dragon breath? Why not? When you can find the realities behind your favorite fiction, and seriously nerd-out in the process, everyone wins. Simple.
ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »