The "Science is Awesome" Thread

WillWill Banned
edited May 2013 in General Chat
Since we have a general history thread, I thought I'd throw together a quick science thread as well. Because science is awesome.

My first link is for you chemistry fans. Or for people who just like really clever writing. I think that applies to a goodly percentage of you out there. Derek Lowe is a doctor of organic chemistry with a good head on his shoulders. One of his goals in life is to keep said head on his shoulders by avoiding certain chemicals. It's a pretty humorous list of all the ways that chemicals can seriously ruin your day.

There's a fair bit of high level chemistry involved, but you can usually zip over the more technical terms and just assume that when he says that something "absolutely takes the corrosive exploding cake," he knows what he is talking about.
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Comments

  • edited February 2010
    For those of you who are factually oriented, Bad Science is a great site. Dr. Ben Goldacre debunks a lot of nonsense pseudo-science that is presented in the mainstream media.
  • edited February 2010
    The only thing *I* know is, all we know about physics is a lie. We just *assume* that *work* in that way because we haven't find anything which work differently.

    For the moment we asume that all of us are a wave. With veeeerrrryyyyyy low frecuency.
  • edited February 2010
    GinnyN wrote: »
    The only thing *I* know is, all we know about physics is a lie. We just *assume* that *work* in that way because we haven't find anything which work differently.

    For the moment we asume that all of us are a wave. With veeeerrrryyyyyy low frecuency.

    I thought the laws of physics and nature were universal everywhere. You have confused me greatly :(
  • edited February 2010
    JedExodus wrote: »
    I thought the laws of physics and nature were universal everywhere. You have confused me greatly :(

    The law of physics and nature ARE universal everywhere. The point is we still don't find it. We just have very good assumptions.
  • edited February 2010
    As far as understanding how objects interact with each other, this is one of my favorites: The Brazil Nut Effect.

    For some reason, this fascinates me.
  • edited February 2010
    I think I will offer a science related link as well:
    http://www.weebls-stuff.com/toons/science/
  • edited February 2010
    Did you know Physics literally means the "science of change"

    also, this
    comic-purity.png
  • edited February 2010
    Friar wrote: »
    Did you know Physics literally means the "science of change"

    Good. Somehow, that make me feel better (Lie. I STILL have to do that modern physics class... T_T)
    Friar wrote: »
    also, this
    comic-purity.png

    I guess that mostly because Math is a tool created by the physicists for made their work easier. So Physics is applied Math, BUT Math exists because physics.
  • edited February 2010
    I've been really interested in science for two months now. Chalk it up to Richard Feynman's interview "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out" (Youtube video). He was the great science teacher I never had. I've been reading Science Daily since. So, you know: check those out.
  • edited February 2010
    bacon-elements.jpg

    That is all
  • edited February 2010
    I must have that shirt. Wherever did you find it?
    ________
    herbal vaporizers
  • edited February 2010
    Thinkgeek, where you can also get this shirt.
    abd4_day_without_fusion.jpg
  • edited February 2010
    brunner wrote: »
    For those of you who are factually oriented, Bad Science is a great site. Dr. Ben Goldacre debunks a lot of nonsense pseudo-science that is presented in the mainstream media.

    Another good blog in that same vein is Dr. Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy.
  • edited February 2010
    GinnyN wrote: »
    Good. Somehow, that make me feel better (Lie. I STILL have to do that modern physics class... T_T)



    I guess that mostly because Math is a tool created by the physicists for made their work easier. So Physics is applied Math, BUT Math exists because physics.

    Actually MATHS can only be said have been discovered, above invented. The underlying rules have always been the same. No science has been created, it has been discovered. Sociology and Psychology are not sciences.

    Also even if you were to say MATHS was discovered by physicists you would be wrong. Maths underlies everything we do, not just sciences, look at languages, they are essentially Mathematical equations stating things, as you would understand from logic.
  • edited February 2010
    patters wrote: »
    Also even if you were to say MATHS was discovered by physicists you would be wrong. Maths underlies everything we do, not just sciences, look at languages, they are essentially Mathematical equations stating things, as you would understand from logic.

