November 30, 2012 A few years ago, Science Friday, in collaboration with microbiologist Vince Fischetti and his lab at The Rockefeller University, conducted an experiment looking into a perennial holiday concern: will alcohol kill bacteria in homemade eggnog? We bring you the results. Please note: the sample size in this study is rather small, a single batch of nog.
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November 30, 2012 You can go to almost any cubic foot of ocean, stream, coral, backyard, ice shelves even, and if you look, you'll find scores of little animals and plants busy making a living. But here's a place — a beautiful, bountiful place — that when you look close — is a desert.
November 29, 2012 Have a look at this Rubik's Cube. Now turn it slightly. Still there?
November 28, 2012 Imagine a pothole-filled road. Imagine riding that road on a bicycle. Imagine the bumps. Imagine you have a chicken with you. Who has the smoother ride, you or the chicken?
November 23, 2012 The Ig Nobel Prizes honor scientific research that, in the words of Master of Ceremonies Marc Abrahams, "first makes you laugh, and then makes you think." This year's prizes, awarded in late September, include citations for research into mysteriously green hair, potentially explosive colonoscopies, and the creation of equations that model the back-and-forth swing of a ponytail in motion.
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All out of nutmeg? The same algorithms that predicts your friends on Facebook can also figure out ingredient substitutions for your pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving.
Courtesy of Lada Adamic.
November 19, 2012 Scientists have come up with an algorithm to guess how many stars a recipe will receive online. By building "social networks" for ingredients, the algorithms also reveal how we mix and match spices, make dishes more healthful and customize flavor profiles.
November 19, 2012 Look at this rocket ship. It is big. It is complicated. We could use long words to describe what's in it, or we could use short words. The author, cartoonist Randall Munroe, chooses short words. Ridiculously short words. Some will sneer. I cheer.
November 17, 2012 The mayor of New York City wants you to see what an hour's, a day's, a year's worth of NYC's carbon dioxide emissions would look like — if you could see them. The gas is normally invisible. So he's made a video, and it ain't pretty. Why would the mayor do this? What's it look like? See for yourself.
November 16, 2012 "I'm pure geek, pure logic," says Temple Grandin, an animal scientist and professor at Colorado State University. Science Friday visited Grandin, author of Animals Make Us Human and many other books on livestock and on autism, in her office to hear about her life and work.
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November 15, 2012 A boy leaves his house, steps onto the street and is assaulted by a crush of noises; he seems to be autistic, can't focus, can't sort the sounds. But somebody he bumps into (literally) sees what's wrong.
The warmer orange colors show parts of the brain most active during improvisational rap. The blue regions are most active when rappers performed a memorized piece.
November 15, 2012 Scientists have found rappers and jazz musicians use their brains in similar ways when it comes to improvisation. Brain scans show distinct differences in which parts of the brain are most active during rap performances of memorized pieces compared with those that are done freestyle.
Michel de Montaigne
November 13, 2012 The world's first essayist, Michel Montaigne, was out riding one day when he got slammed from the rear, was thrown from his horse, crashed to the ground and for a brief time was, as he puts it, "dead." He described exactly what it felt like. Here's what he learned.
November 9, 2012 In his latest book Hallucinations, neurologist Oliver Sacks collects stories of individuals who can see, hear and smell things that aren't really there--such as strange voices, or collages of unrecognizable faces--and explores the disorders and drugs that can produce such illusions.
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A guide to making a Mobius bagel. Cut along the black line.
George W. Hart
November 8, 2012 All you need is a bagel, a knife and a high score on your math SAT, and you can do this (unless you're me): You can transform a single bagel into two intertwining, connected parts, one twisted through the other. In other words, a Mobius bagel. Watch and learn.
November 7, 2012 You're born, live and die with one body. One is all you get. But some people, says neurologist Oliver Sacks, occasionally get another one; it's an illusion, a hallucination, but it follows you around, copying everything you do. It looks like it's keeping you company. But it's not.
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