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100 things we didn't know last year (+50)

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Posts

  • CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited December 2006
    84. Thinking about your muscles can make you stronger.

    Bwuh?

    Corvus on
    :so_raven:
  • AgemAgem Registered User
    edited December 2006
    ElJeffe wrote:
    Okay, okay, I know what an element is, how it's defined, and the notorious instability of the more massive elements. What I wanted to know is how, specifically, the tests are performed and observed in order to determine the existence of a new element. Why has element 118 only been seen once, for example? Is it hard to get the necessary energy to create it in the first place? Does it take a lot of luck? Does it take super-high-tech detection equipment that we only now have access to?

    Perhaps more pertinently, if we wanted to find element 119, how, precisely, would we go about it?
    I don't know a whole lot about this, but...

    Part of the problem is that even with the capability to create the conditions to generate superheavy elements, you have to figure out the equation to make that nucleus from other nuclei. A nucleus is only stable if nature really likes it that way (the odds of a nucleus being stable are increased if its number of protons or neutrons is a "magic number" - which you can think of like electrons being added to electron shells - and it's almost definitely stable if its protons and neutrons both have a magic number count [doubly magic]). If nature decides it's passable, you get a radioactive isotope (heavier elements only have radioactive isotopes). And usually the isotope can't be formed at all. So to make a superheavy nucleus, you not only need to have the right number of protons in both the nuclei you're combining; you also have to have the right number of neutrons in both nuclei.

    When you don't already know the isotopes you can make, this gets tricky.

    Of course, we have plenty of ways to guess what the isotopes we could make would be, but getting the necessary nuclei to attempt to make that isotope can be difficult too. The isotopes you think you need may be radioactive, in which case storage is a problem (and if the half-life is too short there may be a very small time window to attempt the experiment), or they may not exist, in which case you're out of luck. It may be really difficult to make the isotope you need, but you need a certain amount to hope to get results. And then, for whatever reason, you may fail to detect it entirely.

    It's also possible that we've already created a few nuclei of element 119 and not even noticed. We may not have even been looking for it when it happened.

    Like I said, though, I don't know a whole lot about this. But it's pretty neat stuff. I was at FSU over the summer and a grad student in nuclear physics showed us her experiment (studying gamma emissions from excited Aluminum-30 nuclei). Just to make it, they fired Carbon-14 nuclei through a linear particle accelerator into an Oxygen-18 target, making Silicon-32 which immediately decayed to Aluminum-30 and an alpha particle. In analyzing the gamma emissions, they had to identify background noise, emissions from the other nuclei in the experiment, and so on. I have a hard time imagining the kinds of hoops people must have to jump through to make and study superheavy elements.

    Agem on
  • His CorkinessHis Corkiness Registered User
    edited December 2006
    Corvus wrote:
    84. Thinking about your muscles can make you stronger.

    Bwuh?
    The body's muscles grow because the subconscious mind tells them to. As far as I know, it's not some physical reaction to working out.

    His Corkiness on
  • Indie WinterIndie Winter die Krähe Rudi Hurzlmeier (German, b. 1952)Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Chop Logic wrote:
    50. Researchers from the University of Manchester managed to induce teeth growth in normal chickens - activating genes that have lain dormant for 80 million years.

    Thats so fucking cool for so many different reasons.

    Bringing cockfights into a whole new level.

    Indie Winter on
    RCmKIvs.gif
    indie_winter on PS4 | @indiewinter on twitter | 3034-4093-8537 on Switch
  • Knuckle DraggerKnuckle Dragger Explosive Ovine Disposal Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    ElJeffe wrote:
    Okay, okay, I know what an element is, how it's defined, and the notorious instability of the more massive elements. What I wanted to know is how, specifically, the tests are performed and observed in order to determine the existence of a new element. Why has element 118 only been seen once, for example? Is it hard to get the necessary energy to create it in the first place? Does it take a lot of luck? Does it take super-high-tech detection equipment that we only now have access to?

    Perhaps more pertinently, if we wanted to find element 119, how, precisely, would we go about it?

    Basically, you stick your atom in a particle accelerator and whip it around till it's going really fast, then divert it's path into another atom. Like a 100 mph bus smacking into a pedestrian, the there is a mostly inelastic collision where some bits do fly off, but in general the central mass is somewhat larger than it was before, and in the case of the atoms, that means more protons in the nucleus.

