Archive for the 'Science' Category

Tiny but dangerous

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

The Guardian: Single clothes wash may release 700,000 microplastic fibres, study finds. (September 27, 2016) “Tiny plastic particles released by synthetic fabrics can cause harm to marine life when they enter rivers and oceans.”

“Each cycle of a washing machine could release more than 700,000 microscopic plastic fibres into the environment, according to a study.
Inside the lonely fight against the biggest environmental problem you’ve never heard of
Read more

A team at Plymouth University in the UK spent 12 months analysing what happened when a number of synthetic materials were washed at different temperatures in domestic washing machines, using different combinations of detergents, to quantify the microfibres shed.

They found that acrylic was the worst offender, releasing nearly 730,000 tiny synthetic particles per wash, five times more than polyester-cotton blend fabric, and nearly 1.5 times as many as polyester.”

So far, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot we consumers can do, except not wear synthetic clothing. However, there’s a company called Guppyfriend that is developing a washing bag designed to catch those microfibers. Here’s their Kickstarter page.

Tick tock

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Here’s how to turn an old hard drive and some LEDs into a clock: LED Hard Drive Clock 3.5″ by Ian Smith. Take a look at his demo video (YouTube, 3min)

Don’t be put off by the year-10,000-compliant website design. One of my students built a clock like this and it is just about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!

Sieben auf einen Streich

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

NPR the two-way: Astronomers Find 7 Earth-Size Planets Around A Nearby Star.

“A small, faint star relatively close by is home to seven Earth-size planets with conditions that could be right for liquid water and maybe even life.

The discovery sets a record for both the most Earth-size planets and the most potentially habitable planets ever discovered around a single star.

The strange planetary system is quite compact, with all of these worlds orbiting their star closer than Mercury orbits the sun, according to a newly published report in Nature.

“If you were on the surface of one of these planets, you would see the other ones as we see the moon, or a bit smaller,” says Michaël Gillon, an astronomer at the University of Liège in Belgium. “The view would be very impressive.””

Driving on the Moon

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

My Own Private Sky: Restored “16mm” footage from Apollo 16 Mission.

Link via dangerousmeta!

Last man to walk on the moon

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

The Two-Way: Gene Cernan, Last Man To Walk On The Moon, Dies At 82.

“The last person to leave footprints on the moon has died. NASA reported that Gene Cernan died Monday at the age of 82, surrounded by his family.

Gene Cernan flew in space three times, including twice to the moon. Cernan was big, brash and gregarious. And if he hadn’t been lucky, he could have missed his chance to walk on the moon.”

See also MetaFilter: The Last Man on the Moon for more links.