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The Lounge>Science is Cool....
Fish 09:43 PM 05-21-2012
This is a repository for all cool scientific discussion and fascination. Scientific facts, theories, and overall cool scientific stuff that you'd like to share with others. Stuff that makes you smile and wonder at the amazing shit going on around us, that most people don't notice.

Post pictures, vidoes, stories, or links. Ask questions. Share science.

This is in support of the Penny 4 NASA project. If you enjoy anything you learned from this thread, consider making a donation and signing the petition.

Why should I care?:

Fish 05:02 PM 04-16-2013
The next time you make a stupid Facebook post about lolcats, remember that Science made it possible...

-King- 05:06 PM 04-16-2013
The ASAP science videos are much better than Vsauce. Vsauce vids are way too long and filled with tangents.
-King- 05:10 PM 04-16-2013
Originally Posted by Fish:
The next time you make a stupid Facebook post about lolcats, remember that Science made it possible...

Can't wait until 2023.

These things always interest me though.

According to Futuretimeline, we should have text by thinking and 4320p tvs by then.
Fish 05:38 PM 04-16-2013
Common misconception... there is no such thing as a Brontosaurus....

Forget Extinct: The Brontosaurus Never Even Existed

It may have something to do with all those Brontosaurus burgers everyone's favorite modern stone-age family ate, but when you think of a giant dinosaur with a tiny head and long, swooping tail, the Brontosaurus is probably what you're seeing in your mind.

Well hold on: Scientifically speaking, there's no such thing as a Brontosaurus.

Even if you knew that, you may not know how the fictional dinosaur came to star in the prehistoric landscape of popular imagination for so long.

It dates back 130 years, to a period of early U.S. paleontology known as the Bone Wars, says Matt Lamanna, curator at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.

The Bone Wars was the name given to a bitter competition between two paleontologists, Yale's O.C. Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope of Philadelphia. Lamanna says their mutual dislike, paired with their scientific ambition, led them to race dinosaur names into publication, each trying to outdo the other.

"There are stories of either Cope or Marsh telling their fossil collectors to smash skeletons that were still in the ground, just so the other guy couldn't get them," Lamanna tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered. "It was definitely a bitter, bitter rivalry."

The two burned through money, and were as much fame-hungry trailblazers as scientists.

It was in the heat of this competition, in 1877, that Marsh discovered the partial skeleton of a long-necked, long-tailed, leaf-eating dinosaur he dubbed Apatosaurus. It was missing a skull, so in 1883 when Marsh published a reconstruction of his Apatosaurus, Lamanna says he used the head of another dinosaur thought to be a Camarasaurus to complete the skeleton.

"Two years later," Lamanna says, "his fossil collectors that were working out West sent him a second skeleton that he thought belonged to a different dinosaur that he named Brontosaurus."

But it wasn't a different dinosaur. It was simply a more complete Apatosaurus one that Marsh, in his rush to one-up Cope, carelessly and quickly mistook for something new.

Although the mistake was spotted by scientists by 1903, the Brontosaurus lived on, in movies, books and children's imaginations. The Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh even topped its Apatosaurus skeleton with the wrong head in 1932. The apathy of the scientific community and a dearth of well-preserved Apatosaurus skulls kept it there for nearly 50 years.

That Brontosaurus finally met its end in the 1970s when two Carnegie researchers took a second look at the controversy. They determined a skull found in a quarry in Utah in 1910 was the true Apatosaurus skull. In 1979 the correct head was placed atop the museum's skeleton.

The Brontosaurus was gone at last, but Lamanna suggests the name stuck in part because it was given at a time when the Bone Wars fueled intense public interest in the discovery of new dinosaurs. And, he says, it's just a better name.

"Brontosaurus means 'thunder lizard,'" he says. "It's a big, evocative name, whereas Apatosaurus means 'deceptive lizard.' It's quite a bit more boring."
AussieChiefsFan 06:39 PM 04-16-2013
Originally Posted by -King-:
The ASAP science videos are much better than Vsauce. Vsauce vids are way too long and filled with tangents.
I actually really like how long their videos are.
chefsos 04:47 PM 04-17-2013
I thought I'd be posting a report today on private firm Orbital Sciences' Antares test launch from NASA's Wallops Island, VA (WHERE?) facility. The mission got scrubbed however; maybe 48 hrs for a re-try.

Wallops Island is on the Eastern Shore of VA, very near me. I've been to Chincoteague, VA a few times and driven right around the Wallops Island base to get there. It's in the middle of a swamp, actually. They've been launching smaller rockets there for decades, but this is the first big one.

So, ultimately, no science today.
Detoxing 05:00 PM 04-17-2013
Originally Posted by Fish:
The next time you make a stupid Facebook post about lolcats, remember that Science made it possible...

This is bullshit.

Iphones can't print Polaroids.
mikey23545 10:18 PM 04-19-2013

Source: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration


After 50 years, this country proves how far it's fallen by managing to reinvent the Saturn V and the Apollo command module.

What's next, the Wright plane?
Fish 10:48 PM 04-19-2013
Just mind bottling....

Fish 10:47 AM 04-21-2013
This moment made possible by science developed by NASA...

-King- 11:07 PM 04-21-2013

aturnis 11:16 PM 04-21-2013
Originally Posted by -King-:
Very cool.
Fish 04:41 PM 04-23-2013

Wanted: Curious, adventurous, sociable individuals who dislike oxygen, feeling the warm sun on their neck when they are walking in the sunshine without a spacesuit and taking a dip into the ocean. Got an annoying ex (or mother-in-law)? Want to put 140 million miles (225 million km) between you?

If you meet most of the criteria above (or are just a crappy neighbor who gets in trouble for being too loud), you may be the perfect candidate for a permanent settlement on Mars! Yes. You read that right, M-A-R-S. The freaking red-planet!!!

