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Author Topic: Science Megathread  (Read 32765 times)
Scott
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« on: July 16, 2013, 03:16:57 pm »

This is the place for discussion of news related to science, opinions/debates on global warming/energy, and pretty much anything else relevant to the thread title.  It might be necessary to sticky this if the thread attracts enough attention, but I think it's a better alternative to having a science/environment board, as has been suggested in the past, because that would just slow down our servers.

Personally, I'm no science buff, but I try to keep up on news related to it as much as I can.  For that, I regularly check the I f**king love science and I F**king Love Neuroscience Facebook pages.
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Napoleon
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2013, 08:45:44 pm »

My contribution
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DemPGH
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2013, 10:16:17 pm »

Interesting and rather obvious links between dinosaur bones and dragons. Essentially, ancient people unearthed dinosaur bones or else fossilized remains, perhaps, and constructed from them mythological creatures like dragons.

http://humanexperience.stanford.edu/feature-dragons

Of course ancient people had very detailed and remarkable knowledge of the skies and even axial procession (which is where interest in the zodiac germinates, I think, although there is not a single mystical thing about it), so there is no reason to think they weren't interested in what was in the Earth.
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snowguy716
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2013, 04:58:39 pm »

http://www.startribune.com/business/215881221.html

While Keystone XL has become a thing in the national consciousness, the focus on that one pipeline has meant that other pipelines are being expanded under the radar with hardly a wimper from environmentalists.

The Enbridge "Alberta Clipper" pipeline that was laid down across northern Minnesota in the heart of the economic downturn (2009 to early 2010), brought a very much needed injection of cash as hundreds of workers around the country moved in.

Now they'll expand pumping stations to increase the capacity of the pipeline by 27%. 

Here's the one simple reason I support the pipeline:  It is so much safer than transporting the oil by rail.  Already because the pipelines from the Bakken oil patch are at capacity, the number of oil tanker cars riding the rails through Minnesota has mushroomed from 9500 in 2008 to 380,000 in 2012 and will likely reach 600,000 soon.

Already a derailment led to an oil spill in western Minnesota last fall.

Opposing the pipeline knowing that the alternative is moving the oil on rails is short sighted and potentially damaging to the environment.

The truth, unfortunate or not, is that this oil will continue to be used.  Let's be reasonable and make the process of transporting the oil as safe as possible.  And continue to fight for increased fuel efficiency standards, electricity standards, and an overall reduction in oil use even as the proportion of our oil coming from stable regions increases.

Better our oil than Iraq's or Saudi Arabia's.

The well-meaning environmental movement that is actually causing more damage to the environment by exporting pollution to nations with lax pollution standards should be discouraged.
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Endy
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2013, 05:18:57 pm »

oh goodie! I have two!


One that has Carbon, Population, Disease, Ecology, and Energy simulators...

and another that has a lot of cool simulators and stuff, most of which are Science-y stuff... Enjoy! Smiley
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dead0man
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2013, 07:26:27 pm »

Neptune has a new moon
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HokeyDood
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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2013, 12:18:08 am »

I quite like this youtube channel, if you want to lump mathematics in with science. 

http://www.youtube.com/user/numberphile
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DemPGH
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« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2013, 11:35:04 am »

Chinese White Dolphin population may be under 60. Sad Severely threatened is this species. Human activity largely the culprit of course, which I just hate. Dolphins period are marvelous creatures, so I hope something can be done.

Make a buck or save a dolphin? Save a dolphin, by all means.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/19/world/china-hong-kong-white-dolphin-extinction/index.html?hpt=hp_c3
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Associate Justice PiT
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« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2013, 12:13:32 pm »


     That reminds me, there are many dim objects in space that astronomers have yet to seriously examine. Many of the closest stars to us (Proxima Centauri, Barnard's Star, Wolf 359) are much too dim to be seen with the naked eye. The possibility for new objects of interest in our immediate vicinity is an ever present one.
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afleitch
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« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2013, 04:18:25 pm »

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2370100/Scientists-GIANT-Pandoravirus-come-alien-planet.html

'Scientists have found a new virus thought to be the biggest ever seen on Earth.

The virus, dubbed Pandoravirus, is one micrometre big - up to ten times the size of other viruses - and only six per cent of its genes resemble anything seen on Earth before.

This has led French researchers to believe the virus may have come from an ancient time or even another planet.'
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Scott
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« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2013, 05:28:14 pm »

Researchers have developed bone tissue from umbilical stem cells.  It has not been applied to an animal model yet, though researchers are optimistic, given its success in the lab.
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DemPGH
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2013, 02:35:50 pm »

Great CNN video! A young lady performs gymnastic movements for a very curious and amused dolphin. A little reading about these marvelous animals will demonstrate the range of emotions they are capable of, how curious they are, and how intelligent they are, being big brained mammals of the sea.

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/living/2013/07/22/newday-girl-makes-dolphin-laugh.cnn.html
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Scott
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« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2013, 08:37:15 pm »

Scientists say they have, for the first time, generated a false memory in an animal.

