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I'll Ask Ya Once, Then Alexa Again

04/18/2015 17:46:58 PM

(What's that in the sky? A bird? A plane? One of those newfangled pizza-delivering robo-drones? No. It's science. Specifically, Secondhand SCIENCE. And uber-specifically, this week's post all about the Faraday cage. Check it out -- the details may > read more

Manifest Doofusry

04/11/2015 02:02:23 AM

(Jump back, it's science time! As always, that's Secondhand SCIENCE. This week, come and meet mitochondrial Eve. And be cool to her; she's, like, your mom. I don't care who you are -- she's basically your mom. Seriously.) So I'm thinking of taking > read more

Taking Out the Trash (Talk)

04/04/2015 21:13:06 PM

(It may be April, but there's no fooling science. Unless it's Secondhand SCIENCE, possibly. But let's assume not, and form a single-file line to click over for this week's discussion, all about orbital decay. It's the only science article you'll rea > read more

Radio Dazed

03/25/2015 17:36:39 PM

(Science marches on like a lion... or a lamb. Or something. Anyway, it's spring and a new week and that means a new Secondhand SCIENCE. Hop on over to learn all about glial cells, and what they have to do with Scooby Doo, training gyms and everyone > read more

I'm the Guy and I Don't Know Why

03/21/2015 15:07:42 PM

(March marches on, and so does science. Namely, Secondhand SCIENCE. This week's wackiness is all about tectonic plates. It's an earth-moving experience. Probably. Check it out.) There's a troubling development at my office recently. It would seem I' > read more

Local Incapacity

03/14/2015 15:06:14 PM

(Spring forward -- into Secondhand SCIENCE. This week's nonsense dives into Alu elements. It'll get you ready for a genetics test -- and spring training. Play science!) I'm being driven into the arms of a monster. And not a fun monster, either. L > read more

Perfectly Rational Fridge-a-phobia

03/05/2015 21:06:38 PM

(This week's Secondhand SCIENCE saga is all about radioisotopes. It sounds like some itchy disease you'd get from listening to NPR. But no. It's another thing entirely. Go see.) I've never been drugged in my sleep, kidnapped and whisked off to anoth > read more

Soon, I'll Say the Darnedest Things

02/28/2015 13:35:46 PM

(Hope over to Secondhand SCIENCE for this week's nonsense, and learn about the zinc finger. I promise it's the least frightening finger I'll ever describe to you. Unless you have a phobia about metal-binding proteins. Or frogs. Or formalwear made fr > read more

Oh, the Wearing Outside is Frightful

02/21/2015 12:36:28 PM

(This week in Secondhand SCIENCE silliness: ionizing radiation. It's the most fun you can have without an electron.* * Don't go having fun without an electron, kids. What would your grandmother think? Lord.) With a winter like ours in New England - > read more

Juuuuust a Fridge Outside

02/15/2015 13:48:28 PM

(Steal yourself some time to check out this week's Secondhand SCIENCE screed on kleptoplasty. It's got chlorophyll. And corn. Also cannibals, chipmunk nuts and some chick in a bologna suit. As all good science should. Check it out.) I was never all > read more

Snowpocalypse Forever

02/08/2015 00:30:55 AM

(Blind yourself with Secondhand SCIENCE. This week, we're adding maths to the mix with some words on statistical significance. Does compute, baby. Does compute.) There's a trick to spending the winter in Boston. It's the same trick I imagine would > read more

Automation Resignation

01/31/2015 22:51:07 PM

(Another week, another science. Secondhand SCIENCE, that is. This time, we're talking tumor suppressors -- the genes that do important and necessary things, but are only really appreciated after they're gone. Like Vincent Van Gogh, or orthodontic br > read more

It Just Goes (Amaz)On and On and On...

01/24/2015 17:49:13 PM

(This week's Secondhand SCIENCE is lost... in... spaaaaa-aaaace. Well, almost. It's actually all about trans-Neptunian objects, which aren't quite "lost". But they are really, really far away. And there might be more of them than you think. Have a l > read more

Just Say No-Lympics

01/16/2015 21:40:58 PM

(It's time again for science. That's Secondhand SCIENCE, natch. This week, it's a look at DNA origami. Want to fold a pretty swan out of your genetic material? Well, that's kind of strange. But maybe you can. Have a look, weirdball.) I'm not sure I > read more

The Furor of the Juror

01/09/2015 17:50:15 PM

(You know what's special? Relativity, that's what. Well, not all of it. Just the special kind. Obviously. For more probing scientifical insights like this, check out this week's dose of Secondhand SCIENCE, which is about -- you guessed it -- speci > read more

Should Old Spam-quaintance Be Forgot?

