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  1. BillTre

    After a Big Fire

    This article (open access I believe) from the local newspaper (The Register-Guard) has several aerial pictures of the landscape, in areas burned by the Holiday Farm Fire (~30 miles from Eugene, where I live). It shows a patchy distribution of burned areas. This is probably good, in that...
  2. BillTre

    Gorgeous Corona Virus Images

    Here is a Carl Zimmer article in the NY Times showing some fantastic images of the corona virus. These are mostly computer generated images (pretty common these days) based on cryo-EM (Electron Microscopy) and biochemical/molecular biology type data. They are very well rendered, down to the...
  3. BillTre

    Johnny Nash has Died

    Johnny Nash who wrote the great up-beat song "I Can See Clearly Now" a number 1 hit in 1972.
  4. BillTre

    Electrical Plug in Battery Replacement

    I saw an advertisement for this today: in B&H (photo suppliers) for $79. Too much for me, also many digital cameras have sockets to supply plug-in power from a power source which costs less. I was considering making something like this by 3D printing a shape to fit into the battery...
  5. BillTre

    Interesting Brain Scanning/Stimulating Backpack Allows Mobile Brain Studies

    This new technology will make monitoring outside of labs possible. It requires a brain implant. Kind of reminds me of the Borg.
  6. BillTre

    How will climate change affect the US?

    Several maps, from ProPublica, showing how climate change may play out as changes in the US. Lessor amounts of similar data can be found in this PNAS publication. Some of the maps are interactive (different levels of continued emissions). The maps cover: temperature/humidity based most...
  7. BillTre

    Stonehenge Had Good Acoustics For Voice And Music

    Tests of a mini-Stonehenge indicates it was acoustically suited for music and voices. Science News article Original research article Thus is was probably a good place to use for meetings of humans involving different audio features. This argument is reminiscent (to me anyway) of a David Byrne...
  8. BillTre

    Mice Have Longer Lives If Taking Bodybuilding Supplement

    As someone who is getting old, this caught my eye: News article in Science here. Alpha-ketoglutarate, a bodybuilding supplement and part of the Krebs cycle (AKA tricarboxylic acid or TCA cycle), prolongs the life of female mice. The Krebs cycle is an energy generating metabolic pathway...
  9. BillTre

    Small Fish Turns Tables on Larger Predators

    Cycles of predator-prey population size changes have been described where the predator eats so many of its primary prey that the reduced prey population can no longer support the predator population. In these conditions, the predator population crashes, which allows the prey population to...
  10. BillTre

    Electrically Conducting Bacteria

    This news article in Science magazine describes what is becoming known about the different kinds of bacteria that can do this, what is known about how they do it, and how people might make use of the phenomena. The bacteria conduct electricity through either small nano-filaments sticking out...
  11. BillTre

    Guy who could read letters, but not numbers

    Here is a little Science news article of a guy who got a corticobasal syndrome, which kills off brain cells. I find these kinds of weird (probably) neurologically caused mental problem very interesting. They say something about brain consciousness relationships, not clear what though...
  12. BillTre

    How Will Different Industries Respond to Coronavirus?

    What kinds of efforts will different facets of the economy take to carry on with their activities while control viral spread? How effective will they be? Different kinds of activities will require different approaches. One example is the film/entertainment industry. Here is a NY Times article...
  13. BillTre

    A Competitor to the Drake Equation

    An article in The Astrophysical Journal (not open access, here is an arXiv version): The Astrobiological Copernican Weak and Strong Limits for Intelligent Life proposes a different way to think about the possibility of intelligent life other places than earth. Abstract: Why Copernican...
  14. BillTre

    New Geological Map of Mars

    NASA and the US Geological Survey have produced a new geological map of Mars. Better than before. Very detailed and interesting (to me anyway). Lots of download options. Here is one of my favorite Martian regions:
  15. BillTre

    Time to Ban Palm Oil?

