Science Junkie

Apr 16

Birds and Dinosaurs
(via xkcd) 

Birds and Dinosaurs

(via xkcd) 

thecraftychemist:

Chemical quote sources: Quote and chemical compound, background image

thecraftychemist:

Chemical quote sources: Quote and chemical compound, background image

(via sagansense)

libutron:

Sylvain azuré (Azuritis reducta) Southern White Admiral | ©Anne Sorbes (Vercors, France)
Azuritis reducta (Nymphalidae) is found in Southern Europe where it is widespread.
The brown upper of this butterfly shows blue sheen, according to the light. The wingspan is about 45 to 53 mm. It is visible in dry areas with rocks and grasses, in wet clearings and forest. Its preferred foodplant is the Honeysuckle.

libutron:

Sylvain azuré (Azuritis reducta) Southern White Admiral | ©Anne Sorbes (Vercors, France)

Azuritis reducta (Nymphalidae) is found in Southern Europe where it is widespread.

The brown upper of this butterfly shows blue sheen, according to the light. The wingspan is about 45 to 53 mm. It is visible in dry areas with rocks and grasses, in wet clearings and forest. Its preferred foodplant is the Honeysuckle.

(via dendroica)

[video]

Apr 15

The biases of pop psychologyby Vaughan Bell
I just found this great piece at Scientific American that makes a fascinating point about how pop psychology books that inform us about our biases tend not to inform us about our most important bias – the effect of making things into stories – despite the fact that they rely on it to get their message across. The piece starts by quoting economist Tyler Cowen:

“There’s the Nudge book, the Sway book, the Blink book… [they are] all about the ways in which we screw up. And there are so many ways, but what I find interesting is that none of these books identify what, to me, is the single, central, most important way we screw up, and that is, we tell ourselves too many stories, or we are too easily seduced by stories. And why don’t these books tell us that? It’s because the books themselves are all about stories. The more of these books you read, you’re learning about some of your biases, but you’re making some of your other biases essentially worse. So the books themselves are part of your cognitive bias.”
The crux of the problem, as Cowen points out, is that it’s nearly impossible to understand irrationalities without taking advantage of them. And, paradoxically, we rely on stories to understand why they can be harmful.

‘Great story!’ you might say, instantly causing a cognitive bias loop from which you might never emerge.
Source: Mind Hacks
Image by twilightstar12

The biases of pop psychology
by Vaughan Bell

I just found this great piece at Scientific American that makes a fascinating point about how pop psychology books that inform us about our biases tend not to inform us about our most important bias – the effect of making things into stories – despite the fact that they rely on it to get their message across.
The piece starts by quoting economist Tyler Cowen:

“There’s the Nudge book, the Sway book, the Blink book… [they are] all about the ways in which we screw up. And there are so many ways, but what I find interesting is that none of these books identify what, to me, is the single, central, most important way we screw up, and that is, we tell ourselves too many stories, or we are too easily seduced by stories. And why don’t these books tell us that? It’s because the books themselves are all about stories. The more of these books you read, you’re learning about some of your biases, but you’re making some of your other biases essentially worse. So the books themselves are part of your cognitive bias.”

The crux of the problem, as Cowen points out, is that it’s nearly impossible to understand irrationalities without taking advantage of them. And, paradoxically, we rely on stories to understand why they can be harmful.

‘Great story!’ you might say, instantly causing a cognitive bias loop from which you might never emerge.

Source: Mind Hacks

Image by twilightstar12

Saturn: Cassini may have photographed the birth of a moon

Just when I think Saturn can’t surprise me any more: The Cassini spacecraft may have taken the birth pictures of a new moon! It may have also spotted its demise. Or maybe part of its demise. Also, it may be twins.
OK, let me explain.

Read more for Phil(BadAstronomer)Plait’s explanation.

Saturn: Cassini may have photographed the birth of a moon

Just when I think Saturn can’t surprise me any more: The Cassini spacecraft may have taken the birth pictures of a new moon! It may have also spotted its demise. Or maybe part of its demise. Also, it may be twins.

OK, let me explain.

Read more for Phil(BadAstronomer)Plait’s explanation.

Apr 14

Believe it or not, these four squares move at the same constant speed

Believe it or not, these four squares move at the same constant speed

post-mitotic:

ovarian blood river
actually it’s an endothelium-lined lumen of a blood vessel
but it looks like a river
colored SEM
credit: Steve Schmeissner

post-mitotic:

ovarian blood river

actually it’s an endothelium-lined lumen of a blood vessel

but it looks like a river

colored SEM

credit: Steve Schmeissner

[video]

[video]