01/03/2015 22:07:24 PM

(Happy new Secondhand SCIENCE! This time, we're talking about prions. It sounds like some kind of vegan unicorn-farting car, but no -- it's science! Have a gander. Also! If you're around Boston on Thursday night, come see our sketch group Always on > read more

The Gift Grift That Keeps On Giving

12/27/2014 23:37:31 PM

(What's going on this week in the land of Secondhand SCIENCE, you ask? Good question! This time around, we're digging into the Mpemba effect, where the cold side stays cold and the hot side stays... even colder, as it turns out. It's all kinds of fr > read more

Coming Hit-tractions

12/20/2014 13:36:00 PM

('Tis the season, all right. The season for Secondhand SCIENCE. [To be fair, that's every season.] This week, the buzz is about Z-DNA. Is that how z-ebras get their stripes? Or Z-orro his skinny mustache? Z-oom on over and find out.) Last week, I t > read more

A Gluten for Punishment

12/13/2014 16:02:30 PM

(It's science time! That's Secondhand SCIENCE time to you. This week, we're learning [if you can call it that, which you mostly can't] about nanoparticles. Like carbonite, maybe, if that's a real thing. Or Ariana Grande. It gets a little weird. Go s > read more

Phone-y Baloney

12/07/2014 12:50:48 PM

(I've got science that jingle-jangle-jingles. Secondhand SCIENCE, that is. This week, we're talkin' 'bout splice junctions. Turns out your DNA is like cable TV. Hopefully, yours are in HD.) My phone died last week. Actually, it didn't die so much a > read more

Blackerer Friday

11/29/2014 09:32:31 AM

(You want the science? You. Want. The Science? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE SCIENCE! No, wait. You totally can. Especially when it's Secondhand SCIENCE. Check out a few good words about capillary action. It's more fun than a Cuban Code Red!) I learned some > read more

Lights! Camera! Pumpkin Log!

11/21/2014 22:53:16 PM

(Hey, kids -- it's time for a double-dose of science. And not just science, but Secondhand SCIENCE. Since last we danced, we've learned about enantiomers and quantum fluctuation. Double whammy. Science whammy. Double SCIENCE. Mind blown.) In case a > read more

Taxi-mum Overdrive

11/01/2014 14:18:23 PM

(Soak up some science! This week's ridiculous barely-explanation of scientifical somethings over at Secondhand SCIENCE is all about ubiquitin. It's the almost-everywhere molecule you probably never knew you were pumping out all the time. Give it a g > read more

Camera Incompetenta

10/26/2014 16:41:38 PM

(Hey, you know what's a science thing? The exosphere, that's what's a science thing. And as of this week, it's also a Secondhand SCIENCE thing. So that's nice. Have a looksee.) I'm not a good picture taker. Usually, that means that I'm not good at > read more

Greece Is Indeed the Word

10/18/2014 23:58:46 PM

(Science marches on -- even when it's Secondhand SCIENCE. Stop over and learn all about gene drives. Or scarves. Or astronaut fashion. Or raining men. It gets a little weird. Check it out.) I'm a week into a two-week trip to Greece, about which I'm > read more

Nobody Here But Us Vacationeers

10/10/2014 19:00:58 PM

(Which is the bestest quantum mechanical exclusion principle? That's right! The Pauli exclusion principle. Read all about it, and other scientifical oddities, over at Secondhand SCIENCE. It's a pip.) Working in a small company is kind of weird some > read more

Do No Farm

10/04/2014 14:23:42 PM

(Yo, science nerds! For this week's ridiculous sciencyness, head over to Secondhand Science to read all about convergent evolution. It's not just for cartoon squirrels and Mario and Luigi any more!) If there's a disadvantage to being a smartass -- a > read more

Literally, the Only Thing I'm Writing About Today

09/27/2014 19:50:17 PM

(The science buzz over at Secondhand SCIENCE this week is all about nucleation. If you like ice, champagne or beer -- that's separately, not all together at once, weirdo -- then nucleation should be on your radar. And maybe in your glass. Bottoms up > read more

