We tried to do the Iodine Clock Reaction today for the kids, using 1) HSO3 mixed with starch and 2) KIO3. Unfortunately, instead of changing from colourless to dark blue (cue impressed sounds from the kids) there was no colour change at all. No precipitate or apparent temperature change, either, so I'm not sure anything at all happened chemically. Any ideas what might have gone wrong?
Career-advise me! Fellow mefites who enjoy both the humanities and the sciences: which did you pick for your career, and why? Or: were you able to somehow combine the two? Bonus points if you have experience with the medical field. [more inside]
Why does seltzer explode on the regular but flavored sodas rarely do under the same conditions? [more inside]
I have a physics question, but my googling hasn't been able to provide anything satisfactory tonight. It's about cosmological models of creation in which NO initial conditions whatsoever are assumed. [more inside]
My mom is elderly. She and her husband support my mostly unemployed brother in his 30s. I live far away but talk to her daily. My sibling and his father are into racist, misogynistic ideas and believe the end of the world is coming. They stockpile supplies and make my mom read David Icke (anti-semitism thinly veiled as "reptile aliens" taking over the government) as well as how vaccines and GMOS are poisoning us. I tried to talk to her but she thinks what I say is hard to understand (academic language) so maybe science is hiding something. [more inside]
I can't find any sources that really explain how they'd work to a science illiterate like me. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Even fiction will help, seeing as it's for a story of my own. [more inside]
Where can I find royalty free photography and art for science fiction and space? Things like black holes, worm holes, spaceships, and futuristic technology? I'm looking for something with a Weyland Industries vibe to it.
I'm presenting a poster at a scientific conference. I'm an old hat at this, but am tiring of the boilerplate designs that we all use. Can you point me to more minimalistic, aesthetically pleasing scientific posters? [more inside]
Apparently a new law passed in Wyoming last week. Called The Data Trespass Bill, the bill seems to be a ban on citizen science in the state.I'm looking for examples of any laws that specifically support or encourage citizen science data collection. Thanks! [more inside]
Trying to figure out the next career move. Please, total strangers, help me? *Snowflakes inside* [more inside]
My cousin is a bright student and worked so hard to get to where he is, but a recent family emergence ( a death in the family) and his grades started getting really bad towards the end of the semester, he was put in probation but one thing led to another and he was dismissed from school for one full semester, he took the semester off and after much grief he was ready and more focused that before to go back and complete his undergraduate in computer science.The computer science department at his school won't let him continue and asked him to change to another major outside of engineering. [more inside]
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]
I'm currently thinking about doing a PhD making new carbon-based materials. I find the topic really interesting, but I’m not really sure what one does with the degree after they graduate unless they stay in academia. What kinds of options exist for a PhD graduate with this kind of background? [more inside]
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]
Top space science influencers of today's pre-teens? [more inside]
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.
Is there any academic argument or scientific evidence that what people believe about "what should be" leads them to develop underlying beliefs about "what is" in reality? A kind of worldview conditioning? Conceptually, this would be an inversion of the naturalistic fallacy (which goes from "what is" to "what ought"). Does such a thing happen?
A friend has told me about a book he remembers reading as a youth, and I am kind of maddeningly curious what it was. Any help? [more inside]
What professional medical equipment, techniques and possibilities exist to record sounds inside the body? [more inside]
Lately I've been running across a lot of highly theoretical science and technology information that I don't understand. I would like to be able to recognize quackery and fringe science, as well as when technologists (especially programmers) are reinventing the wheel and claiming to revolutionize things, so I don't get steered in the wrong direction. I'm looking for heuristics. [more inside]
Seeking learned suggestions/contributions for slightly messed up anti-climate-trolling mother/daughter project. [more inside]
I told a friend about a SF story I'd read, but I can't find the title and author. the plot: a person working for a satellite company is mapping Greece, and comes up with the idea of following the most difficult route at any given point. [more inside]
Earlier today I was warming up a test tube in chem lab by placing its bottom in a warm stream of water from a faucet and I noticed something peculiar; the stream of water seemed to capture the test tube and hold it in place. [more inside]
What science topics remain to be explored, that an amateur scientist could do research/experiments and be the first person to look at it? [more inside]
If enriching uranium with a gas centrifuge costs 50 to 60 kW·h (180–220 MJ) of electricity per SWU, is it possible to adapt the formulas given there to calculate the energy needed to extract pure CO2 directly from the atmosphere? (assuming e.g. 0.04% concentration). Asking as a complete science n00b.
NewYorkerFilter: my friend is trying to identify a feature about a writer trying to contact her father's rival. [more inside]
Spouse has career in naturalist/nutrition based field. Tons of unscientifically supported woo. Spouse feels incredibly validated by field; feels ideas/ideals are all part of little guy's fight against big pharma/ big ag/ big whatever. Remuneration is based upon getting clients to sign up for coaching sessions where this unscientific information is pitched. No products are being sold, just diet/health/exercise/spiritual plans. In the past 2 years, income has gone up from 2,000 to 5,000/yr. I feel guilty being a part of a marriage where I feel like my partner's income is a result of fleecing at best or profound ignorance at worst, likely the latter. [more inside]
Spending time with geologists recently makes me want to find ways to live in the universe as it actually is (to the best current knowledge). I know, in a shallow way, that my body is a thriving microbial ecosystem, that the planet is billions of years old, that I'm (partially) breathing products of photosynthesis, that the universe is unimaginably vast, and so on. I'd like to find experiences, practices, places, and reading and other media that can help me internalize and understand more deeply what we actually know to be true. [more inside]
I'm a couple years off finishing a PhD that's been about half biochemistry and half electrophysiology at a top-ranked Australian university. The academic career path is definitely open to me - I've got a decent number of publications, heaps of teaching experience, blah blah blah - but I'm unsure that it's what I want to pursue. [more inside]
Reading this thread made me realize that I am completely unaware of the current state of SF/F. Who are some female SF/F authors from the last 15 years that you would recommend? [more inside]
I am looking for a resource that lists probability distributions and their common real-world applications. For example, I'd expect to see: Lognormal - daily returns in the stock market. Poisson - failure rates for mechanical equipment, ... [more inside]
I saw a quote recently, possibly here. It was something like, "the point of being alive is to produce energy to support the creation of more life." It wasn't about procreation but more about how our biological processes exist to create energy for other living things, as part of the ecosystem. Can't remember more of the phrase but I really liked the concept and would love to know more about the quote.
