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Cash SimpsonRSS Feed of this column.

In his other life, Cash is a Formula One race car driver who solves mysteries on TV. His personal site is Science And Supermodels.... Read More »


A new novel about Sherlock Holmes or, my favorite, The Saint?

No, this really happened in an operating room in St Paul’s Hospital, British Columbia. Dr. Alana Flexman, Dr. Stephan Schwarz and Dr. Giuseppe Del Vicario wrote the case report.

The patient, a 42-year-old white Canadian, had developed nerve damage due to restricted blood flow in his lower legs after falling asleep in a sitting position. He was a smoker and his medical history included chronic shoulder pain and migraine headaches.

As if tortillas weren't already expensive enough because of a ridiculous 2005 enviromental law mandating usage and subsidies for ethanol, now the pesky medical community is in on the take.

Percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI) is an injection of ethanol through the skin directly into a bone tumor to kill cancer cells, which is dangerous enough to picnics all over America due to inflated corn prices, but now it turns out ethanol has value for thyroid cancer patients as well.

She's already angry about high corn prices

27 moves? They don't need no stinking 27 moves. Northeastern University Computer Science professor Gene Cooperman and graduate student Dan Kunkle set out to do what no one clamored for - solving any Rubik's Cube configuration in 26 moves, a new record.

Welcome to the family of cosets.

“The Rubik's cube is a testing ground for problems of search and enumeration,” says Cooperman. "Search and enumeration is a large research area encompassing many researchers working in different disciplines – from artificial intelligence to operations. The Rubik's cube allows researchers from different disciplines to compare their methods on a single, well-known problem."

People are not always sure there is a science to relatonships until I spend a minute explaining it to them. Everything in the universe is about inductance. Inductance has lots of gobbledy-gook definitions that require you to know what a lot of other words mean, so physics definitions don't always help, but inertia is part of the lexicon and everyone knows what that is.

It may seem strange that science is out there doing studies on topics that not only seem unnecessary but are downright redundant, yet it happens all of the time. Here are this week's examples of science studies to reaffirm things your mother would tell you are pretty obvious:

Binge drinking among college students impairs decision-making ability - yes, it took a scientific study to tell you alcohol encourages you to do things you otherwise might reconsider. I have a friend who once set his hair on fire doing bar tricks involving flame and booze.

Smoking is generally regarded as bad for you. I can't find a single person who will argue today that smoking is neutral, much less good for you. Nonetheless, even though we have spent billions of dollars advertising the facts of smoking and imposed punitive taxes on smokers, almost 30% of adults still do it.

Endangered species