Johnny Photon Logo
home 2D Art 3D Art Contact Info





Archive for the 'Medicine' Category

Crowd Sourcing Science

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

I mentioned kickstarter in my last post. Until recently I would look at it and people would have projects there for games they wanted to write but often they were trying to raise ridiculously small amounts of money compared to what it takes to actually produce a game. The past month that seems to have changed with a few projects raising millions of dollars. Of course, these are well known people. I’ve had a game in mind for ten years or so I’ve wanted to write, but it’s hard to imagine doing it without large resources.

I ran across the site petridish the other day. They are attempting to crowd source science in the same way kickstarter does. I remember reading about DRACO, a project to create a broad spectrum anti-viral at MIT. It holds the promise to do to viruses the same thing that antibiotics did to bacterial infections. Those people should definitely get their project on petridish.

We occasionally have wasps building nests in our grill. At least they aren’t two and a half inches long!

This place is a good example of somewhere I would go a lot more often if I owned a self driving car. It’s about eight hours away and spectacular. You could just settle in for the night and wake up there. I had not thought about the point he makes in that link where people would probably own a lot less cars because most families could get by with one car. I disagree with his point in the last paragraph though. I think once most people have them, the insurance costs for driving your own car will become so high most people will not be able to afford it.

This is not a caterpillar.

Apparently there are glowing jellyfish in Japan.

And finally, something to make you say awww

Germs

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

I’ve been fighting a cold this week. As colds go it’s not a particularly bad one. It is enough to make it difficult to think and write though so forgive me if this post is particularly rambling. I do have some good stuff to share with you. If you have read my blog before you know I’m no fan of antibacterial soap because it’s bad for the environment and doesn’t work better than regular soap. I didn’t realize regular soap doesn’t kill germs it just helps rinse them off you hands. This list of 10 germ myths also has some other interesting facts. I tend to keep two sponges for washing dishes. I alternate them letting one dry out but maybe I should microwave them.

I’m not sure I have ever seen ice form in ribbons. The link at the bottom goes to some interesting photos too.

Today would probably be a good day to blow bubbles and watch them freeze. On the other hand, it’s really windy out there.

Check out these cool cloud pictures.

For some reason these spectacular pictures of winter’s beauty don’t change the fact I wish it were summer.

Here is one more cool winter shot of a train blasting through snow.

As the new year came in there were lots of top ‘whatever’ lists on the internet. I liked this one. The best 50 astronomy pictures of 2008.

If that didn’t make you feel small, the following video shows the size of the largest star compared with our sun.

This is an example of what a talented carver can do with a watermelon.

Dolphins in Australia use sponges to protect their noses while poking around on the sea floor. It’s interesting only the females do it. Maybe the males don’t want to look wimpy.

This is a video of an aluminum block falling over very slowly in very strong magnetic field.

Here is an explanation for why that happens.

These are some nice pictures of birds (and a clever cat) fishing.

And finally, if giraffes weren’t vegetarian this picture would have a very different meaning.

Meteor

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

This spectacular footage from a police car dash camera is a meteor over Edmonton, Canada.

Something about all those legs makes centipedes really creepy. I had no idea they grow as big as 13 inches. At the end of this video, one catches a bat out of the air.

I liked this picture of a puppy sleeping under a gun in Iraq.

This is a pretty strange fish story about a giant cat fish who tried to swallow a basketball.

I have heard about most of these people with extraordinary abilities. Most of the ones I hadn’t heard about seem plausible except for Magnetic Man.

Here is an extraordinary ability. Watch this guy stack 20 bricks on his head and then carry them off that way.

We actually did pretty well on this turkey trivia quiz. We don’t really know much about turkeys but we had a lot of lucky guesses.

I didn’t make it all the way through this list of programmer jokes. Some of them are really bad and some you have to be a programmer to get, but there were a few good ones mixed in.

This story deals with a subject of a sexual nature. I just found it so funny. I thought I’d throw the title out there and let you decided whether to click or not. Morally Repressed Mattel Pulls “Vibrating” Harry Potter Broomstick

I thought this image editing trick was a pretty original idea.

Speaking of image manipulation, I’ve seen a number of these images before. Some could be real.

On a more artistic note, here are some sci-fi fantasy landscapes. My Russian is non-existent but I believe the artist may be Inga Nielsen.

