How We Decide
Posted in Brains, biology on March 26th, 2009 by Patti Schiendelman – Be the first to comment
Seed magazine has a short but interesting interview with Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide, a book that’s on my list of to-reads. This quote confirms my experience that sleeping on a problem is very helpful.
Seed: Should hugely consequential decisions always be rationally deliberated?
JL: No. Research suggests that it’s complex decisions, the ones that involve lots of information, that benefit the most from unconscious emotional processing. The conscious brain can only handle a very limited amount of information at one time - seven digits, plus or minus two. Unconsciously, however, you can process tons of information. It’s these complex decisions - like choosing a car, an apartment, or a leather couch - that often require the rational brain to turn off to some degree.
Posted in Food, Technology on March 11th, 2009 by Patti Schiendelman – Be the first to comment
Two professors at the University of Rhode Island have developed thermochromic inks that change color permanently after reaching a certain temperature. They can be used in barcodes to indicate a product hasn’t been stored at safe temperature levels.
Hamsters in jackets. Seriously.
Posted in Animals, Energy, Nanotech on March 10th, 2009 by Patti Schiendelman – Be the first to comment
Discovery Channel reports that Georgia Tech scientists are harvesting hamster energy with tiny nanowire jackets. They say it would take a thousand hamsters to charge a cell phone, which is an adorable image, but not very practical. The technology can be scaled up, so someday you may be able to power your iPod with your clothing.
Natural history museums - exhibit prep
Posted in Animals on March 9th, 2009 by Patti Schiendelman – Be the first to comment
I love this set of images of exhibit prep at the American Museum of Natural History.
Natural history museums - unseen specimens
Posted in Animals on March 6th, 2009 by Patti Schiendelman – 1 Comment
Carl Zimmer is one of my favorite science writers. He has an article in Seed’s online magazine about all the stuff you *don’t* see in natural history museums. I used to volunteer cleaning bird skeletons in a natural history museum - those back halls and rooms are fascinating! It was totally worth having my hair smell like rotten birds.
NASA’s 50th Anniversary
Posted in Astronomy on March 5th, 2009 by Patti Schiendelman – Be the first to comment
NASA has put together a beautiful interactive tour to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
Grass-fed cows are worse for the environment?
Posted in Animals, Environment on March 4th, 2009 by Patti Schiendelman – 1 Comment
They have a larger carbon footprint. Bummer. If we could only perfect the backpacks and harvest all that methane . . .
Science on Tap
Posted in Events on March 3rd, 2009 by Patti Schiendelman – Be the first to comment
The Seattle science cafe, Science on Tap, is meeting tonight at the Queen Anne location.
Posted in Anatomy on March 3rd, 2009 by Patti Schiendelman – Be the first to comment
Cabinet of Wonders has an interesting post about fingerprints.
Martian year calendar
Posted in Astronomy on March 2nd, 2009 by Patti Schiendelman – Be the first to comment
The peeps at NASA/JPL put together a neat calendar to download. One Martian year is almost twice as long as one Earth year.