Technology

No. Lights of the christmas tree interfering with The Force, not likely. Well, OK, if all the people in the united states gathered into one state, the gravitational effects of all those bodies in one place would be detectable by the ultra sensitive GRACE satellite system. And, any electronic device that is running, including light…

Researchers in China are exploring the use of gene-editing technologies to create customized animals. Take for example research at the Shaanxi Provincial Engineering and Technology Research Center for Shaanbei Cashmere Goats where animals have been genetically-modified to have longer hair (i.e. more wool) and more muscles (i.e. meat). This was accomplished using the relatively new technology CRISPR-Cas9 developed in…

Mike Haubrich and I are developing a science oriented podcasting effort. It will be called “Ikonokast” (all the good names, like “The New York Times” and “Apple” were taken). We decided to enhance the podcast with a WordPress based blog site, perhaps with each page representing one podcast, and containing backup and supplementary information. Here…

Michael Mann has an editorial on Scientific American’s site putting the well known 2.0C limit in perspective for the upcoming climate talks in Paris. Mann makes a number of important points in his essay (read it here: Meeting a Global Carbon Limit Is Cheaper Than Avoiding One) but there is one point that I want…

The amazing cockroach

I’ll admit I get a bit squeamish when I see a cockroach. However, after reading new research about the “ew” inspiring creatures, I have a bit more respect for them. Not only can these bugs run vertically up walls, survive nuclear war and live without their head for weeks (thus I suggest squishing the whole body), new…

Less poop is bad for the planet

I just read a very interesting press release describing a new study conducted at the University of Vermont that was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In this study researchers demonstrated that the excrement of large land animals and whales plays a major role in maintaining the fertility of the planet.…

A sad day for public science advocacy

I’ve been at this blogging thing for more than a decade now. Looking back on those years, I find it incredible that I’ve lasted this long. For one thing, I still marvel that there are apparently thousands of people out there who still like to read my nearly daily musings (or, as George Carlin would…

Those zany researchers at MIT are up to their usual shenanigans. They have come up with a device, which they call “our device,” that sees through walls. Here is a video of how it works, complete with background music to make you feel perfectly comfortable with it: Here’s their web site. Here is a LARGE…

  A new kind of three-dimensional technology, called IsoView, allows researchers to view biological processes within nontransparent animals that are rather large by microscopy standards such as the drosophila larva above and even the brains of larval zebrafish. According to the article in Nature Methods, the new type of microscope developed at the Janelia Research Campus (Ashburn, Virginia) gives high…

Samsung Galaxy S4 Review

Samsung Galaxy S4 Looking at just the specs, the Samsung Galaxy S4 looks like a good phone. That’s why we got one! But there are a few things you need to know that may impact your decision. These problems lead me to not recommend this phone. First, the Android Lollipop version that Samsung produces is…