“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 […]

Posted in: science, writing

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 […]

Posted in: pop-science, science, writing

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, […]

Posted in: science, writing

“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 […]

Posted in: science, writing

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 […]

Posted in: science, writing

“That Doo-Doo That You Do”

July 15, 2013

0

digg Excrement: It’s smelly, messy, and generally a bit of a burden. So is crude oil, but we don’t consider that a burden (except when it’s spilled on large bodies of life-sustaining water). It’s safe to say crap always gets a bad rap, but what if it could do something about those oily ocean disasters? […]

Posted in: science, writing

“Great Scrabble Words From Science and Nature”

July 15, 2013

0

digg Eureka throws us a lot of vocabulary curve balls, but try to use “Globidium” in a game of Scrabble, and see how far that gets you (no Latin words, thank you). Next time you’re deep in the vowels of an intense game, with precious few spaces remaining, wow your friends and family with some […]

Posted in: science, writing