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

Science Tag Archive

January 24, 2013 • Gear Bits, Health and Fitness

Here Are Just Some of the Other Benefits of Sex

Sex is great because … well, if I have to explain THAT then I probably can’t help. But aside from the obvious benefit of being sex, there are numerous health benefits … and the folks at Greatist have detailed them out with links to some of the studies. Here are a few: • It can …

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January 21, 2013 • Gear Bits

Physicists Help Show Math Behind Growth of ‘Coffee Rings’

Have you ever left a cup of coffee sitting for a few hours and prior to dumping it out you notice a ring remains at the top-level of the fluid? That is the ‘coffee ring effect’, and recently physicists have helped to demonstrate the effect both theoretically and on the microscopic level. The studies looked …

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January 10, 2013 • Gear Bits

Random Cool Math Fact – The Monty Hall Probability Problem

If you have ever taken a course in probability you have likely heard of the ‘Monty Hall Problem’, based on the name of the host of the show ‘Let’s Make a Deal’. On my current work project this week someone on the technical team inadvertantly offered such a choice without knowing or understanding it … …

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January 10, 2013 • News

In News That Surprises No One, 2012 Was the Hottest Year Yet

By now most of the debate about global Climate Change has settled down not to IF there is climate change, but WHY. Of course there will always be tin-foil hate wearers, but the science is pretty clear as noted above. One side of the debate says that the rapid acceleration timed to match the industrial …

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January 2, 2013 • Editorials, Health and Fitness

New Yale Study Using MRI Brain Scans Links Fructose to Weight Gain and Obesity

A new study from Yale University published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and reported at Bloomberg details something that has been gaining more and more scientific support: fructose has a significant link to weight gain and obesity. I have been compiling links for several months now about all of this stuff, including …

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December 14, 2012 • Gear Bits

The LED Lighting Cost Savings ‘Myth’ Addressed

You have heard the story by now – LED lighting is the ‘next new thing’ … just like you were supposed to change to (mercury containing) compact fluorescents a few years ago, now you should be switching over to LED lighting as pricing has dropped a bit. Right? Wrong! Well … it depends, really. Why …

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December 9, 2012 • Gear Bits, News

Cool British Video Reminds Us of the Difference Between ‘Climate’ and ‘Weather’

“Another 10 feet of snow fell on Buffalo last night … derp … so much for Global Warming” – it is something most of us hear in one form or another on an annual basis, and makes us choose between (a) shaking our head and walking away, (b) hitting the person upside the head with …

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November 18, 2012 • Outdoors

My Bag: Ham Radio Edition

Hurricane Sandy, the derecho and the upcoming winter season has had me thinking about what I carry on a daily basis. It also prompted me to consider what I might add to it to be better prepared.  In HAM lingo, we refer to this as our GO bag– the bag that serves in an emergency …

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November 13, 2012 • Editorials

Election Maps – “Why Is the Map All Red if Obama Won?”

This isn’t in any way a political post, it is just a reflection on how the visual display of information impacts out perception. Look at the image above; it might seem inaccurate to say, based on the image, that ‘most of the country voted for Romney’. But that image is based on land mass, and …

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September 27, 2012 • Gear Bits

Physics Wins, as 32 Out of Sync Metronomes End Up Synchronizing

This is a really cool video that operates on a principle of physics: that the transfer of momentum will result in alignment of motion. In other words, as the metronomes tick, they are transferring force to the table, and due to the design of the table that force is dampened and dissipated through the table …

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September 17, 2012 • How to Do It Yourself!, Outdoors

D-Star Breathes New Life into Amateur Radio

D-Star is the newest mode I have recently added to my Amateur Radio arsenal.  I bought an Icom ID-31A D-star, radio which I will be reviewing here soon, but I wanted to share a little about D-star and why it’s a cool mode before I did the review. The History of D-Star D-star is a …

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August 26, 2012 • Gear Bits

Eight Chocolate Planets for the Discriminating Palate

I’m still mourning the loss of Pluto, but you’ll find the other eight planets (including the sun) in this luxury chocolate gift box … Chocolate can taste all of the solar system eight planets, planet is chocolate set. Planets lined up in a row in the package that the image of the universe, like a …

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August 10, 2012 • News, Outdoors

Kitty Cam? More Like KILL Cam!

Do you have a cat? We have two – an outdoor cat we’ve had since he was a few weeks old (and is now 12) and one indoor cat we inherited from my sister-in-law when they moved half-way across the country two years ago (supposedly a two-week babysitting … but I digress). Is your cat …

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August 7, 2012 • Gear Bits, News

Good Movies Actually Do Better at the Box Office

Conventional wisdom would say that movie-going crowds reward some of the worst movies with some of the highest box office grosses, particularly during the summer months. In fact, there are web sites devotes to that very premise. It is an interesting and amusing thought … but is it TRUE? That is what one person looked …

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August 3, 2012 • News

Why We Will Probably NEVER Know the Whole Truth About ‘Fracking’

Is Fracking – the nickname for the process of releasing natural gas by using water, salt, and sand to fracture rocks – safe? I don’t know … and I am beginning to think we will NEVER know for sure. There are three main reasons for this: – What constitutes ‘fracking’ varies according to who you …

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August 2, 2012 • Music Diary, News

GE Engineer Composes with the Sounds of Engine Knock

I don’t recall when I first heard ‘industrial music’, but it was probably in the late 1970s when I first heard the group Throbbing Gristle on the local Harvard College radio station. I was attracted to some artists in the genre who would incorporate ‘musique concrete’ into their works – recordings of actual street or …

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July 30, 2012 • Gear Bits, Music Diary

Non-News of the Day – Pop Music Getting Louder and Harmonically Bland

There has been loads of talk in recent years about the loss in dynamic range of music – the so-called ‘loudness wars’. Basically, to make the quick impression required by the short-attention span internet age listener, a song needs to ‘pop’ and has about 10-15 seconds to do it. The quick cure for that is …

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July 23, 2012 • Editorials, Gaming

New ‘Active Gaming’ Doesn’t Change Reality of Couch-Bound Stereotype; also, ‘Brain Games’ Doesn’t Work

There are a number of stereotypes surrounding gamers: such as that of the male anti-social, under-hygenic basement dweller toiling away the hours on Dungeons & Dragons fantasy games; or the ultraviolent shooter player who is a bit ‘off’, also an outsider, one round of Doom/Halo/Call of Duty from wiping out his high school/college/post office; and …

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July 23, 2012 • News

At SemiCon Technical Conference, 450mm Silicon Gets REAL!

If you have never worked in the semiconductor industry, much of what goes on seems like intentionally obfuscated jargon and black magic. And for many years it was – or at least it seemed to be – as empirical knowledge outstripped theoretical understanding, and yields were more a factor of skilled process engineers at the …

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July 17, 2012 • Gear Bits, News

New Synthetic Polymer Helps Solve ‘Sticky’ Chewing Gum Messes

When was the last time you were walking on a beautiful paved path, sitting on a bench, walking through a school or shopping area … and you DIDN’T see wads of used chewing gum dropped on the ground, stuck to walls and doors and desks and so on? Or watched a teen blow a massive …

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July 7, 2012 • Gear Bits

Streaming Video and the Deaf Communtity: The Good and the Bad

I am fascinated by the ways technology can open up the world and make it more accessible for people with disabilities. What is a convenience for you and me may be a life changer for someone else. Unfortunately, sometimes technology outpaces itself, and leaves the accessibility features playing catch-up. It is something of a mixed …

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