Prissy River Can't Handle a Little Dirt

Chili science! Consciousness machines! Irradiated flaxseeds! Nano antennas! Venusian climates! Cali fossils! Rich awards! And a prima donna river! It's your Tuesday Science Watch, where we watch science—with the keen eye of an amateur!

  • If you ever wondered to yourself, "Chili peppers are so hot—yet I like them. Why?" Then brother, do I have just the story for you.
  • Researchers want to build a simple machine that will measure your consciousness just as easily as a bathroom scale measures your weight. "Too much!" this "consciousness machine" will scream, in an all-too-human voice.
  • Flaxseed plants near Chernobyl apparently grew a protein "shield" to keep out radiation. Sure, and I'm Joe DiMaggio. Tell your story walking, buddy.
  • I'm not even gonna try to explain this light-concentrating nano antenna.
  • New theory on the Venusian climate: the hot atmosphere of the planet might actually cool the interior. This has obvious implications for theories of global warming, as well as for your ability to say "Venusian" in casual conversation.
  • A huge collection of fossils dating back 1.4 million years has been found in California. It's all tigers, sloths, camels, what have you, but no Flintstones. Yet.
  • Researchers studying obesity, blood disease, and blindness won the prestigious Lasker Awards today, which are worth... $250K! Somebody fetch me an fat blind hemophiliac, stat! That joke is in poor taste.
  • Guess what's bad for the Colorado River now: dust. Seriously, get over yourself, Colorado River.
[Pic via]