Atlanta Science Tavern

The Broken Mirror

by Marc Merlin January 22, 2013
The Broken Mirror

by Anthony Martin (Atlanta Science Tavern Contributor) “I don’t do humans!” This declarative statement, uttered by actor Jim Carrey in the movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994), is also my usual response to anyone who asks how much of my research in ichnology (the study of plant and animal traces) deals with humans. Sure enough, […]

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Who’s Responsible for Free Will?

by Marc Merlin December 22, 2012
Who's Responsible for Free Will?

By Riley Zeller-Townson (Atlanta Science Tavern Contributor) Neuroethics is an interdisciplinary field that attempts to understand the ethical implications of neuroscience research.  And within Neuroethics, “Free will” is a battleground. About 30 years ago, neuroscientist Benjamin Libet led a study where the researchers were able to predict when human volunteers would press a button – […]

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How wind power won the American West

by Marc Merlin November 22, 2012
How wind power won the American West

By Carol Clark (Atlanta Science Tavern Contributor) There is something both comforting and mournful about the creak of an old windmill coming to life in a breeze. The metal skeletons and pinwheel faces of windmills tower over the loneliest of places, totems to the people who staked a claim on vast, empty plains, where they […]

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A History of Diffusing Useful Knowledge

by Marc Merlin October 22, 2012
A History of Diffusing Useful Knowledge

By Marc Merlin (Atlanta Science Tavern Contributor) The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK): a title which sounds simultaneously so noble and yet so understated that it has to be either a Monty Python concoction or the actual name of an 19th century British organization dedicated to the advancement of human civilization. It […]

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The First Robot

by Marc Merlin September 22, 2012
The First Robot

By Sidney Perkowitz (Atlanta Science Tavern contributor) Among cutting-edge technologies, robotics ranks high when you think of all it entails – or at least, all it would entail to make robots as seen in fiction. A robot like those Isaac Asimov made famous is typically a somewhat humanoid metal machine that walks, talks, sees, hears, […]

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An Unsung Hero of the Proto-Wiki

by Marc Merlin August 22, 2012
An Unsung Hero of the Proto-Wiki

By Kelly Servick (Atlanta Science Tavern Contributor) This story begins with an expert in his field donating his time to an ambitious encyclopedia project. The work would be an unprecedented collaboration of authors and editors, relying on new technology to distribute it on an enormous scale. If you’re picturing a devoted Wikipedian at his laptop, […]

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Bull Run, a Mars Landing and History as a Spectator Sport

by Marc Merlin July 22, 2012
Bull Run, a Mars Landing and History as a Spectator Sport

By Marc Merlin (Atlanta Science Tavern contributor) As the Director of the Atlanta Science Tavern my assignment at Wonders & Marvels is to work with members of my group and arrange for one of us or one of our speakers to submit a blog post each month, our charter from Holly Tucker being, “history with […]

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Coney Island Sea Rabbits & Benbecula Mermaids

by Marc Merlin June 22, 2012
Coney Island Sea Rabbits & Benbecula Mermaids

By Sonya Collins (Atlanta Science Tavern contributor) I saw a sea rabbit off the coast of Brooklyn in the summer of 2008. “Dr.” Takeshi Yamada stepped off the Coney Island boardwalk to wander among sunbathers and castle-builders offering them the chance to pet the creature. Yamada, dressed in a black three-piece suit, looked like a […]

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The Senator, the Scientist and a Country Worth Defending

by Marc Merlin May 22, 2012
The Senator, the Scientist and a Country Worth Defending

By Marc Merlin It was April 17, 1969, Richard Nixon was three months into his first term as President of the United States, the homes of the inner-city were crumbling, the Vietnam War was raging and $250 million was still a whole lot of money. $250 million was the price tag attached to the construction […]

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Images of Invisible Ink

by Marc Merlin April 22, 2012
Images of Invisible Ink

By Kristie Macrakis (Atlanta Science Tavern Contributor) When Marc Merlin, the Atlanta Science Tavern host, asked if I’d be willing to write a blog for Wonders & Marvels, I jumped at the chance. I always thought of my current topic – invisible ink – as a wonder, a marvel of nature. It would fit perfectly. […]

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From Top Secret Weapon to Everyday Household Appliance

by Marc Merlin March 22, 2012
From Top Secret Weapon to Everyday Household Appliance

by Larry Phillips (Atlanta Science Tavern contributor) In September of 1940 the British scientist Henry Tizard arrived in Washington DC on an official visit. Tizard had with him a carefully packed trunk containing a device that an American official later described as “the most valuable cargo ever brought to our shores”. The device was a […]

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Man’s Best Friend: Dogs in Pharaonic Egypt

by Marc Merlin February 14, 2012
Man’s Best Friend: Dogs in Pharaonic Egypt

by Annie Shanley (Atlanta Science Tavern Contributor) Dogs were popular pets in ancient Egypt and were the objects of genuine affection by kings, nobles, and laborers. While not all ancient animals were given names, over 75 dog names have been identified and usually refer to the color or character of the dog. That owners cared […]

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The Silent World of Leo Lesquereux

by Marc Merlin January 10, 2012
The Silent World of Leo Lesquereux

By Bob Silliman (Atlanta Science Tavern Contributor) In 1848 Leo Lesquereux left his native Switzerland for America. Initially a teacher and then a watchmaker, he had turned to natural science and had become the foremost expert on peat in Europe. Finding it prudent to take his family to the New World in this age of […]

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Accentuate the Vitreous, Eliminate the Resinous

by Marc Merlin December 13, 2011
Accentuate the Vitreous, Eliminate the Resinous

By Marc Merlin (Atlanta Science Tavern) “Positive” and “negative.” These two words associated with everything electrical seem so natural to us that it is surprising to recall that at some point in time they had to have been invented. Their invention began with Charles François de Cisternay du Fay, a French chemist and superintendent of […]

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The Prince of Evolution

by Marc Merlin November 10, 2011
The Prince of Evolution

By Lee Alan Dugatkin (Atlanta Science Tavern Guest Blogger) “… [He is] that beautiful white Christ which seems to be coming out of Russia… [one] of the most perfect lives I have come across in my own experience.” - Oscar Wilde Oscar Wilde was not the sort of man prone to effusive compliments. Who could possibly […]

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