Contrary to popular belief, “vibrotactile ticklers” is not the latest trend in sex toys, it’s the name of the high-tech motors embedded in a crazy new navigation system called SuperShoes. SuperShoes are flexible insoles that you can add to a pair of normal shoes. You plug in your destination with your smartphone, and the shoes then direct you there using subtle vibrations on the right or left side of your feet. This lets you meander to wherever you’re going without having to keep your eyes glued to a cell phone screen. Effective navigation with minimal distraction. Pretty cool, huh? Keep reading »
I didn’t think it was possible for me to love Neil deGrasse Tyson more than I already do, but then the “Cosmos”‘ host went dropped some real talk in a discussion about whether genetics — specifically difference between the sexes — is to blame for there being so few women in STEM fields. “I’ve never been female. But I have been black my whole life,” he begins, before drawing parallels between the ways societal forces have long created barriers based on race and gender that have prevented equal opportunity. This is just perfect. [The Mary Sue]
According to a research team at Simon Fraser University, your brain hits a major peak at 24. Think about that for a moment: your cognitive motor performance is all downhill after your early-20s. Keep reading »
See, girls, science is really fun: vaginas can now be grown in laboratories and implanted in the human crotch.
In a pilot study on regenerative medicine, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina grew vaginal organs for four teenaged girls missing a vagina or uterus, using their own cells. All the girls suffer from a rare condition called Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome, in which the vagina is “underdeveloped or absent.” (The only good news about this syndrome? No uterus, no periods!)
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One of the weirder bits of news making headlines this week was that our beloved Red on “Orange Is The New Black” may be a little bit kooky in real life. Why would I say such a thing? Because the actress Kate Mulgrew has narrated a documentary with some pretty kooky beliefs about science: namely, the idea the Earth does not actually revolve around the sun but instead the sun revolves around the Earth. Geocentricism what what?!? In a new documentary called “The Principle” narrated by Mulgrew, she intones, “Everything we think we know about our universe is wrong.”
Considering this is the woman, Amelia reminds me, that played Captain Janeway on “Star Trek: Voyager,” it seemed a little odd that Mulgrew would be so ill-informed. Turns out, Mulgrew is now saying she was misled into doing the narration for the documentary and that she was simply a voice for hire who should have done more research. Um, no kidding? Didn’t Mulgrew realize she was narrating junk science as the junk science narration was spilling out of her mouth? [Raw Story; AV Club]
Kate Mulgrew, inadvertent or not, isn’t the first celeb to spew interesting beliefs about science. There are actually quite a few celebrities who have made comments about science that gave us a double take. Let’s take a walk through a couple celebs who we think should keep their day jobs…
The race to find a silver bullet to solve the “Where are all the girls in science and engineering?” puzzle is fast and furious. And as someone who works to encourage and support women studying in science and engineering fields, I worry our efforts often end up pitting the “pink sparkly girls” against the “digging for worms on a rainy day” ones.
I was one of the girls digging for worms. Rainy days were awesome when I was a kid: I would throw a swimsuit under my play clothes and hit the street. My mom use to talk about her horror of finding me building a mud dam in the street, trying to keep the river of storm water from getting to the sewer system. (Of course, that is also one of my favorite memories from childhood.) For me, science has always had a hold on my brain and heart. From archeology to the space program, I loved it all. Okay, maybe not genetics. Fruit flies were sooooo boring. And with my gift to kill plants, botany was a huge failure for me. But as a biology major, I had to take it all. Keep reading »