AskMe was the place to ask last time I needed help to find an index of topics for a documentary series, so I am seeing if such a thing also exists for Mythbusters. [more inside]
Recently Tenured Prof - Now what? Research limp, teaching meh, admin not thrilling. What did you do? Nonstandard (social-justice?) career/activity arcs for PUI Science faculty? Dealing with midlife-minicrisis? [more inside]
I'm a physicist, and I'm marrying a biologist. Can Mefi suggest any wedding readings suitable for us? We're looking for something along a sciency theme.
We are working on simple machine language in computer science for data manipulation. All the other problems I have gotten through but this last one. Here is the problem: "Write a short program in machine language to perform requested activity. Assume the program is placed in memory starting at address 00- -If the value stored in memory location 44 is 00, then place the value 01 in memory location 46; otherwise, put the value FF in memory location 46." Lots of questions inside DX Working with very basic Op-code and Operand setups. [more inside]
What question can I ask undergrad research assistant candidates to see whether they are good at looking things up on their own? [more inside]
Tomasetti and Vogelstein recently published an analysis that suggests the variation in the number of stem cell divisions leads to cancer incidence rates that are higher for tissues with relatively greater numbers of divisions. They recently posted a follow-up which attempts to address some of the counterarguments to their results. Acting on the premise that their work is correct or at least "in the right direction", are there labs or drug companies working on gene therapies that attempt to improve DNA polymerase fidelity (even in model organisms), as a means to one day perhaps reduce cancer incidence in higher-risk tissues? While it is easy through mutagenesis to worsen fidelity rates and increase cancer rates (as has been demo'ed in mice, say) can this aspect be engineered to be improved — that is, what biochemical aspects of (human) DNA polymerase have evolved to control its fidelity rate such that it might be possible to improve upon it?
A young woman (14 years old) of my acquaintance absolutely loves those "fun fact of the day" trivia phone apps. Now I'm looking for some books I could recommend to her chock full of fun facts, and explanations of the background of those facts, that would be age- and knowledge-level-appropriate. Ideas? [more inside]
I am studying psychology and like to make associations and note similarities between different theories. For example, perhaps I see a relationship between Fromm’s concept of conformity and ideas of enculturation and socialization, from there maybe I can then link to constructs of social interaction in Vygotsy’s work on learning. I believe that I am looking for a non-linear organization system similar to a big mind map, semantic network, or a personal wiki. Any suggestions about how to structure something like this? [more inside]
Would a human brain be able to make sense of the information? Would the person see anything at all. Or would the person see exactly like the donor animal (very unlikely I'm guessing).
I have a B.Sc in computer science and have one year of experience English using my CELTA qualification. Looking around, I see a lot of requests for people with North American B.Sc's to teach Math/Physics/CS in Asia. I'm trying to decide whether to go and start teaching, or whether it is better to get a state teaching qualification (2yr) in the Netherlands first... [more inside]
Please help me find good quotes about how and why sci-fi is inspired by science, or how science is inspired by sci-fi.
Years ago, I read a short story about two biologists (geneticists?) who are friends. After a global plague that makes all women infertile, one of the geneticists devices a treatment in which women can again reproduce, but they spend their entire nine months of pregnancy with blue, flaking, itchy skin and extreme sickness. The second geneticist realizes that the first has actually devised both the plague and the cure. He asks his friend why he did it. "Because I never wanted another child to be born unwanted," the first geneticist replies. I probably remember some of this imperfectly, but that was the gist of it. Does anyone happen to know the author/title? Thanks in advance!
Why are there so many white men in space? [more inside]
I want to read scholarly work about why doing things with "digital" tools (like word processors or MIDI music keyboards) is experienced differently from doing things with "analog" tools (like typewriters or pianos). [more inside]
Every year I load up my Mom's Kindle library for Christmas. This year I'm finding a lot of stuff on the non-fiction end but very little fiction that is up her alley. Her fave books: Neal Stephenson's "The Baroque Cycle" and Gillian Bradshaw's "The Sand-Reckoner." Got a rec? Expanded explanation of her taste inside! [more inside]
I'm curious to learn what major scientific (or other) advances have been made using data mining of extremely large datasets (a.k.a. "big data")? [more inside]
I'm interested in getting into making some skin care products (lotions, lip balms, maybe soaps) at home but I'm frustrated with the lack of scientific basis/cited sources for many of the recipes that I find online. Is there an Alton Brown/Harold McGee/Shirley Corriher of DIY skin care products? [more inside]
Thinking about applying to PhD programs in cognitive science after 4 years of tech job experience with no research experience. What do you say? [more inside]