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Elise Hunchuck en Instagram: “An account of Iceland, an account of Berlin: hardness of water is the amount of calcium and magnesium in the water and is measured in units…”
"An account of Iceland, an account of Berlin: hardness of water is the amount of calcium and magnesium in the water and is measured in units of German hardness [°1dH, where 1dH = (Calcium (mg / l) x2, 497 + Magnesium (mg / l) x4, 116) / 17.9]. The scale runs from 0 and 4°dh (very soft) to 8 to 12° dh (hard) to very hard at greater than 30°dh. The water here in Berlin ranges from 14 to 25 °dH (pretty hard to hard). It is the reason that many people complain about calcified deposits anywhere water flows – from sinks to toilets to showers to espresso machines to our skin and to our hair. You might not notice it as first, but after a while, the deposits make their mark, changing composition and appearance everywhere they’re left. After spending a few weeks out of the country, and some time in Iceland, where the water’s hardness is less than 2, and in the Reykjavik area it is particularly soft between 0.2 and 0.6°dh, I noticed the difference in my skin and, especially, my hair. I washed it and let it dry, on its own, and it finally responded, unencumbered (for the first time in almost two years) by the minerals – that particular heaviness – of Berlin.

A small thing, you might think, until you recall, for example, as Heather Davis so eloquently wrote, “we become the outside through our breath, our food, and our porous skin. We are composed of what surrounds us. We have come into existence with and because of so many others, from carbon to microbes to dogs. And all these creatures and rocks and air molecules and water all exist together, with each other, for each other. To be a human means to be the land and water and air of our surroundings. We are the outside. We are our environment.” So, in a way, one could say I was, for awhile, becoming Iceland. And now, slowly but surely, coming back to Berlin."
berlin  iceland  water  hardness  2018  elisehunchuck  reykjavík  chemistry 
december 2018 by robertogreco
How to Make Rich, Flavorful Caramel Without Melting Sugar | Serious Eats
"Want to know something crazy? Sugar doesn't melt; it undergoes thermal decomposition. That may sound like a pedantic distinction, considering we've all watched sugar effectively melt into a pool of caramel atop crème brûlée, but the implications are huge—worthy of far more explanation than a mere tl;dr.

Man, who am I kidding; you're here for the tl;dr, aren't you? Okay, fine. Here goes: Caramelization occurs independent of melting. Consider the above photo exhibit A—neither brown sugar nor turbinado, but granulated white sugar that I caramelized without melting. It's dry to the touch, and performs exactly like granulated white sugar.

Except, you know, the part where it tastes like caramel.

That opens up a world of possibility, as it works flawlessly in recipes for buttercream, mousse, or cheesecake, which can accommodate only a small amount of caramel sauce before turning soupy or soft. It's also ideal for desserts that would be ruined by caramel syrup, which is by nature too hot for fragile angel food cake, and too viscous for soft candies like marshmallows or nougat. And, compared to caramel powder (made from liquid caramel, cooled and ground), it won't compact into a solid lump over time.

Some bakers work around these issues by swapping in brown sugar for caramel, but why accept an imitation when you can have the real thing? Unlike quirky brown sugar, this "granulated caramel" won't alter the pH of doughs and batters, which can negatively impact how our favorite cookies and cakes spread, rise, and brown (in turn affecting their texture and crumb). For example, sugar cookies made with granulated caramel stay crisp at the edges, and oatmeal cookies spread like they should.

What's more, granulated caramel is free from the impurities that cause molasses-rich sugars to smoke and burn at high heat. Granulated caramel also won't curdle boiled milk, which can happen when you're making eggless custards and cajeta with brown sugar.

Now, with enough technical know-how, almost any recipe can be reformulated to accommodate brown sugar or caramel sauce/syrup/powder, but granulated caramel requires no such precaution. It's a perfect one-to-one replacement for white sugar; no calculations, no adjustments, no tinkering. Just use it to replace sugar in any recipe you love, from the meringue on Gramma's chocolate cream pie to my own angel food cake.

So what makes this magic possible, and why haven't we been doing it since the dawn of time? Well, the answer goes back to that whole melting-versus-thermal-decomposition thing, so bear with me for a sec as we wade into the nitty-gritty.