    Knuckle Dragger on
  • Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User
    edited December 2006
    From the new list:
    3. Blue light fends off drowsiness in the middle of the night, which could be useful to people who work at night.
    It's also often used for keeping people from sleeping in train station bathrooms . . . and from shooting-up in there because the blue light prevents you from locating your veins :?

    Andrew_Jay on
  • Casual EddyCasual Eddy Don't despair. Not even over the fact that you don't despair.Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    18. Australian scientists discovered a polyrhachis sokolova, which is believed to be the only ant species that can live under water. It nests in submerged mangroves and hides from predators in air pockets.


    Awesome. Underwater ants rock.


    21. Two previously unknown forms of ice - dubbed by researchers as ice XIII and XIV - were discovered frozen at temperatures of around minus 160 degrees Celsius, or minus 256 Fahrenheit.

    They... discovered ice nine. Uh oh.

    Casual Eddy on
    Elki wrote: »

    Casual Eddy: best poster 2014.
    tyrannus wrote: »
    Casual Eddy: best poster of 2015

    gotta update that stuff man
  • DelzhandDelzhand Venitah, Satariel! Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Gim wrote:
    Flapke wrote:
    38. Most of us have microscopic, wormlike mites named Demodex that live in our eyelashes and have claws and a mouth.

    AARGHH!
    Good Christ, this comment combined with your avatar made me loose it.
    The adult mites have a semi-transparent elongated body that consists of two segments and is between 0.1 mm and 0.4 mm long. Eight short segmented legs are attached to the first body segment. The body is covered with scales for anchoring itself in the hair follicle, and the mite has pin-like mouth-parts for eating skin-cells, hormones and oils (sebum) which accumulate in the hair follicles. The mite's digestive system is so efficient and results in so little waste that there is no excretory orifice. The mites can leave the hair follicles and slowly walk around on the skin, especially at night.

    The total lifespan of a Demodex mite is several weeks. Mating takes place on the skin, and eggs are layed inside the hair follicles or sebaceous glands. The six-legged larvae hatch after 3-4 days, and it takes about seven days for the larvae to develop into adults. The dead mites decompose inside the hair follicles or sebaceous glands.

    An estimated 96-98% of all people carry such mites—with up to 25 in each follicle, each person can have a potentially huge population of mites. It is quite easy to look for your own demodex mites, by carefully removing an eyelash or eyebrow hair and placing it under a microscope.
    Someone! Set my face on fire! Kill them all dead!

    "Treat it like a tumor and excise it, Dr. Stiles!"
    "It's too fast! Try using the surgical laser!"
    </traumacenter>

    Delzhand on
    Steam|FFXIV|Switch SW-3472-4893-0802
  • MentholMenthol Registered User
    edited December 2006
    Corvus wrote:
    84. Thinking about your muscles can make you stronger.

    Bwuh?
    The body's muscles grow because the subconscious mind tells them to. As far as I know, it's not some physical reaction to working out.

    USE THE FORCE

    :^:

    Menthol on
    sigbz8.jpg
    You're not L33T enough for IDI/RN FTP!
  • AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero The new film by Quentin Koopantino Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Who is "we?"

    I don't know about you fuckers but I knew a lot of this shit before 2006.

    AbsoluteZero on
    cs6f034fsffl.jpg
  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Delzhand wrote:
    Gim wrote:
    Flapke wrote:
    38. Most of us have microscopic, wormlike mites named Demodex that live in our eyelashes and have claws and a mouth.

    AARGHH!
    Good Christ, this comment combined with your avatar made me loose it.
    The adult mites have a semi-transparent elongated body that consists of two segments and is between 0.1 mm and 0.4 mm long. Eight short segmented legs are attached to the first body segment. The body is covered with scales for anchoring itself in the hair follicle, and the mite has pin-like mouth-parts for eating skin-cells, hormones and oils (sebum) which accumulate in the hair follicles. The mite's digestive system is so efficient and results in so little waste that there is no excretory orifice. The mites can leave the hair follicles and slowly walk around on the skin, especially at night.

    The total lifespan of a Demodex mite is several weeks. Mating takes place on the skin, and eggs are layed inside the hair follicles or sebaceous glands. The six-legged larvae hatch after 3-4 days, and it takes about seven days for the larvae to develop into adults. The dead mites decompose inside the hair follicles or sebaceous glands.

