Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why Does Old Ice Cream Get Crunchy?

This was originally posted on Sustainable Nano, which is my new project.  You should go check it out!  Science Minus Details will live on though! Poop posts will come, have faith!!!!

As with all good meals of information, let's start this one off with ice cream!

In an effort to grow out of my "slim fit" clothes, I've begun an ice-cream-after-every-dinner diet.

Even the cat likes my diet!

An added bonus is that I go through jugs of ice cream so quickly that I NEVER have to deal with old, gross, crunchy ice cream! You know what I'm talking about. You reach into the back of your freezer, find that jug of 6-month-old ice cream, only to discover that it tastes like the perfect mixture of sugar, fat, and sand.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Why Are Olympic Medals Gold, Silver, and Bronze

Check out these divers, trying super-hard to dive the best dive that has ever been dived:

These faces don't lie. Image via.

Incredible feats of strength, dedication, and squished faces are on prominent display at the London 2012 Olympics. I won't pretend to understand what drives Olympic athletes to be so zany, but I do know that if they squish their faces hard enough they will be rewarded with one of these beautiful Olympic medals.

2012 Olympic Medals

There they are...silver, gold, and bronze...from left to right. But why are those medals made out of those metals????? AND, why is bronze good, silver better, and gold the best??

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Is the solar system tilted sideways??

Do you ever think about how cool it is that someone on the opposite side of the earth from you is standing "upside down"--your feet facing their feet?

Or even when you travel from one US coast to another, you are standing at a ~45 degree tilt relative to how you were standing before.

I had thoughts like this swirling in my head during one moonless night on the pacific coast, as the campfire died down and our very own milky way galaxy came into view.

Monday, May 14, 2012

What is Lichen? Why is it so cool??

On a recent bike trip to the shore of Lake Waubesa near Madison, WI I saw this awesome tree covered in this crazy greenish stuff.

Summer has returned to the northern hemisphere and I'm SO PSYCHED.

That greenish stuff on the trunk of the tree are lichens. Lichens are the coolest fungi! Lichens are also the coolest plants and the coolest bacteria! Wait...  how is that possible????

Monday, April 16, 2012

Yoe the Scientist's Nano-Sized Brain

Deep in the heart of south-central Wisconsin, there lives a scientist who would prefer to remain nameless and (nearly) faceless.  We will call him Yoe.

Yoe the Scientist

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Rosetta: Languages and Space Probes

Linguists estimate that around 50% of the worlds languages will go extinct by the end of this century (ref). Just as John Hammond used the the DNA preserved in ancient dino-hungry mosquitoes to revive extinct dinosaurs in Jurassic Park...

...future generations may use the information encoded on a three inch disk, known as a Rosetta disk, to bring long-dead languages back to life. At least that's the idea. The Rosetta disk project was hatched by people at the Long Now Foundation, who used technology developed at Los Alomos National labs to miniaturize 13,500 pages of text from over 1,500 human languages onto a three inch disk of nickel. I like to think about these disks as language time capsules.

The teaser-side of a Rosetta disk. via the Long Now Foundation.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lemurs! Aye-ayes! Mammal woodpeckers!????!

Prepare to be assaulted by cute pictures and amazing discoveries! By the end of this post you will never look at the mammal world in the same way.

As I walked into the lemur enclosure during my discovery-filled visit to the Duke Lemur Center as part of the Science Online 2012 conference, I was impressed not only with the lemurs' musky odor but also with their piercing eyes. So intense, so seemingly interested!

Coquerel's Sifaka (mother and child) living large at the Duke Lemur Center. via their Blog