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Steve Esterly
Lived in Silicon Valley
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Steve Esterly

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If you are a leech, there is one good spot on a hippo to find a meal, and it is not in the front. 
The year was 2003, and Mark Siddall was in South Africa a-hunting the elusive hippo rectum leech.
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No wonder Hippos are so bad temped then.
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Amateur biohackers eyeing CRISPR
 
“It’s, like, the most amazing tool ever.”
#CRISPR
Amateurs are ready and able to try the CRISPR technique for rewriting genes.
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+Jill Muhling - I haven't visited a biohacker lab, so I can't say much about how they do things. I have met a couple people involved with +BioCurious and they seemed reasonable and responsible, but that doesn't mean everyone is.
Biocurious does at least have safety training, rules, and a safety committee that reviews projects, and they say the lab is Biosafety Level – 1 (BSL-1), similar to a high school biology lab. There is a little more info in the Safety section of their FAQ page at http://biocurious.org/faq/ .
You can also send them questions at safety@biocurious.org .
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Kurosawa film festival

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akira_Kurosawa

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2015/01/28/every_frame_a_painting_kurosawa_style_tony_zhou_explains_the_geometry_of.single.html#comments

Already seen:
The Seven Samurai
Ikiru [To Live]
Yojimbo
Stray Dog

Up next:
The Bad Sleep Well
Rashomon [In the Woods]
Throne of Blood
The Hidden Fortress



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+Suzanne Levine - I understood from the very first scene why you love Throne of Blood: multiple layers of mist sweeping across the screen. Many great visuals in this one. The first meeting with the spirit of Spider's Web Forest was a surreal delight. 
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Discovery of a new irregular pentagon that can tile the plane—the first one found in the last 30 years. 
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Trapdoor spiders hunt by lurking beneath the closed trapdoor to the burrow, lunging out at passing prey, and quickly pulling the prey into the safety of the burrow.

Wait for it…
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+Steve Esterly , Yes, but go in with low expectations. It's fun, but not necessarily brilliant.
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Coffee Mechanics

Standing-wave #ripples in a macroscopic coffee cup and a nanoscopic electron field, governed by the same math (Bessel functions)

via +W Younes
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Two-faced barchans on Mars

Each of these dunes has two slip faces, corresponding to the downwind side for each of two prevailing wind directions.
 
A piece of Mars: These dunes look strangely triangular, a little bit like a flock of stealth bombers. Why? They're two-faced barchans. Each flat face is an avalanche slope that faces downwind, formed by one of two distinct wind patterns that blow in this area (probably seasonally).
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How chameleons really change color

We were wrong in our understanding of how panther chameleons change color. It used to be thought the chameleons were expanding and contracting pigment-containing cells in the upper layers of skin, the xanthophores (yellow) and erythrophores (red).
Deeper layers of skin hold iridiphores, each containing three-dimensional nanocrystalline arrays which produce colored reflections through constructive and destructive interference. We now know the panther chameleons can actively tune the spacing of the crystals in these arrays, changing color by altering the reflected wavelengths of light in the iridiphores.

Link to "Deep Look" video included.
 
VIDEO Nature’s Mood Rings: How Chameleons Really Change Color

Chameleons are some of the most brilliantly colored animals on the planet. But how did they evolve the ability to change color?

Scientists used to believe that chameleons changed color by spreading out pigments in their skin, much like octopuses or squid do. http://ow.ly/RmjgF
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Fascinating how nature evolved microstructures to accurately manipulate frequency.
The nervous system control is interesting. A frequency specific autonomic awareness of its surroundings
.. I'm pretty sure the chameleon doesn't have to think about it.
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July 2015 Was the Warmest Single Month Ever Recorded on Planet Earth

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just announced that July 2015 had the warmest global surface temperature ever recorded for planet Earth: 

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201507

Note: This does not mean that July 2015 was the warmest month that ever happened on planet Earth. Just the warmest month in the past 1627 months since January 1880 (when the NOAA period-of-record began).

2014 was the warmest year in that record. However, 2015 is well on its way to eclipsing 2014 for the warmest calendar year on record, given the global records that have already been set this year, and the very strong El Nino conditions currently present in the tropical Pacific.

#climatechange   #globalwarming   #science   #sciencecommunication  
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Seth Borenstein: "Spent the last two hours watching GOP debate to factcheck on science, climate & environment issues. Nothing said, nothing to do."

Support ScienceDebate.org
 
This is exactly why we need http://www.ScienceDebate.org. Science and technology have driven about half of America's economic growth over the last 50 years. Presidential candidates should address that.
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One can't expect Fox News to care about those things.  But oddly, many questions seemed designed to make all the Republicans look bad.  "As president, would you bring back water boarding?"  "How can you win in 2016 when you’re such a divisive figure?"  "Given your record in Wisconsin, why should voters believe you?"  I guess in their reality this makes sense somehow...
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Peloton dynamics in bicycle racing examined as a form of collective behavior.

#collectivebehavior #swarms
 
"Research by former cyclist Hugh Trenchard and others suggests that the mathematics of pelotons– the groups and bunches that cyclists form during a race – could be key to understanding how cyclists behave as a collective entity.

While these collective dynamics may not tell us who will win the Tour de France, they do have broader applications to a variety of other biological systems. Here, Trenchard tells us more about his research, and how it might even provide some clues to the origin of life."
A new mathematical model that explains cycling formations has some surprising applications
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Signs of the times: a new plant species (a five-foot tall carnivorous sundew) is discovered via Facebook.

More signs: I heard about it on a Facebook post from the Exploratorium, which shared a link in Smithsonian Mag (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/no-one-knew-plant-existed-until-it-was-posted-facebook-180956084/), which first heard about it from Atlas Obscura, of all places. 
The second largest carnivorous plant in the Americas lives on a single mountain peak in the southeast of Brazil. It can grow almost five feet tall, and its...
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