    An estimated 96-98% of all people carry such mites—with up to 25 in each follicle, each person can have a potentially huge population of mites. It is quite easy to look for your own demodex mites, by carefully removing an eyelash or eyebrow hair and placing it under a microscope.
    Someone! Set my face on fire! Kill them all dead!

    "Treat it like a tumor and excise it, Dr. Stiles!"
    "It's too fast! Try using the surgical laser!"
    </traumacenter>

    As disturbing as this is, I wonder if there is actually a benefit to having them.

    I'm gonna keep telling myself there is to avoid ripping all my eyelashes out

    Al_wat on
    PSN: AWATTT66| XBox Live: AWATTT66| Steam: AL-WAT| Battle.Net: ALWATTS #1320
    Origin: aiwatt| Switch: SW-8499-0918-5960
  • EndomaticEndomatic Registered User
    edited December 2006
    You didn't know they were there until you read about it, chances are they're not really doing anything to harm you, so why freak out about it.

    Endomatic on
  • SenjutsuSenjutsu thot enthusiast Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Aldo wrote:
    ALocksly wrote:
    #78

    :lol:
    I...but...why..huh?
    Campaign ads, probably

    Senjutsu on
    Sarksus wrote: »
    I'm gonna get a PhD in incest.
  • Anarchy Rules!Anarchy Rules! Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    MuddBudd wrote:

    92. In a fight between a polar bear and a lion, the polar bear would win.

    This doesn't surprise me at all. Polar Bears are fucking huge.

    But what about a fight between an owl and a tiger? I'd say the owl would win.

    Anarchy Rules! on
  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    MuddBudd wrote:

    92. In a fight between a polar bear and a lion, the polar bear would win.

    This doesn't surprise me at all. Polar Bears are fucking huge.

    But what about a fight between an owl and a tiger? I'd say the owl would win.

    O RLY?







    Sorry. Might as well have said ALL UR BASE LOL

    Al_wat on
    PSN: AWATTT66| XBox Live: AWATTT66| Steam: AL-WAT| Battle.Net: ALWATTS #1320
    Origin: aiwatt| Switch: SW-8499-0918-5960
  • StonecutterStonecutter Registered User
    edited December 2006
    21. Two previously unknown forms of ice - dubbed by researchers as ice XIII and XIV - were discovered frozen at temperatures of around minus 160 degrees Celsius, or minus 256 Fahrenheit.

    They... discovered ice nine. Uh oh.

    Glad someone else caught that :D

    Stonecutter on
  • Knuckle DraggerKnuckle Dragger Explosive Ovine Disposal Registered User regular
    edited December 2006
    Al_wat wrote:
    Delzhand wrote:
    Gim wrote:
    Flapke wrote:
    38. Most of us have microscopic, wormlike mites named Demodex that live in our eyelashes and have claws and a mouth.

    AARGHH!
    Good Christ, this comment combined with your avatar made me loose it.
    The adult mites have a semi-transparent elongated body that consists of two segments and is between 0.1 mm and 0.4 mm long. Eight short segmented legs are attached to the first body segment. The body is covered with scales for anchoring itself in the hair follicle, and the mite has pin-like mouth-parts for eating skin-cells, hormones and oils (sebum) which accumulate in the hair follicles. The mite's digestive system is so efficient and results in so little waste that there is no excretory orifice. The mites can leave the hair follicles and slowly walk around on the skin, especially at night.

    The total lifespan of a Demodex mite is several weeks. Mating takes place on the skin, and eggs are layed inside the hair follicles or sebaceous glands. The six-legged larvae hatch after 3-4 days, and it takes about seven days for the larvae to develop into adults. The dead mites decompose inside the hair follicles or sebaceous glands.

    An estimated 96-98% of all people carry such mites—with up to 25 in each follicle, each person can have a potentially huge population of mites. It is quite easy to look for your own demodex mites, by carefully removing an eyelash or eyebrow hair and placing it under a microscope.
    Someone! Set my face on fire! Kill them all dead!

    "Treat it like a tumor and excise it, Dr. Stiles!"
    "It's too fast! Try using the surgical laser!"
    </traumacenter>

    As disturbing as this is, I wonder if there is actually a benefit to having them.

    I'm gonna keep telling myself there is to avoid ripping all my eyelashes out
    I remember hearing about this on Nickelodeon more than fifteen years ago.

    Knuckle Dragger on
  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Maybe, like, we're all just mites on some giant's eyelash. Whoa.

    Yar on
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