Archive for the 'Science/Technology' Category

Clinging To Their Dreams

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

There was a brief article in the science section of today’s NY Times about crying and the chemical composition of tears. The article included the phrase, “one prominent tear researcher”. Prominent tear researcher? It the writer got this right, that means there are more than a few ordinary tear researchers. Some of them might be […]

3 for 4

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

In the science section of today’s NY Times, there is an article on the space suit worn by the astronauts on the moon. These suits consisted of 21 hand-sewn layers. The outer lays were made from materials such as Dacron, Mylar, Kapton and Teflon. One of those materials caught me by surprise. I first heard […]

Not Paying Attention?

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Today there was a fascinating piece in the science section of the New York Times that discussed the topic of “deep homology”. Deep homology is the idea that groups of genes (i.e., modules) keep working together, over millions of years, in various organisms, often doing rather different things. Really interesting stuff. From a quite different […]

Staging a Comeback

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

It has been observed that many English words have slipped into obscurity, even though more complicated versions of the words live on. Take, for example, the word “ruthless”. It is such a common word that one might gloss over the fact that it contains the root word “ruth”. I’ve never heard anyone use that root […]

Clean Up via Chain Saw, Day Two, Novice Division

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Having gotten a full night’s sleep, and spent the day thinking about my chain-saw problems from the day before, I took another run at the tree trunk that feel yesterday near our waterfall. A night and day of reflection was rather helpful, and I was able to get the trunk bucked up into manageable sized […]

12 Years & 8 Hours

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

There was a tornado in this area in 1997. We didn’t have any serious damage on our property, but there was real damage quite close by. The major impact on us was that we were without power for 4-5 days. After a bit I realized that my trusty, little electric chain saw would be useless […]

Seismic Events and the Retroactive Adjective

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

I saw a news article today that scientists are beginning to think an earthquake that killed 80,000 people in China last year may have been man made. The thinking is that the weight of the water behind the Zipingpu dam exerted pressure on a fault line nearby, triggering the Sichuan earthquake. Some years ago William […]

Tool Making Primate

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

The Science section in today’s NY Times had a short article on tool making by capuchin monkeys. Scientists noticed that these monkeys were using stones to crack open palm nuts. When scientists left a variety of stones for the monkeys to choose from, they noticed that the monkeys almost always picked the heaviest stone. “Here […]

Genetic Link to Obesity Reported

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

This morning’s Star Tribune had a brief story about scientists having discovered a genetic link to obesity in humans. Research has discovered that children with a common variant of a particular gene tend to overeat high-calorie foods. The article goes on to say: “They ate 100 extra calories per meal, which over the long term […]


Thursday, October 9th, 2008

I recently finished a book by David Lindley: Uncertainty – Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science I found the book quite interesting, as it allowed me not only to better understand the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, but also a bunch of other things. For example, Robert Brown discovered what became known […]