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Steve Esterly
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Steve Esterly

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I wish this was true, since I already skip conventional shoes more days than not. Sure, spending time barefoot can be nice for the soul. But both the explanation (access to the earth's electrons) and the "pilot studies" cited here are silly and meaningless.

I uncircled two people today for being uncritical enough to share this link as something to be believed.

An electron is an electron, there is nothing special about the ones in the earth, and they are freely available—we are not all walking around in an electron-starved positively-charged state. 
Earthing, otherwise known as grounding or simply barefoot walking, is an extremely accessible and simple holistic therapy that offers abundant healing properties.
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I really meant to use DoNotLink when sharing this, to avoid boosting the article's search engine rating. Oh well.
http://www.donotlink.com/
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Evidence that an octopus's skin can sense light
 
Does an octopus’s whole body sense light like an eye? I look at some intriguing studies for my column for The New York Times​ http://t.co/Rc2PFhXRMO
Two new studies suggest that cephalopods can perceive light through their skin, making, in effect, a body-wide eye.
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+rare avis - I doubt that signals from the opsin in the skin are being sent to the octopus' visual system, although I suppose it is possible. Most likely, though, the skin opsin is just being used to a control chromatophores for local changes in skin color.
In any case, I agree that eating the animals alive is gruesome. 
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Kittybiome

The first citizen science project using the latest DNA sequencing technologies to explore the microbes that live in and on kitties.

Finally, a good excuse for sending cat poop through the mail.

#citizenscience #kittybiome #caturday
 
Join in on our new crowdfunded Citizen Science kittybiome project on the microbiomes of cats. 
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Mug vs doughnut
 
New project with +Keenan Crane: A topologist can't tell the difference between a coffee mug and a doughnut/donut.
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kristien marie's profile photoSteve Esterly's profile photoAndrea Chen (fallinghawks)'s profile photoHenry Segerman's profile photo
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+Andrea Chen Nobody said it was a good joke.
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Spiders sprayed with a solution containing carbon nanotubes or graphene produce super-strong silk
 
When you spray spiders with carbon nanotubes and graphene flakes they will actually integrate those materials into their spider silk, making it tougher than ever. I really hope this experiment can be reproduced, it almost sounds too good to be true...
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The Birds and the Beats

Beatboxing with real birdsongs. I love this. Can't be beat.

#birdbox
 
In these fascinating videos, we see how one man’s quest to merge two passions -- bird watching and beatbox music -- has created an experimental new form of music
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+The Birds and the Beats is on G+! Beatboxing Pennsylvania birdsongs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-8dSX9hgXM

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Steve Esterly

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Wow
 
Beauty, and then some. Terry Gosliner's "P. acanthorhinum"—the missing link between hydroid- and coral-munching nudibranchs—hits SUNY-ESF's Top-10 New Species list! calacade.my/1c9Yp4n
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Ending robocalls

Consumer's Union is leading a push to get the telecoms to block illegal robocalls before they reach our phones. Sounds like a win to me. You can add to the pressure on the telecoms and government by signing onto the petition at the link.

#EndRobocalls
[TAKE ACTION] New technology may not be perfect, but right now I need to see a real reduction in the obnoxious robocalls that interrupt my day and introduce me to scammers. The phone companies should be taking the lead, not making excuses.
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Drosophila genomics paper has more than 1000 authors. Is that good or bad? Nature News writeup includes many comments from +Zen Faulkes and his NeuroDojo blog (see http://neurodojo.blogspot.com/2015/05/when-does-authorship-stop-meaning.html)

Genomics paper with an unusually high number of authors sets researchers buzzing on social media.
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"Using the power of 900 undergrads"

I like how that is phrased! lol
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+California Academy of Sciences's expedition to the "Coral Triangle"/Philippines is yielding lots of new marine species, and some nice photos too.

The latest expedition blog is here:
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/expeditions/the-richest-reef-a-bagful-of-new-species/

Photo is a new nudibranch species (genus Thorunna). An image search for Thorunna returns an amazing collection of nudibranchs. 
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+Suzanne Catty - "nudibranch" = sea slug
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Faster-than-light

Remember a few years ago, when all those repeated measurements seemed to show neutrinos traveling at faster-than-light speeds? Here is a great interview with Antonio Ereditato, one of the leaders of the OPERA collaboration that performed the measurements, about the hunt for an explanation of the results. The answer turned out to be an unexpected side-effect of a faulty connector.

Fans of the EmDrive and of internet rumors of warping space, take note (eg http://www.wired.com/2015/05/nasa-warp-drive-yeah-still-poppycock/ )

Antonio Ereditato insists that our interview be carried out through Skype with both cameras on. Just the other side of middle age,…
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+Steve Esterly - wow!   I must have gotten the bacon and sausages, sorry Heather, I guess they went so much faster than the ham that they didn't stick in my mind.  The ham was to be eaten with grits, and this was more of an experience.

The bet with Curtis was finalized, but it was a rather curious bet that turned to be hard for me to collect - it was for him to put in a certain amount of time working for me.
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Sometimes the politically-motivated shortsightedness of the Republican party really pisses me off.

via +Jon Lawhead
 
"Living down to our worst expectations, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology voted Thursday to cut deeply into NASA's budget for Earth science, in a clear swipe at the study of climate change.

The committee's markup of the NASA authorization bill for fiscal 2016 and 2017 passed on a party-line vote, Republicans in the majority. The action followed what appears to be a deliberate attempt to keep Democrats out of the loop. According to Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), the committee's ranking Democrat, her caucus "did not even know [the markup] existed before last Friday. ... After we saw the bill, we understood why."

As outlined by Marcia Smith at SpacePolicyOnline, the measure would cut NASA's Earth science budget to at most $1.45 billion in fiscal 2016, from $1.77 billion currently -- a cut of $323 million, or nearly 20%. Under some circumstances, the budget could shrink even further to $1.12 billion, a cut of nearly one-third. Compared with President Obama's request for fiscal 2016, which is $1.95 billion, the proposal would amount to a cut of at least 26%.

The budget plan perfectly reflects the House GOP's glorification of space exploration, which masks its disdain for research on climate change. Unsurprisingly, it has created consternation among experts. The American Geophysical Union observed just before the vote that NASA's Earth science programs involve more than the study of climate change as such, but "provide a basis for knowledge and understanding of natural hazards, weather forecasting, air quality, and water availability."
Living down to our worst expectations, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology voted Thursday to cut deeply into NASA's budget for Earth science, in a clear swipe at the study of climate change.
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Sometimes?
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