Jump to content


Science FACT theatre


  • Please log in to reply
65 replies to this topic

#21 scherzo

scherzo

    I know things

  • Islander
  • 3,388 posts

Posted 20 February 2009 - 01:06 AM

View PostOrpheus, on Feb 17 2009, 01:26 AM, said:

In another thread, Scherzo linked a documentary that I found thought provoking and very watchable:
The Great Global Warming Swindle

I have received some videos critiquing the above documentary, and will try view them and find streaming versions of any that impress me. Of course, many of you probably support the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming, and should already know of good refuting videos. Feel free to post them -- but we should probably take *specific* discussion of Anthropogenic Global Warming to that thread, while keeping this thread on the topic of the videos themselves (e.g. "X and Z were very good, but I found Y and W lacking")
I'm just glad to hear enough people have seen "Swindle", that the believers have seen fit to put together critique videos. I saw Swindle over a year ago, but for the life of me can't remember how I stumbled upon it. :look:
"Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so."    -Ronald Reagan, October 27 1964
Posted Image

#22 Orpheus

Orpheus

    Get my agent! I'm supposed to be Castathan, not Indogene

  • Administrator
  • 16,923 posts

Posted 04 March 2009 - 03:07 AM

Perhaps not weighty, but I found that this series on "How to cut a cheese platter" encapsulated a big chunk of a lifetime of cheese-cutting trial and error. Though it doesn't really wax as rhapsodic on feeling the texture of each cheese, as I might have [it focuses on cheae type, instead], one single tip in the first video (using one's hand as the base when slicing with a harpstring) took me maybe 15 years of repeated rediscovery to distill into  life lesson.

That kind of thing happens to me a lot. I'm what polite society calls "slow".

But cheese is worth it. I'm no cheese snob, but  I love the stuff deeply, with careful attention to its each poetic nuance.

-- Orpheus "It's the only way to truly love that I know"

#23 Raeven

Raeven

    Having a Mads moment

  • Administrator
  • 24,025 posts

Posted 04 March 2009 - 04:05 AM

^ oh for heavens sake - what a palava, in polite society in the UK [the part I come from] one gets ones cheese ready 'portioned' from ones local cheese shop....so when you get home you just get yourself a cheese knife [treat yourself, get more than one - Cheddar knife, Parmesan knife, Stilton knife and a cheese fork] place the cheeses on the cheese board, put it on the table and let your guests dig in.....add a few grapes [red] and some ornate grape scissors and voila :D

*loves cheese* all cheese.


It's very complex. If the pizza man truly loves this babysitter, why does he keep slapping her rear? Perhaps she has done something wrong ~ Castiel


#24 Orpheus

Orpheus

    Get my agent! I'm supposed to be Castathan, not Indogene

  • Administrator
  • 16,923 posts

Posted 20 April 2009 - 10:53 AM

I'm not sure if it's "fact", but it's short, entertaining and having some personal experience with each of his example topics, I found that what worked for him was very similar to the approaches I settled on. I may not have applied his distilled approach as expeditiously as he did, but it's pretty much what I ended up doing -- enough so that I've ordered his book.

Tim Ferriss: How to feel like the Incredible Hulk

#25 Orpheus

Orpheus

    Get my agent! I'm supposed to be Castathan, not Indogene

  • Administrator
  • 16,923 posts

Posted 20 April 2009 - 04:44 PM

As long as I'm at it, here's a second quasi-fact video for today (two wrongs make a right, don't they?).

"To Be" explores that is known as the "teleporter problem" in the philosophy of identity. It's an old hat philosophical discussion for us here on EtU, but the animation is hilarious. You may want to share it with others.

[Production Information]

#26 Orpheus

Orpheus

    Get my agent! I'm supposed to be Castathan, not Indogene

  • Administrator
  • 16,923 posts

Posted 25 April 2009 - 07:51 PM

How to break up traffic jams

Long time EtUers know of my plan to market a "construction kit" type game for the Apple II that allowed one to model traffic, road layouts, different types of drivers/vehicles and of course emergencies. I believed that a Nobel Prize, and possibly ultimate World Peace, could ensue for the person who solved the kind of jams we had in Boston in the late 70s.

