Fighting Ice With...Ice?
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This series of images (click to enlarge) shows an aluminum sample with elevated grooves after 0, 1, 2, and 3 hours in a supersaturated environment. You can see that the ice is contained to the elevated grooves and grows upward over time. However, the ice stripes disrupted the usual behavior. There, the ice stripes grew upward, away from the surface. For example, we’d need a method for patterning ice stripes on a large object.

How Elvis Got Americans to Accept the Polio Vaccine
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But despite the literally crippling effects of the virus and the promising results of the vaccination, many Americans simply weren’t getting vaccinated. What did prove successful was Elvis getting the vaccine in front of millions. Why might this be the case, and are there lessons that can be applied to the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine? Elvis’s public act contained three crucial ingredients inherent to many of the most effective behavioral change campaigns: social influence, social norms and vivid examples. If only Elvis were still alive to harness social influence, social norms and vivid examples.

Did We Receive a Message from a Planet Orbiting the Nearest Star?
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This infrared star hosts an Earth-size planet, Proxima b, in its habitable zone, where liquid water could allow the chemistry of life on the planet’s surface. But even without examining the event details, one might wonder whether it is plausible for a radio signal to originate from our nearest star system. Following this argument, the quantitative paper with Amir shows that the chance of a radio signal appearing now from our nearest star is miniscule. There is one caveat to this conclusion, namely if intelligent life on Earth and its nearest star are correlated. Interestingly, Proxima Centauri became our nearest star around the same time when Homo sapiens appeared on Earth.

Dire Wolves Were Not Really Wolves, New Genetic Clues Reveal
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It had long been assumed that dire wolves made themselves at home in North America before gray wolves followed them across the Bering Land Bridge from Eurasia. For decades, paleontologists have remarked on how similar the bones of dire wolves and gray wolves are. Dire wolves, it now appeared, had evolved in the Americas and had no close kinship with the gray wolves from Eurasia; the last time gray wolves and dire wolves shared a common ancestor was about 5.7 million years ago. Perri, Mitchell and their colleagues found no DNA evidence of interbreeding between dire wolves and gray wolves or coyotes. Dire wolves were genetically isolated from other canids, Mitchell notes, so “hybridization couldn’t provide a way out” because dire wolves were probably unable to produce viable offspring with the recently arrived wolves from Eurasia.

Time Has No Meaning at the North Pole
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At the North Pole, 24 time zones collide at a single point, rendering them meaningless. At Earth’s other pole, time zones are quirky but rooted in utility. At the North Pole, it’s all ocean, visited only rarely by an occasional research vessel or a lonely supply ship that strayed from the Northwest Passage. What we think of as a single day, flanked by sunrise and sunset, happens just once per year around the North Pole. So I can’t help but wonder: Does a single day up North last for months?

Cheap Magnets Could Keep Sharks Out of Fishing Nets
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Countless sharks, sea turtles, seals, dolphins, rays and fish of all descriptions needlessly die before they can be thrown back overboard. Philippe Colombi/Getty ImagesWe kill 100 million sharks every year. We found that traps with magnets had roughly 30 percent less likelihood of catching sharks and rays compared to traps without. Win-wins are great, but we've got a long way to go before we make a dent in that 100 million sharks per year. The magnets seem to work well for traps, but magnets don't work on longlines — the lines are fitted with metal hooks, so the magnets tangle the gear.

Why Generation Z Is So Stressed Out
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The report showed that 27 percent of Gen Z members reported that their mental health was poor, compared with 15 percent of Millennials (Generation Y), 13 percent of Gen Xers and 7 percent of Baby Boomers. AdvertisementAdvertisementThe Biggest Issues for Gen ZSo what most stresses out Gen Z? In fact, 75 percent of Gen Z respondents said that mass shootings are a significant source of stress, compared with 62 percent of adults overall. For instance, among Gen Z social media is noted as a source of support, yet 45 percent say it makes them feel judged. Now That's Important The report took note of the special stresses some Gen Z members of color face.

The Evolutionary Origins of Friendship
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As awful as 2020 was, its ability to reveal the genuine strengths and weaknesses of our relationships was an unexpected boon. They enable us to discern fair-weather friends from friends tried and true. As an evolutionary psychologist, I have conducted research on social relationships and emotions for over 20 years. If I demonstrate that I value you, then, all else equal, it pays for you to value me in return. The pandemic has therefore been an unexpected (albeit unwanted) opportunity to test the tensile strength of our relationships.

Here's Where to Find the Cleanest Air in the World
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\" \" The beautiful downtown area of Honolulu, Hawaii, has the best air quality of all cities in the world of similar size. Ozone pollution comes from gases like exhaust from tailpipes and smoke from factory chimneys. Particle pollution is mostly created by car and truck traffic, manufacturing, power plants and farming. Here are the top five major cities with the cleanest air in the world:Honolulu, HawaiiHalifax, CanadaAnchorage, AlaskaAuckland, New ZealandBrisbane, AustraliaWherever in the world they're located, the cleanest cities tend to have certain things in common. Now That's Interesting China's air pollution is so bad you can see it from space.

Top 5 Best Mortgage Refinancing Companies of 2021 – HowStuffWorks Reviews Articles Search
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And since refinancing can get you a better, lower interest rate, it’s a very financially savvy perk for anyone who refinances. When you got your initial mortgage, you may have ended up with an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM). Do Your Research Before You RefinanceAre you ready to reap the benefits of mortgage refinancing? A financially sound choice, refinancing can secure a lower interest rate and big savings over the course of the loan’s lifetime. Search for the best mortgage refinancing lenders and compare what they can offer you.

