Breaking science news and multimedia, heavy on astronomy and physics (and heavy on citing) New vids, pics, articles, and the occasional research post for http://researchblogging.org/ Join me on http://www.facebook.com/Astronasty for all the juicy in-between-posts picture sharing :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ants move like honey! / Mass creation in graphene / Ton's of Today's Overflow

Ants in groups move just like a viscous fluid.  It's incredible to see the striking similarity side by side.  Watch them flow out of a funnel like honey, and spread out just like food coloring.  Liquid in groups, it blows my mind! Abstract/Paper on ArXiv. Here's the link to the must see video download (also from ArXiv)

On the more serious side, physicists think mass might be able to be created in graphene.  Serious practical implications here.  It's really huge news.  Article on ArXiv Blog


TODAY'S OVERFLOW
Chances are you've already caught wind of the Most Distant Object Yet Seen. Article on ScienceNOW

The science behind a dog's wet shake... Not the most important discovery, I'd say, but entertaining.  Article on ArXiv Blog

Wild dolphins and cultural adaptation.  They've learned the "walk on water" trick from our captive dolphins.  Article on BBC

India is going to build their version of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory.  Welcome to the scene guys, good luck!  Article on BBC

"Black Hole VS Massive Star" Article on ScienceNOW

"Testing the hypothesis of a holographic universe"  Article on Symmetry Magazine and appearing on many other sites, including Digg.  Pretty awesome.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Carbon nanotubes are insanely awesome

Carbon nanotubes are insane.  They're made up of a sheet of carbon atoms rolled up into a cylinder.  The properties of a sheet of these cylinders allow for some ridiculously strange features.  This video looks like a goddamn magic show.





Here is a brief video that explains carbon nanotubes.  It's interesting to hear the measurements of these things.  Made up of such tiny structures, it's incredible that they can be stronger than steel.



And the coup de grace, a real demonstration of how water droplets interact with a sheet of carbon nanotubes.  This BLOWS MY MIND!  It's also on its way to being a viral video (accelerating quickly in popularity) on youtube.



For further layman's explanation, check out the Article on Gizmodo



TODAY'S OVERFLOW
A topic I ran across recently is the Neuroscience of Free Will.  Basically the idea is that your body initiates movement before you consciously are aware of moving.  The interpretation that you are moving on your own is your frontal lobe processing that you have already moved.  The Article on wikipedia is wonderful on this topic.

"Humanity will need two Earths to sustain itself in just twenty years" Article on Gizmodo

Us humans being the destructive bastards we are, have completely eradicated a disease.  Causing something to go extinct is rarely a good thing, but here it definitely is!  Article on Discover Blogs: 80 Beats

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Walruses Walruses Walruses Walruses!

Is Wilford Brimley's facial hair awesome?  10,000 Walruses in a resounding "yes".  I love these animals.  Always have.

Video Credit: USGS
Found via this Article on Reuters



TODAY'S OVERFLOW:
An interesting, approachable Article on NYTimes if you are interested in the study of consciousness

New "Molecular Frisbees" to be more much more cost effective at separating uranium isotopes.  Keep the bombs coming, guys, we don't quite have enough to blow up the entire solar system.  Article on ArXiv Blog

Quantized molecular vibrations called Phonons have just been shown to be able to jump a vacuum gap!  Oh vacuums, the more we know about it, the stranger it gets.  Article on PhysicsWorld

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Brainwave scanners can use your thoughts to control appliances or even play videogames

There's a video article on Reuters today about a mind reading device allowing you to interact with elements in your home such as blinds and lamps.  I've seen this same technology developed specifically for videogames.  Modifying it for household appliances doesn't make it revolutionary. 
A brainwave scanning headset was partly funded by LucasArts specifically for the usage of the "force" being actually part of gameplay for new Star Wars videogames.  It was at display during the Gamer Development Conference in 2008.  This (now) old technology was created by a company called Emotiv Systems, and had the intimidating pricetag of 300$.  With hardware prices on the trend they've been on, you can now get a new xbox 360 for 200$.  The gaming headset, called the EPOC neuroheadset, never skyrocketed to fame.  I always wanted to try it out though!  Check out the USA Today Article from 2008 on the gaming headset.
I'll go ahead and post the new video, hot off the presses over at Reuters on the appliance headset.


His sales pitch tells us to imagine a future in which the device, knowing that we've had a bad day at work, takes appropriate measures so you have beer in the fridge and a hot meal waiting for you.  This is ridiculous.  If that was possible, you'd want that EVERY SINGLE DAY!  Might as well throw the headset away in that case.  What a horrible pitch.


TODAY'S OVERFLOW
"Video of asteroid near miss from this morning" Article over at one of my favorite blogs, Bad Astronomy.
An amazing new picture of the sun, and Article about current solar flare activity, again over at Bad Astronomy.
OMG upon further review, here's the Site where he got that sun pic.  MANY other mindblowing ones up there.  Wallpaper heaven I tell you.
Team of Swiss astronomers bring about information shedding serious doubt on the recently widely popular Goldilocks planet, Gliese 581g.  Article on ScienceNOW

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