Melting is a phase change that has no impact on chemical composition, like the transition from ice to water. It's still good ol' H2O either way, right? Under normal conditions, the melting point of any given substance is fixed—when ice hits 32°F, there's nothing we can do to stop it from melting. Phase changes are also reversible; you can melt and refreeze ice as many times as you like, with no loss of quality on either end.

Thermal decomposition, on the other hand, is a chemical reaction that breaks down molecular bonds to produce new substances. While it's not a perfect analogy, imagine a pile of grass clippings releasing carbon dioxide as it turns to mulch in the sun—an irreversible process with variable results (i.e., no two handfuls of mulch are exactly alike, or composted to the same degree). Instead of occurring at a specific point, thermal decomposition occurs over a range of temperatures determined by the intensity and duration of heat."
sugar  chemistry  cooking  caramel  recipes  food  2016  stellaparks  baking  srg 
may 2016 by robertogreco
Stengers’shibbolet, Bruno Latour [.pdf]
"1997 (foreword) Isabelle Stengers, Power and Invention, University of Minnesota
Press, Minneapolis"

"-Would you say that Isabelle Stengers is the greatest French philosopher of science?

-Yes, except she is from Belgium a country that exists only in part and where, contrary to France, the link between science and the state is nil.

-Would you say that she is the philosophical right-hand of the Nobel Prize winner of chemistry Ilya Prigogine?

-Yes, since she wrote several books with him, and yet she has spent the rest of her life trying to escape from the mass of lunatics attracted to this “New Alliance” between science and culture they both wrote together.

-Is she an historian of science?

-Hard to say. Although she wrote extensively on Galileo, on XIXth century thermodynamics, on chemistry1, she remains a philosopher interested in what her physicists and chemists colleagues should understand of their science. Her main object of attention is modern science, and this is what historians and philosophers should study together, no?

-You are not going to say that she is an internalist philosopher of science, are you?

-Worse than that, Isabelle Stengers is an “hyperinternalist” forcing you always to go further towards a small number of theoretical decisions made by her scientific colleagues. In her eyes, most scientists are often not internalist enough.

-But at least don’t tell us that she is a whiggish historian of science looking, like Gaston Bachelard or Georges Canguilhem, for the ways by which hard science finally escapes from history?

-She is, I am afraid, much worse. She is “anti-anti-whiggish” trying to figure out why the anti-whiggish stance is not the good way to account for what it is to “win” in science, at least not if one aims at convincing the chemists and biologists and physicists she is working with.

-But she is a woman philosopher and at least she must develops some kind of feminist philosophy of science?

-There is hardly anyone more critical of the feminist literature although she uses it extensively and knows it quite well.

-Then, she must be one of these abstract minds trying to reconstruct rationally the foundations of science and being busy erasing all signs of her sex, gender, nationality and standpoint?

-Not at all, there is no one more externalist than her and reading more extensively in the litterature on the social history of science.

-What? Does she have any patience for those ridiculous attempts at connecting science and society?

-Worse than that, she is addicted to it and knows more “science studies” than anyone else in the field.

-Do you mean to say that she likes it because it flatters her radical leanings in politics?

-Worse, she wrote on drug legalization, she is a militant in a small left Belgium party and even went as far as working with charlatans practicing hypnosis and other kinds of unorthodox cures... I told you, Isabelle Stengers is always worse! She wrote as much on hypnosis as on physics and she happily compares chemistry laboratory and ethnopsychiatry, going so far as to rehabilitate the word “charlatan”2.

-Then she must be one of these ignorant radicals doing politics because they are unable to grasp the niceties of science?

-Not quite since she does radical politics through the careful definition of what Laplace, Lagrange, Carnot have done with their equations.

-I am thoroughly lost... Then she must be quite a woman?!

-Yes, and quite a mind!

-But, tell me, how come you have been asked to write a foreword for someone who seems obviously much better endowed in philosophical subtleties, political will and scientific knowledge than yourself?

-This is quite strange, I concur. I guess it is because of the tradition in science studies and in anthropology of the modern world to study “up” instead of “down”. Trying to swallow hard sciences had very good effect on the softer ones. I guess it is the same with Stengers. You grind your teeth on her argument, and you feel much better afterward!..."

