Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

COVID-19: some data

March 27, 2020

There is much being written about COVID-19 and while I don’t plan to add to it, I have come across some excellent data sources on the spread and effects of this virus.

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The most well known is – Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) (here is an interview with the people creating this data too.)

Our World in Data is an astoundingly good website with enormous amounts of information and their Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) – Statistics and Research page is no different (see also their testing data page).

Finally, being Australian, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Australia site is also of interest.

Hope the above are of interest.

2019 Best illusion of the Year Contest Winner

December 17, 2019

I really like optical illusions. And this is no exception …

The video above shows the top winner in the annual Illusion of the Year competition. It’s called the Dual Axis illusion by Frank Force. Is this shape spinning vertically or horizontally? You can’t tell, because it’s a 2D image, but your brain makes it seem one or the other, until visual cues help you change the orientation.

Light Speed – fast, but slow

October 11, 2019

Light travels at 299 792 458 m/s.

If you could travel at the speed of light, you could go around the Earth 7.5 times in one second. Which is fast, but…

A scientist captured an impossible photo of a single atom

October 8, 2019

Using an ordinary camera, with the help of long exposure, a laser, and two electrodes to suspend the atom in the air, a Scientist called David Nadlinger successfully took a photo of a single glowing strontium atom.

How awesome is that!

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When illuminated by a laser of the right blue-violet colour, the atom absorbs and re-emits light particles sufficiently quickly for an ordinary camera to capture it in a long exposure photograph. Learn more here.

50 years since man landed on the moon

July 20, 2019

Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon. Commander Neil Armstrong, Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin, and Command Module Pilot Michael Collins formed the American crew that landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on July 20, 1969.

Armstrong became the first person to step onto the lunar surface six hours 39 minutes later on July 21; Aldrin joined him 19 minutes later. They spent about two and a quarter hours together outside the spacecraft. Michael Collins was the only one of the three not to walk on the moon.

Check it out:

Have you ever wondered why Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the moon, not “Buzz” Aldrin. Find out here.

There are also heaps of archive movies on the NASA page here.

“That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

NASA Charts 4,000 Exoplanets in One Map

July 15, 2019

In less than 30 years, humanity has discovered more than 4,000 exoplanets, and to celebrate the milestone, NASA created a map that puts that number into a more visual perspective.

Learn more here.

Sleep is your superpower

May 12, 2019

The benefits of sleep are well known. I actually wonder how much a lack of sleep due to our ‘always on’ society impacts on issues like rising anxiety and depression.

Anyway, further evidence of the value of sleep is provided in this TED talk …

Sleep is your life-support system and Mother Nature’s best effort yet at immortality, says sleep scientist Matt Walker. In this deep dive into the science of slumber, Walker shares the wonderfully good things that happen when you get sleep — and the alarmingly bad things that happen when you don’t, for both your brain and body. Learn more about sleep’s impact on your learning, memory, immune system and even your genetic code — as well as some helpful tips for getting some shut-eye.

Life is a battlefield! Fungus vs Ant

April 25, 2019

In the tradition of ‘Killer Whale vs Seal‘, ‘Lion vs Buffalo vs Crocodile‘, ‘Shark vs Octopus‘, ’Leopard vs Porcupine‘, ‘Hornets vs Honey bees‘, ’Salmon vs Grizzly Bear‘, ‘Hippopotamus vs Crocodile’, ‘Polar Bear vs Walrus Colony’, ‘Giraffe vs Giraffe‘, ‘Caterpillar vs Frog‘, ‘Frog vs Poison Newt’, ‘Rubber bands vs Water Melon’,  ‘Sarcastic fringehead vs Sarcastic fringehead’, ‘Jaguar vs Crocodile‘, ‘Snake vs Crocodile‘, ‘Centipede vs Snake‘, ‘Moray Eel vs White Tip Reef Shark‘, ‘Rabbit vs Snake‘, ‘Octopus vs Octopus‘, ‘Rat vs Snake’, ‘Iguana vs Snakes‘, ‘Eel vs Octopus vs Human‘, ‘Red Octopus vs Swimmer Crab‘ and ‘Bombardier beetle vs Toad’, here is ‘Fungus vs Ant’:

Amazingly brutal!

What If We Detonated All Nuclear Bombs at Once?

April 1, 2019

What happens if make a huge pile from all 15,000 nuclear bombs and pull the trigger? And what happens if we make an even bigger pile?

It would be bad, obviously ….

Becoming: From zygote to tadpole, in six stunning minutes

February 9, 2019

Watch a single cell become a complete organism in this six minutes of timelapse:

Native to central and southern Europe, the amphibious alpine newt breeds in shallow water, where its larvae are born, hatch and feed on plankton, before sprouting legs and moving to land.