I am working through the mooculus calculus one mooc as a refresher (which I clearly need), and there is one thing I have run across that I just don't see. Can you help me figure out what is going on, and what I can do to work out future problems? [more inside] posted by carpographer at 8:01 PM - 5 answers
One of the kiddos in my Cousin's class found this:
rando nature doodad
Data points - she is located in Iowa. She describes it as being squishy and the white bit feels kind of like a hard boiled egg.
Any ideas? posted by sleepykitties at 2:08 PM - 12 answers
I'm seeking recommendations for documentaries or books that offer more than a layman's explanation of Einstein's Theory of Relativity, but don't require advanced studies in astrophysics to comprehend. [more inside] posted by bkpiano at 12:49 PM - 12 answers
My wife and I just watched the seventh episode of Cosmos called "The Clean Room" which tells us (among other things) about how Clair Patterson determined the age of the Earth. The episode explains Patterson used meteorite fragments, such as those from the Canyon Diablo crater, because they were assumed to be leftovers from the creation of the solar system. My question is one of clarification; specifically, how they could be sure that assumption was correct? [more inside] posted by Effigy2000 at 5:12 PM - 12 answers
A large group of people are asked to choose exactly one option out of 8 options, A B C D E F G H. A year later this is repeated. How to test for significance? [more inside] posted by 92_elements at 1:54 PM - 14 answers
I read a while ago a quote from Oppenheimer that eloquently expressed the idea that once a scientist gets in his or her head the idea that a result is achievable, he or she will not be stopped until that result is achieved. He referred to the scientist, though the sense in which he meant the term might better map to what many consider an engineer. [more inside] posted by edw at 9:10 AM - 6 answers
I'm beginning a project that looks partly at biological classification, primarily in western science. I have no background in this, and so I'm digging around. I'm interested to know more about the current rules for nomenclature, and also to know more about historical, philosophical, sociological, knowledge practice, ethnographic, anthropological, science technology and society (STS), sociotechnical, etc., approaches to the study of biological classification. I'll take monographs, articles, papers, web sites, etc. I have access to a university library. What are some good sources that can introduce me to this? Many thanks! posted by carter at 6:53 AM - 13 answers
Years ago, a friend of mine mentioned something he'd read about the effect of cooking time on a food's cooling time. The example he gave is a pot of chili. If, for example, you were to heat the chili to a certain temp, and then continue to apply heat just enough to keep it at that temperature overnight, it would take longer to cool than if you heated it to that temperature and then immediately allowed it to cool.
Is there any truth to this? Can you please point me to articles/resources that can prove/disprove this theory? posted by phreckles at 3:11 AM - 16 answers
A number of years ago (I'm going to say with 90% confidence it was between one and ten years ago) I came across a test that asked you to provide a range for a number of values that you could make a somewhat educated guess at but probably wouldn't know the answer to off the top of your head (so, maybe, the land area of Maui, or the number of words in A Tale of Two Cities). The goal was not to pinpoint the values, but to provide a range that contained the correct answer with 90% certainty, so, the best score was 9 out of 10 questions correct. A score of 10/10 was as bad as 8/10 -- the aim was to get 9, so that your ranges weren't ridiculously broad. [more inside] posted by payoto at 5:16 AM - 7 answers
I'm working on a story where some people live in a cave and have to grow their own food inside. I would like some idea of what could realistically be grown in this situation (more details below). [more inside] posted by ErikH2000 at 10:16 PM - 20 answers
How does the brain's circuitry actually create conciousness? What is actually going on at the terminus of all the chemical reactions and processes that creates sensory experience? What about feelings such as pain, happiness, sadness or anger?
Yep, I know these are the million dollar questions and there are not definitive answers (yet!), so I'm interested in hearing your ideas or any research/theories you find particularly interesting on the topic. Cheers! posted by turnips at 9:08 AM - 14 answers
What publications or organizations expose false claims of science or misuse of statistics? I enjoy Jon Stewart's style of playing clips where politicians directly contradict their current claims, but those claims are often about their positions or beliefs. I sometimes enjoy reading factcheck.org, but I don't like how often factcheck.org articles end up becoming a matter of comparing different analysts' forecasts, often in areas where I don't have the expertise to appreciate the original falsehood. In general, I'm not looking for areas where reasonable people can disagree. I'm looking for stories that come down to a straightforward misunderstanding and abuse of science or statistics, like "but it's all plaintext under the SSL!" or not correcting for frequency of encountering humans and sharks when comparing risk of rape with risk of death by shark attack. posted by d. z. wang at 9:49 AM - 12 answers