Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Solar Impulse – First Flight

April 7, 2010

Other movies can be found here.

Athlete’s Foot

November 18, 2009

Sprinters are different from other people:

Dr Lee and Dr Piazza already knew that sprinters tend to have a higher proportion of fast-twitching muscle fibres in their legs than more sedentary folk can muster. (These fibres, as their name suggests, provide instant anaerobic pulling power, rather than the sustained, oxygen-consuming effort that is needed by longer-distance runners.) They suspected, though, that they would find differences in the bone structure as well. And they did.

They looked at seven university sprinters who specialise in the 100-metre dash and five 200-metre specialists, and compared them with 12 non-athletic university students of the same height. In particular, they looked at the sizes of bones of the toes and heel. They also used ultrasonic scanning to measure the sliding motion of the Achilles tendons of their volunteers as their feet moved up and down. This allowed them to study the length of the lever created by the tendon as it pulls on the back of the heel to make the foot flex and push off the ground.

Rain Drops

November 18, 2009

A 3QD find. When you shoot video of water drops falling into a puddle in super slow motion, it turns out that they bounce in really interesting ways.

Addicted to Cute

November 8, 2009

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Jim Windolf explores the science behind adorable animals:

“It’s part of our DNA to react to cute things,” says Meg Frost, who founded Cute Overload in 2005. “What makes me post certain pictures is if I have an audible reaction—a squeal—when I see the picture. I’m kind of annoyed at myself for having no control over thinking these things are so cute. […]

Specifically, [biologist Melanie] Glocker’s series of experiments demonstrated that the act of looking at baby pictures stirs up an ancient part of the brain called the nucleus accumbens. “It’s in the midbrain,” Glocker says, with a slight Teutonic accent, “which is an evolutionarily older part of the brain involved in reward processing. This region has also been shown to be activated by a variety of rewarding stimuli, including sexual stimuli, food stimuli, and drug stimuli.” Dr. Glocker is too much of a scientist to say so, but her experiments more or less prove that cuteness is physically addicting.

And FU Penguin fights back the addictive urge to cuddle this cute one.

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This dog’s name is Snapdragon, which not coincidentally is the PERFECT FUCKING NAME for this Muppet-looking motherfucker. I was sent in this picture by a person pretending to be the owner, but honestly is there any possible way this is a real dog? And if it is a real dog, it should be taken away because it is clearly fucking out of its mind high. THERE IS NO WAY I’M COMING TO SIT ON THAT COUCH WITH YOU, DOG. I don’t care how many episodes of Planet Earth you have cued up.