October 2011 Archives

Why It's Hard to Avoid a Halloween Stomachache

All Hallows' Eve is upon us once again.Tonight is the night for ghosts and specters, for black cats and vampire bats, and for a night kept alight by the fires of a thousand Jack-o-lanterns.It's also the night for droves of masquerading children to wander the...

Science on The Dos and Don'ts of Bedtime

Ahhhhhh bedtime. Yawwwwwwwwn. Strrrretttccchhh.The mattress beckons. The covers call to you with their comfortable caress. The pillows yearn for you to plop your head down onto their plump padding.The weariness caused by a long, arduous day amplifies the...

Drug Legalization: What Would Steve Jobs Do?

Much ado has been made over the past week about Steve Jobs' apparent disappointment with President Obama. Media outlets across the globe have especially touted Jobs' dissatisfaction with what he deemed to be an Obama administration that is unfriendly toward...

Where is the Love?

It's in the caudate nucleus.That's the finding of a 2005 study from researchers at Stony Brook University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The researchers gleaned their results by examining nearly 2,500 brain images from seventeen students who...

'BEST' May Be Best Study Yet on Climate Change

Forget all of the rubbish surrounding the issue of climate change.Forget the inconvenient truths. Forget "Climategate." Forget the tear-jerking documentaries about polar bears. Forget the calls of a widespread scientific hoax. Forget the nimrods who deny or...

On Great Pumpkins, Linus Was Simply Ahead of His Time

"There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin."                                         ...

Dumb Things Grad Students Do in Lab

A USA Today piece reports that college laboratories have a poor safety record, specifically, somewhere between 10-50 times worse than the chemical industry. That sounds bad, but having done plenty of research both as an undergrad and graduate student, I'm not...

Five Most Interesting Man-made Objects on the Moon

Humans have left behind a lot of stuff on the Moon. Everything from ships and probes, to cameras and plaques, to defecation collection devices. You name it; humans probably left it. So let's take a look at five of the most interesting man-made objects left on...

Does Plate Size Affect How Much We Eat?

The other day, as I was liberally forking pasta onto my dinner plate, I couldn't help but notice the size of the plate, itself. This thing was big.The next thing I noticed was how pitiful my portion of pasta was in relation to this overly large plate. Not...

Dancing Scientists Are on to Something

There's no denying it: Ph.D theses can make for some pretty dry reading material......But they make for some phenomenal dance numbers.Last Friday, sixteen finalists were announced for the "2011 Dance Your Ph.D" Contest. These finalists are in the hunt for a...

A Lobbyist Calling a Scientist Biased? Really?

On Monday, University of Minnesota researcher, Jaako Mursu published the results of a long-term study examining the effects of vitamin and mineral supplementation on older women. The study found that the use of certain supplements was associated with an...

The Best Science Television Show Within a Television Show

Narrator: "It's time to learn about science on Ask Mr. Lizard."Mr. Lizard: "Hi, kids."Timmy: "Hi, Mr. Lizard. What are we going to learn today?"Mr. Lizard: "Well, Timmy; what do you think would happen if we mixed potassium nitrate, charcoal, and...

China is More Science Illiterate than the U.S., for Now

A 2008 survey found that a mere 28% of Americans "meet the level of scientific literacy needed to understand scientific terms, concepts, methods, and the impact of science on society."In addition, recent battles in the blogosphere have prompted stark...

Preventing Baseball Bats from Breaking Badly

In 2008, Major League Baseball was facing an epidemic of massive proportions... besides steroids.Fans and players alike were being terrorized by incidents of shattered bats at a rate of one per game. That may sound like an insignificant number, but I say that...

Can Humans Unlock 'Superpowers' Through Our Minds?

If you're looking to find out how to fly or turn invisible, I'm afraid the Newton Blog cannot help you.But if you're interested in superhuman abilities such as abnormal strength, regenerative powers, or hyper athleticism, you've come to the right place!...

Steve Jobs' Passing is Uniquely Personal for All

I remember my first iMac.It was graphite in color and came with a 60 gigabyte hard drive, a DVD/CD-R combo Drive, and a 700MHz G3 Processor. I named it "Cami."To buy it, I had spent the previous nine months saving the money I had earned from working odd jobs...

America's Modern Oil Boom Offers Incredible Opportunity

At the height of Manifest Destiny in the mid 1850s, hundreds of thousands of Americans courageously trekked across the country's uncharted expanse of fertile plains and pristine forests en route to California. The Gold Rush was at its peak and the promise of...

Chinese Launch: Why was it set to 'America the Beautiful'?

Last Thursday, the world witnessed a historical moment in Chinese spaceflight: the launch of their Tiangong-1 space lab. As the country's "Heavenly Palace" streaked toward the starlit sky riding a majestic ball of fire, millions of Chinese were undoubtedly...