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…

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…

KURZGESAGT!

Kurzgesagt is a German word meaning, “in a nutshell”, or “in short”. It is also the name of an amazing series of Youtube videos that brilliantly explain all sorts of interesting things. They release a new video every month. Each episode gives surprisingly detailed and thought provoking answers to the kind of questions a (philosophically inclined) child…

Theo Jansen’s Living Sculptures

The work of Theo Jansen exists at a truly unique crossroads of art, science, and biology. The mechanical ingenuity at work in his creations is truly staggering, and the end results are breathtaking, literally breathtaking. No, really. Theo Jansen creates art that actually breathes, drinks, walks, and steers clear of danger. His work even “evolves” in a very real sense, continuously giving…

No Man’s Sky & The Power Of Procedural Generation

We are mere days away from the release of No Man’s Sky, one of the most anticipated games of the year. It is a supermassive space exploration game that might also be one of  the most ambitious game worlds ever created. When I say massive, I mean truly, unimaginably massive. According to the developer there…

Infographic! #7: Snake-Oil

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

No, that study can’t tell you how to raise your kids

The problem with science in the media… …they’re wrong 90% of the time (totally not made up statistic).  Here’s a run-down of the problem: Step 1:  Someone somewhere decides to do a study, most likely with a tiny sample size, studying something really arbitrary, and possibly on rats. Step 2:  Study is published in a…

Harnessing Energy

A quick collection of some of the most inspiring new technologies to help to energize our world. Note that these are being posted in a fit of techno-optimism, and you should probably be more cynical than I am being in presenting these as TOTALLY AWESOME WORLD-CHANGING AMAZE-BALLS! There are very real obstacles to realizing each…

Tillandsia

Often, we collect knowledge, but we do not foster the understanding necessary to apply that knowledge. For example, imagine a redwood seed planted carefully in the ground and properly tended. After a year, it is a sturdy sapling, and each year after that it grows a little faster. After two decades, the tree is as…

Scissors of the Gods

In 1983, Kary Mullis had an inspiration for a tool, a simple chemical process that would allow DNA to be replicated. Tiny fragments of DNA could be copied over and over, allowing enough DNA to be generated to do other tests. Moreover, specific fragments of DNA could be targeted for replication!  He had invented PCR….

Zika

*Updated: Additional links to research added* A quick review of the Zika data from the CDC shows that headlines like: “The Zika Virus: Pandemic Preparedness Is Needed Now!”, or “The Count of American Zika Cases Just Got Bigger” are sensationalist. First, the pregnant women data is being interpreted contrary to the CDCs explicit instructions: (e.g.,…

Save the Sharks…. From the Whales

Here is an insane video of a group of false killer whales (actually dolphins) hunting down a sizable shark! One of the most serious difficulties for Evil Geniuses in this day and age is keeping a healthy stock of laser-beam equipped sharks. Dwindling numbers are driving up costs, not to mention the price of mounting the…