science

Via: StilesSays
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Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill!

Bill Nye appeared on Whose Line is is Anyway and showed that this Science Guy has some serious comedy chops.

With fan favorites, Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie, the trio played a game where Stiles' hands were provided by Mochrie. And they were all in space because duh—science.

Things got hilarious very quickly, with Bill Nye having to taste some of the "space food."

Ryan ended the skit on this final gross note.

A scientific study says smoking weed makes it less likely you'll get obese.
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You know you need less guilt in your life, so along comes science to give you the go ahead for picking up that bong.

A study that came out earlier this year proclaims a whole lot of good news for those who find recreation in a cannabis variety.

Essentially, the conclusion says that, within the confines of their data, marijuana use leads to a lower body mass index. Meaning, pot makes you skinnier.

The AV Club does a splendid job of summarizing the findings:

the brilliant researchers found that in their sample population—786 Nunavik Inuits whose health data were surveyed in 2004—marijuana use also corresponded with a lower incidence of diabetes. The authors of the study do caution that some "caveats must be considered when interpreting their results." In other words, you should definitely smoke dope right now because it would be irresponsible not to fill your body with that nourishing, disease-fighting devil weed.

You'd think this sort of habit would pile on the pounds, but don't worry, science has accounted for that. In their study, the researchers from the eminent and infallible CHU De Québec Research Center write, "Frequent cannabis use is associated with higher caloric intake, but investigations into overweight/obesity have yielded inconsistent results." See? The results are inconsistent, so go ahead and eat as much as you want—but only if you ingest plenty of that wholesome, slimming giggle grass first.



So there you go! It's never too late for beach body 2015 and science has the weight loss tip of a lifetime.

This vomiting robot is supposed to help scientists study disease.
Via: sciencemag
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As scientists develop robots with more and more recognizably human traits, you still probably wouldn't expect one to puke.

Researchers at the North Carolina State University actually found a reason to build one that mimics human retching. They wanted to specifically see how the norovirus is spread.

As Science Magazine writes:

Previous anecdotal evidence has suggested that virus particles—specifically norovirus, the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States—might go airborne in the process of puking. But according to food virologist Lee-Ann Jaykus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, "nobody had ever proven in a lab model that the virus can be aerosolized by vomiting."

To rectify that, Jaykus and her team built a miniature "vomiting machine," a quarter-scale model of the human digestive system complete with an artificial stomach, esophagus, and mouth. They designed it to mimic all the pressures and volumes present in hurling humans and then inoculated its "stomach" juices with a virus called MS2 (which is similar to the size, shape, and composition of norovirus but not dangerous to humans).



There's a whole video explaining the machine and its uses, but this is the only thing that you probably want to see:



Here's the whole video if you're just a stickler for knowing all you can about your vomiting robots.



As Vox helpfully points out, this is far from the first gross machine that science has built.

British scientists built 'Vomiting Larry' to study projectile vomiting.



Then there is the 'Cloaca machine', which is a replication of the human digestion system. It actually makes feces.

AKA Poo Bot.

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Just when you think robots are about to take over the world, they go and do something like this.

The DARPA Robotics Challenge was held this past weekend, with numerous teams “vying to develop robots capable of assisting humans in responding to natural and man-made disasters.”

Turns out they had a few disasters of their own as well.

IEEE Spectrum created a compilation of robot falls from the first day of the finals, and while this is pretty funny to watch in itself, one YouTuber took it a step further and mashed it up with some WWE commentary turning it into Internet gold.

“As much as nobody wanted to see a robot fall, everybody wanted to see a robot fall,” wrote IEEE Spectrum on their blog.

The course involved the competing robots trying to open doors, turn valves, drive cars and climb over rubble.

Team KAIST from South Korea took home the top prize with the fastest time, and here’s their robot, DRC-Hubo, stepping up to victory. It was built with wheels on its knees to help protect it from taking a tumble.

“These robots are big and made of lots of metal and you might assume people seeing them would be filled with fear and anxiety,” said DRC organizer Gill Pratt. “But we heard groans of sympathy when those robots fell. And what did people do every time a robot scored a point? They cheered!”

