Posts tagged ‘science’

Fade to ‘Vantablack’: Scientists Invent a Material So Black Your Eyes Can’t See It

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Black leather jacket, Eerie black, Outer space, Licorice, Onyx and plain old Black. These are the names of Crayola’s blackest of black crayons. Sure, they’re all jet black, but none of them have anything on “Vantablack,” an extraordinary new nanofiber believed to be the darkest black on Earth, even darker than NASA’s “super-black.”

Not to beat this unusually dark horse dead, but Vantablack is actually so deeply black that your eyes can’t really see it at all, only the area surrounding it. And we’re not kidding when we say looking at this “strange, alien” stuff is like gazing into a black hole. Not a deep, dark cave kind of hole. Think darker. The kind of black hole found in outer space. Continue reading…

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Earth in True Perspective

Everything is relative. You don’t need to be Einstein to understand that. A human is as big to an ant as a building may be to him. However, the world always seems such a huge place; so many countries, cities, forests, oceans, lakes, icebergs. So many animals and species. So much history. But ever since we developed the ability to look beyond our atmosphere, it became more and more apparent that our blue marble is tiny. Too tiny to even comprehend, when compared to other planets, stars, galaxies and the universe itself. So just to give you an idea of how tiny we really are here on planet earth, here are some visual aids.
size of earth
  Continue reading…
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6 Scientifically Proven Ways to Fight Stress

A prolonged exposure to high stress levels can damage the brain and hamper good cognitive functioning. As part of a brain-healthy lifestyle, it’s essential to manage stress efficiently and effectively. What can you do when you realize that you are stressed? More importantly, what can you do to build resilience so you can go through difficult situations without feeling too much stress?

Here are six research-based lifestyle solutions that can be used to fight stress and build resilience: Continue reading…

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Scientists Uncover Invisible Motion in Video

Just saw this and thought it was so cool I had to share!
By ERIK OLSEN @ New York Times

A 30-second video of a newborn baby shows the infant silently snoozing in its crib, his breathing barely perceptible. But when the video is run through an algorithm that can amplify both movement and color, the baby’s face blinks crimson with each tiny heartbeat.

The amplification process is called Eulerian Video Magnification, and is the brainchild of a team of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Continue reading…

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The Art of Ofey: Richard Feynman’s Little-Known Sketches & Drawings

“I wanted to convey an emotion I have about the beauty of the world…this feeling about the glories of the universe.”

Just like Sylvia Plath and Queen Victoria, Nobel-winning physicist Richard Feynman —champion of scientific culturegraphic novel herocrusader for integrityholder of the key to scienceadviser of future generations,bongo player — was a surprisingly gifted semi-secret artist. He started drawing at the age of 44 in 1962, shortly after developing the visual language for his famous Feynman diagrams, after a series of amicable arguments about art vs. science with his artist-friend Jirayr “Jerry” Zorthian — the same friend to whom Feynman’s timeless ode to a flower was in response. Eventually, the two agreed that they’d exchange lessons in art and science on alternate Sundays. Feynman went on to draw — everything from portraits of other prominent physicists and his children to sketches of strippers and very, very many female nudes — until the end of his life.

The Art of Richard P. Feynman: Images by a Curious Character (UKpublic library) collects a quarter century of Feynman’s drawings, curated by his daughter Michelle, beginning with his first sketches of the human figure in 1962 and ending in 1987, the year before his death.

Dancer at Gianonni’s Bar (1968) Continue reading…
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Science, Storytelling, and “Gut Churn”: Jad Abumrad on the Secrets of Creative Success

On diving head-first into the unknown.

Since 2004, Radiolab has been sparking a singular kind of magic at the intersection of science and storytelling, redefining not only public radio but also the “role of scientific culture in modern society,” to borrow Richard Feynman’s words.

In this fantastic talk from The 99% ConferenceRadiolab mastermind and MacArthur genius Jad Abumrad takes us behind the scenes to explore the tribulations and triumphs of building a novel paradigm from the ground up. Continue reading…

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Life Under the Microscope

I love when things remind me of The Powers of Ten and surprise me – exceeding my own expectations for what I believe to exist or what I have seen so far within a familiar realm. Enjoy the 24 pictures below:

In its ninth year now, the Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition has once more brought together some of the most extraordinary microscope images of life science subjects from around the world. Seeing these tiny, nearly hidden objects magnified so greatly, so vividly, can bring home the reality of the invisible microscopic worlds all around us. The winning entries will be on display at the New York Hall of Science through August 31st. The competition sponsors have been gracious enough to share some of the top images here, displaying a compelling mix of art and science.

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Why Movies Like Oscar-Winning ‘Undefeated’ Make Grown Men (and Women) Cry

The newly minted Oscar winner for best documentary, Undefeated, has left many critics gushing—with praise, but also tears. The true-life sports tale follows a struggling high school football team in a poor area of Memphis, Tennessee, whose fortunes begin to turn under the guidance of a devoted and determined coach. The emotional story has reduced folks at ForbesEsquire, and other media outlets to sniffles and sobs. It made us wonder: What actually causes people to cry at movies? Continue reading…

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Thinking Outside The Box, With Our Bodies And Our Brains

A route to freer thinking? Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda stroll outdoors for a photo-op at the 2011 APEC summit in Hawaii.

Most of us have probably felt the rightness of a decision in our bodies as much as we have thought through the decision in our brains. Now, researchers report that bodily experience maycreate new ideas and new knowledge.

Sitting inside a big box made of cardboard and plastic pipe, college students were assigned to complete a word task designed to measure creativity. Sitting outside an identical box, a second group of students completed the same task.

The students who sat outside the box also thought outside the box: they offered solutions 20 percent more creative than the responses from their peers inside the box. How can this be? Continue reading…

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