Sounds scary at first, but personally I'm a little skeptical.  Obviously, you can't be completely sure that you're distorting a mouse's memories since you can't ask a mouse to talk its memories.  As one of the commenters said, they are simply inferring that the mice have the memories when instead it could be related to instinctual fear.  Still, the reported experiments scientists have done on humans with this are slightly alarming.
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Scott
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« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2013, 01:38:36 pm »

Oh, and FYI: here is what your palm would look like without skin.
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Scott
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« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2013, 03:17:39 pm »

Video: What Can You Do Without a Brain?
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anvi
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« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2013, 08:07:58 am »


     That reminds me, there are many dim objects in space that astronomers have yet to seriously examine. Many of the closest stars to us (Proxima Centauri, Barnard's Star, Wolf 359) are much too dim to be seen with the naked eye. The possibility for new objects of interest in our immediate vicinity is an ever present one.

And, speaking of that, this was on my FB news feed this morning.  Two guys at the U. of Louisiana Lafayette are hypothesizing that there is a planet in the Ort Cloud four times the size of Jupiter.  If that is the case, the story below says, it may have been a planet (or "dark clunker" star?) that escaped a nearby star system and was captured by ours.  It seems one major hitch in the hypothesis is that, if something that size was in the Ort Cloud, it would have major effects on commit paths through there, but that hasn't been observed.  The astrophysicists defending the theory will release their paper next year, so it should be interesting.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/14/tyche-hidden-planet_n_823028.html
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dead0man
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« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2013, 11:16:40 am »

The evidence against it seems stronger than the evidence for it....but I'm no astrophysicist.
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anvi
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« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2013, 11:23:19 am »

The evidence against it seems stronger than the evidence for it....but I'm no astrophysicist.

I agree and am skeptical for the moment.  But, on the other hand, while the theory seems to mathematically account for some commit trajectories entering the viewable solar system, I don't know what kind of observational data about commits could be gleaned from the Ort cloud.  So, it will be interesting to see what critiques or appraisals the paper draws once its published.
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Grand Mufti of Northern Virginia
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« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2013, 11:24:04 pm »
« Edited: August 03, 2013, 11:26:21 pm by Frodo »

We may not be the main guilty party in the mass extinction of Ice Age megafauna, it seems:

Ice core data supports ancient space impact idea

By Simon Redfern
Reporter, BBC News


A layer of platinum is seen in ice of the same age as a known abrupt climate transition, US scientists report.

The climate flip has previously been linked to the demise of the North American "Clovis" people.

The data seem to back the idea that an impact tipped the climate into a colder phase, a point of current debate.

Rapid climate change occurred 12,900 years ago, and it is proposed that this is associated with the extinction of large mammals - such as the mammoth, widespread wildfires and rapid changes in atmospheric and ocean circulation.

All of these have previously been linked to a cosmic impact but the theory has been hotly disputed because there was a lack of clear evidence.
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Associate Justice PiT
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« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2013, 03:44:51 am »


     That reminds me, there are many dim objects in space that astronomers have yet to seriously examine. Many of the closest stars to us (Proxima Centauri, Barnard's Star, Wolf 359) are much too dim to be seen with the naked eye. The possibility for new objects of interest in our immediate vicinity is an ever present one.

And, speaking of that, this was on my FB news feed this morning.  Two guys at the U. of Louisiana Lafayette are hypothesizing that there is a planet in the Ort Cloud four times the size of Jupiter.  If that is the case, the story below says, it may have been a planet (or "dark clunker" star?) that escaped a nearby star system and was captured by ours.  It seems one major hitch in the hypothesis is that, if something that size was in the Ort Cloud, it would have major effects on commit paths through there, but that hasn't been observed.  The astrophysicists defending the theory will release their paper next year, so it should be interesting.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/14/tyche-hidden-planet_n_823028.html

     That's interesting. For a while now, people have hypothesized the existence of a brown or red dwarf hiding in the far reaches of the Solar system. The hypothesis was advanced to help explain an observed periodicity in extinction rates. Funny enough, one of the people involved was a guy that I had as a professor last year.
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Grand Mufti of Northern Virginia
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« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2013, 06:05:23 pm »

NASA apparently decided to call it quits on trying to fix the Kepler Planet Hunter.
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snowguy716
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« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2013, 06:25:58 pm »

We may not be the main guilty party in the mass extinction of Ice Age megafauna, it seems:

Ice core data supports ancient space impact idea

By Simon Redfern
Reporter, BBC News


A layer of platinum is seen in ice of the same age as a known abrupt climate transition, US scientists report.

The climate flip has previously been linked to the demise of the North American "Clovis" people.

The data seem to back the idea that an impact tipped the climate into a colder phase, a point of current debate.

Rapid climate change occurred 12,900 years ago, and it is proposed that this is associated with the extinction of large mammals - such as the mammoth, widespread wildfires and rapid changes in atmospheric and ocean circulation.

All of these have previously been linked to a cosmic impact but the theory has been hotly disputed because there was a lack of clear evidence.

I remember being contacted by this scientist in the UK about this very theory.  He had been poring over satellite pictures and was just sure that this impact had taken place over northern Minnesota in an area covered in vast peat bogs today.

It actually looks like something hit the earth north of Red Lake, leaving a distinct pattern that looks like an impact that hit at a glancing blow.

But alas, I posited that that had been caused by peat fires or some other terrestrial cause.
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Scott
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« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2013, 03:56:28 pm »

Researchers debunk myth of right-brain and left-brain personality traits

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Who'da thought it's all bunk?
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Tetro Kornbluth
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« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2013, 04:51:21 pm »


Hahahaha....

Oh, Snowguy...
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Scott
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« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2013, 04:58:40 pm »


What?
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