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Questions in the Science & Nature category.
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September 29

SciFi Stories about Civilizations which have survived the "Big Bounce"
Looking for stories/novelllas/novels about civilizations which have survived the "Big Bounce" and persisted into the next universe. Is there any such thing?
posted by brownrd at 1:53 PM - 21 answers

September 27

High-resolution, public-domain, landscape photography archives?
I'm looking for high-resolution (full-color or gray-scale), public domain archives of landscape photography (specifically of terrains and mountains). [more inside]
posted by omar.a at 9:04 PM - 4 answers

September 25

Teach me about the ouroboros
I am interested in academic texts that discuss the ouroboros - the snake that eats its own tail. [more inside]
posted by k8lin at 11:18 AM - 2 answers

September 22

My kid stumped me with a question about the speed of light
On a car trip yesterday my kid posed a hypothetical question. I was blown away, and I have no idea how to answer it. This is what she said. "So light takes 90 minutes to go from Saturn to Earth. What if, instead of shining a light on Saturn, you had a long metal chain that stretched from Saturn to Earth. A person on Saturn pulls on the chain. How long would it take the person on Earth to feel that pull?" [more inside]
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 4:49 PM - 32 answers

September 20

Calculating interior angles of an irregular hexagon?
I'm trying to create a 3D model of a six-sided area of my garden. I know the lengths of each side. Is it possible to work out the exact angle of each corner? Here's a link to a rough picture - note that the labels are correct but the sides and angles aren't to scale. [more inside]
posted by UltraFleece at 11:26 PM - 8 answers

September 19

Narratives - Neuroscience and psychology
What are good layman-level books and articles on how the brain interprets narratives (books, television, or any other form of story)? [more inside]
posted by rebooter at 12:52 PM - 5 answers

Value of 1878-9 "Scientific American" magazine?
I ran into some issues of "Scientific American, dated February 23rd, November 30th 1878 and a third February 1st, 1879, all in good shape. I also have one copy of "The Contemporary Review" dated November of 1879, in OK shape. I am curious as to whether they have any collector's value at this point. I have no idea how I came to own them, as these were dated before my father was born.
posted by psc1860 at 9:57 AM - 4 answers

September 17

Texas earth quake statistics
I'm looking for graphs and charts that show how many earth quakes of various intensities have happened in Texas over the last ten or more years. [more inside]
posted by xarnop at 9:07 AM - 10 answers

September 16

Motionless waves
Recently, when flying over islands, I've noticed that the waves on the seashore appear to be motionless from cruising altitude. That is, you can see the white foam on the beach but it seems to be frozen in place and not ebbing/returning. Is there a name for this visual effect?
posted by orrnyereg at 8:06 PM - 2 answers

September 15

Naked Limes in the City?
While I was visiting NYC with a friend, we found this weird naked-lime-looking plant outside of a bodega. [more inside]
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 2:47 PM - 2 answers

September 13

Safe to bring California bay laurel/pepperwood to Arizona?
Can I bring California bay laurel branches to Arizona without potentially causing an ecological problem? [more inside]
posted by pony707 at 3:01 PM - 4 answers

Will soldering heat ruin an 18650 cell?
Will soldering heat ruin an 18650 cell? [more inside]
posted by pompomtom at 7:44 AM - 6 answers

September 12

Best place to see the Northern Lights: Seattle area/Western Washington?
I'd really really REALLY love to see the lights tonight and I'm willing to drive a couple hours to get there. I live in Magnolia in Seattle. Where do I go? [more inside]
posted by Tevin at 11:03 AM - 12 answers

What are some of the best scientific graphing programs for Mac?
I'm working on some graphics for an upcoming presentation, and need a way to display some scientific data(scatter plots and bar graphs mostly). What is the next step beyond excel? [more inside]
posted by aleatorictelevision at 10:46 AM - 16 answers

Aurora Borealis in Minneapolis tonight?
Is it going to be possible to see the northern lights in Minneapolis tonight? Will it be similar to a meteor shower, where one needs to get pretty far from the glow of the city lights to enjoy the show? Any tips/suggestions for how to make the best of it, or suggestions of particularly good spots from which to see it?
posted by :-) at 8:50 AM - 7 answers

September 10

Mysterious Beach "Rock" Find
I expect this will turn out to be something akin to a lump of interesting concrete, but please take a gander at this object from a beach near Port Townsend, Washington, and tell me what you think it might be. [more inside]
posted by maxwelton at 10:22 PM - 9 answers

September 9

Help me model some curves that have a certain time profile.
I've got a bunch of curves that (I hope) show some common profile over time, although they maybe scaled versions of each other: at any index along in the curve >1, the next point is conditional on all (or some) of the previous. See this greatly simplified example. [more inside]
posted by ed\26h at 7:39 AM - 8 answers

September 8

Spider-Man, Spider-Man... WOAH Dude! Not Cool!
Do not read this question if you do not like spiders. However, if you do like spiders, perhaps you can help me manager a guest in our garden. [more inside]
posted by DarlingBri at 7:22 AM - 8 answers

September 7

Dams hurt rivers, but are rivers more important than children?
How do dams hurt rivers, exactly? Is that damage built in – that is, are there ways to mitigate it? On the other hand, do a few million people deserve electricity? Looking for reasoned arguments. Caveat: solar power is reasonable, but I don't see it replacing the Aswan dam in the next few generations.
posted by LonnieK at 8:00 PM - 18 answers

Please identify this blurry picture of a desert plant.
Taken in Joshua Tree National Park in October. The seed pod is about 3/4" in diameter.
posted by Specklet at 11:09 AM - 10 answers

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