Pure Pedantry

Archives for September, 2006

Best Article Ever: Space Sex

Oh my God, best article ever: Having sex in the weightlessness of outer space is the stuff of urban legends and romantic fantasy — but experts say that there would be definite downsides as well. Spacesickness, for instance. And the difficulty of choreographing intimacy. And the potential for sweat and other bodily fluids to, um,…

History of the Nobel

As the Nobel Prize announcements are due to come out soon, it would be good if you knew your Nobel history. Lawrence Altman for the NYTimes has an excellent article on it. Money quote: Yet in a little known story, the Nobel Prizes, the first of which will be announced on Monday, almost never came…

Reminder: Submit to the Synapse

The Synapse #8 is being hosted at Mind Hacks on Sunday. Make sure to get your submissions in before Saturday night so that they have time to read them. Details here.

I was having a conversation with someone the other day, and I mentioned the phrase All Your Base Are Belong to Us (AYBABTU) and just got a really blank stare. This is a shame because not only is it a funny line, but it is an absolutely critical part of recent geek history. So I…

I love YouTube — so many ways to waste time at work. Check out this video of a popped balloon in zero gravity.

Lee Smolin Interview

Lee Smolin — author of The Trouble with Physics — was interviewed on the Leonard Lopate Show (on WNYC) talking about string theory and why he thinks we shouldn’t change scientific standards because of experimental difficulties. A really interesting interview. You can listen here (it is a streaming mp3).

Surgeons attempt zero gravity surgery

Have you ever seen a cyst fly? A team of French doctors planned to slice a cyst off a man’s arm Wednesday in the world’s first zero-gravity surgery, operating aboard an airplane soaring and diving in and out of weightlessness. The experiment is part of a broader effort to develop robots for surgeries from a…

So I am sititng in a movie theater the other day, and some teenagers sitting behind me are talking. Of course, they are talking. They are ALWAYS talking behind me. And what particularly irks me is that it is a Tuesday night during the school year, and I only come to movies at 10 pm…

3 year old buys ugly car on eBay whim

Reason #1 why children are not cute: A three-year-old boy has used his mother’s computer to buy a £9,000 car on an internet auction site. Jack Neal’s parents only discovered their son’s successful bid when they received a message from eBay about the Barbie pink Nissan Figaro. Rachael Neal, 36, said her son was quite…

Scientists in FL are trying to make a prosthetic tail for a dolphin, Winter, who lost hers after getting tangled in a fishing line: Winter learned how to swim without her tail, amazing her handlers with a combination of moves that resemble an alligator’s undulations and a shark’s side-to-side tail swipes. She uses her flippers,…