Needless to say, that product never saw the market (and someone else would probably have won the Nobel Prize), but it did get me thinking a lot about traffic. I've been practicing Bill Beatty's style of zen traffic busting for over 25 years now, and it does often work. When it doesn't (especially the "diamond" (carpool or high speed) lanes, it's mostly because some drivers "don't get it" --  some 'cheaters' are so intent on 'cheating' that they don't look for or take advantage of available openings they have. There are several other, lesser, ways the people around you can sabotage your efforts.

The thing is, as Beatty alludes, you often have the choice between going 1 mph or so slower while burning less gas and putting less stress on your heart, or going a wee bit fster, and waiting at a standstill for several minutes. The latter may even get you to your destination faster -- if everyone would just play along. Consider: there are just as many cars on an expressway that is almost bumper to bumper, whether the traffic is crawling or going 30mph -- so why does it crawl? This is actually the premise behind the US Department of transportation's experimental "self-driving auto-trains", where suitably equipped cars "sync in together" maintaining a calculated safe distance with automated breaking, and perhaps even short range communications: cars that are staying in one lane can safely move a lot faster with comp[uter reflexes, because the problem of driving is greatly simplified.

I know there's no way to truly defeat drive psychology -- not when there are so many disturbed drivers out there -- but I think education could go a long way, so if you get a chance to pass this video on (or the other tips at sites like trafficwaves.org, please do you'll be helping to make the world a better place.

BTW, Bill Beatty (author of this video, and owner of trafficwaves.org) is a world class Internet mad scientist, who runs several amateur science sites, like amasci.com and Weird Science/Anomalous physics. Either that or there are a bunch of Bill Beatty's doing this kind of stuff out there -- which frankly wouldn't surprise me. How does he find the time?

#27 Orpheus

Orpheus

    Get my agent! I'm supposed to be Castathan, not Indogene

  • Administrator
  • 16,923 posts

Posted 27 July 2009 - 11:47 AM

I once illustrated a point about vascular physiology by mentioning Prince Rupert's Drops. To my dismay, not one person in the room  had any idea what I was talking about (you'd think I'd be used to that by now), though it was a reasonably common science museum demonstration in my youth.

Here's a good demo, though I recall there being some more spectacular examples on YouTube.

To clarify what is happening here: Most materials contract as they cool, and glass is no exception. It's a poor conductor of heat, so when outermost layer quickly cools and contracts, the glass inside the drop remains quite hot for a while (note how long it glows). As the outer shell contracts, it applies a force on the more fluid glass within, but the fluid glass is almost incompressible so the pressure between the harder cooler shell and its hotter more fluid contents is high. That pressure is "frozen in place" as the next layer down freezes, so the shell is locked in compression -- and strong.

However, once the outer shell is sufficiently hard, it doesn't shrink much more. It becomes effectively a rigid glass jar with a fixed volume. However, as the remainder of the molten glass cools, it shrinks and wants to occupy a smaller volume -- the way the air in an "empty" jar produces a partial vacuum if you put it in a freezer. The thing is, it can't shrink: the volume of the droplet is fixed by the rigid outer shell, and there's nothing else to take up the remaining volume (Some other substances shrink, leaving bubbles of near vacuum to make up the difference) It is under tension -- pulling in all directions, just as an object under compression pushes in all directions. Glass is weak under tension.

The actual physics of why it explodes when you snip the tail is a little hairy, but it starts with the compression layer being broken (some compare this to breaking the surface tension of a droplet, but the analogy is rather imperfect) and the seal restraining the inner glass under tension is broken. Suddenly the uniform balance in all directions is broken, the forces redistribute, and the glass can't take it.

PRDs are similar to tempered glass. Many common tempered glasses contain a certain amount of sodium in their quasi-crystalline plastic matrix. After the glass is formed, it is reheated and treated with potassium salts, to replace some of the sodium atoms with larger Potassium atoms. The bigger atoms put pressure on the surrounding glass -- put it under compression, making the glass harder, and making it break all at once into small pieces, like Prince Rupert's Drops

Other chemical choices make it break into rounded granules, rather than the sharp shards of PRDs.

#28 D.Rabbit

D.Rabbit

    Me and all my shadows.

  • Islander
  • 6,015 posts

Posted 12 November 2009 - 09:13 PM

I've been exploring Justin TV and I'm hooked on the learning channel.
It's mostly season 1 of BBC's Planet Earth, but at night they are running The Power of The Planet.
Love it!

