21 APR 2014 by ideonexus

 Cool Science Facts

"There are a million points of light in the universe traveling a million miles an hour away from us, yet they are so far away they appear to be standing still." "Estimate for # of planets in visible universe: 10^25, which = # molecules in a cup of water" Robert Garisto, PRL "I'm is Juliet Retenford and my favorite science fact is that marmoset siblings are all genetic chimeras of each other because they all share a single placenta so a single circulation." "Hi Dr. Jim Macena, University o...
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What happens when you ask scientists what their favorite science fact is.

12 DEC 2011 by ideonexus

 Ionian Science

According to legend, the first mathematical formulation of what we might today call a law of nature dates back to an Ionian named Pythagoras (ca. 580 BC-ca. 490 bc), famous for the theorem named after him: that the square of the hypotenuse (longest side) of a right triangle equals the sum of the squares of the other two sides. Pythagoras is said to have discovered the numerical relationship between the length of the strings used in musical instruments and the harmonic combinations of the soun...
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Stephen Hawking provides a fascinating summary of what the ancient Ionians knew about the natural world.

04 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 A Complex and Majestic Universe

To discover that the Universe is some 8 to 15 billion and not 6 to 12 thousand years old improves our appreciation of its sweep and grandeur; to entertain the notion that we are a particularly complex arrangement of atoms, and not some breath of divinity, at the very least enhances our respect for atoms; to discover, as now seems probable, that our planet is one of billions of other worlds in the Milky Way galaxy and that our galaxy is one of billions more, majestically expands the arena of w...
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The complexity of our Universe and our existence "majestically expands the arena of what is possible."

04 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 More Exciting Than the Supernatural

And yet there's so much in real science that's equally exciting, more mysterious, a greater intellectual challenge - as well as being a lot closer to the truth. Did he know about the molecular building blocks of life sitting out there in the cold, tenuous gas between the stars? Had he heard of the footprints of our ancestors found in 4-million-year-old volcanic ash? What about the raising of the Himalayas when India went crashing into Asia? Or how viruses, built like hypodermic syringes, slip...
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There are wonders in science far more amazing than the ideas presented in superstition.

19 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 Mathematicians Do Math for Its Own Sake

4- As an example, consider the practice of mathematics. Mathematics is in the first place a language in which we discuss those parts of the real world which can be described by numbers or by similar relations of order. But with the workaday business of translating the facts into this language there naturally goes, in those who are good at it, a pleasure in the activity itself. They find the language richer than its bare content; what is translated comes to mean less to them than the logic and...
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They work the art as if it were poetry, much of it without practical application, but for the beauty of mathematics.

19 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 Hobbes Conversion to Science

He was 40 yeares old before he looked on geometry; which happened accidentally. Being in a gentleman's library, Euclid's Elements lay open, and 'twas the 47 El. libri I. He read the proposition. 'By G—,' sayd he, (He would now and then sweare, by way of emphasis) 'By G—,' sayd he, 'this is impossible!' So he reads the demonstration of it, which re¬ ferred him back to such a proposition; which proposition he read. That referred him back to another, which he also read. Et sic deinceps, tha...
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Aubrey describes Thomas Hobbes falling in love with Geometry.

11 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 Atoms Within Our Bodies Still Release the Energy of an An...

Explosions are seldom one hundred per cent efficient. When a star ends as a supernova, the nuclear explosive material, which includes uranium and plutonium together with large amounts of iron and other burnt-out elements, is distributed around and scattered in space just as is the dust cloud from a hydrogen bomb test. Perhaps the strangest fact of all about our planet is that it consists largely of lumps of fall-out from a star-sized hydrogen bomb. Even today, aeons later, there is still enou...
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High amounts of uranium in the Earth's core suggest our sun was in the vicinity of a supernova event, and the atoms within our bodies, if measured with a Geiger counter, can be found to still be releasing the energy from that event.

05 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 The Many Ways the Universe Observes Itself

On this planet, and probably countless more, inanimate atoms became molecules which formed cells and over billions of years those cells evolved into complex organisms which finally became viruses, plants, animals, salamanders, banyan trees and human beings. Without giving it any thought, with no way to think it, the universe brought into existence a way of making itself seen. There is more than one way to see. A leaf turns to the light. A chimpanzee selects a piece of fruit. A fish sees a sm...
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The Universe, without consciousness, evolved living things with consciousness and the ability to experience the Universe in a multitude of ways.

03 JAN 2011 by ideonexus

 The Importance of Enjoying Science

Another value of science is the fun called intellectual enjoyment which some people get from reading and learning and thinking about it, and which others get from working in it. This is a very real and important point and one which is not considered enough by those who tell us it is our social responsibility to reflect on the impact of science on society. Is this mere personal enjoyment of value to society as a whole? No! But it is also a responsibility to consider the value of society itself...
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While the personal enjoyment does not contribute to society, expressing this enjoyment, organizing it for others to enjoy benefits society.

03 JAN 2011 by ideonexus

 The Energy Game

My father dealth a little bit with energy and used the term after I got a little bit of the idea about it. What he would have done I know, because he did in fact essentially the same thing--though not the same example of the toy dog. He would say, "It moves because the sun is shining," if he wanted to give the same lesson. I would say "No. What has that to do with the sun shining? It moved because you wound up the springs." "And why, my friend, are you able to move to wind up this spring?" "I...
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A game Feynman's father would play with him, asking what made things work, and following the chain of energy back to the sun.