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Monday, October 21, 2019

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALFRED NOBEL aka MR. DYNAMITE!

Ooooh, hello dear English speaking-reading-hearing listener, welcome back to me, @sciencemug, the blog/podcast/twitter&instagram accounts/entity behind the unsuccessful e-shopstuffngo on zazzle.com which tells you science stories while solving advanced equations and therefore ending up telling the equivalent of a ‘70s song played backwards and finding as a result of the equations a portrait of SpongeBob, aaand which talks to you thanks to the voice, kidnapped via a voodoo-wireless trick, from a veeery very very dumb human.
Aaand which does all of this in Eng?ish, a language that is to bad English what Avengers: Endgame is to a nasty bruise on the face of good movies history. 

Today, dear listener, I'm gonna tell you the story of a man, his most famous invention and a prize.

Listen to the podcast episode
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(Music: Upbeat Party by Scott Holmes; licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial License) 

Today in 1833 Alfred Nobel is born. You may remember him for some witty educational movies of the '50 like: "How to blast a mountain while baking cookies", or "1003 ways to lose your pinky and still count to ten". But what you may be not aware of is that the man files a patent in 1867 for an obscure invention probably only few experts know about: dynamite

Happy B-day Alfred Nobel (by @sciencemug)
Alfred Nobel img is a Public Domain pic source wikia.com (adapted by @sciencemug)

Now, Alfred, who's called "The Blast" by his friends for being always fun to be around to, is one of the four sons of a Swedish engineer and inventor, he gets top quality private education in natural sciences, languages and literature, and a extra training in chemical engineering. He travels around Europe (Finland, France, Russia, Germany) and the US, and, as a teenager, he is fluent (and can tell jokes that crack) in Swedish, Russian, French, English and German, basically like every average today's teenager who, yet, master also the LoL-Code and the Emoticonish.

Anyway, Alfie's youth is not all flowers and booms as his family goes through tough economical difficulties for quite some time. While father and sons try to fix things up, Alfred's mother, who comes from money, saves the day, thanks to a modest income coming from her running a grocery store where she sells milk and vegetables, till, eventually, the family's finances fully recover

Meanwhile in Paris Alfred has his mind blown up when

Friday, September 27, 2019

POLLUTION ON HIGH

Ooooh, hello dear English speaking-reading-hearing listener, welcome back to me, @sciencemug, the blog/podcast/twitter&instagram accounts/entity behind the unsuccessful e-shop stuffngo on zazzle.com which tells you science stories while air-guitar playing heavy-metal songs but instead of air is using helium so every gesture is high pitched and funny and the metal is lighter, aaand which talks to you thanks to the voice, kidnapped via a voodoo-wireless trick, from a veeery very very dumb human.
Aaand which does all of this in Eng?ish, a language that is to proper English what a complete lack of logic is to something you can easily distill from the just mentioned helium-guitar playing thing.

Today I’m gonna tell you a story ‘bout pollution on high

  Listen to the podcast episode on

Sooo, dear listener, you probably already heard that the top of the world, Mount Everest, if full of crap by now. Meaning not that it has become an unbearable arrogant mount full of itself always bragging for being the tallest of them all (at least above sea level), nope, meaning that, given the massive amount of people that climb it every year (since 1953), well, it is now full of human garbage.

Aaand, dear listener, you probably also already heard that space, around our planet, is by now full of garbage too. There’s in fact a lot of space junk orbiting our world: old satellites, pieces of rockets, debris of various sizes and nature, in conclusion objects in the millions that are a constant real serious threat for whoever and whatever is or is going to orbit Earth nowadays.

But the pollution on high I am going to tell you about today, dear listener, is none of the above.

And it is not even the pollution people that are high produce when smoking dope or other garbage of the kind...

No, dear listener, I am going to talk of a kind of pollution you find in the sky, in the atmosphere, but that you wouldn’t expect at all, of all the pollutants you can think of, to find up there.
And above all, to find in the rain that comes down from up there…
You wanna know what this pollutant is?

Eeeh, let’s start from the beginning then.

The US. Geological Survey, the United States “sole science agency for the Department of the Interior, publishes a report (R) which I’ll call ReportX, since I’m not telling you its actual title as it would be a major give away about the mysterious atmospheric/rain pollutant this whole episode/post is about, and I want to keep the suspense going as long as possible. 

ReportX by @sciencemug
"ReportX about rain pollution": free pic by John-Mark Smith on Pexels; Adapted by @sciencemug

Anyway, ReportX is written by Gregory Wetherbee, an expert of Environmental Science, Austin Baldwin, an hydrologist [that is a dude who studies “how water moves across and through the Earth’s crust” (source: Boureau of Labor and Statistics)], and Professor James Ranville, a chemist and geochemist of the Colorado School of Mines. We’ll call ‘em the ReportX Guys (aaaah such a clever and witty blog/podcast I am!).

The ReportX Guys

Thursday, September 5, 2019

5 SEPTEMBER 1977: VOYAGER 1 LAUNCHES!

by @sciencemug

Today, in 1977, NASA probe Voyager 1 launches from Kennedy Space Center.
Its twin Voyager 2 launches before it, on August the 20th 1977, but Voyager 1 is "1" 'cause it's going to reach Jupiter and Saturn first.

