Daniela Rößler (‘ß’ is a double-s symbol used in Deutschland) has gathered fascinating data suggesting that jumping spiders might actually dream while sleeping. ¿Sleeping spiders? Well, yes. Just about every animal has been observed in behaviors that seem to indicate sleep. REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is associated with dreaming in humans, and other mammals often move and sometimes vocalize during REM sleep. Problem here: the two big forward-facing eyes that salticids (jumping spiders) use for hunting prey don't move; they’re fixed to the head. But their retinas do move! These tiny spiders look around their surroundings by moving their retinas back and forth - sorta l
Bless you, Étienne Klein, for bringing levity and wisdom to us last week. Levity came in claiming that his photo of a slice of chorizo was a JWST photo of Proxima Centauri, and the wisdom came in the physicist’s following Tweet: “Well, when it's time for the aperitif, cognitive biases seem to have a field day... so watch out for them. According to contemporary cosmology, no object of Spanish cold cuts exists anywhere but on Earth.” (Actually it was in French and instead of “cold cuts” he wrote “charcuterie” but i had to look that up, so . . . .)
Wow, what a life to celebrate. Daughter of the town mayor, dancer, singer, model, actress, and for most of us, Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek. Nichelle Nichols had roles on stage, television, and in more than 25 movies. She worked to interest children in science and she recruited a number of astronauts for NASA including Sally Ride and the first African-American astronaut, Guion Bluford. Sadly, she lost her younger brother who died with 38 others in the Heaven’s Gate debacle. I had the pleasure of meeting her at a 100-Year StarShip Symposium in Houston. A summary of her life can be found on Wikipedia. Given that we only have one life to lead, she certainly set a sterling example for living it fully. Thank you, Nichelle.
Hello again Science fans!
Before we go back in cosmic time today, I want to tell you about a more recent find (“recent” being relative, of c
So let me start by saying that the JWST image reveal was amazing. (Side note: It is also amazing that NASA can do that, but they can’t put on a smooth web presentation!-) Here’s how to be gobsmacked by the advances from Hubble to JWST! Professor Andrew Fraknoi has a nice explanation of the images at
Particularly if the later is part of your DNA, then your head is probably spinning this week following two decisions by the US Supreme Court, one on guns, the other on abortion. We can’t ignore the elephant and blithly go on talking about events in the science community this week without addressing these but we’ll add some science to the debates.
For a historical perspective on the Court’s decision to remove a constitutional right from the American people (the first time that has happened, and one considered a fundamental right by most liberal democracies in the world) I’ll provide a link to
I spent 25 years working in “emergency services” on fire engines and ambulances. I’m sure you have seen a story about a tragic incident that was “avoidable” or maybe even seen it personally. Let’s just say that I have seen a lot of them. One of the things that always set me back was thinking about why it even happened. There are so many senseless and avoidable things that could easily be avoided if someone just paid a bit more attention and considered what they were doing. Mind you I’m not talking about calculated risk taking like
It’s been awhile since I did the “Schmooze”. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been thinking of science and how we deal with it. It does mean that I have read and viewed a lot of sciencey things, more than what I can share here. So this will be a bit different from my usual format.