I think Chris made a small mistake when he estimated the amount of rubber that is worn off of car tires. He stated that the tires would wear out in just one year. This is a huge underestimate. Competitive quality tires typically last for between 50000 and 100000 miles, lets say 60000 miles on average. I've found that I drive about 1000 miles per month (which is average for Americans, don't know the average for Europeans, Asians, Africans Australians... but I'd think it would be a little less in Europe, probably the same for Australian because they have a better public transit in Europe so more people commute by train in Europe. Lets just guess 750 miles per month average in Europe. So tires should last about 5 years in the US and Australia and a little more than 6.6 years in Europe. Which makes Chris's estimate about 5-6 and a half times greater than it would be in reality.
What are legal highs, and how do scientists, doctors and law-makers keep up with new drugs entering the market? Plus, biofuels and why they cost the Earth, the cause of LED droop, a neutron star proves Einstein's theory of general relativity right, and E. coli programmed to pump out diesel. Listen to this Show
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Helium isn't just for balloons and making silly voices. It's a rather important industrial gas, and we are running out. I'm wondering, short of fusion power plants (or H-bombs) can we make it? Helium is a light, highly inert gas. If it's not manufactured where do our current supplies come from. Could it be made in large enough quantifies if we can ever develop fusion nuclear power?
Coral is one of the oldest extant groups of animals. It has survived most of the extinction events that have caused the extinction of so many other groups. Clearly it's tough. So why does it seem to be dieing now? If it's climate change how did it survive past climate change?
When I bought my new laptop last year it was advertised as having a 300Gb hard drive. In fact it only has a 273Gb. A few weeks ago I spent $100 on a 1Tb (1000Gb) hard drive. When I hooked it up I found it is only 931Gb.
This seems to be a common practice with computers and computer assessors. Is there a good reason why we only get about 90% of the advertised memory?
I'm just hearing about the "weird shiny thing on Mars" and so I looked up a picture. I'm wondering if it could be part of a spacecraft? NASA, ESA, the Russians and the Soviets have sent many probes to Mars, many of witch failed. There MUST be refined metal scattered around the surface of Mars.
I do agree that when we do learn what it is it will likely be boring. But how cool would it be to find a bit of refined metal on Mars?
On the Naked Scientist podcast I'm listening to (Transparent electronics) one person was talking about using DNA for extremely long term storage of data. Recently NASA had a problem with stored DATA. Records from the Apollo program had been stored on computer tape on a type no longer used today. A private citizen had to build a 1960's era computer from scratch so these records could be retrieved. Fortunately the plans to build the computer were still available. This data was only 40 years old (about 1/2 a human lifetime) so there were plenty of people still alive who knew how to build such a machine, and or knew where to find the plans for it. What chance is there that a DNA data reader will exists in 30 thousand years? After that long, not only will the people who know the technology be long dead but and paper record will be dust. It will be like the Egyptian Hieroglyphs except there will be no Rosetta Stone. Further, at least the modern archeologists knew there was data available in the writing, even if they were unable to read it. What clues will be available to archeologists in 30 thousand years (assuming they exists) that will tell them there is data encoded in these chemicals?
I'm having an argument with a friend who lets his dog lick his spoon. He arguers that this is not gross because humans have quite a lot more bacteria in our mouths than dogs do. I argue that it is not the number of microbes that is important, but rather the species.
Because dogs use their tong for toilet paper they are likely to have fecal bacteria in their mouth, while humans use warm water or disposable paper to clean ourselves, then we (should) wash our hands after.
Another important question would be is there any kind of significant transfer of microbes shared between the two? In a Mythbusters episode they tested double dipping and discovered there was very little (if any) microbial transfer into the tub of dip.