Here is another collection of painted and rendered artwork from 18 different artists. If you are at work, there is some artistic nudity in that one.

In the following video George Smoot talks about the structure of the universe. When ever I see stuff like that I’m always awestruck by the sheer size. Every person on earth could own lots of galaxies each containing 100 billion stars but we won’t even get to explore them.

It’s strange how an extremely simple video can be so intriguing when it’s ultra slow motion.

This is another example of using an ink-jet type technology in medical science. In this case they are constructing custom made bones within hours!

On a more depressing note, it turns out the oceans are turning to acid much faster than anyone thought they would.

This article on making motor oil from cows manages to combine environmentalism with a sort of “ick” factor.

Sometime back, I published a picture of my cat Amy being silly in a punch bowl. Here are two cats getting into the same jar.

And finally, speaking of cats in strange places, this collection includes both cute ones and ones that seem like they would be dangerous places for the cats to be.

Good Germs vs Bad Germs

Friday, November 7th, 2008

I have mentioned before I try not to buy antibacterial soap but it is getting hard to find regular soap. The reason is the antibacterial agents don’t work in the time range they would be on your hands, there is no evidence they work better, and they stick around  in the environment for a very long time causing damage. The other point is by killing off friendly bacteria you have now created a possible space for the non-friendly kind. This is an interesting article where a hospital used friendly bacteria instead of antiseptics with positive results.

I used to write paint programs and my first big product was software for plastic surgeons so I wasn’t surprised when I saw this piece about an automated system which can make everyone beautiful. I’m also not surprised when they say the process doesn’t work well with familiar faces because they would look too different if you changed basic facial features. Generally when I re-touch photos of people I follow pretty standard processes like lightening their eyes and smoothing their skin but I have found it works best when you overdo it and then blend it back with the original photo. The idea is to get something that looks like you took the best possible picture of someone not that you messed with the photo.

Speaking of beauty, here is a picture of Megan Fox as Wonder Woman.

This was clever, the original Photoshop.

There are tons of online image editors these days. Here is a list of ten with some recommendations.

Dru Blair is an artist who paints remarkably photo-realistic paintings. Here is a breakdown of him painting an image you would swear is a photograph.

Check out these nice pictures of roads. Some of them are really striking.

It turns out the whole universe may be mysteriously moving in the same direction.

This is a pretty cool photo of the robot Dextre at work on the space station.

This article talks about how to deal with ‘body glitches’. My favorite cure for hiccups was to bite into a lemon. I haven’t had them for a long time now but I got to the point where I could get rid of them by merely thinking about biting a lemon. Hmm, the site may be down at the moment.

Any idea what this mysterious piece of metal is?

What could be cuter than a puppy cam?

My cats loved boxes but generally ones which were large enough for them to get in. This cat does finally manage though.

And finally, if you read this blog you have seen some of these pictures before but here is a collection of cute small animal photos.

Follow Up

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Last spring two wild kittens showed up in our driveway. With our neighbor’s help, we found a home for them but not before we got a chance to get them to adapt to humans. I wrote about it in this post and this post. We learned they are growing up strong and happy and I have a picture. They sure have grown!

Jack and Jill look happy

Jack and Jill look happy

I’m not sure I ever posted about this word game where they donate rice for every answer you get right. I may have played it before I started blogging. According to this they have surpassed their billionth grain of rice.

This looks pretty fun but you would need a really large place to fly it. It’s basically like being tied to a small blimp and strapping on wings to direct it for you own personal airship.

This example of using nanotube sheets as speakers is exactly the kind of technological advance which will produce products in the future you can’t imagine. It’s interesting they can use heat instead of motion to make sound.

I thought this ‘fountain of youth‘ drug sounded really promising but I had to laugh at this quote.

“The search for anti-frailty medications has become increasingly important because the average American is expected to live into his or her 80s, and most seniors want to stay strong enough to remain independent as they age.”

Most seniors? What? Did they do a survey? Does anyone want to become fragile?

Speaking of aging, this article about the coming singularity where machines become more intelligent than humans touches on so many points. The internet surpassed the capability of the human brain in 2006? I think Marshall Brain, (is that really his name), has a point about 50 million people being put out of work.

Probably not appropriate if you are at work. Heidi Klum re-enacts a scene from the movie Risky Business in a commercial for the new Guitar Hero game.

Here is an unusual design for a staircase.

