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Tag Archives: Science

Jupiter Cake Puts The Yum In Nerdalicious

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See? That’s an awful headline. Why? Because it doesn’t make sense. But at the same time, you get the idea. Right?… Anyway, the cake you’re looking at is Cakecrumb’s rendition of Jupiter. We like it because as geeks we’ve found that we’re fond of all things science (as well as tech), so we tend to look up at the skies occasionally, and we read space exploration news when they become available. And while this doesn’t count as space exploration, it does count as a delicious looking reminder that the little rock we inhabit has cousins that are as beautiful to look at as they are inhospitable to life. The multiple layers you see represent a theoretical “core comprised mostly of rock and ice… surrounded by a layer liquid metallic hydrogen, and the outer layer is composed of molecular hydrogen.”

We’ve posted about Cakebrumb’s geeky cakes once before, and we’re sort of starting to become fans. And yes, she does take on commissions, so if you’re really into it, she could make you one.

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[ Product Page ] VIA [ BoingBoing ]

Some Perspective: This Pale Dot Is Us. All Of Us.

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Every little kid born to royalty, every man sitting in a cafe writing the next great American novel, every river full of bear food, every cat, every single thing that makes up humanity… is crammed in those few pixels you see above. That tiny dot, that’s Earth. That’s the picture Cassini took on July 19th, some 900 million miles away, while orbiting Saturn. And it’s sobering. It’s a sobering picture because it gives you a tiny bit of perspective about our great blue planet. How tiny it looks next to the unimaginable interplanetary distances. And yet everything that ever was, anything that ever happened, happened on that dot.

It isn’t particularly easy to picture the Earth from Saturn because it’s often too close to the sun to point sensitive optical instruments at it. But Cassini got lucky here, and took the pic just as the sun was hiding away behind Saturn. And the shot “also marked the first time people on Earth had advance notice their planet’s portrait was being taken from interplanetary distances. NASA invited the public to celebrate by finding Saturn in their part of the sky, waving at the ringed planet and sharing pictures over the Internet. More than 20,000 people around the world participated.”

So yeah, that’s our science break. The picture below? That’s another one, of the Earth next to its moon. Nifty, eh?

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VIA [ NASA ]

These Wetsuits Will Make You Invisible To Sharks

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We’re all for getting in the water and sploshing around… Actually, scratch that; water isn’t our thing. Well, it’s not my thing, so I’m not going to encourage anyone to enter a realm that is clearly not intended for human presence. Between jelly fish, stingrays, piranhas and sharks, there are plenty of reasons to stay away. But if you’re going to do it anyway, might as well don these wetsuits that apparently make you completely invisible to sharks. The particular patterns and colours are invisible to the colorblind killing machines. Created by Hamish Jolly and Craig Anderson, working with the University of Western Australia, the suits work on the principle that even if sharks use other senses to find you (bleeding, much?), vision is used in the final approach. Since sharks see in black and white, the patterns on the suits make you either totally invisible to them, or unpalatable. Yeah, in one of the suits, the one geared towards surfers and called “The Diverter”, the shark takes a look at you and goes “ugh, gross”, and swims away. If staying alive is a priority of yours, being considered unappetizing by your predator should not be something to feel bad about.

Expect to see not only wetsuits with the patterns on the market, but stickers for the underside of surf boards as well. We’re not sure about price or availability though.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ DVice ]

What Happens If Superman Punches You In Real Life? (Spoiler: You Can’t Just Shake It Off)

Comic book nerd? Physics nerd? Both? Awesome! The video above is going to make you grin ear to ear for five minutes. It’s an engaging breakdown of what would happen if the Man of Steel were to apply his fist to your face, in reality.

VIA [ GeeksAreSexy ]

Video: Instant Ice

The video above shows a pretty dramatic example of supercooling at work. This is what happens when you cool water below its freezing point, but the water lacks any nucleation sites that are necessary to seed ice crystals. In other words, for water to turn to ice, it requires the presence of solid particles around which to start forming crystals. If the water is pure enough, you can take it down to −48.3 °C (−55 °F) while still in liquid form. But as soon as you pour it out onto something solid, the above happens.

Science.

VIA [ TheAwesomer ]

L’Uritonnoir is an Outdoor Urinal That Uses Pee to Turn Straw Into Compost

Urine Disposal Fertilizer

Today I learned one use for human pee and debunked a myth about it while I did my research. Respectively, they are as follows:

  • Human pee can be used to help transform a bale of straw into compost that can be used as fertilizer.
  • Human pee doesn’t really alleviate jellyfish stings and in some cases, might even make the sting even worse.

I don’t think I need to cover the second point, since it’s pretty straightforward. The first point, on the other hand, is a different story.

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Name That Space Rock

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With the news that a meteor caused around 1,000 injuries in Russia last Friday and in an extremely rare occurrence, the planet dodged a near-miss from a much larger rock on the very same day, everyone’s lips are on the topic of space rocks. So, is it an asteroid? A meteor? A meteorite? It turns out that words have precise meanings, and the above diagram should help you get your facts straight so you can pedantically correct your friends.

VIA [ LikeCool ]

Own A Tiny Speck Of Mars

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There are a few ways you could get your hands on Martian soil. Wait until we develop space travel enough to bring back samples, then steal those, for one. Or wait until we develop it even further and become the first Martian tourist. But let’s face it, that’s not happening anytime soon. Until then, it turns out there’s already some Martian rock right here one Earth, and you can buy some. How? Like this: when a meteorite hits the red planet, a lot of rock is ejected into the atmosphere. A small amount escapes the planet’s gravitational pull and an even smaller amount still ends up as a meteorite right here on Earth. Martian soil, right here on our blue pebble. The specimen you see above is Martian shergottite, NWA 4930, recovered in the Sahara desert. It’s been examined and certified to come from the same place where the Curiosity rover is currently digging some holes. $25 will buy you… a 2mg speck. But hey, how much do you actually need?

It’s packaged in a protective shell with a card describing its history, and is being sold by ThinkGeek, so we don’t doubt its authenticity.

[ Product Page ]

House Of The Rising Sun Played On A Pair Of Tesla Coils

I’m home, bored on a Saturday evening, so here’s an oldie but goodie for those of you doing the same and stumbling upon a rare weekend OhGizmo! post in your Interweb meanderings. It’s The Animals’ House Of The Rising Sun played on a pair of Tesla coils. Yes, there’s sparks galore and yes it’s as awesome as it sounds.

As the YouTube comment says: “Dude. Science and sh#t.”

Enjoy.