What's new here?

Archive for July, 2013

Benchmark Scientific Incu-Mixer- For heating and shaking microplates

Continuing with their fine tradition of producing high quality laboratory instruments Benchmark Scientific has introduced the Incu-Mixer microplate heater and shaker , available in two sizes: 2 microplates or 4 microplates.

Equipment to shake and heat at the same time is hardly a new thing to Benchmark, but previously such equipment was on the larger size and designed for either microtubes or flasks. The Incu-Mixer is designed to mix and heat Microplates:

4687 (more…)

What will the comet ISON do? Nobody is sure.

There is an old astronomer’s quip about comets being like cats: In that they have tails and do exactly as they please.

Astronomy is at times a very exact science, and at others it can be a ‘shrug your shoulders and admit you don’t know’ science.  At times engineers can argue about the time it takes a Space Probe to get to another planet in our solar system and have it figured out to nearly the second over a distance of hundreds of millions of miles. That is an example of  the former moments. Comets are an example of the latter.


Comet ISON was discovered last year and after a few checks of its orbit it was stated that it might be the brightest comet in our sky, ever. The talk was that it might put the impressive Hale-Bopp to shame. “Comet of the Century” was a term bandied about in the media. Pretty aggressive marketing given that we are only in the year 2013.

Now, however, some folks are not so certain.

Comets are fragile things. They are essentially balls of dirty ice & frozen gases surrounded by a tiny atmosphere of gas. They are not asteroids made of rock.  This means they can be a little bit on the fragile side. Comet ShoeMaker-Levy demonstrated this in when it broke apart due to tidal forces from Jupiter in 1992. In 1994 the fragments struck Jupiter.

ISON, however, is not likely to hit any planets, but it is expected to get very close to the sun. EXTREMELY close to the sun – less than 1 million miles. To put this in perspective the Earth is 93,000,000 miles from the Sun.

Being this close to the sun could easily cause the comet to break apart. If it does so it will not likely make a very impressive show. This has sadly happened many times in the past.  Comet Elenin in 2011 was much vaunted as a ‘Doomsday Comet’ by some internet crazies but broke apart before given a decent show.

Should the comet ISON survive, however, it will be one hell of an impressive show. This image is a projection of how it might look.

We look forward to it, and hope ISON survives its close encounter with the sun.



Anatomical Models – Some of a Mechanical sort!

We do quite a large amount of business selling anatomical models, and we always like to add more.  Most of our models are affordable, good quality products. But in addition to those models we also have a line of products from Denoyer-Geppert, a company that specializes in more high-end models – including ones that demonstrate how the   human body moves or muscles works. First up lets look at their Desktop Therapy Hand

4681 (more…)

Blog Post of Random New Products: Salt Powered Robot, Static Science, Weather Science, Anti-Gravity Magnetic Levitation

We haven’t really covered the new stuff we got this year from Green Science/4M, so it seems time to cover some of the nifty new items we have from them!

First up Salt-Powered Robot:

4418 (more…)

Perfectly Perilous Math – A Book!

The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math is a new book from Workman Publishing. It fits in as a sequel to the popular science books Book of Totally Irresponsible Science and The Book of  4373Potentially Catastrophic Science. 

The topic, as the title implies, is more about Math than Science Experimentation. That does not mean this book is as dull as an elementary math text, however.  The book tries to live up to its title of “perilous”. Situations are described where the reader must come up with answers – such as in chapter 13 where you and some friends must cross a rickety rope bridge to escape zombies. Scenarios like this are the mainstay of this book and make math exciting. Blank pages are provided to work out the Math.

Examples of problems include:

Calculating if a rate will chew through a rope holding a bladed pendulum before it cuts into you tied up underneath it.

Destroying an asteroid using Geometry

Defeat Vampires using algebra

Use hourglasses to escape death by Pirates!

Calculate how to decompress from a diving expedition to avoid getting the Bends.

Figure out how long shipmates can survive on a barrel of fresh water after being shipwrecked!

As you can see, many of these problems involve life-or-death situations. The book is aimed at grabbing the interest of young mathematicians and keeping it with perilous situations to solve their way out of!


Want to buy other Math & Science books?