Mining Digest 425 – Jan 10, 2020: AI and Human Creativity, Al-Baghdadi Raid, Betel Juice Addiction, Bitcoin in Prison, Cartilage Regeneration, Clifford Stoll, Creativity, Digital Minimalism, Ebola Returns, Feynman Diagrams, Gerrymandering, Indian Water Supply, Influenza Vaccines, Kids and Technology, LED Localization, Lithium Battery Noble Prize, Machine Learning, Malaria Research, Medicare for All Discussion, Microbe Evolution, Montana Subsistence Life, Neural Networks, News Release Problems, Puerto Rican Music, Quantum Communication, Recycling Overview, River Physics, Simulator Special, Solvents, Spinal Manipulation Value, Ultralearning, XKCD Teaches Science

Exercise your ears: the 41 podcasts shown below present the best ideas, information and stories from a larger group of 564 for the week, to hear while your hands and eyes are busy. Get all the files as a group here, or double (ctrl-click) individual  titles to get single podcasts and explore the source. A collection of (26,850 podcasts, listed alphabetically and grouped by topic, can be downloaded piecemeal, with files A-E at this link, and the remainder here. You’ll be limited to a 4GB maximum per download at the last place, so multiple group downloads will be needed to get all files, totaling over 170GB and may take a few hours. The first entry in the collection is a text file with just titles for quicker reference. A collection of abstracts for all the podcasts is available at this link and updated quarterly. Get the discarded material, too, using a podcast aggregator loaded with this opml file of the 503 sources. And try PodcastRE from the University of Wisconsin with over 150,000 titles. Exercise your ears and relax the rest.

AI and Human Creativity 39 mins – “Innovation and creation come from our learnings and experiences. With every new creation comes inspiration from something else. Edison didn’t invent the lightbulb; he perfected it. Einstein was inspired by physicists that went before him. So what is the difference between AI invented and AI-inspired? Input and experience play a key role. For AI, that comes in the form of the “training data” supplied to the system to recognize patterns and identify the best solutions. Training data is critically important and allows AI to do what it does. It is part of an element called machine learning, which has historically applied to games like chess and go. It was initially thought that humans had a unique advantage at these kinds of things. Here are a few examples that may prove otherwise: Deep Blue’swin over Chess champion Garry Kasparov. It took multiple attempts, but the robot’s skill evolved after a while. IBM Watson’sJeopardy win over human trivia kings. Google DeepMind’s Go-playing bot’s win against a Korean grandmaster. The top player has retired, saying that a human will never be better than a computer at Go.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

al-Baghdadi Raid 92 mins – “Granted, it’s not Days of Future Past, but our episode 141 is still pretty good! This week, Professors Vladeck and Chesney discuss and debate: The al-Baghdadi raid (and misunderstandings about Congressional notification) A GTMO habeas… “ At the link find the title, “Episode 141…” where you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Betel Juice Addiction 56 mins – “The World Health Organisation classifies it as a type 1 carcinogen. It is associated with oral, pharyngeal and oesophageal cancers. And an estimated 600 million people chew a mixture of betel quid and tobacco. But there is almost no research into intoxication and addiction and no work on any pharmaceutical replacement therapy. Peter Osborne reports from Taiwan where the Areca catechu palm, or betel tree is the second biggest crop after rice. Doctors there treat 5,000 cases of mouth cancer each year. There are 300 surgeries with just 50% of patients surviving after 5 years.  Despite this there is no government strategy to control the industry, with no regulation and no taxation. And presumably because those affected are mostly poor, there is little attention from anyone able to extend our knowledge of this cancer-causing addiction.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Bitcoin in Prison 22 mins– “Charlie Shrem had a prison epiphany. Instead of using packets of mackerel to buy and sell things, inmates could use something more like the digital currency bitcoin. He even came up with a way it could work in prison, never mind that it was bitcoin that got him arrested in the first place. Charlie Shrem’s journey to prison and back is a parable for the transformation of bitcoin during its first years. Both Shrem and bitcoin have gone from being idealists to outlaws to trying to make it as respectable citizens. On today’s show, the story about how a libertarian’s dream technology was taken over by big banks and stock traders.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Cartilage Regeneration 56 mins – “Understanding extinction — humanity has destroyed half the life on Earth; Could we prevent arthritis by regenerating cartilage?; Building a better cyborg leg — adding a sense of touch to artificial limbs; People with autism might be suffering from an oversensitivity to touch; Why isn’t there a Lyme disease vaccine for humans? “ At the link find the title, “Understanding the Anthropocene extinction, regenerating cartilage, autism and touch, a prosthetic that feels and where’s my Lyme vaccine?,” right-click “Download Understanding the Anthropocene extinction, regenerating cartilage, autism and touch, a prosthetic that feels and where’s my Lyme vaccine?and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Clifford Stoll 18 mins – “Clifford Stoll captivates his audience with a wildly energetic sprinkling of anecdotes, observations, asides — and even a science experiment. After all, by his own definition, he’s a scientist: “Once I do something, I want to do something else.” At the link left-click “Share” then left-click “Download video” to get the TED talk.

