Sunday, 23 November 2014

Entertainment stuff from the week 17-23/11/14

Hi beardies,

ISIHAC is back! Yay :-D

'Series 62 - Episode 1'

Want to hear what it sounds like to land on a comet? Well, this it:

'Scientists record thud of Philae's comet landing'

Short and crunchy :-D

'What Philae did in its 60 hours on Comet 67P'

'What is the difference between asteroids and comets?'

Following the Ukippers' 100% increase in MPs (now 2) there has been a barrage of fascism-fawning churnalism. So let's have some Thump instead...

{On the subject of fawning churnalism -- where's the 'outcry' about deranged monarchists corrupting UK democracy?}

'ISIS leader endorses UKIP candidate'

'‘Send em back where they came from’ officially 2014’s top performing political slogan'
“For some reason the idea of displacing millions of hard working people really resonated with the public – no, I don’t know why either.”

'Farage erection enters 7th hour'
"As his party won its second MP via Mark Reckless in the Rochester & Stroud by-election, Nigel Farage is said to be sporting a tumescence that full-time workers in the adult film industry would be proud of."
{Incidentally, if you happen to have a priapism that lasts longer than 4 hours, then you should head to your local A&E, straight away!}

'New bio-bus to run on bullshit election manifestos'
"The eco-friendly vehicle can travel up to 300km (186 miles) on one tank of gas, which in tests can be filled just by the Education section of the Liberal Democrats manifesto from 2010.The eco-friendly vehicle can travel up to 300km (186 miles) on one tank of gas, which in tests can be filled just by the Education section of the Liberal Democrats manifesto from 2010."

'US adds FIFA to Axis of Evil'
“They’ve accepted bribes, they’ve given bribes, they flout local regulations, they run an active slave trade, they worship the devil, they leave the toilet seat up, they don’t serve dolphin-friendly tuna, and we have a great deal of evidence to suggest it was them who attached a pogo-stick to the bottom of the Philae lander.”

'Letter delivery at risk because we only made £200m profit in 6 months, confirms Royal Mail'

The more there is of something, the more of a threat it presents. Bowl of rice, anyone?

'Don’t freak out over eating rice'

"Rice is an important staple for many people, and the arsenic levels that FDA found in the samples it evaluated were too low to cause any immediate or short-term adverse health effects. All consumers, including pregnant women, infants and children, are encouraged to eat a well-balanced diet for good nutrition and to minimize potential adverse consequences from consuming an excess of any one food."

There simply isn't enough arsenic in rice products to warrant evasion. Just don't subscribe a to a pseudoscientific food fad (like GCB) and eat only huge amounts of rice.

That's why you should always eat a balanced diet - to even out your intake of helpful chemicals, and poisonous ones, so that you maximise what you need, and minimise what you don't.


Thursday 25th November marks the 155th anniversary of the publication of the first edition of 'On The Origin Of Species' by Charles Darwin

In other news:

People in Peru appear to believe that pur
éeing the skin of an endangered frog, and drinking it, is an advisable, admirable, efficacious health panacea! It's called 'Rana y maca', and is a pointless threat to the endangered species Telmatobius culeus, which is known as the 'scrotum' frog after the excessive skin that helps it respire at high altitudes. This behaviour is mirrored all around the world, in slaughtering wildlife for I-SCAM industry fake medicine. This kind of thing really contradicts the idea that an anti-scientific 'alternative' lifestyle is a 'greeny' in-touch-with-nature mode of living!
{Amphibians can breathe through their skin, so having extra skin is like having bigger lungs}

Lonsdaleite - named after famous crystallographer Kathleen Lonsdale - is a very hard form of diamond, often found around asteroid and meteorite impacts. Research might have ended half a century's debate about how lonsdaleite manages to be harder than 'regular' diamond, and what makes it so. It seems lonsdaleite is basically the same as cubic diamond, but its structure is full of repeating flaws (presumably due to a huge impact e.g. meteorite impact) that act like metal atoms in alloys like brass, where they prevent the layers of atoms around them from sliding past each other. This makes the material overall much harder. Further lonsdaleite research could produce new highs of material hardness.

