Science and Technology

Rising spring temperatures produce Great Lakes mirages

May 11, 2015
Courtesy Spencer Hughes Photography

Picture this: you’re walking along the shores of Lake Michigan on a warm spring day. The lake breeze is blowing and the waves are lapping at your feet when all of the sudden you see something strange out on the water. Like, say, the Chicago skyline.

http://davidpogue.com/

From the New York Times to "CBS Sunday Morning" to PBS’s "Nova," David Pogue is one of media’s best known presenters and reviewers of tech topics. Among his many notable accomplishments, Pogue is also recently known as technology columnist for Yahoo Tech. Pogue’s acclaimed public TV series "Making Stuff" aired last year on WKAR-TV. His show combines his unique blend of humor and analysis of the latest consumer and scientific innovations.

Social media helps solve Michigan girl’s 1980 disappearance

May 1, 2015
WOOD-TV

Social media and the internet have helped solve a Michigan-based disappearance dating back more than 30-years. 17-year old Carol Ann Cole of Kalamazoo vanished in 1980 shortly after leaving Michigan for Texas. For about as long, Louisiana authorities had been trying to identify the body of a young woman found in woods near Shreveport. Posts on Facebook and Craigslist, described as “happenstance”, helped bring together authorities and members of Cole’s family in February. It was six days after the Facebook page was launched.

Courtesy CERN

The Large Hadron Collider is one of the world’s major research facilities. 27 miles in circumference and spanning the French-Swiss border, the LHC has been shut down for two years of planned maintenance. Before the shutdown, the collider had run for three years, and the discoveries there have included the long-sought Higgs boson. This month, the facility re-opened, and researchers from Michigan State University have a prominent role in the work being done there.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

Last Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission enacted historic new rules governing broadband technology. The FCC moved to reclassify internet service providers under Title Two of the Telecommunications Act, an 80-year-old law originally written to regulate telephone companies. Democrats hailed the decision as a victory for open access to the Internet, and a means to prevent so-called “fast lanes” for those who could afford to pay for quicker service. Some Republicans criticized the move as increased government control over the Internet.

Kevin Lavery/WKAR

The construction of what will become the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, or FRIB, continues at Michigan State University. The massive concrete floor of the underground chamber has been poured. Last week, the MSU Board of Trustees approved plans to connect a new power line from the T.B. Simon Power Plant on the south end of the main campus here in East Lansing to FRIB. It will require a substantial amount of power.

Amateur rocketeers launching port-a-potty

Nov 20, 2014

Michigan is not among the first states that come to mind when you mention the aerospace industry. An amateur rocket launch scheduled for Saturday in southwest Michigan is unlikely to change that. On Saturday afternoon, members of a Michiana Rocketry Club plan to blast a port-a-potty into space near the community of Three Oaks, near the Indiana state line.

Researcher studies microbiome of the dead

Nov 10, 2014
http://msutoday.msu.edu/

Dead bodies are not completely dead. Bacteria and insects live on and near corpses, and what kind of organisms are there can tell scientists lots of useful things, including how long a body has been dead. To learn from what’s called the “microbiome,” though, researchers need access, unfortunately, to dead bodies, and the more recent, the better. Bodies that are donated to research institutions are kept in cold storage for long periods of time which means the results are different.

Video games offer learning opportunities in the classroom

Oct 21, 2014
O'Donnell at desk with computers
Courtesy

If you’re a parent living in the 21st century, chances are you’ve had to tell your kids to turn off the video games and go outside to play. But video games aren’t just for recreation anymore. They’re also increasingly being used as learning tools in the classroom.

Scott Pohl / WKAR

Michigan State University opened the Abrams Planetarium 50 years ago.  That's five decades of giving kids and adults from all over the state a glimpse of the solar system and the universe.  As you might expect, the equipment to do that has improved a lot in those 50 years.  Current State's Scott Pohl speaks with planetarium director Shannon Schmoll about the upgrades.

Lansing Maker Week encourages ingenuity

Oct 7, 2014

Dreamers. Inventors. Tinkerers. Builders. In the 21st century, they’re often called  “makers.” This creative impulse runs deep in Michigan and in America. “Lansing Maker Week”, a series of events that runs through Sunday, is meant to nurture that tradition.

https://glg.natsci.msu.edu/

We were first introduced to drones by the United States military, which has been using them, controversially, it must be pointed out, for years in places like Afghanistan, northern Pakistan and Yemen. But like many other technologies that have been pioneered by the military, such as computers, duct tape and GPS, drones have numerous commercial applications. And one of the biggest sectors where drones could become a game-changer is in agriculture.

Michigan-born astronaut recalls his three space missions

Oct 2, 2014
http://www.jsc.nasa.gov

Beginning in the late 90’s, Colonel Michael Bloomfield was a part of three space shuttle missions to the International Space Station, the third as commander. He grew up in Lake Fenton in Genesee County.

Flickr - Sherman Mui

If you were a fan of the 1980’s TV show “Knight Rider,” you’ll remember actor David Hasselhoff riding around in a modified Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that could talk, fly and even scan other vehicles. It was cutting edge TV sci-fi at the time, but so-called “smart cars” are not that far away (minus the flying, of course).

A new documentary called “Particle Fever” will be screened by the East Lansing Film Society tomorrow night. It’s the story of the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs Boson. The East Lansing Film Society will screen “Particle Fever” tomorrow night at the Studio C! Theatres in Okemos.

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