MIT has created “Blackist” material known so far

From Engadget

Good news for goths — black somehow just got even blacker. MIT engineers have cooked up a material that’s 10 times blacker than anything else previously reported. Capturing more than 99.96 percent of any incoming light, the material is made of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs) grown on chlorine-etched aluminium foil. And it was discovered by accident.

Engadget. Link above.

New Kilogram Definition

Good article about changing the definition of what a kilogram really is.

The kilogram has been defined since 1889 by a shiny piece of platinum-iridium held in Paris. All modern mass measurements are traceable back to it – from micrograms of pharmaceutical medicines to kilos of apples and pears and tonnes of steel or cement.

The problem is, the “international prototype kilogram” doesn’t always weigh the same. Even inside its three glass bell jars, it gets dusty and dirty, and is affected by the atmosphere. Sometimes, it really needs a wash.

via Reuters

Water Worlds

Great article in Scientific American about debate on whether life would exist or not on a world made up of water.

I like the comment near the bottom of the article about comparing everything to Earth and why it is not always a good idea.

“I think it could be dangerous just thinking about everything in an Earth-mindset,” Ramirez says. “You might be missing out on other possibilities.”

I still feel a bit of arrogance from the scientific community about life on other planets. You can’t armchair quarterback the universe and the only way you are ever going to know what these worlds are like — is to VISIT them.

In unrelated news…I still think it is super cool that I can copy a link on my iPad and paste that link into my MacBook Pro. </end geek moment>

Why People are Growing Weary of Scientific Conclusions

This story is a perfect example of how science makes leaps without actually doing any of the research.

Here is a story about what the brain does when changing focus or losing attention; you can call it anything you like. The study was conducted on humans…oh wait…it wasn’t.

When your attention shifts from one place to another, your brain blinks. The blinks are momentary unconscious gaps in visual perception and came as a surprise to the team of Vanderbilt psychologists who discovered the phenomenon while studying the benefits of attention.

This is not about the human brain. It is about what they saw in an animal’s brain.

The research was conducted with macaque monkeys that were trained to shift their attention among different objects on a display screen while the researchers monitored the pattern of neuron activity taking place in their brains. Primates are particularly suited for the study because they can shift their attention without moving their eyes. Most animals do not have this ability.

Science means data which means accuracy to me. Those things have to be important for the process to work properly. There was a time when scientists didn’t report on something until their testing was completed.

Someday & Stuff

Someday, I’ll get back to regular posting. After this holiday season me thinks.

Here are a few stories that I’ve saved for no particular reason at all other than “they caught my eye.”

How to make the perfect hamburger using liquid nitrogen.

Clay Shirky on the future of news and news media.

Another Earth?

Special seats at the theater for folks who like to tweet.

U.S. Cellular says they’ll wait until Apple adopts LTE before they decide to sell the iPhone. Apple says..”zzzzzzzzz.”

Carbon Dioxide is outed as being much to do about nothing as far as global warming science is concerned.

Top 10 Brain Myths

I found this article during my morning read. I can’t say that I agree with everything 100% because of speculation on the part of the author or the “so-called” scientific expert.

Here’s a small blurb about alcoholism

brain-myth-cell.jpg

Even in alcoholics, alcohol use doesn’t actually result in the death of brain cells. It can, however, damage the ends of neurons, which are called dendrites. This results in problems conveying messages between the neurons. The cell itself isn’t damaged, but the way that it communicates with others is altered. According to researchers such as Roberta J. Pentney, professor of anatomy and cell biology at the University at Buffalo, this damage is mostly reversible.

The Ring

Years ago. My little brother found a class ring buried in the dirt near the corner stone of our church.

Our goal. To find out who owns the ring and to return it to it’s rightful owner.

We have almost no information to go on.

This will be fun.

UPDATE: 09/16/08 – I haven’t really had time to formally begin the investigation. I’ll keep everyone posted.

Scientists Confirm: They Don’t Know Anything!

It’s almost like watching a train wreck. I love watching scientists trying to figure something out only to turn around and claim that they really don’t know anything.

To me, they could save so much time if they just admitted their ignorance in the first place. Ha!

This story comes from National Geographic

Far from besting their competitors in a long struggle to become Earth’s dominant land animals, dinosaurs may have just gotten lucky, new research suggests.

The first dinosaurs appeared during the late Triassic period about 240 million years ago.

Their main competitors were a closely related group of reptiles called the crurotarsans, from which modern crocodiles and alligators descended.

Crurotarsans and dinosaurs coexisted for about 30 million years. But about 200 million years ago, Earth suffered a mass extinction, possibly caused by rapid global warming.

Wow. We Didn’t Explode

The collider didn’t destroy half the planet as many had predicted.

from the AP

GENEVA (AP) — The world’s largest particle collider passed its first major tests by firing two beams of protons in opposite directions around a 17-mile (27-kilometer) underground ring Wednesday in what scientists hope is the next great step to understanding the makeup of the universe.
After a series of trial runs, two white dots flashed on a computer screen at 10:26 a.m. (0826 GMT) indicating that the protons had traveled clockwise along the full length of the 4 billion Swiss franc (US$3.8 billion) Large Hadron Collider — described as the biggest physics experiment in history.