This Week: 3-D printing: Wave of the future
In the News: Losing in politics & sports
Coming Thursday: Social media: Ultimate generosity?
After Sandy’s soaking: How dangerous are molds and bacteria that grow in a soggy house? What is the best way to salvage a water-damaged home? Do you need expert help?
Dangers lurk on a walk in the woods or a swim in the ocean, writes Gordon Grice: “… no matter how much we may love them, wild animals are not our friends.”
Nature, Grice asserts, is surprisingly scary, or surprisingly natural. We know that sharks, coyotes and wolves are dangerous — although much of our “knowledge” is myth compounded by hearsay.
If many scientific quests should be marked with an academic form of caution tape: “Progress = 2 steps forward + step back,” cosmologists have been in steady retreat for decades. The “cosmo” girls (and mainly boys) who explore the origin and fate of the universe were once mocked as data-free arm wavers. Then, in 1964, cosmo was promoted into a science by the discovery that echoes of the Big Bang were rattling around the universe.
Could good come from a wave of poisonings eight decades ago? Yes, argues Deborah Blum, in a quick, entertaining read that, for better not worse, does not teach exactly what the title promises. Rather than a handbook for agents of arsenic or quaffers of chloroform, the book instead shows how a scientific establishment grew up to detect poison and deter poisoners.
What did the losing World Trade designs look like? What is the significance of a city skyline?
Airbus crashes in New York — composite material fails and tail fin falls off. Why are composites (usually) so strong? How are they used in roads, bikes and planes?