Saturday, January 28, 2012

Weekly Links

Hooray for science!

Coughs, colds, and the "appealing but mistaken concept of boosting the immune system"
Erik Davis explains how there is no evidence that it's possible to generally boost your immune system. (Vaccinations, of course, can specifically boost your immune system's ability to fight off a particular virus.)

Five shots against global warming denialism
Phil Plait goes over current events in the fight against climate change denialism.

Why blocking roads can speed up traffic
Jesse Galef demonstrates the incredibly counterintuitive Braess' Paradox. It's actually possible to reduce traffic by closing off a connecting road. The math looks sound!

Okay, but how do touch screens actually work?
Great explanation of the various mechanisms for touch screen technology. I actually hadn't heard of the frustrated total internal reflection design, which allow for much larger touch screens.

FYI: How long-running is the longest-running lab experiment?
Eighty-five years as it turns out. A professor at University of Queensland set up a funnel of tar pitch to prove to his students that it was a liquid. So far, nine drops have fallen.

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