All Recommendations

Stunning Molecular Biology Animations  

Brining Science to the people in an understandable way.

This is great stuff. It makes science more accessible to people. It's one of the most  important callings for an artist today.

Posted on 04/14/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Winifred Atwell  

Pianist and Personality
Winifred Atwell at
her upright piano.

Born Una Winifred Atwell in 1910 or 1914 in Trinidad and Tobago, she showed much promise in her early years. She was challenged to perform Boogie-Woogie by American Servicemen according to the Wikipedia.

In the 1946 she was inducted in to the Royal Academy of Music, being the first woman to be awarded the highest marks for musicianship.

She developed her own style of Honky-Tonk piano, preferring her familiar slightly out-of tune upright to concert grands.

Posted on 04/13/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Solifluction in Urban Japan after the 2011 Earthquake  

A plaza built on reclaimed sea sediments settles after the earthquake.

Here's an amateur video of the results of settling sediments beneath a plaza in Japan. The earthquake jarred the saturated soil beneath the plaza, which led to the cracks and water and mud rising to the surface. Two things strike me:

  1. The rapidity with which the water seeps above the pavement.
  2. The absolute calm of the people in the area. If the earth opened up and urped muck in NYC, nothing less than pandemonium would ensue.

It amazes me how cultural differences can affect not only the behavior of the individual, but also crowd rection in sudden and potential dangerous circumstances.

Posted on 04/07/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Crepuscular  

It's what moose, lighting bugs, and woodcock have in common.
The capybara shares crepuscular habits with
fireflies, wombats, platypi, and red pandas.

Crepuscular is not one of those words that sounds like what it is. It simply means active during twilight of dawn or dusk. Matutinal crespucular organisms are active at dawn, whereas verspertine crespucular organisms are active at dusk.

The first known use of "crepuscular" was in 1668, according to Merriam-Webster online. "Crepusculum" means twilight in Latin.

Posted on 04/06/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Bosonic-Composites  

A pile of clowns or particle physics?
Computer simulation of the production of a
Higgs Boson. Note the bilaterally symetrical orange
rays and blue ruffle in both the clown and the
modeled particle.

Bosons are force-carrying subatomic particles. Bosons associated with electromagnetic, strong, and weak forces have been observed. The graviton has not been observed and recently experimental physicists at Fermilab suspect that they may have evidence of the Higgs boson, the presence of which helps iron out some inconsistencies in contemporary physics.

Bosons can occupy the same quantum state (kind of like place)  and form composites with different combined properties. Some of these composites behave like bosons, others do not.  "Bosonic-composite" is the preferred term for clusters of bosons. Some bosonic-composites are mesons and He4 atoms.

Posted on 04/06/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Geekdesk  

Motorized standing/sitting desk
The Original Geekdesk

After sitting at my desk for several years straight, little back strains have grown into a recurring painful nightmare. I also noticed that I was storing more and more of my caloric intake around my waist.

After looking  long and hard online for a standing desk, I found this company. They make fairly attractive desks that are adjustable with a motor, so you can change your working position several times a day. The company was featured in the New York Times and receives consistenly positive reviews.

My desk will arrive this week. I bought the frame without the top, so I can use the nice walnut top that's on my current desk.  I'll be updating this with my experience and a photo of the new setup.

Posted on 04/03/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Mind of the Raven by Bernd Heinrich  

Investigations and adventures with Wolf Birds

Heinrich is one of a class of wildlife biologists who combines intuition and reason to arrive at a thorough and sensitive understanding of another species. The book, aptly titled for several reasons, explores the intelligence and emotional lives of several ravens, ravens who Heinrich knows individually and has followed for years.

Through the book one also becomes acquainted with Bernd Heinrich, who in addition to studying ravens in reclusive environments, writes books on many subjects and runs marathon distances regularly. I eagerly went on to read several of his books on other topics in addition to the corvids.

Posted on 03/25/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Moral Animal by Robert Wright  

Why we are the way we are: The new science of evolutionaary psychology

Wright's book is a fantastic journey into the dawning science of evolutionary psychology, more than simply a psych book, you'll learn about human evolutionary and cultural origins, and the biological foundation of ethics.

Wright brilliantly incorporates a biography of Charles Darwin into the mix, using Darwin's life as a case study for the principles of evolutionary biology. This book was a delight to me on so many levels, not to mention it bettered my understanding of the way we work.

Posted on 03/25/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

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