Questions in the Science & Nature category.
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July 20

Best media about Apollo 11

50 years ago, we went to the moon (the fucking moon!) What are the best works, fictional or not, that depict this? [more inside]
posted by punchtothehead at 8:01 AM - 23 answers

July 18

1989/90ish anti-meat, pro-environment fact sheet?

Around 1989 or 1990, I read a multiple-page photocopied fact sheet about the environment that convinced me that eating meat was bad for the environment. It included things like, "X acres of Amazon rainforest are destroyed each year to make pasture for cows that will become McDonald's hamburgers" and "it takes Y acres to grow the hay to feed one cow but Y acres could also feed one human." How can I figure out what that fact sheet was? [more inside]
posted by bluedaisy at 4:10 PM - 6 answers

July 15

Why do ants climb trees at night?

I walk my dog three times a day, and because he spends a lot of time inspecting trees, I have little choice but to do the same. I often notice ants climbing up and down, but only at night. Tiny ants and huge ones. What are they doing? Why only at night? (This is in NYC.)
posted by moonmilk at 8:11 PM - 2 answers

July 14

What grass bit me and how do I best deal with the pain?

Everything was fine tonight at Griffith Park in L.A. until we packed up to leave. I picked up the cloth we'd been sitting on and BOOM suddenly it felt like my finger was on fire. The pain has receded just a bit in the four hours since. [more inside]
posted by goofyfoot at 2:57 AM - 15 answers

July 11

Hanging around with Hooke's Law

Hopefully this is a trivial physics question, but I can't figure it out from the descriptions of Hooke's Law I've found. How does the apparent weight of a hanging spring change as the spring oscillates? [more inside]
posted by Winnie the Proust at 8:44 AM - 5 answers

July 10

Saving... A plague of Frogs

So this spring our very old above-ground pool had some issues and with climate change it rained where we live until July. Lo I go to finally fix it this weekend and there are hundreds of tadpoles of the Gray tree frog in our pool. [more inside]
posted by mrgroweler at 8:33 AM - 8 answers

July 8

I want to be suspended in inter-galactic space

Not long ago, I downloaded a Hubble image of a galactic cluster as a new wallpaper for my browser. The problem is, every time I see the image—which is now multiple times a day—my desire to be IN the picture intensifies. By that I mean, I want the experience of being in deep space, surrounded by galaxies. [more inside]
posted by Transl3y at 9:14 PM - 29 answers

Looking for recommendations for wireless birdbox camera

I'd like to install a birdbox on our house, and while I'm at it, also put a camera in it so I can watch the occupants, should they arrive. The location will be very hard to access after installation, so it needs to be durable and preferably wireless – wifi + solar powered, if possible. Looking for recommendations of either a complete kit, or separate camera system that I can install in any birdbox. [more inside]
posted by snarfois at 8:20 AM - 3 answers

July 6

A book to spark interest in nature for a 10yr old in the UK (Cotswolds)?

My 10 yr old daughter lives in the UK in a very nice rural area. There's lots of wildlife there. But somehow she doesn't seem to notice. So I'd like to give her a book that might spark that interest. As I live in the NL I don't know something suitable to UK nature. Can you suggest a book or a way to find a title? [more inside]
posted by jouke at 4:32 AM - 16 answers

July 5

Documenting the impending loss of nature due to climate change

I'm an amateur photographer who's been seeking a "purpose", and I think I found it after reading The Unshakable Necessity of Nature Documentaries in the face of Ecological Ruin". What resources can help me plan vacations and trips to natural areas that will be destroyed in the coming years of climate change? [more inside]
posted by StrawberryPie at 11:45 AM - 10 answers

June 30

Scientific explanation for this (music related)?

Im curious why a good song (according to my taste) resonates with me emotionally more the first few times I hear it vs after listening to it on repeat (basically bingeing on the song) or listening consistently for many years. Is it a simple issue of novelty vs familiarity, or what is going on exactly? [more inside]
posted by CancerSucks at 4:16 AM - 5 answers

Talking to Babies for Dummies

I'm trying to find some "how to talk to babies for dummies" guidelines for new parents. In particular, the book Brain Rules for Babies mentions a specific set of guidelines given to parents by psychologist William Fowler. I'm curious what those were. Also, if anyone knows a really good resource for activities with ideas like "at 2 months, they should be learning to track noises with their eyes -- try moving a rattle back and forth to let them practice," I'd be really interested in that as well. [more inside]
posted by slidell at 1:58 AM - 18 answers

June 28

Examples of community based life sciences research?

Hi, I'm trying to find examples of scientific research (life sciences preferred) happening in places or communities that one might not generally associate with scientific research, (so outside of universities, biotech companies, etc..), that has some sort of benefit or relevance to the surrounding community. Thank you!
posted by stanleyhuff at 12:23 PM - 10 answers

June 26

Help identify my friend’s tree!

This is from a tree growing at a friend’s house in Seattle, WA. The flowers are fuzzy and smell kind of sweet/bitter. You can see the leaves better in the second photo. What is it?! Thank you!
posted by centrifugal at 9:58 PM - 4 answers

June 24

Can amateur music damage your hearing?

I know that adult professional musicians are at high risk of hearing loss. But what about childhood amateur musicians? Is (say) practicing the trumpet for an hour or two a week safe for kid's ears? If so, what's the dividing line between a harmless level of practice and a harmful one? [more inside]
posted by yankeefog at 9:00 AM - 15 answers

June 21

Does 10% bleach solution damage silicone or not?

Soaking in 10% bleach solution is a very common recommendation for sanitizing silicone sex toys, but silicone menstrual cup manufacturers all seem to say not to use bleach to clean them. What's the deal - does 10% bleach solution damage silicone or not? I'm hoping someone with a materials science background can shed light on this. [more inside]
posted by needs more cowbell at 7:20 PM - 9 answers

Systems that reliably evolve in similar ways (like stellar evolution)

Hivemind! :) I'm looking for examples of nature producing structure out of randomness, but especially in a complex, evocative, beautiful evolutionary process that reliably occurs, where you have initial conditions; based on those, X happens; based on X, Y happens; based on Y, Z happens, and so on. The best example I can think of is the evolution of stars: you have a molecular cloud which undergoes a particular evolutionary trajectory depending on its mass, and this happens reliably across the universe. Thanks in advance :)
posted by mrmanvir at 1:29 PM - 17 answers

Data Visualization to compare too many items

I need to build a chart that can clearly show 10 different values change over time , displaying them all simultaneously and I'm stumped for a way to do this that isn't immediately a hot mess. All values will be in roughly the same range. What's Tufte say we should be doing here?
posted by radiosilents at 7:55 AM - 23 answers

June 19

Did you hear that, Neil?

On July 20, 1969, approx. 20:00 UTC, How many spacecraft/ satellites were orbiting earth's moon?
posted by clavdivs at 11:29 AM - 12 answers

June 15

What the hell did I just see in the sky?

What did I just see flashing almost directly overhead? About 2235CDT, I was letting the whiney dog out and saw something flash almost overhead in my peripheral vision. I thought it was a meteor, but about 15-20 seconds later I saw it again. [more inside]
posted by notsnot at 9:16 PM - 8 answers

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