Not a lot of people watching so it streams nicely, even on my back woods wireless high speed.

BTW Patrick Stewart will be taking over the narrator's job in the new season of Planet Earth.
All he did was make a point of telling the producer how much he liked the show and the job was his!
I don't have a link for you but the information is on youtube and I'm pretty sure it was announced at the con in Atlanta this year.

#29 Orpheus

Orpheus

    Get my agent! I'm supposed to be Castathan, not Indogene

  • Administrator
  • 16,923 posts

Posted 22 November 2009 - 04:46 PM

No deep meaning here, just a nifty little clip of someone burning diamonds.

If you watch how the diamond glows, you will see its excellent thermal conductivity: diamond is not only the hardest natural material, but the best conductor of heat, and you will note that the entire diamond glows uniformly no matter what part the (monoatomic?) hydrogen torch heats, while the cubic zirconia (which is used as a refractory material in furnaces because it is not just very heat resistant but a good heat insulator) shows very great temperature gradients -- one corner may glow white hot, while the opposite corner a few mm away barely lows dim red (if it's glowing at all -- it's hard to say since it would transmit light from the glowing portions), BTW, you may have read SF novels that equate perfect electrical conduction with perfect heat conduction (in e.g. superconductors) This is not the case at all, not with the special Cooper Pair conduction of most current high temperature super conductors, and not with diamond, which is considered a decent electrical insulator with a resistance of up to 100 ohms/meter

BTW, if you really want to burn some diamond, just heat it to over 1700 C in a vacuum. It'll convert to black graphite, which burns readily. remember that transition, the next time a salesman tries to talk you into upgrading to diamond windows in your space cruiser. The only reason those salesmen don't get strung up by the kind of unforgiving and violent beings who fancy baubles like diamond windows is that to heat a spot of it to 1700 C, you must essentially heat all of it. Instant burns, from say a blaster or phaser are easily wiped away -- graphite is an extremely soft mineral.

#30 D.Rabbit

D.Rabbit

    Me and all my shadows.

  • Islander
  • 6,015 posts

Posted 22 November 2009 - 08:49 PM

Ha Ha very funny!
All I got was the burnt out black graphite view.
I'll check back later to see if it appeals to my fun with flames.

Edit:
Checked back, it finally started up.
Thanks

Edited by D.Rabbit, 22 November 2009 - 08:53 PM.


#31 Orpheus

Orpheus

    Get my agent! I'm supposed to be Castathan, not Indogene

  • Administrator
  • 16,923 posts

Posted 21 December 2009 - 03:09 AM

Blessed are the Cheesemakers
Maybe a little on the lighter side, but hey, the very mention of "secondary food" got me thinking. I never imagined that they originated so anthropologically late, did you? And there were recipes. What more can I ask from a 5 minute talk?

#32 Raeven

Raeven

    Having a Mads moment

  • Administrator
  • 24,025 posts

Posted 21 December 2009 - 05:18 AM

Cheese is like the feet of God :D

That was most interesting, I do like these 5 minute shorts - thanks for enlightening me O :)


It's very complex. If the pizza man truly loves this babysitter, why does he keep slapping her rear? Perhaps she has done something wrong ~ Castiel


#33 Orpheus

Orpheus

    Get my agent! I'm supposed to be Castathan, not Indogene

  • Administrator
  • 16,923 posts

Posted 05 February 2010 - 01:11 AM

Today's video is about data visualization, like one of the earlier SciFACT videos, but this time, it's intensely personal.

After you see this video, I doubt you'll have to ask why PatientsLikeMe.com terrifies me -- but getting beyond my kneejerk reactions from frontline experience with issues like patient compliance, management, self-reporting and treatment choices, I think it could be an excellent discussion-starter between patient and physician, and a decent way to explore and winnow various choices.

PLM is scary, but it's scary because it stares straight into the unknown/unfamiliar. I don't mean the site's interface or scientific validity. I mean the overwhelming medical options and combinations. Physicians generally narrow down to a familiar few that they know well and have sufficient experience with. They almost have to; there are too many variables, too many new options, and any one physician only sees a limited number of patients with a given condition in a career

The thing is: patient care choices can't be entirely about safe, familiar, proven choices ...liability... physician comfort... not when each patient has exactly one life. The website graphs may be as wrong as right --or more wrong than right-- but they give people a starting place to explore/investigate, and are better than nothing. You don't have to do what a chart suggests, but it can help you better understand the options and why YOU choose one over another in a given case.

