Browsing All Posts published on »July, 2013«

“Microwaves and their Ovens”

July 16, 2013

0

digg Did your grandmother ever call her microwave a “radar range” when you visited her on the holidays? If so, blame the discovery of RADAR (RAdio Detection And Ranging). RADAR was big news back in the early 20th century, enabling the Navy to spot boats and planes while enabling biologists to explain how bats can […]

“Why Space Exploration Still Matters”

July 15, 2013

0

We’re human, and we’ve conquered Earth. That’s our history in a nutshell. In the 200,000 year history of our existence we’ve managed to sprawl across the entire habitable surface of our little blue planet. So what’s next may seem only natural: space. Scientists have been shooting for the stars as long as history has been […]

“Clocks”

July 15, 2013

0

From H.G. Wells to Batman’s villain Francis Grey to Heroes’ Hiro, humankind has been fascinated by the idea of controlling this phenomenon called Time. Perhaps it’s for the best that timepieces are as close as we can get to harnessing the power of chronology. But how did clocks come about? The first notable timepiece was […]

GAs, ACO, and Traffic Lights

July 15, 2013

0

Red, yellow, green. Where did traffic lights come from, and how do they work? From distributed intelligence to heuristic optimization by simulation, these guardians of auto safety are secret marvels of modern scientific mentality. Each year that goes by adds more new humans to our population, and within them, more drivers. Congestion has grown to […]

The Humble Pencil

July 15, 2013

0

digg   Is it safer to do your crossword puzzles in pen? Some say yes, if only to avoid lead poisoning. Do pencils really contain toxic lead? Where’d they come from, anyway? The instrument we know as a pencil was called a stylus back in ancient Rome. At the time of its creation it was, […]

“Rosies and Crypto-Chicks”

July 15, 2013

0

In Season 4 of Eureka, time-traveling Allison saves a wounded soldier in the 1940s using medical techniques she gleaned in the future. When we think of occupations of women in the forties, we might think of Army nurses or Rosie the Riveter…time-traveling lifesavers and heavy cryptographers probably don’t pop to mind. But the crypto ladies […]

Throwing Spaghetti at the Wall

July 15, 2013

0

“Throw it at the wall and see what sticks.” It’s a common expression that means “you never know unless you try” or “hey, let’s give a bunch of these ideas a try—one of ’em might work.” But like going al dente, the wall test is an actual, real-life way to see if your pasta is ready […]