Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

Science Tag Archive

416

September 27, 2015 • Events

How to View the “Blood Moon” Total Lunar Eclipse Tonight

Even though you’re currently looking at your smartphone or some device reading this article, you should point your phones upward tonight, and capture one of the most stunning sights in the sky tonight.

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March 14, 2015 • Events, News

Happy Pi Day from Gear Diary!

Happy Pi Day Everybody! Today is the one day out of the year that you can wake up at 9:26:53AM and eat a whole bunch of pie. If you aren’t a math wiz kid; look up the definition of Pi, it’s described as “the symbol ? denoting the ratio of the circumference of a circle …

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December 6, 2014 • Editorials

Thoughts on the Orion Spacecraft Launch from a Space Shuttle Fan

I truly mourned the space shuttle’s demise.  You see, Challenger, the second space shuttle, first launched on my birthday.  Unfortunately, not long after that launch we lost Challenger. Then many years later we lost Columbia. This week’s launch of the Orion spacecraft signals a return to the capsules of old and in many ways a return …

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238

November 12, 2014 • News

So You Think You Can Dance, but Can You Attract a Mate?

According to a group of evolutionary biologists at Northumbria University, there are the dance movements that will catch a woman’s eye; in other words, these are the movements that will attract a mate. Can you do them? If not, you’d better get busy. If you nail the moves, we’d love to see your videos. 😉

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October 3, 2014 • Events

HP Opens Up Its Houston Testing Labs for a Journalist Tour!

Recently Hewlett-Packard invited a group of bloggers into their Houston testing labs. Why do that? That was my question going on the tour – but it was quickly apparent that HP has a lot to be proud of in an area that adds tremendous value to their computers. Let’s take a look with HP at …

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368

September 27, 2014 • News

Consumer Reports Takes On ‘BendGate’ with Science … Finds NO #BendGate

By now anyone who follows technology – and many who don’t – has heard about #BendGate, the term coined after a video showed how easy it was to bend and distort the iPhone 6/6+. Honestly, I wasn’t surprised – they are incredibly thin and light with an elongated aspect ratio. But is #bendgate REAL? Consumer Reports …

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390

May 23, 2014 • News

Astronaut Sells Apollo 15 Hand Controller for $610,000+ at Auction

Imagine that you are an astronaut, and after flying to the moon, you make it safely home. What kind of SWAG do you give a guy who completed a safe lunar mission? Why not the hand controller from his Apollo 15 flight? How much would something like that be worth? Astronaut Dave Scott just found …

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March 7, 2014 • Editorials

More Than Anything, Mars One Way Shows Participants’ Need to Feel Special

Were you one of the 2000,000 who applied for the Mars One project? The Mars One Way video interviews five who did, and as I watched, I had to make sure that it wasn’t an SNL parody. If these are the people who will inhabit Mars, then Mars is going to be … just like …

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322

February 1, 2014 • Gear Bits

Carl Sagan’s Home Movies and More Are Now in the Library of Congress

Carl Sagan holds a special place in my heart. He advocated science and mastered at taking complex ideas and breaking them down into accessible knowledge that everyone could understand. Sagan’s influence on many was, and is, still profound. Due to a donation by Seth MacFarlane, there is now a Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan collection …

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January 15, 2014 • Reviews

Magnetic Nanodots Gyro Duo Is a Cool Toy for Science Fans

I loved playing with Nanodots when I reviewed them a few years ago. They were a great fidget toy when you are concentrating on something at work. Their new magnetic Gyro Duo product is another example of a great desktop fidget toy; they are also not as easy to lose, since they are much bigger …

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December 10, 2013 • Gear Bits

Sorry Apple Weather, That Is NOT How You Calculate Wind Chill

When I was a kid, the concept of ‘wind chill’ was new; the National Weather Service didn’t start reporting it until the 1970s, and it took a while longer to become popular with news viewers. Now it has evolved into ‘Real Feel’ or ‘Feels Like’ rather than just ‘Wind Chill’. Either way, Apple’s Weather app …