Climate Change 60 mins – “The concept of climate change and global warming began to make headlines in the 1970s and scientists today largely agree that climate change is happening… But what are the signs and the evidence, and what will be the consequences? Emily Shuckburgh, from British Antarctic Survey and the UK Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change, discusses…Kat –   So, explain to me, what exactly is climate change?  What does it mean when we use these words?” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Computer Hacking 16 mins- “In the summer of 2015 a team of hackers attempted to take control of an unmanned military helicopter known as Little Bird. The helicopter, which is similar to the piloted version long-favored for U.S. special operations missions, was stationed at a Boeing facility in Arizona. The hackers had a head start: At the time they began the operation, they already had access to one part of the drone’s computer system. From there, all they needed to do was hack into Little Bird’s onboard flight-control computer, and the drone was theirs. When the project started, a “Red Team” of hackers could have taken over the helicopter almost as easily as it could break into your home Wi-Fi. But in the intervening months, engineers from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) had implemented a new kind of security mechanism — a software system that couldn’t be commandeered. Key parts of Little Bird’s computer system were unhackable with existing technology, its code as trustworthy as a mathematical proof. Even though the Red Team was given six weeks with the drone and more access to its computing network than genuine bad actors could ever expect to attain, they failed to crack Little Bird’s defenses. “They were not able to break out and disrupt the operation in any way,” said Kathleen Fisher, a professor of computer science at Tufts University and the founding program manager of the High-Assurance Cyber Military Systems (HACMS) project. ‘That result made all of DARPA stand up and say, oh my goodness, we can actually use this technology in systems we care about.’….” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Creativity 27 mins – “In 2018, Andria Zafirakou was named Global Teacher of the Year and given $1m in prize money. Why? Because this innovative art teacher (and mother of two) helped transform her struggling school in London’s poorest neighborhood into an educational powerhouse: the Alperton Community School now ranks in the top 4% of ALL UK schools. Andria says the techniques she uses in her classroom can be used to improve education on a global scale. On this episode, she shares her creative know-how and how we can all prepare the next generation of innovators… and get more creative ourselves.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Digital Citizens 21 mins – “Right from wrong. We teach our kids what this means in the classroom and at home. But what about online? The next generation of tech users could be a part of much more civilized digital universe, but only if they learn how now. Manoush talks to Richard Culatta (CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education) about the five steps to creating good digital citizens, and how to turn the current online “culture shift” into something positive, respectful, and more accessible to all.At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu. 

Digital Minimalism 31 mins – “Computer scientist and cult-blogger, Cal Newport, wants you to take 30 dates off from all your personal tech. A month off, he claims, is the only way to truly adopt Digital Minimalism, his method for finding tech-life balance and the name of his latest book. Manoush loves a digital detox as much as the next overloaded person, but she explains to Cal why she has issues with his particular prescriptions.At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu. 

Ebola Returns 35 mins – “This week, we’re taking a look at blood, from regenerating blood vessels, to one of our team going to their first blood donation!  Plus in the news, concerns that Ebola might be back with a vengeance in future: 60% more often and with 4 times the impact; plus NASA’s first all-female spacewalk: we hear from one of the astronauts involved…” At the link find the title, “Simulator Special,” left-click “Download” and select “Save File” and “OK” from the pop-up menu.

