The next time your family eats corn on the cob, you can do an experiment. Make a note of the date and time when you eat the corn, and then again when you next catch sight of it. The number of hours in between is the ‘transit time’ for your own intestines.
The National Science Foundation is having its annual Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge right now.
Lots of cool stuff, like this visualization of (normally invisible) coral flows:
Corals are far from the passive “living rocks” they are sometimes taken to be. This image reveals the hidden flow generated by small hairs (cilia) covering the surface of the coral, between two coral polyps that are 3 mm apart. Two shots taken 1.5 hours apart are combined into a single image, showing how the coral is able to create a long-lasting whirlpool structure that alters the local environment and enhances the coral’s ability to “breathe.”
Check out all the entries and vote for your favorites.
For our latest podcast, artist Danica Novgorodoff made this beautiful illustration of Ötzi (AKA the Iceman).
Want to know more about the man with the lustrous beard? Take a listen.
I do lie awake at night worrying that I’ll die penniless and alone under a stack of (organic cotton) tote bags.
I told one group of people a specific odorant was parmesan cheese. They sniff it and then evaluate how pleasant, intense, and familiar it is. After a week interval, I give the same group the same smell and say, ‘This is vomit.’ People sniffed it and shrank back. They said, ‘That’s disgusting.’ They wouldn’t believe it was the same smell they had smelled the week before and liked.