Sunday, December 28, 2008

So True

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Natural products chemistry pays off

What a ridiculous job to have.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Baggage Handling: A Mathematical Model

Spending an hour in the AUH airport yesterday trying to find my lost baggage, which is hopefully somewhere between Atlanta and Kuwait, got me thinking. Imagine every airport in the world as a node in a network, and bags as packets of information. In order to function properly this system needs to conform to a strict schedule to pass information between nodes (a bag can't make it to it's destination without catching its flight. Also information transfer in this system will freeze if each packet doesn't stay at a node for a specified delay period (in this case about an hour). Increase in the delay period at a node decreases the delay period at subsequent nodes, which is to say this system is dependent on time. This super complicated system may be modeled using discrete mathematics. I'm not sure how to throw down the equations here, but some pretty straightforward predictions can be made: Increase in delay time at one node fucks up the rest of your trip. Also, freezing the whole system is all too easy.

Good luck with your holiday travels.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

gChat Fun: Seattle Snow Lulz

manuelv19: SNOW!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Beautiful Mind is one of the coolest sites I've seen in a minute. These photos are fare more indicative of a resemblance between the brain and the universe. Now if only I could find a well designed site explicating my roomate's face's resemblance.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Oh Yeah, I Remember That Thing...

Hey, do you guys remember a few months back when some Swiss nerds turned on that big machine they built and it was supposed to figure out Science/create God/destroy the world, but then none of that happened because it broke or something? Well, they finally released some pictures of the damage (not pictured: signs of a fight between Terminators, and metal hand left behind).

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

gChat Fun - T.I.A., re: Jessica

Mike: what the fuckrica


Monday, December 8, 2008

Praise "Science Machine"

This great science-related video has been gathering fame on the internets, and for good reason. This video should be watched full screen in its HD glory. It contains the following science-related things: 

sea creatures
the solar system
and many more...

The music track is "We Carry On" by Portishead off their eerie 2008 album, "Third"

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sad Sky is Sad

If you missed that large dark object above us called the 'night sky' or failed to see one of 1000 news articles on that large object in front of you called the 'Internets', then you may be surprised to learn that Venus, Jupiter, and the Moon joined forces tonight to let you know what the Universe thinks of us here on Earth. Here is a photo of said phenomena (taken and edited for best effect by yours truly) as well as an article by some rag called 'National Geographic' or some such if you would like to learn more.

ED. NOTE: Click on the image for a larger, and much more visible version of Sad Sky.

Pleistoceine Park

It has a nice ring to it, and is now somewhat feasible, thanks to the completion of the woolly mammoth genome mapping. The gist: Woolly mammoth DNA will be implanted into an African Elephant embryo, and a full gestation period later, out pops a woolly mammoth. Praise Science!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Science Bangers, Part 3

Underground nerd-rap operative Chris has brought this to our attention:

Although not as sciency as the other raps we have posted, this track is definitely a banger, with the tightest production and rapping by far. Peep it and be sure to STACK THAT MEMORY TO THE SKY.

(hit that 'Science Crunk' tag below to see the others, if you haven't already)

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Hello bloggers. If someone mentions the word tryptophan today as being the chemical in turkey that makes you sleepy. give them a courtesy card. L-tryptophan is indeed a precursor to serotonin, which is a regulatory neurotransmitter that may cause drowsiness. EXCEPT, there's way more tryptophan in eggs and soybeans among other foods. Get real turkey! So this thanksgiving, correct your family members with a scoff on me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A New Hypothesis:

It can (and should) be proven empirically that Praise Science writers comment on Praise Science blog posts with greater frequency and volume than Praise Science readers. (Ed. note: further studies to identify the root cause of this phenomena have yet to allocate funding.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Science Poem

Praise Science Praises a Woman through a Poor Attempt at Poetry

Dear woman, you are made from beauty
because you are made from science.
For instance, your hair, a culmination of cascading light
from our yolk-sun, falls onto your accretion disks
like a proto-planet sunset. The mass and density
of your accretion disks logically suggests that gravity
and angular momentum, indeed all the laws of
physics, have cohered into the creation of
you, the equation of my desire.

Oh woman, let me know you like I know science.
Let my sine wave of passion crash against
Your primordial shore, first from above,
Then from below, and then from above,
Endlessly, like the first ocean ravaged Pangaea.
Oh woman, let me show you how the original eruption,
heart blood of a volcanic earth, spun molecules
into the shape and curve of a tectonic rift.
Let me teach you the hypotheses and postulates
of a love that can exist beyond theory. Let me add
you to the derivative of me then take the
anti-derivative eternally fusing us into a singular entity,
perhaps using a trigonometric substitution for your father.
Let me teach you the boundless volume
of my passion through the Einsteinian conception
of space and time.

Alas dear woman, we do not have forever. But in each moment
we are together the graph of our love can take
a j-curve towards infinity before we ever reach life’s limit.
Dear woman, let us prove our love exists and live a life
praising science together.

Monday, November 24, 2008

10th birthday of the International Space Station

I wrote a report on the ISS in 5th grade, before it had even begun to be built. Now it is ten years old. Congratulations to manned space exploration, let's hope it continues on to the cosmos.

Pictures from the ISS

Friday, November 21, 2008

Lol. Quantum Physics. Lol.