Feynman Diagrams 13 mins – “Richard Feynman looked tired when he wandered into my office. It was the end of a long, exhausting day in Santa Barbara, sometime around 1982. Events had included a seminar that was also a performance, lunchtime grilling by eager postdocs, and lively discussions with senior researchers. The life of a celebrated physicist is always intense. But our visitor still wanted to talk physics. We had a couple of hours to fill before dinner. I described to Feynman what I thought were exciting if speculative new ideas such as fractional spin and anyons. Feynman was unimpressed, saying: “Wilczek, you should work on something real.” (Anyons are real, but that’s a topic for another post.) Quantized A monthly column in which top researchers explore the process of discovery. This month’s columnist, Frank Wilczek, is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Looking to break the awkward silence that followed, I asked Feynman the most disturbing question in physics, then as now: “There’s something else I’ve been thinking a lot about: Why doesn’t empty space weigh anything?” Feynman, normally as quick and lively as they come, went silent. It was the only time I’ve ever seen him look wistful. Finally he said dreamily, “I once thought I had that one figured out. It was beautiful.” And then, excited, he began an explanation that crescendoed in a near shout: “The reason space doesn’t weigh anything, I thought, is because there’s nothing there!” To appreciate that surreal monologue, you need to know some backstory. It involves the distinction between vacuum and void….” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Gene Location 15 mins- “The nucleus of a cell has something in common with a cardboard box full of kittens: People get so fascinated by the contents that they overlook the container. The nucleus itself is often treated as no more than a featureless membranous bag for holding the vitally dynamic genetic material. Yet in fact it has specialized parts and an internal architecture of its own, and scientists have long speculated that precisely how the DNA positions itself with respect to those parts might matter a great deal. Now a team of researchers is finding credible evidence that this is true and possibly an important influence on gene expression. Using a new technique based on the genome-editing tool CRISPR, they artificially pinned parts of a cell’s DNA to different regions in the nucleus and observed what happened. The work, published last month in Cell, has begun to yield intriguing insights into how various nuclear neighborhoods may relate to gene expression, as either cause or facilitator….” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Gerrymandering 17 mins – “Partisan gerrymandering — the practice of drawing voting districts to give one political party an unfair edge — is one of the few political issues that voters of all stripes find common cause in condemning. Voters should choose their elected officials, the thinking goes, rather than elected officials choosing their voters. The Supreme Court agrees, at least in theory: In 1986 it ruled that partisan gerrymandering, if extreme enough, is unconstitutional. Yet in that same ruling, the court declined to strike down two Indiana maps under consideration, even though both “used every trick in the book,” according to a paper in the University of Chicago Law Review. And in the decades since then, the court has failed to throw out a single map as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. “If you’re never going to declare a partisan gerrymander, what is it that’s unconstitutional?” said Wendy K. Tam Cho, a political scientist and statistician at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.….” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

India Water Supply 30 mins -”India has experienced some of the worse monsoon weather in years, but despite the extreme rainfall climate models suggest a drought may be on the way, with higher than average temperatures predicted for the months following the monsoon season. We also hear warnings over the state of the world’s aquifers, with water levels in many places already low enough to affect ecosystems. We examine the consequences of two historic eruptions. How Indonesian volcano Tambora changed global weather and why papyrus scrolls blackened by Italy’s Vesuvius can now be read again. And from Australia the discovery of a new species of pterosaur in Queensland.” At the link left-click “Download” then left-click “Lower Quality” and and select “Save Link As”.

Influenza Vaccines 15 mins – “There are many ways to apply the medical literature. For me it starts with the premise that health care workers may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.” At the link right-click “Podcast” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Kids and Online Technology 37 mins – “Right from wrong. We teach our kids what this means in the classroom and at home. But what about online? The next generation of tech users could be a part of much more civilized digital universe, but only if they learn how now. Manoush talks to Richard Culatta (CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education) about the five steps to creating good digital citizens, and how to turn the current online “culture shift” into something positive, respectful, and more accessible to all.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Kids and Technology 37 mins – “The tech show about being human returns with an all new season. Host Manoush Zomorodi kicks things off with the latest on the battle between kids and parents over their screens: do we know how kids are impacted by tech? Does it make them less empathetic? Are they being constantly bullied online? Even if we can help kids figure out their digital habits, are we adults totally screwed? Researcher Elizabeth Englander joins Manoush to share new findings and give the most pragmatic advice about how kids and adults can build better relationships with their tech and each other.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

