science

#science

473 posts
0 followers
Edit Tag
473 posts
31 views
0 comments
0 points
0 favorites
3 Cheers for DiMaggio
Shortly after her marriage to Joe DiMaggio (in January, 1946), Marilyn Monroe interrupted their honeymoon (with his blessing) to tour American troop installations abroad. "Oh, Joe!" she exclaimed upon her triumphant return. "It was so exciting. The boys were thrilled! You never heard such cheers!" DiMaggio's reply? "Yes, I have."[Notwithstanding this remark, DiMaggio was usually remarkably elegant and reserved. DiMaggio and Monroe were divorced the following year.][In the 1939 All-Star game, DiMaggio—playing for the American League—hit an inconspicuous-looking home run. The homer proved to be more significant four years later, however, when his brother Vince—playing for the National League in the 1943 All-Star game—also hit a boomer, sending both brothers into the record books: As the only siblings ever to ...
17 views
0 comments
0 points
0 favorites
Niels Bohr: Horse Sense?
One day a visitor to Niels Bohr's country cottage noticed a horseshoe hanging on a wall and teased the eminent physicist about his apparent superstition. "Can it be," he asked, "that you, of all people, believe it will bring you luck?" "Of course not," Bohr replied, "but I understand it brings you luck whether you believe it or not."
20 views
0 comments
0 points
0 favorites
Newton Baker - Moronic Acid
One day during World War I, a group of American chemists called upon Secretary of Defense Newton Baker to volunteer their services. Baker thanked them for their generous offer... and politely declined."The army," he declared by way of explanation, "already has a chemist."
22 views
0 comments
0 points
0 favorites
Social Amoebae
"John Bonner's specialty is the slime-mold Distyostelium, discovered in 1935 by Kenneth Raper. It may contain as many as 40,000 amoebae which under certain circumstances form themselves into a sausage-shaped slug, crawl about, and exhibit other remarkable talents. Bonner was once explaining his work to two Russian university rectors. They betrayed no sign of interest until he wrote on the blackboard the words 'social amoebae.' At this they at once perked up, delighted with the idea that even one-celled animals could form collectives. Apparently a slime-mold too may be used to justify Karl Marx."
32 views
0 comments
0 points
0 favorites
How Famous Was Sir Humphry Davy?
Given Humphry Davy's accomplishments (he discovered potassium and several other chemical elements, revealed nitrous oxide's use as an anesthetic, invented the miner's safety lamp, and advanced our understanding of electricity), his fame was understandable. A letter once reached him from Italy—even though it bore only the address: "SIROMFREDEVI / LONDRA."
34 views
0 comments
0 points
0 favorites
James Watt's Inspiration For The Steam Engine
According to the traditional account, James Watt one day happened to observe a kettle boiling on the hearth. His aunt, finding him fiddling about (holding a spoon over its spout, removing and replacing it, gauging the pressure, etc) rebuked him for his idleness, suggesting that he go out and do something more productive. His "idleness" led to the development of his famous steam engine. [Watt's curiosity was insatiable. According to Malcolm Gladwell, "Letters between William Small and Watt were a kaleidoscope of invention and ideas, touching on steam-engines and cylinders; cobalt as a semi-metal; how to boil down copal, the resin of tropical trees, for varnish; lenses and clocks and colours for enamels; alkali and canals; acids and vapours—as well as ...
31 views
0 comments
0 points
0 favorites
When Albert Einstein Explained Relativity to Chaim Weizmann
Chaim Weizmann once shared a transatlantic crossing with Albert Einstein. "He explained his theory to me every day, and on my arrival I was fully convinced," Weizmann recalled, "that he understood it."
35 views
0 comments
0 points
0 favorites
The Last Words Of Auguste Comte
Auguste Comte's pioneering studies of social structures and their evolution formed the backbone of modern sociology. In his final moments, Comte was ambivalent about assuming his rightful place in history. His last words? "What an irreparable loss!"
18 views
0 comments
0 points
0 favorites
Joao Magueijo: Crappy Physicist?
After a bout of heavy partying one night, physicist Joao Magueijo awoke with a hangover and wondered whether Einstein had in fact been wrong about the speed of light.Assuming that light had traveled faster in the first instants after the Big Bang, he realized, would solve some serious cosmological dilemmas, among them the so-called horizon problem; faster communication would explain why the universe is now so homogeneous.Like many heterodox scientific ideas, Magueijo's was not very well-received and his book outlining them (Faster Than the Speed of Light: The Story of a Scientific Speculation) was larded with many choice words for his critics, among them the editor of Nature magazine, whom Magueijo called a "first-class moron" and a "failed scientist" with ...
21 views
0 comments
0 points
0 favorites
Karl Kruszelnicki & the Ig Nobel Prize
In 2002, University of Sydney professor Karl Kruszelnicki was awarded an Ig Nobel Prize at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre for his analysis of the bellybutton lint sent in by 4,799 volunteers.Among Kruszelnicki's conclusions? "Your typical generator of bellybutton lint or fluff is a slightly overweight, middle-aged male with a hairy abdomen."