Nautilus - a science magazine
"Nautilus is a different kind of science magazine. We deliver big-picture science by reporting on a single monthly topic from multiple perspectives. Read a new chapter in the story every Thursday."
A remote pressure sensor manufactured in Redmond WA and deployed off the Japanese coast was dislodged by the Fukushima earthquake tsunami, and presumed lost.
Fast forward to Christmas 2014, when a strange glass float in a plastic shell - and packed with instruments - washed up on the beach at Willapa Bay,

Caltech researchers have found evidence of a giant planet tracing a bizarre, highly elongated orbit in the outer solar system. The object, which the researchers have nicknamed Planet Nine, has a mass about 10 times that of Earth and orbits about 20 times farther from the sun on average than does Neptune (which orbits the sun at an average distance of 2.8 billion miles). In fact, it would take this new planet between 10,000 and 20,000 years to make just one full orbit around the sun.

The researchers, Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown, discovered the planet’s existence through mathematical modeling and computer simulations but have not yet observed the object directly.

Making Virtual Reality Feel Real

The secret to convincing virtual reality isn’t high fidelity or super-sharp resolution. In fact, paying too much attention to such details can actually interfere with the simulation.

As with the way we experience reality itself, effective VR is about the way we lie to ourselves.

By adding a fat such as coconut oil before cooking, and then immediately cooling the rice, the starch composition of the rice alters so that it becomes more resistant to digestion.

The oil works by interacting with the starch molecules and changing its architecture. "Cooling for 12 hours will lead to formation of hydrogen bonds between the amylose molecules outside the rice grains which also turns it into a resistant starch," explained James in a press release. And he notes that heating the rice back up afterwards doesn’t change the resistant starch levels.

Mind you, if you’re living on a bowl of rice a day, you probably WON’T want to reduce your calorie intake.

"One advantage of being old is that you can see change happen in your lifetime. A lot of the change I’ve seen is fragmentation. US politics is much more polarized than it used to be. Culturally we have ever less common ground. The creative class flocks to a handful of happy cities, abandoning the rest. And increasing economic inequality means the spread between rich and poor is growing too. I’d like to propose a hypothesis: that all these trends are instances of the same phenomenon. And moreover, that the cause is not some force thats pulling us apart, but rather the erosion of forces that had been pushing us together."

Interesting read

The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement was an epic water-sharing pact between irrigators, ranchers, dam owners and tribal fishermen along the Klamath River. It was only made possible by wrenching negotiations between ranchers and the Yurok, Karuk and Klamath tribes. It appeared that, against all odds, the disparate parties in Oregon’s Klamath Basin had united to repair the damage done by an extended drought and outmoded dams.

But then Congress failed to implement it, and helped set the stage for the lunacy currently unfolding in Burns.


A video showing the painstaking reconstruction of a dress from Iron Age Scandinavia using authentic tools and techniques.

The level of sophistication in the weaving process is amazing, and humbling. Fascinating stuff.

Eat, Fast & Live Longer

Michael Mosley makes documentaries for the BBC. He was also trained as a physician. His efforts to live longer, and healthier, led to this 2012 BBC2 Horizon documentary on calorie restriction that launched the 5:2 intermittent fasting craze in Europe.

What it sounds like when you slow a hummingbird’s call down.

From WNPR via Skunkbear

IUPAC (the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) has added four new elements to the periodic table, completing the table’s seventh row and rendering science textbooks around the world instantly out of date.

Dry official announcement