[continues into the intro]

"One simple way to define this collection of articles presented in English, is to say that they have been written by a philosopher interested in the very classical question of distinguishing good science from bad. Her new solution to this old problem will be, however, difficult to grasp both for science studies and for philosophers and that requires some clarification. Isabelle Stengers does not share the anti-normative stance of most recent historians and sociologists of science and has no qualms in looking for a shibbolet that will help sort out science from non-science. In this sense, but in this sense only, her work is marginally more acceptable to Anglo-American epistemologists than those of “science studies” who shun away from any normative position. Philosophers will be able to recognize at least that here is someone who is not complacent vis-a-vis the production of bad science and who shares their will for a good cleansing job. The difference, because fortunately there is one, lies in the fact that her own touchstone means getting rid of most epistemologists and quite a lot of hard sciences! So the normative goal is similar but the principles of choice are radically different. "



"Stengers’ request to be cosmopolitically correct cut both ways, and cuts hard. In the obscure fights of the Science Wars, one can safely predicts, she will be seen as a traitor to all the camps, not because she is “in the middle” -no one is less of a middle-woman than her, no one is less an adept of the Golden Medium!- but because she imposes on all protagonists a criterion that they will do their utmost to escape. Although this book appears in a series called “Theories out of bound”, no theory is more binding than Stengers’ new demarcation criterion. Having often tried to escape its binding strength only to find myself forced to use it again, it is a great pleasure (and I say it with some glee) to imagine that English-speaking readers are now to be enmeshed into this most daring enterprise we, in the French-reading world, had to take into account for so long. It is my hope that they will learn more than I did (this is unlikely) in those twenty years when I tried to profit from her marvelous “habits of thoughts”, and also my hope that they will be forced even more than I was (this is more unlikely) to modify their definition of hard science and of radical politics by using Stengers’ shibboleth and pushing it everywhere -against herself if needs be!"
isabellestrengers  brunolatour  1997  whigpunk  whigishness  whigs  science  philosophy  philosophyofscience  history  culture  thirdculture  ilyaprigogine  physics  chemistry  feminism  socialhistory  politics  ethnopsychiatry  charlatans  radicalism 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Amazing Graphics Show How Much Peaches, Watermelon And Corn Have Changed Since Humans Started Growing Them | Business Insider
"If someone handed you a peach 6,000 years ago, you might be surprised: the sour, grape-sized lump you’d be holding would hardly resemble the plump, juicy fruit we enjoy today.

Throughout the 12,000 years or so since humans first developed agriculture, the foods we eat have undergone drastic transformations. Farmers have found ways to select for different traits when breeding plants, turning out generations of larger, sweeter, and juicier crops.

Australian chemistry teacher James Kennedy got interested in the topic and started doing some research. His findings inspired him to put together a series of infographics [http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/artificial-vs-natural-watermelon-sweetcorn/ ]explaining how some of our most beloved snacks have changed over the centuries. With Kennedy’s permission we’ve posted three here: Peach, watermelon, and corn.

First up is the peach:

[image]

Native to China, the original peach was only a fraction of the size we’re used to today and tasted “like a lentil,” Kennedy writes.

“After 6000 years of artificial selection, the resulting peach was 16 times larger, 27% juicier and 4% sweeter than its wild cousin, and had massive increases in nutrients essential for human survival as well.”

Next, the watermelon:

[image]

Kennedy writes, “I set out to find the least natural fruit in existence, and decided it was probably the modern watermelon.In 5,000 years, the watermelon has expanded from its original six varieties to a staggering 1,200 different kinds. Modern watermelons are available in a handful of different colours and shapes, and can be bought conveniently seedless.

“Originally native to a small region of southern Africa, the watermelon is now grown in countries around the world. Modern watermelons are about 100 times heavier than their ancient predecessors and much sweeter.”

Finally, corn:

[image]

Corn was first domesticated in the area we know today as Mexico and Central America. At the time, an ear of corn was only about a tenth as long as the cobs we’re used to today and had just a handful of tough kernels. For the sweet, juicy meal we enjoy today, Kennedy says you can thank the Europeans.

