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Looking for an old science fiction book

I am looking for a book. It's apparently about a boy who falls through a door / portal and travels through time - maybe forwards, maybe backwards - to Wales. It probably has a female author. Any help appreciated. [more inside]
posted by Neale on Jul 7, 2012 - 23 answers

Geeky intellectual hero(ine) stories

Help me find movies/TV shows about geeky, intellectual heroes! [more inside]
posted by 3491again on Jul 6, 2012 - 19 answers

Microscope and telescope for a 4.5-year-old?

Can I get a telescope and microscope for around $150 (or less) that will be impressive to a 4.5-year-old boy, and still be useful for a few years? [more inside]
posted by DakotaPaul on Jul 1, 2012 - 7 answers

MSc or PhD?

Wondering whether I should go for the PhD that I wanted when I went back to school, or whether it's more sensible to stay where I am and do a Master's first. [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Jul 1, 2012 - 18 answers

Memoirs from Scientists

Looking for more memoirs from scientists, along the lines of Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, Robert Sopolsky's A Primate's Memoir, and Daniel Everett's Don't Sleep There Are Snakes. [more inside]
posted by Curiosity Delay on Jun 30, 2012 - 10 answers

Is it possible that a slightly rotten potato could taste far better?

I cooked some near-rotten potatoes and they offered a flavour far surpassing other potatoes. I long to taste it again. [more inside]
posted by Algebra on Jun 26, 2012 - 19 answers

A biological explanation of food poisoning please

What is happening in the body when food poisoning occurs? Are the symptoms defensive actions or purely symptomatic? [more inside]
posted by distorte on Jun 25, 2012 - 13 answers

one 二 three 四 five 六 seven 八 nine 十...

Why is it so hard to quickly count from 1 to 100 alternating between 2 different languages on each digit? Any cognitive scientists want to explain this? [more inside]
posted by querty on Jun 25, 2012 - 13 answers

Nonfiction books for 9 year olds

Great non-fiction books for a smart 9 year old search: my kindle owning niece is embarking on summer vacation. I'd like to gift her some good books to fill up her summer days... she reads a huge amount, and I'd really like to encourage this. She's nine but has a roughly 9th grade reading level, so she's definitely capable of handling somewhat advanced books, and she's curious about a wide range of things. Really I'm looking for pretty much anything non-fiction & interesting. [more inside]
posted by lyra4 on Jun 24, 2012 - 27 answers

The Future, Conan?

Help me find some informative scientific podcasts/lectures/audio books/videos about the future of man and technology. [more inside]
posted by gregoryg on Jun 21, 2012 - 4 answers

Dark sky, cheap telescope, totally inexperienced operator. What can I see?

Astronomy/Skygazing Beginner: I'm gonna be camping out in a dark place, and I have access to a cheap low-consumer-grade telescope. Is it worth it to take it? What could it see? What could I reliably find? Three technically-competent operators, but zero experience/familiarity with the use of any telescope. [more inside]
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj on Jun 19, 2012 - 14 answers

How creative is instructional design as a career?

How creative is instructional design? [more inside]
posted by jpritcha on Jun 18, 2012 - 7 answers

drug addled chimp?

Trying to locate a study in which they gave a chimpanzee (or other ape?) all the hard drugs he wanted (though it may have just been cocaine and/or heroin?) and found that with sufficient care, the subject actually lived a perfectly healthy and long life. [more inside]
posted by imagineerit on Jun 18, 2012 - 4 answers

Academic networking for dummies, and more helpful hints

A couple months ago I found a very long document talking about academic networking. I believe it was written over 20 years ago but still seemed incredibly relevant. As a young student trying to get his footing in academia, I'd love to find this networking primer again, as well as other things to read that would be helpful. [more inside]
posted by Strass on Jun 14, 2012 - 5 answers

I feel like a quadropole-egic at my new job.

I need to become an expert in mass spectrometry. Help me, smart scientist mefites! [more inside]
posted by rainygrl716 on Jun 11, 2012 - 2 answers

The Science of Magic

I'm looking for examples of stories that feature magic depicted as a science. [more inside]
posted by Sangermaine on Jun 11, 2012 - 42 answers

What are some things that most scientists once suspected to be true that most scientists today know to be false?

