Friday, February 27, 2015

Flying Dinosaurs

Have you ever wondered when dinosaurs started flying? And weren't a lot of species happy that T. rex was too massive to take to the skies? 

Just published by Yale University researchers Teresa Feo, Daniel Field, and Richard Prum is a study on a key component of a winged dinosaur's anatomy – asymmetrical feathers. Why? Because, shape is important in creating lift.

Actually, the Yale team has been analyzing the question of the first dino flyers using feather and barb angle. 

Apparently, barbs on the leading edge of feathers are positioned at small angles from the shaft they branch from. This may have served to keep the feather's leading edge fairly rigid which in turn, facilitates pitch control in flight.

So, if you're a devotee of all things aviation. Or just curious about bird history and development, check out the Yale results. Go science!

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Vizzies

I know last night was the 2015 Oscars and there was a whole lot of beauty and bling going on, but have you ever thought about the beauty of science? No, it isn't just a geek thing. Everyone I know thinks about it. Oh, right. I have a geek merit badge, too.

Anyway, the National Science Foundation and Popular Science joined together this year to sponsor the International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge. With 303 entries from twelve different countries and categories such as illustration, posters and graphics, and video, 50 finalists were judged on artistic merit and communication of science ideas. Readers voted for the People's Choice.

Check out the video for the creativity and beauty of neurons firing in the brain, x-ray of turtle structure, and beautiful chemical reactions videos happening real time. Very cool! Go science!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Could We Actually Live on Mars?

Many of you know how much I love the videos from asapScience. They answer everything from health questions to life on Mars. For folks who have never heard of them. Check them out on YouTube. If you are like me, you'll be a subscriber too. (asapScience has no idea I endorse them. They are just cool.) I pin a lot of their videos here as well. Go science!