The Second-Generation COVID Vaccines Are Coming
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Now, a year after the pandemic first erupted, three COVID vaccines have been given emergency authorization by either the U.S. or U.K., as well as other countries. But impressive as they are, these vaccines alone will likely not be sufficient to end the pandemic, experts say. Luckily, there are hundreds of other COVID vaccines under development—including many with new mechanisms of action—that could prove to be effective and cheaper and easier to distribute. And mRNA vaccines such as Pfizer’s and Moderna’s—touted by many as the future of vaccinology—have never previously been brought to market. But instead of injecting the entire spike protein, they have homed in on the virus’s “Achilles’ heel”: the receptor binding domain (RBD), the portion of the spike protein that directly fuses with human cells.

Science News Briefs from Around the World
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I’m Scientific American assistant news editor Sarah Lewin Frasier. And here’s a short piece from the January 2021 issue of the magazine, in the section called Advances: Dispatches From The Frontiers Of Science, Technology And Medicine. The article is titled Quick Hits, and it’s a rundown of some non-coronavirus stories from around the globe. Considered part of the Great Barrier Reef, it is the first detached reef structure discovered there in 120 years. That was “Quick Hits.” I’m Sarah Lewin Frasier.

Why AI Needs to Be Able to Understand All the World's Languages
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Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon’s Alexa collectively service zero African languages. For them, speech recognition technology could help bridge the gap between illiteracy and access to valuable information and services from agricultural information to medical care. Languages spoken by smaller populations are often casualties of commercial prioritization. Instead of exploiting data sets from unrelated, high-resource languages, we leveraged speech data that are abundantly available, even in low-resource languages: radio broadcasting archives. The second, West African Virtual Assistant Speech Recognition Corpus, consists of 10,000 labeled audio clips in four languages.

How We Can Deal with ‘Pandemic Fatigue’
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Public health experts term this phenomenon “pandemic fatigue” and cite it as a contributor to the increase in incidence rates being witnessed here and in Europe. Understanding pandemic fatigue is challenging because it is not one phenomenon and likely stems from several causes. However, pandemic fatigue also occurs for people who are ostensibly on board with societal attempts to control spread of the virus. Despite its name, pandemic fatigue in these cases is not really about exhaustion or tiredness or depleting a mental resource. One fundamental facet of pandemic fatigue is motivational in nature and is related to the demands life during a pandemic places on our systems for cognitive control and the mental effort costs this incurs.

Why Do Colleges Hand Out Honorary Degrees?
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Levine approved of honorary degrees, seeing them as teaching opportunities to\"[show] examples of people who most represent the values the institution stands for.\" AdvertisementAdvertisementHonorary Degrees as MarketingToday, the conferring of unearned degrees is less of a menace to society and more of a savvy marketing opportunity. Ayugo sits on the Committee on Honorary Degrees, which is charged with reviewing all nominations for honorary degrees submitted by Duke students, faculty and staff. \"Honorary degrees serve as a way to inspire the students graduating that day,\" writes Ayugo in an email. While most honorary degree recipients understand and respect this distinction between an earned and unearned degree, others disagree.

What Does a Faster-Than-Light Object Look Like?
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Here's a figure showing how this appears to the dog:A dog and cat interacting with an FTL alien, as seen by the dog. The dog sees the cat moving left to right at half the speed of light. The alien comes in from the left, passes the dog first (event 1), and then the cat (event 2). In that case, you get something that looks like this:A dog and cat interacting with an FTL alien, as seen by the cat. Both space and time look different to the cat, due to her high speed.

Vaccines Alone Are Not Enough to Beat COVID
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But we will make a critical error if we ignore the need for treatments as well as vaccines. So, it is vitally important we continue to research treatments to limit and cure COVID-19. President Biden should also organize an advisory panel to coordinate these clinical trial efforts and share results from outcomes and best practices. Because it is in the interest of national security, such coordination and prioritization of clinical trials cannot be left to the profit-driven pharmaceutical industry. We are making steady progress but must significantly enhance support for research and for national coordination of clinical trial efforts.

On Finding Yourself in a Butterfly’s Wings
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I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that you've probably screened hundreds of projects. Do you feel that you've reached a formula of what helps a science film pull audiences in like adding a bit of fantasy or building a fictional setting? [00:05:14] And I think, um, there's a lot of science today that could be perceived as science fiction to many people. And I don't think you need to necessarily falsify science to make it ou know, science fiction like, or, or to, to enter into those fantastical worlds. And you also don't know what the repercussions are, right?

Scientists Call for a Global Germ Bank
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\" \" Not all germs are destructive and some scientists see the need to bank them for possible future use. Some doctors also say that kids should be exposed to certain germs at a certain age to help build immunity. AdvertisementA Rutgers University–New Brunswick-led team of researchers is even calling for a \"germ bank,\" where microbes can be stored out of harm's way and possibly used to ward off disease in the future. Microbes are already being used to treat a wide range of maladies, from rare genetic conditions to cancer. But as human resistance to certain drugs builds over time, germ bank supporters say a \"Noah's Ark\" of bacteria and other potentially life-saving material will help ensure that new medicines can be developed before it's too late.

10 Things You Should Know About Rachel Carson
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\" \" Rachel Carson was concerned about the dangers of DDT as early as the 1940s, and her research would become the inception of her book \"Silent Spring.\" AdvertisementAs early as the 1940s, Carson was one of those concerned that releasing a powerful poison into the environment might not be such a good idea. Fish & Wildlife Service, Carson had read government reports on DDT and how it had not been tested for civilian use. A member of the Committee, Olga Owens Huckins, contacted Carson to urge her to write about the suit. It was the inception of what would become \"Silent Spring,\" the work for which she is best remembered.

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