bingshui.org

the Life of Zim

1st May
2013
written by dzimney

IBM has always been on the forefront of computer technology and currently they’re working on using atoms to do just that. They’ve developed a way of moving the atoms around using magnets that only comprised of 12 atoms themselves. Recently they put out a short film to show the world what they’ve been up to. The film is an animated movie (stop motion) made up for atoms. Each dot you’re about to see are being magnified 100,000,000 times. That’s one hundred million. One hundred. Million. Times. Okay, enough jibba jabba. Watch the video…

And of course, as I love watching the special features on a dvd, here’s a quick one on the making of A Boy and His Atom.. And by the way I think it’s pretty safe to say that A Boy and His Atom is a shout out to the NES classic A Boy and His Blob, which is cool.

2nd April
2013
written by dzimney

If you’re not aware, the planet Saturn has a massive hexagon on it’s north pole that could fit four earth’s inside of it.

Kind of crazy, right? Well it’s there, and has been a mystery for decades. Still unsure exactly what is happening on the pole, scientists as Oxford University have replicated the bizarre phenomenon in the laboratory by spinning discs beneath liquid at different speeds.

Additionally, by varying the speeds at which the discs are spinning, other geometrical shapes like triangles, septagons, and ovals can be created.

Some may say, “But Saturn’s atmosphere is gas, not liquid.” However, in the world of fluid dynamics, liquids and gases follow the same laws. The team at Oxford is not the only group to produce such shapes in this way, but are the first to publish a paper linking the conditions to those found on Saturn.

For a more detailed look, please refer to Emily Lakdawalla’s blog post at the Planetary Society.

21st March
2013
written by dzimney

18th March
2013
written by dzimney

This is just amazing. Never would have thought it’d be this complicated.

13th March
2013
written by dzimney

13th March
2013
written by dzimney

Originally posted here, the following is an unedited version of a letter to the New York Times from Neil deGrasse Tyson.

The question, “If I were President I’d…” implies that if you swap out one leader, put in another, then all will be well with America—as though our leaders are the cause of all ailments.

That must be why we’ve created a tradition of rampant attacks on our politicians. Are they too conservative for you? Too liberal? Too religious? Too atheist? Too gay? Too anti-gay? Too rich? Too dumb? Too smart? Too ethnic? Too philanderous? Curious behavior, given that we elect 88% of Congress every two years.

A second tradition-in-progress is the expectation that everyone else in our culturally pluralistic land should hold exactly your own outlook, on all issues.

When you’re scientifically literate, the world looks different to you. It’s a particular way of questioning what you see and hear. When empowered by this state of mind, objective realities matter. These are the truths of the world that exist outside of whatever your belief system tells you.

One objective reality is that our government doesn’t work, not because we have dysfunctional politicians, but because we have dysfunctional voters. As a scientist and educator, my goal, then, is not to become President and lead a dysfunctional electorate, but to enlighten the electorate so they might choose the right leaders in the first place.

Neil deGrasse Tyson
New York, Aug. 21, 2011

13th March
2013
written by dzimney

31st January
2012
written by dzimney

To quote an email from my father-in-law,

Here in Lawrence Kansas it was 67°F yesterday. December had 12 days 50°F and above, 2 of which were 60°F and above. January had 16 days 50°F and above, 5 of which were 60°F and above. There has been no snow. Our local weather is anecdotal, I know, but this isn’t – watch 131 years of global warming in 26 seconds…

Watch 131 Years of Global Warming in 26 Seconds | Climate Central


Watch 131 Years of Global Warming in 26 Seconds
Climate Central bridges the scientific community and the public, providing clear, honest information to help people make sound decisions about climate and energy.


Thanks for sharing, Rob.

10th January
2012
written by dzimney

This is a bit long, about 90 minutes, but if you can get through it, there’s a lot of really good information. The video is a lecture given by Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, where he explores the damage caused by sugary foods. It’s absolutely astounding how much sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which are essentially the same thing, is found in the products in our grocery stores. Laura and I have tried to stay away from products made with HFCS for the past few years and it really is a difficult thing to do. The argument isn’t that HFCS is worse for us than sugar. It’s that consuming large amounts of sugar or HFCS is bad for us. And that the main problem is that HFCS is in almost everything we buy. Personally I think that we as a society need to pay far more attention to what we put into our bodies. I’m in no way a “health nut”, but I do believe that our quality of life is directly related to what we eat. Anyway, enough of my babbling, watch the video.

21st April
2011
written by dzimney