Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Science Links of the Day - 23 Sept 2009

Start with a cool video:

An illustration of gyroscopic stabilization.

Secrets of the Gun that Shelled Paris. From an old issue of Popular Mechanics. Don't you wish newspapers and magazines covered science like this today?

RNA produced from "Primordial Soup". Wow. Maybe we can get some of that evolution around here: Too evolved for US audiences?

Costly [British] libel suits are stifling science. Perhaps the starkest indication that parliament needs to examine our libel laws is that American legislators are acting to block them. They recognize that free speech in America is compromised because US journalists have been dragged into an English libel court (so-called “libel tourism”) and forced to back down because of the high costs involved. Congress is considering a bill, which has already been passed by the state of New York, that would make English judgments on libel unenforceable in America.

Fined: for not producing enough garbage. Bike Mechanic Too Efficient. A standard monitoring tactic was used, but with no appeal process, there's an automatic fine for "green" mechanic.

"Catch more flies with honey than vinegar?" - Not so much: To get rid of fruit flies, which are so plentiful this time of year, fill a small dish with about a half a cup of cider vinegar, and add a drop of dishwashing liquid. The cider vinegar gives [off] fumes similar to spoiling fruit, which attracts the flies, while the dishsoap breaks the surface tension. Flies land, flies drown, no more flies! It works like a freakin’ charm, it does. Plus, there’s a morbid sense of satisfaction, seeing how many you can catch in a single day.

Synthetic Humans? On average, one-half of the nitrogen in a human body is synthetic, the product of one of a Haber-Bosch plant.

First ships navigate Northeast passage. 2 German merchant ships, escorted by Russian icebreakers, are navigating Europe-Asia shortcut. Could it be the first time in 5,000+ years the channel is regularly ice-free?

What does space smell like? After reentering the shuttle airlock, a strange smell lingers from space...

Niel DeGrasse Tyson takes on "Intelligent" Design:

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