Questions in the Science & Nature category.
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April 12

Identify this bug

Just back from 2 nights at a hotel in San Diego and fearing the worst. Any alternatives as to what this bug could be? [more inside]
posted by gatorbiddy at 8:41 PM - 13 answers

April 5

Where can I buy eclipse glasses in NYC?

I thought I'd get my free glasses at Warby Parker or the library but after going to two stores and two library branches, I think I'm too late. There are a gazillion for sale on Amazon, but I worry they're not trustworthy. Do you know places that are selling trustworthy ones in the city? Please only rec places you know has them, because I already feel I've done the wild goose chase. Thanks.
posted by swheatie at 4:32 PM - 9 answers

March 26

Looking for biology/naturalist educational tour kind of experiences.

I've got a 16 y o kid who is interested in biology/entomology/ocean. Looking to incorporate that with anything from a day trip, weekend trip, or week long trip. While time and money are things we don't have lots of extra of, I am considering Osa Peninsula for a trip in February (there's a "bug lady" that does night tours). Wondering if there is anything in the US (bonus for New England area) that was a good experience that's a bit higher level than the typical lobster boat kind of tour. More hands on. It could be anything from a 2 hour tour with a naturalist, to all day, and maybe even week long. PS Thanks to his awesome teachers, stuff that didn't seem that interesting coming from mom seems super interesting now!
posted by beccaj at 7:16 AM - 8 answers

March 24


My gut says that having the capacity for faith/belief/spirituality is as born in as being gay or right handed. Have there been any studies on this?
posted by phunniemee at 4:23 PM - 33 answers

March 21

Solar eclipse glasses, for adults and kids?

There's going to be a solar eclipse in a few weeks and I'd like to watch it. How can I find safe eyewear for myself? And is it possible for kids age 5 and 2 to watch it safely (like big glasses with a strap?) or is that too risky? It feels a bit risky! [more inside]
posted by nouvelle-personne at 1:12 PM - 20 answers

March 11

How many years would halving global consumption set back climate change?

Hypothetical: The world’s resource consumption halves overnight due to science fictional reasons. You are writing a pithy headline on the environmental impact of this change along the lines of “Climate change estimates rolled back X years”. What’s a reasonable value for X? [more inside]
posted by Lorc at 10:51 AM - 12 answers

March 10

This title isreallygreat

Is there a linguistic term for adding filler words, especially adverbs, spoken so quickly that they don't slow down the speaking of the main words in a sentence? For example, if someone would say "I don't want that" at a deliberate pace, they say "Iabsolutelydon'twant that" in the same amount of time. Also, is there research on why some people do this?
posted by michaelh at 7:30 PM - 4 answers

February 27

Outdoor coyote microphone

I want to be able to listen to coyotes howling in my neighborhood (say within a quarter mile) on an outdoor, wireless, battery-powered (rechargeable would be great), rainproof microphone. I want to be able to listen with my Android phone. I want something under about $50. I tried a wireless security cam but the sound isn't good enough (as in it hardly picks up anything). I don't know anything about this subject, do any of you have a recommendation? I guess it could be somewhat unidirectional since I know what direction the coyotes howl from within about a 45 degree angle, but you tell me. Thanks!
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 11:37 PM - 6 answers

February 24

Advice for understanding toxic air risks near child's school?

My child’s kindergarten is within 7 miles of a landfill fire causing serious air pollution. I’m looking for effective actions and essential resources to understand the risks to my child. [more inside]
posted by shrimpetouffee at 4:22 PM - 5 answers

Super detailed podcast series about NASA missions

I'm trying to find a podcast (or audio series) I heard once in which the narrator goes into minute levels of technical detail about historic NASA missions. [more inside]
posted by bassomatic at 6:49 AM - 5 answers

February 23

ecotourism vs climate change

Ecotourism: Is the 'tourism' part sufficiently terrible for the environment that it outweighs the 'eco'? [more inside]
posted by eraserbones at 8:52 AM - 13 answers

February 21

How realistic/reliable is this long covid game?

A member of our game-playing and activity group has recently pitched this long covid simulator/game. How reliable and realistic are the assumptions made by the game's design and are the data it's based on current and correct?
posted by anonymous at 9:03 AM - 16 answers

February 10

Why is Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry "often complicated to unravel"?

I was reading this article in the LA Times (CW: decapitated murder victim and gated article) and it said that it was difficult to discover who the murder victim was through DNA and constructing family trees because she was an Ashkenazi Jew. Why is that more complicated than anyone else? [more inside]
posted by Toddles at 10:47 PM - 8 answers

February 1

Is this a common phenomenon and what is it called?

I can positively identify places that I have been before visually with only a narrow aspect of the place being shown. For example, a friend posted a video of her walking up a staircase with only the floor and staircase in the video. Now, I get that I would have contextual information about where she might be, so maybe this isn't a good example. [more inside]
posted by mxjudyliza at 4:26 PM - 8 answers

January 27

What is the reference mean referred to in this paper?

World ocean heat content and thermosteric sea level change (0–2000 m), 1955–2010, which is the source of this data, provides changes in ocean heat content (OHC) since 1955. But what was the ocean heat content in 1955? [more inside]
posted by ignignokt at 11:39 AM - 5 answers

January 23

Open-source projects using NGS data?

Hi! I am currently in a lab that does primarily genome-wide association studies. To grow as a professional, i.e., GTFO, it would be helpful if I had some experience working with RNAseq data. Can you think of any open-source projects that need analysts, or where to look for same? Google turns up open-source software to do NGS analyses, which is not what I want. Thank you!
posted by 8603 at 6:36 AM - 2 answers

January 19

British weather data?

Is there a website where you can see what the temperature was in a particular place in the UK on a certain day? It seems like all other countries have this apart from the UK. [more inside]
posted by iamsuper at 9:52 AM - 4 answers

January 18

Crab identification

We’re identifying various shells from the beach for my kid’s science fair poster. We’re stumped on what this claw is. Help us identify and bring your scientific support! [more inside]
posted by inevitability at 3:44 PM - 9 answers

January 11

Why do I get different air flow rates in this system?

Can you help me understand a system with a pump, a gas analyzer, and three different flow meters reading giving three different figures for flow rate? [more inside]
posted by twirlypen at 11:57 PM - 5 answers

January 8

Jungle Vision

So, I am going for a multi-day hike in the jungle/rainforest with a guide . What practices can *I* use to i) spot wildlife and ii) learn to pay attention to notice details. Additional difficulties: the visual field/detail can be overwhelming, and I'm likely to be tired from hiking. Assume all hours of the day (dawn to dusk)!
posted by lalochezia at 9:51 AM - 8 answers

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