The Science Of Belly Button Lint Shows Your Navel Is Like A Sarlacc Pit For Fluff

Some weirdo decides to explore why belly buttons collect lint. Finds are actually interesting

For three years, Georg Steinhauser spent his waking hours analysing the contents of his navel. In particular, he used his skills as a chemist to study 503 pieces of lint from within his belly button to create a scientific explanation for what causes your man-belly to collect fluff like a Sarlacc pit eating Jabba the Hutt's foot soldiers.

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Facebook Abuse Uncommon

Contrary to society’s worst fears social networking sites, such as Facebook, add to Australians’ social lives with only a minority of users experiencing harassment

Contrary to society’s worst fears social networking sites, such as Facebook, add to Australians’ social lives with only a minority of users experiencing harassment, research by Deakin University, Ipsos Australia and I-view has found.

In a study of 531 users of social networking sites, like Facebook, MSN, LinkIn, MySpace and Twitter, Associate Professor David Bednall, set out to establish how people use the sites, in particular whether the sites are used to exchange information, and whether they had experienced harassment.

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The Future: By Microsoft

This is what Microsoft thinks the future of computing could look like...

Microsoft has released a video of what it thinks the future of computing could look like in 2019, and it looks kind of cool if not a little confusing. The clip was displayed at the Wharton Business Technology Conference. Here's the condensed version. It looks very much like tablet/surface style computing will take over the world. If it does, we won't be complaining, those hand held tablets look awesome!

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John Kansius, Visionary Inventor, Passes Away

John Kanzius, the Florida-based inventor whose cancer-curing machine we awarded a PopSci Invention Award last year, has finally succumbed to his own leukemia. He passed away last Wednesday

John Kanzius was a true PopSci guy: A former radio engineer who, upon being diagnosed, figured there had to be a better way to deal with cancer than his crippling chemo treatments. So he pulled out his wife’s pie pans and started tinkering, ultimately creating a machine that would have great success in animal trials using radio waves and carbon nanotubes to burn away cancer cells. He was even profiled on “60 Minutes.”

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How Stimulating!

Electric shocks to the muscles of the face cause painful, hilarious contortions

Daito Manabe sticks electrodes on his face and films the results. Last month we found out why -- now here's a look at how it works.

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Strange Substances of Many Sorts

Hot buttons, hard gels, and more

What could be more fun than eating pop rocks, and tastier than licking a 9-volt battery? Eating a "Szechuan button," a plant used widely in South America, Africa and Asia, proving once again that other cuisines really have more fun.

Quotes of the day, from today's links: "Clean coal harnesses the awesome power of the word 'clean'!" and "Oh, I'm producing massive amounts of saliva."

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The Worst Jobs in Science: Forensic Entomologist

It’s CSI for real: solving murder by studying maggots

“One day, a detective who knew I’d majored in entomology called me and said, ‘Hey Neal, we got a body at the morgue with insects on it. You wanna give it a shot?’ It turned out to be a guy I used to have breakfast with, and there were maggots in his teeth. Then I found some in his eyes, and I thought, ‘This is what I want to do.’”

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Energy Drinks Kill Our Buzz

Caffeine really does keep you awake and alert, but energy drinks may have the opposite effect, a University of Tasmania study has found

People often resort to caffeine through coffee or taurine through energy drinks to help perform complex tasks such as driving when tired. But how well do they actually work?

University of Tasmanian School of Psychology graduate Amy Peacock investigated the effects of these stimulants on information processing for her honours study.

Ms Peacock asked participants to identify printed numbers in three states of degradation, from clear to blurred. The more piecemeal, the harder it was to tell what the number was.

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Many Cancers Preventable

The number of cancer cases world-wide could be significantly reduced through some relatively straightforward policies and actions

The number of cancer cases world-wide could be significantly reduced through some relatively straightforward policies and actions, according to a major new international report by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).

The WCRF’s Policy and Action for Cancer Prevention report estimates the extent to which cancers may be prevented by modifying diet and exercise. Among its findings was that around 43 per cent of colon cancer cases and 42 per cent of breast cancer cases in the UK could be prevented in this way.

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Close-up photos of weevils' "torture phalluses"

Researchers have found that, for male seed beetles with "torture phalluses", the longer and spinier the better. The "pretty mean" genital is covered in spines along its entire length and causes internal injury to the female beetles, who -- not too surprisingly -- are built with thick padding to withstand mating. (To get these pics of the toothy, horny beetle genitalia, the scientists pumped them up with a vacuum pump -- just like Austin Powers!)

Also in today's links: many more oddities of the animal kingdom.

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Diet Cola, Mentos and Two Idiots Dressed as Scientists

Could it be Friday again already? Yes, so here is your weekly does of awesome You Tube science

We all know what happens when you stick a Mentos in a bottle of cola. Now here's what happens when you add two idiots to the mix. These guys obviously have way too much time and money on their hands but the results are something quite awesome. Hit the jump to see the video and enjoy the weekend!

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Color-Changing Colonne RGB Lamp Might Induce Seizures

Trippy lamp could be pretty dangerous... seriously!

I'm not sure what I like better here: the fact that this lamp runs through every colour of the spectrum, or that it has a remote so I don't even have to get up.

Made by French company Colonne, the 6' lamp uses two RGB drivers and 14 LEDs to power the three-colour LED lighting system. And much like TVs, this lamp can reproduce the entire colour spectrum by adjusting the levels of these three colours.

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Freeze Dying

Neither up in smoke, nor in the ground

Cemeteries take up space (and only occasionally allow solar panels on graves). Cremations release emissions. But, just like yummy bits of fruit, bodies also can be freeze-dried. Then dipped in liquid nitrogen, resulting in "an organic, odourless, hygienic powder." A Scottish region is investigating this possibility out of fears that it will run out of burial space in the next few decades.

Also in today's links: Jindal, unexplored jungles, unexplored high-def disc formats and more.

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Happy Birthday, Doomsday Seed Vault!

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, designed to preserve the world's crops, turns one year old today

What do you get a seed bank for its birthday? More seeds, of course.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault celebrates its first birthday today with the addition of 90,000 seed samples. The vault serves as a heavy-duty backup for gene banks around the world, which strive to save humanity (and our food supply) from the scourges of monoculture and environmental catastrophes.

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The Photons Are Coming!

An avalanche of new possibilities from Intel

Electrons are so 20th century. When it comes to computing and communications in the new millennium, it’s all about photons. And a new development by the boffins over at semiconductor giant, Intel, has brought photons one step closer to a computer near you. Researchers at Intel’s Photonics Technology Lab have invented a new photodetector that promises to vastly increase the speed of data communications, and all at the cost of mass produced silicon chips.

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