It actually sounds like a real experiment.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Who's the tool now, bitches?

NASA just isn't on point like they used to be. Don't get me wrong, we love NASA here at PS, but seriously guys, FIGURE IT OUT! Go back to the Moon or make some more sweet telescopes, but don't keep blowing it! Here is the latest stupid thing that happened in orbit: Some astronauts, while space walking, lost a tool bag which NASA estimated was worth $100,000. And by lost, I mean let float away into the inky void (or more likely into its fiery doom as gravity coerced it back to Earth). The astronauts swear that they will not lose the one remaining tool bag aboard the ISS. Whatever, dudes.

And while we are talking about losing crap in space, here is another dumb thing: they lost a spider. It must be ARACHNOBOT!!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Feds Bust Spam Overlord ISP; In Unrelated News, Pleas For Sex From Horny 18 Year Old Virgins Troublingly Disappear From America's Inboxes

After receiving information gathered during an investigation conducted by the group of B.A. Internet commandos at the Washington Post Security Fix blog, the Feds have shut down a renegade ISP called McColo, which apparently is responsible for routing up to 75% of all spam sent out globally! McColo also hosted numerous child porn distribution sites as well as tons of other vile crap that makes the Internet the most wretched hive of scum and villainy this side of Mos Eisley Cantina.

Almost immediately after the closure, spam traffic across the web plummeted:

I see what you did there.

Although this seems like a great victory in the war on Spam, it is most likely only symbolic at best. As long as the Internet remains a relatively free and unregulated space (which it should), spammers and scammers will find a way to keep doing what they are doing. Still, it is nice to see the government actually action against this sort of exploitative filth.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cool Nature Resemblances

Isn't that neat? Mice neurons in vitro look like a simulated picture of the universe.
I've taken the liberty of posting a couple more neat nature likenesses I've found. Post some if you have any.

The Grand Teton looks, not like tits as lonely, horny french explorers would have you believe, but prehistoric shark teeth.

Also my roommate's face looks like a butt.

The similarities are everywhere look around. Praise science!

Monday, November 10, 2008

RIP Mars lander Phoenix

The Mars lander Phoenix, which has been shralping the Arctic plains since May, has sent its final transmission. The New York Times describes the machine's spacedust-addled final moments as a harrowing ordeal similar to me trying to use my iPod this morning:

The spacecraft first put itself into a low-energy “safe mode,” then fell silent. It revived itself on Oct. 30, but, with the dust still swirling, was never able to fully recharge its batteries. Each day, the solar panels would generate enough electricity for the spacecraft to wake up, but then the batteries drained again.
The Phoenix mission was a success for NASA. It confirmed the presence of ice on the surface of the planet, tested the soil, and took thousands of photos. It was expected to only last for 3 months but was extended twice. It also made a twitter account and posted 605 updates (the last few are posthumous) which gathered 38,000 followers.

There's a really slim chance that Phoenix will be reincarnated as Zombie Phoenix if it's electronics survive being encased in Martian ice for several months. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Praise Science!

Way to save science everybody! I for one really appreciate it.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Oh There is an Election or Something Happening.

Praise Science's endorsement for the 2008 Election

Wha??! There is an election tomorrow? We had no idea! HAHA JUST KIDDING, it's impossible to look at a single Internet these days without being stabbed in the eye by at least a hundred ALL CAPS comments from semi-literate AOL users re: B. HUSSEIN NOBAMA or having your soul swept away by the torrent of stories about evil cyborg voting machines that feed on poor people's ballots and are hellbent on taking over America/humanity in general. Anyways, here's some Science stuff related to this whole unfortunate disaster:

A couple of U.S. astronauts aboard the ISS get to send their votes across the dark void to participate in what used to be a completely earthbound activity. That is neat. Too bad no President will ever again have the balls to give NASA the funding it needs to actually accomplish anything greater than what it already did in the 60s/70s. That is unless one of these tickets runs next election.

Also, one thousand liberal Internet "news magazines", such as 'Slate', think that this gal from Alaska, Sarah Palin, will wage Christian anti-Jihad against Science, forever, if elected. That would make godless bloggers like us very sad.

Ugh, is anyone else ready for this nonsense to be over?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Don't Fear the Reaper

Godzilla does not fear the reaper. You should not either.

Okay, so Halloween may not be the most Scientific of holidays (are any holidays that Scientific, really?), but we still love it. We hope all of you people have some wicked fun plans and costumes. I can personally assure you that at least one PS editor is going to be blacking the fuck out experimenting with time travel this evening.

