Author Archive

LEGO Robot Builders Form Emotional Bond to Their Creations

Thursday, September 19th, 2013 | Tags:

Psychology researchers have found that people who build robots form an emotional bond to their creations – though the bond is different from the sort of attachments people form with other people or pets. The researchers surveyed 16 undergraduates who built robots out of LEGOs as part of a robotics education course. All of the

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Smaller than Small: Why We Measure the Space between Atoms

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 | Tags: ,

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Jacob Jones, an associate professor of materials science and engineering at NC State. We study the movement of incredibly small things. How small is small? Think smaller than “nano.” Think smaller than atoms themselves. We measure the infinitesimally small shifts in the positions of atoms to electrical

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How Computer Models Help Keep the Lights On In Kenya

Thursday, September 12th, 2013 | Tags: , , , ,

In Kenya, water is power. Literally. And to keep the lights on, Kenyan authorities want to know how much water they can expect in upcoming rainy seasons. That’s where computer models come in. Fifty-eight percent of Kenya’s power supply stems from the country’s hydropower system in the Tana River basin. That system will shut down

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Face-to-Face: Skull Study Shows Variation of Pre-Columbian Cultures in Mexico

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013 | Tags: ,

A new analysis of the skulls of prehistoric peoples in Mexico reveals significant regional variation in the facial characteristics of indigenous populations – indicating that there were notable physical differences between geographically separate groups before the arrival of Europeans. “There has long been a school of thought that there was little physical variation prior to

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Wide Left: Study Shows that Holders Play Key Role in Field Goal Accuracy

Monday, September 9th, 2013 | Tags: , , ,

NFL and college football teams are back in action, and their success often hinges on the accuracy of their field goal kickers. When the field goals are made, kickers are heroes. When they miss, they’re goats. But a study by aerospace researchers shows that kickers aren’t always at fault – the way the ball is

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