Questions in the Science & Nature category.
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June 2

Patients who have beat the odds

I keep hearing stories of people who, despite the prognosis of their doctors, make more progress or have partial or full recoveries from some disease or condition that no one expected them to. [more inside]
posted by CollectiveMind at 11:48 PM - 10 answers

May 31

Heat a volume with a warm mass. How math?

I think I'm trying to do some kind of thermal mass calculation. But I'm not even sure how to approach the equations. [more inside]
posted by bartleby at 10:14 PM - 12 answers

May 29

who sent this in, and from where?

This is a handwritten note that accompanies a mycological exsiccata in the herbarium at Vienna. The first line reads "Aseroe [or Ascroe] rubra Labill" a Tasmanian species of fungi. The second line begins "from" - but how does it continue? [more inside]
posted by progosk at 1:51 AM - 13 answers

May 26

Who is this double act?

These two illusionists give me a powerfully strong and wonderful old-gay-couple-tired-of-the-others-nonsense vibe. Who are they and how do I see more of their act? (Warning: mechanics of illusions are revealed.)
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 5:10 PM - 2 answers

May 23

Are you someone with intrinsic motivation? Share your secret sauce.

I am someone who is very externally motivated, that is, great at meeting commitments and deadlines imposed by others. For example, I would have to be pretty much dead to cancel an appointment with, say, a personal trainer or a therapist. If a paper or work project is due on x date, it will be delivered on that date. But if it’s just me, alone, doing a thing whether it’s education, work, exercise, cooking for myself, pretty much anything that’s even the most minimal effort, even when I really enjoy it? I find it much much harder to stick with it consistently. Are you someone who does things consistently by yourself? How?! [more inside]
posted by t0astie at 2:15 AM - 21 answers

May 13

Card trick question: difficulty level -- different language, math

When I was a child, my grandfather showed me a card trick, based on a mnemonic in a language other than English. I would like to reproduce it in English. [more inside]
posted by virve at 11:33 AM - 5 answers

May 4

Wormsign but for bedbugs

Husband found this part of a bug in our laundry room, on the floor near the shelves he’s got clothes on. Does this look like a bedbug shell to you? Should we imminently panic? [more inside]
posted by caitcadieux at 5:49 AM - 3 answers

May 2

On ferritin and iron

Iron is an element. Ferritin is a cage made of protein that stores iron. How is ferritin made in the human body? How does iron get into the ferritin? What is the life cycle of iron? [more inside]
posted by aniola at 11:46 PM - 3 answers

April 22

How unfashionable were the medieval poor?

How fast did fashion spread in, say, medieval times, or Tudor times? Would people living in remote areas perhaps wearing be clothes that were 100 years or more out of fashion? Or would fashions evolve at similar speeds to today?
posted by iamsuper at 9:53 AM - 12 answers

April 18

Bug ID

Can you identify this flying bug? Small, about 2-3 mm. Bigger than a fruit fly/gnat, but smaller than a house fly. Usually seen sitting on walls around the house, not actively flying. Seems to appear in the spring and summer. Also, how can I get rid of them from my house?
posted by roaring beast at 6:40 PM - 3 answers

April 15

Blood types and donation

Why aren't people told their blood types anymore? What happens when people donate blood? [more inside]
posted by fingersandtoes at 1:27 PM - 20 answers

April 10

Haptic feedback and perception

I would like to learn more about design principles for haptic feedback systems. I have a reasonable technical foundation (control theory, signal processing, sensors and actuators etc) but know very little about how that all actually translates into human perception. Do you know of any material (books, articles, etc) that can help bridge the gap? [more inside]
posted by btfreek at 10:01 AM - 2 answers

What's wrong with this clique math?

I was watching this video about P = NP problems and it described the clique problem. I had a thought about one way to solve the clique problem - though of course with very little math knowledge I'm very aware that I have not Solved Math and likely am overlooking something major (the Wiki article went past my head). What's the matter with my possible algorithm? [more inside]
posted by creatrixtiara at 2:38 AM - 6 answers

April 9

Is my jacket safe to wash in machine in hot water and tumble dry high

By word of mouth, the outer layer is nylon and the inner layer and lining is polyester. Is it debatable that it can go in hot water, in machine and can be tumble dried (high or medium)? If so, what makes it wash only in cold water and only hang to dry? As well how do you test it, (instruction and brand name is missing)
posted by amfgf at 12:20 PM - 10 answers

Help me find shady trees against insect infectation etc.?

I Googled it with the 3 keywords. I can find trees sites about strong trees against insect infectation, and sites about trees against icestorms but not shady trees against icestorms insect infectation, and other bad things? I need a house that with those kinds of trees?
posted by amfgf at 11:33 AM - 10 answers

Would anything be different if there was a moon-sized galaxy in the sky?

I was idly wondering if there would be any implications of there being another galaxy that was close enough to see- say, a spiral galaxy the same size as the Milky Way that took the same amount of space in the sky as the moon. Clearly it’s still very far away, but that’s a lot of mass! Would anything be different for the denizens of the Milky Way, from a physical or cosmological standpoint?
posted by rockindata at 6:46 AM - 6 answers

April 8

Minimize icestorm disaster?

What can help prevent all the disaster caused by icestorms? I don't own a house yet, but how do I prevent problems that arise from icestorms?
posted by amfgf at 1:53 PM - 6 answers

April 7

Edumacate Me on AGW

What are the most significant / influential / persuasive peer-reviewed studies / metastudies on anthropogenic climate change? [more inside]
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:12 AM - 4 answers

March 31

What were these flying insects we encountered in North Dakota?

Some years ago, Mr. DrGail and I went to North Dakota around Labor Day. In the northeastern part of the state, near Devil's Lake, we had a very unfortunate encounter at dusk with some large flying insects. We asked people what they were called, and heard various answers including "sandflies" and were assured that they were only a problem for a few days each year. Even after all this time, I'd still like to know what they are. Can you help? [more inside]
posted by DrGail at 12:58 PM - 6 answers

March 29

What are your favorite beginner resources for exploratory data analysis?

I don't have a strong quantitative background (have taken a couple of basic stats classes many years ago) but recently was asked at work to take a look at a Qualtrics data set from around 150 surveys (pre- and post-test surveys). I'm not really sure how to start off looking at the data in an organized, best practices sort of way. [more inside]
posted by forkisbetter at 9:30 AM - 11 answers

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