Credit The Connecticut Historical Society, Thomas Robbins collection, 14 / Connecticut Historical Society
Map of the 1761 transit of Venus, from Astronomy Explained Upon Sir Isaac Newton’s Principles, by James Ferguson, F.R.S, London, 1794.
Credit Wood engraving from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, December 16, 1882. The Connecticut Historical Society, 1992.82.5c / Connecticut Historical Society
Dr. Gustav Mueller and Dr. Fritz Deichmueller, members of the German scientific expedition to Hartford.
Credit Wood engraving from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, December 16, 1882. The Connecticut Historical Society, 1992.82 / Connecticut Historical Society
Buildings erected by the German scientists on the Trinity College Campus: Eastern Observatory, Heliometer House, Western Observatory.
Credit Wood engraving from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, December 16, 1882. The Connecticut Historical Society, 1992.82.5a. / Connecticut Historical Society
The four members of the German scientific expedition to Hartford: Dr. Gustav Mueller of the Astro-Physical Observatory at Potsdam; Dr. Fritz Deichmueller of the University-Observatory at Bonn; Mr. Julius Bauschinger, scientific assistant; and Mr. Hermann
In December 1882, a German scientific commission sent a team of astronomers to Hartford, Connecticut to observe a rare astronomical event. The transit of Venus (when the planet passes between the earth and the sun) occurs in eight-year pairs, and those pairs occur every 121½ or 105½ years. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the transit was an important opportunity for scientists to calculate the distance between the earth and the sun—the basis for the astronomical unit.
Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon, but the first man to urinate there was Buzz Aldrin, just a little ahead of Neil. The two astronauts relieved themselves into bags within their suits, then removed those bags and left them on the lunar surface. When you gotta go, you gotta go. It was time to go.
We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the epidemic of injury in the game of football - concussions and traumatic brain injuries… but have you ever asked yourself why football helmets are designed the way they are? And how better helmet design might actually have made the game more dangerous? And while you’re at it, have you considered “the divine randomness of prolate spheroid?” That’s science talk for the unlikely evolution for the shape of the football.
Puddled meltwater very likely primed this ancient edge of the Antarctic's Larsen Ice Shelf to rapidly disintegrate over just several weeks. This view of the splintered mix of frozen bergs is from a Feb. 21, 2002, satellite image.
An expert panel at the National Academy of Sciences is calling for an early warning system to alert us to abrupt and potentially catastrophic events triggered by climate change.
The committee says science can anticipate some major changes to the Earth that could affect everything from agriculture to sea level. But we aren't doing enough to look for those changes and anticipate their impacts.
The U.S. Geological Survey says it recorded a 2.1 magnitude earthquake in Connecticut last Friday. According to Groton's Office of Emergency Management, that explains the mysterious loud booms that perplexed several residents over the weekend.
Former chemist Annie Dookhan began serving a 3-to-5 year sentence in a Massachusetts prison on Friday after pleading guilty to falsifying tests of drug evidence and helping to create one of the nation's largest drug lab scandals.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley says the state is taking steps to improve forensic testing:
"It is certainly lessons learned," she says. "We hope that we've made changes in the system that will mean this unique case will not happen again in Massachusetts."
Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 7:36 pm
A former chemist for the state of Massachusetts' crime labs pleaded guilty Friday to falsifying drugs tests that potentially compromised tens of thousands of criminal cases. WBUR reports she admitted all 27 counts against her.
Update at 4:40 p.m. ET: Prison Sentence Of 3-5 Years
Judge Carol Ball sentenced Annie Dookhan, 36, to three to five years in prison, plus a probation period. Prosecutors had requested a sentence of from five to seven years in prison.
From Faith Middleton: More institutions of higher learning have shuttle busses to the nearest corporate high rises.
While it is understandable in a time of high unemployment to think about practical careers, it appears more people, including some entrepreneurial university administrators, think it's time to leave the “fluffy stuff” for hobby hour. That fluffy stuff would include literature, philosophy, languages, the arts and history—what we call the humanities. (Or, the stuff that hangs around long after we're dead.) Possibly the new rules of the road go something like this: read Michener before bed, and call it a day.
Could the microbes that inhabit our guts help explain that old idea of "gut feelings?" There's growing evidence that gut bacteria really might influence our minds.
"I'm always by profession a skeptic," says Dr. Emeran Mayer, a professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. "But I do believe that our gut microbes affect what goes on in our brains."
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a solar flare in the early hours of Nov. 10, 2013. The northern hemisphere has already changed polarity. Scientists say the southern could flip in the coming days.
Credit Solar Dynamics Observatory / NASA
This image taken on Nov. 15, shows the current conditions of the quiet corona and upper transition region of the Sun.
It started several months ago -- sunspots flickered, more and more solar flares arched out into space, and a ripple of changing current made its way past Pluto to the outer reaches of our solar system.
The sun was flipping its magnetic polarity -- an event that happens every 11 years.
Ever wonder what an algorithm sounds like when it's being sorted? Wonder no more. A demo program called "The Sound of Sorting" visualizes algorithms and provides interesting sound effects, too -- low notes for smaller values, and high notes for higher values.
In 1965, the Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram, spread stamped and addressed but un-mailed letters around public locations in New Haven. Most of the letters were picked up and mailed by strangers who could not possibly derive any material reward for doing the right thing. The strangers also lived out their values based on the address.