IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Week in Geek: Belated Weekend Edition

Have you ever read a book where a fantastical event occurs and thought, "Wait, that can't really happen…can it?" I'm going to go ahead an assume you answered

Have you ever read a book where a fantastical event occurs and thought, "Wait, that can't really happen…can it?" I'm going to go ahead an assume you answered yes. Did you ever then actually stop and give it some thought to figure out if the event described was at all physically possible? I'm going to go out on a limb and guess most of you answered no.

You know who didn't answer no? Masters physics students at the University of Leicester. Under the tutelage of Professor Mervyn Roy, these students write, edit, review, and publish The Journal of Physics Special Topics. The goal of the journal is to teach the students not only about the process of academic publishing, but also how to think critically. For example, one of the papers published recently was entitled, "James' Giant Peach Transport Across the Atlantic". In it, students researched the feasibility of whether or not 501 seagulls could lift a giant peach and fly it across part of the Atlantic ocean. Spoiler alert: they can't.

While that may seem like a downer to some, I love the fact that these students are sharpening their inquiry skills in such an imaginative way. Check out other papers from last fall's edition on topics such as Breaking Bad, War of the Worlds, James Bond, and my personal favorite "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves.

And now for your weekly dose of geek:

  • You keep using that weight, but I do not think it means what you think it means.
  • 13 space missions to watch out for in 2013. Special shout out to Orbital Sciences at #4 where I worked in a former life.
  • Not only do other stars have their own planets, they likely have their own comets too.
  • Swedish indie rock group, Shout Out Louds, release their latest single as a record made entirely out of ICE. You have see and listen to this to believe it. [VIDEO]
  • British designers come up with a household light for the developing world powered only by gravity.
  • Wonderful interview with David Attenborough. #longread
  • 5 superhero organisms: metazoa that can absorb DNA of others, snails that turns flesh into metal, mind controlling barnacles, shapeshifting octopuses, and fungi that eat radiation. Someone call Hollywood, STAT.
  • Giant squid caught on video in the Pacific Ocean south of Japan. It's almost the length of a school bus, with eyes the size of dinner plates. One step closer to the Kraken!
  • You've heard of jumping beans? Get a load of these jumping genes, which also have the awesome nickname of Space Invaders.
  • The color of your beverage container affects your perceived taste of its contents.

Lastly, I leave you with this:

Parasitic wasp stalks roaches, stings them, injects their brains with neurotransmitters, steers them to her lair, and lays egg. Resulting larva then burrows inside STILL LIVING roach and feeds on its insides.

May you never be reincarnated as a roach. @Summer_Ash