Archives for Science

Incandescent Lights: What EISA Really Means

There’s been a lot of press coverage recently of the incandescent lighting provisions of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and it’s largely been of the form “The US Government is banning incandescent light bulbs.” While this makes for good prime-time newsvertainment, it’s not really true. The tungsten light bulb was invented in 1905 as a fairly radical improvement on the earlier carbon filament bulbs, which would generally last less than a week before burning out. The humble incandescent light bulb was pretty constantly improved — both in terms of lifetime and efficiency — until about 1964. At
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Categories: Dear God, Make It Stop!, Eco-nerd, Politics and Local Topics, and Science.

Homebrew Rocket Reaches Space

This is wicked cool. A 17 foot homebrew rocket phones home with this picture. Click through to read the details in the flickr comments. (Via Wired) Lots more details: Pyro Geek Hobbyists Experiment With Homebrew Rockets Edit: Lots of cool amateur rocketry pics in the same photoset.
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Categories: Science and Toys.

Texas “Body Farm” on Hold

Sometimes the news is breath-takingly weird. It seems that Texas State University in San Marcos, TX, had to put their “body farm” project on hold. What’s a body farm, you ask? It’s a location to study the decomposition of, well, bodies. Human ones. For forensic research purposes. There are a couple of these in the USA already, but Texas has a different enough climate to warrant one of its own. But that’s not the really weird part. The reason this is being put on hold is not the obvious “not in my backyard” argument. Rather, it is the concern that
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Categories: Food, Politics and Local Topics, Science, and United States of America.

Chocolate as an Antitussive

According to a 2004 article in New Scientist, theobromine maybe a stronger cough suppressant than codeine. Theobromine is an alkaloid primarily found in dark chocolate. Edit: The article did not actually say it was better than Codeine. I read that somewhere else–I forget where. Edit 2: Anyone in the Estacado Systems office this week would tell you I was in need of such. I tried some–and it worked for a while, anyway. (Thanks, Brian!)
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Categories: Food, Health, and Science.

Hypercolor Monitors in the Works?

In an earlier post, I discussed the difference between purple and violet, and explored some of the color limitations of electronic display technology. Phil recently pointed out an article in Wired that discusses the use of adjustable diffraction gratings to produce arbitrary colors. (In practice, the gratings don’t produce the colors; they diffract a white light in such a way that the desired color can be made to pass through a pinhole). In theory, an array of these can be constructed to produce vivid-color televisions and monitors. There’s something I find a bit suspect about the article, though. I mean,
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Categories: Science and Toys.