Anti-antibiotic Action

The Harvard Medical School set up a beautiful and terrifying demonstration of how antibiotic resistance evolves in bacteria. Many people have problems understanding just how huge a problem this is, or just how powerfully resistant bacteria can become. The demonstration was time-lapsed over a two week period, and should speak for itself. There is good…

I work for NASA!

And so can you! Download the new NASA GLOBE Observer app, and you can take pictures of atmospheric conditions in your environments (clouds!) to augment NASA’s already significant data sets. The app is being developed as part of the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE)  program which trains students to be citizen scientists and…

Superman Detection Theory

Signal Detection Theory (SDT) is very important field–arguably one of the most important contributions of modern psychology. Simplistically, it looks at how signals are detected amidst noise, and the factors that effect this process. This is at work when the TSA is screening your luggage, it dictates where street signs are placed, and it informs…

Infographics! Health Food?!?

Check out this New York Times graph for a comparison of how healthy experts think foods are, versus how healthy the public thinks they are. The key findings? Avoid coconut oil laden granola bars…

Every Monument Needs a Plaque

Usually that plaque is an ornamental tablet to identify and illuminate, but lately the monuments of Washington D.C. have been seeing the other kind–living biofilms that stick to their surfaces and are causing quite a bit of confusion. The fact is, we know relatively little about many biofilms. They are complex microbiomes made of many…

My ice cream needs more Malto-Dextrin Alkalide…

We have a ton of questions about SCiO, but if it can do what it purports to do, then we are already amazed. The handheld gadget is a pocket spectral meter. Spectroscopy is a large field that measures interactions of matter and energy, most commonly to identify component elements and/or properties of a material. Depending on…

Illusory Monsters

It is hard to overstate how successful Pokemon Go has been. It is also hard to overstate how terrible the coverage of this phenomenon has been. Every media outlet has been trying to manufacture stories to capitalize on the huge popularity, often getting the details all wrong in the process. Sometimes these are innocent failures…

Infographic #9!: Red VS Blue

http://graphics.wsj.com/blue-feed-red-feed/ The Wall Street Journal fabricated two Facebook profiles, one conservative and one liberal. While this was by no means unassailable scientific method, the results are a fascinating infographic: two side-by-side feeds demonstrating how the same keyword can generate vastly different newsfeeds through Facebook’s algorithm/staff-curated process.  

Infographic! #7: Snake-Oil

Visit Information is Beautiful for a interactive infographic summarizing the actual evidence-based efficacy of many common health supplements.

Dave. Stop Trafficking, Dave.

Premptive TLDR: Use the TraffickCam website, or download the app (Android or iOS) to leverage new photo recognition technology and crowd-sourcing to fight sex trafficking. The thought that everything we do is being increasingly scrutinized is often terrifying. When we reference HAL spying on his human charges in 2001 Space Oddyssey, or 1984‘s Big Brother watching everything, it evokes fear…

Voltron: The Good Parts Version

The classic film the Princess Bride is a very faithful retelling of the book, but there are a few major differences. Perhaps the largest is the framing of the book–The author, William Goldman, writes himself into the book as an author suffering a mid-life crisis and desperately trying to find a book his father read…

INFOGRAPHICS! #6 Takeout Food

You must go to CIAT’s (the International Center for Tropical Algriculture) website to explore their interactive food infographic. There, you can learn where foods originated, where they come from, and where they go to. There are three types of interactive infographics provided: By hovering over specific lines, locations, or image elements you will be provided…