Questions in the Science & Nature category.
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May 5

Water reclamation in CA

Orange County currently fills 20% of its groundwater basin with recycled wastewater. Is there any other water district in CA that tops this figure, in terms of treating wastewater for supplying a basin that provides direct, potable (drinkable)? If not, which water district takes 2nd place?
posted by invisible ink at 6:38 PM - 3 answers

"Life exists to modify carbon"?

I read an article several years ago in which the following argument was made: "life" exists to modify carbon. The assertion was that "life" arose as the most efficient method for creating certain forms of carbon utilizing all available resources, including sunlight, etc. Does anyone know of the article or of the broader theory?
posted by jefficator at 5:48 PM - 3 answers

As sound proof as a leaky sieve

Legal firms are based around privacy, but both Suits and The Good Wife quite prominently feature offices with walls made of glass panels with substantial air gaps between them. In Suits it looks like it's about an inch. In TGW it's nearer a foot. Is there something I'm missing about the design or the acoustics, or are these walls pretty much useless?
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 2:16 PM - 12 answers

May 4

A better weather balloon, safer for sea-snacking seaturtles?

How would we release a weather balloon and get it back without its exploding? [more inside]
posted by Mike Mongo at 10:13 AM - 4 answers

May 3

One fat bee patrols my deck

Ever since spring weather arrived in Brooklyn, there's been a single large bee patrolling my 3rd floor balcony. (1) What's the deal with this bee - where can I read more about its lifestyle? And (2) can I gently discourage it and its kind from hanging out and buzzing around my head when I want to sit out in the sun? It mostly ignores me when I'm out there, but I feel watched the whole time. [more inside]
posted by moonmilk at 10:21 AM - 15 answers

May 1

Science, technology and health news for the non-expert?

Hi mefites! I'm looking for blogs or websites that post interesting news or tidbits on science and anything science-related. I'm sure there's tons out there, but I want the metafilter-curated collection. [more inside]
posted by backwards compatible at 11:43 AM - 12 answers

April 29

What kind of duck is this supposed to be?

I need to know what kind of real-world duck this children's book illustration depicts. [more inside]
posted by Biblio at 2:18 PM - 9 answers

April 28

Question about demographic research project

My question is about how to find someone who can appropriately choose a representative set of zip codes from a larger set. How could I get someone to choose, in an intellectually defensible way, a list of 30 to 50 zip codes that essentially represent my entire state? In other words, how could I come up with a list of 30 to 50 zip codes that economically/demographically are a representative subset of the entire state? [more inside]
posted by Mr. Justice at 6:18 PM - 3 answers

Good Hotel to stay near St Louis Mo Botannical Garden

I want to find a good hotel for the wife and I to stay in near the Botanical Garden in St Louis Mo. Just a good place that serves breakfast- open to low and hi cost-Suggestions, thanks
posted by Upon Further Review at 4:48 AM - 5 answers

April 26

Reading for computer science fundamentals

I work in the software industry and I studied CS in undergrad, but I feel I either didn't get the best education in CS fundamentals or I wasn't paying attention (or both). Most of my knowledge of CS is fairly practical. Now I want to spend a few hours a week re-learning CS core subject matter to deepen my understanding. [more inside]
posted by deathpanels at 11:59 AM - 8 answers

April 25

The Mathematics Of Time

So I have a few years to kill and I'd like to spend them fully understanding what physicists and mathematicians know about time. I'm not looking for any sort of summary, I want to understand the math from the bottom up. I once caught my father going through the Annus Mirabilis papers with a red pen; that's the sort of proficiency I have in mind. [more inside]
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:57 PM - 12 answers

April 23

Why are there colors? Explain like I'm six.

My six-year-old son asked me a question I'm stumped by (one of many). He asked "Why are there different colors?" I half-attempted an explanation about light wavelengths and light reflecting off surfaces and soon realized I was a) over his head and b) over my own head. How would you explain the concept of color--of what color really is--to a six-year-old? Obviously very simple language is needed here.
posted by zardoz at 4:45 AM - 28 answers

April 19

Are Blue-Filtering Screen Protectors a Scam?

Do the clear blue-filtering screen protectors for mobile devices actually do anything? An example. I have a few at hand, and they are completely transparent, I think the product is just a plain clear screen protector. [more inside]
posted by breath at 11:22 PM - 5 answers

April 16

What do do with this 35% food grade H2O2 (Hydrogen peroxide)?

I have a small dropper container with about half an ounce of H2O2 with a rubberish top (the part that you use to make the drops). I was using it for something a few months ago and I forgot about it and it has been sitting in my kitchen for about 2 months. Today I noticed the rubbery part has expanded a bit. I'm not sure what to do with it because I remember my chemistry teacher saying that H2O2 can be dangerous stuff. Can I open the container? Should I just toss the container?
posted by eq21 at 12:41 PM - 12 answers

April 15

Source for even handed, researched parenting news updates?

Can anyone recommend a source for well researched news and updates on major parenting topics like medical updates, product recalls, new products etc? [more inside]
posted by saradarlin at 12:08 AM - 3 answers

April 14

How to record sounds inside the body?

What professional medical equipment, techniques and possibilities exist to record sounds inside the body? [more inside]
posted by gmm at 12:02 PM - 9 answers

April 13

A Furious 7 physics question [spoilers]

After seeing Furious 7 this weekend, a physics question came up about weight and leverage. Spoilers and such below the break. [more inside]
posted by thecjm at 8:42 AM - 11 answers

How could homeopathic teething tablets possibly work?

Many parents I know recommend Hyland's Baby Teething Tablets, a homeopathic remedy. But how could they possibly have an effect? [more inside]
posted by aabbbiee at 8:02 AM - 32 answers

April 6

Asking for a book.

Is a Jewish person's clone Jewish? [more inside]
posted by thesmallmachine at 2:33 PM - 5 answers

April 5

What's the right method for this?

I am undertaking a fun statistical project, and I need help... [more inside]
posted by zug at 8:53 PM - 8 answers

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