Questions in the Science & Nature category.
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November 24

Twin Cities Forest Picnic

For Thanksgiving, my little family wants to have a picnic in a pine forest. But which one? Can you recommend a place within 90 minutes of the Twin Cities that has a pine forest where we can lay our blankets on a bed of pine needles? Bonus points for: not crowded, not a 5 mile hike from the car with picnic, and postprandial pretty hiking options.
posted by shadygrove at 6:13 AM - 2 answers

November 23

What Could This Be?

I found this in a coffee can of seashells in the basement of my new house. It's about three inches long, and an inch and a half wide. It has a somewhat rough texture. The house is in Illinois about 7 miles from the Mississippi. Anyone have any ideas? Photo here
posted by Westlake71 at 4:29 PM - 8 answers

November 20

Eye protection - laser edition

What should I look for in inexpensive protective goggles/glasses to make sure their lenses actually protect my eyes effectively from an 810nm class 1 diode laser (for home hair removal)? [more inside]
posted by needs more cowbell at 6:26 AM - 10 answers

November 18

Chemical composition of a supplement

What's the best and/or least expensive way to test a supplement for the actual chemical content? Is there another way to go about something similar? [more inside]
posted by dozo at 12:22 PM - 3 answers

If you know who Scott Lilienfield is, this question is for you

I was both saddened and dismayed to read that Prof. Lilienfield died recently at the too-young age of 59 (link to NYT). [more inside]
posted by Transl3y at 8:02 AM - 1 answers

November 17

Oregon Birding Recommendations?

Does anyone have suggestions for early winter birding in Oregon & Northern California? [more inside]
posted by rubatan at 12:35 PM - 3 answers

November 14

Wow, what's up with iron combustion?

I recently saw an article about burning and then "un-burning" iron powder, allowing the same material to be burned over and over again as part of a renewable energy system. Dang, I have so many questions! [more inside]
posted by Lirp at 7:39 PM - 17 answers

November 12

What are the best books/resources for Rapid Math /Arithmetic Hacks?

I've always been interested in quick mental math/arithmetic. e.g. Sometimes I find myself checking a bill by adding it up the way we were taught in school. I'm sure there are better ways. What are the best books/resources? Looking for math techniques that can be used often, are easy to remember and easy to use!
posted by storybored at 6:36 PM - 9 answers

November 9

writing on the history/philosophy of pharmaceuticals?

I'm interested in understanding the historical paradigms of thought around pharmacology and the concept of medicine - not medical practice in general, but specifically ingesting various substances to produce healing. [more inside]
posted by funeralcult at 5:32 PM - 7 answers

November 8

(2000lb) Birds on a Plane?

From the perspective of an external observer watching a cargo plane with a 2000lb bird(s) flying around inside, what happens to the bird and plane when the cargo plane opens its cargo-bay doors? [more inside]
posted by rubatan at 1:51 PM - 10 answers

November 7

What are some exciting non-fictional books on Science for beginners?

I am keen on learning more about Science since my background is mostly social sciences and humanities. What are some interesting enriching science-oriented non-fictional a beginner would enjoy reading? [more inside]
posted by RearWindow at 5:13 PM - 20 answers

Help me remove this lid!

Help! Any ideas in how to remove the metal top from this this vintage glass cocktail shaker? [more inside]
posted by at 2:25 PM - 12 answers

November 5

Lab-quality (low tolerance) graduated cylinders / pipettes?

Working with my psychiatrist, I'm continuing a years-long taper off of a psychiatric medication (in IR tablet form) that I have developed an extreme physiological dependence on. Compounding services aren't financially viable for me in the long term, so I am planning on preparing my own solutions of appropriate dosages. Because of the therapeutic dose of this medication, I am going to need to have the ability to accurately measure liquid in very small amounts. Any professional chemists (or the like) have suggestions for me? [more inside]
posted by vocativecase at 8:05 AM - 24 answers

November 2

Science magazines for layperson

What are the best science magazines written for the layperson? Ideally, these feature articles that are well-written and high quality. Ideally articles put new ideas/discoveries/findings in appropriate context in the field and discuss the degree of validity / extrapolation appropriate, and are written by science-focused journalists. I'm fine with some sensationalism (to provoke interesting thoughts!), but would like it strongly tempered with appropriate skepticism and adherence (duh) to the scientific method. [more inside]
posted by ellerhodes at 8:29 PM - 16 answers

Mycology! Tell my about it...

I'm thinking of giving my character an interest, or maybe even degree, in mycology. I'm working in the life sciences but besides hunting mushrooms in my childhood and seeing a bizzare documentary about slime molds or lichen have no clue about the field. Is there some book/film/documentary where I can pick up something about it? [more inside]
posted by SweetLiesOfBokonon at 3:53 AM - 11 answers

October 29

What kind of graph/chart should I use?

I am writing a demographics paper for a graduate program I'm in, and I am not sure of the best way to graph several different variables. Talk to me like a child. [more inside]
posted by Corduroy at 3:47 PM - 7 answers

October 26

Little question about the genetics of blue eyes

I can't figure out how to google this. I have blue eyes and so do both of my parents. But I'm curious about how having recessive genes from both sides affects gene expression. [more inside]
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 6:55 PM - 5 answers

Is shopping low risk for COVID?

I'm trying to understand why shopping is often listed as a low risk activity for COVID exposure. If COVID is transmissible by aerosol as the science seems to indicate, shouldn't spending time in an indoor, semi-ventilated space be considered a higher risk? Or is it because of the lower concentration of people and expected spacing and movement (compared to say, sitting in a restaurant)?
posted by roaring beast at 10:48 AM - 25 answers

October 22

What therapy study or article was this?

I read a study or an article a few months back that described the efficacy of therapy in terms of years progressed. As in, they asked study participants how many years of growth they had experienced while in therapy. And through this they found some sort of expected ratio like "one year of therapy produces the same amount of personal growth as non-therapy (normal) years" Do you know what this study or article is?
posted by lalunamel at 7:45 PM - 0 answers

The Itsy Bitsy Spiders Crawled ... All Over the Place in Multitudes

When spiders' egg sacs hatch naturally without human interference, do they do so all at once, or one at a time? [more inside]
posted by metabaroque at 3:47 PM - 7 answers

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