42 years later these two probes-grannies are still alive and kicking... In the interstellar space!

Indeed Voyager 1 becomes the first piece of humanity to reach interstellar space on August 2013, followed by Voyager 2 on November 2018!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

HAPPY B-DAY ASPIRIN!

Ooooh, hello dear English speaking-reading-hearing listener, welcome back to me, @sciencemug, the blog/podcast/twitter&instagram accounts which tells you science stories while thinking of opening an agency for nape models and ant-sitters, aaand which talks to you thanks to the voice kidnapped via a voodoo-wireless trick, from a veeery very very dumb dude.
Aaand which does all of this in Eng?ish, a language that is to proper English what a sidereal leap on carbon sequestration technology is to something less than vital to your species as right now.
 

Listen the podcast episode on
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Today is the birthday of a tablet of which about 50 billion are swallowed each year worldwide (1). So today I will tell you the story of its genesis. Of the birth of Aspirin.

Aspirin 3D
Aspirin 3D pic is a Public Domain image adapted by @sciencemug (source: wikia.com)

Aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid.

Well, to be more precise, “Aspirin is the first commercial name of a medication which active principle is acetylsalicylic acid.
Aspirin is first put on the market by Bayer in 1899 (P), but “the first sample of pure acetylsalicylic acid [is prepared] on 10 August 1897” (P) by Doctor Felix Hoffmann, a “chemist in the pharmaceutical laboratory of the [then] German dye manufacturer Friedrich Bayer & Co in Elberfeld” (P).

The official story goes that Hoffman’s dad suffers from rheumatism, and asks his chemistry savvy son to create something better than the medicine he is presently taking, the sodium salicycate, since that drug has heavy side effects such as gastric irritation, nausea and tinnitus (which is the annoying ringing ear) (P).
Felix, then, consults “the chemical literature[, comes] across the synthesis of acetylsalicylic acid(P), and, as above stated, makes it.

So this is what it is on the matter, and it’s all based on the account of “a footnote in a history of chemical engineering(P) written in 1934 by Albrecht Schmidt, “a chemist [...] retired from IG Farbenindustrie—the organization into which F Bayer & Co had been incorporated in 1925(P).

Felix Hoffmann
Felix Hoffmann pic is a Public Domain image adapted by @sciencemug (source: wikia.com)

The actual facts, however, are

Thursday, February 14, 2019

ROSES CHOCOLATES & VALENTINE'S DAY

Ohhh hello hellooo dear English speaking-thinking-reading-hearing listener, welcome back to me, @sciencemug, the blog-podcast-twitter&Instagram accounts-entity behind an unsuccessful e-shop that tells you science stories from a dystopian parallel dimension where: 1) volcanoes erupts hot chocolate and anatomically accurate hearth-shaped anise candy, 2) bunnies have enslaved all the dentists of the world using evil hypnotic carrots-sticks which flash orange light beams and fluffy thoughts, 3) roses rule with an iron-yet-scented fist all the countries which name starts with ‘L’, and 4) nothing at all make sense except for Kenny’s mumbling.
Aaand that does all of this in Eng?ish, a language that is to real English what a dolphin is to a fish and The Fast and the Furious 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, The Fate of the Furious, and Hobbs & Shaw are to something else than a sorry excuse to make money.

PiPs Valentine's Day by @sciencemug
PiPs Valentine's Day by @sciencemug

Today’s the most artificial and fake festivity of the year folks, so happy Valentine’s Day and, for that, I bring you an almost interesting science Valentine’s story (by the way, if you do need a last minute gift, well pal, check out my love e-book, or explore the “Love & its accomplices” collection of my e-shop! Yeah, I know, such a coherent blog I am…)



Sooo, the story.
Vivian Zayas, Gayathri Pandey and Joshua Tabak (aka the VGTs) are three folks from the Department of Psychology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA. JT works also for a little company that you may or may not have heard ‘bout, but that’s nevertheless renowned to do care about privacy and to not at all abuse its position to pry into/profit on its users personal data: Facebook, Inc., Menlo Park, CA, USA.

The three fellas do a study and find out that -brace yourself folks, ‘cause this is a huge revelation, huge-: “red roses and gift chocolates are judged more positively in the U.S. near Valentine’s Day” (P). And they publish their finding on the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

Oh man, if I don’t love psychology papers…



Podcast on iTunes
Episode on Podcast Machine 
(Background song in the "commercial break": Love Wins by Lee Rosevere; CC4.0)

Ok, jokes aside, there’s (not much) more: indeed the researchers say that their finding is the first evidence of naturally occurring cultural priming(P).

Whaaaat?

Ok, let’s try and explain step by step what on earth is the cultural priming thing.

One: the VGTs call red roses and chocolates “attitude objects
(P). Now, in pshycologish, attitude's definition starts complex and broad with the 1935 Allpor’s one: “a mental and neural state of readiness, organized through experience, exerting a directive and dynamic influence upon the individual's response to all objects and situations with which it is related” (1)… Yeah dude, me neither.
Then the ‘70s come, and everything’s chillier, more relaxed and, like skirts, shorter: “Attitudes are likes and dislikes” [Daryl Bem, 1970 (1)].
Moreover, nowadays, attitudes are equated with “evaluative judgments” (1).

Two: the VGTs say that attitude objects are like a network of inter-joined units, so that,