Questions in the Science & Nature category.
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August 14

Where to find eclipse glasses in Seattle?

I have come to terms with the fact that the eclipse glasses I ordered online are never going to arrive. I am struggling to find them locally (Seattle, WA). Is there anywhere that definitely has some in stock? [more inside]
posted by Behemoth, in no. 302-bis, with the Browning at 7:23 PM - 12 answers

August 12

Can you help identify this large bug?

What is this bug? We are in Newfoundland. It doesn't seem to have antennas (antenni?). Hand for scale. My seven-year-old really wants to know...
posted by Brodiggitty at 1:37 PM - 3 answers

Where to donate to fight climate change?

I'd like to make a donation to some international organization whose main focus is combating climate change. It's ok if they work on other environmental issues as well, but the thing I'm most concerned about is climate change and would like to see the majority of my money spent there. It also should be international, as opposed to US-centric. Does anybody know of some good ones?
posted by destrius at 1:44 AM - 5 answers

August 10

Eclipse Safety

Help me feel safe about looking at the Sun, even though I understand my hardware has been deemed safe. [more inside]
posted by Pig Tail Orchestra at 3:40 PM - 6 answers

August 9

Help me see the eclipse in and/or near Columbia, South Carolina!

Driving down Monday morning from Charlotte into the PATH OF TOTALITY, and don't have a real plan. Want to avoid as much traffic as possible, and make sure we have a clear viewing site. Could be a field or a parking lot. Send me your suggestions! [more inside]
posted by knownassociate at 7:13 AM - 10 answers

August 8

A buttercup plant: Japanese library edition. Tell me more, please.

Record 1,000,000,000 (one billion) in OCLC's WorldCat is a plant in the buttercup family. The original entry in Chiba University repository is (both Japanese and English versions) mostly in Japanese, which unfortunately I don't speak. Struggling with Google Translate. Can you provide more information in English on this particular plant and/or catalog entry?
posted by Wordshore at 9:12 AM - 6 answers

August 7

The (false) belief that climate change causes weather

Weather is local, climate change is global. The former cannot be attributed to the latter. This is what I've always believed because it's what I remember hearing climatologists say. Meanwhile, newspapers and news channels again and again attribute extreme weather to climate change. Either I'm wrong or they're wrong. [more inside]
posted by BadgerDoctor at 5:06 PM - 22 answers

August 6

Recommendations for books about 40 year old space probes

After the recent wonderful NYT article on the ageing scientists and engineers of the two Voyagers, still silently transmitting from outside the heliosphere ( the Voyagers, not the engineers), I wonder whether I could get some recommendations on literature about the probes' journey and discoveries.
posted by fordiebianco at 11:19 PM - 5 answers

August 3

Where in the neighborhood do we watch the eclipse?

I suggested an eclipse viewing party for my office and the higher-ups loved the idea, so I bought some eclipse glasses and am ready to get our eclipse on. But I have also been tasked with finding the best viewing location in our neighborhood and I'm kind of stumped. I'm in NYC and my office is right by the South Street Seaport. The eclipse will be peaking around 2:45. Is there a way to determine where in the sky the sun will be around then? Do I just find high ground? (Part of me wants to say we all go on the Brooklyn Bridge but that sounds like it would be ridiculously crowded.) This may be super obvious but I'm drawing a blank and welcome any and all suggestions.
posted by Neely O'Hara at 8:41 PM - 8 answers

August 1

Houseplant ID, please I want this. It's in the window of a gift shop. It gets very bright, unobscured east light, and seems to be thriving for at least a year now. Owner of the shop doesn't want to sell, and has no idea what the name of the plant is. Any ideas?
posted by jeff-o-matic at 1:13 PM - 10 answers

Eclipse viewing on Cape Cod?

I will be on Cape Cod during the eclipse. Nowhere near totality, but it looks like we'll be able to see something. Is there a particularly good place to view it, or will any beach do? And where can we buy or get glasses? [more inside]
posted by john_snow at 8:12 AM - 9 answers

if a wired microphone fell into pool would you be electrocuted?

I read a story about a pastor being electrocuted from a wired mic at a baptismal, but the blame was put on faulty heater wiring and grounding. If the heater had not been faulty, would touching a wired mic or it falling into be fatal or would it just give a shock? if someone jumped in after (let's say to save the person) would they also be shocked? Like does the water become a hotbed of electricity or would it wear off?
posted by soooo at 5:11 AM - 8 answers

July 31

Is there a word for only giving people you like the benefit of the doubt

For example: Person A has a messy home so he's a slob (said of someone you don't know very well,could be from a race or class you're prejudiced against, but may very well be not), but Person B must be just going thru a rough time (said of someone you like or of a close friend or family member). [more inside]
posted by serena15221 at 9:22 AM - 8 answers

July 30

Is this a bed bug?

Two honest seeming employees at my well rated, apparently clean hotel are very confident that the bug I saw (Picture of suspect) in my bathroom is not a bed bug. I actually don't think that it's a bed bug either, judging from a google image search. Still, I'd like an objective, expert opinion. [more inside]
posted by stuart_s at 2:16 AM - 7 answers

July 28

Where do progressive evolutionary biologists ask each other questions?

I am looking for a forum or discussion group (think: metafilter, reddit) specialised on evolutionary biology, and even more so on questions of symbiogenesis, horizontal gene transfer and other "lateral" processes in evolution. What I found are forums for general discussions on evolution (versus creation, on Darwinism etc.) – these do not interest me. The place I'm looking for could be a newsgroup or even a group on facebook, where, for instance, PhD-students or science writers exchange & discuss their work, or just meet up. Anyone knows the place to go?
posted by megob at 5:42 AM - 11 answers

July 25

Is there actually a trend here, or just movement around the mean?

'The sky is falling!' Or is it? I have a number for each of the last six years after the fold. Is there really a downward trend, or just entirely normal, expected variation, or are there not enough data to tell? [more inside]
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:57 PM - 17 answers

Need Songs for Eclipse Playlist

So far, I've got: Total Eclipse of the Heart, Bonnie Tyler You're So Vain, Carly Simon Blackhole Sun, Soundgarden Blinded By The Light, the Boss I'd be very interested in covers or alternative takes on any songs. Thanks,
posted by at at 3:43 PM - 31 answers

July 23

Tilt a Whirl Math

I'm looking to understand the mathematics of how a Tilt a Whirl chair moves. When I was recently in Seaside, OR, I was watching the Tilt a Whirl that operates in the downtown. The entire machine is a disk-like platform that rotates on an angle. [more inside]
posted by CollectiveMind at 11:01 AM - 10 answers

July 20

How is graticule made?

I'd like to know why latitude and longitude are parallels and meridians and why they converge at the north pole. Maybe because degree grid cells break up into nice squares near the equator and mid-latitudes, but then fall apart at the poles (i.e., what time is it there? It seems totally arbitrary). Was this planned somehow? Did Eratosthenes or Hipparchus have a justification for the fact that meridians to go N-S and the parallels E-W, when it could just as easily have been the reverse? [more inside]
posted by stinker at 2:44 AM - 11 answers

July 19

Should I buy a haven in case of climate change?

Should I find a piece land to buy that I could move to decades from now, in case of severe climate change effects? If so, where? How about Fairbanks, Alaska? [more inside]
posted by daisyace at 4:12 AM - 31 answers

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