Questions in the Science & Nature category.
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December 25

Cat floor scratching behavior

My cats scratch the floor sometimes. It seems to have something to do with food. What does this behavior signify?
posted by the barbarita at 10:32 PM - 13 answers

Paris, 1877. Who was the Professor?

I'm in the midst of a research project, and my subject (a first-year medical student in Paris in 1877) mentions taking "...Prof. Frény’s course at the Museum, where I got the honor to be received by him in his laboratory." The student was also taking classes at the Sorbonne at the time. Help me figure out who Prof. Frény was, and which museum is referenced. (And yes, I've already tried Google...) Merci beaucoup!
posted by judith at 6:40 PM - 3 answers

ID this plant, please?

Hello! Can you ID this plant for me? [more inside]
posted by film at 6:02 PM - 7 answers

December 21

How do I interpret air quality numbers?

If an air monitoring station near me says

Ambient Air Quality Standard for PM 2.5:
Annual Standard: 12 µg/m3
Daily Standard: 35 µg/m3 [more inside]
posted by small_ruminant at 9:41 AM - 5 answers

December 19

It's big, it's heavy, it's wood

Do you know where I can watch a video of actual logs rolling into an actual river? [more inside]
posted by benbenson at 8:06 AM - 7 answers

December 16

Calculating radiation received at distance from light source?

How do I calculate the radiation energy that a surface / object receives at distance d from a light source of power W watts? I'm familiar, in theory, with the inverse square law but need help thinking about how to apply it. [more inside]
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 5:50 PM - 6 answers

December 14

Local and Global Energy Expenditure on Finding a Stolen I-Phone

My I-Phone was stolen last night. I have the "Find I-Phone" app and know where it is right down to the address. The phone is 3 years old and outside of a cracked front it works well. [more inside]
posted by goalyeehah at 5:09 PM - 9 answers

Anatomical structures, medical conditions, etc. named after women?

Can you help me find pieces of medical terminology named after women, or female medical eponyms? I'm talking about anatomical structures, diseases, conditions, collections of symptoms - hell, even proteins or genes would work! Wikipedia has a list of human anatomical parts named after people, but none of the people listed appear to be female. [more inside]
posted by lizzicide at 2:37 PM - 6 answers

The Physics of Water Pushed Upwards into a Shoe

My waterproof shoes are now letting water in slightly, but the store, after sitting them in water for a bit, says they do not leak. Seems to me there's a big difference between shoes sitting in a pail vs. shoes pounding the pavement. [more inside]
posted by tenderly at 12:56 PM - 11 answers

December 13

Why my potassium citrate gently weeps

My pillbox is gross, and it seems to be coming from a pill. What the heck? [more inside]
posted by wintersweet at 11:20 PM - 6 answers

December 9

Of Pencils and Pixels

I want to read scholarly work about why doing things with "digital" tools (like word processors or MIDI music keyboards) is experienced differently from doing things with "analog" tools (like typewriters or pianos). [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator at 8:52 AM - 6 answers

December 7

Does a bloodied face signify the end of a fist fight?

I am trying to find some confirmation (or refutation) of the idea that at least in some contexts (schoolyard fisticuffs and other low-stakes, non-lethal brawls) the bloodying of one combatant's face is a kind of an "okay, the fight is over, we have a winner, everyone go home" signal. [more inside]
posted by BleachBypass at 2:21 PM - 9 answers

December 4

What has big data done for us lately?

I'm curious to learn what major scientific (or other) advances have been made using data mining of extremely large datasets (a.k.a. "big data")? [more inside]
posted by stinker at 1:17 AM - 23 answers

December 3

Gödel, Escher, Bach for 11 year olds.

I have a beloved 11 year old nephew who loves programming in Scratch and loves Minecraft. And when he describes his Scratch programs to me, he's got a fairly shallow understanding of what a program is, so he'll describe it as a bunch of instructions. [more inside]
posted by ambrosen at 3:48 PM - 10 answers

December 2

Book recommendations about the brain and neuroscience?

What are your favorite books about the brain or neuroscience? What have you enjoyed, or been recommended / heard is really good? No philosophy please, nor evolutionary biology. I'm looking for science of the brain or nervous system, or cognition. [more inside]
posted by htid at 6:06 AM - 15 answers

November 29

Eliminating fragrance in HairSpray?

I use a special brand of hairspray all the time to put temporary highlights in my hair.... the downside is it makes me smell HORRIBLE. I've tried lots of other brands and haven't found anything with as good a color. I'm able to take the top spray nozzle off the bottle. Could I add anything into the bottle to eliminate the fragrance? like maybe rubbing alcohol? The brand is BBlonde by Jerome Russell. Thanks!
posted by audio at 12:00 PM - 2 answers

November 28

Gay research paper, ego syntonic/ego dystonic, avowal/disavowal

Trying to track down a research paper involving homosexuality and identity. Or something. [more inside]
posted by zeek321 at 6:30 PM - 4 answers

Engineering histories for scientists/engineers

I'm looking for media (books mostly) related to technical histories of engineering projects. [more inside]
posted by Captain Chesapeake at 1:26 PM - 15 answers

November 25

Trees: How Do They Work?

Tell me about the energy dynamics of non-deciduous alpine trees. How do saplings stay alive when continuously covered by snow all winter? [more inside]
posted by deludingmyself at 12:19 PM - 8 answers

November 24

Book recommendations on how the brain impacts the body

I'm interested in learning more about the science of mind-body connections, especially in the mind-impacts-body direction. For example, I'm curious about how mental exertion can lead to physical fatigue, or how an emotion can trigger physical symptoms in the body (such as indigestion from stress). I'm looking for an interesting and accessible book on this topic, if one exists. [more inside]
posted by ootandaboot at 10:17 PM - 7 answers

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