“Around half of this artificial selection happened since the fifteenth century, when European settlers placed new selection pressures on the crop to suit their exotic taste buds,” he writes.

As you can see, we’ve come a long way from the days of our ancestors and the small, unappetizing fruits they munched on.

Click here [http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com ] to check out more of Kennedy’s work at his blog."

[watermelon and sweetcorn:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/artificial-vs-natural-watermelon-sweetcorn/

peach:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/artificial-vs-natural-peach/

blueberries:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/ingredients-of-all-natural-blueberries/

cherries:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/ingredients-of-all-natural-cherries/

lemon:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/ingredients-of-an-all-natural-lemon/

strawberry:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/08/22/ingredients-of-an-all-natural-strawberry/

pineapple:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/ingredients-of-an-all-natural-pineapple/

passionfruit:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/ingredients-of-an-all-natural-passionfruit/

banana: http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/ingredients-of-an-all-natural-banana/

coffee bean:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/ingredients-of-an-all-natural-coffee-bean/

egg:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/ingredients-of-an-all-natural-egg/

beetroot:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/if-beetroots-had-ingredients-labels/

banana, blueberry, egg:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/bananablueberryegg-ingredients-posters-pdfs/

“Ingredients” lesson plan:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/ingredients-lesson-plan/

poster set:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/full-poster-set-just-99-with-free-world-shipping/ ]
fruit  history  cultivation  peaches  watermelons  corn  produce  agriculture  breeding  jameskennedy  strawberries  pineapples  lemons  cherris  passionfruit  bananas  food  blueberries  ingredients  lessonplans  teaching  chemistry  science  biology  botany  genetics 
october 2014 by robertogreco
SCiO: Your Sixth Sense. A Pocket Molecular Sensor For All ! by Consumer Physics, Inc. — Kickstarter
"Scan materials or physical objects. Get instant relevant information to your smartphone. Food, medicine, plants, and more."

"Smartphones made it easy to research facts, capture images, and navigate street maps, but they haven’t brought us closer to the physical environment in which we live – until now.

Meet SCiO. It is the world's first affordable molecular sensor that fits in the palm of your hand. SCiO is a tiny spectrometer and allows you to get instant relevant information about the chemical make-up of just about anything around you, sent directly to your smartphone.

Out of the box, when you get your SCiO, you’ll be able to analyze food, plants, and medications.

For example, you can:

• Get nutritional facts about different kinds of food: salad dressings, sauces, fruits, cheeses, and much more.
• See how ripe an Avocado is, through the peel!
• Find out the quality of your cooking oil.
• Know the well being of your plants.
• Analyze soil or hydroponic solutions.
• Authenticate medications or supplements.
• Upload and tag the spectrum of any material on Earth to our database. Even yourself!

These are just a few of the starter applications that you can use upon receiving your SCiO. After SCiO is released new applications will be developed and released regulary. If you order SCiO from Kickstarter you will get all new applications for free in the next two years.

The possibilities of SCiO applications are endless. for example in the future you can use SCiO to measure properties of cosmetics, clothes, flora, soil, jewels and precious stones, leather, rubber, oils, plastics, and even your pet!"

[See also: http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/pocket-sized-molecular-spectrometer-tells-chemical-makeup-foods/
and http://www.ovenell-carter.com/big-structures/laptops-are-quaint/ ]
sensors  food  ios  chemistry  spectrometer 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Harvard cracks DNA storage, crams 700 terabytes of data into a single gram | ExtremeTech
"A bioengineer and geneticist at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have successfully stored 5.5 petabits of data — around 700 terabytes — in a single gram of DNA, smashing the previous DNA data density record by a thousand times.

The work, carried out by George Church and Sri Kosuri, basically treats DNA as just another digital storage device. Instead of binary data being encoded as magnetic regions on a hard drive platter, strands of DNA that store 96 bits are synthesized, with each of the bases (TGAC) representing a binary value (T and G = 1, A and C = 0).

