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.