Amusing Science

We are the Borg.
Rob Lister
Posts: 23527
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 7:15 pm
Title: Incipient toppler
Location: Swimming in Lake Ed

Re: Amusing Science

That's pretty cool. My pappy was there when they invented red and green.

Witness
Posts: 34372
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm

Re: Amusing Science

Witness
Posts: 34372
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm

Re: Amusing Science

Scientists believe that a function of a zebra’s stripes is to deter insects, so a team or researchers painted black and white stripes on several cows and discovered that it reduced the number of biting flies landing on the cows by more than 50%.

You may also want to read about Blaschko’s Lines.
Witness
Posts: 34372
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm

Re: Amusing Science

People With This Mutation Can’t Smell Stinky Fish

A very small percentage of people don’t mind the pungent odor of fish, a genetic study found.

A small contingent of the world’s population carries a mutation that makes them immune to the odious funk that wafts off fish, according to a study of some 11,000 people published Thursday in the journal Current Biology. The trait is rare, but potent: When faced with a synthetic odor that would put many people off their lunch, some test subjects smelled only the pleasant aroma of caramel, potato or rose.

The vast majority of people aren’t so lucky. Nearly 98 percent of Icelanders, the research said, are probably as put off by the scent as you’d expect. The mutation is thought to be even rarer in populations in other countries.

“I can assure you I do not have this mutation,” said Dr. Kári Stefánsson, a neurologist and the study’s senior author. “I tend to get nauseated when I get close to fish that is not completely fresh.”

Dr. Stefánsson is the founder and chief executive of deCODE genetics, a biopharmaceutical company in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, which has been parsing the human genome for several decades. The team’s latest caper involved a deep dive into the underappreciated sense of olfaction.

Study participants were asked to take a whiff of six Sniffin’ Sticks — pens imbued with synthetic odors resembling the recognizable scents of cinnamon, peppermint, banana, licorice, lemon and fish. They were asked to identify the smell, then rate its intensity and pleasantness.

The older the study subjects were, the more they struggled to accurately pinpoint the scents. That’s unsurprising, given that sensory functions tend to decline later in life, said Rósa Gísladóttir, the study’s lead author. But even younger people didn’t always hit the mark, she said. The lemon and banana sticks, for instance, prompted descriptions of gummy bears and other candy-sweet smells.

The reek of fish, however, was mostly recognizable and received by far the lowest pleasantness ratings among the six sticks. But a small group of people consistently tolerated or even welcomed the piscine perfume: those born with a genetic mutation that incapacitated a gene called TAAR5.

TAAR5 helps make a protein that recognizes a chemical called trimethylamine, or TMA, that is found in rotten and fermented fish and certain animal bodily fluids, including human sweat and urine.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/08/scie ... genes.html
Witness
Posts: 34372
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm

Re: Amusing Science

robinson
Posts: 13293
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 2:01 am
Location: USA

Re: Amusing Science

still working on Sophrosyne, but I will no doubt end up with Hubris
Witness
Posts: 34372
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm

Re: Amusing Science

“Blessed by the algorithm”: Theistic conceptions of artificial intelligence in online discourse

Abstract

“My first long haul flight that didn’t fill up and an empty row for me. I have been blessed by the algorithm ”.

The phrase ‘blessed by the algorithm’ expresses the feeling of having been fortunate in what appears on your feed on various social media platforms, or in the success or virality of your content as a creator, or in what gig economy jobs you are offered. However, we can also place it within wider public discourse employing theistic conceptions of AI. Building on anthropological fieldwork into the ‘entanglements of AI and Religion’ (Singler 2017a), this article will explore how ‘blessed by the algorithm’ tweets are indicative of the impact of theistic AI narratives: modes of thinking about AI in an implicitly religious way. This thinking also represents continuities that push back against the secularisation thesis and other grand narratives of disenchantment that claim secularity occurs because of technological and intellectual progress. This article will also explore new religious movements, where theistic conceptions of AI entangle technological aspirations with religious ones.
https://link.springer.com/article/10.10 ... 20-00968-2 (full text).
Pyrrho
Posts: 31278
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 2:17 am
Title: Man in Black
Location: Division 6

Re: Amusing Science

The flash of light you saw in the sky was not a UFO. Swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus.
Witness
Posts: 34372
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm

Re: Amusing Science

4 billion years from now, our galaxy, the Milky Way, will collide with our large spiraled neighbour Andromeda. Here's an animation of what it'll look like.

Anaxagoras
Posts: 29248
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:45 am
Location: Yokohama/Tokyo, Japan

Re: Amusing Science

Just a neat boomerang. Skip to 37 seconds to see him throw it.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare
Anaxagoras
Posts: 29248
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:45 am
Location: Yokohama/Tokyo, Japan

Re: Amusing Science

A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare
Witness
Posts: 34372
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm

Re: Amusing Science

Anaxagoras
Posts: 29248
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:45 am
Location: Yokohama/Tokyo, Japan

Re: Amusing Science

Bloody magnets. How do they work?