To read the data stored in DNA, you simply sequence it — just as if you were sequencing the human genome — and convert each of the TGAC bases back into binary. To aid with sequencing, each strand of DNA has a 19-bit address block at the start (the red bits in the image below) — so a whole vat of DNA can be sequenced out of order, and then sorted into usable data using the addresses…"
chemistry  biology  sequencing  srikosuri  georgechurch  memory  2012  datastorage  science  storage  dna 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Elements of the Periodic Table - OpenLearn - Open University
"By clicking on the image above, you'll be able to explore:

*The history of the Periodic Table in just 2 minutes
*How certain elements changed the course of history
*How the different parts of our planet are made up of the same elemental building blocks
*Where different elements occur, and what places they get their names from
*Which elements make up the human body
*The elements that are vital, and dangerous, to human life"
chemistry  matthewculnane  science  periodictable  history  elements  life  humans 
october 2011 by robertogreco
Oil Oozes Through Your Life - NYTimes.com
"Michael Watts, a professor of geography and development studies at the University of California at Berkeley, agreed. “The complexity of these hydrocarbons is sort of remarkable,” he said. Even as a critic of oil dependency, he concedes that petroleum’s versatility is impressive: Not only does the American farm and grocery network rely on cheap fuel for low-cost shipping between the coasts, but food itself is grown using petroleum-based fertilizer. (Oil byproducts for food typically fall under federal regulation, although that doesn’t satisfy critics of petroleum-derived food colorings, for example.)

What will it take to wean us off oil? Professor Watts says the question forces scrutiny of “a very complicated set of connections in which what we’re confronting, because of this dependency, is not just, ‘Let’s develop a Prius.’”"
petrochemicals  oil  petroleum  environment  sustainability  chemistry  energy  oildependency  2011  via:javierarbona  classideas  tcsnmy 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Darpa Wants to Sniff Your City’s Distinct Chemical Scent | Danger Room | Wired.com
"Darpa’s big idea, according to a new solicitation, is to collect trace elements of chemicals at different places in a city and then derive a model for determining that city’s chemical smell. It’ll have to vary with place, as high levels of petroleum-based chemicals are going to be more suspicious near a florist’s than at, say, a gas station.