A company based in the Netherlands, Mars One; is looking for four individuals that are up to the task of traveling to, and living on, Mars. However, if you get there and decide that red is a bad color or that the decrease in surface gravity makes your butt look weird, you are kind of screwed, as the return flight is scheduled two weeks from the first of never! That's right, no return trip for this flight will occur. The colonists that make the trip will ultimately have to adapt to the environment of the planet, which is frankly cold, dry and kind of rusty. (Literally rusty. Mars has lots of iron oxide. Hence the red.)

All satire aside (and admit, you love it), if you would like the opportunity to be a part of one of the most historic and important milestones for humanity, you can sign up here (for a small fee of $38 and a contract on the soul of your first born child):

In typical hunger games fashion, the candidates

At the time of my writing this, the crew departure is expected to occur in 2022, with two prior missions (and 8 test flights) to set up camp before the crew arrives 7 months later. The first of these missions will occur as soon as 2016.

On the plus side, regardless of the schematics, at least Curiosity, Opportunity and Spirit will have some company in the flesh. The little green Martian men speak really bad human.

- Jaime

For More Information:

"Private Mars Colony Won't Seek Life on Red Planet:"

Q:A What are the qualifications?

Additional Reading:

Mars: The Red Planet:

Terra-forming Mars:
-King- 04:44 PM 04-23-2013
Originally Posted by Fish:
Just mind bottling....

To quote men in black "1,500 years ago, everybody knew that the Earth was the center of the universe. 500 years ago, everybody knew that the Earth was flat. And 15 minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow."
Fish 04:48 PM 04-23-2013
Super-powered battery breakthrough claimed by US team

A new type of battery has been developed that, its creators say, could revolutionise the way we power consumer electronics and vehicles.

The University of Illinois team says its use of 3D-electrodes allows it to build "microbatteries" that are many times smaller than commercially available options, or the same size and many times more powerful.

It adds they can be recharged 1,000 times faster than competing tech.

However, safety issues still remain.

Details of the research are published in the journal
Nature Communications.

Battery breakthrough
The researchers said their innovation should help address the issue that while smartphones and other gadgets have benefited from miniaturised electronics, battery advances have failed to keep pace.

Batteries work by having two components - called electrodes - where chemical reactions occur.

In simple terms, the anode is the electrode which releases electrons as a result of a process called oxidation when the battery is being used as a power source.

The cathode is the electrode on the other side of the battery to which the electrons want to flow and be absorbed - but a third element, the electrolyte, blocks them from travelling directly.

When the battery is plugged into a device the electrons can flow through its circuits making the journey from one electrode to the other.

Meanwhile ions - electrically charged particles involved in the anode's oxidation process - do travel through the electrolyte. When they reach the cathode they react with the electrons that travelled via the other route.

The scientists' "breakthrough" involved finding a new way to integrate the anode and cathode at the microscale.

"The battery electrodes have small intertwined fingers that reach into each other," project leader Prof William King told the BBC.

"That does a couple of things. It allows us to make the battery have a very high surface area even though the overall battery volume is extremely small.

"And it gets the two halves of the battery very close together so the ions and electrons do not have far to flow.

"Because we've reduced the flowing distance of the ions and electrons we can get the energy out much faster."

Repeatable technique
The battery cells were fabricated by adapting a process developed by another team at the university which is designed to make it faster to recharge the batteries than lithium ion (Li-on) and nickel metal hydride (NiMH) equivalents.

It involves creating a lattice made out of tiny polystyrene spheres and then filling the space in and around the structure with metal.

The spheres are then dissolved to leave a 3D-metal scaffold onto which a nickel-tin alloy is added to form the anode, and a mineral called manganese oxyhydroxide to form the cathode.

Finally the glass surface onto which the apparatus was attached was immersed into a liquid heated to 300C (572F).

"Today we're making small numbers of these things in a boutique fabrication process, but while that's reliable and we can repeat it we need to be able to make large numbers of these things over large areas," said Prof King.

"But in principle our technology is scalable all the way up to electronics and vehicles.

"You could replace your car battery with one of our batteries and it would be 10 times smaller, or 10 times more powerful. With that in mind you could jumpstart a car with the battery in your cell phone."

Safety fear
Other battery experts welcomed the team's efforts but said it could prove hard to bring the technology to market.

"The challenge is to make a microbattery array that is robust enough and that does not have a single short circuit in the whole array via a process that can be scaled up cheaply," said Prof Clare Grey from the University of Cambridge's chemistry department.

University of Oxford's Prof Peter Edwards - an expert in inorganic chemistry and energy - also expressed doubts.

"This is a very exciting development which demonstrates that high power densities are achievable by such innovations," he said.

"The challenges are: scaling this up to manufacturing levels; developing a simpler fabrication route; and addressing safety issues.

"I'd want to know if these microbatteries would be more prone to the self-combustion issues that plagued lithium-cobalt oxide batteries which we've seen become an issue of concern with Boeing's Dreamliner jets."

Prof King acknowledged that safety was an issue due to the fact the current electrolyte was a combustible liquid.

He said that in the test equipment only a microscopic amount of the liquid was used, making the risk of an explosion negligible - but if it were scaled up to large sizes the danger could become "significant".

However, he added that he soon planned to switch to a safer polymer-based electrolyte to address the issue.

Prof King added that he hoped to have the technology ready to be trialled as a power source for electronic equipment before the end of the year.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign team is one of several groups attempting to overhaul the way we power gadgets.

Researchers in Texas are working on a kind of battery that can be spray-painted onto any surface while engineers at the University of Bedfordshire are exploring the idea of using radio waves as an energy source.
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