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Showing posts from July, 2015

Conducting Science, the HBO way!

If you were an alien species who had recently come across human existence on planet Earth and only had Hollywood movies as your source to all information, your impression of science would be something like this. 
Scientific endeavours on planet Earth are pursued by solitarily working, half- crazy scientist, who is either chasing the elixir of life, finding the secret chemistry behind making gold or probably bringing back to life, his dead relative with the help of electricity alone.  
If you leave out the repeated stories of Hollywood, the remaining half about scientists still holds true. To the public eye, scientists, even in most prestigious universities are looked upon as half-crazy individuals, but it is the solitary working of scientists that is quite worrisome. 
From the days of Anton van Leuwenhoek to Marie Curie and Watson and Crick, scientists have worked either individually or in extremely small groups of one and two.  Even today, although a scientist might have a big research …

What Did Evolution Get Wrong [Video]

About 6 days and 90 years ago, the Criminal Court of Tennessee sentenced a high school teacher, John Thomas Scopes, guilty of teaching human evolution in school. The Scopes Trial or the Scopes Monkey Trial, as it is famously known, was a big event for its time and set the tone for debate whether evolution should or should be taught in schools. While the debate continues even today and people continue to argue over the merits and demerits of the evolution theory, we came across this short video from BBC Earth Unplugged that actually questions the theory of evolution, in a fun way.
Disclaimer: Neither the BBC Earth Unplugged nor Coffee Table Science are attempting to question the theory of evolution, it's just that these are interesting questions that need to be asked so enjoy the video.



If you have liked video, do let us know your thoughts on it below. There are some interesting posts on our blog about the fast moving tiger beetles and extreme sex seen in animals, just like the ma…

Its official then! Mosquitoes do like biting some people over others

English: A mosquito biting the photographer (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Are you the target for mosquitoes on a hiking trip? Does your family disagree with you when you say that you are being targeted by these buzzing creatures? Thanks to the paper published by G. Mandela Fernandez-Grandon and colleagues in PLoS One, you now have scientific evidence to tell everybody that you were always right about biting preferences of mosquitoes.  Three questions immediately spring to mind, a when you read something like this. One, how do you prove something as bizarre as this? Second, do scientists really spend time studying something like this? What else do we know about the biting behaviour of mosquitoes? Let’s dwell into them one by one.
How do you prove something like this?
First of all, to prove this you need a bunch of trained mosquitoes at your disposal. Well, mosquitoes are not like chimps who can be trained, so you need a mechanism to let them fly and pick their subjects and then monitor th…

11 Things you never knew Astronauts do in space

Image credit: www.airandspace.si.edu Gennady Padalka, the Russian astronaut, recently completed the feat of spending a record 804 days in space, more than any other human being. Aboard the International Space Station, Astronaut Padalka is the commander of the International Space Station (ISS) that is closest thing to home that astronauts have in space and orbits the Earth fifteen times everyday. Although, movies like Gravity and Interstellar might have created a grim image of how life is in outer space, here is a list of 11 things you did not know that astronauts do in space.

Watch Star Trek 
For those who are fans of Star Trek movies but locked out in space, you do not have to wait for an entry pass to Earth to catch up on the latest releases. Astronaut Michael Bratt was thankful to Paramount Pictures for letting him watch the latest edition of Star Trek on his laptop that was beamed via Mission Control in Houston. Find it hard to believe, you can even go to NASA website and read it for…

What makes mustard so tasty?

Remember our last post about how plants can actually hear caterpillars munching on their leaves? Well, if you have not read it, you can quickly get the  gist by watching this video below. Unless you know the history, you will not enjoy the post. So, all new readers, do watch the video below and others can simply skip it and head straight to know what makes mustard is so tasty. 


Before we get to the story, let me me ask you a question. What do you do when an acquaintance clings on to you everywhere you go. Might be the office, the grocery store, probably even your coffee shop and starts eating into your space. You may be patient for a while but soon you decide to do something about it. While talking is always an option, it is not necessarily the first thing that we do. Rather, our first and probably sub conscious response is to do something or say something, that might irritate this person and push him away. Don't you agree? Apparently, our friends, the plants,  are not very differe…