Then Darpa wants researchers to represent the results in a “high-fidelity, three-dimensional chemical-composition map.” So-called “chemical cartography” is the first step in “identifying ‘dual-use’ substances with legal and illegal/illicit uses.”"
environment  measurement  darpa  smells  scents  chemistry 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Galvanic corrosion - Wikipedia [So, that's what's going o.n
"A "lasagna cell" or "lasagna battery" is accidentally produced when salty food such as lasagna is stored in a steel baking pan & is covered w/ aluminum foil. After a few hours the foil develops small holes where it touches the lasagna, & the food surface becomes covered w/ small spots composed of corroded aluminum.<br />
<br />
This metal corrosion occurs because whenever 2 metal sheets composed of differing metals are placed into contact w/ an electrolyte, the 2 metals act as electrodes, & an galvanic cell or battery is formed. In this case, the 2 terminals of the battery are connected together. Because the aluminium foil touches the steel, this battery is shorted out, a significant electric current appears, & rapid chemical reactions take place on the surfaces of the metal in contact with the electrolyte. In a steel/salt/aluminium battery, the aluminium is higher on the electrochemical series, so the solid aluminium turns into dissolved ions & the metal experiences galvanic corrosion."
food  cooking  chemistry  corrosion  metal  aluminum  glvo  via:britta  lasagnabattery  lasagnacell 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Heston Blumenthal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Apart from a week's work experience in Raymond Blanc's kitchen and a short time in Marco Pierre White's, he is self-taught."
moleculargastronomy  hestonblumenthal  autodidacts  restaurants  science  uk  gastronomy  chemistry  cooking 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Challenging Traditional Premedical Requirements as Predictor... : Academic Medicine [via: http://twitter.com/alfiekohn/status/20145165478]
"Despite general agreement that many premed requirements are of limited educational value for the practicing physician or active scientist and that a broad liberal arts education provides direct benefits to practitioners and their patients, little progress has been made toward a fundamental reappraisal. In 2009, over 80% of matriculating applicants entered medical school with majors other than the humanities or social sciences.11 The belief that the premed science background (including one year each of organic chemistry, physics, and calculus) is the best form of student preparation for medical school persists, and admissions committees' reliance on exceptional MCAT scores prevails."
unschooling  deschooling  curriculum  curriculumisdead  interdisciplinary  humanities  science  learning  medicine  medicalschool  tradition  admissions  mcat  calculus  chemistry  organicchemistry  physics  ama 
august 2010 by robertogreco
learningscience.org
"learningscience.org is an organization dedicated to sharing the newer and emerging "learning tools" of science education. Tools such as real-time data collection, simulations, inquiry based lessons, interactive web lessons, micro-worlds, and imaging, among others, can help make teaching science an exciting and engaging endeavor. These tools can help connect students with science, in ways that were impossible just a few years ago. Take a look at a few different types of "learning tools" at this link, Tool Examples. At this point in our project we are highlighting some of the best web resources for science concepts. Although our main emphasis is on students, teachers, and parents, really anyone interested in science education will find the site useful and informative."
science  education  resources  interactive  simulations  chemistry  biology  astronomy  activities  inquiry  teaching  visualization  physics  free 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Physics First in Science Education Reform
"Biology first, chemistry second, physics third: The traditional American high school science curriculum follows this order. Education reformers do not believe this needs to be the case. In part due to poor student performance in international science assessments, some educators are rethinking the way science should be taught in the United States."
physics  biology  chemistry  sequence  highschool  curriculum  science  education  schools  us  committeeoften 
june 2010 by robertogreco
High School Biology Today: What the Committee of Ten Did Not Anticipate -- Vázquez 5 (1): 29 -- CBE—Life Sciences Education
"Since the recommendation of biology (or natural history, as it used to be called) in 1893 as part of the high school science curriculum, biology was considered a descriptive subject. In the late 1890s biology consisted of zoology, botany, and physiology. The group that decided on the high school science course configuration was the Committee of Ten. The committee was organized by the National Education Association (NEA) in 1892 to deal with the issue of uniform college entrance requirements. This essay argues that the decision of the Committee of Ten to place biology before chemistry and physics needs to be reexamined. The committee's recommendations are still being implemented over a hundred years later, and the issue of high school science course sequence is currently being debated."
science  education  sequence  highschool  schools  curriculum  chemistry  biology  physics  committeeoften 
june 2010 by robertogreco
College Admissions and the Essential School | Coalition of Essential Schools
"When schools change curriculum and assessment practices, everyone worries that students will suffer in the college selection process. But most selective colleges say they're used to unusual transcripts, and big universities are looking for new ways to work with schools in change."
education  change  reform  admissions  colleges  universities  highschool  tcsnmy  transcipts  grades  grading  evaluation  assessment  science  physics  biology  chemistry  sequence  committeeoften  curriculum  habitsofmind  kathleencushman  1994  tedsizer  coalitionofessentialschools  competency 
june 2010 by robertogreco
100 Best Websites for Science Teachers - Forensic Science Technician : Online Schools Guide
"With science and math in the headlines, teachers are under more pressure than ever to keep kids up to date. But with shrinking budgets and growing class sizes, it is getting more and more difficult to do so.
teaching  via:cburell  chemistry  biology  science  education  physics  resources 
april 2010 by robertogreco
List of common misconceptions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"This list of common or popular misconceptions corrects various fallacious, misleading, or otherwise flawed ideas that are described by multiple reliable sources as widely held. The statements below are not the misconceptions, but are the actual facts regarding those misconceptions."
misconceptions  astronomy  cooking  history  literature  music  politics  law  religion  science  health  sport  technology  chemistry  physics  biology  evolution  myths  misconception  culture 
march 2010 by robertogreco
NASA - NASA Ames Scientist Develops Cell Phone Chemical Sensor
"Jing Li, a physical scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., along with other researchers working under the Cell-All program in the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, developed a proof of concept of new technology that would bring compact, low-cost, low-power, high-speed nanosensor-based chemical sensing capabilities to cell phones.