Nine-and-a-Half Reasons I'm Not Invited to the Next Party

09/20/2014 15:46:16 PM

(Heyo! The science we "out droppin', son" this week over at Secondhand SCIENCE is all about those freaky critters who light themselves up like Christmas trees. Wanna know how the fireflies fire? Then check out the words about biolumenescence over th > read more

Man's Only, Probably Untasty, Friend

09/13/2014 23:59:48 PM

Yo, scienteers! Check out this week's Secondhand SCIENCE post, all about ionic liquids. Don't worry, it's not as complicated as it sounds. Well, actually, it probably is. But the parts I understand are pretty simple. So there's that.) I like animal > read more

I've Got Two Tickets to... Uh, Yeah

09/05/2014 21:34:18 PM

(This week's Secondhand SCIENCE whut-whut is all about gravitational lensing. You wanna bend some starlight? Then you'll need a black hole or a galaxy or a certain singer's badonkadonk. Check it out.) Things are a little hectic this week, with a cur > read more

The Glasses Menagerie

08/29/2014 00:48:31 AM

(Hey, look! News and stuff and crap to read!: This week's Secondhand SCIENCE rap is all about DNA methylation. It's got bunny suits. A tenuous tie-in to the Simpsons, in honor of the episode marathon running this week. And no actual rapping. It's al > read more

Polly Wanna Freaking Give Me a Hint Over Here?

08/21/2014 00:15:15 AM

(Science marches on -- even when it's Secondhand SCIENCE. This week, the big scientific deal is swarm robotics. Go check it out -- or I'll send a horde of Roombas to your house and make you. Not really. Plus if you live upstairs, Roomba goons are so > read more

Magnet Videos, How Do They Work?

08/16/2014 14:20:52 PM

(It's nearly time for another round of Secondhand SCIENCE, but there's still time to see last Sunday's scintillating take on sublimation. Okay, technically there's always time to see it, assuming the internet continues to exist and the checks to my > read more

Pimp My Gimp

08/07/2014 16:17:23 PM

(For those in search of additional silly words of mine: The Secondhand SCIENCE topic this week is telomeres. Those are little dangly bits hanging off the ends of your chromosomes. There's no need to be embarrassed -- everyone's got 'em, and you can > read more

We're Always Togetherments, Even When We're Apartments

08/01/2014 17:35:15 PM

(You like the sun? Of course you like the sun! Who doesn't like the sun? Then you may be interested in all the sunshine I blew up the sun's butt over at Secondhand SCIENCE this week, when I wrote about the heliosphere. That's a sun thing. For real. > read more

If the Bit Fits, You're in Deep Shit

07/23/2014 19:52:37 PM

(Need some science in your life? Of course you do! This week, the science fix over at Secondhand SCIENCE is all about electric bacteria. No, it's not a disease you catch from watching too many '80s breakdancing movies. I promise. Check it out.) I' > read more

{Hi|Howdy|Hello}, You're a {Moron|Chowderhead|Boob}!

07/15/2014 23:55:54 PM

(You can't slow down science. And that includes Secondhand SCIENCE. This week, the topic is double-slit experiments. No, seriously. It's a physics thing. I didn't make a single sex joke in the whole piece. I know. I can't believe it, either. Go see > read more

Non-Proudly, Non-Presenting...

07/10/2014 00:50:53 AM

(Snap it up, science fans. This week's Secondhand SCIENCE super-informational snippet is about micelles, which are very important biochemical doohickeys. So obviously, the words are mostly about Tom Cruise, Waterworld and Frosted Mini-Wheats. Becaus > read more

An Idiom's Guide to Idiots, or Possibly Vice Versa

07/01/2014 00:43:22 AM

(This week's dip into the science pool over at Secondhand SCIENCE is all about hypervelocity stars. No, it's not about Shia LaBeouf speeding down the PCH on a tricycle. It's definitely not about that. Maybe it should have been, but it's not. Go see. > read more

Always on Deck, on Deck

06/25/2014 11:39:24 AM

(This week's Secondhand SCIENCE silliness concerns the polymerase chain reaction -- or, as you laboratorial-type folks know it: PCR. Hop on over and see what polymerase -- and combovers and psychedelic drugs -- can do for you.) I've got family in t > read more

