Travis Melland

16 Flips | 3 Magazines | @4ensics | Keep up with Travis Melland on Flipboard, a place to see the stories, photos, and updates that matter to you. Flipboard creates a personalized magazine full of everything, from world news to life’s great moments. Download Flipboard for free and search for “Travis Melland”

Why the universe may be nothing more than math

If you're not already a physicist, you need to mentally prepare yourself for MIT professor Max Tegmark's explanation of how our entire universe isn't just described by math, but <i>is</i> math. <i>Scientific American</i> published an excerpt from Tegmark's new book, <i>Our Mathematical Universe</i>, which explains that …

Starwatch: The January night sky

Jupiter stands 630m km away at opposition on the 5th and dominates our January nights. Arcing from low in the NE at nightfall, it passes high in the S in the middle of the night and sinks into the NW by dawn. The giant planet is tracking westwards 10° SW of Castor and Pollux, and reaches mag -2.7, …

Ancient Human Genes Cause New Confusion For Science

When Matthias Meyer began studying the ancient DNA in the 400,000 year old fossils he found in the Sima de los Huesos, or Pit of Bones cave, deep …

How To Turn Your Camera Into A Photosynthesis Detector

In about an hour, you can hack a camera to only display blue, green, and near-infrared light, which will give you a lovely view of plant life.<p>Members of Public Lab, an online civic science community, wanted to build an inexpensive tool to measure plant health. Their solution: convert an obsolete …

Hyperkin Retron 5 combines ten consoles into one on December 10 for $99 (updated)

We love what the Hyperkin Retron 5 brings to the table, namely compatibility with <i>ten</i> classic gaming system cartridges: NES, Famicom, Super NES and Famicom, Sega Master System, Genesis and Mega Drive, and Game Boy original, Color and Advance. The problem is, Hyperkin's played coy about it's price …

The First Quantum Teleportation In A Computer Chip

In a milestone for quantum computing, researchers at ETH Zurich have demonstrated quantum teleportation in a solid-state circuit. Even more, they’ve broken something of a quantum speed record – they estimate that their system could teleport 10,000 quantum bits per second. This teleportation …

How To Build Your Own DIY Centrifuge

Get a lab-grade centrifuge (normally $2,000) for 50 bucks.<p>For any garage-ista ready to tackle molecular biology, the centrifuge is an essential laboratory tool. Its super-rapid spin supplies the right G-forces to neatly separate biological materials—including cells, proteins, and DNA—from a liquid. …

Area 51 and its purpose declassified: No UFOs, but lots of U-2 spy planes

A newly declassified CIA history from 20 years ago spills the story about Nevada's Area 51 and its secret mission — which was not to study UFOs, but to test the U-2 and other spy planes.<p>The CIA's story about the legendary test site is contained in "The Central Intelligence Agency and Overhead …

Paranormal

Pangea Redrawn With Today’s Political Boundaries

Once, the earth was comprised of a supercontinent called Pangea. So what would that continent look like if it had the political boundaries of today?<p>It’s hard to imagine a time when Antarctica was a stone’s throw from the Australian Outback, or when Morocco was right across the street from New York. …

Plate Tectonics

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New form of carbon said to be strongest material ever found

The strongest known material in the world may have just been dethroned. Researchers from Rice University have calculated the properties of a little-studied form of carbon known as carbyne, and they've determined that it should have a "specific strength surpassing that of any other known material." …

'Teddy bear' carnivore emerges from the mists of Ecuador

A small, wide-eyed beast with luxuriant orange fur has been identified as a new species more than 100 years after it first went on display in the world's museums.<p>The discovery brings to an end one of the longest zoological cases of mistaken identity and establishes the "olinguito" (which rhymes …

Meet The Dread Pirate Roberts, The Man Behind Booming Black Market Drug Website Silk Road

An entrepreneur as professionally careful as the Dread Pirate Roberts doesn’t trust instant messaging services. Forget phones or Skype. At one point during our eight-month preinterview courtship, I offer to meet him at an undisclosed location outside the United States. “Meeting in person is out of …

Right-Brain, Left-Brain Just a Myth, Say Neuroscientists

Are you a “right-brained” or “left-brained” thinker? Are you sensitive and artistic, or logical and analytical? Are you detail-oriented or intuitive? …

The Brain

Space Oddities: 8 of the Strangest Exoplanets

Twenty years after scientists confirmed the first planets beyond our solar system, there are more than 900 confirmed exoplanets and thousands of additional candidates. Some of the worlds out there are just plain out-there.<p>Twenty years after scientists confirmed the first planets beyond our solar …