ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article explains how scientists created a new species of lizard not by genetic engineering, but by crossbreeding.  The hybrids are typically not fertile but can reproduce by parthenogenesis.  Whiptailed lizards can wind up with two sets of genes from different species.  But apparently some hybrids are sexually fertile because there have been species with three and even four sets of genes -- created by a monogenetic male mating with a female who has multiple sets.

Most of the time I posit that interspecies sex would not produce viable or fertile offspring in science fiction.  But several times I've written a basis for interspecies procreation, and it tends to be because the alien species is predisposed  to reproduce with the assistance of a different species.  On Earth, for example, there is the cuckoo; and now this, with actual crossbreeding.  It would be interesting if the alien species had the parthenogenesis option.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
NASA just emailed a wrench to space.

While everyone else is geeking out over the idea of emailing a wrench, I'm over here thinking, "Damn, that is a great way to save on cargo weight!  Instead of expending  massive effort to send everything astronauts might need, we can instead send a smaller amount of materials to make stuff they need, and they can make exactly what they need when they need it."  That will work for everything that can be made of currently 3D printable materials and isn't needed all the time.  Send basic high-need supplies and stuff we can't just fab up yet.  Use the 3D printer to make the rest.  Even a very small  savings in cargo weight adds up very fast.

Space just got a lot more habitable.  :D
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Consider the physics of Cinderella's slippers.  Note that they could be made much safer by lowering the heel.  "Slippers" are usually flats or shoes with low, wide heels.  High-heeled shoes are different.  Also they were worn by men, not women, until more recent times.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the May 6, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] peoriapeoriawhereart. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] stardreamer.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 It turns out that when you do music to science, you can make matter sing and dance along.  So. Much. Win.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an interview about Lucy, one of my all-time favorite fossils. 
ysabetwordsmith: Victor Frankenstein in his fancy clothes (Frankenstein)
This poem is spillover from the June 17, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] siliconshaman and LJ user Moonwolf1988. It also fills the "loss of possessions" square in my 6-10-14 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the series Frankenstein's Family.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... apparently stays there even if the language is discontinued.

I think the weirdest effect I've gotten is that the Spanish in my brain kept growing  after I stopped studying it.  I can parse things now that I know we never studied in class.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article includes a soundtrack of comet sounds

I have written a poem about it, "The Singing Comet," which also fills the "magnetometry" square for the Science Bingo fest.  9 lines, Buy It Now = $5
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Hormones in breast milk communicate things about the mother to her baby, which influence the baby's development. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an article about how time itself could end.

In my observation, nature is cyclical.  So then, entropy and syntropy are equal and opposite forces which maintain a balance that keeps the universe -- or multiverse -- functioning.  Things wind down, and then wind up again.  Rain falls, runs down rivers to the ocean, evaporates and becomes rain again.  Gassy, fiery stars die, and beget solid lifebearing planets.

Think of time like gravity.  When you are living a life, it seems linear, the way when you're on a planet gravity seems to be for sticking you to the ground.  But between lives, time is perceptible as a mass; just as in space, gravity is what connects large moving bodies in a complex dance.  The same thing can seem quite different from different perspectives.  So don't think that time is static or mortal.  It is a many-splendored thing, and you cannot see all of it from where you're standing now.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an article about parallel universes.  My thoughts ...

1) I really don't understand some people's obsession with insisting that everything must make sense.

2) Good luck getting all of my universes upside-down at once, or indeed, oriented in any other congruent direction simultaneously.  


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer has posted a public card and description for the Science Bingo Fest.  You know how annoying it is that so little actual science makes it into science fiction these days?  This fest is meant to fix that by inspiring people to make science-filled goodies.  Let's do science to it!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here is a chemical comparison of different types of blood in Terran lifeforms: red, blue, green, and violet.  So if you want to make alien blood a different color, these are guaranteed viable.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Explore the massive changes in peaches, watermelons, and corn over millennia.  Science is delicious!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the October 7, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] perfectworry, LJ user Westrider, and Deb1789.  It also fills the "parent(s)" square in my 9-29-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo  fest.  This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  It belongs to the series Frankenstein's Family.

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