Landing on a comet

A probe from the European Space Agency landed on a comet, an object just two and half miles wide, 300 million miles away.  That’s quite a feat of engineering.

The Philae lander beamed back images showing one of its three feet on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko . This photo is compiled from two images; a wider version will be released later Thursday.

[Read more...]

Why do people like to be scared?

Dr. Margee Kerr is a “scare specialist.”  In addition to college teaching, she is the staff sociologist at ScareHouse, a “haunted house” in Pittsburgh, which apparently consults her scientific expertise in designing effects that scare people.  The Atlantic interviews her on the question of why some people like to get scared. [Read more...]

Blood transfusion

The nurse who recovered from Ebola had received a blood transfusion from Dr. Kent Brantly, that first American missionary doctor who contracted the disease but survived.  So far, he has given about a gallon of his blood to others with the disease, and it seems to be helping.  The recipients and the donor must have compatible blood types, but the antibodies that successfully killed the virus in the survivor can be transferred into another person’s body.

I can’t resist the comparison to the blood of Christ.  He bore the disease of sin in His body and went so far as to die from it, though that particular virus was ours, not His.  But He rose from the dead.  Now His blood is our cure.  He gives us a blood transfusion:

And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:27-28) [Read more...]

The urination constant

I am a squeamish person, and I dislike talking about bodily functions.  But I stumbled upon a finding that is so interesting that I had to share it with you.  Did you know that virtually all animals, from a dog to an elephant–including human beings–take about the same amount of time to urinate?  That would be around 21 seconds.  See why after the jump. [Read more...]

The failure of reality to match up with computer models

The ice caps are supposed to be melting.  But the ice in Antarctica is at record levels.  And the ice at the North Pole, after declining for awhile, is back to normal levels.  So reports a British newspaper, the Register.  I’m struck, though, by a comment in the article that cites,  “This failure of reality to match up with climate modelling.”

That “reality” has somehow failed is rather humorous.  Isn’t computer modelling dependent on what data is programmed into the model?  And isn’t reality always going to be more complex than a model, with far more variables, many of which are unknown to the researcher?  [Read more...]

Both matter and anti-matter

Paradox of nature:  a sub-atomic particle has been discovered that acts like both matter and anti-matter. [Read more...]


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