Sep 15

It always amazes me how nature’s own properties can be used to solve problems:

And it’s even more amazing that life has figured this out – a science called Biomimetics.

Jul 18

So it seems like there was a party 30,000 years ago and I suspect my Singh ancestors weren’t too happy that their progeny was cavorting with someone from the wrong side of the forest: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-07/uom-grc071411.php

Neanderthals, whose ancestors left Africa about 400,000 to 800,000 years ago, evolved in what is now mainly France, Spain, Germany and Russia, and are thought to have lived until about 30,000 years ago. Meanwhile, early modern humans left Africa about 80,000 to 50,000 years ago. The question on everyone’s mind has always been whether the physically stronger Neanderthals, who possessed the gene for language and may have played the flute, were a separate species or could have interbred with modern humans. The answer is yes, the two lived in close association.

Jun 22

http://allthingsd.com/20110621/meet-the-stealthy-start-up-that-aims-to-sharpen-focus-of-entire-camera-industry/:

This means capturing that perfect shot of your fast-moving pet or squirming child could soon get a whole lot easier. Instead of having to manually focus or wait for autofocus to kick in and hopefully center on the right thing, pictures can be taken immediately and in rapid succession. Once the picture is on a computer or phone, the focus can be adjusted to center on any object in the image, also allowing for cool artsy shots where one shifts between a blurry foreground and sharp background and vice versa.

For more information, see here: http://www.lytro.com/science_inside

Lytro - Science Inside

Lytro - Science Inside

Jun 21

These medical stories are initially counter-intuitive, but then after further thought, perhaps obviously intuitive:

Duct tape is a more effective wart removal technique than cryotherapy: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12361440

Of the 51 patients completing the study, 26 (51%) were treated with duct tape, and 25 (49%) were treated with cryotherapy. Twenty-two patients (85%) in the duct tape arm vs 15 patients (60%) enrolled in the cryotherapy arm had complete resolution of their warts (P =.05 by chi(2) analysis).

Want to smell like a man, take it easy for a week: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12659241?dopt=Abstract

On the 7th day of abstinence, however, a clear peak of serum testosterone appeared, reaching 145.7% of the baseline ( P < 0.01)

Recover from serious gut issues by eating dirt (with roundworms): http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/2/60/60ra88.abstract

T. trichiura colonization of the intestine may reduce symptomatic colitis by promoting goblet cell hyperplasia and mucus production through TH2 cytokines and IL-22.

If you don’t want to be near-sighted, spend time outdoors when your young: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/21/opinion/21wang.html

Researchers suspect that bright outdoor light helps children’s developing eyes maintain the correct distance between the lens and the retina — which keeps vision in focus. Dim indoor lighting doesn’t seem to provide the same kind of feedback. As a result, when children spend too many hours inside, their eyes fail to grow correctly and the distance between the lens and retina becomes too long, causing far-away objects to look blurry.

Dec 13

Nov 16

I can’t even imagine this as a profession 5 years ago …

From New York Times

Aug 27

First, check out this video which shows all of the documented asteroids in our solar system (for full effect watch in 1080 fullscreen):

Then you will likely ask yourself: “What are the chances?”. Well, the book that I’m now reading – “Global Catastrophes and Trends” by Vaclav Smil – goes into this in some detail:

There are perhaps as many as a billion asteroids orbiting the sun in a broad and constantly replenished belt between Mars and Jupiter as well as a similar number of comments moving in more distant orbits withinthe Opik-Oort cloud beyond Pluto. Gravitational attraction of nearby planets constantly displaces a small portion of these bodies into elliptical orbits that move them toward the inner solar system and into the vicinity of Earth.

After an analysis based on the size and varying degrees of damage they may inflict, you’ll be pleased to know:

… probabilities of the Earth’s catastropic encounter with a comment are likely less than 0.001% during the next 50 years, a chance approaching the level of 1 out of 1 million.

Oh yeah, the book is:

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