Questions in the Science & Nature category.
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In the late 1990s I attended one of Edward Tufte's day-long seminars. Tufte screened several short films for us, including "Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase", "Powers of Ten", and another short presenting a series of visual proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem. There are a variety of such films out there on the tubes, but can anyone help identify which one Tufte is likely to have chosen? [more inside]
I'm writing an SF story which involves something akin to a space station/industrial complex in orbit around Neptune. I need to know whether Neptune ever goes completely behind the Sun when seen from Earth and if so for how long, or whether the line of sight between Earth and Neptune just grazes the edge of the Sun. [more inside]
My wife brought home this flower, which looks sort of like a fuzzy ear of corn made out of cotton on some very spiky leaves. Any hints on what it is? I've used online resources to no avail.
Purchase of a cheap mask & snorkel has shown me that the surf zone of east coast beaches is an ecosystem chick full of crabs & fish & more- totally amazing! Within 2 feet of shore (in surf, not in tide pools) we recently found tiny puffer fish, pipefish & one mystery fish - what is this fish? pic 1 pic 2 (Found all over beaches of Martha's Vineyard. It's about 3 inches long, has wing-like fins that it uses to scoot along the sandy bottom. Some were all light brown, some had a lot more white. Pics look weird as the fish is inside an old 2 liter soda bottle.)
While driving home from work yesterday afternoon during somewhat-cloudy daylight, I suddenly noticed a bright bluish glow on nearby objects, heard a loud hum that sounded like it had 60/120ish Hz components, and felt a strange tingling/vibrating sensation in my upper body. When I got home, I checked the power company's outage map and saw that there was a ~500-customer outage centered around the area where this happened, which started around the time I drove through the area. The stated cause of the outage was "equipment problem." Because of this, I am guessing there was some kind of fault in the roadside electric distribution system which caused all of this, and I have some questions about what might have happened. [more inside]
Dear academics who use online questionnaires in your research: help me understand how you get those questionnaires online and go about using them. I want to help make them better. [more inside]
I read an interesting analogy a few years back about the brain and how decisions are made prior to your consciousness realizing that a decision has been made. It was something along the lines of your consciousness being the queen while something else was doing the real thinking and then convincing the queen it was her idea all along.. Although I think there were three parts at play. Does this ring a bell with anyone?
Do these photos taken on Saturday near Barry's Bay, Ontario show the northern lights? I checked with a compass and they were definitely in the northern part of the sky. To the naked eye, it just looked like vague brightness. Aside from rotation and cropping, these photos are straight from the camera, processed from RAW in Lightroom. [more inside]
Our DIYbio group in Toronto recently finished all the chapters with review questions from Molecular Biology of the Cell. We're looking for a new biology book (or books) to tackle. Any suggestions?
I want to see a graphical representation of the moon and it's phase, elevation and path across the sky for my specific geographical location. You know, watch the moon come up on the right place on the horizon, with the crescent (or whatever) at the right angle, move across the sky at the right elevation, and with time indicators. Want to watch it on my PC. Is there a website, app or whatever (yeah I'm not too computer smart) that will do this?
I have heard and read that psychedelics like LSD and shrooms act on serotonin receptors and that once those receptors fill up (either with actual serotonin or antagonists) no additional effect will be felt from taking a higher dose. I would really like to find actual academic references about this, but all I'm seeing is casual comments on message boards, backed up with nothing. Unfortunately, my Google Fu is failing me here and it's driving me crazy. [more inside]
I am using 100 volt 50/60 amp electrical devices in a 220 volt country. I have a few 100 watt transformers (100 volt to 220 volt) which are used for individual items. This is working well. I have additional questions regarding voltage transforming and surge protectors. Please join me inside: [more inside]
So last night we packed up the car and enacted our yearly late summer ritual of NOT seeing the Perseids, except, breaking with tradition we actually saw something. How big are the objects we saw burning up in the atmosphere? Grain of rice? Tennis ball? VW Beatle? Your Mama?
I do not have a math background, but I have been learning statistics for work and while I understand the concepts, I am having a really hard time reading mathematical notation (proofs, formulas, etc). It feels like I missed the 101 class in reading the language of mathematics. Are there particularly good resources out there on reading Mathematical Notation?
I've been chewing on the Fano plane a lot these last few weeks, and have just noticed something that seems really interesting to me. Notably, that the seven lines of the plane map very nicely to the 7-color hexagonal tiling. [more inside]
I've been reading about SC CO2 extraction. CO2 is neutral in charge (as I have come to understand), so I am uncertain how it attracts the stuff (caffeine, cannaboids, antioxidants, et al.) that it draws out in this process. Does the charge change in the fluid state? You don't have to explain it like I'm 5, more like I took Chem 101 a long time ago.
I'm looking for your best dark sky recommendation near Harwich on the Cape to enjoy the Perseid meteor shower this week! Thanks!
My brother-in-law who is a guitarist and guitar collector wants to paint a pre-CBS Fender Stratocaster in the original 'Sonic Blue' colour that the company sold in the early 1960s (used by John Lennon amongst others). The trouble is that if you google this you end up with several different versions of the colour that vary in terms of their blue/green balance, saturation etc. So the question is, without getting into the philosophy of colour perception, is there an easy way to obtain the right colour of paint? [more inside]