Archive for the 'Science' Category

Marsch für die Wissenschaft

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

Zeit online: March for Science: Weil es keine Alternative zu Fakten gibt. “Trump und der Brexit haben sie alarmiert: Forscher weltweit demonstrieren gegen Wissenschaftsfeindlichkeit und “alternative Fakten”. Auch in Berlin sind es Tausende.” Von Saskia Gerhard, Berlin.

“Den Unglauben gegenüber der Wissenschaft sieht der Physiker auch bei Populisten, wenn sie gegen Eliten wettern und die Forscher miteinbeziehen. “Aber auch in der linksliberalen Ecke spürt man heftige Skepsis, zum Beispiel bei den Impfgegnern.” Es sei schwierig, dagegen zu halten, denn diese Gruppen ließen sich durch Fakten nicht überzeugen. “Sie glauben an ihre eigene Wahrheit und vereinzelt finden sie sogar Experten, die sich auf ihre Seite stellen. Die werden dann immer wieder hervorgehoben, obwohl sie eine kleine Minderheit sind.”
In Deutschland hat der Marsch eine andere Bedeutung als in den USA, glaubt Klaus Jäger. “Wir marschieren hier aus Solidarität und um zu zeigen: Wir sind da. In den USA hat das eine andere Dimension, da wird ein Klimaskeptiker an die Spitze der Environmental Protection Agency, der amerikanischen Umweltschutzbehörde, gesetzt und Forschungsfreiheit beschnitten.””

I shall please – ich werde gefallen – placebo

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

NPR: Can Placebos Work If You Know They’re Placebos? (4min 42sec sound file, transcript)

“NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly asks writer Robert Siegel about “open label placebos” and whether placebos work even when patients know they’re placebos. He wrote about his experience in Smithsonian Magazine.”

Ein virtuelles Oszi!

Friday, April 21st, 2017

XXY Oscilloscope is an interactive oscilloscope emulator by Neil Theipen. This is fun to play with!

Link via MetaFilter: something something oscilloscope your ocelot.

Mission Control

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

The Guardian: Apollo 13: celebrating the unsung heroes of mission control. “Ahead of a new documentary about Nasa’s ground crews, astronaut Jim Lovell talks about the team that saved his life during 1970’s ill-fated moon mission”.

“It is unlikely there is anyone who has more appreciation for the work of Nasa’s mission control than Captain Jim Lovell. His Apollo 13 mission was nearly destroyed when an oxygen tank in its main command module exploded. His spaceship was crippled and only narrowly coaxed to a safe return to Earth thanks to his crew’s heroic efforts – and the crucial aid of mission control.

Lovell was commander of Apollo 13 but was forced to abandon his mission’s planned lunar landing when the blast, which occurred 200,000 miles from Earth and two days into its journey in April 1970, triggered a major loss of power. Cabin heating stopped working, the water supply was disrupted and carbon dioxide began to build up. Lovell and crewmen Jack Swigert and Fred Haise were facing death.”

The movie is available here on demand.

Link via Garret.

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.