It can help us understand and illustrate issues. For example, one topic of great interest to me since I was a kid is "self-perceived improvement". This isn't just a medical thing. In fact, I got interested due to a review of women's happiness after a subject-initiated divorce in the 70s: when asked about life satisfaction, subjects generally reported that they were happier and better off, but studies that broke it down to specific factors strongly showed the opposite pattern in both the data scales and the subjects' own comments. As a kid I immediately saw that this would apply to every human endeavor from national politics/economics on down. Committing to a course (vs. being forced into it), etc. are actually fair a *a priori* predictor of self-perceived outcome, independently of anything else. Pollster have always known that the questions asked, and their order, have a significant effect.  

The trickiness of medical self-reporting shows up clearly in e.g. this video's "lithium" example -- so even though some may criticize this dataset as a self-selected, unblinded, subjective, unplanned collection of anecdotes, I think enough truth may be in there to make it worth poking around. If the site survives and thrives, I can see it improving its tools greatly in a few years. I hope it does; I hope it doesn't get bought out or bullied into playing it safe. With luck, most of us won't need a site like his for a few years, at least. It has potential to be really great by then.

#34 Orpheus

Orpheus

    Get my agent! I'm supposed to be Castathan, not Indogene

  • Administrator
  • 16,923 posts

Posted 09 April 2010 - 10:12 PM

Today's post isn't a video, but a PDF of a 1861 Harper's New Monthly article on the National Mint in Philadelphia.

I just found it charming, and with the benefit of some knowledge of engineering and technology, then and now,  I could see the word images with which the author embellished the lithographs.

"Making Money" Harper's New Monthly, vol XXIV Nr. 139-B [Dec 1861], pp. 16-28

If you enjoyed that one, you may enjoy the preceding article in the series:
"Making Money" Harper's New Monthly, vol XXIII Nr. 138-A [Nov 1861], pp. 735-747

#35 Orpheus

Orpheus

    Get my agent! I'm supposed to be Castathan, not Indogene

  • Administrator
  • 16,923 posts

Posted 13 June 2010 - 01:33 PM

Having just flipped past a news story that announced with shock that "Oysters off Louisiana found contaminated with oil!", I was reminded of this video from 50 years ago. Skip to 9:17 for the relevant segment.



#36 Orpheus

Orpheus

    Get my agent! I'm supposed to be Castathan, not Indogene

  • Administrator
  • 16,923 posts

Posted 16 July 2010 - 12:22 AM

Going through my slushpile of unposted videos and articles, I see a lot of rather technical topics. I promise to try to choose videos or find ways to make them accessible to the interested layman, but I've always felt impelled to sprinkle in as much general interest as I can.

I mention this because I feel irresponsible posting this video when I've only had a chance to watch the last part (as a live stream during last month's World Science Festival) but it seemed to be both scientifically instructive and appealing to any pet lover. If I judged correctly, point your friends to Science Fact Theater (I think it'd be fun for many who otherwise avoid EtU) If I've misjudged... tell *ME*.

And hey, whether you love it or leave it, check in regularly. There''ll always be another video along shortly.



#37 M.E.

M.E.
  • Islander
  • 7,632 posts

Posted 16 July 2010 - 07:49 AM

Quote

If I've misjudged... tell *ME*.


:blink: What do you want me to do about it?

#38 Orpheus

Orpheus

    Get my agent! I'm supposed to be Castathan, not Indogene

  • Administrator
  • 16,923 posts

Posted 16 July 2010 - 08:34 AM

Fix it.

#39 M.E.

M.E.
  • Islander
  • 7,632 posts

Posted 16 July 2010 - 02:04 PM

I watched the entire video.

It doesn't need fixing - it was perfect.

When Jeremy Niven talked about bees and Van Gogh's painting, 'Sunflowers'. I was reminded of a time when I was eight years old.

My brothers and I were sitting on a dock at Lake Simcoe. I was dangling my feet in the water. I was wearing a royal blue one piece bathing suit with a sunflower on the chest. It was nowhere near Van Gogh quality, in fact, I think a five year old could have done a better job.

