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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.
 

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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,