    Here is my not particularly well thought out Earth Day Proposal for your collective consideration. The building of palm oil plantations is often cited as a driver of tropical rainforest deforestration (which is thought to contribute to climate change in a variety of ways (I'm not providing...
  16. BillTre

    Chemical/Paint Black Anodized Wire

    I have a project for which I am looking for a black anodized wire. I feel I can find this in aluminum wire pretty easily, but if possible, I would like to use something that might be stiffer. Wikipedia says a variety of metals ca be anodized, but I don't recall ever seeing such products and...
  17. BillTre

    How Jigsaw Puzzles Are Made

    Apparently jigsaw puzzles are now very popular since many people are bored at home. This is a nice NY Times article on how jigsaw puzzles are manufactured. An image on cardboard is cut by a giant, very complex die cutter, which takes a long time to make and has only a limited number of uses.
  18. BillTre

    John Prine dies from Coronavirus at 73

    John Prine died today at 73 from Coronavirus. He wrote a bunch of great songs, such as:
  19. BillTre

    Today is National Beer Day in the US!

    Just found out that today (April 7) is National Beer Day in the US. It marks the day the Cullen-Harrison act had effect. This was before Prohibition (amendment 18) was repealed. Instead the Cullen-Harrison act (in traditional American tradition) worked around the amendment by redefining the...
  20. BillTre

    Artemis Fowl film about to stream

    Artemis Fowl may not be familiar to many, but I like because I read these with my kids when they were young. Artemis Fowl is a kid genius in a criminal family, becomes aware of the well hidden work of faeries and leprechauns and wants to take it over for criminal purposes. It has similarities to...
  21. BillTre

    Dog Sounds in Other Languages

    Are these real dogs sounds from other languages, or did the guy just make them up?
  22. BillTre

    Evidence of proteins, chromosomes and chemical markers of DNA in exceptionally preserved dinosaur cartilage

    I found this article on Research Gate. The reference is: Alida M. Bailleul, Wenxia Zheng, John R. Horner , Brian K. Hall, Casey M. Holliday and Mary H. Schweitzer. (2020). Evidence of proteins, chromosomes and chemical markers of DNA in exceptionally preserved dinosaur cartilage. National...
  23. BillTre

    I Universal interferometric signatures of a black hole’s photon ring

    This sounds interesting to me. I would appreciate the opinions of more knowledgeable and physics oriented forumists. The paper is in Science (I don't think its open access). Here is the abstract:
  24. BillTre

    CO2 reduction driven by a pH gradient

    In the world of Origin of Life hypothesizing, there now seem to be two main competing approaches. Life originating at alkaline hydrothermal vents and an origin in intermittent terrestrial pools (exposed to periods of drying) getting outflow from volcanically heated water sources. The alkaline...
  25. BillTre

    Turing Prize goes to Pixar Computer Graphics Pioneers

    Here is a NY Times article on this. They were recognized for their work on three-dimensional computer graphics and get $1,000,000. Besides Hollywood special effects, their techniques are used in video games, and virtual reality (more useful now in the age of social distancing).
  26. BillTre

    Happy PI Day!

    Happy Pi Day: Pi jokes! A mathematician, a physicist, and an engineer are all given identical rubber balls and told to find the volume. They are given anything they want to measure it, and have all the time they need. The mathematician pulls out a measuring tape and records the circumference...
  27. BillTre

    Itty Bitty Bird-Like Dinosaur Fossil Found in Amber

    The smallest non-embryonic dinosaur skull has been described in a pay-walled Nature article. Science magazine news article here. Here is a CNN story that has a video of a nice rotating 3D CT scan showing a lot of details of the skull. It looks a lot like a bird skull I found a few years ago...
  28. BillTre

    Molecular Mechanism for Bacterial Sliding

    This article from Science Advances (probably not open access, an AAAS publication) has described a complex and interesting molecular mechanism (a nano-bio-molecular machine). A rotary motor in the cell membrane (driving mechanisms unknown) spins a gear that pushes a "tread" along a track imbeded...
  29. BillTre

    Katherine Johnson, of "Hidden Figures" fame, dies at 101

    Katherine Johnson made famous by the "Hidden Figures" movie of 2016 died at the age of 101. She was a NASA "human calculator" involved in calculating trajectories of astronaut carrying space craft before computers were used for that purpose. Being a black female she also had to deal with race...
  30. BillTre

    Gary Starkweather who Invented Laser Writer dies

    Garry Starkweather who was developing the idea for the laser writer at Xerox. Due to management opposition, he had to move to PARC to bring it to fruition. As a kid he was quite the tinkerer. A nice summary of his life and journey to laser writer development is in this NY Times obit.