Tag Archive: engineering


Scientific Chicago

The Dragon capsule and rocket Falcon 9 made a successful launch from Cape Canaveral last night. Now the capsule is currently playing the role of “It” in a celestial game of tag, chasing down the International Space Station to deliver cargo.

Since the ISS is constantly in orbit, circling the entire globe in 91.5 minutes, the Dragon capsule has to spend the next few days catching up.

This is good news for stargazers. As the capsule gets closer and closer, you’ll be able to see two specs streak across the early night and pre-dawn sky (you can’t see satellites in the middle of the night because they need to reflect the sun to be seen. If the sun is on the other side of the Earth, we block the rays from hitting the satellite).

If you want to know where and when you can see the ISS or the Dragon…

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Wishing I’d been a chemist now…

I had an interesting argument with a friend a few weeks ago re:the reliability of scientific studies. Turns out he’s wiser (or just older) and I’m a mouthy chump.

When scientists battle for recognition (a.k.a. get their names in the history books), they do so via scientific papers and research projects. Coming up with the latest findings and experimenting with current issues are their bread and butter. We trust them to stick to the impartial scientific method.

But what happens if you’re a scientist and the 2-year project you’ve worked on is going nowhere? Enter: natural human instinct.

We see it on the news sometimes: “such-and-such study was retracted” or “scientists are re-examining the correlation between children picking their noses and IQ scores”. Most of us shrug it away and move on…

As it turns out, about 2/3 of the retracted scientific papers are pulled due to intentionally misleading results and poor scientific methodology (Popular Science). In other words, the scientists made things up (University of Washington).

To summarize, integrity is a lost art.

Man’s best friend

Japanese company Neurowear believes we should identify with our animal instincts. Why else would they invent brain-controlled fuzzy ears, paws, and most recently, a tail?

Am I the only one that thought she’d pick up the frisbee in her mouth?

Wanna build your own robot?

Now you can custom-build your own robot from My Robot Nation. What ever happened to the days we had to join a robotics club?