We were just talking and laughing. When suddenly, both brothers became wide eyed and my older brother calmly said: "Don't move Michael, there's a bee on your chest." I looked down and there it was standing in the middle of my sunflower starring right at me. At least, I perseaved it to be looking right at me.

:lol: I flipped out screaming and jumped into the lake. I was so scared. I didn't come back up for air until I just couldn't hold my breath any longer. I don't know why I have a fear of bees. I have never been stung. They're just so big and loud!

Patrick Hof was a little boring, despite the sexy french accent. Except when he pronounced hippopotamus. That was funny!

Near the end of the video when Brian Hare was saying that we tend to look-by-lead. That if someone was looking up, we would either think he was crazy, or that he was looking at something and we would look in that direction.

It reminded me of this one time, 25 years ago. I worked for AGT downtown. We had this camera set up outside the building because a rare falcon had built a nest. They set up a live feed so we could watch them go from eggs to hatchlings...

Anyway, I was standing at this major bus stop at rush hour, waiting for my bus. There had to be at least 100 people waiting as well. Then, I heard the distinct call of this falcon. I looked up and I could see it circling around the tower of this really tall building in front of me. I watched it for a couple of minutes and then I heard the hissing of air breaks, so I looked to see if it was my bus. To my surprise, everyone was looking up! As I made my way through the crowd to board my bus, I could hear people saying things like: "What is it?" and "What's everybody looking at?" and "I don"t know."

:lol: I knew what I was looking at but, 'Joe Public' didn't know about the rare falcon.

I got on the bus and all the way home, no matter how hard I tried, I kept breaking into spontaneous fits of laughter. People must have thought I was crazy!

Another thing I found interesting (and funny) was the dogs and obedience. I used to have a big dog named Olson. He was a cross between a Newfoundland and a Labrador Retriever. He was so smart and obedient. You only had to tell him 'no' once. No matter how tempting. Even if it was his favorite treat, lying on the floor and I wasn't in the room? He wouldn't touch it until I gave him permission. He was a great friend. I really miss him.

I thoroughly enjoyed the video, Orpheus.

Thanks for sharing.

#40 Orpheus

Orpheus

    Get my agent! I'm supposed to be Castathan, not Indogene

  • Administrator
  • 16,923 posts

Posted 30 August 2010 - 12:53 AM

Okay, I see that recent browser upgrades to Firefox/MSIE/Opera may have broken my oh-so-(not-very)-clever workaround for embedding videos from sites not on our approved list.

I'll get to work on correcting this (though the cleverer among you may have figured out how to find the relevant URL and copy it to your browser URL to view the video as a different page -- if you hadn't seen the videos when they were working) But I guess I've learned my lesson about workarounds. I've always been concerned about how IPB handles legacy stuff, so I was confident that the workaround would probably last, but of course my workaround could be used to do Evil, too (that's why I didn't just open it up to everyone) so the browsers had to address it.

Anyway, until I fix this, today's Science Fact Theater isn't a video.

I'm afraid that you may not get the full impact unless you've taken a course or two in anatomy (preferably Human Gross Anatomy and Comparative Anatomy), but I'll ask you to imagine this: what if an alien species had lungs that didn't inhale and exhale as we do -- or more accurately, separated the act of inhaling/exhaling from the process of gas exchange? If instead of a diaphragm, it had 9 air sacs near its major joints (like its hip/shoulder joints) that pumped air through small lungs that were as rigid as fish gills, to do the actual job of extracting oxygen and expelling noxious gases? What if you fried them up in batter, and connoisseurs appreciated the "hip lungs"?

Well then, I say, you might be dealing with alien chickens. Yup chickens (and birds and dinosaurs) don't breath the way you were taught in Ms. McGillicuddy's 4th grade. (In fact, Earth organisms are far more diverse in their physical and physiological mechanisms than most *biologists* are taught or ever realize. Chicken lungs are just a soft pitch slow-ball over the plate compared to many of the oddities, but your average biologist would *still* fan it. You may think xenobiologists are a pie in the sky breed, but most are positively atherosclerotic, leaning too heavily on the "main roadmap" mechanisms of the major phyla without exploring the minutiae. if you read an SF tale about a race that practiced chicken-breathing, you'd consider it fantasy. A NASA grant? fuggedaboudit

If any of you find this interesting (and I hope you will) please start a thread, because the truth is much stranger than even this! I have links!

The Bare Bones of Chicken Respiration




0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users