Check out this clever theme for a bar.

When my friend Matt sends me pictures of dogs dressed up in costumes he says this is why dogs bite people. Here are a bunch of pictures of dogs dressed up in funny costumes.

These cats aren’t in costumes but they are scary and funny anyway.

And this dog is just too cute.

Finally check out these pictures of a cat and a lynx who are buddies.

Halloween

Friday, October 24th, 2008

I had seen some of these do-it-yourself Halloween projects individually but this site has a nice collection. I remember going to a party a few years back where a guy was wearing those spooky contact lenses. When we use to get a lot of kids, we would build spooky critters on our front porch but we learned quickly not to make them too spooky or the very young kids freaked out.

Just in time for Halloween, scientists create a glow-in-the-dark cat. Really, a real glow-in-the-dark cat.

I thought this collection of old Halloween photos was pretty interesting.

Someone ordered a cake with Olympic rings on it and this is what they got.

This escape video reminded me of my cat Maggie. She was unbelievably good at getting outside especially when we went on vacation.

This is an interesting tutorial on how to shoot infra-red pictures. It also has some nice examples of what you can get.

Here is another nice aurora picture.

I didn’t have kids myself but this rather humorous list of what can be learned from raising sons did remind me a little of my childhood. Sorry Mom and Dad!

In this science experiment, I’m not sure what the material in the tub is, but I was surprised how it worked out.

Could mosquitoes actually deliver vaccines instead of diseases?

This is a pretty funny video of a shopping cart calamity.

I’ve seen pictures of this cave in Mexico before. I can’t remember if I’ve already posted about it but if you haven’t seen it, you will be amazed.

And finally, someone is watching you.

Physics Test

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

I was at the hardware store the other day. The line was long and I struck up a conversation with the woman in front of me. I can’t remember why the subject came up, we were taking about hardware but I said something about having worked at the Indiana University Cyclotron. She said “so you’re a physicist?” I paused and said “Well I used to be”. She looked at me and said “It’s been my experience that once someone is a physicist, they are always a physicist.”  I’m not sure, maybe it’s one of those things you have to practice to be one, or maybe it’s just a way of looking at the world around you.

I got a laugh out of this funny account of the famous physicist Niels Bohr taking a test where he was to describe how to determine the height of a skyscraper using a barometer. It turns out it isn’t true but it’s still a good story.

Often I don’t get around trying a game until I see it linked in a couple of places. That was true of the eyeballing game which isn’t much of a game actually; it’s more of a test. I wondered if people who do graphics arts are better at it but my score varied pretty wildly.

I keep seeing amazing articles about new cancer drugs. I never really thought about how many normal cells would die from a drug verses how many cancer cells.  My guess is someday they will have a drug which only kills cancer cells but this one kills 12,000 cancer cells for every normal one and it’s based on a salad plant.

This is strange. It’s a picture of a man who had an image of Senator Obama shaved into the back of his head. I was surprised you could get that much detail in ‘hair’ media.

My cucumbers this year were from seeds that were a few years old. I wondered if they would sprout. This article is about sprouting an extinct date palm from seeds which were over 2000 years old. If it’s female they may be able to taste the fruit in 2010. After all that, I hope it doesn’t taste bad.

This summer when my garden was in full swing I joked if I could just get fish to swim through my yard I could live off the land. I thought this article about fish farming was pretty clever. They put them in cages that can navigate themselves so they show up at some destination city at just the right time.

Some years ago when the economy was also in a downturn and our business was failing, I used to go out in the yard and transplant volunteer forsythia to burn off steam. It got so bad my wife used to joke about me ‘moving bushes’ again. Now my yard is pretty amazing in the spring when they flower. It’s not really a maze but it’s arranged like you would if you were 10 years old and designed a yard for the game hide-and-seek. That’s nothing compared to these examples of hedge art.

Ha! Check out these levitating islands in the Bermuda Triangle.

This is a funny picture of what happens when Cupid gets rough.

Here is an interesting way to design a robot. It needs a couple arms so it can fetch from the fridge though.

I found this site on how to make paper pop-up cards.

And finally, Amy (my cat) doesn’t do it anymore but she used to come up and attack my foot when I put my pants on. That’s what I thought of when I saw these cute baby polar bear pictures.