    Maybe you can explain that one to me? I'm very good with languages but I'm totally clueless with maths, I just don't get them. At least I get chemistry, it's like cooking except eating is discouraged (which makes it a lame version of cooking in my book. Eating is the best part!)
  • edited February 2010
    Avistew wrote: »
    Maybe you can explain that one to me? I'm very good with languages but I'm totally clueless with maths, I just don't get them. At least I get chemistry, it's like cooking except eating is discouraged (which makes it a lame version of cooking in my book. Eating is the best part!)

    It's not the same thing most consider to be maths, it's not calculus, it's not standard algebra. Logic is essentially a root language, though symbolised after many languages. The premise is that a language is simply a set of particular equations following a few of which certain assumptions can be made. So given f.e.

    Either Bill is honest or Monica is lying. Monica is not lying.

    Therefore Bill is not honest.

    A language is a mathematical set, from which a subset exists which contains the sentences.

    That is probably not a great explanation, but it's a topic I am not that familiar with yet.
  • edited February 2010
    Avistew wrote: »
    Maybe you can explain that one to me? I'm very good with languages but I'm totally clueless with maths, I just don't get them. At least I get chemistry, it's like cooking except eating is discouraged (which makes it a lame version of cooking in my book. Eating is the best part!)

    I sort of with you on this one (well, i'm good at both, but the point stands). Modern maths isn't the root of language. However, it is the closest thing we have to a universal language. Throughout the universe 1+3=4, but Cup doesn't necessarily mean a drinking vessel.

    Interesting factoid: Maths and languages use the same side of the brain.
  • edited February 2010
    So, by "maths" you meant "logic"? >.>

    Well, then pigs are cars, and by cars I mean "mammals" :P

    Nah, I know maths requires logic, but saying maths IS logic, well, that's just not true, or everything requires maths... Which I guess is your point. But I'd say math uses logic, just like it uses numbers, but it's neither. Languages use logics, just like they use sounds/letters, but they aren't them. And so on.
  • edited February 2010
    Avistew wrote: »
    So, by "maths" you meant "logic"? >.>

    Well, then pigs are cars, and by cars I mean "mammals" :P

    Nah, I know maths requires logic, but saying maths IS logic, well, that's just not true, or everything requires maths... Which I guess is your point. But I'd say math uses logic, just like it uses numbers, but it's neither. Languages use logics, just like they use sounds/letters, but they aren't them. And so on.

    No I'm saying logic is maths.
  • edited February 2010
    patters wrote: »
    No I'm saying logic is maths.

    I disagree. Logic isn't maths and maths isn't logic. Maths uses logic as applied to numbers. You could tell me "maths is a language" or "maths uses a language" and then I'd get what you mean. But maths isn't logic. it uses logic, like most things do.

    And even then, not always. Algebra and geometry were okay with me (even though you spend 99.9% of the class thinking "and that's going to be useful to me because...?) but then it reached the point of "okay, remember how square numbers are always positive? Well now we're going to study the roots of negative numbers!" "But, sir, didn't we learn that's it's not possible?" "It's not! That's the fun part! It's abstract maths!"
    Oh, because normal maths wasn't abstract enough for you? -_-'
  • edited February 2010
    Today, we going to talk about Earthquakes.

    Yes, I'm from Chile, and yes, I'm a alive.

    If somebody asked
  • edited February 2010
    GinnyN wrote: »
    Today, we going to talk about Earthquakes.

    Yes, I'm from Chile, and yes, I'm a alive.

    If somebody asked
    You had a 0.00179% chance of dieing in quake yesterday (if you were in chile)

    Figures taken as 300 dead, population 16758114, by google.
  • edited February 2010
    I'm glad to hear you're okay Ginny, and I hope the rest of your family is alright as well.

    And Algebra and geometry are both quite useful, even if they don't do the best job of explaining it to you in class. (Ah yes, factoring quadratic equations, how extremely, extremely fun! And then getting to graph them later!) I'm a word problem kind of girl; partly because I love letters over numbers, and partly because I have more interest in something if I feel like I can "figure out" the solution myself as opposed to just being given an equation to solve for. For that kind of thing I feel like, "Why can't I just have a computer do this? I get the basics of what's going on, okay? Can we be done now?"

    And I think what patters is talking about is logic in the computing sense, not the philosophical sense. Do you know anything about programming or coding? In many ways they use the language of math, but aren't strictly the same thing as math, the common root of both being "logic". And just as coding in C++ is using a computer "language" to accomplish certain tasks, I think he's trying to imply that human language is essentially the same thing, only on a larger and more complex scale.