LED Localization 12 mins – “…This is where Svitlana Mayboroda comes in. Mayboroda, 36, is a mathematician at the University of Minnesota. Five years ago, she began to untangle the long-standing puzzle of localization. She came up with a mathematical formula called the “landscape function” that predicts exactly where waves will localize and what form they’ll take when they do. “You want to know how to find these areas of localization,” Mayboroda said. “The naive approach is difficult. The landscape function magically gives a way of doing it.” Her work began in the realm of pure mathematics, but unlike most mathematical advances, which might find a practical use after decades, if ever, her work is already being applied by physicists. In particular, LED lights — or light-emitting diodes — depend on the phenomenon of localization. They light up when electrons in a semiconducting material, having started out in a position of higher energy, get trapped (or “localize”) in a position of lower energy and emit the difference as a photon of light. LEDs are still a work in progress: Engineers need to build LEDs that more efficiently convert electrons into light, if the devices are to become the future of artificial lighting, as many expect they will. If physicists can gain a better understanding of the mathematics of localization, engineers can build better LEDs — and with the help of Mayboroda’s mathematics, that effort is already under way….” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Lithium Battery Nobel Prize 30 mins – “Nobel prizes this week went to a range of discoveries that you might be familiar with, in fact you might be using one of them right now – the lithium ion battery. The scientists credited with its Invention got the chemistry prize. And the tantalising prospect of life on other planets plays into the physics prize win. And we also see what salamanders have to offer in the treatment of arthritis”

Lithium Ion Battery Noble Prize 16 mins – “John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino share the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for the development of lithium-ion batteries” that have led to portable electronic devices that are rechargeable virtually anywhere on the planet.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of it is included in this blog archive.