Want to conceal a doughnut from discovery? If so, then John Howell and Joseph Choi, at the University of Rochester, have just the device for you. It's the first device to be able to 'cloak' (as in make apparently invisible) objects across a wide angle, but they do this by deviating light around the centre. This means centred objects can't be cloaked. That's why objects can only be hidden if they're within a doughnut-shaped region around the axis of the lens - hence why it would be good for hiding doughnuts. I'm not sure how useful this would be in practice, but every quantum of evidence helps to understand the potential mechanics of invisibility :-D

A man has used a technique called 'multiphoton lithography' to 3D-print nano-scale sculptures, ranging from the width of a human hair, to hundredths of that width. Basically, the technique is like spot-welding in miniature, but with polymer instead of metal, and light instead of scorchingly hot exhaust gas. So having scanned a model, and worked out where each spot of melted polymer should go, the computer-controlled process builds up a nano-scale polymer sculpture. Follow the link to see pictures of the result - an 80 x 100 x 20 micron figure called 'Trust'.

I'm not sure what's so brilliant about its thighs, but the brilliant-thighed poison frog of the Amazon Rainforest has just become famous for having a mental map of its surroundings. Because it tends for multiple tadpoles, left in different waterpools, across a 600-metre-diameter area, it has a motive to learn how to get from pool to pool with effectiveness and efficiency. Recognising where they are, and how to get where they need to be, improves their own survival chances, and those of their progeny. Until now, apparently, no frogs have been shown to possess this kind of mental map ability.

Migrating across South America to the Peruvian rainforest now, we find an entomologist, who's uploaded videos of a species of bio-luminescent larva. They use bio-luminescence in the same way as deep sea Angler Fish - to coax in prey - which they then grab with their huge jaws. The larvae can also control when they emit light - only when in a hunting position. Which adult species they grow into is currently a matter of speculation - insect larvae famously look nothing like their adult forms! Follow the link to see a video:

------------------------------------------------------ contemporary stuff

'Do Beards Make Men Sexier? - A Week in Science'

'Secrets of Sex @ Ri Lates'
Sally Le Page's 20 minute show at the Ri's Faraday Theatre... in chunks.

'Quantum Cheshire Cat - Sixty Symbols'

'Science Bulletins: Egg Patterns Identify Intruders'

'Light Bulb in Hydrofluoric Acid (HF)'

'It's All Just Chemistry'
The bread-mat reference:

'Ban Feminism?'
Do you remember when feminists tried to ban the word 'bossy'? Well now they've received a dose of their own medicine... and they don't like it. It seems banning the word 'feminist' is a banning that has been banned :-D

'The Imitation Game Reaction'
Follow the link in the description box for a much more in-depth scrutinisation of the ins and outs of the film. It's a really good review :-)
And skip to 7" on the SGU for a review of 'Interstellar'. It gets far more stars (black holes?) than TIG ;-)

'Johnny Depp buys a bath in Norwich'Stop the Press! ...They keep publishing fatuous stories :-D

'The Expert (Short Comedy Sketch)'
Funnily enough, it is possible to produce all of the required phenomena. It's just not possible to draw them all on a page :-D

------------------------------------------------------ of the weeks

Word Of The Week: potable -- safe to drink; drinkable (through latin for 'i drink')

Scientific Pwnage Quote Of The Week: "...I do think that a really good idea, for environmental reasons, is really getting good at growing meat tissue in labs. That solves all our problems. And obviously the technology isn't there yet, but most people have like a gut reaction of "Ewww, that's icky" and "That's unnatural". Well guess what: the entirety of human civilisation has been us building a giant, middle-finger-shaped monument toward nature! Very few things we do are 'natural' and that's a good thing." - Q-Dragon

Legal Quote Of The Week: "Even unpleasant people are entitled to justice" - Ian Cambridge, Fair Work Commissioner

------------------------------------------------------ non-contemporary stuff

'NASA issues 'remastered' view of Jupiter's moon Europa'
An old image, remastered. Plus a video about the featured moon - Europa.

'Two new Chandra images of supernova remnants reveal intricate structures left behind'
Follow the link for some wordy stuff and a picture

'The inventor of predictive text...'

'At airport...'

'The Two Ronnies: Mastermind'

'Switching Bodies (series)'
I have no idea whether this series is going to continue, but here's it, so far.

'Switching Bodies - Episode 1 {The Kloons}'

'Switching Bodies - Episode 2 {The Kloons}'

'Switching Bodies - Episode 3 - {The Kloons}'

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