Facts of the Matter Archives | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Facts of the Matter

ASSOCIATED PRESS / 2013 & 2014
                                Machines can be made to look humanoid, but it’s highly unlikely they will take over from humans. Honda Motor Co.’s robot named Asimo, left, can walk and grip things. Internet company SoftBank’s robot, Pepper, can recognize mood swings.

Machines can be intelligent but they will never be human

ASSOCIATED PRESS / 2013 & 2014
                                Machines can be made to look humanoid, but it’s highly unlikely they will take over from humans. Honda Motor Co.’s robot named Asimo, left, can walk and grip things. Internet company SoftBank’s robot, Pepper, can recognize mood swings.

Updated on  March 16, 2017 at 11:52 pm
Thinking machines are here, or not. The debate continues while developments in artificial intelligence create more and more sophisticated machines that are becoming more and more humanlike. Read More
ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Theo Bradeen, 5, was not a fan of the chill after a ferry ride Dec. 16 to Portland, Maine. The temperature was minus 2 degrees Fahrenheit, with a wind chill of minus 25.

Evaporation, not wind chill, leaves us cold on blustery days

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Theo Bradeen, 5, was not a fan of the chill after a ferry ride Dec. 16 to Portland, Maine. The temperature was minus 2 degrees Fahrenheit, with a wind chill of minus 25.

Updated on  March 2, 2017 at 10:11 pm
The blustery winds over the past month have made us feel as if winter has set in for real. It is Hawaii, and the temperature rarely drops into the 60s, but we have “thin” blood and feel the cold more than our temperate-climate counterparts who might welcome 70 degrees in February as a cause for celebration. Read More
COURTESY PHOTO
                                An X-ray showing a broken arm after an accident. Richard Brill writes that most radiation is not harmful; in fact, most of it is useful. For example, there are lifesaving benefits of radiation treatment by X-rays, as well as the diagnostic use of X-rays to see inside the human body.

Radiation can cause harm, but it also has myriad uses

COURTESY PHOTO
                                An X-ray showing a broken arm after an accident. Richard Brill writes that most radiation is not harmful; in fact, most of it is useful. For example, there are lifesaving benefits of radiation treatment by X-rays, as well as the diagnostic use of X-rays to see inside the human body.

Updated on  February 16, 2017 at 10:32 pm
Most radiation is not harmful; in fact, most of it is useful. People discover new uses and new methods every day for use in health, industry, business, entertainment and scientific research. Read More

Twice-yearly solstice marks sun’s switch in direction

The December solstice occurs at 12:44 a.m. Hawaii time Wednesday. At this instant the sun will reach its southernmost point on the ecliptic and start northward again. Read More
Updated on  December 15, 2016 at 10:41 pm
 
COURTESY RICHARD BRILL
                                The apparent size difference in the full moon at apogee and perigee is about 12 percent, but the difference in brightness is about 30 percent.

Many factors affect moon’s trip around Earth

COURTESY RICHARD BRILL
                                The apparent size difference in the full moon at apogee and perigee is about 12 percent, but the difference in brightness is about 30 percent.

Updated on  December 7, 2016 at 4:06 pm
Just about everyone knows that the moon orbits Earth once every month. What we do not commonly know is that the moon’s orbit is not circular; it is elliptical. Read More
 

Trendy LEDs are created with ‘doped’ materials

The hottest lights on the market today are cool light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. LEDs are made from semiconductors, which differ from conductors in the way their crystal structure holds electrons. Read More
Updated on  October 27, 2016 at 3:16 pm
STAR-ADVERTISER / 2012
                                Lactic acid, the same stuff that causes aching muscles after an intense workout, is the catalyst in pickling foods like kim chee.

Fermentation plays key role in muscles, variety of foods

STAR-ADVERTISER / 2012
                                Lactic acid, the same stuff that causes aching muscles after an intense workout, is the catalyst in pickling foods like kim chee.

Updated on  October 27, 2016 at 3:17 pm
It’s nearly certain that each of us consumes some fermented food or beverage daily. Bread, cheese, yogurt, beer, cured salami, cocoa and pickled foods such assauerkraut and kim chee are some examples of fermented products. Read More
ASSOCIATED PRESS / NOVEMBER 2014
                                Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences winners Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna arrive at the second annual Breakthrough Prize award ceremony in Mountain View, Calif. More prizes are likely in their future.

CRISPR gene editing offers promise for treating defects

ASSOCIATED PRESS / NOVEMBER 2014
                                Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences winners Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna arrive at the second annual Breakthrough Prize award ceremony in Mountain View, Calif. More prizes are likely in their future.
A new gene editing technique called CRISPR-Cas9 has turned the biology world upside down and will have an immeasurable effect on genetic and molecular biology research in the coming years. Read More
ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                A compass reading was taken before a sensor was installed at a seismic station last week by the Oklahoma Geological Survey near Waynoka, Okla. The magnetic compass remains a powerful tool even in our high-tech age.

Magnetic field helps guard Earth and guides travelers

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                A compass reading was taken before a sensor was installed at a seismic station last week by the Oklahoma Geological Survey near Waynoka, Okla. The magnetic compass remains a powerful tool even in our high-tech age.
Using nothing but a compass as a navigational tool, ancient mariners from China to Sumer navigated the world’s oceans. Even in the modern age of GPS, the magnetic compass is anunfaltering navigational tool for seagoing vessels, airplanes and hikers on the ground. Read More

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