Questions in the Science & Nature category.
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June 24

Ate something bad - but what?

Often when I am feeling unwell due to eating something bad, I'll think back over what I've eaten, and one particular item will stick out and make me feel queasy. Is there any science or fact to this?
posted by gorcha at 1:19 AM - 7 answers

June 23

The learning styles of the world’s greatest inventors and thinkers?

I am looking for resources on the learning styles of famous inventors and thinkers? [more inside]
posted by jacobean at 1:48 AM - 6 answers

June 22

Can you ID this winged insect?

Warning: the link goes directly to photographs of an insect. I apologize for the poor quality of the photos, which were taken from a safe distance and then cropped. Can you identify this bug?
posted by mama casserole at 10:22 AM - 9 answers

June 20

Mathematical patterns

Does this math pattern have a name? How can I find more like it? [more inside]
posted by oceanmorning at 6:35 PM - 17 answers

Is my body composed of a different set of atoms from when I was born?

I would like to know if this statement is scientifically correct, or if it's hyperbole, or if it's basically correct but requires qualification: "Most of the atoms that formed your infant body at birth are now dispersed, as your present atoms will be again, if you have the good fortune to live a few more years on this oxygen-rich planetary home." [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 5:29 AM - 15 answers

June 17

Plastic books?

Is it possible to use the technology that makes polymer banknotes to create books? [more inside]
posted by orrnyereg at 7:44 AM - 15 answers

June 15

Eight legged friends

I found this interesting looking web in the alley next to my house (Amsterdam, NL) right next to the spot where I park my bike. Is it home to one of these (NSFarachnophobes) or could it be something else? [more inside]
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 9:31 AM - 4 answers

June 13

Growing cilantro

I am a serial killer. A cilantro-plant serial killer. Help me stop. [more inside]
posted by nightrecordings at 4:19 PM - 10 answers

Tags of mystery

I was in the Willamette National Forest this weekend and came across this tag on a tree, and I'm really curious what it means. googleing any of the strings on the tag return useless results and calling what looks like a phone number didn't get me anywhere either. Has anyone seen anything like this before?
posted by Dr. Twist at 11:19 AM - 2 answers

June 12

Entertaining Data Sets

I'm looking for a whimsical large data set. Something bizarrely specific, or just an area you'd never guess there was that much to measure. For example, the amount of materials used by the Teddy Bear industry or the shifting volume of animal feces at major zoos. I've been searching through the many big data set sites to no avail. The ideal set would contain around a million nodes and, if relational, a few hundred thousand connections. A factor of ten either way would be reasonable though.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:14 PM - 6 answers

Does global warming mean we shouldn’t buy this riverside lot?

My husband and I are thinking of buying a particular lot on a river. If we built there, it would be outside of the 100-year flood zone, but not by a ton. Does global warming make that too risky? [more inside]
posted by daisyace at 1:06 PM - 21 answers

June 8

Looking for plastic hex pieces seen in Stephen Hawking's Genius Series

I'm looking where to buy these plastic hexagonal pieces we saw on Steven Hawking's Genius on PBS in the US. In the episode What Are We?, the volunteers use little plastic hexagonal pieces with embedded magnets to form different shapes. They come in around 13:30 in the video link above. Some images here. Anyone know where, if anywhere, to find these?
posted by nightwood at 7:20 PM - 8 answers

Watching people grill drives me crazy

Summer is nearly upon us, and it's not only the temperature that's rising -- it's also my anxiety. At other peoples' lovely homes, I can't enjoy their hospitality because I'm too distraught from the horror of witnessing egregious food handling errors around the grill. [more inside]
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 5:07 PM - 43 answers

June 4

Science/evidence based help/treatment to grow longer nails?

My nails grow so very slowly, and I want longer prettier nails. Are there any supplements or external topical treatments to help them grow faster that have actually been proven to work by science?
posted by skjønn at 10:01 PM - 12 answers

June 2

After one sleep-deprived night, I'm OK the 1st day, tired the 2nd. Why?

Here's a pattern that happens to me a lot. Say I sleep 4-5 hours on Sunday night, instead of my preferred 7-8. I feel fine all day Monday, then sleep 8 hours Monday night. On Tuesday, I feel exhausted and mentally foggy. Is this pattern documented in others? Is there a physiological explanation? [more inside]
posted by aws17576 at 8:44 PM - 19 answers

Flower ID

What is this flower? It's been identified as a yellow lupine, but my better half doubts it and wants a second opinion. Since I don't know any group of people more opinionated that Mefites, here we are.
posted by pjern at 7:52 AM - 6 answers

June 1

What kind of bug is this?

Can anyone identify the bug in this paperweight? Thanks in advance!
posted by hellomina at 3:48 PM - 2 answers

Can you recommend a chemical reaction?

I'm looking for an example of a common chemical reaction in which a specific combination of a few reactants yields one product, but the introduction of one additional reactant yields an entirely different product. This is for the purpose of a literary metaphor. The less esoteric the reaction, the better (i.e. if it consists of commonly recognized substances that would be helpful).
posted by enzymatic at 9:31 AM - 25 answers

May 31

What would happen if I let a leech leech?

There are leeches in a pond near here. What would happen if, out of curiosity, I let a leech latch and lunch? Any significant danger to me or the leech?
posted by pracowity at 2:01 PM - 16 answers

What is the origin of the name of the James River?

No one seems to know when the tributary of the White River now called the James River (in Missouri) was named or who named it. Henry Schoolcraft traveled to the Ozarks in 1818-1819. In a View of the Lead Mines of Missouri (1819) he refers to it as the James River. In the 1820s, it was called the James Fork of the White in references in dealing with the relocated Delaware Reservation on that stream. [more inside]
posted by clockworkjoe at 10:43 AM - 7 answers

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