Category Archives: Science

Food steganography

This is beyond awesome. Steganography is the art of hiding something in something else. It is most often used to refer to hiding information in digital images in such a way that the image is not altered to the human eye. This is useful because viewers don’t know there is an encrypted message in the image as they would if they looked at encrypted text.

Some crazy kids have worked out (theoretically) how to use flavour additives to do food steganography (PDF). Just imagine if it was easy to get people to eat their greens, make the cat take a pill, etc.

Could adults learn perfect pitch?

The idea seems to be to reactivate some early-life learning mechanisms (most people only learn perfect pitch early in their lives) through valproate. Then do exercises to learn to successfully identify pitch.

To my untrained eye, it seems a reasonable study with placebo control and there are some interesting comments on the abstract.

A new resolution for 2014?

The pill that might give you perfect pitch by altering your brain | The Verge.

Tour of the ISS

Must-view for so many reasons (NB 25 minutes long, so plan your time).

I loved the stuff stashed everywhere making it feel like a big shed. I loved how elegant the astronauts get at handling zero g.  I loved the working / using / sleeping on all four walls of any space. I loved the handholds / footholds everywhere. Just amazing that we’ve created this thing and that people can live on it. It may not be the moon, but it is the nearest we’ve created to an outpost away from the earth.

Gladwell: Do Genetic Advantages Make Sports Unfair?

We want sports to be fair and we take elaborate measures to make sure that no one competitor has an advantage over any other. But how can a fantastic menagerie ever be a contest among equals?

It is a valid question, and a difficult one to answer. My hunch is that there’s a case-by-case approach: we have to have some rules to help even the playing field, but we “kind of know” what feels right and what feels wrong in terms of lucky genetic freaks versus direct subversion of the rules.

via Malcolm Gladwell: Do Genetic Advantages Make Sports Unfair? : The New Yorker.