The device Li developed is about the size of a postage stamp and is designed to be plugged in to an iPhone to collect, process and transmit sensor data. The new device is able to detect and identify low concentrations of airborne ammonia, chlorine gas and methane. The device senses chemicals in the air using a "sample jet" and a multiple-channel silicon-based sensing chip, which consists of 16 nanosensors, and sends detection data to another phone or a computer via telephone communication network or Wi-Fi."
iphone  2009  nasa  sensors  chemistry  air  via:preoccupations 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Official Google Blog: Back to school with Google Docs
"As interns on the Google Docs team this past summer, we were excited to be able to work on making Google Docs that much more useful for students like us. We've now added a bunch of back to school features which should help our fellow students make the transition from summer to school that much easier — and we hope they'll be useful to you non-students as well!"
googledocs  schools  education  learning  technology  math  chemistry  equations  edtech  cloudcomputing  tcsnmy 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Placebos Are Getting More Effective. Drugmakers Are Desperate to Know Why.
"It's not only trials of new drugs that are crossing the futility boundary. Some products that have been on the market for decades, like Prozac, are faltering in more recent follow-up tests. In many cases, these are the compounds that, in late '90s, made Big Pharma more profitable than Big Oil. But if these same drugs were vetted now, FDA might not approve some of them. Two comprehensive analyses of antidepressant trials have uncovered a dramatic increase in placebo response since the 1980s. One estimated that the so-called effect size (a measure of statistical significance) in placebo groups had nearly doubled over that time...Ironically, Big Pharma's attempt to dominate the central nervous system has ended up revealing how powerful the brain really is. The placebo response doesn't care if the catalyst for healing is a triumph of pharmacology, a compassionate therapist, or a syringe of salt water. All it requires is a reasonable expectation of getting better. That's potent medicine."
science  neuroscience  placebos  psychology  healthcare  pharmaceuticals  drugs  brain  antidepressants  pharmacology  health  statistics  medicine  research  chemistry 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Make: Online: Make: Science Room Home
"Greetings citizen scientists, budding biohackers, and backyard explorers! We think you'll find the Make: Science Room a fun and useful resource. We hope you'll use it as your DIY science classroom, virtual laboratory, and a place to share your projects, hacks, and laboratory tips with other amateur scientists. Your Make: Science Room host is Robert Bruce Thompson, author of Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture. (Make: Books, 2008) and Illustrated Guide to Forensics Investigations: Uncover Evidence in Your Home, Lab, or Basement (not yet published). We'll be drawing material from these titles first, but will soon branch out into biology, astrononmy, Earth sciences, and other disciplines. We'll be adding lots of material on a regular basis, so check back often. For more info on the site, see Introducing the Make: Science Room."
science  make  tcsnmy  howto  diy  microscope  projects  physics  education  chemistry  forensics  glvo  kids  learning  home  lab 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Spotlight on DML | Promising Evidence for Using Immersive Games in Classrooms
"SMALLab is a mixed-reality platform for learning. It is grounded in the belief that learning is effective when it is embodied (that is, engaging the body and mind in learning), multimodal (visual, sonic, kinesthetic), and collaborative.

Like the Wii, SMALLab moves students beyond the desktop and into a hybrid physical-digital environment. Students and teachers interact with digital elements via full body movements and gestures in real 3D space." [Includes video depicting the system]
smalllab  learning  collaboration  engagement  embodiment  immersive  play  education  visual  movement  immersivegames  kinesthetic  motion  math  chemistry  physics  science  languagearts  poetry 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Solve Puzzles for Science | Foldit
"Foldit is a revolutionary new computer game enabling you to contribute to important scientific research. This page describes the science behind Foldit and how your playing can help."
foldit  proteins  bioinformatics  distributed  crowdsourcing  freeware  learning  biology  science  chemistry  collaboration  gaming  games  computing  puzzles 
may 2009 by robertogreco
MAKE: Blog: The Chemistry gift guide - Celebrating chemistry and inspiring the next generation of chemists!
"Each year at MAKE we put together a few gift guides: open source hardware, electronics, science, wood working and this year we've added chemistry. Before we dive in to *the* chemistry gift guide - here are some excerpts as well as an interesting look back at one Christmas morning by Robert Bruce Thompson, author of The Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments All Lab, No Lecture."
education  learning  gift  edg  srg  chemistry  make  diy  homeschool  gifts  technology  engineering  howto  science 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Top 10 Amazing Chemistry Videos | Wired Science from Wired.com
"Fiery explosions, beautiful reactions, and hilarious music videos are great reasons to be excited about chemistry. Here are some of our favorites."
chemistry  science  video 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Top 10 Amazing Physics Videos | Wired Science from Wired.com
"Tesla coils, superconductors, and hilarious music videos are great reasons to be excited about physics. Here are some of our favorites."
science  video  physics  chemistry 
september 2008 by robertogreco
BLDGBLOG: Library of Dust
"Each canister holds the remains of a human being, of course; each canister holds a corpse – reduced to dust, certainly, burnt to handfuls of ash, sharing that cindered condition with much of the star-bleached universe, but still cadaverous, still human. What strange chemistries we see emerging here between man and metal. Because these were people; they had identities and family histories, long before they became nameless patients, encased in metal, catalytic."