Machine Learning 12 mins – “Score one for the human brain. In a new study, computer scientists found that artificial intelligence systems fail a vision test a child could accomplish with ease. “It’s a clever and important study that reminds us that ‘deep learning’ isn’t really that deep,” said Gary Marcus, a neuroscientist at New York University who was not affiliated with the work. The result takes place in the field of computer vision, where artificial intelligence systems attempt to detect and categorize objects. They might try to find all the pedestrians in a street scene, or just distinguish a bird from a bicycle (which is a notoriously difficult task). The stakes are high: As computers take over critical tasks like automated surveillance and autonomous driving, we’ll want their visual processing to be at least as good as the human eyes they’re replacing….” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Malaria Research 30 mins – “A variety of malarial parasites have existed amongst the great apes for millennia. How did one of them jump species and why did humans became its preferred host? And from Antarctica we hear about a potential new treatment for malaria found in a deep sea sponge. Also, why improved monitoring is changing our perceptions of earthquakes and the story of an endangered Polynesian snail.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Math Evolution 19 mins – “Creationists love to insist that evolution had to assemble upward of 300 amino acids in the right order to create just one medium-size human protein. With 20 possible amino acids to occupy each of those positions, there would seemingly have been more than 20300 possibilities to sift through, a quantity that renders the number of atoms in the observable universe inconsequential. Even if we discount redundancies that would make some of those sequences effectively equivalent, it would have been wildly improbable for evolution to have stumbled onto the correct combination through random mutations within even billions of years. The fatal flaw in their argument is that evolution didn’t just test sequences randomly: The process of natural selection winnowed the field. Moreover, it seems likely that nature somehow also found other shortcuts, ways to narrow down the vast space of possibilities to smaller, explorable subsets more likely to yield useful solutions.….” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Medicare for All Discussion 11 mins – “Interview with Dr. David Cutler on the debate over Medicare for All and other proposals for reforming the U.S. health care system. As debate about U.S health care begins anew, with particular focus on a “Medicare for All” type insurance design, it’s worth considering why weighing the complex but real trade.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Microbe Evolution 25 mins – “Twilight falls on the Tanzanian plain. As the sky turns a deeper purple, a solitary spotted hyena awakens. She trots along the border of her clan’s territory, marking the boundary with a sour paste from under her tail. She sniffs a passing breeze for hints of itinerant males interested in mating, giving little attention to her stomach’s rumbling over the remnants of the previous night’s hunt or the itch on her flank. The lone hyena chooses what she will do next to make her living. Except she is not alone. That paste she secretes is produced not by her own cells but by billions of bacteria housed within her scent glands. The scents on the breeze from potential mates also come from unique microbial concoctions. A diverse array of bacteria that line her gut are helping to break down her meal. Others assist her immune system in fending off the hordes of parasites and pathogens trying to invade her skin and other tissues….“We’ve underestimated the potential contribution of microbes to traits we’ve been studying for decades or centuries,” said Kevin Theis, a microbiologist at Wayne State University who studies the paste-making microbes of the hyena. “If the genes for these important traits are actually in the microbiome and not the animal itself, then we need to take a systems-level approach and look at the host-microbe system as a whole.”…. At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Montana Subsistence Life 70 mins – “Ariel lives off grid in a tiny house nestled into the western mountains of Wyoming, a little over 6000 feet above sea level. She splits her own wood for heat, carries water by hand, uses a composting toilet, and attempts to grow, hunt, or forage as much of her own food as possible between the weather and wildlife she’s surrounded by. As a child, she was fortunate enough to be able to spend much of her free time exploring and playing in the woods. Little has changed now that she older. She moved to a place with a bigger woods and still enjoys spending her time outside with her dog, hiking, gardening, and photographing the natural world. As the eldest of seven children who grew up in a homeschooling family Ariel had the opportunity, not always appreciated at the time, to learn to do quite a bit of work. She’s enjoyed a wide range of jobs, everything from greenhouses and flower arranging, to wilderness therapy with teens, to milking cows. Mostly, she enjoys doing the kinds of things that try to provide a real service or value to others. Some of her other hobbies include backpacking, hosting people, cooking, preserving food, anything to do with nutrition, skiing, reading, journaling, and sitting around a fire and talking to close friends.” At the link right-click “Download” at the sound bar and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Nature Journal Editor 50 mins – “Nature celebrates 150 years; missions bring new excitement for the Moon; mystery and complexity of our sense of smell; lignin a possible basis for new bioplastics; Polluting petrochemical solvent replaced by green biochemical alternative” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Neural Networks 24 mins – “When we design a skyscraper we expect it will perform to specification: that the tower will support so much weight and be able to withstand an earthquake of a certain strength. But with one of the most important technologies of the modern world, we’re effectively building blind. We play with different designs, tinker with different setups, but until we take it out for a test run, we don’t really know what it can do or where it will fail. This technology is the neural network, which underpins today’s most advanced artificial intelligence systems. Increasingly, neural networks are moving into the core areas of society: They determine what we learn of the world through our social media feeds, they help doctors diagnose illnesses, and they even influence whether a person convicted of a crime will spend time in jail.….” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

News Release Problems 56 mins – “Everyone’s seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you’d be right. But there’s other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We’re talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This study of hype in press releases will change journalism This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Puerto Rican Music 36 mins – “On this episode, we look closer at hit songs that have taken on broader resonances: from a wistful ode to Puerto Rico to a disco classic about outlasting and thriving to an enduring bop about pushy, unfortunate men — i.e., scrubs.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Quantum Communication 11 mins – “…Quantum machines — which exploit quantum properties of matter to encode information — are widely expected to revolutionize computing. But progress has been slow. While engineers labor to build rudimentary quantum computers, theoretical computer scientists have confronted a more fundamental obstacle: They’ve been unable to prove that classical computers will never be able to perform the tasks quantum computers are designed for. This past summer, for example, a teenager from Texas proved that a problem long thought to be quickly solvable only on a quantum computer can be done rapidly on a classical computer as well.…. At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Recycling Overview 60 mins“This week we’re diving into bins and sorting through the rubbish to figure out what’s going on with recycling. When you put something in the recycling bin, where does it actually end up? Bryony Rothwell, the Partnership Manager for RECAP – an organisation that coordinates waste across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough – joins Izzie Clarke and Chris Smith to explain… Izzie – Now we’ve been told that most things can be recycled. I’ve been shopping and, Bryony, I hope you can tell me where some of these things will end up if I recycle them. First up we’ve got a milk bottle here, and that’s made up of a hard plastic. Is that a problem? Bryony – No, this is a very recyclable material. It’s a plastic called HDPE and it’s recycled in the UK back into milk bottles. There’s a very good recycling system for that material, as long as it’s presented in your curbside being clean, washed out, and squashed with the lid back on. Other materials such as cardboard, if it’s in good quality, not contaminated with food, that will go on to be made into more cardboard which will be made into packaging for cereal. Anything that’s presented in your recycling bin in a high quality way, so it’s not wet, it’s empty, it’s clean and squashed, it will get made back into recyclable products….” At the link left-click “Download” and select “Save File” and “OK” from the pop-up menu.