I have no idea what's going on here, but it looks cool.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare
Rob Lister
Posts: 23527
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 7:15 pm
Title: Incipient toppler
Location: Swimming in Lake Ed

Re: Amusing Science

that too cool
ceptimus
Posts: 1401
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 11:04 pm
Location: UK

Re: Amusing Science

I think that the idea is the magnetic attraction is stronger on the incoming side of the magnets, and weaker on the outgoing side (because there are extra ball bearings or nuts in the magnetic path on the outgoing side). So the outgoing ball (or nail) at each stage goes faster than the incoming one.
It's not free energy because you put lots of energy into the system when you pull the balls off the incoming side of the magnets when you reload the gun for its next shot.
robinson
Posts: 13293
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 2:01 am
Location: USA

Re: Amusing Science

The kinetic energy of the first ball is transferred to the last ball, which is why it moves, but to understand why the ball accelerated you have to think about the poles of the magnets

The very strong magnets are clamped down or they would all move, very fast towards each other

So that third ball is already strongly attracted to the next magnet, when it moves it is already wanting to go towards the next set of magnets, because it is magnetized already

That’s why it escapes so easily, and each collision has more force, because of the nature of magnets

It helps to realize each set of clamped down magnets are already trying to slam together

The ball bearing is like a small piece of the magnet breaking free
still working on Sophrosyne, but I will no doubt end up with Hubris
robinson
Posts: 13293
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 2:01 am
Location: USA

Re: Amusing Science

Watch the 2nd ball bearing, which also moves towards the next magnet

The third ball bearing is barely holding on when the energy is transferred to it
still working on Sophrosyne, but I will no doubt end up with Hubris
Witness
Posts: 34372
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm

Re: Amusing Science

I doubt it qualifies as science, but it's amusing:
Scientists Played Music to Cheese as It Aged. Hip-Hop Produced the Funkiest Flavor

Researchers played nonstop loops of Led Zeppelin, A Tribe Called Quest and Mozart to cheese wheels to find out how sound waves impacted flavor

The creation of good cheese involves a complex dance between milk and bacteria. In a quite literal sense, playing the right tune while this dance unfolds changes the final product’s taste, a new study shows. Denis Balibouse and Cecile Mantovani at Reuters report that hip-hop, for example, gave the cheese an especially funky flavor, while cheese that rocked out to Led Zeppelin or relaxed with Mozart had milder zests.

Last September, Swiss cheesemaker Beat Wampfler and a team of researchers from the Bern University of Arts placed nine 22-pound wheels of Emmental cheese in individual wooden crates in Wampfler’s cheese cellar. Then, for the next six months each cheese was exposed to an endless, 24-hour loop of one song using a mini-transducer, which directed the sound waves directly into the cheese wheels.

The “classical” cheese mellowed to the sounds of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. The “rock” cheese listened to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” An ambient cheese listened to Yello’s “Monolith,” the hip-hop cheese was exposed to A Tribe Called Quest’s “Jazz (We’ve Got)” and the techno fromage raved to Vril’s “UV.” A control cheese aged in silence, while three other wheels were exposed to simple high, medium and low frequency tones.

According to a press release, the cheese was then examined by food technologists from the ZHAW Food Perception Research Group, which concluded that the cheese exposed to music had a milder flavor compared to the non-musical cheese. They also found that the hip-hop cheese had a stronger aroma and stronger flavor than other samples.

The cheeses were then sampled by a jury of culinary experts during two rounds of a blind taste test. Their results were similar to the research group’s conclusions and the hip-hop cheese came out on top.
...
Wampfler also tells the AFP that he can see marketing cheeses based on the music they matured too. Already, he says people have called requesting cheese that has listened to the blues, Balkan music and ACDC. [Of course.]
robinson
Posts: 13293
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 2:01 am
Location: USA

Re: Amusing Science

Was all this double blinded?

Didn't think so. It's just a marketing scam.
still working on Sophrosyne, but I will no doubt end up with Hubris
robinson
Posts: 13293
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 2:01 am
Location: USA

Re: Amusing Science

If it was about changing the bacteria (for whatever reason) they would use frequencies, beats, and double blind it. Find out what what, (if any) is causing a change. By using popular music, it's not science, it's just marketing. This shit was going on in the sixties as well. It turned out to be bogus. a marketing ploy.
still working on Sophrosyne, but I will no doubt end up with Hubris
Anaxagoras
Posts: 29248
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:45 am
Location: Yokohama/Tokyo, Japan

Re: Amusing Science

Worth it just to see how a crowd of random civilians with no leader somehow start walking in step, as if they were marching.

Due to the natural resonant frequency of a bridge.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare
Witness
Posts: 34372
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm

Re: Amusing Science

Latest theological cosmological news:
New study sows doubt about the composition of 70 percent of our universe

Researchers the world over have long believed that 70 percent of the universe is composed of dark energy, a substance that makes it possible for the universe to expand at an ever-increasing rate. But in a new study, University of Copenhagen researchers tested a model which suggests that the universe’s expansion is due to a dark substance with a kind of magnetic force. Should the model stand, it means that dark energy simply doesn’t exist, according to the UCPH professor behind the study.

