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Tag: Science (31-40 of 94)

NASA video contest: We endorse 'Captain Banana vs. The Evil Ghost Chili'

If you follow NASA on Twitter, you may be aware that online voting is now open for its Optimus Prime Spinoff Award Video Contest, which encouraged kids, grades 3 to 8, to create shorts about NASA technology that has been modified to go into products used on Earth. NASA considers Transformers’ Optimus Prime, who came to Earth from space, a great analogy for NASA technology transfer, which has resulted in “spinoffs” like, you know, “the heart defibrillator your grandparents might have [!], or the memory foam mattress you sleep on at night, or even the purified water you drink at your house.” Reading about the “spinoff” technology is genuinely fascinating, but watching kids ramble on about it, not so much. That is why we, if I can be so bold as to speak for my discriminating colleagues at Entertainment Weekly, would like to endorse “Captain Banana vs. The Evil Ghost Chili” in the 3rd-5th grade bracket. Watch it below.  READ FULL STORY

Ricky Gervais says he will not return as Golden Globes host. Too bad, since he scored 6.4 on the Lange/Colbert Scale.

Gervais-at-Golden-GlobesImage Credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBCThis hour, Ricky Gervais is making headlines for telling TMZ that he would decline an invitation to host the Golden Globes for a third time, following his controversial turn Sunday night. And, really, that’s incredibly unfortunate, since 40 hours after the ceremony, we’re finally getting official measurements of the host’s performance on the Lange/Colbert Scale. For those of you unfamiliar with that particular scientific metric, the Lange/Colbert Scale assesses the cleverness, cajones, and comic reverberations of a guest’s performance. At one end of the sliding scale is Artie Lange, whose irreverently crude hijacking of Joe Buck’s HBO sports talk show scored an awful/awesome 0.2 on the LCS. At the other end of the scale was Stephen Colbert’s in-the-face heckling of a sitting U.S. president and the White House press corp: an unprecedented 10.1 on the LCS, which until that incident, only went up to 10.0.

Somewhere in between was Gervais’ act on Sunday night. READ FULL STORY

'Star Wars' map: A close-up look at a galaxy far, far away...

Being a Star Wars fanatic — let’s face it, there’s no such thing as merely being a Star Wars “fan”means familiarizing yourself with a lot of names of a bunch of odd-sounding planets. Some, like the ice planet Hoth, play a huge role in George Lucas’ intergalactic ring cycle, especially if you need to seek shelter inside the guts of a snowy beast. Ditto for A-list locales like Endor and Alderaan. But others, like Orvax and Lwhekk? That’s straight-up nerd terrain. You probably have to have a closetful of action figures and a Jedi’s familiarity with the Kessel Run to have the name Ord Mantell mean something. And once you get beyond all those funny names with vaguely Norwegian combinations of vowels, you’re left scratching your head as to where the hell all of these places fit into the Star Wars universe geographically. (Is Devaron a Core World or a Colony? And where is it in relation to the Tingel Arm in the Northeast Quadrant?) Fortunately, the good folks at Dark Horse and LucasFilms have a color map of all this stuff (it was published in 2009’s Star Wars: The Essential Atlas). It may not be new to some of the real die-hards reading this, but it was new to me. And I just spent the better part of a Friday afternoon staring at it, geeking out and having Aha! moments.

If you’ve never seen it, check it out below. And for a bigger, more detailed look, click here. Then tell us what you think: Is this too much of a good thing or Nerdvana?  READ FULL STORY

'Bones' meets 'Jersey Shore' tonight. Does any single individual actually watch both shows?

Bones-Jersey-ShoreImage Credit: Brian Bowen Smith/Fox; MTVTonight’s episode of Bones promises to be the series’ most smush-tacular, tan-tastic, GTL-licious hour ever, because the skeleton-loving investigators of the Jeffersonian are solving a Jersey Shore-themed case. Since Jersey Shore itself will also air tonight, we got to thinking: Is there any overlapping viewership between these two utterly different shows? (Besides the unfortunate soul who recaps them both?) Praise Science! After long weeks of hard work, the PopWatch laboratory (led by the fearless Dr. Annie Q. Barrett) has finally come up with a helpful infographic to sum up our findings… READ FULL STORY

Clip du jour: Happy tummy!