In the meantime, here is a scary Halloween tale of how the zombie apocalypse was narrowly averted (postponed?) once upon a time in 1994. It goes something like this: A barely alive Gloria Ramirez shambles into an emergency room in Riverside, CA with an extremely low heart rate and advanced breakdown of numerous internal systems. Nurses and doctors on the scene report strange smells emanating from Ramirez' body as well as a strange oily sheen upon her skin. Upon drawing blood, a nurse sees strange particles floating in the syringe, takes a smell, and faints. No one is quite sure what happened after this, other than the fact that multiple others lost consciousness and the ER was evacuated and sealed. 45 minutes later, Ramirez was reported dead from kidney failure related to cervical cancer, but its more likely that she succumbed after taking a shotgun blast to the face or being decapitated by an axe at the hands of a courageous-doctor-turned-zombie-slayer who first had to reconcile his solemn oath to protect life with his overwhelming desire to survive. No conclusive scientific explanation was ever reached to explain the events that transpired upon this grim February night. It was speculated that Ramirez had been ingesting dimethyl sulfoxide, a dangerous solvent, which had reacted to create toxic fumes within her body. In our professional opinion, this is a cut-and-dry case of TOXIC ZOMBIE BLOOD. Close call. If this crisis hadn't been averted, there is a very good chance that we would all be dressing up as zombies this Halloween, and every other day, forever.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Birthdays in Technology: Sega Genesis, or A Children's Treasury of Sonic the Hedgehog Cakes

Dudes, today the Sega Genesis turns 20 years old! This is news to me, I always thought it came out in the early 90s. Anyways, HAPPY BIRTHDAY SEGA! Now here are some Sonic the Hedgehog cakes for you to look at:

(not Sonic, I know, but FUCK, I wish someone made this for me when i was a kid)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Internets R Gr8.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tape Mother*%@*ers

Scotch tape once again proves its supremacy over all other tapes. Not only can it hold my jackets together, but it can also produce enough x-ray energy to melt yours eyes inside your skull. I envision wild military applications for this new discovery. "Thats no moon, its a huge fucking roll of tape!"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

BRAIN BALL (*not as serious as it sounds)

Primary contender for the World Heavyweight Brain Ball Championship Title

If I know anything about our readership, it's that A) they are amongst the greatest scientific minds of the past 300 years, and, perhaps even more importantly, B) they can all sling a wicked game of beer pong. Bearing that in mind, I would like to introduce to you the magnificent sport know as Brain Ball!

Unlike Beer Pong, which is a game based mostly upon skill, instinct, bravado, and alcohol tolerance, Brain Ball delves deeper and looks instead towards the subconscious. Two players face off against each wired to the teeth with electrodes! Whereas pong players rely on bounces, double shots, and Bat Strength, Brain Ball players must instead clear their minds and focus upon the void; the player whose brainwaves are calmer sends the ball towards their opponent's end of the table and thereby to victory!

Good thing that the caliber of Pong player that reads this blog is capable of drinking themselves into a flat-scan brain pattern on any given night!!! I wonder what would happen in a game of Brain Ball if both players were so drunk that both had the brain patterns of coma patients? HAHAHA JUST KIDDING how was any game of Beer Pong that occurred at the Blue Railing after 10 PM ever any different than this description? Anyways, Brain Ball sounds pretty bitchin'. But it also sounds a lot more expensive than three 30 packs and a plywood Pong table...

gChat Fun: Where Does the Time Go?

me: i've been slacking on my p.s.
october might be the slowest month ever, in that respect!

me: actually, i won't allow that to happen
i'll try to post something tonight

Elliot: man, It's gone by so fast

fuck i know

probably number of posts on p.s. is inversely related to perceptual speed of the month.

Elliot's Law of Inverse Temporal Blogging

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Science Conference is Not Democratic, or We Are So Smart S-M-R-T

I awoke this morning from beautiful dreams of ligand-gated ion channels and protein synthesis and crawled over two nude females to grab my iPod touch to check my email. Here's what I found:

"Dear Brainpiece,

Here are the links to tune in and watch streaming video of the Innovation 2008 conference this Monday and Tuesday:

The link for Monday is:

The link for Tuesday is:

You can also chat as part of this feature. We only have 200 online seats reserved, so if busy, try again shortly."

Nobody better better check these links because I want to watch this shit, and there's no way that the meager 200 online seats won't be taken up immediately. I find it reassuring to know that science politics does its part in edifying the ivory tower. For all you concerned plebes out there, however, I'd give you a courtesy card, and say, "There there, you probably wouldn't understand what a group of scientists has tried to make mainstream for the past 20 months anyway," but its clear that even courtesy cards are really too good for you. Go read a book.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Australian oceans teeming with molluscs, seamounts

Our alligator-wrestling, vegemite-eating scientist comrades in Australia announced the discovery of 274 new species of sea creatures and 80 new seamounts, or undersea mountains, in waters off the coast of Australia.

"The richness of mollusc fauna found – such as snails, squid and octopus-type creatures – has been described by marine scientists as ‘astounding’ and requiring a complete rewrite of textbooks for this type of fauna."
Re-enactment of "A possible new species of Plesionika shrimp" being discovered

More pics and complete story

Monday, October 6, 2008

In Space, Nobody Can Hear You Puke

Don't... touch me... I'm not... spinning...

There's a reason most of my posts are about Space: because it's fucking awesome. So imagine if you were in Space, on the ISS, or some sort of other equally dilapidated Chinese camper-trailer that they managed to get up there with a bunch of fireworks - what would make it more awesome? This Russian cosmonaut with a badass name - Salizhan Sharipov - has already answered this question for you! After 4 years of contemplation aboard the ISS (lol wut? they let people stay up there for 4 years?) he has come to an ingenious conclusion and has publicly stated that astronauts need booze in space in order to "improve our work, to better cope with the psychological stress". HAHAHA Yeah right dude, nice try, that's what I told the RD of my dorm freshman year. If you want to party in space, just come right out and say it, we were all thinking the same thing anyways. And for the record, Praise Science lends the full weight of its reknowned reputation and expert opinion in favor of this cause.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Praise Science Primer in Surviving the Coming Post-Depression Apocalypse!

