July302014
6PM

ADVENTURE

an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.

5PM
ucsdhealthsciences:

You Might Hear A Cricket Chirp
Ormia ochracea is a tiny, parasitical fly and the bane of crickets. The fly listens for cricket chirps, homes in and deposits larvae on the back of the cricket’s back. The larvae then proceed to burrow into the cricket and eat it alive.
While this scenario is nothing for crickets to sing about, it’s absolute inspiration for researchers trying to develop the next generation of directional hearing aids, who describe a new, fly-inspired prototype in the journal Applied Physics Letters.
What’s particularly notable about the fly’s hearing abilities is that they derive from ears that are, well, extremely small. Human ability to detect the source and direction of sounds derives significantly from our large heads and widely separated ears. The latter receive the same sound at slightly different times. Our brains analyze that time difference and use it to locate the sound source.
The heads of flies, though, are just a millimeter or so wide, about the thickness of an average fingernail. (Incidentally, the fly above is resting on a fingernail so you can get a good sense of scale.) Flies overcome their size limitations by creatively tweaking the internal hearing structure. Between the two ears of a fly is a sort of see-saw that moves up and down, amplifying the incredibly small time differences of incoming sounds. It allows the fly to find chirping crickets quite well.
Researchers at the University of Texas have used the fly’s ear structure as a model to create minute pressure-sensitive devices out of silicon that they hope can eventually be used in new directional hearing aids that are smaller, more comfortable and longer-lasting.

ucsdhealthsciences:

You Might Hear A Cricket Chirp

Ormia ochracea is a tiny, parasitical fly and the bane of crickets. The fly listens for cricket chirps, homes in and deposits larvae on the back of the cricket’s back. The larvae then proceed to burrow into the cricket and eat it alive.

While this scenario is nothing for crickets to sing about, it’s absolute inspiration for researchers trying to develop the next generation of directional hearing aids, who describe a new, fly-inspired prototype in the journal Applied Physics Letters.

What’s particularly notable about the fly’s hearing abilities is that they derive from ears that are, well, extremely small. Human ability to detect the source and direction of sounds derives significantly from our large heads and widely separated ears. The latter receive the same sound at slightly different times. Our brains analyze that time difference and use it to locate the sound source.

The heads of flies, though, are just a millimeter or so wide, about the thickness of an average fingernail. (Incidentally, the fly above is resting on a fingernail so you can get a good sense of scale.) Flies overcome their size limitations by creatively tweaking the internal hearing structure. Between the two ears of a fly is a sort of see-saw that moves up and down, amplifying the incredibly small time differences of incoming sounds. It allows the fly to find chirping crickets quite well.

Researchers at the University of Texas have used the fly’s ear structure as a model to create minute pressure-sensitive devices out of silicon that they hope can eventually be used in new directional hearing aids that are smaller, more comfortable and longer-lasting.

(via science-junkie)

July292014
“Where are those old friends with whom in years gone by I felt so closely united? Now it seems as if we belonged to different worlds, and no longer spoke the same language! Like a stranger and an outcast, I move among them—not one of their words or looks reaches me any longer. I am dumb for no one understands my speech—ah, but they never did understand me! It is terrible to be condemned to silence when one has so much to say.

Was I made for solitude or for a life in which there was no one to whom I could speak? The inability to communicate one’s thoughts is in very truth the most terrible of all kinds of loneliness. Difference is a mask which is more ironbound than any iron mask.” Friedrich Nietzsche, letter to his sister (1886)  (via c-ovet)

(Source: poeticsofdeath, via scurrilizzie)

6PM

theenergyissue:

The Bio Intelligent Quotient (B.I.Q.) Building is the First Fully Algae-Powered Architecture

Operating successfully for over a year, the Bio Intelligent Quotient (B.I.Q.) building in Hamburg, Germany is the first to be fully powered by algae. The building is covered with 0.78-inch thick panels—200 square meters in total—filled with algae from the Elbe River and pumped full of carbon dioxide and nutrients. The panels, which display the bright green algae, are not only aesthetic, but performative. When sunlight hits the “bioreactor” panels, photosynthesis causes the microorganisms to multiply and give off heat. The warmth is then captured for heating water or storing in saline tanks underground, while algae biomass is harvested and dried. It can either be converted to biogas, or used in secondary pharmaceutical and food products. Residents have no heating bills and the building currently reduces overall energy needs by 50%. 

Cool!

(Source: fastcoexist.com, via science-junkie)

6PM

science-junkie:

Interactive map of human genetic history

A global map detailing the genetic histories of 95 different populations across the world, showing likely genetic impacts of European colonialism, the Arab slave trade, the Mongol Empire and European traders near the Silk Road mixing with people in China, has been revealed for the first time.

The interactive map, produced by researchers from Oxford University and UCL (University College London), details the histories of genetic mixing between each of the 95 populations across Europe, Africa, Asia and South America spanning the last four millennia.

The study, published this week in Science, simultaneously identifies, dates and characterises genetic mixing between populations. To do this, the researchers developed sophisticated statistical methods to analyse the DNA of 1490 individuals in 95 populations around the world. The work was chiefly funded by the Wellcome Trust and Royal Society.

Read more

July272014
fallontonight:

Seth Macfarlane made fun of Liam Neeson using an Irish accent in a western film on Family Guy, so Liam got revenge when Seth came knockin’.

fallontonight:

Seth Macfarlane made fun of Liam Neeson using an Irish accent in a western film on Family Guy, so Liam got revenge when Seth came knockin’.

(via anderson-coopers-cats)

July262014

scienceetfiction:

Lucy (2014), Luc Besson

The tagline: “the average person uses 10% of their brain capacity…” is an old urban legend.  ”Neurologist Barry Gordon describes the myth as laughably false, adding, we use virtually every part of the brain, and that [most of] the brain is active almost all the time” (wikipedia).

We use every part of our brain, but some people (like Einstein) seem to use it more efficiently than others. So, in a sci-fi film, this is always possible to imagine some trick to improve the brain.  I don’t know exactly how this is presented in the film.

According to the reviews (like this one), Lucy seems more silly than brilliant sci-fi.  Luc Besson usually films well, visually, even when his scripts are weaker, so, with Scarlett Johansson as the lead, maybe this is entertaining. 

Limitless (2011) is a good film on a similar theme.  

July242014
hydrogeneportfolio:

"Maybe we’re on Mars because of the magnificent science that can be done there - the gates of the wonder world are opening in our time. Maybe we’re on Mars because we have to be, because there’s a deep nomadic impulse built into us by the evolutionary process, we come after all, from hunter gatherers, and for 99.9% of our tenure on Earth we’ve been wanderers. And, the next place to wander to, is Mars. But whatever the reason you’re on Mars is, I’m glad you’re there. And I wish I was with you.”
— Carl Sagan

hydrogeneportfolio:

"Maybe we’re on Mars because of the magnificent science that can be done there - the gates of the wonder world are opening in our time. Maybe we’re on Mars because we have to be, because there’s a deep nomadic impulse built into us by the evolutionary process, we come after all, from hunter gatherers, and for 99.9% of our tenure on Earth we’ve been wanderers. And, the next place to wander to, is Mars. But whatever the reason you’re on Mars is, I’m glad you’re there. And I wish I was with you.

 Carl Sagan

(via science-junkie)

July232014
captainlobotomy:

"Well I don’t know what I was expecting…"

captainlobotomy:

"Well I don’t know what I was expecting…"

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