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382

November 30, 2013 • Gear Bits

My Spy Birdhouse Takes Birdwatching to a Voyeuristic Level

  Occasionally my wife Sarah will point out products she thinks we should cover on Gear Diary. Often they’re interesting or unusual, and sometimes they’re just “oh, come on, you’ve got to be kidding me” ridiculous. The My Spy Birdhouse we saw on TV today clearly falls in the latter category, and Sarah practically fell …

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391

November 13, 2013 • Crowdfunding

Help Bring the McDonald Observatory’s Struve Telescope Model Home to Texas

The McDonald Observatory is a Texas landmark that evokes emotion in all who see it. To me, the bright white telescope domes nestled in the Davis Mountains represent inspiration, education, and — perhaps most importantly — exploration. An Indigogo campaign has been launched to celebrate the Observatory’s 75th anniversary; here is how you can be …

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169

November 11, 2013 • Gear Bits

Monday Mystery: Scientists Discover Unknown Knee Ligament

  Image courtesy Science Daily Several years ago I tore my ACL. I sat with the orthopedist and he showed me a model of the knee to explain where the ACL was, what it did, and how they took other bits of tendon to replace it. I was left with the impression that surgeons know …

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223

September 25, 2013 • Editorials

Popular Science Turns Off Comments – Because They Are Doing Harm to Actual Science!

The blog entry starts with a chilling phrase – “Comments can be bad for science”. It is the announcement that Popular Science is shutting down the ability to comment on articles on their site – and it is being done because they see harm happening to the spread of science based on negative and politically …

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239

August 20, 2013 • Gear Bits

Enjoy an Aerial Tour the Arctic & Greenland from the Comfort of Your Home

I’ve always been fascinated by the Arctic and Antarctic, but touring either would take a lot of money, and it’s just so … cold! Enter IceBridge, a six-year NASA mission to survey the ice at both of Earth’s poles; they’ve released almost 4.5 minutes of icy aerial goodness. I’m still shivering at the thought, but now …

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July 24, 2013 • Gear Bits, News

New App Channels ‘SETI @ Home’ Technology for Android Smartphones!

Do you remember the heyday of ‘SETI @ Home’? The program was very popular just over a decade ago, and it made use of the millions of desktop computers that were not continuously hooked up to the internet via early broadband but sat idle much of the time waiting to chime ‘You’ve Got Mail!’. Now …

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446

July 16, 2013 • News

Astronomy-Class 100X Telescope and Back Case for iPhone 5

A few weeks ago, we experienced a “super moon.” This is where the moon is full while at the closest proximity to the earth. My boys have a beginner telescope so we spent most of the evening in the back yard looking at the moon and discussing all of the markings and features. We were …

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361

May 15, 2013 • Gear Bits

xkcd’s Interstellar Memes Graphic, or Stellar Distance Measured by Age of Pop Culture Phrases

I love xkcd.com. It’s a thought-provoking, often hilarious, sometimes sobering stick figure strip. The strip was conceived by Randall Monroe, who describes himself thusly: I’m just this guy, you know? I’m a CNU graduate with a degree in physics. Before starting xkcd, I worked on robots at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia. As of …

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434

May 14, 2013 • Editorials

Breast Cancer and Elective Mastectomies – If You Knew You Had a Faulty Gene, Would You Delete It?

I am 46, and I have been getting a yearly mammogram every year since I turned 40; six mammograms, and so far each one has been normal. Breast cancer doesn’t run in my family, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling apprehensive every time I have to step up to the machine, and it doesn’t …

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February 2, 2013 • Gear Bits

Everything You Need to Know About Electrostatic Discharge in One Funny Video

Having worked with electronics through instruments companies or the semiconductor industry most of my professional career, I am keenly aware of the potential impact of a minor static shock on electronics. Static is more technically called ‘electrostatic discharge’ or ESD. From my very first job I was introduced to the concept of grounding straps, anti-stat …

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