Hoop Dweebs

06/18/2014 22:56:50 PM

(Jonesing for some mid-week science? Well, if you missed the latest Secondhand SCIENCE word on Sunday, then it's your lucky hump day! Hop on over and check out a bunch of dubious facts, odd analogies and Andre the Giant references about exoplanets. I > read more

If at First You Don't Pen, Pen, Pen Again

06/11/2014 23:50:11 PM

(Two things first. Thing first the first: check out this week's Secondhand SCIENCE lowdown on Turing tests. It's all timely and shit. For trues. Thing first the second -- or second the first, or whatever: the Summer of Sketch is heating up! At leas > read more

At the End of My Wrap

06/02/2014 23:19:12 PM

Heyo! The news over at Secondhand SCIENCE this week is all about mycoplasma. They're the littlest bacteria. Just don't mention it to them. They're kind of sensitive.) Now, I have a question. I'm a fairly coordinated guy. Not "wardrobe coordinated > read more

Your Ass is deGrasse, Sucker

05/29/2014 23:59:42 PM

(Hi-ho, science fans! This week's entry over at Secondhand SCIENCE is all about Australopithecus. Because once you go hominid, you never go... uh... bominid? I don't know. I thought I had a real head of steam there, and then it all fell apart. Just > read more

When Good Food Goes... I Said It's FINE!

05/20/2014 23:49:37 PM

(Who has two thumbs and wrote five hundred words about Brownian motion without making a single poop joke? This guy! I know. I can hardly believe it, either. But head over to Secondhand SCIENCE and see for yourself. For true.) I have a theory. It's > read more

Weather She Will, Or Weather She Won't

05/13/2014 23:50:22 PM

(This week's Secondhand SCIENCE piece was quite timely, as synthetic genomics has been buzzing in the news recently. That doesn't mean it was accurate. Or helpful. Or plausible. Or free of beloved Warner Brothers cartoon characters poorly photoshopp > read more

The Eventuals of Currents Past

05/10/2014 13:39:09 PM

If you happened to miss last week's Current Eventuals sketch comedy show over at ImprovBoston -- and let's face it, you probably did; there were only around thirty people there, and I don't know what the other six billion of you were doing -- now the > read more

Hello Discness, My Old Friend

05/06/2014 23:27:04 PM

(Sunday's dose of Secondhand SCIENCE was transactinides, a series of elements like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. If peanut butter was radioactive. And if jelly was shot onto the bread inside a laser beam. And the sandwich fell apart spontaneous > read more

Eventual Events, Currently

05/01/2014 23:26:49 PM

In case you missed it, Sunday's Secondhand SCIENCE-stravaganza was about quantum entanglement. Well, actually, it was mostly about Seinfeld and stinky people and guys who touch themselves on the subway. As usual. But if there was anything resembling > read more

It's the (L)Easter I Can Do

04/22/2014 23:52:04 PM

(This week's Secondhand SCIENCE delves into the world of DNA polymerase, a very important biological enzyme that's almost exactly like a microscopic aging movie star/bodybuilder/politician. Either that, or Frito Jackson. Just go see. It all makes se > read more

To Househave, and to Household

04/15/2014 23:56:35 PM

(Science happens every Sunday over at Secondhand SCIENCE. Something like science, anyway. A few of the same letters are involved. This week, the topic was absolute zero, which turned into something about a card game with ice queens, a shrunken-head > read more

Kitty Whipped

04/10/2014 23:27:51 PM

I've reached a crossroads. No, it's more than that; it's an existential fog. A crisis of identity. A questioning of everything I am. What brought on this morphing of self, this foreign mode of being? Yesterday, in the afternoon, I laughed -- out l > read more

It's My New Best Policy

04/07/2014 10:41:20 AM

(Curious about scanning electron microscopy? Well, of course you are -- who isn't? Want to know what SEM has to do with 30 Rock, the Simpsons and Goldspider, which I totally didn't just make up? Then check out the latest post on Secondhand SCIENCE. > read more

Occupational Suicide, Chapter #2,481

04/03/2014 18:28:24 PM

Today, I was asked to write a first draft of an email with an update on what my department has been up to recently. The final email will soon be sent to the entire company. It was my job to get the ball rolling. And I rolled that ball. I rolled it t > read more