It is not only humans that will suffer in the coming hard times

Hey guys, I don't know if you've been reading any non-Science related news lately, but the economy is pretty much collapsing beneath us and all the politicians and economists and people with retirement funds are like totally shitting their pants because they have no idea what is going on or what is going to happen tomorrow/in a week/in a year. So basically, fellow Praisers of Science, what that means is that before we know it, we could be in the midst of a (hopefully zombie) apocalypse. What are you going to do to ensure your survival? Here are some helpful tips that might give you the Scientific advantage you need:

1) Get one of these:Combat-Survival Prius; 'nuff said.

2) Get as much guns and ammo as you can, because face it, we all know that God ain't coming to save you.

3) Get as many solar panels/wind turbines as you can, because face it, we all know that God ain't gonna keep that Counter Strike server running.

4) Use your 401k (psh like any of you have one), before Wall Street fat cats completely destroy the retirement funds of middle class America, to invest in a Svalbard Global Seed Vault to ensure that our ancestors will be able to re-create the bio-diversity of Earth after the Dark Ages that are sure to come.

5) Invest in a homebrew beer laboratory. This segment of chemistry is perhaps the most vital to humans, plus if you are able to become a post-apocalypse Beer Impresario, you will be the richest, sexiest, most powerful human in the inevitable doomscape of the coming future.

Ummmm... beer, video games, food.... what else is there really? Let us know in the comments if you have any other pertinent suggestions. Anyways, take these words to heart PS readers... we wish you luck, and maybe we'll see you at the 2020 Praise Science Post-Apocalypse Reader/Zombie Meetup Extravaganza!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ski Season Begins Early... on Mars.

Artist's rendition of me, starting today.

Pheonix, the little lander that could, has detected snow falling on Mars. Is this water-based snow or what? I don't know; who cares; It's snowing on fucking Mars, the home of the biggest mountain in the entire solar system, Olympus Mons!!!!!!!! I know this might disappoint you all, but I'm quitting my job as a full time JetMan to pursue another career: Inter-Planetary Shralping.

Friday, September 26, 2008

You Wish This Was You.

Yves Rossy - aka Fusionman - successfully crossed the English channel from Calais to Dover. Using a JETPACK.
Yeah, that's a picture of him, doing his thing. By the way, this is my last Praise Science post ever. I'm quitting the Internet to devote my life to becoming a full time JetMan. Thanks for everything devoted readers!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

You Down With LHC?

Science rap seems to be the new hot ish on the tubes lately. Here's another one dealing with the inner workings of the Large Hadron Collider, complete with some fly CERN dancing girls:

If you haven't seen it yet, check out the banger astrobiology rap we just posted by up-and-coming Sci-rapper, Oort Kuiper.

Yeah You Know Me

"Study life on earth, then your doing biology, study life in space, it's called Astrobiology."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Calderas: Natures Depressions.

Hi Pete, Mike and Jessica Everybody! In case you didn't know, (consider this a Geological courtesy card) calderas exist. A caldera, as defined by is a geographical depression due to either a volcano, or other situational, or perceptual factors. Yellowstone National Park is probably the most real caldera of all time, being that it's at the center of three overlapping geographical calderas, and, in retrospect, at the epicenter of one of the most depressing vacations I've been on in a long time. If you're reading this and thinking, "Oh, you mean a crater," you really need a courtesy card. Calderas arise (or depress, rather) from collapsed land after a volcanic eruption, or collapsed spirits from depressing trips. Craters are made by explosions. On the positive, calderas are generally dormant with a few dramatic outbursts, such as old faithful, or me a couple of weekends ago.

Probably the most geologically famous caldera is Santorini, Greece. Check out a live view of the Santorini Caldera

Decide for Yourself

The California Academy of Sciences opens on Saturday. Check it out and let praise science know if you agree with the architectural review.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Science Tattoos


Not cool:

Monday, September 22, 2008

Colliding Planets: No Big Deal.


Researchers reported on Friday that clouds of space dust floating around a binary star in the constellation Aries imply that two earth-like planets collided in that mature solar system. These equator bonkers were probably the closest (300 light years away) earth-like digs in our galaxy. How two planets collide in such an environment, and why it hasn't happened in our solar system are two excellent questions that should be addressed by powerman 5000 immediately.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pretty pictures of brains.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Today is An Important Date in E-History...

... because 26 years ago to the day, Carnegie Mellon professor Scott E. Fahlman was the first person ever to post ':-)' on an online message board. Technically though, the concept was first put into use in 1881 by none other than Ambrose Bierce using hand-set type to write ' \_/ ' which he referred to as a 'snigger point'. That never really caught on, did it?

Hey Guys Another Science Conference!

Well, we've managed to address the problem of lack of dialogue on scientific issues among presidential candidates throughout the American idol fest presidential campaigns the way scientists usually do, with a conference. Wah woh. We couldn't get an actual debate on some of the pressing issues facing humanity and our planet, but who cares, we're having a conference! You can read the two parties' candidates' responses to the 14 biggest questions in science here. This is not only well worth reading as a means to inform political decision, but is also pretty damn hilarious. See if you can tell which candidate actually addresses the questions.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Some theme songs for research in auditory neuroprosthetics.

