Scienceline Staff Picks

Exploding curry, Gorilla Glue and bloody marys

Our favorites from the week

April 1, 2011

Our staff writers share their top picks.

From Mary Beth Griggs:

There has been a breakthrough in the War on Terror. A fantastic new defense against the ravages of things-that-explode. The secret ingredient is…curry powder. Bet you didn’t see THAT one coming. The BBC has the full story here, but essentially, one of the active ingredients in curry, curcumin, can be engineered so that it fluoresces when in the presence of explosive. But only when it’s dissolved in a liquid. So there’s still a ways to go.

Speaking of really cool but totally theoretical stuff; two scientists from Fermilab in Illinois have come up with the idea that dark matter could make planets habitable that we don’t think are at the moment. Read the story here-the New Scientist does a really good job of explaining the concept.

And because I love slideshows way too much, check out this great gallery from NSF featuring Antarctic Icebergs.

From Sarah Fecht:

Get your head in the clouds! This New York Times article talks about the art and science of cloud collecting. If you’re on the market for a free, whimsical hobby, cloudspotting sounds pretty sweet. Caution: after reading this article, you may find yourself craning your eyeballs skyward every time you walk outside.

Who knew Gorilla Glue doesn’t work in space? Here’s a glue that does.

I’m dusting off my running shoes after reading this NPR article. Running doesn’t increase your chances of getting arthritis in your knees, says a new study. In fact, it may help prevent it. So no more excuses!

From Stephanie Warren:

I have a weak spot for anything food science, and this NPR blog about the chemistry of the perfect bloody mary was one of my favorite stories of the week. A few flavor charts, a little Ernest Hemingway — who could ask for more? Hint: the secret to the drink is keeping it very cold.

Every time I go to Las Vegas, I’m struck with at strange combination of repulsion and fascination. Why are we drawn to the glittering slot machines like bugs to a zapper? In this well-written blog by Jonah Lehrer, we learn that maybe we’re so easily conned because we didn’t evolve to thrive on The Strip.

But the best science news from this week was, without a doubt, the saga of the Bronx Zoos cobra, who escaped and then proceeded to tweet about her ventures to New York City hotspots under the hashtag #snakeabouttown. She’s back in her cage, but still voicing her opinionsssss on Twitter. Follow her @BronxZoosCobra.

About the Author


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The Scienceline Newsletter

Sign up for regular updates.