[See also: http://www.davidmaisel.com/library-of-dust/
http://oshmuseum.org/library-of-dust-documentary-coming-soon/
http://www.amazon.com/Library-Dust-David-Maisel/dp/0811863336 ]
bldgblog  harukimurakami  dust  photography  human  death  chemistry  books  davidmaisel  art  history 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Cool Tool: Best home chemistry lab book
"Other than Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments, there are simply no other decent books for beginner chemical experimenter...Follow the instructions in Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments & you'll be on your way to chemical literacy."
chemistry  kids  books  learning  glvo  homeschool  howto  handson  lab 
july 2008 by robertogreco
List of unsolved problems - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"A list of unsolved problems may refer to several conjectures or open problems in various fields: in chemistry, cognitive science, computer science, economics, linguistics, mathematics, neuroscience, philosophy, physics, statistics"
via:kottke  wikipedia  science  problems  physics  chemistry  computers  cognitive  philosophy  linguistics  economics  statistics  neuroscience  math  crowdsourcing  problemsolving  computing  puzzles  classideas 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Periodic Table of Videos: elements as short YouTube episodes. - Boing Boing [videos here: http://www.periodicvideos.com]
"Here's a new YouTube channel from Nottingham University in the UK -- here, scientist-vloggers are in the process of posting a video for each element of the periodic table."
chemistry  video  science  visualization  periodictable 
july 2008 by robertogreco
MAKE: Blog: Interactive Periodic table
"Pop Sci's interactive periodic table showcases 93 element samples from the collection of PopSci contributing editor Theodore Gray, who spent four years assembling and photographing them, wow! - table & info."
chemistry  science  edg  elements  glvo  interactive  periodictable 
june 2008 by robertogreco
YouTube - Chemical Party
"Marie Curie is proud to present: "Chemicals having a party". Sexy carbons, bored noble gases, explosive reactions."
video  chemistry  science  humor  edg  elements  advertising  periodictable 
june 2008 by robertogreco
The Miracle Fruit, a Tease for the Taste Buds - NYTimes.com
"At flavor-tripping parties, guests find that miracle fruit makes everything sweet." see also: http://www.miraclefruitman.com/
food  brain  biology  taste  fruit  science  via:kottke  flavortripping  flavor  todo  classideas  fun  chemistry  plants 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Linus Pauling Research Notebooks - Special Collections
"As with many scientists, Linus Pauling utilized bound notebooks to keep track of the details of his research as it unfolded. A testament to the remarkable length and diversity of Dr. Pauling's career, the Pauling Papers holdings include forty-six research notebooks spanning the years of 1922 to 1994 and covering any number of the scientific fields in which Dr. Pauling involved himself. In this regard, the notebooks contain many of Pauling's laboratory calculations and experimental data, as well as scientific conclusions, ideas for further research and numerous autobiographical musings."
linuspauling  experiments  science  chemistry  notebooks  notetaking  database  history  notes  reference 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Wired News: A Solid That's Light as Air
"scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory focused on aerogel -- an extremely lightweight, porous material that is chemically identical to glass, but weighs only a little more than air. Aerogel is the lightest solid known to science. It's also one of th
science  space  materials  chemistry 
february 2006 by robertogreco

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