Me at Gizmodo:
Physicists Create "Urine Black Holes" To Solve the Splashback Problem. "Good news for khaki-clad men plagued by speckled staining of their trousers from urine splash back: physicists may have found the optimal splash-suppressing design for a urinal insert, thereby creating a “urine black hole.” Urine gets in, but it can’t get back out."
Surfers Rejoice—Physicists Have Found the Perfect Wave. "Experienced surfers are great intuitive physicists, able to spot the best waves and manipulate the various forces at play because they’ve spent years actively developing those skills. French scientists at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris are quantifying what good surfers know intuitively by building their own mini surfing laboratory."
This High-Speed Video of a Sneeze Will Make You Cover Your Mouth From Now On. "MIT scientists have captured high-speed video of phlegm being expelled during a sneeze. It’s as gross as you’d imagine. But learning more about how this mix of saliva and snot breaks into droplets, and spreads far and wide, could one day lead to better strategies for controlling the spread of disease outbreaks."
More Blood Is Shed and a New Villain Is Born on Manhattan. "This week’s episode of Manhattan gives us a case study in how small compromises can eat away at a person’s integrity over time—as Jim Meeks makes a critical choice, that transforms him from well-meaning spy to true villain."
Here Are All the Winners of This Year's Dance Your PhD Contest. "Science and interpretive dance met once again this year, as PhD students around the world took to the stage to bring their research to vivid life in the annual Dance Your PhD contest."
Watch Neil de Grasse Tyson on the Science of The Good Dinosaur. "Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur hits cinemas this Wednesday, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. And who better than Neil de Grasse Tyson to indulge in a bit of playful speculation about the film’s premise: what if the K-T asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago had missed Earth?"
David Tennant Celebrates 100 Years of General Relativity in This Clever Animation. "Perhaps you’ve noticed all the fuss this week over Albert Einstein and his famous general theory of relativity, which turned 100 years old. Who better to give you a glimpse into what the theory is all about than a Time Lord — the Tenth Doctor himself?"
Other Cool Links:
Here's a sampling of some of the other items celebrating Einstein this past week. A Century Ago, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity Changed Everything. Einstein's niftiest notion: General Relativity turns 100. How Einstein's general theory of relativity killed off common-sense physics. The art and beauty of general relativity. Mark Alpert wrote about His Love Affair with Relativity. Einstein, Oppenheimer, relativity and black holes: The curse of fundamentalitis.
There was another big physics anniversary this week: Maxwell's equations and 150 years of light. Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy combined the two in his tribute. You can read about black holes online because of Einstein & Maxwell.
There was plenty of holiday-themed fare for US readers. Your scientific guide to the ultimate Thanksgiving. Related: How Math Can Help You Avoid Talking about Politics at the Holidays: a few topics, with helpful links! Also: The Physics of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons. Bonus: How To Deep Fry a Turkey With an Engine Hoist. Double Bonus: Astronaut Fred Gregory had Thanksgiving Dinner in Space -- Twice. Not so fortunate was this crew: A Broken Toilet in Space is a Special Brand of Thanksgiving Horror.
Three computer scientists have solved a 50-year-old math problem central to a dozen far-flung mathematical fields.
Three years after its discovery, physicists are still fascinated by the Higgs boson’s secrets.
James Lovelock’s exquisitely sensitive electron capture detector.
The Physics of Why Tony Hawk's Horizontal Loop is So Hard.
Clever Physics Explains Why a Dropped Phone Lands Screen-Down.
Moths Inspire Anti-Glare Coatings That Grab Light and Don’t Let Go.
Why Ball Tracking Works for Tennis and Cricket but Not Soccer or Basketball.
Someone Put Giant Megaphones in the Woods So You Can Listen to the Forest.Per Twisted Sifter: "In September, students from the Interior Architecture Department at the Estonian Academy of Arts installed three gigantic wooden megaphones that let you listen to naturally amplified sounds of the surrounding forest. The student project was executed in collaboration with the Estonian Forest Management Centre and the multi-purpose megaphones also double as a sitting and resting area as well as a stage for small events." [Photo: Tõnu Tunnel]
Capturing infrared to give solar cells a lift. Quantum dots could help solar devices break efficiency limit.
It's not all about the multiverse: all the cool real-world advances in theoretical physics since the 80's.
Career path: Hiranya Peiris on exploring fingerprints from the Big Bang.
Is Earth Growing a Hairy Dark Matter 'Beard'?
Watch A 10-Year-Old Aspiring Journalist Interview The Head Of NASA.
The Physics of Star Wars’ BB-8 Bouncing Around the Millennium Falcon.
How This Unlucky, Irritable, Disorganized Astronomer Was Thwarted by Uranus.
Hypercolor Architecture: Paints React to Light, Heat & Touch.
An 80-Year-Old Prank Revealed, Hiding in the Periodic Table.
Why math? JHU mathematician on teaching, theory, and the value of math in a modern world.
Not Even Scientists Can Easily Explain P-values.
Why Does This Nuclear Reactor Have a National Park Sign?