After Thomas Dixon suffered a traumatic brain injury in late 2010, he was forced to find creative ways to cope with the episodic malfunction of his memory as we detailed in the July Mensa Bulletin cover story. These days, he’s reconnecting with an old passion — attempting to return to the fitness level he says is responsible for saving his life.

Royal Museums Greenwich announces its 2014 Astronomy Photographer of the Year awards

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Witness The Birth Of A Mineral

While investigating the effects of nucleation, whereby molecules assemble into crystalline structures, researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory trained a transmission electron microscope on high concentrations of sodium bicarbonate and calcium chloride in water to watch the process occur in real-time.

"For a decade, we’ve been studying the formation pathways of carbonates using high-powered microscopes, but we hadn’t had the tools to watch the crystals form in real time. Now we know the pathways are far more complicated than envisioned in the models established in the twentieth century."

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Researchers Haul In Second-ever Intact Colossal Squid — Here’s What She Looks Like
"Scientists said Tuesday a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. The squid had been kept in optimum freezing conditions at the Te Papa museum in Wellington ever since it was brought back to New Zealand from the seas off the frozen continent during the southern hemisphere’s summer."
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Researchers Haul In Second-ever Intact Colossal Squid — Here’s What She Looks Like

"Scientists said Tuesday a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. The squid had been kept in optimum freezing conditions at the Te Papa museum in Wellington ever since it was brought back to New Zealand from the seas off the frozen continent during the southern hemisphere’s summer."

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24-year-old Woman Found To Have No Cerebellum In Her Brain
"Doctors did a CAT scan and immediately identified the source of the problem — her entire cerebellum was missing. The space where it should be was empty of tissue. Instead it was filled with cerebrospinal fluid, which cushions the brain and provides defence against disease."
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24-year-old Woman Found To Have No Cerebellum In Her Brain

"Doctors did a CAT scan and immediately identified the source of the problem — her entire cerebellum was missing. The space where it should be was empty of tissue. Instead it was filled with cerebrospinal fluid, which cushions the brain and provides defence against disease."

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It’s an simple trick: using sunlight and a little bit of plastic to create a solar still to desalinate sea water. Unfortunately, it’s not a terribly efficient process. But that might be about to change, thanks to a material you can probably find on your desk right now: graphite.

This Is The Most Detailed Map Yet Of Our Place In The Universe

In a new study published in Nature, a team of scientists have mapped thousands of our galactic neighbors to discover that the Milky Way is but part of a awesomely massive supercluster they’ve dubbed Laniakea.

"So now we know, that on the edge of a supercluster called Laniakea, in a galaxy called the Milky Way, around a star we call the sun, there is a small blue planet. Our Home."

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The (Delicious) Science Behind Baking Your Ideal Chocolate Chip Cookie
Ooey-gooey: Add 2 cups more flour.
A nice tan: Set the oven higher than 350 degrees Fahrenheit (maybe 360). Caramelization, which gives cookies their nice brown tops, occurs above 356 degrees, says the TEDEd video.
Crispy with a soft center: Use 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.
Chewy: Substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour.
Just like store-bought: Trade the butter for shortening. Arias notes that this ups the texture but reduces some flavor; her suggestion is to use half butter and half shortening.
Thick (and less crispy): Freeze the batter for 30 to 60 minutes before baking. This solidifies the butter, which will spread less while baking.
Cakey: Use more baking soda because, according to Nyberg, it “releases carbon dioxide when heated, which makes cookies puff up.”
Butterscotch flavored: Use 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (instead of the same amount of combined granulated sugar and light brown sugar).
Uniformity: If looks count, add one ounce corn syrup and one ounce granulated sugar.
More flavor: Chilling the dough for at least 24 hours before baking deepens all the flavors, Arias found.
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The (Delicious) Science Behind Baking Your Ideal Chocolate Chip Cookie

  • Ooey-gooey: Add 2 cups more flour.
  • A nice tan: Set the oven higher than 350 degrees Fahrenheit (maybe 360). Caramelization, which gives cookies their nice brown tops, occurs above 356 degrees, says the TEDEd video.
  • Crispy with a soft center: Use 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.
  • Chewy: Substitute bread flour for all-purpose flour.
  • Just like store-bought: Trade the butter for shortening. Arias notes that this ups the texture but reduces some flavor; her suggestion is to use half butter and half shortening.
  • Thick (and less crispy): Freeze the batter for 30 to 60 minutes before baking. This solidifies the butter, which will spread less while baking.
  • Cakey: Use more baking soda because, according to Nyberg, it “releases carbon dioxide when heated, which makes cookies puff up.”
  • Butterscotch flavored: Use 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (instead of the same amount of combined granulated sugar and light brown sugar).
  • Uniformity: If looks count, add one ounce corn syrup and one ounce granulated sugar.
  • More flavor: Chilling the dough for at least 24 hours before baking deepens all the flavors, Arias found.

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Welcome to A N D R O M E D A
Stare deeply into the heart of Galaxy M31. The nearest spiral galaxy to our own, Andromeda spans 100,000 light years across and contains nearly a trillion stars.
This impeccable mosaic of the galaxy comes courtesy of astrophotographer Travis Rector, using data from the Local Group Survey. The full resolution, 340 Mb .jpg is simply jaw-dropping, and an absolute must-see.
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Welcome to A N D R O M E D A

Stare deeply into the heart of Galaxy M31. The nearest spiral galaxy to our own, Andromeda spans 100,000 light years across and contains nearly a trillion stars.

This impeccable mosaic of the galaxy comes courtesy of astrophotographer Travis Rector, using data from the Local Group Survey. The full resolution, 340 Mb .jpg is simply jaw-dropping, and an absolute must-see.

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Dizzying New GIFs at the Intersection of Art and Math by Dave Whyte
"The Dublin-based PhD student is currently studying the physics of foam and tells us his first geometric gifs riffed on computational modules he was exploring while in undergrad. The artist publishes new images almost daily on his Tumblr, Bees & Bombs.”
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Dizzying New GIFs at the Intersection of Art and Math by Dave Whyte

"The Dublin-based PhD student is currently studying the physics of foam and tells us his first geometric gifs riffed on computational modules he was exploring while in undergrad. The artist publishes new images almost daily on his Tumblr, Bees & Bombs.”

Continue Reading