What are some things that most scientists once suspected to be true that most scientists today know to be false? [more inside]
posted by Lownotes on Jun 9, 2012 - 32 answers

So long, and thanks for all the genetically modified mice

What non-academic career paths are open to a freshly-minted biology PhD? [more inside]
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl on Jun 9, 2012 - 10 answers

learn data science

I'd like to learn about data science. Things like predictive modelling, regression and classification and so on. What would be good books or online courses to start with?
posted by gwynp on Jun 8, 2012 - 9 answers

What's the greenest way to boil my tea water?

What is the most environmentally friendly way to boil water for, e.g., tea? [more inside]
posted by acm on Jun 6, 2012 - 23 answers

What are some science experiments that would be fun (and impressive) for a 4 year old?

What are some science-y experiments that would be fun (and impressive) for a 4 year old? [more inside]
posted by imabanana on Jun 5, 2012 - 34 answers

Sloppy MicroChips: Can a fair comparison be made between biological and silicon entropy?

Was reading about microchips that are designed to allow a few mistakes (known as 'Sloppy Chips'), and pondering equivalent kinds of 'coding' errors and entropy in biological systems. Can a fair comparison be made between the two? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Jun 5, 2012 - 4 answers

Space invaders?

Are these meteorites? I've been moving them with me for years, always meaning to ask. [more inside]
posted by littlerobothead on Jun 3, 2012 - 12 answers

What sort of wild technology do you need to entangle particles?

I need to know what sort of equipment one uses to "entangle" particles. Where would I find this sort of information? [more inside]
posted by AdamCSnider on May 28, 2012 - 4 answers

Dramatic (non-campy) science fiction musicals?

Are there any scifi musicals that aren't comedies? [more inside]
posted by lemoncakeisalie on May 25, 2012 - 32 answers

Transfer questions

Transfer, the 2010 German movie: questions! (big spoilers inside; avoid if you haven't seen this awesome movie) [more inside]
posted by lorimer on May 25, 2012 - 0 answers

Identify science fiction novel

A science fiction book set in a post-apocalyptic world that has been snowed in. [more inside]
posted by lewedswiver on May 24, 2012 - 3 answers

pprint-dispatch

Can anyone tell me which institution offered the first computer science degree in Australia and when that was? My Google hand is not working.
posted by mattoxic on May 21, 2012 - 3 answers

Getting a master's degree when disillusioned with academia?

I've always been drawn to science and research and I'm strongly considering going to graduate school to get a master's degree in computer science (location: Sweden) and maybe even aim for an academic career. But my recent experiences with academia has left my disillusioned, sad and angry. Can I get my degree without GRARing all the time? How? [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on May 21, 2012 - 11 answers

The modulation of our sense of smell

How and why do we become accustomed to smells? What makes some odours personally super-pungent one day and unnoticed 'background noise' later on, despite the smell remaining objectively unchanged? [more inside]
posted by peacay on May 19, 2012 - 7 answers

Power Grid: The Game is way more fun than this.

Explain alternating current distribution across "the grid" to me in terms an educated layman can understand. Specifically, I have a question about how to talk about which power plants are providing power to a particular consumer. [more inside]
posted by 256 on May 17, 2012 - 20 answers

Please help me evaluate this article from a scientific standpoint.

Please help me understand whether the science in this article about SSRIs and inflammation is valid or not. [more inside]
posted by stoneweaver on May 16, 2012 - 12 answers

What ever became of James Burke's little spheres?

In the final episode of James Burke's "Connections", he describes a secret experiment mixing CuSO4 and NaOH, and the potential uses for the result. That was the late 1970s--I am curious what actually happened since then. [more inside]
posted by This_Will_Be_Good on May 9, 2012 - 8 answers

Five year old green thumb

I'm trying to get my five year old step son interested in gardening. We made a special flower bed for him and I to grow plants in together and he is really excited to grow "rainbow blossoms" in it. Help me make this as rewarding for him as possible! [more inside]
posted by gwenlister on May 9, 2012 - 38 answers

What was that article about colonies of bacteria acting like actual historical cities?