    I also think it is fair to say that psychology is rapidly becoming more accepted as legitimate science, especially since more and more psychological studies are using the experimental method more rigorously and because of psychiatry's overlapping with biochemistry. After all, much of the study of game theory is being done by psychologists.
  • edited February 2010
    Ginny, I thought about you, glad you're okay.

    Lena, said like that it might make sense. I say "might" because I stopped following you pretty fast :o I have no clue how computer languages work, or coding, or anything like that.

    I would say human languages differ in that they're in constant evolution while I assume to work properly computer languages would have to follow some rule. People will invent words and expression constantly and pick them up though, and the same word will have different connotations for different people, while I assume all computers would read the computer language in the same way since they don't have cultural bias.

    Word problems drove me crazy. You'd have things about trains and at what time do they meet, and I'd wonder "why does it matter?" If you ask me how to put exactly 4L in a 5L container I'll think "why don't you just buy a 4L container? And why does it matter that it should be exactly 4L, can't you just eyeball it?"
    I just always found it incredibly silly, like they were trying to make stories to keep us interested, but didn't bother making a story that made sense.

    Statistics were more interesting because they used actual articles of things that had actually happened, so it was easier to relate to. Or we'd make statistics out of the class which was nice as well.

    I didn't realise "game theory" was an actual thing. I mean... Well, my brother wrote his dissertation on that, you know, the stuff that you write and then you become a Doctor? When he told me it was about that I had no clue what it was, so hearing other people talk about it is a bit weird.
    (He's not a psychologist though, he's a mathematician).

    I think my vision of maths is pretty simple: I don't get it, I don't like it, and I'm very happy that other people do so I can use the stuff they make using it, rather than have to figure out how it works.
    Because it seems so far away from practical things, I just can't get into it enough to learn anything about it. Other sciences I can deal with because I'll think about reasons why it's interesting. -logy things are interesting because they're the study of something that actually exists for instance, so although I'll never be able to learn about the details of it because I have a short attention span, I'll be interested for long enough to pick up some idea of how it works.

    On the other hand, I'm annoyed of the stereotype that scientific minds are always better and smarter. In schools in France, in high school you can select one of three "paths": S (Science) ES (Economy and Society) and L (Literature and Languages). Your high school diploma will be a S, ES or L diploma.

    Well if you have an S diploma, you can study whatever you want in university. Whatever. there are no restrictions. If you have an L diploma, you'll never accepted to study to become a doctor or anything else that requires science, but there are no limitations if you have an S diploma.
    As a result, the rating goes L < ES < S. That is, if someone chooses L, everybody will assume that it's because their grades don't allow them to go to any of the other two. Even if you know you want to become a linguist, the "clever" thing to do is to still pick S because otherwise people will think you're a failure.
    And that's idiotic! Sure, you can't become a doctor with that diploma, but if you know you want to study languages, why should you have to spend 3 years studying maths, biology and physics/chemistry 8 hours each a week, instead of studying languages and philosophy?
    I mean, it's not just that S people are the only ones allowed in scientific universities. They're also favoured over L people in language universities. How stupid is that?!

    It just drives me nuts. For years I had to listen to my parents and all my teachers tell me what a waste it was that I was studying things I was interested in when my grades didn't suck, like it was a requirement -_-'.

    So what I mean is, I kinda developed an aversion for science and that explains my inability to focus on learning it, because it just reminds me of all of that, and as a result I have started to actually suck science-wise. I even need an app to tell me what time it is in France because I'm starting to have trouble calculating it, even though I've been doing it several times a day >.> You'd think I'd be used to it by now.
  • edited February 2010
    Lena_P wrote: »
    And I think what patters is talking about is logic in the computing sense, not the philosophical sense. Do you know anything about programming or coding? In many ways they use the language of math, but aren't strictly the same thing as math, the common root of both being "logic". And just as coding in C++ is using a computer "language" to accomplish certain tasks, I think he's trying to imply that human language is essentially the same thing, only on a larger and more complex scale.

    Yeah I was referring to the Mathematical logics: predicate, propositional, et al.

