September 2011 Archives

Out For the Week

We'll try not to get in too much trouble...

Napping is Serious Business

To nap, or not to nap: that is the question.Controversy is a well-known bedfellow of science, but not where napping is concerned. Countless studies have demonstrated that taking a quick snooze improves cognitive performance, prevents "burnout," and boosts...

Warrior Dash Is Hard, Physiologically Speaking

Breathe; just breathe. You're almost there. A step. Wow, this sucks. Another step. Uggh. Two more steps. At least I'm going downhill now. Five more steps. Is that the finish line up ahead? Ten more steps. Come on, you can do it...Wow I did it!Each year,...

A Look Back at 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'

"In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people angry and has been widely regarded as a bad...

Valve's 'Portal' Educates and Inspires

I love being a lab rat. I love being poked and prodded through maze-like rooms filled with puzzles that challenge my problem-solving and spatial reasoning skills.I also love receiving positive reinforcement when I complete those difficult challenges.But most...

The Science of Stink: Human Body Odor

In mankind's history, there has perhaps been no adversary more widely combated than our own body odor. For thousands of years, we were defenseless and without a champion to lead us in the fight against our own stench. But then, out of the noxious plume came...

Turn Frustration into 'Eureka!'

Eureka! I just changed the world!"Eureka moments" have led to the discoveries of post-it notes, microwave ovens, and even special relativity. The Greek thinker, Archimedes is rumored to have coined the term "eureka" when he realized that the volume of an...

Virtual Goods Market is Very Real

Would you spend $22,000 on a virtual island? A British gamer did.In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Holly Finn asked a different question:Which is dumber--buying "The Knot," a beautiful Bottega Veneta handbag made of woven satin and trimmed in...

Science Curriculums Need to Be More Innovative

Why aren't more college students choosing science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) majors? 2010 statistics show that for every new Ph.D. in the physical sciences, the U.S. graduates 50 new MBAs and 18 lawyers. In addition, the number of...

Doses of Bacteria? Yes, Please!

We are a nation of germophobes, specifically bacteriophobes. Today, It seems like wherever you go antibacterial hand-washing stations are available within sneezing distance. This makes sense in certain settings - a hospital, for example. But when I can't walk...

Guys Are in Trouble

Guys, we've got trouble. And unfortunately it's not as simple as trouble with a capital T that rhymes with P and stands for Pool. According to psychologist Philip Zimbardo, "Guys are flaming out academically and they're wiping out socially with girls and...

Bar Science 101

A bar is a hotbed of social interaction. It's where friends are made, where shenanigans abound, and where (responsible) inebriation can spawn surprisingly keen insights. In light of these observations, the bar might actually be one of the best venues to...

It's the Little Things in Life... That Kill Us.

Sometimes it's nice to enjoy the little things in life. Things like watching television after a hard day's work, munching on salty potato chips, or having sex with your significant other. But as scientific studies have frequently demonstrated, it is these...

Lab Meat May Let Vegetarians Embrace 'Inner Carnivore'

The not too distant future...Walking down the meat aisle, you peruse the protein selections. Ohhhh "Black Angus" hamburger. Yum. Oh look, there's some "grass-fed" lamb. And some "free-range" chicken, too. Oh, I'm so glad those chickens get room to roam....