Souls of Mischief w/ Del tha Funkee Homosapien- Soundscience

"I speak maths [sic]"

Deltron 3030 - Upgrade

"Upgrade your gray matter,
because one day it may matter."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Are you likely to be good at math?

An article in this month's Nature correlates our ability to discriminate quantities, as we do in picking short supermarket lines and finding good restaurants in foreign places, to more abstract mathematical ability. No wonder I'm so good at finding short lines. Take the test to determine whether you have a likely predilection for mathematical ability. If you don't do so well, here's a courtesy card.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Zebrafish Brain

Friday, September 12, 2008

For Kyle

Serious... serious research.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Special Commemorative 9/11 Post, Limited Quantity Available!!!

Seven years ago today, the bad men put the planes into the buildings and now we are at war, forever. In memory of said day, we bring to you this special 9/11 themed Praise Science report:

Remember how the fires caused by the exploding planes weakened the steel superstructures of the Twin Towers to the point where they collapsed? Physicists that aren't really very optimistic about cold fusion ever working out and focus on the more practical "hot" fusion believe that studying the way the WTC steel reacted in a superheated environment can give them insight into building new fusion reactors. Apparently the temperatures inside a fusion reactor are close to those reached within the burning skyscrapers. They want to use this data to figure out how to make stronger, better and faster steel, which will hopefully lead to safer and more efficient fusion technology

Take that terr'ists!! Before you know it, you'll be facing fusion-powered mobile plasma artillery platforms AND IT WILL TOTALLY BE YOUR FAULT!!!! AMERICA 4EVAR!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ask Praise Science!!!

My new roommate Mike asks: "What would happen if one were to be hit with a beam of protons travelling at nearly the speed of light?"


If you are one of those people who keeps asking themselves "I wonder if the Large Hadron Collider has destroyed the world yet?", you can use the following website to check:

It's 8:31 AM PST and the World Hasn't Collapsed Into a Mini-Black hole... Yet...

In the event of Scientific disaster, don't forget to bring your crowbar.

6 hours and 54 minutes ago, Scientists at CERN near Geneva flipped the power on for the Large Hadron Collider, which we previously identified as the most metal (the music, not the substance, although there is probably a lot of that in it too) Science experiment EVAR, and so far so good. Some stupid people were predicting that by messing around with elementary particles and shooting them at each other faster than we ever had before, we were going to generate mini-black holes or some such, which would grow and end up destroying Earth. Other REAL Scientists have explained multiple times in multiple ways why this isn't going to happen. Although we are glad to hear that we aren't going to die in a black hole any time soon, we are secretly a little bummed that we aren't going to die in a black hole any time soon. So to make up for it, we've thought up some other 'likely' doomsday situations that may arise from the activation of the LHC:
  • Due to an unfortunate workplace accident, a scientist is knocked into the particle beam and is imbued with some sort of awesome super power. He will use his powers to bring about a New World Order ruled by the Iron Fist of Science (this one actually doesn't sound too bad).
  • The LHC will cause a resonance cascade which will tear space-time, allowing aliens from an alternate plane of reality bent on inter-dimensional domination to enter our world. Survivors, armed only with crowbars, will spend the rest of their lives battling head-crabs and will develop a religion that worships a man named Gordon Freeman.
  • The LHC will fail to achieve any of its Scientific goals, leading to worldwide cuts in Science funding. Scientists, no longer able to support themselves, will quickly die off, and all technical and scientific knowledge gained in the last 100 years will be lost. John McCain will win the election and die of a heart attack or stroke or something as soon as he takes office because he is old and Sarah Palin will become the President. The redneck/snowbilly sensibilities of her native Alaska will fill the void left by Science sparking a chain reaction of unfortunate but predictable events that will ultimately lead to the extinction of the human race in 50 years.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Most Metal Experiment Ever

In what will surely prove to be one of the most metal science experiments in the history of man, the search for the Higgs boson, known as the "God particle," will commence on Wednesday. That's right, deep below the mountains of Switzerland, two beams of protons will travel through seventeen mile long tubes colder and emptier than outer space at nearly the speed of light. And Wednesday's experiments won't even be at full power. You might be thinking, " That's pretty fucking metal, but what about Stanford prison studies, Harry Harlow, and Stanley Milgram?" Well not only are the methods dark and brutal in the Large Hadron Collider, but the analysis and results are too. For the scientists out there, these experiments will generate upwards of 15 petabytes of data (brutal for those who have to analyze it), and the publication of that data will have hundreds of authors (metal). Furthermetal, Some skeptics claim that these experiments will create mini black holes that could eventually doom the earth. That's fucking Brutal.

Check out the inevitable site for the recording of Dethklok's next album; CERN's LHC

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fly Me To the Moon

Holy shit, it's been a like 1000 blog years since we posted anything for your Scientific pleasure. So, here is something awesome: You know the International Space Station? Why don't we put an engine and a cockpit on that motherfucker and send it to the Moon! After all, what is it currently other than a glorified hundred billion dollar camper trailer cruising in low earth orbit? Okay, okay, they do some Science there too. But its basically the exact same Science that the Russians have been doing in other various space stations for the past 30 years.

