“And Don’t Skimp On the Pâté”

"Oh %#$%: it's Mr. Creosote!"

The Mighty Flynn has the original story and Mark Shea has the jokes. Yes, scientists have finally achieved the ultimate in mechanization: vomiting robots: The robot is named Vomiting Larry, and isn’t being used for sight gags, but is helping scientists to better understand the spread of noroviruses, also know as the winter vomiting bug, which can cause projectile vomiting, [Read More...]

The Mote In Sauron’s Eye

fomalhault b

I shamelessly stole the headline from this PopSci article on Fomalhaut B, a weird rogue planet-like object in the vast debris field surrounding a star called Fomalhaut. Here’s what that star and debris field look like: Gaaa! Have we accounted for all the Palantirs? Fomalhaut B was imaged in 2007 (or maybe earlier or later, the article [Read More...]

Doctors Grow An Ear On Woman’s Arm

original

Once again, the human body and human genius collaborate on something that’s … incredibly disgusting. But also very cool. The story: The discovery of a rapidly-spreading basal cell cancer in her ear in 2008 required the removal of part of her ear, part of her skull and her left ear canal. But now, in a [Read More...]

3D Printing an Extinct Mollusk

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I don’t want GATM to become ALL 3D PRINTING ALL THE TIME!, but I just love this stuff. A mollusk known as “Protobalanus spinicoronatus” went extinct about 390 million years ago. The little critter had an impressive ring of spikes for protection, and a single suction foot. The fossils are all fragmentary, and thus paleontologists [Read More...]

Are Warp Drives Possible? Definitely Maybe, in Theory

warp-speed-7

The sci-fi idea of a “warp drive” is based on simple physics: nothing can move faster than the speed of light. (There may be exceptions, such as in certain kinds of quantum tunneling, but this seems unlikely.) So, if we want a vessel to travel faster than light, we need to create a bubble that [Read More...]

Beyond the Cloud: DNA is the Next Storage Frontier

DNA strand with code

I try to resist computer-to-human analogies like “the brain is just an organic computer!” They’re facile and, ultimately, inaccurate. One role of DNA, however, is to act as a kind of data storage. It’s a wild oversimplification to compare genetic code to computer code, but there’s a kernel (geek pun: sorry) of truth in there. [Read More...]

The Singing Mouse

No, it’s not the title of a new animated musical feature, although it should be. It’s the nickname of this little fella (turn down your speakers: it gets loud): This is Scotinomys teguina, another of God’s weird and wonderful little masterpieces. He chirps a single note about 20 times a second in order to woo a [Read More...]

Higgs Boson: Sort of Confirmed

Waffles: they’re not just for breakfast any more. The announcement about the Higgs boson was today, and the folks giving the press conference were twisting themselves in knots to avoid saying they have proof! of the elusive particle, when it’s quite clear that they’re fresh off high-fiving and fist-bumping every physicist they encounter saying, “Yeah, [Read More...]


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