Thursday, April 16

The Big Bang in Glass

I'm a big fan of blown glass in general, and this artist has tried to embody the theory of the big bang in a glass sculpture - and he actually has some pretty interesting things to say about it:

Seeing Through Walls

The previous post showed how a reflective coating and a camera can make it possible to see through objects - well here's another way:

Invisibility: From Sci-Fi to Reality

Check out these two almost unbelievable new technologies: first, the combination of a special reflective coating and a video camera may make it possible to see through the solid parts of your car to virtually eliminate blind spots; second, by altering electromagnetic waves it is possible to make light waves appear as if they pass right through an object, thus making it invisible. Check it out:

More on the Affect of Facial Expressions

This goes quite well with the video I posted about ten minutes ago:

X-Ray of a Sword Swallower

In case you thought sword swallowing was some sort of magic trick - here's your proof that it can really be done:

You Don't Even Know What You Like

It's a simple experiment/trick, and it's pretty cool. The guy shows two faces and asks which you like. Upon choosing he puts down the card, hands it to you, and asks why you picked it. The catch is, he is handing you the one you didn't pick - but more often than not you don't even realize, and proceed to explain why you like the picture you didn't choose. What's the explanation for this? Hell if I know.

Bed Bugs an Increasing Problem

Bed bugs have always been somewhat of a mythical creature to me. Probably because because of the little rhyme recited every night by my parents as they tucked me in: "Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite. And if they do, get out your shoe, and beat them 'til they're black and blue." (The second line wasn't recited by my parents, but learned later from peers at school.)

Anyway, I have never taken this warning particularly seriously, but there may now be reason to heed the warning with a little more care. Check it out (from 60 Second Science):
Federal environmental regulators are hosting the first-ever "bed bug summit" to discuss emerging infestations of the insects around the country.

At the behest of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), some 300 people gathered in Arlington, Va., yesterday and today to swap ideas about how to get rid of the critters, whose bites make up to half of victims itchy with hives. While there's no official count of how many people are bitten, cities including New York, Chicago, Boston and Cincinnati have reported growing bed bug problems, which experts blame in part on declining use of pesticides amid concerns about their health effects. Read more...

New Breed of Cancer Vaccine Shows New Promise

Seattle bio-tech company Dendreon has announced that it's anti-cancer vaccine, Provenge, prolongs the lives of prostate cancer patients. 500 patients for who no other therapies were effective participated in the study, but the exact results have not been released (leading to some suspicion regarding the truth of the claim).

While most vaccines rely on prevention, provenge works by targeting immune cells/molecules to established tumors. Many believe this type of vaccine could be less toxic and more effective than chemotherapy or radiation, and when used in conjunction with chemo, the results appear to be synergistic.

However, while preliminary results are certainly promising, the FDA has been reluctant to approve Provenge - inciting outcry and criticism by many cancer-patient advocates. Maybe these latest results will help (when the details are finally released - and if the claims are true).

(link to article about another alt. treatment with nanoparticles)

Image: T-cell