Northern vs. southern hair whorls, Sun & Shine, Quantum depression

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has four segments. Here are bits of each of them: Southern hair whorls — Three northern hemisphere scientists – Marjolaine Willems, Quentin Hennocq and Roman Hossein Khonsari in Paris, France – teamed up with a southern hemisphere scientist – Juan José Cortés Santander in Santiago, Chile – for […]

A dark, yet sunny, techno-apocalyptic paper

A dark, yet sunny, techno-apocalyptic paper by the prolific Alexander Bolonkin and a friend, a self-noted self-described thinker: “Explosion of Sun,” Alexander Bolonkin, Joseph Friedlander [pictured here], Computational Water, Energy, and Environmental Engineering, vol. 2, 2013, pp. 83-96. The authors, at Strategic Solutions Technology Group, New York, explain: “If we create higher temperature and density […]

Dung beetle Milky Way Ig Nobel winners implicate the sun

The Scientist magazine reports: Dung beetles (Scarabaeus lamarcki) scurry around cow pastures collecting little balls of poop from steaming heaps of excrement and quickly roll those balls to their nests, where they bury them for a future meal. (See a video of this behavior.) According to new research published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, the beetles’ […]

Just the facts, man… The persistence of misconceptions

Derek Muller writes (and explains in more detail than I’m presenting here): “It is a common view that ‘if only someone could break this down and explain it clearly enough, more people would understand.’ However it is debatable whether clear, concise explanations really work…. People have existing ideas about real world phenomena before they encounter […]

Horvath: Like horseflies, like Vikings

Dr Gábor Horváth [pictured here], who discovered that white horses attract fewer flies (described here a few months ago), now may have shed light on an old, somewhat related question about Vikings. The study is “On the trail of Vikings with polarized skylight: experimental study of the atmospheric optical prerequisites allowing polarimetric navigation by Viking […]