Wiyosa Rusdi

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Simple harmonic motion: the swing of the pendulum

Nudge something away from where it was at rest, and often it will push back. And then overshoot. From atoms to bridges to wheeled luggage, much of the world is in simple harmonic motion<p>Yesterday my daughter saw the famous Tacoma Narrows bridge video for the first time in a talk by Roma Agrawal at …

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Oldest Globe of New World Carved on Ostrich Eggs?

The mysterious globe was discovered by a Belgian map collector.<p><b>A recently discovered globe from the early 1500s, carved onto ostrich eggs, may be the oldest globe of the New World ever identified, experts say.</b><p>Latin inscriptions dot its surface, and two small islands sit in the place of what we now …

4 Real Inventions Inspired by Science Fiction

A Space Laser Designed To Vaporize Dangerous Asteroids

DE-STAR could vaporize asteroids that threaten Earth in less than an hour.<p>DE-STAR is designed to vaporize or divert asteroids that threaten Earth. This isn't science fiction—I build things that have to work in practice. DE-STAR stands for Directed Energy Solar Targeting of Asteroids and …

The 10 Worst Places To Live In The Universe

And you thought 97 degrees F was bad.<p>Recently, we told you about an exoplanet that rains glass. <i>Sideways</i>. Which got us thinking: 1.) we will never complain about the weather here on Earth again and 2.) surely that's got to be the worst place to live in the entire universe. But no! With the help of …

Dolphins Have "Names," Respond When Called

Having identities may help dolphins communicate, study suggests.<p><b>We already knew that bottlenose dolphins can follow "recipes" in preparing mollusks, help other species in distress, and possibly do math. So it may come as no surprise that the marine mammals also call each other by whistles that act</b> …

The Creatures of Kenya’s Forgotten Loima Hills

<i>Yvonne de Jong is a National Geographic grantee working with team member Thomas Butynski to track down what may be Africa’s least understood large animal, the Desert Warthog.</i><p>——-<p>Turkana is Kenya’s most remote district. Located west of Lake Turkana in the north-west corner of the country, Turkana …

Secrets of the Maya Otherworld

<b>On the edge of a small cornfield near the ruined Maya city of Chichén Itzá, in the sparse shade of</b> a tropical tree, a voice ricochets wildly up the mouth of a well. <i>“¡Lo vi! ¡Lo vi!”</i> the shout proclaims. “I saw it, I saw it!” <i>“¡Sí, es verdad!</i> Yes, it’s true!”<p>Leaning over the mouth of the well, …

Ancient origin of hepatitis B viruses revealed by DNA fossils in bird genomes

As the old adage goes; "One man's trash is another man's treasure": what has often been described as "junk DNA" has revealed a hidden gem. Not only …

It All Began in Chaos

<b>The dust speck had been plucked from the tail of a comet more than 200 million miles away. Now, under an electron microscope in a basement lab at the</b> University of Washington, its image grew larger, until it filled the computer screen like an alien landscape. Zooming in on a dark patch that looked …

First-ever human head transplant is now possible, says neuroscientist

<i>Update: New Scientist reported Feb. 25, 2015, that Canavero will announce at a conference in June a project to make the first human head transplant possible by 2017.</i><p>Technical barriers to grafting one person’s head onto another person’s body can now be overcome, says Dr. Sergio Canavero, a member of …

Innovation

Human Head Transplants Are Getting Closer To Reality

I want *that* head on *that* body.<p>Complete head transplants are enormously complicated, requiring the reconnecting of literally millions of nerve fibers, not to mention bones and tissue. We're not really sure how any of this will work, but it looks like we're getting closer to a full …

How algorithms rule the world

On 4 August 2005, the police department of Memphis, Tennessee, made so many arrests over a three-hour period that it ran out of vehicles to transport …

The Hanging Gardens of … Nineveh?

Blame it on a bad translation. This ancient wonder may not have been in Babylon.<p><b>The legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon are exactly that: legendary. And they may not have been located in Babylon.</b><p>The gardens, famous as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, were, according to Stephanie …

In the new ‘Star Trek’ film, Spock stops an active volcano. Is that possible?

Human Journey<p>In the opening scenes of <i>Star Trek Into Darkness</i>, Spock (Zachary Quinto) is dropped in the middle of an active volcano. His mission? To stop the volcano from exploding before it destroys everything in its path. His equipment? A suitcase-sized “cold fusion” device, designed to destroy …