Science Doesn’t Sleep (9.4.08)

Released to Public: Astronaut Robert L. Curbeam, Jr., STS-116 Spacewalk (NASA)
“Houston…we’ve got a
SPAM problem.”
Creative Commons License photo credit:

So here’s what went down after you logged off.

There’s a new Manhattan floating around the Arctic – and it’s made of ice. Canada’s polar ice shelves are “crumbling at an alarming pace.” In other good news: sea levels will rise much faster than we thought.

It’s possibly the lamest thing ever done in space: yesterday, astronauts spent some time updating their antivirus software.

It was the fake mustaches that tipped them off. Up to 10 percent of Near Earth Objects are comets impersonating asteroids – and new research aims to unmask them.

It’s really, really big: a black hole as big as 50 billion suns.

The ocean has its own lakes – called meddies – and scientists are using oil industry tech to study them.

Science Doesn’t Sleep (4.28.08)

Hello? Hello?
Creative Commons License photo credit: CharlesLam

So here’s what went down since you logged off.

iFest is over for this year – did you make it out? What did you think? Did the life-size rock-hewn church live up to the hype? The Chronicle has coverage of the festival’s last day.

Did you hear? Lucy is staying in Houston a little while longer.

I said, I’M AWESOME!!! But, self-esteem this high isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Operator, put me through to the rainforest. I hear insects are using plants like telephones.

Well, it does speak in code…And it turns out, my computer might be spying on me.

There’s been a bit of a kerfuffle over CERN’s Large Hadron Collider – like, whether it will create a black hole that will swallow the Earth. The Bad Astronomer did a great post debunking this theory, and he’s just posted a video tour of the Collider that shows just how big it really is.

Science Doesn’t Sleep (4.7.08)

So here’s what went down since you logged off.

As if we don’t have enough weather possible natural disaster to worry about: a magnitude 3.7 earthquake struck south Texas this morning at 4:51 a.m., according to the US Geological Survey. The Chronicle’s SciGuy has more.

Creative Commons License photo credit: magical-world

Location, location, location – it seems Houston’s poor air quality may be due, in part, to close proximity to the coast. A new study shows sea salt may be the culprit.

On the flip side, our proximity to the coast means you won’t have too far to go if you want to help Adopt-A-Beach clean it up. Off the Kuff has information on how you can help.

Because criminals care about the environment, too. Chemists have developed a test that will detect the presence of ‘green’ (lead-free) ammunition. Check out the link for a great picture of a single gunshot residue particle that has been magnified 200 times.

So now I have to worry whether my Mac thinks I’m having a good hair day? Scientists at Tel Aviv University claim they’ve taught a computer to recognize beauty in women. Researcher Amit Kagian says it’s the next step towards artificial intelligence. I say, where’s the program that evaluates attractiveness for your gender, Mr. Kagian?

Creative Commons License photo credit: Steve Beger Photography  

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I still wouldn’t want to meet one in a dark alley, but alligators may be our new best friend. Researchers have discovered proteins in alligator blood that may fight “superbugs” that don’t resond to conventional medications – as well as infections associated with diabetic ulcers, severe burns and AIDS.