Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Google Maps/Earth mashup with real-time location data of planes, trains and automobiles

February 17, 2006

Cool mashups!

  • Trains: DartMaps is a very cool mashup of Google Maps and real-time rail times. You can really see the trains moving!

Other (near) real-time stuff: Arctic and Antarctic ice flow vectors on Google Earth, Seattle 911 calls on Google Maps, …

Update: a blog with more cool google maps.

Update: Google Earth as a platform for OA geospatial data, scientific data mapped to Google Earth facilitates science reaching the public.

Precognition proven?

February 10, 2006

Precognition, or maybe better presentiment, may have been proven.
There is a study that presents proof for intuitively feeling future events: Study Proves that the Heart Responds to Future Events.

It presents an overview of the study but unfortunately also has a bit of an advertisement feel. Also the HeartMath website itself makes me think more of new age than of a serious scientific institution… I don’t really know what to think about this, but it’s interesting anyway.

The original published articles:

R McCRATY, M ATKINSON, RT BRADLEY. 2004. Electrophysiological Evidence of Intuition: Part 1. The Surprising Role of the Heart. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 10(1), pp. 133–143. (Intuition_Part1.pdf)

R McCRATY, M ATKINSON, RT BRADLEY. 2004. Electrophysiological Evidence of Intuition: Part 2. A System-Wide Process? The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 10(2), pp. 325–336. (Intuition_Part2.pdf)

Update: Maurits’s analysis makes it clear that the study doesn’t prove anything!

Homo futuris

January 27, 2006

Last december I saw a feature on television (“Overleven” on Canvas, Belgium) on the continuing evolution of the human species, they (Marie-Josephe Deshaye and Anne Dambricourt) stated that evolution is a consequence of changes in the human body, specifically one bone at the base of the skull. And we would get higher foreheads and a ‘withdrawing’ [I don’t know if that’s the correct word] lower jaw.

c_overleven_homofuturis_04.jpg

Now there’s an article on BBC News on the higher foreheads since the middle ages: Time changes modern human’s face: “modern people possess less prominent features but higher foreheads than our medieval ancestors”.

This is the original article:
W. P. Rock, A. M. Sabieha and R. I. W. Evans. 2006. A cephalometric comparison of skulls from the fourteenth, sixteenth and twentieth centuries. British Dental Journal. 200, 33-37. (abstract)

Looks like our children will have high foreheads and look like aliens 🙂

c_overleven_homofuturis_03.jpg

Update 19-02-2006:
I added more references to the text above.
Findings of the Global History of Health Project support exactly the same development, there is an article about it in The Sunday Times Scientists show we’ve been losing face for 10,000 years. The article also mentions other studies that find the same effect.

Another related interesting study:
Johnston, D. J. et al. 2005. The influence of lower face vertical proportion on facial attractiveness. European Journal of Orthodontics. 27 (4) pp. 349-354(6).
(abstract)

Update 23-10-2007:
The documentary was on television a second time on 29-07-2007.
More information, background, discussion and critique on 2 forums (in dutch):
freethinker.nl
skepp.be

Update 19-02-2008:
Canvas has a new website, the old links don’t work anymore so I removed them. I also added pictures that I saved from the Canvas page before it went down.