Sunday Science: A Roundup

Can you get something for nothing? Or something from nothing? It seems absurd, and certainly contradicts our everyday experience, but that’s par for the course in physics these days. Starts With A Bang! has a great, accessible explanation of how something has come from nothing in our universe.

One of my first star trails, at Broken Head.

It’s also 10:23 day today, raising awareness of the fact that there’s nothing in homeopathic remedies and that there’s no evidence suggesting they have a clinical or medicinal effect. The Bad Astronomer has a summary at the link, but I’m sure if you want to check it out further, a Famous Search Engine will help you out.

Then there’s this:

“Sharks have been around far longer, but still failed to invent the internet.”

Out of Context Science is full of silly little grabs, either from journal articles or other science media. Sometimes dumb, but occasionally hilarious.

To round out this slightly short roundup, I’ll point you to Biochemical Brother, and a very nice post about the recent Horizon documentary, Science Under Attack. It has done the rounds among scientists and communicators in the UK, but if you haven’t heard about it, George’s post is definitely worth a read.

Finally, a plug for Ben and I’s latest show on ICRadio; the movie soundtracks to our lives! Listen here for a bit of banter and 10 killer tunes.

Categories: Random Links, Science | Tags: | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Sunday Science: A Roundup

  1. mattycoze

    After a year of analysing protein structures by X-ray crystallography, I’m almost convinced that you can ALMOST get something (i.e. a reasonable protein model) from nothing (i.e. jumbled phases)! Taking x-ray diffraction images and trying to resolve the structure is made difficult when you don’t know the phases… and so in attempt to work around this, we just take an educated ‘guess’ of what they could be (by assimilating models of previously solved structures… hoping they explain at least 40% of the diffraction data!) – after cycles of refinement we build up the rest of the model to create something that makes sense – even down to resolutions of <1.5 Angstroms with relatively little error.

    At a glance and in lay terms, it almost seems like we're doing what is shown on CSI (lol)… where a dude would see something on a grainy/out of focus picture and they magically "enhance it" – to catch their guy (WAAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHH!)

    • Wow. Yes, that’s one of the more irritating TV tropes – ‘enhance’ past what could ever possibly be real resolution.

      But when you’re using real data as your basis for an ‘educated enhance guess’ that’s pretty cool.

  2. Peter

    hey david, have you seen this?


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