Picture-Perfect Pants

03/31/2014 18:19:43 PM

(Sundays are for science! But Mondays can be, too! So if you missed yesterday's Secondhand SCIENCE post on neutrinos, hop on over for a look. I promise it's the ninja-y-est, most Bigfooty article about physics you'll read all week. Or at least unti > read more

(Environ-)Mentally Prepared

03/25/2014 23:40:52 PM

The other day, I was asked a seemingly simple (if rather pointed) question: "What are you doing to save the environment?" I was not ready for this question. I certainly had not thought about this question. And it's quite possible I was eating a meg > read more

First in Our Brains, Secondhand in Our Hearts

03/22/2014 23:32:23 PM

I don't want to give the impression that while I was on my *ahem* "holiday" break, I was just sitting around doing nothing Yes, I was sitting around doing mostly nothing. But I did find time to carve out a different site, and start writing over ther > read more

Refreshingly Honest Chinese Restaurant Delivery Menu Items

03/21/2014 01:37:12 AM

Appetizers Chicken Satay: The dipping sauce is peanut butter. It's always just peanut butter. Egg Roll: Because let's face it -- we have to. We get them in bulk, like cartons of fat brown cigarettes. Crab Rangoon: If an even number of people are d > read more

Tis the Seeeeeeeason

03/19/2014 18:16:49 PM

There's something really great about political correctness. I mean, sure, the "not alienating people" is nice. Fostering inclusivity, making the world a better place, pissing off bigots and traditionalists -- these are all just super and fun and pea > read more

You Down with A-H-T? Yeah, You Know Me.

12/19/2013 22:14:48 PM

My annual holiday pilgrimage to visit family is looming this weekend -- and this one is shaping up to be a monster. Not so much when I get where I'm going, of course. The actual holiday experience is forecast to be no more or less monstrous than usu > read more

You Can Play, But You Can Never Win

12/15/2013 22:52:49 PM

This morning, I entered an emasculation contest. Well Not "entered", precisely. "Was chucked into" is more like it. I imagine that's how emasculation contests usually go; nobody enters them willingly. Like marathons, probably. Anyway, there's some > read more

You Don't Even Know How Much Trouble Urine

12/09/2013 22:15:25 PM

I've been noticing a lot of urine lately. Let me rephrase that. I've been noticing people making a big deal out of urine lately. In particular, the color and how it relates to overall health. Those little "pee hue" charts are everywhere, it seems. > read more

The Overly Auditory Lavatory

12/05/2013 22:06:02 PM

It's said that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. I don't know what those who ignore toilet seat history are doomed to, exactly, but I'm quickly finding out. And it's not pretty. Here's the thing. My wife and I have lived in our cond > read more

Hi, I'm Damned Damned to Meet You!

12/01/2013 22:08:26 PM

I meet new people from time to time. Well, not "new" people, exactly. So far as I know, they've all been people for some substantial amount of time. Decades, in most cases. Some of them are actually quite old people, indeed. They're just new to me. > read more

Fine, I'm a Turkey

11/28/2013 12:59:02 PM

This Thanksgiving week has been more... distracted than usual, so I'm way off schedule here. In lieu of actually getting back on track and posting something new, here's my favorite Thanksgiving-related nonsense from a few years ago: The Turkey Timel > read more

Taxicab Confusions

11/22/2013 22:42:51 PM

Like most people, I find taking cabs in Boston a white-knuckled, horrific experience. My reason for this, however, is probably not as common. Let's talk it out. A lot of people are scared by the driving, what with the cabbies careening across lanes > read more

If You're Happy, Then I'm... Something, I'm Sure

11/18/2013 22:48:34 PM

I was at the office today, in the middle of a pre-annual review chat with my boss, and she asked me what seemed like a very simple question: "Are you happy?" I knew what she meant. And I knew what the right answer was. But things are never quite so > read more

Mean, Mean Greens

11/14/2013 22:23:47 PM

I don't have a problem blazing my own trail. Walking the path less taken. Beating my own drum, non-euphemistically speaking. Still. Sometimes I wonder. In the summer, the company I work for offered employees a chance to buy into a CSA. Naturally, I > read more

(Not) Milking the Moment

11/10/2013 22:53:12 PM

Imagine, for a moment, you're me. All right, stop pretending to throw up in your mouth a little. Very funny, smartass. So, you're me, just for a moment. One specific moment, in fact. Last Friday afternoon, a couple of minutes after three. You're la > read more

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