Don't get us wrong, we love NASA, but you have to admit that their current project to get to the Moon by 2020, Orion, seems a little lackluster considering that we've already fucking done it a bunch of times in the 60s/70s and it only took us like 8 years then to get from basically the drawing board to a man walking on the moon.

Who even knows what is going to happen to the ISS after the Space Shuttle fleet (if you can call 2 remaining shuttles a fleet) is retired in a few years, especially since the Russians might not let us use their Soyuz vehicles anymore if we don't play nice with them. Indeed, sending the ISS to the Moon asap would not only be politically, economically, and scientifically efficient, but it would also be pretty much the fucking coolest thing NASA has ever done. Except for going to the Moon the first time, that is.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Magnetic Storms: Our Secret Weapon Against the Middle East

Just kidding guys, it's only the northern lights. "As they capture and store energy from the solar wind, the Earth's magnetic field lines stretch far out into space. Magnetic reconnection releases the energy stored within these stretched magnetic field lines, flinging charged particles back toward the Earth's atmosphere," said David Sibeck, THEMIS project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Photo Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pour Some Out.

In Asia, more than 70 percent of primates are classified on the IUCN Red List as Vulnerable, Endangered or Critically Endangered. In both Vietnam and Cambodia, approximately 90 percent of primate species are considered at risk of extinction. In Africa, 11 of the 13 kinds of red colobus monkeys assessed were listed as Critically Endangered or Endangered. Two may already be extinct: Bouvier’s red colobus (Procolobus pennantii bouvieri) has not been seen in 25 years, and no living Miss Waldron’s red colobus (Procolobus badius waldroni) has been seen by a primatologist since 1978. These little guys aren't going to make it.

Forest destruction and hunting, often for bushmeat, are the two main sources of peril for our primate relatives. It's bad enough that we have to be THAT species, but eating our own cousins could be described as uncool. In all seriousness though, I don't think people realize what kind of important role nonhuman primates have in promoting the survival of an integral ecosystem. For starters, they'll eat about anything, which means there isn't a more efficient local seed dispersal system out there. These little tree-hugging friends are helping save the planet and we're eating them. Seriously lame.

Do something!

I has no chance.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Harry Potter cloak one step closer to reality

I know that we all here at Praise Science look up to Harry Potter as both a hero of science and of 'cool', now we're one step closer to seeing his magic invisibility cloak a matter of science-fact. Researchers at some smart school in California have developed a material using nano particles one billionth of a meter wide that bends light around an object, so that only the light from behind the object is seen. Not quite invisibility, but it would be basically the same thing to our eyes (even the great HP's cloak shows little ripples when he walks). Previous work in this area has been accomplished bending light at the microwave wavelength, but this new work bends light at the frequencies used by telecommunications companies, which are substantially closer to the visible spectrum, which makes this new breakthrough so exciting. It's just a matter of time, HP we're coming for you.

Friday, August 8, 2008

World's Tiniest Drunk. (That's what she said)

It turns out the PNAS is good for more than academic ego pumping. the journal recently published an article from The University of Beyreuth in Germany about the Pen-Tailed Tree Shrew, an animal that could best even Bulltrout in a game of flip-fern. Or fern-pong. Or fern's cup. Not to mention Never Have I Ever. These miniscule malaysians drink fermented palm wine all night long from the bertram palm...without getting visibly intoxicated. Badasses. There is some genetic link to Bulltrout however, as these shrews are distant relatives of homo sapiens sapiens. This discovery raises all sorts of scientific questions, such as: Is that why Bulltrout has so much game after drinking mead all night? and, how messed up does a tree shrew have to be to sleep with a tree shrew that's not in olfactorily perceptible estrus? Implications for translational research also exist: what if the cop that just pulled you over for a headlight violation couldn't tell you had been taking apple pie shots at the gay bar all night (John Berggren)? I guess it's up to all you science praisers out there to harness the power of the shrew. Good luck.

We Suck

Three quick things:

1) Sorry for not posting in a long time. We are lame bloggers and definitely would have to drop blogging for the quarter if it were a class we were actually paying to take. But its the Internet so we can be as lazy as we want with no real consequences.

2) Welcome Elliot aboard as a new PS writer. He is an actual scientist and will be writing about real science that he is doing!!!

3) The Olympics start today. Keep a weather eye out for the inevitable shitstorm that approacheth.

And as always, PRAISE SCIENCE!!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I think I can see my house from here

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Beijing Olympic Games aka ShitStorm 2008

Everyone loves the Olympics. For two weeks every other year, the world's fastest, strongest, and most skilled do their thing and impress us all/make us all feel disgusted at ourselves for being such out of shape slobs. I am probably more excited for the upcoming Beijing Summer Games than I have been for any other Olympics, but not because of the feats of athletic prowess that may (or may not) occur. No, dear readers. Instead I am eagerly anticipating how much of a fucking disaster it is likely going to be. This Olympic Games has the potential to go down in history as one of the most fucked up, if not the most fucked up ever. Below, I shall list a sampling the reasons why the International Olympics Committee is going to be pissing their pants come 8-8-08:

