Questions in the Science & Nature category.
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March 30

Witty engineers with an interest in climate science?

Seeking learned suggestions/contributions for slightly messed up anti-climate-trolling mother/daughter project. [more inside]
posted by 8k at 5:28 PM - 4 answers

Climbing Olympus Mons

Based on what we currently know from satellite imagery, would summiting Olympus Mons be likely to require technical climbing skills, or would it just be a long, long walk up?
posted by chimpsonfilm at 4:36 PM - 8 answers

Water physics

Earlier today I was warming up a test tube in chem lab by placing its bottom in a warm stream of water from a faucet and I noticed something peculiar; the stream of water seemed to capture the test tube and hold it in place. [more inside]
posted by aldurtregi at 9:35 AM - 4 answers

March 29

A Very Frosty Law & Order

In this Law & Order Episode, a corpse was found that had been frozen for "4 or 5 years"...but how could they tell? Freezer burn? [more inside]
posted by Toddles at 8:59 PM - 7 answers

March 28

Spring is here! So are the frogs. Help me!

I have a completely irrational but very persistent fear of frogs. Has anyone else experienced this fear and overcome it? What worked for you? [more inside]
posted by RingerChopChop at 8:10 AM - 8 answers

March 26

Using enrichment technology to fight climate change: how ridiculous?

If enriching uranium with a gas centrifuge costs 50 to 60 kW·h (180–220 MJ) of electricity per SWU, is it possible to adapt the formulas given there to calculate the energy needed to extract pure CO2 directly from the atmosphere? (assuming e.g. 0.04% concentration). Asking as a complete science n00b.
posted by ianso at 6:43 AM - 10 answers

March 17

If your uncle could also be your half-brother, is there no point?

I have a family member who I've been told is my uncle, but could very well be my half-brother (almost 50 years ago, my father slept with his mother, who was married to my father's father at the time). I really want to know what the truth is: is this relative my uncle, or my half-brother? [more inside]
posted by human ecologist at 8:21 PM - 23 answers

What are these white bugs I saw spawning in the woods?

One July a few years back, my friend and I went camping in in the Catskills. [more inside]
posted by andromache at 8:20 PM - 5 answers

March 13

Where to find big, open datasets that are related to the life sciences?

Science Hivemind: Datasets Needed! I just learned about some INCREDIBLE tools for doing data analysis with students. Now I need raw data for my students to work with. [more inside]
posted by thelastpolarbear at 11:26 AM - 14 answers

March 10

Lasers- more effective than laying on hands?

My veterinarian has recently started using "healing lasers" as part of dental treatments, among other things. The information they provided said that the laser is used outside the animal's mouth, and it... somehow penetrates and reduces pain and inflammation? I'm not real clear on how it's supposed to work, and it kind of sounds like a more science-y version of crystals and chanting to me. Is this a real thing? [more inside]
posted by Adridne at 2:16 PM - 11 answers

March 9

What is the enthalpy of formation of trichloroisocyanuric acid?

[ChemFilter, asking for a teacher friend] I'm designing an exercise on the heat released in the decomposition of trichloroisocyanuric acid (aka Symclosene) but I'm missing a crucial piece of information! [more inside]
posted by Elachim at 10:33 PM - 1 answers

Feeling Superior: Limited to Humans?

Is feeling superior to others a purely human trait? And I'll add that I know the "survival of the fittest" is instinctive in many species. But I'm speaking of a more reasoned decision to feel superior to others.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 12:10 PM - 9 answers

What? Nevermind, got it.

Someone will say a sentence, and at first I won't process what the person said, but after a second my brain will catch up, and I'll understand what was said. What is this called? [more inside]
posted by rebooter at 10:44 AM - 19 answers

I'd Like to Stop Feeding You Now

This winter has been very hard on the wild birds in our area due to the very cold and very snowy conditions. I fed the birds years ago for about a month but had stopped due to 1) raccoons and 2) feral cats (who live nearby at a farm). However this winter I saw an article in our local paper on wild birds having a tough time and had seen some birds pecking at a frozen bush by our house. We live in a large wooded lot and in the summer there is plenty of local stuff around. So I fed the birds since January. Because of the cold and snow - other then the occasional fat squirrel, I haven't seen any raccoons or cats. Knowing nothing of wild birds and their proclivities, I'd like to stop come spring. Is this something bird people do? I remember vaguely an old saying that the birds come to rely on your feeder. Can you just feed the birds during winter months and stop when snow melts? It seems stupid to ask but there aren't too many people who feed birds anymore in my area.
posted by lasamana at 6:28 AM - 10 answers

March 8

What is this bird?

I live in Hawaii, on the big island, in Kona. I have a slightly annoying bird that lives nearby and I cannot identify it. Here are two so-so recordings of the bird... which sounds like a car alarm. What is it? Thanks!
posted by roygbv at 7:52 PM - 3 answers

March 7

Looking for spacecraft/radiosonde data sounds

I collect radio sounds, with the eventual intention of publishing a curated list and, possibly, making music based around that collection. I have a fair amount of space-based sounds, but I'd really like to find the 'actual sound' of spacecraft radio - in other words, what you'd hear if you could listen to the baseband after AM or FM demodulation (even if they're not AM/FM signals) but before decoding. [more inside]
posted by Devonian at 7:23 AM - 8 answers

How much of a danger/problem is the sun in Australia?

How much of a danger/problem is the sun in Australia? [more inside]
posted by sunflower16 at 3:37 AM - 20 answers

March 4

Source/original version of Super-Kamiokande Photo

This is one of my favourite photos ever. A worker bowing their head in front of the Super-Kamiokande neutrino detector, in Japan. I recently came across it again after many internet years, but can't find a larger - or the original - version. Any ideas?
posted by 0bvious at 5:17 PM - 5 answers

What was the weather in New York City on May 23, 1838?

I know you weren't there. Can you point me to a report from someone who was?
posted by John Borrowman at 4:03 PM - 11 answers

February 28

What plant is this? filter.

Help us identify this plant! [more inside]
posted by simulacra at 10:12 PM - 5 answers

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