I’ll probably never buy a probiotic drink, and I rarely make decisions based on what will make my digestive system happy. But thanks to this enchanting commercial, I badly want — nay, desperately need — a fluffy pink anthropomorphic puppet of my insides. Holy moly. READ FULL STORY

Stand Up 2 Cancer PSA: A good use of Young Hollywood

A star-studded new PSA promoting this year’s fundraising Stand Up to Cancer telecast (Sept. 10, 8 p.m. ET, on 14 networks) is effective, both in terms of hammering home what the odds are that we will get cancer in our lifetime (1 in 2 men, 1 in 3 women), and making me feel old. There are two young stars that I did not recognize. Thank goodness I’m up on my Spider-Man 4 casting, or it would have been three. Watch the promo below. Visit standup2cancer.org for more information and to donate. READ FULL STORY

Craig Ferguson to host Shark Week!

shark-week-fergusonImage Credit: Discovery Channel; Ferguson: Frederick M. Brown/Getty ImagesCraig Ferguson’s love affair with the Discovery Channel goes beyond MythBusters. The Late Late Show host confirmed last night that he’ll be the host of Discovery’s 23rd Annual Shark Week, which kicks off August 1. “Slightly incontinent with excitement,” Ferguson wrote on Twitter yesterday, teasing the “big news” that would be revealed on-air last night (by Brian the shark puppet). Watch it below. Post-show, Ferguson added, “Watched Jaws on cable. Mistake. Hosting Shark Week now seems foolhardy. Sharks unaffected by sarcasm & self loathing. My only weapons.”

We’ve known for years that Shark Week is Ferguson’s “favorite holiday.” The sharks may be immune to his charms, but viewers will eat it up. Just imagine all the brilliant things that will come out of his mouth as he prepares to dive with Caribbean reef sharks in the Bahamas. (Discovery tells us he’ll shoot in a few weeks.) READ FULL STORY

Syfy renews 'Ghost Hunters' for seventh season

ghost-huntersImage Credit: Andrei Jackamets/SyfyEven though I can’t stand typing “Syfy” and pretending it’s a viable word, you should know that the network has renewed its flagship series Ghost Hunters for a seventh season. Twenty-five new episodes, nerds! Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson will resume their roles as the leaders of TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society). Don’t just sit around waiting for the luxurious grip of Death to massage your shoulder at dusk — call them today!

After the jump, watch a YouTube compilation of all the best evidences of ghosts caught on tape, paying close attention to the moment at 0:37 when a strategically placed floral print hotel room chair makes it seem like Grant Wilson is wearing a lovely skirt. READ FULL STORY

'The Big Bang Theory' season finale recap: Sheldon possibly finds a perfect mate, and she's Blossom

Big-Bang-Theory-finaleImage Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBSIt’s strange, fellow Big Bang theorists, but I find myself with not much to say about last night’s season finale, since pretty much everything in it that mattered occurred in the final three minutes. In short: Leonard was bummed to see Penny dating a dim bulb who thought the Big Bang boys’ experiment to bounce a laser off of the moon meant they wanted to blow it up. (Sheldon, oddly trenchant as ever, boiled down the dim bulb’s appeal thusly: “He must be very skilled at coitus.”) Howard suggested Leonard play the field himself by using a fancy online dating service, but then Raj thought it’d be better if they’d submit Sheldon to the site instead. Miraculously, they got a match. And she turned out to be Blossom. READ FULL STORY

'Iron Man': Physicists tackle the science. We're listening...

arc-reactor-technologyImage Credit: Francois DuhamelSidney Perkowitz, a professor of physics at Emory University, can break down the reality of Iron Man in five minutes, as seen in the video embedded after the jump. Were I interested in majoring in physics, I would want him to be my advisor. Things we learn:

• The idea of an “Iron Man” suit — or exoskeleton, which he describes as “a powered framework that you fit your body into that gives you enhanced endurance, or speed, or mobility or strength” — is already in the works by the U.S. Military. Discovery News has an easy-to-digest piece detailing the Top 5 of them.

• The U.S. Military has already devoted a billion dollars to developing artificial arms that are not only mechanically integrated but neurally integrated. We could use that technology to see if there’s a way to give a soldier direct neural control of his weapon. “So you might someday end up with a suit that makes you smarter, is under your direct mental control, lets you do amazing things,” Perkowitz says. “Flying, I think is maybe the hardest thing to think about. That I wouldn’t bet money on.” Wah-waaah. READ FULL STORY

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