Thursday, May 8, 2008

Spliced feed for The Science Network

Spliced feed for The Science Network

Prehistoric insects grew giant [Earth & Sky Podcast]

Posted: 07 May 2008 04:05 AM CDT

Eons ago, dragonflies had the wingspan of a hawk and millipedes almost as long as a man crawled along forest floors. What happened to decrease the size of these gigantic arthropods? Hear from Arizona biologist Alexander Kaiser.

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Interview with Egon Willighagen [Sciencebase Science Blog]

Posted: 21 Apr 2008 07:00 AM CDT

Egon Willighagen

Most of you who orbit the chemical blogosphere will be well aware of Egon Willighagen’s efforts in helping us build the chemical web. Willighagen is a post-doc at the Wageningen University & Research Center in the Netherlands and cites open source programming as his main hobby.

He runs a chemical blog and founded the all-encompassing Chemical Blogspace (elementally designated Cb). For this month’s Reactive Profile, I asked him about his work, the next big discovery, and about the highs and lows in running Cb.

You can read the complete interview in the April issue of Reactive Reports.

Also on offer in RR this month:

Super Insulators - Superconductors, materials with zero electrical resistance, have been known for decades, but their counterpoint materials, the superinsulators, could transform materials research and electronics design.

Gator Aid - Biochemist Mark Merchant of McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, has investigated a range of proteins found in gator blood that might one day be used to fight serious infections.

Fake Bird Flu Drugs - International health organizations are lying in wait for the emergence of a form of avian influenza that could spread between people and lead to a global epidemic, killing millions.

More reactive chemistry…

A post from David Bradley Science Writer

Interview with Egon Willighagen

Skeptics Guide #143 - April 16th, 2008 [The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe]

Posted: 19 Apr 2008 07:25 AM CDT

Interview with Eric Avery; News Items: Scientology Defection, Are Vitamins Harmful, Replicator Replicates Itself, ET Not Likely; Your Questions and E-mails: Age of the Earth, Magnetic Water; Science or Fiction

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Why Washington Plays Tibet Roulette with China [Excited Light]

Posted: 18 Apr 2008 10:27 AM CDT

© by F. William Engdahl, 5 April 2008, pdf file

Washington has obviously decided on an ultra-high risk geopolitical game with Beijing's by fanning the flames of violence in Tibet just at this sensitive time in their relations and on the run-up to the Beijing Olympics. It's part of an escalating strategy of destabilization of China which has been initiated by the Bush Administration over the past months, and which includes the attempt to ignite an anti-China Saffron Revolution in the neighboring Myanmar region, bringing US-led NATO troops into Darfur where China's oil companies are developing potentially huge oil reserves. It includes counter moves across minerals rich Africa. And it includes strenuous efforts to turn India into a major new US forward base on the Asian sub-continent to be deployed against China. More…

Rebuilding the Periodic Table [Sciencebase Science Blog]

Posted: 18 Apr 2008 04:20 AM CDT

Periodic Table Ban

I’m bored with looking at the standard periodic table on my office wall. It has been useful over the years, of course, and has been exploited and sexploited too in the form of a periodic table of yoga and a sexy PT. It has also been hacked apart, cut and paste into different formats, created as illiminated wall cases, woodworked into furniture, spiralled, spherized, and generally rebuilt in almost every imaginable way ever since Mendeleev first dreamed of laying out his elemental cards according to the periodicity of elemental properties.

Now, in an effort to inspire chemists to reconsider the foundations of the periodic table, chemical philosopher, best-selling science author and my good friend, Eric Scerri of the University of California, Los Angeles, is building a new way to classify the chemical elements one step at a time.

Writing in the latest issue of the Journal of Chemical Education (PDF 2008, 85, 585-589), Scerri explains how the periodic table initially arose from the discovery of atomic weight triads but he now suggests that chemists should
the fundamental
importance of atomic
number triads
chemists should recognize the fundamental importance of atomic number triads.

This sea change in elemental attitude would enhance the periodic table by classifying the elements at a fundamental level as basic substances. As such, he and his colleagues have developed a new version of the “left-step” periodic table, which looks very different from the conventional PT. In the new layout, with its step-like pattern actinides and lanthanides are no longer relegated to a standalone box, but form the first step of the PT.

Climbing right to the transition metals (Fe, Mn, Ir, Sg et al) on the next step and then to the non- and semi-metals, such as boron carbon, oxygen, silicon etc and finally a step in which the halogens (fluorine, chlorine…), noble gases (neon, xenon…), alkali metals (potassium, sodium…) and alkaline earth metals (beryllium, calcium…) form the final highest step on the right. Hydrogen tops the halogen column and helium crowns the noble gases rather than acting as the outer beacons as with the conventional layout. (Click the graphic for a clearer, full-size view).
left step periodic style=

“The left step table has been around for sometime,” Scerri told me, “but I am modifying it to accommodate two atomic number triads which would otherwise be absent. They are He, Ne, Ar which ceases to exist as a triad in the usually encountered left-step table and H, F, Cl which does not exist either in the conventional medium-long form table or the usually encountered left-step table.”

In the grander scheme of things, whatever form the Periodic Table takes in the future matters not to those of us who sing, so we end with a song, the periodic table song from Tom Lehrer (who was 80 on April 9, 2008 and gets a mention in the Official Google Blog this week), known simply as The Elements.

A post from David Bradley Science Writer

Rebuilding the Periodic Table

Two words FMEA and FTA [DCS Security]

Posted: 16 Apr 2008 10:15 AM CDT

Well acronyms really

Skepticality #075 - Words and Music - Interviews: Slau, author Scott Sigler [Skepticality - Science and Revolutionary Ideas]

Posted: 15 Apr 2008 08:29 PM CDT

This week on SkepticalityÂwe talk to two good friends, both skeptics and podcasters making an impact in their areas of expertise. Slavko Halatyn (known to his many fans as simply "Slau") has enjoyed a richÂcareer as both a music producer and award-winning recording artist. ÂDerek talks with Slau aboutÂhis work with other artists (like skeptical favoriteÂGeorge Hrab), being an early adopter of podsafe music â and the linksÂbetween his career, his world view, and his becoming legally blind at the age ofÂ21. Author Scott Sigler sent a shot across the bow of mainstream publishingÂwhen, after first giving away his novel Ancestor for free as a PDF, the printedÂretail version then broke the top 10. As a result, Scott earnedÂhimself a seat at the table and a deal with Crown books. We talk to ScottÂabout his new novel Infected âÂreleased on April 1st and alreadyÂa bestseller.

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

The Tibet Myth [Excited Light]

Posted: 14 Apr 2008 05:41 AM CDT

Skeptics Guide #142 - April 9th, 2008 [The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe]

Posted: 12 Apr 2008 07:25 AM CDT

Interview with Yau-Man Chan; News Items: Skeptologists Shoot Complete, UK Psychic crackdown, LHC and the God Particle, Monty Hall Problem in Research; Your Questions and E-mails: Cursing in Sanskrit; Science or Fiction

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Skeptics Guide #141 - April 2nd, 2008 [The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe]

Posted: 06 Apr 2008 07:25 AM CDT

News Items: The Skeptologists, Expelled Again, Human-Cow Hybrid, Tantric Killing Fails; Your Questions and E-mails: Debunking Skeptics, Dinosaur Fossils on the Moon; Science or Fiction

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

No comments: