Saturday, March 8, 2014

Science Saturday: Weekly Round-Up

A round up of some interesting science stories from the week:

- Crocodiles aren't necessarily the big, mean, green machine predators we make them out to be. Check out these photos of crocodiles being attacked and eaten by pythons and river otters. That's right...adorable little otters can take down crocodiles.

- From 30,000 year old Siberian permafrost, a team of researchers thawed an ancient giant virus and were able to revive and grow it in the lab. Pithovirus is 25% larger than any other known virus, larger than some bacteria, and infects amoebae.

- Last year, it was reported that a baby in Mississippi was cleared of HIV after a rigorous antiretroviral treatment given after birth. Those results have been reproduced in a second baby born in Los Angeles, who is currently 9 months old and free of HIV virus. The difference, however, is that this baby is still on the antiretroviral drugs (the Mississippi baby was off drugs and virus-free at 2 years of age), and it is not known yet when she will be taken off the treatment.

- An "Iron Man-like" cast aluminum alloy exosuit has been developed for deep sea exploration. It provides the wearer with protection from severe cold and pressure encountered at deep sea levels. The system is self contained, recycling air supply in the suit and providing up to 50 hours of support. Though, I think it's less Iron-Man and more Big Daddy.
- Lastly, don't forget to check out COSMOS, the anticipated sequel to Carl Sagan's educational series through space and time. Hosted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, this updated series aims to inspire awe and wonder of the natural world amidst a culture of reality TV programming.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Oscar Predictions 2014

image via
Oscar night is here! As a self-proclaimed movie buff and lover of the art of film, I enjoy watching as many of the nominated films as I can to make my predictions. You can see the full list of nominees here. My predictions are as follows:

Best Picture: Her
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
Animated Feature Film: Frozen
Cinematography: Gravity
Costume Design: American Hustle
Directing: Alfonso CuarĂ³n, Gravity
Documentary Feature: 20 Feet from Stardom
Documentary Short Subject: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Film Editing: Gravity
Foreign Language Film: The Great Beauty
Makeup and Hairstyling: Dallas Buyers Club
Music - Original Score: Her
Music - Original Song: Let it Go, Frozen
Production Design: Her
Short Film - Animated: Mr. Hublot
Short Film - Live Action: the Voorman Problem
Sound Editing: Gravity
Sound Mixing: Gravity
Visual Effects: Gravity
Writing - Adapted Screenplay: The Wolf of Wall Street
Writing - Original Screenplay: Her

Who do you think will win an Oscar tonight?