Category: science

Stephen Hawking on God, the universe, and everything

“Many people would like us to use these coincidences as evidence of the work of God. The idea that the universe was designed to accommodate mankind appears in theologies and mythologies dating from thousands of years ago. In Western culture the Old Testament contains the idea of providential design, but the traditional Christian viewpoint was …

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An idle brain may be the self’s workshop

…Until recently, scientists would have found little of interest in the purposeless, mind-wandering spaces between Mrazek’s conscious breakfast-making tasks — they were just the brain idling between meaningful activity. But in the span of a few short years, they have instead come to view mental leisure as important, purposeful work — work that relies on …

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Does Your Language Shape How You Think?

Benjamin Lee Whorf let loose an alluring idea about language’s power over the mind, and his stirring prose seduced a whole generation into believing that our mother tongue restricts what we are able to think.   via Does Your Language Shape How You Think? – NYTimes.com.

Man grows pea plant inside lung

Yes, really.

New cosmological model: no bang, no time, and no constants

There are four distinguishing features of these models: 1) the speed of light and the gravitational “constant” are not constant, but vary with the evolution of the universe, 2) time has no beginning and no end, 3) the spatial section of the universe is a 3-sphere, and 4) the universe experiences phases of both acceleration …

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Left-sided cancer: should you blame your bed and tv?

Curiously, the cancer rate is 10 percent higher in the left breast than in the right… …researchers suggest an explanation based on differences in sleeping habits in Japan and Western countries… …as we sleep on our coil-spring mattresses, we are in effect sleeping on an antenna that amplifies the intensity of the broadcast FM/TV radiation. …

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Have we found the universe that existed before the Big Bang?

…the universe is just one of many in a cyclical chain, with each Big Bang starting up a new universe in place of the one before. via Have we found the universe that existed before the Big Bang?

What’s that weird thing around Saturn’s second-largest moon?

Rosemary helps reduce carcinogenic toxins in grilled meat

Yes, it really does.

Jupiter cloud belt missing (but it keeps running away and coming home)

So Jupiter’s cloud belts come and go like wayward children. Still, no one knows why.

Your laptop could detect the next earthquake

The Quake-Catcher Network is a collaborative initiative for developing the world’s largest, low-cost strong-motion seismic network by utilizing sensors in and attached to internet-connected computers.

Animals thrive without oxygen at sea bottom

…three species of multicellular animal, or metazoan, that apparently spend their entire lives in oxygen-starved waters in a basin at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. via Animals thrive without oxygen at sea bottom : Nature News.

Terrifying sea critter hauled from ocean’s depths

Check out the claws. The pictures reveal the creature to be a giant isopod, a large crustacean that dwells in deep Atlantic and Pacific waters. This particular creature is a Bathynomus giganteus, a deep-sea scavenger that feeds on dead whales, fish and squid. via Terrifying Sea Critter Hauled from Ocean’s Depths | Fox News.

An illusion of sex change

…rest assured that the both faces are actually versions of the same androgynous face neither male, nor female. One face was created by increasing the contrast of the androgynous face, while the other face was created by decreasing the contrast. The face with more contrast is perceived as female, while the face with less contrast …

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Men lose their minds speaking to pretty women

men who spend even a few minutes in the company of an attractive woman perform less well in tests designed to measure brain function than those who chat to someone they do not find attractive… via Men lose their minds speaking to pretty women – Telegraph. I knew that. Really. I was just distracted.

Australian astronomers reveal image of a cosmic “blue whale”

Centaurus A, a vast galaxy 14 million light-years distant, holding a gigantic black hole in its center 50 million times larger than the Sun, is emitting a radio glow that covers an area of the sky 200 times larger than the Moon. And not a single part of it is visible to the eye – …

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The Extinction Oscillator

When I was studying geology at Columbia, the theory of geologic gradualism was being replaced by a new idea of catastrophism, which proposed that long periods of stability were sometimes broken by huge geological events: volcanoes would erupt after long periods of quiet, drowning a landscape in lava; or an asteroid would strike the planet and …

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Huge impact crater discovered on Mercury

A giant crater, named Rembrandt basin, was photographed by the MESSENGER spacecraft on a mission to Mercury, so large that “…if formed on the east coast of the United States would span the distance between Washington, D.C., and Boston.” Let’s hope that never happens here.  

Google’s tracking of search queries on flu in Mexico

Using Google search activity in Mexico to help track human swine flu levels.

Cosmic blast sets distance mark

…the most distant single object ever detected by telescopes… BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | Cosmic blast sets distance mark