UFO Strangeness

Monday, September 8th, 2008

This Larry King interview is just odd for so many reasons. This is video of a UFO interacting with a ballistic missile test. Be sure to read the text below the footage. If the footage was confiscated by the CIA, why are we watching it?

I was surprised by these photos of the most alien-looking place on earth because I hadn’t seen a lot of these plants before. Very cool pictures!

Speaking of striking places, check out the 10 most incredible oases in the world.

As long as we are looking at pictures, here are 35 examples of rain photography. Some are definitely better than others.

This is just strange. A kid has a rare medical condition that gives him super strength. When that baby throws a tantrum, you’d better get out of the way!

Here are top ten amazing science videos. I saw the Mythbusters episode the one clip is from and I thought the scene where they float things in a tank with sulfur hexafluoride was more interesting. My personal favorite was this one. I’m surprised I haven’t seen one of these in a bar or casino at some time.

Pretty sweet! Now you can build your own electric plane for $21,000.

And finally, check out this cute pair of animals

Paint Ball Ink Jet Printer

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Years ago it occurred to me you could make an ink jet printer out of a paint ball gun. Sure, the pixels would be big but if you had a large enough canvas, say the side of a barn, it would work. Well it was just one of those ideas I never got around to pursuing because well, it’s not very practical. What would you do with it? Thank goodness the guys at Mythbusters don’t need a practical reason to do something. They built a printer that not only makes a picture using paint balls, but fires all the balls off at the same time. Check out the video. The really cool stuff starts about half way through.

Speaking of the impractical, even if I’d thought of this one, I never would suspect enough people would buy it to make a successful product. It’s an aquarium toilet. I think you might hesitate to flush if you saw this.

This is one of those things you read and just wonder about the government. They point out in the article, most beef in the U.S. is too young to test for Mad Cow disease but what is the harm in testing?

Refrigeration is a very old and not-too-efficient technology. This article is about a plastic that could cool things using an electric field. They mention computer electronics and refrigeration but can you imagine if you could make clothing or a tent out the stuff?

The sun has been acting kind of strange lately. Last month it was spotless. According to this article, it was the first time in either 50 or 100 years. When it has happened in the past, it was followed by a period of global cooling. I’ve mentioned before in this blog whether you believe in global warming or not, pumping large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere has all kinds of repercussions including acidifying the oceans. If we are about to enter a cold phase, maybe it will give us some time to get our act together. On the other hand, it really doesn’t look like we are cooling off. For the first time in human history it is now possible to sail all the way around the Arctic. Also look at this data for the temperature of the last decade.

Speaking of the sun, check out these pictures of a nice sun dog, and a break in the clouds.

And finally, I have a couple of funny animal pictures for you. I got a chuckle out of this one, but this one is even better.

Wetware

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Every once in a while I read an article that makes me think yeah, we are living in the future. That is the way I felt about this article on a robot with a biological brain. It does make you wonder if in the future, we will have household robots with biological brains that are useful but somewhat unpredictable in their behavior. I suppose it’s not that different than owning a pet.

Offshore drilling is one of those things you would not think would divide up neatly upon party lines. I would think if you live on the ocean or have a vacation home there you would probably be against it. Also if your living depends on tourism or fishing you would be against it as well. Perhaps the government shouldn’t determine our energy policy but there is no real way to avoid its role. When you see evolving technologies such as this one where they have genetically altered bacteria to produce fuel which is compatible with existing pipelines and could be used in gasoline engines, you really wonder if the development can’t be accelerated.

This guy has an interesting view of the future. I can see a lot of those things happening but maybe on a longer time-line. It takes so long for new medical treatments to be approved, if you’re my age you probably won’t have nanobots swimming around your bloodstream. The replicator is a common subject for science fiction. I’m pretty sure someday they will exist but I’m thinking later than 2025.

Here is a follow up on the post I made yesterday on Bigfoot. Turns out one of the guys has been involved in Bigfoot hoaxes before.

This video of a huge propane explosion has some language some might find offensive. Unfortunately when the main blast hits, the person holding the camera understandably moves the shot off center. It’s a pretty dramatic scene though with a very visible shock wave.

This is kind of sad and funny. It’s a coffee cup with the bill of rights printed on it. Add hot coffee and watch your civil liberties disappear.

Smoke pictures are something I have never got around to trying along with high speed water drops. The best ones are at the bottom and aren’t real pictures but computer effects.

And finally, check out these cute guinea pigs.