    I'm a maths guy at heart.being halfway through my second year at Manchester university, currently studying: classical mechanics, calculus of several variables, propositional logic, algebraic structures 2, metric spaces and random models. I really like it apart from exams.
  • edited February 2010
    Hmm, well, we didn't get word problems like that in school, it was more like, you want to know how tall a tree is by using the length of a tree's shadow and the angle of the sun. You could, of course, measure a tree by climbing to the top and using a length of rope or cord, but that's time consuming and makes you sweaty.

    And while I do admit I think there is not enough of a study of history and literature and languages in modern schools, that doesn't mean science and math are given too much respect. In schools, yes, in the actual world, not so much. Even with the "brain drain" of Europe and Asia, your average academic scientist is underpaid, overworked, fighting for grant money that is being given more and more to private labs with multinational corporations for parent companies, and if you do want to work for one of those private labs your degree better be in biochemistry or bioengineering. Incidentally, many scientists whine that they don't get the respect of "liberal arts" types like yourself, and me for that matter :p

    And even if it doesn't help, I'm going to try to explain logic to you one more time, even if I don't fully understand it myself. (To be honest I was never that interested in science or math either, but my parents got their bachelor degrees in Chemistry and Physics, my mother ultimately pursued a career in computing and then my brother and friends ... well, anyway, I have always been surrounded by science types, and they all always supported my interests in the arts and history. There's no reason Science and Art can't get along.) What was I talking about, again? Oh yeah! Logic, is in many ways, the study of patterns. There are patterns in math and language. Syntax, is a language pattern. Languages may form their sentences differently, but they all use the same basic units, verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs. You arrange those units, to form a sentence. The verbs may change, the nouns may change, but at the end of the day you still have a sentence.

    Same for quadratic equations. The integers for the equation may be changed, but the basic equation stays the same, and by finding those different integers you can make a graph. The graph shows a wave, not just a "wave" in the sense of a "squiggly line on your graphing paper" but a wave like a TV wave or a radio or even a micro wave, which is then used to make your pop corn. And even if that doesn't really make sense, I think we can all agree that pop corn does, especially with a movie.
  • edited February 2010
    GinnyN wrote: »
    Today, we going to talk about Earthquakes.

    Yes, I'm from Chile, and yes, I'm a alive.

    If somebody asked

    Hope you and all your loved one are OK (since alive isn't equal to OK). I can't imagine how tough something like that must be. Best of luck to you guys, really.
  • edited February 2010
    Kroms wrote: »
    Hope you and all your loved one are OK (since alive isn't equal to OK). I can't imagine how tough something like that must be. Best of luck to you guys, really.

    All my family is really OK. No actual problems here. I feel the luckiest person in earth already. I spended my whole vacation doing an intership in Stgo and when I come back with my parents for the weekend, the strongest earthquake in 50 years (And the first one in 25 years! This is technically my first earthquake) this one was stronger than Haiti's!

    Where I am was declared Disaster Zone, but here we are the less affected of the whole zone. Concepción is almost on the floor, but the earthquake was way too wide and the whole country is trying to fix his own problems first before go to help. (Grab a map and do calculations: The Disaster Zone area is from Santiago all the way to Valdivia-Temuco. The Zone affected with the Earthquake is from Antofagasta to, roughly, Cohayque. Concepción is right in the middle). We have some tsunamis and some little towns near to Concepción doesn't exist anymore.

    Chile has a whole history of Earthquakes. There the 1985 one, when I was Months old. Another in 1906, which Valparaíso was on the floor and they have to restablish order using military force due the amount of looting. But, we'll be back. We always do.
  • edited February 2010
    GinnyN wrote: »
    All my family is really OK. No actual problems here. I feel the luckiest person in earth already. I spended my whole vacation doing an intership in Stgo and when I come back with my parents for the weekend, the strongest earthquake in 50 years (And the first one in 25 years! This is technically my first earthquake) this one was stronger than Haiti's!

    Where I am was declared Disaster Zone, but here we are the less affected of the whole zone. Concepción is almost on the floor, but the earthquake was way too wide and the whole country is trying to fix his own problems first before go to help. (Grab a map and do calculations: The Disaster Zone area is from Santiago all the way to Valdivia-Temuco. The Zone affected with the Earthquake is from Antofagasta to, roughly, Cohayque. Concepción is right in the middle). We have some tsunamis and some little towns near to Concepción doesn't exist anymore.

    Chile has a whole history of Earthquakes. There the 1985 one, when I was Months old. Another in 1906, which Valparaíso was on the floor and they have to restablish order using military force due the amount of looting. But, we'll be back. We always do.

