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Mad Labs


  11:44:35 pm, by Nimble   , 252 words  
Categories: Reviews, Television, Science

Mad Labs

Link: http://www.nationalgeographic.ca/features/mad_labs_highlights.asp

Caught this show on television tonight. It's a science show of the type that's been desperately missing from television for the better part of a decade, apart from perhaps Mythbusters: fun, madcap and informative.

The episode today featured a dairy farm which took advantage of robotics from an opposite-of-typical point of view. It's set up so that the cows can get the robotics to milk them whenever they feel uncomfortable, and the machinery estimates how much milk the cow would have produced since last time it got milked, and dispenses the right amount of food for nutrition replacement. This, on top of cow toys, spots they can brush themselves and a relatively free run of the place, makes for pretty happy cows.

They tackled the bread-landing-butter-side-down problem, and determined after a bit of experimentation (pushing 100 pieces of buttered toast off a counter and having 89 of them land butter side down), hypothesized that it was due to the average amount of rotation from that height, and tried it again from a counter that was double the height, getting 82 landing butter side up.

Also on the program, growing mice in germ-free environments from birth versus normal germy environments having effects on their weight gain, trying to dissolve chewing gum with pepsin and hydrochloric acid, and the like.

Had to trip across the History Channel to find this show, too.

Yes, it's not teaching quantum mechanics and the like, but it looks like it ought to be able to get people excited about science again :)

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