What’s wrong with this picture?

Here’s a really interesting article announcing the discovery of a new heat-treating method for steel that makes it 7% stronger.  I find two points interesting.  The first is that there’s such a big deal about the discovery being made by a “self-taught metallurgist.”  Aren’t pretty much all the big discoveries made by the self-taught?  And […]

Nuclear sightseeing

This morning a couple colleagues of mine and I were on our way to fly home from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, this morning.  As we got close to the airport, the guy driving nodded forward and asked me, “Is that a Three Mile Island?” I looked ahead and said, “Well, it’s a couple of huge cooling towers for sure.” […]

Peak oil? Perhaps not

US reserves of oil and gas are skyrocketing — with gas reserves increasing by the most in history last year, thanks to technology advances. If oil prices remain high, our shale comes into greater economic play, and energy independence becomes nearly fathomable.  (Of course, it’s a very little-known fact that only a relatively small percentage […]

Aging better than a caveman

This is Otzi the Iceman: His was the frozen, mummified body found by a German tourist in the Italian Alps back in ’91.  Dutch forensic experts recreated his face using modern forensic techniques. The picture was part of this report, which also reveals that scientists say he died at about 45 years of age. That’s how old I […]

My review of The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson

I liked the book.  But it had its problems.  Here’s what I posted on Amazon.  (Not glowing text, but I still rated the book four stars.  Heck, I read the things in just a few days — it must have been good!) This is a really good book. From a science standpoint, it’s a defense […]

For the spelunkers

Here’s a photoessay about a newly discovered cave in Vietnam.  Amazing.  (Courtesy of Instapundit.)

Cool father-and-son experiment

This is some pretty cool work by a father and his son — building a capsule holding a video camera and an i-Phone for location and retrieval, launching the whole works on a weather balloon to the stratosphere and safely back to earth, then finding it. (More awesomeness from Gizmag.)

It’s official: I’m right yet again

This time, it’s about the patently obvious fact that a pregnant woman having a drink or two does no harm to her unborn child, the moronic posturing of health Nazis and governments notwithstanding. It’s both a blessing and a curse to be as brilliant as I am.

Some more materials science coolness

Carbon fiber bicycle rims have been around for a while now — but they’ve always been a challenge for braking, since they don’t offer the same “grab” from standard rubber brake pads as the old aluminum alloy rims do. So these cats at a company called Zircotec came up with a sprayed-on ceramic coating that […]

A great article on innovation

I’m going to have to check out Steven Johnson’s books — if they’re anything like as good as his Wall Street Journal article, “The Genius of the Tinkerer,” I’m in for some great reading.  I sure didn’t know this, for example: More recently, a graduate student named Brent Constantz, working on a Ph.D. that explored […]