Daily Archives: February 13, 2011

Making Stuff… cleaner

Carbon, an element that makes up all living creatures, is the single greatest concern for environmental impact. Since the rise of the automobile, gasoline has been releasing carbon dioxide and other noxious gasses into the atmosphere. Fortunately, the future of automobiles lies within hydrogen and electric batteries. Making Stuff, a mini-series produced by NOVA, concentrates on making stuff stronger, cleaner, smaller, and smarter.

Making Stuff: Smarter concludes Intelligently

In the final of chapter of the making stuff series, the topic in point was making stuff smarter. The amazing materials covered ranged from pads that allowed robots to climb walls, non-Newtonian fluids, practical applications for the design of sharkskin, and materials that can repair themselves. “Making Stuff: Smarter” focuses on taking materials and objects like fuel tanks and shock absorbers and by using a new material, create a completely new and improved version of that object. The coolest thing about “Making Stuff: Smarter” is that not all of these materials are rare materials.

Shadows “Following us” say Scientists

Researchers in Boulder made a startling discovery last week. “Shadows,” the oddly shaped patches of darkness commonly seen near people and buildings, possess a rudimentary form of vision and tend to follow people around. “This is absolutely groundbreaking,” said lead scientist Raphael Mechoulam, “We finally have proof of something that people have suspected for millennia.”

Tim’s Two Cents: Young, free and powerful

As a follow-up to last week’s editorial on current events, I’m dedicating this week’s column to everyone’s favorite concept: freedom. If event in Egypt have taught us anything it is this: true power lies within the wishes of the people, many of those people are our peers, and they have a much greater appreciation for freedom than we’ll ever be able to understand.

Morals for your story: 2-14-11

Dilemma

I need money. For a variety of reasons that will be boring for you to know: I need some. Bad. I know that sperm donation is an easy thing to do, not unpleasant from what my friends have told me. It seems like a good way to earn some extra cash. So, I’ve been thinking about donating eggs. This process is supposed to be somewhat miserable, but much better money than the sperm earn. I told my mom I was interested in doing it and she said something to the effect of, “Do you think your obligation to your offspring ends at fertilization? Your genetic code is your duty to preserve, protect, and help to progress in life. That just sounds irresponsible to me.”

I hadn’t thought of it that way at all. I just thought it could bring me money and help some people who can’t have children to have some. What do you think? Would donating eggs be heroic or ethically questionable?
–Wasted Eggs

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The stars shine brightly above Mines: A little fun with the zodiac

Of the problems that humanity has when dealing with the concept of space, one of the most hampering is the extreme distances involved. Astronomers are well aware that even the closest objects in deeper space are beyond analogy for the average human being to thoroughly comprehend. And along with the problem of distance, there is a distinct problem when it comes to comparative size. Off the top of you head, compare the size of the Earth to the Sun in your mind; while the planet is not necessarily a massless dot when compared to our star, our planet is almost negligible when it comes to the shear size of our solar body.

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