Questions in the Science & Nature category.
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October 19

how does one just never get used to it, whatever it is?

The pattern I'm used to with unfortunate circumstances is, one complains about it for a while, then one figures out ways to work around it, then one gets used to it. My wife does not do this. Three are some relatively minor things she appears to be bizarrely unable to accept. I don't understand why, and she doesn't understand how I don't understand. If you also have things you cannot get used to, and you do understand why, can you explain it to me? [more inside]
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 8:50 PM - 47 answers

I want to read a book about the Voyager Record

I was looking through a gallery of the images sent from Earth on the Voyager Record and it took my breath away. I'd love to read a book that talked about the history of the Record- how they picked the images, what each image is, explanations of everything- and if it talked about the audio choices and stuff as well then that's great too. What's the best book written about the Voyager Record?
posted by DynamiteToast at 11:15 AM - 3 answers

October 18

Mystery Bugs in Portland OR

Please help me ID these bugs for a friend. [more inside]
posted by RaeVaughn1958 at 12:34 PM - 4 answers

October 17

Stats Filter -- Smallish Sample Size

My statistics experience is rusty. I want to compare about 175 cities to each other. I'm not sure what is the best way to do that. [more inside]
posted by maurreen at 11:53 PM - 17 answers

Most Earth-friendly way to give myself diabetes

So, I drink a lot of soda. Like a lot. Like too much. A two-liter or most of a twelve-pack per day. I know that aluminum is a better recyclable in general because you can get it back to its elemental state relatively easily, whereas plastic degrades every time it cycles. However, given the amount involved, I'm curious if it would be better from an environmental standpoint to have at the end of the week only five to seven plastic bottles to recycle or forty-eight aluminum cans (plus the associated cardboard). No matter what, I intend to keep ruining my health with fizzy sugar water, but I'd like to do it with as little collateral as possible, y'know?
posted by Scattercat at 10:21 PM - 14 answers

October 12

What glue is safe to use to mend breadmaker paddle?

Is there a food-safe glue to mend it? [more inside]
posted by ragtimepiano at 11:55 AM - 15 answers

October 10

Coffee table polymer book

Hi, I have a vague childhood recollection of a cool coffee-table type book about (new and exciting?) polymers. I distinctly remember one image of a cute kitten sitting happy and unharmed on a transparent perspex-like block, with a Bunsen burner or similar roaring underneath. IIRC there were more pictures throughout the book of various polymers, interspersed with ball-and-stick models of the chemical compositions, and maybe some explanatory text. [more inside]
posted by puppygalore at 8:41 AM - 5 answers

October 9

Looking for a text book on spatial statistics

If it was focused towards R and/or QGIS but with some explanation of the underlying statistical methods that'd be great. I don't have formal training in stats but I find it helpful in my work (landscape analysis and plant ecology). [more inside]
posted by unearthed at 12:05 AM - 4 answers

October 3

How to I find information about this analysis problem?

I want to figure out how to compare time-to-resolution (TTR) for requests before and after a procedural change. There's a subtlety I came up against that others must have addressed, but I'm not sure how to find information it. [more inside]
posted by Gorgik at 3:41 PM - 6 answers

September 28

What shape petit fours can I cut from a sheet cake s.t....

(1) Each cut is a straight line across an entire piece of cake, but not necessarily across the entire pan. (2) Cake is wasted only at the edges of the pan. (3) All the resulting petit fours come out the same shape and size (except for the wasted bits at the edges). Equilateral triangles work, as do isosceles triangles. Rectangles work, either in a grid or staggered like brickwork. Hexagons do not work. I think I'm looking for tilings of the plane by one convex polygon, but not necessarily a regular, edge-to-edge, or even periodic tiling. Help?
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 7:39 PM - 11 answers

September 26

What does sunrise/sunset time mean for practical light conditions?

I'm never sure exactly when the world will actually be visible relation to the predicted sunrise or sunset on a certain date. Can you explain this? [more inside]
posted by nantucket at 11:38 AM - 8 answers

September 24

eyeball and backyard astronomy for toddlers

Toddler T. has been asking about the Moon and stars and planets. I don't know enough, or have the right kind of knowledge, to talk about what we can see. Can you recommend good eyeball and backyard astronomy guides aimed at toddlers and small children? The books and other resources I can find are geared to about 7 and up, which is too old.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:58 AM - 6 answers

September 19


When should I celebrate this year's Great Bugpocalypse? [more inside]
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 3:14 PM - 4 answers

September 17

Possibly Dodgy Paradigm-Shifting Mega Theories

I'm trying to compile a list of improbably brash, would-be paradigm-shifting, broadly integrative theories from otherwise brilliant and respected figures that have been neither definitively/universally proven nor disproven. [more inside]
posted by Quisp Lover at 8:50 AM - 11 answers

September 16

Best Magnetic Hooks for Vertical Sheer

What are the best magnetic hooks I can buy on the internet that withstand vertical sheering? i.e. Putting the hooks on the side of something vertical and hanging something heavy from them. Looking to hang a shelving unit that will be about 15-20 lbs. Science questions inside. [more inside]
posted by juniperesque at 7:57 AM - 7 answers

September 14

How can we simulate UV damage on materials for an experiment?

Should we just get large lights? [more inside]
posted by fantasticness at 12:53 PM - 6 answers

September 12

What if the Earth had a giant equatorial ocean?

Just as a thought experiment, what would the Earth be like if all the land was in the northern and southern poles, and the equator was a giant, uninterrupted ocean? [more inside]
posted by fimbulvetr at 12:37 PM - 8 answers

Water level in marsh pond

There's a pond in the tidal marsh near Emeryville that I see most weekdays, and my question is about that pond's pattern of water levels. Here's an aerial image of it. [more inside]
posted by salt grass at 9:12 AM - 7 answers

September 10

forcing everything metal to shine

Can you help me think through my misinformed idea/question re: how the 4th dimension would manifest in 3d/ours, and what implications that has for being alive? [more inside]
posted by elephantsvanish at 6:57 PM - 10 answers

September 9

Path of Voyager relative to the galaxy?

I'm clearly looking in the wrong places, because I seem to be oddly unable to find any information on the paths of Voyager 1 & 2 as they relate to the rest of the galaxy. [more inside]
posted by aramaic at 9:52 AM - 9 answers

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