The 'show why science is awesome' thread:




Is there a video there? I can’t get it to come up.


There’s not a lot there, just a few seconds of sparks and such. But why wouldn’t you want that? :)


Very cool. Next time they’ll have to have a camera looking at their doors too :)


Highly intelligent cephalopods probably haven’t evolved further because they breed once and die; they never pass on generational knowledge. Scientists have been studying this and have developed some interesting theories, and as this article details, it’s not pretty from a human point of view.

(I’ve wondered what the biological imperative might be for this reproduction strategy and some speculation on this point is offered:

Death in the octopus world

The scientific jury is still out as to why these clever, resourceful creatures meet such an ignominious end, but there are several theories. Octopuses are serious cannibals, so a biologically programmed death spiral may be a way to keep mothers from eating their young.

They can also grow pretty much indefinitely, so eliminating hungry adults keeps the octopus ecosystem from being dominated by a few massive, cranky, octopus versions of Baby Boomers. But maybe it’s not fair to impose our human perspective on the cephalopod world.

“It’s very strange to see as humans because we reproduce more than once and live way past our reproductive age,” Wang said. “But if the whole purpose of living is to pass along your genes, maybe it’s not so dark.”


Imagine some kind of Shelob-octopus, who never bore young and is somewhere on the ocean floor, indistinguishable from nearby seamounts.


In Disney’s the Little Mermaid, Urusula talks about the feasts she used to engage in, and that she has “wasted away” to her current size. The obvious implication is that in the old Golden Age, she was a monstrous Lovecraftian leviathan Octopus, and that the entire court was filled with similar nightmare beings from the deep.

Uh…in the interest of keeping things science-y, that’s basically how lobsters work, where the largest breeding females just keep growing, to some as-yet-undetermined maximum age and size.



Somewhere there is an article or three basically refuting the “immortal lobster” thing. Basically it comes down to the exoskeleton thing and not being able to scale-up beyond a particular size. Molting is an incredibly stressful and dangerous activity that becomes harder and harder to accomplish the bigger you get, so at some point a large/old lobster will simply not have enough energy to get all the way out of their old shell, and they become “stuck” some portion of the way through the process and simply die.



It’s still kind of cool that the seafloor is full of extra-large, super-fertile momma lobsters. They truly are doing God’s Work (i.e. making delicious lobsters for me to eat). Even if they’re only 40 years old or so.


Strange. Sounds like my local bar on Friday night.


Florida Man compares local population.

Me, ultra pasty northerner: checks out.


I’d love to see if we can turn off the self destruct mechanism for octopus’s in the lap to see just how ultra smart they could become. Could you imagine… full on sentience?


This is disturbing.


How odd. Somebody should make a video game out of this!



or a movie…


Science to revolutionize semiconductors using graphene?

Directed placement of solution-based nanomaterials at predefined locations with nanoscale precision limits bottom-up integration in semiconductor process technology. We report a method for electric-field-assisted placement of nanomaterials from solution by means of large-scale graphene layers featuring nanoscale deposition sites. The structured graphene layers are prepared via either transfer or synthesis on standard substrates, and then are removed once nanomaterial deposition is completed, yielding material assemblies with nanoscale resolution that cover surface areas >1 mm2. In order to demonstrate the broad applicability, we have assembled representative zero-dimensional, one-dimensional, and two-dimensional semiconductors at predefined substrate locations and integrated them into nanoelectronic devices. Ultimately, this method opens a route to bottom-up integration of nanomaterials for industry-scale applications.