Amusing News Aliquots

Silly samplings from this week’s science news, compiled by Bethany Halford and Lauren Wolf.

Credit: Flickr user The Sargeant of Randomness

It would take 100 million Yodas to power the world. Done the math, this guy has. [What If?]

When you work at CERN, you might be discovering the Higgs Boson or you might be dodging modern dancers who climb the library’s bookshelves. [Guardian]

Putting your best face forward: Some folks analyze pictures of academics on their homepages to see “what these pictures reveal about the way academics see themselves.” [PLoSOne via Annals of Improbable Research]

Did you know that there’s a horse fly named after Beyonce? 10 species named after celebrities. [BBC News]

In recent years gold has become all the rage in catalysis. But let’s consider the more important scientific issue: How much of the stuff can you eat? (Also, we’ve never before heard of the $666 “Douche Burger” in which lobster, caviar, truffles, and a beef patty are wrapped in six sheets of gold leaf.) [Slate]

Harvard engineers set to spray sulfate aerosols from a balloon to see whether they can reflect the sun, cool down Earth. Hmm, doesn’t this sound like a movie experiment that almost inevitably goes awry? [Guardian]

 

 

Author: Lauren Wolf

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3 Comments

  1. As amusing as “Harvard engineers set to spray sulfate aerosols from a balloon…” may be, it is in fact, incorrect.

    “Recent media claims that we have plans “… to spray thousands of tonnes of sun-reflecting chemical particles into the stratosphere…” in attempt to combat global climate change, are incorrect.

    Instead, we are addressing the growing pressure to “geo-engineer” the climate by exploring techniques to demonstrate the effects of such proposals without adding the proposed sulfate species (which are naturally occurring in the Earth’s lower stratosphere) in any amount that could possibly alter the background stratosphere.”

    http://www.seas.harvard.edu/response-to-guardian-article

  2. Thanks for clearing this up, Michael. As you note, this aliquot is more “amusing” than intended. I recommend that folks check out the New York Times article suggested in your link. It’s a good one.

  3. There is actually a horse fly named after beyonce.. NOW i’ve heard everything!