Research Discussion 66 mins – “Why doesn’t our universe make sense? What is time? What is life? On Friday, more than 200 readers joined writers and editors from Quanta Magazine at the Simons Foundation for a wide-ranging panel discussion that examined the newest ideas in fundamental physics, biology and mathematics research, including the questions of whether our universe is “natural,” the nature of time, the origin and evolution of life, whether mathematics is invented or discovered and what role it plays in science and society. These are just some of the topics presented in Quanta’s two new books published by The MIT Press: Alice and Bob Meet the Wall of Fire and The Prime Number Conspiracy.….” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

River Physics 15 mins – “ …branching river networks still lure would-be explainers, many of whom hope to glimpse some underlying mathematical code responsible for etching out these common patterns. It’s no easy feat. Geomorphologists have long measured statistical laws that river networks seem to obey — the longest stream snaking through a basin, for example, seems to be proportional to the area of the basin raised to the power of 0.6. But these generic laws haven’t offered much insight into what actually shapes the networks. Another problem is that the real world doesn’t skimp on detail. The amount of rain, the nooks and crannies that the rain falls into, the exact sediments that start to erode, the trees that line channel banks, and the water table rising from below all vary across place and time. And they all might matter. Yet recently, one fundamental recipe for building river networks has begun to take shape. A team led by Daniel Rothman, a geophysicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has spent the past few years arguing that a basic, near-ubiquitous growth pattern can explain the shapes of river networks carved into wet soils — and maybe beyond.….” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Simulator Special 34 mins – “Why do people play simulator games like Farming Simulator and the new Woodwork Simulator?” At the link find the title, “Simulator Special,” left-click “Download” and select “Save File” and “OK” from the pop-up menu.

Solvents 16 mins – “Solvents are used in a wide range of manufacturing processes. They provide an environment favourable for a chemical reaction. But many solvents are sourced from petrochemicals. Some are highly toxic and offer a challenge after their use. Many are disposed of deep underground but their toxicity remains. Chemists at a small chemical company in Melbourne have developed an alternative. Their new solvent uses sawdust or biowaste from food production. It comprises just carbon, hydrogen and oxygen and comes without toxicity. As Carl Smith reports, the new solvent’s development was inspired by a Science Show report from 2011.” At the link right-click the down-pointing arrow and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Spinal Manipulation Value 19 mins – “Spinal Manipulation for Back and Neck Pain: Does It Work? You would think it does if you read the article but not if you actually read the literature.” At the link right-click “Podcast” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Ultralearning 68 mins – “Scott Young is a lifelong learner and online entrepreneur who runs the business ScottHYoung.com where he tries to answer the question: “What’s the best way to learn?” through free articles, and a series of books and courses. In a world of limitless access to information, it’s become possible for all of us to direct our own learning like never before. And Scott is a great example of someone doing this – taking on ambitious ultra learning projects…” At the link left-click the down-pointing arrow and select “OK” from the pop-up menu.

XKCD Teaches Science 29 mins – “This week we welcome Randall Munroe to the show.  As creator of the webcomic XKCD, Munroe often features aspects of technology, math, computer science and physics in his drawings. These topics have also had prominence in his books, including his newest book called How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems.  To hear more about How To, Randall joins us talk about how he started in his career, how he got Serena Williams to serve a tennis ball at a drone (for book research, of course), and how you might use XKCD comics to help teach science in your classroom.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

Thanks for stopping by.

About virginiajim

Retired knowledge nut.
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