Science Addiction

A dormant blog by Devanshu Mehta

Tag: Biology

Bizarre Bird Video: Off for Hitchcock Auditions?

Take a look at this video my parents took in Florida: Read the rest of this entry »

DRM: Why Apple Has it Wrong

A few days ago, a Janet Meyer article on “Apple Matters”: sparked a phenomenal discussion for and against Apple’s DRM policies. If you are not aware, Apple has a *Digital Rights Management* [DRM] system that “protects” the music it sells from the iTunes music store: it determines where you can play it, how you can play it, how many machines you can play it on and so on. It is proprietary, so if Apple controls the online music market, Apple also automatically controls how, where, why, when we listen to music we buy from them.

To cut a long story short, Janet was making the point that Apple may have a closed music format but as long as consumers have no trouble with it, consumers have a choice to buy CDs instead, the market will decide what is best.

Ah yes, the market. That all-knowing, all-seeing, all-singing, all-dancing market. It knows. In a _perfect_ society with fully informed consumers who have _true_ choices, the market knows. Elections would be marvellous with fully informed voters with _true_ choices as well Read the rest of this entry »

GreenFuel: Algae That Eats Your Pollution

By way of “Radio Open Source”: I discovered this cool new company called “GreenFuel”:

GreenFuel has algae that consumes CO2 and converts in to a biofuel. The idea is that their algae would consume emissions from smokestacks and become algae biomass. Algae biomass can be used as ethanol, biodiesel, and other stuff. The first bioreactor was attached at MIT and more have been installed elsewhere since. This one is being funded by a “VC”: run by Robert Metcalfe, the guy who invented Ethernet at Xerox PARC. That’s right, Ethernet.

Profitable venture-capital backed companies that can spin the current system on its head- that is, making it cool and profitable to turn your emissions clean- are fantastic ideas to urge a transition from our present system to a better one. Of course, lower government mandated emissions standards or credits for lower emissions would make this technology a lot more lucrative.

Research: Corn Fiber to Ethanol Using Mold

“Iowa State University researchers”: have discovered a method for using mold to break down corn fibers in to simple sugars that can be fermented to create Ethanol. Apparently, the process is not a simple one; corn fibers are very tough and do not degrade easily. Corn fibers are a byproduct of the wet milling process that produces corn syrup. And we all consume gallons of corn syrup mixed with caffeine (aka Coca-Cola) every year so this is good stuff and precisely the kind of thinking that seems to be required. Of course, the process only works on a small scale at the moment but mix a little venture capital or government money in and things become interesting.
[via The Energy Blog]

Those Cooky Scientists and Their Amazing Beans

You know what they say about beans- they make you… how should I say… “flatulent”: Well, a “few smart scientists in Venezuela”: have figured out how to make beans ferment more before they’re cooked removing their undesirable qualitites. Nice.

Ray’s Devonian Blues

In “Ray Troll’s”: own words:

A few months ago I received an email from my friend Dr. Ted Daeschler at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia telling me about a new lobe finned fish fossil that he and his colleague Dr. Neil Shubin had unearthed in late Devonian rocks way up in Nunavut, Canada. One of the many extraordinary things about this new fish is that it looks almost exactly like an amphibian, except that it has fins instead of legs…. I wrote a song called the ‘Devonian Blues’. I drew pictures of Charles Darwin ( AKA Chuckie ‘D’ ) embracing it.

The “song and video”: are fantastic- and in case your wondering, “Devonian”: _is a geologic period of the Paleozoic era_.

With “lyrics such as”: Your momma was a Lobefinned Fish. My momma was a Lobefinned Fish. and Thinking ’bout my mama and I’m thinking ’bout you. Got those Sarcopterygian Devonian Blues. This is the stuff of viral internet legends!