Thursday, April 23

Earth Day Photos

I know it was yesterday, but here are some of my favorites from 40 photos posted by the Boston Globe in honor of 40 years of Earth Day.

Could We Have Prevented HIV/AIDS

And can we prevent the next epidemic?

Rich = Green (not just money)

Here are two bold predictions made yesterday by John Tierney of the NYT:

1. There will be no green revolution in energy or anything else. No leader or law or treaty will radically change the energy sources for people and industries in the United States or other countries. No recession or depression will make a lasting change in consumers’ passions to use energy, make money and buy new technology — and that, believe it or not, is good news, because...

2. The richer everyone gets, the greener the planet will be in the long run.

I strongly encourage you to read the article to find out more...

Wednesday, April 22

Swallowing the iPod Shuffle

I recently posted x-ray proof that sword-swallowing is not a trick, so why is it so hard for this sword-swallower to swallow a tiny iPod shuffle?

Can the iPod shuffle be swallowed? from Gizmodo on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 21

8 Secrets of Success

My Mom sent this to me, and now I'm sharing it with you:

The Beauty of Nature

Check out these beautiful pictures:

More pictures can be found here

Winners of the Green Innovation Challenge

Check out NewScientist's gallery showing the winners of an international competition to find innovations that could help combat climate change:

Fraction Neurons

From NewScientist (full article):

FRACTIONS may be written as the ratio of two whole numbers, but that's not how our brains process them. Instead it seems we respond to fractions directly, without processing whole numbers along the way. This suggests that kids, who often dread fractions, could be taught them more intuitively.

Previous tests have shown that specifc groups of neurons respond to different whole numbers, with the number one altering the firing patterns of different neurons than the number three. Now Simon Jacob and Andreas Nieder of the University of Tübingen in Germany have shown that we have fraction-specific neurons too.

The pair scanned the brains of adults as they were shown a variety of different fractions - either as numerical ratios or in words. In both cases, specific groups of neurons altered their firing patterns. Crucially, control experiments showed that the volunteers weren't responding first to whole numbers, and then calculating the ratio, but were reacting to the fraction itself (The Journal of Neuroscience, DOI: 10.1523/jneurosci.0651-09.2009).

Fractions tend to be taught as ratios of whole numbers, but Nieder says this may not tap our neural machinery in the most constructive way, making fractions harder to grasp than they need to be.

Flying Bionic Penguins

Visualizing World Energy Use

Here's a nice graphic for you to contemplate:
click pic to enlarge

Green Porno: Snail

Now for a little fun:

Monday, April 20

What We Can Tell From Facial Expression

I mentioned this study on how accurate our perception of a person is simply based on their picture in class today, so I figured I would direct those interested to the post, which can be found here. For more on the topic, check out You Don't Even Know What You Like

Corn Ethanol No Better Than Petroleum

Here's another nugget regarding alt. energy (

I've posted on this topic before, check out Beyond Fossil Fuels, Duckweed, Renewable Energy to the Rescue, Water vs. Energy, A Note on Biofuels and Alternative Biofuels.

Beyond Fossil Fuels

I want to direct your attention to a series that started today on I am super busy with the end of school and trying to find a job, so I don't have any time to discuss it, but check it out: