This Scientist Isolated the Sound That Tricks Your Brain into Hearing Water When It’s Not

Nov 15, 2014 By Megan Berman 2

Science can already explain the mechanics of how we hear. But Maria Geffen, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine in their ENT department is figuring out why we hear what we do. How do our brains interpret sound, and why do they assign a particular meaning to a sound?

She talks to WHYY’s The Pulse about her research and plays them an example — the sound of a gurgling brook. Then she shows how she is able to strip the waves from the recording that make our brain hear water. In reverse, she creates a recording of man-made signals that our brain interprets as gurgling water, and it sounds remarkable real.

Right now, you’re probably thinking this won’t work on you. Just give it a listen…

Weird, right? If you’re interested in more, you can read The Pulse’s full story.

British Scientist Joyfully Freaks Out Over Comet Landing. She Tries to Calm Down and Just Can’t…

Nov 14, 2014 By Joey White 0

When Monica Grady first started working on Philae, the British space scientist knew it would take years before her dream of seeing the robot probe land on a comet was realized…if it ever even was.

So when that day finally came this week, after a decade of hard work, she was understandably and infectiously overjoyed. After a few seconds, she tries to pull herself together and “be a professional scientist” but she was a lost cause and just couldn’t help but keep on rejoicing. Awesome…

Here’s the Comet Everyone’s Talking About Sitting Next to Los Angeles for Scale

Nov 14, 2014 By Joey White 1

It’s difficult to understand how big or small objects in space are since we never see them near anything whose size we understand.

So to illustrate the size of Comet 67P that the Rosetta mission just landed on, Matt Wang created this helpful image that really puts into perspective just how enormous — or how tiny, depending how you look at it — this comet really is…

Rosetta Comet LA

If that doesn’t help enough, here’s another visual aid from the European Space Agency comparing the comet to a number of major landmarks and mountains…

Rosetta-size-comparison-ESA

Neil deGrasse Tyson Answers 1st-grader’s Brilliant Question. Life Just Got Harder for Parents.

Nov 14, 2014 By Abraham 0

After a recent lecture, a little girl got a chance to ask Neil deGrasse Tyson a question — “How can first-graders help the earth.”

After taking a moment to think, Tyson had his answer. It’s simple, insightful, true, and even a little inspiring… So that’s good, right?

Yeah, except that it’s also a real pain to put into practice.

Thanks a lot, Neil.

Stressed Out Strangers Think They’re Meditating, but Then They Open Their Eyes

Nov 12, 2014 By Megan Berman 1

We have definitive proof that kittens are therapeutic. You can’t argue with this, it’s science.

SoulPancake invited a bunch of random, totally stressed out people to enter a booth for a free guided meditation and a chance to unwind. And when they opened their eyes…kittens. Kittens EVERYWHERE. 

Don’t you feel better just watching that?

This Adorable Baby Sea Otter Was Rescued Near Death…and Now She’s Having the Time of Her Life

Nov 8, 2014 By Megan Berman 0

This baby sea otter, currently known as Pup 681, was found on September 30th on a central California beach…completely alone, abandoned, crying, and severely underweight at only two pounds. Luckily, she was brought to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where wildlife experts were able to stabilize her successfully before moving her to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

baby-otter-2

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This Kid Found a Valuable Ancient Artifact and Did WHAT with It?

Nov 6, 2014 By Megan Berman 1

When 10-year old Noah Cordle cut his foot on a sharp object while boogie boarding on the Jersey shore, he thought a crab had pinched him. When he looked a little closer, he saw that the offending object was actually an arrowhead. Cool, huh?

clovis-point-1

It gets cooler — the arrowhead is actually a rare Clovis point estimated to be 14,000 years old.

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A Bowling Ball and Feather Really Fall at the Same Rate. Here’s the Amazing Proof…

Nov 6, 2014 By Joey White 0

When NASA let the BBC into their Space Power Facility, they tested the long-held fact that air resistance is the only thing that keeps a bowling ball and feather from falling at the same speed. In other words, because gravity affects all objects exactly the same regardless of their size and weight, when there is no air, a bowling ball and feather fall at exactly the same rate.

What’s stunning about the experiment isn’t just that it works, but how perfectly it works…

(The whole video is worth watching, but the experiment starts at 2:52.)

Teacher Forced to Resign Over Ebola Scare Because Dumb School Has No Idea Where Kenya Is

Nov 5, 2014 By Joey White 3

Many Americans know little more about where the deadly Ebola outbreak has occurred except that it’s “in Africa.” Of course, Africa is the world’s second largest continent, so it helps to be a little more specific, especially when freaking out about being near someone who’s been to the vast continent.

The virus has been largely contained to just three countries — Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. To illustrate the size of this area, British chemist Anthony England, who’s spent a lot of time in sub-saharan Africa, created this helpful map…

Ebola Map

While several cases of Ebola have occurred in three other nearby countries, those cases were contained and the virus is not a threat there, similar to how it’s been contained in the United States.

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