Weird Universe


Baby Its Cold Outside

Where Fahrenheit and Celsius meet, -41 degrees, is the temperature folks were enduring on the second day of the new year in northern Ontario, Canada. One person decided to amuse themselves with the weather by shooting boiling water out of a super soaker into the frigid air. The effect is rather cool.
Posted By: patty | Date: Mon Jan 06, 2014 | Comments (9)
Category: Experiments

Dead mice dropped from helicopters

Over in Guam, researchers are dropping dead mice out of helicopters. The idea is that the mice, which have been doped up with acetaminophen, will land in trees and be eaten by snakes. The snakes will then die, because acetaminophen is poisonous to them. It's an experiment to see if this method will work at reducing the snake population, which is growing out of control. The video shows some of the mice falling from the skies. [NPR]

Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Dec 16, 2013 | Comments (12)
Category: Science, Experiments

The Sitz Meter

Shown is Robert E. Lewis, a physicist at the Armour Research Foundation, circa 1950, who's experimenting with his "sitz" meter, a device designed to measure chair comfort. Weight sensors on the pads of the chair would turn on corresponding lights on the panels on the wall, showing how the person in the chair (Judy Blumenthal, who looks thrilled to be participating in the experiment) was distributing their weight. Lewis was trying to scientifically design a more comfortable chair.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Oct 01, 2013 | Comments (7)
Category: Science, Experiments, 1950's

Become a Cow

Stanford researchers are using virtual reality gear to allow volunteers to experience what it feels like to be a cow. They're curious about whether the experience of temporarily "becoming" a cow will reduce people's desire to eat cows. If the video below doesn't work, the article is here.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Aug 21, 2013 | Comments (6)
Category: Science, Experiments

Lose Your Head If It Wasn’t Attached

Head transplants , according to Italian surgeon Dr. Sergio Canavero, are possible. Not in the future, but right now he claims. It has been attempted on animals in the past but total paralysis was an insurmountable problem. The doctor says spinal cord repair is possible today. The proceedure is estimated to require 100 surgeons 36 hours at the cost of 8.5 million British pounds. I doubt NHS or Obamacare will ever cover it though.
Posted By: patty | Date: Sat Jul 06, 2013 | Comments (4)
Category: Experiments

“The Blob” Shipped To Your Home

If you haven't seen "The Blob", you need to watch that classic sci-fi horror film. For the uninitiated, watch this magic putty absorb magnets. It's not the same as "The Blob" oozing into the movie theatre through the air vents, but who could predict you could have this in your own home?

Magnetic Putty Magic (Extended Cut) | Shanks FX | PBS Digital Studios from Joey Shanks on Vimeo.

I've also included the preview to "The Blob". Don't forget to listen to the snappy tunes at the end.

Here's the link to buy some magnetic putty of your own!!
Posted By: gdanea | Date: Wed Jul 03, 2013 | Comments (2)
Category: Experiments

Jet Bike—Pulse Engine

Colin Furze is a certifiable maniac. Not only has he driven a baby carriage 50 MPH, he modified an old bicycle with a pulse engine.

Here's a link to the baby carriage exploit.

I expect we will be reading his obituary someday soon, which will include his crazy exploits.
Posted By: gdanea | Date: Wed Jun 12, 2013 | Comments (10)
Category: Experiments

Hidden Messages from the Universe in Resonance Experiment

You may have seen resonance experiments before, but I secretly believe the results of this experiment are the secret code of the universe.

Watch the whole thing -- there are some amazingly beautiful patterns.

Once we figure out the alphabet of the mysteries, then we probably find the ultimate answer isn't 43, but 4444 -- see the results at about 2:36.

It has to mean something. -- if you squint it looks like a Star Wars Storm Trooper helmet.
Posted By: gdanea | Date: Fri Jun 07, 2013 | Comments (3)
Category: Experiments

Cool Way To Detect Cosmic Neutrinos In IceCube

Want to find neutrinos from the cosmic Big Bang? Get ice cold. This subterranean telescope can catch cosmic neutrinos.


Here's the link, which also includes a photo of the hot water drill they used to get 2450 meters deep:

I know it cost $279 million, but that seems really cheap compared to lots of other things we spend money on, and it's way bigger than the Eiffel Tower, as the illustration shows. "Bert" and "Ernie" are the names of the first two cosmic neutrinos they think have been discovered.

IceCube. Not just a rapper or a way to cool your drink. Discovering the Big Bang one Sesame Street Character at a time. (Or for the older folks, the taxi-driver and the cop from "It's a Wonderful Life.)
Posted By: gdanea | Date: Thu May 16, 2013 | Comments (2)
Category: Experiments

Earthquake-Predicting Dogs

Over in China, researchers decided to test the theory that dogs can predict earthquakes. So they housed four dogs at the Nanchang quake center and waited for them to show signs of "abnormal" activity, such as barking a lot.

They soon discovered that dogs (and apparently these dogs in particular) often bark a lot. According to local residents "every night at 11pm they start barking over and over." After fielding multiple complaints from angry neighbors, the researchers "offered to muzzle the dogs, but accepted later that this might impede their skills as quake-prognosticators." Finally, the experiment was shut down.

So maybe dogs can predict earthquakes, or maybe they can't. But until we learn to speak dog language better, it doesn't look like our canine friends will be much use to us as official quake predictors. [London Times]
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri May 10, 2013 | Comments (4)
Category: Science, Experiments, Dogs
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.