Earth - Why you should mostly trust what science tells you. Science writer and astrophysicist Adam Becker explains how science really works to BBC Earth's Michael Marshall and Melissa Hogenboom, with help from the animators at Pomona Pictures.
Culture - The world’s quirkiest phrases. This phrase is used when you want to say that something isn't your problem, so you're indifferent to it.
I have used it in my translations before without making any substitute for the literal meaning, because everyone understands the point, and the phrase is so funny. Antonia Lloyd-Jones, co-chair of the Translators Association, Society of Authors This is a French expression I love that’s used to describe a smooth wine. Ros Schwartz, Society of Authors I tend to translate this into English as ‘So and so is a subject matter expert’. Mohammed Yahya Abu-Risha, Vice-President for Education and Training, Arab Professional Translators Society I really like the Kiswahili (Swahili) word pole. Kim Sanderson, Institute of Translation and Interpreting, Society of Authors. Ig Nobel win for Alpine 'goat man' Image copyright TIM BOWDITCH A British man who lived in the Alps as a goat for three days has won one of this year's Ig Nobel prizes.
Tom Thwaites had special prostheses made so he could walk like an animal. The spoof awards, which are not quite as famous as the real Nobels, were handed out during their annual ceremony at Harvard University, US. Other studies honoured during the event examined the personalities of rocks, and how the world looks when you bend over and view it through your legs. On the surface, all the celebrated research sounds a bit daft, but a lot of it - when examined closely - is actually intended to tackle real-world problems. And nearly all of the science gets published in peer-reviewed, scholarly journals. It is unlikely, though, that the German carmaker Volkswagen will appreciate the point or humour of the Ig Nobels.
The firm has been awarded the chemistry prize for the way it cheated emissions tests. Clearly, the practice is fast-becoming a national trait. This Battery Has Lasted Over 175 Years And No One Knows What It Is Made Of. Capital - The secret to stopping your ‘ummms’ You've researched your topic, prepared your speech and dressed the part.
But when it comes time to wow your audience, you can tell they are underwhelmed. Could the problem be filler words? Phrases such as “um,” “like,” and “you know” are awkward to listen to and lack authority. Worse, those of us who use them are often considered ineloquent and perceived as less competent. It creates the perception that you are unprepared. “When you use [filler words] repeatedly and excessively it creates the perception that you are unprepared,” said Paula Statman, an Oakland, California-based speaking coach who often works with corporate clients after a promotion. But all is not lost. Diagnose the problem Don’t expect an easy fix. Adding extra words to sentences often happens when you’re deep in thought, so it’s not easily recognisable in your own speech, say public speaking experts. Can you solve it? Are you smarter than Jo Nesbø?
Strangers often ask me to challenge them with mathematical brainteasers.
It comes with the territory, I suppose. My stock reply is to pose them Three Switches puzzle. It’s a classic that is easy to state rhetorically, and it really makes you think. I’ve challenged many people over the years, but only one person has solved it right there in front of me. Jo Nesbø, the Norwegian crime writer, who I once met at a literary festival in Glasgow. Even knowing that the authors of detective fiction are going to be pretty handy at logical deduction, I was immensely impressed. But it took Nesbø a good few minutes. Altering the DNA of humans - should we allow gene editing? 24 Unintended Scientific Discoveries - mental_floss on YouTube (Ep. 35) 50 Science Misconceptions - mental_floss on YouTube (Ep.18) Did you solve it? The Three Switches puzzle.
How Big Is Space – Interactive version. The best and oddest science-inspired music. Science inspires music more often than you might think.
Philip Ball compiled a playlist of the good, the bad and the far-out. In February 1930, a young astronomer called Clyde Tombaugh confirmed what some researchers had suspected for some time: the solar system was home to a ninth planet, orbiting far beyond Neptune. The discovery was met with an enthusiastic reception, as people the world over began offering up names for the new rock. Eventually, Pluto – the suggestion of an 11-year-old girl from the UK – won out. This group should have written Star Wars — Which band was Mark Bolan praising?
But one man might have been forgiven for not welcoming the discovery. British composer Colin Matthews was asked by the Halle Orchestra to write an addendum for the planet Pluto. The tale of Holst and Matthews might be seen as a warning for any artist or musician tempted to explore science through their work. But not all scientifically inspired music is based on principles that endure. Glam science.