  • Drought! China already uses pretty much all of the water from the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers as well as many other water sources to (not really) provide enough water for its cities. Will the increased demand for water during the Games lead to disaster? It's a good bet.
  • Ter'rists! Between al-Qaida, Muslim extremists in Mongolia, and Tibetan activists, somebody is sure to try to kidnap someone/blow something up. China is not fucking around with their security. Be prepared for either an act of terror or an extreme (and probably lethal) crackdown on protestors by over-zealous police forces.
  • Weather Control! (Aha! Here's some Science!) Not since the Weather Dominator exploded in Cobra Headquarters has a weather control experiment had the potential to go so wrong. In a highly publicized attempt to prevent rain during the Games, China is using the controversial technique known as cloud seeding (which nobody is sure even really works). BONUS!!! China has some of the best smog and air pollution in the world. I'll do the math for you: The world's best athletes + the world's worst air = EPIC FAIL!!!
  • China's Media Paranoia! Although things are not as bad as they used to be, China is still a communist state, and thus is a huge control freak when it comes to free flow of information. NBC has a $1.5 billion exclusive contract for coverage of the Games, but even they are having issues figuring out how the hell they are going to pull this off. When you turn on the teevee to see the Olympics will anything happen? When someone breaks a world record in Beijing, does it make a sound?
Science, I cannot wait!!!!!! It's not that I hate the Olympics. I just can't turn my eyes away from the planet sized trainwreck that is probably going to occur. Do you blame me?

On a related note, here is an interesting article from the best sci-fi blog on the tubes,, entitled "Five Ways Technology has Changed the Olympics". Enjoy!

Monday, July 21, 2008

39 Years Ago Today...

... mankind first stepped foot on the moon. So sit down for a moment and consider this most inspiring and technologically challenging feat accomplished by your fellow man. What would the world be like today, 39 years later, if we hadn't busted our asses (with a little Soviet encouragement), and done some Science that is truly worthy of Praise...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

You Probably Shouldn't Ever Say Anything Over the Phone Again...

Yesterday, the Democratic-majority United States Senate (which shall henceforth be known as the Super Awesome Patriots for Liberty and Constitutionality Senate FOREVAR!!!!!!11) passed the controversial FISA bill, which will expand Federal wiretapping powers (read: no warrants required) and grant retroactive immunity to telecom companies that participated in illegal wiretapping under orders from the Bush Administration.

We here at PS try not to dilute our Science with too much politics, but this law definitely affects those of us who value the free transfer of information and communication, be it over phones or the Internet or whatever. I personally am horrified that so many Democratic Senators (aka spineless coward bitches), including one particularly hope-infused Senator, voted in favor of this unconstitutional bullshit while George Bush cackles maniacally in the background.

My advice to anyone scared of being snooped on? Pull a Gene Hackman, a la Enemy of the State, and surround your private quarters in a giant mesh Faraday Cage. Even if it won't block direct wiretaps set up by service providers, it still would be really cool.

"I told you they were listening."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ask the Science Times!

It appears that the New York Times has been stealing ideas from Praise Science (we wish) ! Through July 11th (I know, that's only like 2 more days), you can send in your Science related questions to be answered (in a very "Ask Praise Science!" like fashion) by writer Dennis Overbye, who seems to be a very intelligent and funny guy. The page containing all published questions and answers to date is here. You can send all of your questions to Or you can just send them to if you don't want to be a giant douche bag.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Praise Science Call to Action: Save Arecibo!!!!

The Arecibo Observatory (aka Earth's largest radio telescope) is being threatened by Alec Trevelyan and the Goldeneye Satellite by massive budget cuts that will shut down most of its operations, including collecting interstellar radio transmissions analyzed by the SETI@home project, which we mentioned here oh so long ago.

The Arecibo Observatory is an amazing feat of Science and stands today as an incredibly inspiring and functional monument of human daring and ingenuity. It signifies our collective voice shouting into the heavens and our collective ear turned to the stars. Cutting funding, shutting down operations, and dismantling it would be not only a shameful admittance of defeat, but also a step backwards as a species.

I find this news slightly heartbreaking, and since you're reading this blog, I assume that you do too. If you are heartbroken enough to want to do something about it, you can go here and print out a letter to send to your congressmen expressing your concern. You can also email if you are too lazy/cheap to send a letter (although legislators are more likely listen if you do send snail mail). So, as a community of Science loving people, perhaps we do a little something to help make a slight difference in the struggle to save Arecibo.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Researchers at the University of Washington pwn the RIAA

Researchers of the University of Washington's Computer Science Department have successfully framed a network printer as a culprit of Internet piracy, demonstrating how rather pathetic the tactics of the RIAA/MPAA really are. A DMCA take-down notice was even sent to the university naming the printer as a copyright infringer.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

NASA's Hyperwall is King of All Displays

Over at NASA, they have created the largest, fastest, and sexiest display in the world, aptly named Hyperwall 2. The 23' by 10' Hyperwall consists of 128 high definition displays driven by 128 graphics processing units with a total of 1024 processor cores. Hit the link for some more computery specs.

Although we know Hyperwall is used for important Space stuff, every gamer in the world can't help but imagine using it to achieve 250,000,000 pixel h34dsh0t perfection.

Hmmmmm... I wonder what happened to Hyperwall 1... You know, that sure would look good in Praise Science's Ivory Tower...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Bill Gates Leaves Role as Chief Software Architect

Today is the last day billg will be working full time at the company he founded, Microsoft. Next week he will begin full time work at The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, while still spending one day a week at Microsoft working on various projects of interest (read: touch computing).

Gates dropped out of Harvard in 1975 to develop a BASIC interpreter for the Altar 8800. Then, proving that college degrees are for suckers, he created the largest software corporation in the world, becoming one of the richest people in the world in the process. Regardless of your personal feelings towards Microsoft products, it is undeniable that the computing experience you have today, regardless of platform, was significantly shaped by William Henry Gates III.

Gates remains Chairman of Microsoft, and day to day operation is left in the hands of CEO Steve Ballmer. Gates current role as Chief Software Architect at Microsoft goes to Ray Ozzie.

PS: A little know fact I discovered on the Wikipedia entry for billg. Bill wrote the class selection algorithm for his high school, adding an extra feature, "so that he was placed in classes with mostly female students". GG Bill.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Chrysler Fulfills My Wildest Fantasy, Ensures Future Draconian Anti-Internet-While-Driving Legislation

Not even wireless Internet will make your Chrysler cool.

In an attempt to make up for their recent history of dismal financial returns and propensity for manufacturing undesirable cars, Chrysler has announced that it will offer a wireless internet option for all of its 2009 models. To all you bastard legislators who think I am too uncoordinated to talk on my cell phone while driving, I say SUCK IT! Too bad none of your dumb laws say anything about streaming porn diligently updating this blog and doing other Tube-related activities while driving!!!

But seriously, who does Chrysler think they are kidding? I probably still wouldn't buy one even if drivers seat doubled as a toilet and the trunk was full of gold bullion.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nasa image of the day

Snoflake cluster and the Crone Nebula. Praise Science

Monday, June 23, 2008

Happy Solstice!

Unless you were inside all day constantly checking PS for new updates (which sadly never came), you probably already knew that Saturday was the Summer Solstice and longest day of the year. If you're interested in the astrophysical details and history, the Wikipedia entry for 'summer solstice' is here.

I celebrated the Solstice by floating the Owens River in an inner tube and drinking 100 beers. The Sun performed spectacularly on its big day and destroyed all approaching thunder clouds as they descended from the mountains, allowing me to fully bask in all of its glory. Did anyone else do anything fun/special to celebrate this most illuminated of all days?

If you are thinking "DOOD, THE SULTIS IS JUST A DUM PAGGEN WICKA ORGY SACRISHUL BS RELIJUS THING", I say fuck y'all. Many important and impressive neolithic/pre-columbian/etc. Scientific achievements revolved around the Solstice and its historical religous/ceremonial significance. Some major examples of this include Stonehenge and Mayan systems of astronomy and math. So if you are the kind of person who Praises Science, the Solstice is definitely a day worthy of sharing some of this praise.

Friday, June 20, 2008

X-Prize to the moon

While the Brits are dooming us all with the launch of skynet. Google is in the mix to give away 20 million dollars to the first team to reach the moon, travel 500 meters, and send pictures back to earth by 2012. This is the latest X-Prize which follows competitions for the first space vehicle (won by Richard Branson and Virgin Records), a super efficient vehicle, and an ability to map 100 genomes in less than 10 days for a future of personalized medicine. Innovation through competition. Capitolism ho!


A multi-million dollar breath of relief was released today when the Phoenix Mars Lander announced via "tweet" that the 'white patches' that it had previously uncovered had sublimated over a relatively brief period of time, confirming the existence of water ice on the Red Planet, Mars.
The above .gif, via Wired (via NASA, via the void of Space, via a little robot somewhere on Mars), has officially made us hard for Mars once again.

Editor's Note: As if our hard-on for Mars ever went away.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Immensity of Space

If you're like me and occasionally have difficulty grappling with the vast expanse of our universe, then the 10816 x 7679 image of the Coma Cluster won't help you at all. The picture contains hundreds of galaxies, each containing billions of stars, which just blows my mind.

Make sure your browser of choice doesn't try to rob you of the experience by shrinking the image, you should have to scroll across the screen multiple times to see it all. And the picture is 125Mb so it may take some time to load.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The British, With No Sense of Irony, Have Doomed Us All!

Editor's Note: This is not spoof news from the Onion. It is somehow, unfortunately real.

England (aka the country where no one has seen any of the Terminator movies) has successfully completed a new, highly advanced communication network with the recent launch of its final satellite. This network, which will play a large role in British global military communication and will allow commands to be issued to robotic military vehicles from basically anywhere, has been named, I shit you not, Skynet. O, what hath Science wrought??? *insert obligatory John Connor reference here*

The Badassery of Dr. Robert Ballard Continues!

I'm Dr. Robert Ballard, and I say Chuck Norris is a Pussy. Yes, you can tell him I said so.

After taking a break from winning the Cold War and finding various lost undersea wrecks in his spare time, Dr. Robert Ballard has decided to continue making the oceans of the world his bitch! In the latest chapter of the Encyclopedia Badassica (aka Ballard's biography), he has been enlisted to locate the sunken sarcophagus of the mighty Egyptian Pharaoh Menkaure. The sarcophagus was lost over 170 years ago, when the ship bearing it from Egypt to England sunk off the coast of Spain. There is more adventure and daring in these past couple of sentences than in the entire new Indiana Jones movie. Hello, Hollywood? Why haven't you made a movie about the life and times of Dr. Robert Ballard yet?