    Glad to hear everyone is ok. Was there any visible damage to your home?
  • edited February 2010
    Friar wrote: »
    Glad to hear everyone is ok. Was there any visible damage to your home?

    Only a wall which separate our place with the neighboor. There's some really old buildings here which are about to collapse, but those are about to be demolished when everything comes back to control.

    There's already organizations sending help to the south. And the international community reaction was incredible. (Looks like the world was traumatizated thanks to Haití). In fact, the goverment asked to the world do not send help inmediatly, because we have no idea what we need, and we not gonna use international help for nothing, you know ^^!
  • edited February 2010
    Glad to hear that you're ok GinnyN :)
  • edited February 2010
    I'm really terrible with chemistry and math in general, (actually I can be good at math when I learn it, but it bores me, so usually I don't) but I'm good with biology and physics.

    One of my tasks at my job is to prepare stuff for cell culture, such as making Phosphate Buffered Saline, sterilizing certain equipment, (it kills all pesky bacteria that would interfere with cell culture) creating gels for 3-D cell culture, etc. It's a small job, but I've made friends with my co-workers who are the actual scientists and sometimes they show me how stuff works and let me watch them at work, so I learn a lot at that job.

    Also, researching physics has helped me to understand movement for animating a lot more naturally, so it helps me with my actual major. A mix of both worlds!
  • edited February 2010
    In order for Ice to form, you need to have dust particles in it. This allows for water to freeze below zero deg C (which is how snow forms)

    this video demonstrates
  • edited February 2010
    Speaking of using science for art! Many of the great masters (well, at least Da Vinci) studied anatomy to better understand how to draw the human body. I think that if more schools required that people taking art classes dissect cadavers, it would help prevent all those people who take art classes for the "easy" credits, only to drop out by the first or second class, from signing up in the first place! It would also prevent many of the serious art students from taking art classes, but that's a price I'm willing to pay, especially since I'm not an art student.
  • edited February 2010
    xkcd has so many awesome things to do with science.
    eg:
    science_square_0.pngscience_square_1.png
  • edited February 2010
    Talking about thinkgeek, this one give me nightmares:

    resistance.jpg
  • edited February 2010
    Fake Science!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydx9uNSp5G0

    Seriously, they supplemented the cesium with dynamite to make the exploding bathtub look more spectacular.
  • edited February 2010
    Lena_P wrote: »
    Speaking of using science for art! Many of the great masters (well, at least Da Vinci) studied anatomy to better understand how to draw the human body. I think that if more schools required that people taking art classes dissect cadavers, it would help prevent all those people who take art classes for the "easy" credits, only to drop out by the first or second class, from signing up in the first place! It would also prevent many of the serious art students from taking art classes, but that's a price I'm willing to pay, especially since I'm not an art student.

    Anatomy is definitely important. I went to an art school for one year, and we drew nudes once a week. Or was it twice? Different model every time the whole year, too. Mostly female, unfortunately (I find females much easier to draw so I would have preferred being able to study males more), but either way everybody made a lot of progress.

    Not sure what country you mean have art classes giving credits. In France art classes are compulsory in junior high, and can't be taken easily after that (and high school doesn't have "credits" anyways.)
    And people wouldn't go to art school for credits, first it costs an arm and a leg (although I guess every school does in North America), plus they don't actually give any credits that can be used elsewhere were you to change tracks (as I did).

    I don't deny that researchers for instance are barely paid and not valued much, be it in scientific research or not. Actually, I find that if you specialise in pretty much anything that's taught in high school, you won't be paid well. High-paying jobs tend to require specific schools (medical, law...) or something that's not taught in school at all such as business sense, or being an athlete or something (not that I think most athlete earn as much as the top-earning ones do. Just like most actors can barely survive but some stars earns millions).
  • edited February 2010
    Avistew wrote: »
    (I find females much easier to draw so I would have preferred being able to study males more)

    Futurama_Fry_Looking_Squint.jpg
  • edited February 2010
    Well I wouldn't have objected to seeing more naked males, either, if that's what you're getting at >.>
    But that wasn't really my main reason. Males are all square and full of weird muscles that move in bizarre way when they change positions. Females are more round and smooth and I've always found it much easier to draw that, possibly because being female, I'm used to how the female body works.
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