In a Naked Science Podcast a man was interviewed who worked on the effects of estrogen in fish. This is a world wide problem so I'm not sure it matters what species of fish he used, but Id does matter how the fish are exposed. Is he using real treated sewage or is he adding the chemicals directly. I know in the 70's they were testing food additives in animals exposing them to thousands of times normal rates. Some of the animals developed cancer which lead to laws (at least in the States) requiring labels warning of the link. However the levels of food required to reach cancer thresholds would be so high as to lead to other health problems long before you got cancer. A little later California passed a law requiring signs on buildings accessed by the public warning of chemicals that MAY cause cancer or birth defects. This was a boon to sign makers but not very helpful to the public. Now EVERY building has such a sign. No information is provided telling you about how much real risk you are exposed to, just that their MAY be some level of risk. Things like this lead me to wonder how real these threats really are. Possibly also why so many people don't believe in global warming. "Wolf" has been cried far too many times.
In the 80's I had a text based PC computer game. I don't remember what it was called but it started out with the adventure (you) in a cellar with a sword and some armor. You faced a crazy guy with "an unkempt beard" that you had to kill, then you faced a dragon (I was never able to get past the dragon). When you got close to a fight your sword would start to glow. When the fight was on, your sword glowed brightly! Any help you could provide would help. Thanks.
I've sometimes heard humans referred to as "primates". To me the term "primate" means something like "top relative". This would cover the other great apes, chimps, bonobos, gorillas, orangutangs, ect. As people are not normally considered "related" to themselves then calling humans "primates" seems misleading.
When I was a welder a very big deal was to weld in an enclosed space. All kinds of safety measures need to be taken. Even a completely brand new, virgin tank (that has never contained anything) can be really dangerous because the iron absorbs ALL the oxygen inside leaving just the nitrogen. (this can happen really quickly) Even deadlier is an environment with pure carbon dioxide. In a pure nitrogen environment you take a breath you pass out but if someone can get you out in time, you should be okay. Pure CO2, one breath and you're stone dead. Why?
Okay according to Relativity, it's not possible for me to perform an experiment that would prove that I'm moving, or if I'm feeling gravity to prove that I'm standing on a massive object (like Earth) or accelerating.
But I think I might have thought up a way to do just that. If I build my spaceship in the shape of a right triangle with side "A" being parallel to my distraction of travel and side "B", with the engines mounted to it, perpendicular to my line of travel. If when the ship is built side "A" and side "B" are the same length then the angles will be equal
I fire up the engines and accelerate at 1 G. As I go faster and faster my entire ship will get shorter, meaning Side A will shorten but side B (the back of the ship) will get thinner, but stay the same length. This means that by measuring the angles and finding something other than 45 degrees I'd know I was moving or if the angles change over time I'd know I was accelerating.
Would this work in the real world? Was I lied to when told no experiment could show I'm moving?
SETI has very strict rules for finding ET radio signals. I was wondering if, operating under those rules, SETI would be able to determine that the signals from Earth are of intelligent origin from say 50 - 100 LY away?
When I first heard of faster than light neutrinos, the first thing I thought was, "OK what did they do wrong." This same thought MUST have occurred to the researchers who found and then published the data. Why didn't they go back and check their data again?
I know it's a weird question, but bare with me a second. To liven it up a bit I added a bit of green food color to clear liquid handsoap. This doesn't cause any problems so long as you don't put in too much. Anyway just to see how it would defuse I din't mix in the color, I just put the pump back in which left a streak of green in the clear soap. After a while (a few hours) I went back to see what had happened. I was suprised to see a halo of yellow around the green. Clearly the yellow part of the green had defused faster than the blue. Why did this happen? This might be a fun kitchen science!
The other day I added green food color to clear liquid hand soap. As an exparment I didn't mix it but just stuck the pump back in which left a streak of dark green color. After an hour or two the color had defused somewhat into the soap but instead of green there was green surronded by yellow. I'm wondering why the yellow defused more quickly than the blue.
You can try this yourself. The soap is still usable so long as you don't add too much color (no more than 2 or 3 drops). Perhaps it could be a kitchen science?