Questions in the Science & Nature category.
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November 22

What's that darn river called?

I read a while ago about a stretch in a particular river that's very dangerous because it's very narrow and looks calm, while in actuality it's extremely fast and deep. People try to cross it, or they get in, and boom. That's it. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? I've utterly failed at googling, and for some reason it's really bothering me. [more inside]
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 8:20 AM - 2 answers

November 21

I'm looking for all thing unusual, little known and also ATOMIC

The other day I read this thing about ATOMIC GARDENING And apparently this controlled mutation is the reason we have ruby red grapefruits. So my question is what ELSE is atomic that I didn't know about? Is there anything else using radiation unconventionally or atomic technology in novel places I didn't suspect?
posted by rileyray3000 at 10:02 AM - 14 answers

November 20

What bug is this?

I've seen them all summer this Seattle (eastside), in large quantities. [more inside]
posted by jeffamaphone at 1:40 PM - 6 answers

Explain dilution to my boss

I'm preparing a report on a proposed open ocean fish farm, and am having trouble explaining particulate dilution rates to my boss. [more inside]
posted by kanewai at 1:17 PM - 10 answers

November 19

Math / probability question re: HIV

I'm trying to calculate the probability of contracting HIV for the husband of an infected woman. Given a risk of 10-50 conversions per 10,000 exposures. And assuming an average frequency of sexual acts of 2-3 X per week. That's 100-150 sexual acts /year. That should give about a 10%-15% yearly risk of contracting HIV, right?
posted by mert at 8:08 AM - 13 answers

November 18

How far do I need to be from a highway/parkway to no longer hear it?

How far do I need to be from a highway/parkway to no longer hear it? I hope to use this information to look at a map and find the nearest place that will be quiet in the middle of the night, to record sound. Local road noise or the occasional passing car is not a concern, just highways and parkways that will be busy all night.
posted by xo at 6:15 AM - 18 answers

November 17

Intro to Astrophysics

I'm looking for resources that will give a layperson like me an interesting introduction into astrophysics, specifically how distant celestial bodies interact over vast periods of time. [more inside]
posted by joebakes at 9:11 AM - 8 answers

November 16

UK fungus ID groups/materials?

I'm looking for a UK-oriented fungus identification online group or guide or website or book or Android app. Recommendations based on personal experience are most welcome. Poking around online has led me to a few places, like Mycokey, but either the varieties aren't listed or I'm just rubbish at describing what I've found. [more inside]
posted by Solomon at 10:22 AM - 1 answers

November 14

What are the different types of innovation?

What are the different types of innovation? [more inside]
posted by jacobean at 12:26 PM - 7 answers

November 12

Mr. Hammond, I should have listened.

I want to calculate a sequence. It's built on some kind of exponential magic. That is as much as I know. Please hope me. [more inside]
posted by popcassady at 3:17 PM - 6 answers

November 11

Are you a snail savant? I have questions! (NON-foodie edition)

So, we seem to have many snails in our outdoor area lately, and I've been observing them and have many questions... [more inside]
posted by taz at 11:26 AM - 11 answers

Why is the Latin name for the Eurasian eagle-owl 'bubo bubo' ?

Why is the Latin name for the Eurasian eagle-owl 'bubo bubo' ? I can't find any reference to the Eurasian Eagle Owl having buboes - as in 'a swollen inflamed lymph node in the armpit or groin' [more inside]
posted by Quillcards at 6:32 AM - 9 answers

November 9

What are the best textbooks on climate science?

I'm looking for climate science textbooks that take a mathematical approach: that go in-depth with the maths of modelling etc. I'd appreciate if they also had a focus on the science of anthropogenic climate change / global warming. Can you recommend any? [more inside]
posted by Quilford at 3:17 PM - 3 answers

Anna's hummingbirds vs bees on Salvia leucantha (Mexican sage)?

There are a lot of Anna's hummingbirds and a lot of bees here. They both like a big Mexican sage. Yesterday I saw several hummingbirds in series dive down near the sage then pull up sharply with a sudden 'tweet' noise like a short blast on a whistle. Why are the birds doing that? [more inside]
posted by jet_silver at 7:47 AM - 7 answers

November 8

Is there a service that will tell me if it's going to be a nice sunset?

Or failing a service, is there a way to tell, ahead of time, whether or not a given sunset will likely be a colourful one? I have the perfect spot already, about 650' about sea level, and all of the camera equipment I'm going to get. What I need to know is what to look for in the weather conditions that will make a difference. Which type of clouds will be the most fortuitous, are there particular weather patterns that will help, etc?
posted by Solomon at 5:02 PM - 6 answers

November 4

What is a ket

Quantum physicists of MeFi: I want to know all the quantum mechanics I need to know to understand quantum computing. I am mathematically literate and willing to learn more math, but I want to minimize my need to study physical phenomena or experimental results. [more inside]
posted by vogon_poet at 6:41 PM - 10 answers

November 1

Which data structures changed the world?

In my last question, I asked for algorithms that changed the world. Now I'd like to know, what are the data structures that changed the world? [more inside]
posted by pwnguin at 4:30 PM - 16 answers

Books on molecular biology: technical and historical

My +1 is outfitting the molecular biology and biochemistry side of a physics lab. He would like to get books (electronic and/or paper) to fulfill two needs: 1. protocols and reference - for in lab use 2. history or textbook of molecular biology - to help familiarize physics people with the field. Looking for suggestions for solid books that are readable and have good figures. [more inside]
posted by sciencegeek at 2:04 PM - 8 answers

My boyfriend is skeptical about climate change effects...

My boyfriend, while educated, thinks climate change effects are exaggerated. Looking for your thoughts on this topic, and if the discourse about climate change is still this conflicting in the scientific community. [more inside]
posted by raintree at 11:33 AM - 27 answers

How does "resistance to [psychiatric] medication" develop?

Today is the first day of National Novel Writing Month, and I've been kicking around a setting in which the regular use of all kinds of mood- and cognition-enhancing drugs is widely accepted in society and tacitly endorsed by the government (though this is neither utopic nor dystopic). I'd like my protagonist to be dealing with the fallout of developing a resistance to these mind-enhancing medications, but before I spend 50,000 words on it, I'd like to check my premises. [more inside]
posted by dee lee at 11:16 AM - 3 answers

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