Help me find an article about bacteria modeling human behavior at a macro level. My google-fu is failing me. [more inside]
posted by gauche on May 7, 2012 - 4 answers

How can I graduate and find a job when I'm struggling?

I am in my 7th year of a science Ph.D. at MIT and I need to graduate. I have invested an incredible amount of time and energy in this process, and I definitely have a Ph.D. level of skills and knowledge by now. 7 years is not outside the norm for my department. The problem is that a number of circumstances occurring in a row have lead to a bad/toxic relationship with my advisor and slow performance on my part. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 7, 2012 - 11 answers

I broke my hi-fi system and my hi-fi speakers.

I replaced old 6 ohm woofers with new 8 ohm ones. Now, my amplifier overheats. Can someone here explain the science of what I have done wrong? [more inside]
posted by shipbreaker on May 6, 2012 - 19 answers

I need an amazing book on the philosophy of science that will get my juices flowing

I want to learn more about the philosophy of science, the validation of its methods, its relation to faith and our core existence, its weaknesses, its controversies, its fundamental warps and wefts into the fabric of our society. [more inside]
posted by Peregrin5 on May 3, 2012 - 32 answers

Can I get back into academia (particularly a hard science) after leaving?

Can I get back into academia (particularly a hard science) after leaving? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 2, 2012 - 3 answers

Getting into chemistry grad school with no chemistry background?

I would like to pursue research in supramolecular chemistry, but I am a couple years out of school and do not have a chemistry background. Also, I lack letters of recommendation. I am certain I cannot get into a decent Ph.D. program, but do I have a shot at getting in a Master's program? Or must I resort to taking classes at a university somewhere? [more inside]
posted by nhamann on Apr 29, 2012 - 14 answers

Scientific literature on Lasik satisfaction and side effects?

I would like links to peer-reviewed literature regarding laser vision correction. [more inside]
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike on Apr 29, 2012 - 6 answers

.....wat?

I'd really love a detailed explanation of the terms and humor in this math / science related XKCD cartoon. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong on Apr 25, 2012 - 14 answers

How bad is it for you to sleep with the light on ?

How bad is sleeping with the light on? I have checked google! - more inside. [more inside]
posted by hitchcockblonde on Apr 20, 2012 - 11 answers

What was that awesome show about the history of physics in the late 80s?

There was a great series about the history of physics on PBS in the late 80s. It featured a combination of very clear explanations of each of the fundamental equations in physics throughout history presented by a very calm, level voiced (almost reverent) narrator and accompanied by fantastic very BBS Hitchhiker's Guide style animation. What was this show? And where can I find it now? [more inside]
posted by smallerdemon on Apr 18, 2012 - 14 answers

Uplift

Please recommend novels that deal with Uplifting sentient species, bootstrapping technology, a la David Brin's Upllift novels and Vernor Vinge's Zones of Thought series. [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight on Apr 18, 2012 - 22 answers

How to get 2nd Bachelor's Degree from UCLA after foreign-based Bachelor's?

Seeking 2nd Bachelor's degree in Applied Mathematics from UCLA, then PhD. Details below. [more inside]
posted by Hassoon on Apr 17, 2012 - 5 answers

The world is just awesome.

I want to mainline wonder! Recommend me nonfiction books or films (science, nature, history, culture, the human mind) that will make me fall in love with the world we live in. [more inside]
posted by stuck on an island on Apr 15, 2012 - 35 answers

You say Da Vinci, and I say Da Vinci

Can you recommend good science sets or paint (non-watercolor) sets for an 11 year old girl? She likes to experiment and dabble in her room, and has asked about them as gifts. Thanks!
posted by Clyde Mnestra on Apr 14, 2012 - 11 answers

how to get close to a shy guy

Tips for getting to know an introverted, smart guy better? [more inside]
posted by bearette on Apr 12, 2012 - 6 answers

Looking for novels about AI in the very distant future

Looking for sci-fi novels with a theme similar to Karl Schroeder's Ventus. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Apr 11, 2012 - 16 answers

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