Page 3.14

It’s back! Here are the stories that were moving and shaking this week at our European partner site, ScienceBlogs.de:

From a Science Museum Basement

i-76c5affa527846559c1d5fb071944cc5-scriba_depot1-thumb-500x751.jpgWhat do you know about Germany? We wear lederhosen and dirndls, we drink lots of beer…and we have the Deutsches Museum! At the moment huge efforts are going on to modernize it. Which makes it all the more interesting to take a look in the basement, where past exhibits and miscellaneous collections are kept. Jürgen Scriba, a photographer and science writer, invites us to share some of his views and impressions of the Deutsches Museum.

New Carnivals and Polls

German ScienceBloggers show different activities to engage more blogs on special topics. At first Florian at Astrodicticum Simplex started a copy of the “Carnival of Space” that exists in the States. He calls his collection of recent postings about Astrophysics ““Blog-Teleskop“. Then, Tobias at WeiterGen put up a poll to find his readers’ favorite blog on biology (sadly, he did not nominate himself!).

It’s Not Full Moon Fever

And for all who believe in the influence of the moon, don’t read this entry by Florian. He takes on moon-related superstitions and their supposed explanations, and tells us that most of it (timing your haircuts by the moon, at full moon most babies are born…) is nonsense.

“For most people ebb and flow don’t play a big role in everyday life and the light of the moon is mostly outshined by artificial light sources. Scientifically speaking, there is also no mechanism which could effect the alleged influences of the moon on humans.”

Questioning Seed on Schrödinger

Jürgen Schönstein at Geograffitico argues against some conclusions in the in the current Seed magazine title story on the Institut für Quantenoptik und Quanteninformation (IQQE) in Vienna, where quantum mechanics is tested (“The Reality Tests,” by Joshua Roebke).

“You must not be a phycisist—nor even a scientist—in order to understand that there’s something wrong is lumped into the statement ‘reality is created by observation.’”

He means that, in discussing the statement, scientific language and everyday language have become mixed up. While the first talks about measurements, the second talks about observations. About the classical paradox of Schrödingers’ cat, he maintains:

“As far as I could find out, Schrödinger himself tried to argue via this experiment against the assumption that reality is created by observation (intuitively, everybody knows that the cat cannot be simultaneously alive and dead).”

Image of the Week

i-03789c7d406a901b7cc443ce891de572-jellyfish.png

This cute video of a man-made airborne jellyfish shows us how engineers can simulate a biological system.

That’s all for now. Note that links in this article are to blog posts in German—but their authors are usually happy to respond to comments in English. Danke!

This newsletter is compiled by ScienceBlogs.de managing editor Beatrice Lugger.