Until now, researchers have believed that dark energy accounted for nearly 70 percent of the ever-accelerating, expanding universe. For many years, this mechanism has been associated with the so-called cosmological constant, developed by Einstein in 1917, that refers to an unknown repellant cosmic power.

But because the cosmological constant—known as dark energy—cannot be measured directly, numerous researchers, including Einstein, have doubted its existence—without being able to suggest a viable alternative.

Until now. In a new study by researchers at the University of Copenhagen, a model was tested that replaces dark energy with a dark matter in the form of magnetic forces.

“If what we discovered is accurate, it would upend our belief that what we thought made up 70 percent of the universe does not actually exist. We have removed dark energy from the equation and added in a few more properties for dark matter. This appears to have the same effect upon the universe’s expansion as dark energy,” explains Steen Harle Hansen, an associate professor at the Niels Bohr Institute’s DARK Cosmology Centre.

The universe expands no differently without dark energy

The usual understanding of how the universe’s energy is distributed is that it consists of five percent normal matter, 25 percent dark matter and 70 percent dark energy.

In the UCPH researchers’ new model, the 25 percent share of dark matter is accorded special qualities that make the 70 percent of dark energy redundant.

“We don’t know much about dark matter other than that it is a heavy and slow particle. But then we wondered—what if dark matter had some quality that was analogous to magnetism in it? We know that as normal particles move around, they create magnetism. And, magnets attract or repel other magnets—so what if that’s what’s going on in the universe? That this constant expansion of dark matter is occurring thanks to some sort of magnetic force?” asks Steen Hansen.
https://www.science.ku.dk/english/press ... -universe/ for the rest.
Anaxagoras
Posts: 29248
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:45 am
Location: Yokohama/Tokyo, Japan

Re: Amusing Science

Witness wrote: Fri Apr 02, 2021 11:16 pm Latest theological cosmological news:
New study sows doubt about the composition of 70 percent of our universe

Researchers the world over have long believed that 70 percent of the universe is composed of dark energy, a substance that makes it possible for the universe to expand at an ever-increasing rate. But in a new study, University of Copenhagen researchers tested a model which suggests that the universe’s expansion is due to a dark substance with a kind of magnetic force. Should the model stand, it means that dark energy simply doesn’t exist, according to the UCPH professor behind the study.
My understanding is that nobody even knows what "dark energy" is. The term is just a placeholder. Same goes for dark matter.

So in that sense, I'm not sure what they are overthrowing anyway.

"Dark energy" is just "whatever it is that makes the universe expand", and "dark matter" is just "whatever it is that makes the gravity that we can't account for with what we can see". But nobody knows what those things actually are.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare
Witness
Posts: 34372
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm

Re: Amusing Science

↑ That's why I put it here with a snarky comment.

As I (vaguely) understand GR, you have an equation with these terms:

Code: Select all

metrical/geometrical properties (curvature) ~ physical terms (mass, energy, pressure, shear perhaps…)

Now you can (must?) add a constant. If you do it on the left you say something about the geometry or the evolution of space-time (there's a derivative somewhere). If you do it on the right it's about stuff, aka "dark energy". I. e. you "reify" it. Weird.
xouper
Posts: 10120
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 4:52 am
Title: mere ghost of his former self

Re: Amusing Science

Depending on how one wishes to define "amusing" science, I posted in another thread about a free kindle book I got yesterday:
viewtopic.php?p=1060706#p1060706
Witness
Posts: 34372
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm

Re: Amusing Science

For etymology buffs:
Examples of Grimm’s law in English

Here is my ongoing bid to gather all the examples of Grimm’s law in Modern English. What I want most are the Germanic-rooted words and their non-Germanic cognates that are all Modern English words, which means that this list will be made up mostly of Latinate and Greek-rooted Modern English words (and prefixes and suffixes) along with their Modern English cognates that come down from Proto-Germanic. But sometimes I liked the example enough to put it in this list even though the only cognate is a straight-up Latin or Greek word that few English speakers would know. Maybe someday I’ll add all the cognate-sets that I can find in which the only known non-Germanic words aren’t Latin or Greek.
https://www.jpetrie.net/examples-of-gri ... n-english/ for details & lots of fascinating examples.

I've extracted this:

Anaxagoras
Posts: 29248
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:45 am
Location: Yokohama/Tokyo, Japan

Re: Amusing Science

Mmmmm, deuterium oxide!

AKA heavy water.

Rather expensive stuff apparently. A shot glass of it would cost about \$20, which probably makes it more expensive than most single malt whiskeys.

Deuterium is a stable isotope, unlike tritium, so I guess it's safe to drink.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare
Pyrrho
Posts: 31278
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 2:17 am
Title: Man in Black
Location: Division 6

Re: Amusing Science

The flash of light you saw in the sky was not a UFO. Swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus.