science

Spices that kill

Article: Spices that kill

Killer spices: Rosemary, Mint, and Thyme

If you like to cook, or just enjoy a good meal, than you’re probably a fan of spices such as rosemary, thyme, clove, and mint. Turns out these seasonings can be deadly… to bugs. A group of Canadian scientists are researching the insecticidal value of these spices, and that could be good news for farmers looking to meet growing demand for organic fruits and vegetables.

Bobby McFerrin demonstrates the power of the pentatonic scale

Article: Bobby McFerrin demonstrates the power of the pentatonic scale

The World Science Festival has just begun to release some clips from this year’s festival which was held in June 2009. One of the most notable is from “Notes & Neurons: In Search of the Common Chorus” where Bobby McFerrin demonstrates the power of the pentatonic scale, using audience participation. World Science Festival 2009: Bobby…

If sex studies sound too good to be true, they probably are

Article: If sex studies sound too good to be true, they probably are

photo by I_See_AEE

We have a love-hate relationship with sex studies. On the one hand, they’re the bread and butter of this Naked Love blog (to wit: Study shows even cheaters’ guilt is selfish; Study shows the car doesn’t maketh the man; Study shows father knows best; Study shows some playas are just spreading the love; et al). But on the other hand, the science behind some of the sex studies out there appears flimsy to say the least. Take this “research”, which one site recently reminded us of: An Italian scientist by the name of Dr. Maria Cerruto claimed that wearing high heels improves a woman’s sex life. Hmm…an Italian woman looking to justify her Pradas? Color us suspicious.

MIT's Sixth Sense, a wearable interface straight out of MINORITY REPORT

Article: MIT's Sixth Sense, a wearable interface straight out of MINORITY REPORT

On his excellent blog, the user-experience expert Nick Finck shares a TED video demonstration of Sixth Sense, a wearable gestural interface that grabs data from the Internet and allows you to interact with it in countless real-world ways. You can draw a watch onto your arm to check the time; pull up Amazon ratings for…

"Daily sperm liberation" may increase fertility

Article: "Daily sperm liberation" may increase fertility

The big sexual health news this week was that a guy can increase the quality of his sperm by having sex every day for a week, and thus improve his fertility; he might have fewer sperm on his team when he goes for the gold, but the ones he does have will be stronger players. (In contrast, many fertility experts recommend that guys abstain for a few days before her ovulation to increase sperm count.) Reading about this study brought two questions to mind:

Travel tip: Icelandic Phallological Museum

Article: Travel tip: Icelandic Phallological Museum

photo by ElĂ­n EydĂ­s FriĂ°riksdĂłttir

If all the “Name That Schlong” contests on SUNfiltered got you hankering for an up-close-and-personal view of the specimens, you might want to consider booking your next vacation to Husavik, Iceland, where you could visit the Icelandic Phallological Museum. Which is exactly what it sounds like: a collection of phallic specimens — each lovingly stuffed and mounted — belonging to all manner of mammal, including whales, polar bears, shrews, and mice.

Bisexuality: Doing it like they do on the Discovery Channel

Article: Bisexuality: Doing it like they do on the Discovery Channel

photo by Paul Mannix

We were tickled pink a few weeks back when we read about the so-called gay penguins who were raising an adopted chick. But “bisexual penguins” would probably have been more accurate; most scientists agree that animals that engage in same-sex activity don’t usually shun heterosexual encounters. Rather, they simply have ingrained gay tendencies that are a part of what make their little animal community work. As sociologist Eric Anderson of the University of Bath in England so succinctly puts it, “Animals don’t do sexual identity. They just do sex.”

Study: The car doesn't maketh the man

Article: Study: The car doesn't maketh the man

photo by Qole_Pejorian In news that will probably be surprising only to the male readers of this site, a recent study found that expensive cars don’t really impress the ladies. Researchers in Australia measured changes in the brain responses of women toward a range of men in different cars. Turns out a man having a…

Science and the city

Article: Science and the city

Brian Greene, festival co-founder and theoretical physics professor at Columbia University, with the respected Dr. Bunson Honeydew

From June 10-14, New York City will host the second annual World Science Festival, a series of programs and lectures that highlight the big questions in science and how they influenced the big questions in other fields, like philosophy, ethics, and the arts. The festival’s primary mission is “to cultivate and sustain a general public informed by the content of science, inspired by its wonder, convinced of its value, and prepared to engage with its implications for the future,” a reminder that that science part of all of our lives, from the philosophical to the practical, and is worth knowing about.

Science is Fiction, the films of Jean Painlevé

Article: Science is Fiction, the films of Jean Painlevé

He may not have been the very first person to take a camera underwater, but Jean PainlevĂ© was definitely the first to bring the life aquatic to cinema. PainlevĂ© made over 200 short films in his lifetime, the first in 1927 (nearly 30 years before Jacques Cousteau’s SILENT WORLD) and last week Criterion released 27…

Evolutionary psychologists do it with blinders on

Article: Evolutionary psychologists do it with blinders on

photo:gniliep Evolutionary psychology can be so annoying sometimes. Like when it tries to explain women’s modern-day preference for pink as some left-over instinct from hunter-gatherer days when they needed to be good at gathering berries, completely disregarding the fact that in the early 1900s pink was the color of choice for little boys and blue…