Friday, October 26, 2012

Open Access Science

There has been a lot of talk about open access to the scientific literature for students and the public. Free vs. steep journal access fees also come into it. I recently saw a fairly simple explanation of the reasons for open access to scientific information by physicist/cartoonist, Jorge Cham and PhD Comics. Check it out.

Monday, October 15, 2012

X-rays - 1940 - How Little We Knew

I recently found this old black and white video of a scientist explaining x-rays to a non-science audience. It's interesting and a bit scary to realize how little people knew about the positive and negative effects of radiation at that time. It makes me realize that we must be cautious when using seemingly fantastic new technologies. I love trying new science tools, methods, and materials more than most, but this video is a reminder that hazards and side effects can be unknown until additional research is done.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cool Science Factoids

1. There are 62,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body (end to end they would circle the earth 2.5 times)

2. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure on Earth (>2000 km long) 

3. The risk of a person being struck by a falling meteorite is one chance every 9,300 years

4. A thimbleful of a neutron star would weigh over 100 million tons

5. A typical hurricane produces the energy of 8,000 one megaton bombs

6. Blood sucking hookworms inhabit 700 million people worldwide.  Yuck!

7. The highest speed ever achieved on a bicycle is 166.94 mph, by Fred Rompelberg

8. We can produce laser light a million times brighter than sunshine

9. 65% of those with autism are left handed

10. The combined length of the roots of a Finnish pine tree is over 30 miles

Want more little know science facts to dazzle and annoy your friends? Go to Listverse for the rest of the list.