Meanwhile, nothing can stop the beasts from Boston Dynamics, so while these falls are funny, the threat is still very real.

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The future is now.

A Canadian man named Catalin Alexandru Duru has set the new world record for longest distance traveled on a hoverboard.

While this might just seem like fictional story from “Back to the Future 2,” it’s actually very real.

Watch in the clip above as Duru travels 905 feet and 2 inches across Lake Ouareau in Quebec using a prototype device that he built over a period of just one year.

“I will showcase that stable flight can be achieved with a machine one can stand on and control with their feet,” he said.

Unlike with the hoverboard in the movie, he’s lifted off the surface to a height of about 5 meters using his propeller-based board, and it looks a bit more dangerous than Marty McFly’s version.

Although this probably will helps the average rider avoid crashing into large piles of manure.

“This is a truly mesmerising and incredible feat in the world of engineering and transportation,” saida Guinness World Records spokesperson about the news. “It’s always pleasing to see individuals such as Catalin Alexandru Duru achieve a Guinness World Records titles such as this in which personal endeavour continues to amaze us all.”

science-win-nasa-mars-sunset-rover
Via: NASA
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In case you were curious, here is what an alien sees before he/she/it goes to sleep.

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover captured the above image on April 15, and it’s being described as the first sunset observed in color by the spacecraft.

The photos were taken last month, but they were just sent back to Earth last week.

While Mars may appear red, the sunset is actually blue, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory explains why this is possible:

Dust in the Martian atmosphere has fine particles that permit blue light to penetrate the atmosphere more efficiently than longer-wavelength colors. That causes the blue colors in the mixed light coming from the sun to stay closer to sun’s part of the sky, compared to the wider scattering of yellow and red colors. The effect is most pronounced near sunset, when light from the sun passes through a longer path in the atmosphere than it does at mid-day.

Curiosity first landed on Mars’s Gale Crater in August 2012 with a mission of determining whether or not Mars is or ever was habitable by life forms.

Here’s an animated GIF of the sunset, which uses a series of photos takes over a period of about 6 minutes, 51 seconds. The sight apprently inspired the rover to recite some lines from T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” on its Twitter account.



geek news homer simpson predicted higgs boson
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In a 1998 episode of “The Simpsons” called “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace,” Homer knew about the Higgs boson (aka “God Particle”) many years before it was even discovered.

He is shown writing an equation on a chalkboard, which actually turns out to be a lot more than just a bunch of gibberish.

“That equation predicts the mass of the Higgs boson,” Simon Singh, author of The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets, told “The Independent”. “If you work it out, you get the mass of a Higgs boson that’s only a bit larger than the nano-mass of a Higgs boson actually is. It’s kind of amazing as Homer makes this prediction 14 years before it was discovered.”

Peter Higgs theorized about the particle in the ’60s, and it was finally discovered in 2012.

The writers on the show are all a bunch of math geeks, who have hidden easter eggs throughout the series since it premiered. Another of the equations Homer is working on in the same scene references Fermat’s Last Theorem, which Singh also has written about.

You can read more about the chalkboard scene and the math involved in this chapter from Singh’s book published at Boing Boing.

Here’s a more detailed explanation about the Higgs portion:

The first equation on the board is largely Schiminovich’s work, and it predicts the mass of the Higgs boson, M(H0), an elementary particle that that was first proposed in 1964. The equation is a playful combination of various fundamental parameters, namely the Planck constant, the gravitational constant, and the speed of light. If you look up these numbers and plug them into the equation,1 it predicts a mass of 775 giga-electron-volts (GeV), which is substantially higher than the 125 GeV estimate that emerged when the Higgs boson was discovered in 2012. Nevertheless, 775 GeV was not a bad guess, particularly bearing in mind that Homer is an amateur inventor and he performed this calculation fourteen years before the physicists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, tracked down the elusive particle.



The Simpsons have also made headlines for “predicting” a number of other future events, including the Syrian civil war, the ebola outbreak, the Siegfried & Roy tiger attack, smartwatches andmalfunctioning voting booths.

But you would think as longest-running animated series in U.S. TV history that they would eventually get a few things right.

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