Posts Tagged what is it?

What Is It? #11

What Is It? #11

What Is It? #11 (Click to embiggify)

It’s that time of the week again, where we show you another of tricky photos and ask you – What Is It? This week, the Prof has taken some time off (these lazy academic types!) so I thought I’d give you this offering – another ‘Who Is It’ this time. Answers below, please.

Last week we showed you this photo, and asked you what it is. The answer? It’s a cryobot probe, currently being used by Russian scientists to break through the 2.5 mile thick ice in Antarctica to access ‘Lake Vostok’ which has not seen light between 250,000 and 25,000,000 years. This lake could be sterile and if so means there will be an inexhaustible supply of high oxygenated water. It may be connected to other ‘under ice’ lakes in the region by rivers which means if they contaminate it, they contaminate them all – to the concern of other, non-Russian scientists. Find out more on Lake Vostok.

Winner this week was Hugh Randolph, who was first in with:

Is it a submarine used to explore “frozen” lakes?

Hugh wins for the fastest sort-of-right answer. However, we did also get an exactly-right answer, from Thomas:

It’s a Cryobot, a robot that can burn itself through thick layers of ice.

Well done Hugh and Thomas. Good luck with this week’s!

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What Is It? #10

What Is It? #10

What Is It? #10

Well, once more it’s that time of the week – the time we ask you the age-old question: What Is It? Admittedly, throughout the ages it’s been applied to grandiose things like planets, comets and tiny tiny dogs (seriously, a pomeranian? What the hell IS that?), yet here at the MSS we use the question to usher in Prof. Dowling’s latest teasing photograph. As ever, tell us what you think this photo is.

Last week we showed you this photo, and asked you what it is. The answer? Pure fakery! Neither are penned by President Truman nor by founding father of the US,- Ben Franklin as they claim – instead they were penned by none other than Dr Joe Nickel of the Centre for Inquiry. Joe’s something of a skeptical hero, with having spent many decades and countlessTV appearances investigating paranormal claims.

A genuine Joe Nickel Fake

Winner this week was, well, no-one. The nearest was Jon D, who jokingly suggested the Franklin letter might be a fake expenses claim, although still penned by Franklin. No-one posted a right answer, in fact hardly anyone posted an answer at all this week! We are very disappointed. We’re crying but you just can’t see us.

We need to up the game. We mentioned pomeranians earlier. Right, for every What Is It that goes unanswered, we drown a pomeranian. Or at least hold one over some water. So, save the pomeranians and post your answers below…

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What Is It? #9

What Is It? #9 (click to enlarge)

What Is It? #9 (click to enlarge)

What Is It? #9 (click to enlarge)

It’s that time of, erm, let’s just say ‘week’ again – time for our sort-of-regular What Is It? competition, courtesy of Prof. Dowling. You may remember the rules from last time, if not don’t worry, they couldn’t be simpler:

1. Look at these photos
2. Guess what these photos show
3. Tell us

Easy! So, get cracking.

Last time out we showed you this photo, and asked you who it is. Unbelievably, none of you were able to recognise that it was none other than the self-appointed superhero Mike Adams, Health Ranger. Mike is the charming, educated and definitely-not-a-lunatic behind the Natural News website – the one stop shop for all your anti-vaxx paranoia.

Mike Adams Health Ranger

Mike Adams Health Ranger

He’s also got a sideline in anti-vaxx pop classics, such as his hit ‘Don’t Inject Me (The Swine Flu Vaccine Song)‘. Toe-tapping, I’m sure you’ll agree.

None of you got it. None. Must. Try. Harder.

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What Is It? #8

What Is It? #8

What Is It? #8

It’s that time of the week again – time for our What Is It? competition, courtesy of Prof. Dowling. Or at least, this week, it’s more of a Who Is It? The rest of the rules are the same, so tell us who/what you think this photo is.

Last week we showed you this photo, and asked you what it is. The answer? Pure gold atoms (as if there were any other type!).  The spacing between the gold atoms is 2 Angstroms (or 0.2 nm). They are not gold coloured due to the image having been taken with an electron microscope. Find out more on NanoNews-Now.

Not many of you attempted an answer this week. It was a difficult one, sure enough, and no-one quite got there in the end. The closest to the correct answer were probably Tom and Jon D, with graphite and crystal joints in metal respectively. Sorry, Stu, it wasn’t a stipple pad for artexing the ceiling, nor was it cake decorations on a biscuit tin lid, which was Jon D’s alternative offering! Better luck next time.

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What Is It? #7

What Is It? #7

What Is It? #7 (click to enlarge)

It’s that time of the week again – time for our What Is It? competition. Same rules as always apply, check out the image and tell us what it is.

Last week we showed you this photo, and asked you what it is. The answer? It’s a photo of nanoparticles (in brown) attaching themselves to cancer cells (in violet) from the human abdominal cavity. This is actually pretty cool – scientists at Georgia Tech and the Ovarian Cancer Institute have further developed a potential new treatment against cancer that uses magnetic nanoparticles to attach to cancer cells, removing them from the body. The treatment, tested in mice in 2008, has now been tested using samples from human cancer patients. The results appear online in the journal Nanomedicine. [Image Credit: Ken Scarberry/Georgia Tech]

It was a difficult one, sure enough, and nobody got it entirely correct, but the closest to the correct answer was Stan T, with this guess:

Out of focus bone marrow aspirate, acute leukaemia, non specific esterase stain.

A partial congratulations to Stan T for coming closest – let’s see you all raise your game for this week’s photo!

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What Is It? #6

What Is It? #6

What Is It? #6 (click to enlarge)

It’s time once again to put your peepers to the test, with the latest edition in our ingeniously-titled ‘What Is It?’ competition. By now I’m sure you know the drill, and if you don’t it’s kinda self-explanatory, but here’s what you do: 

1. Look at this photo
2. Tell us what it is 

Pretty straightforward stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree. And cheers once more to Prof. Dowling for the image. 

Last week we got all mushy and asked you what this photo is. As usual we got a good set of responses. Most got pretty close, although unfortunately for Barra, there was no doomed Martian lovers involved:

Is it the famous heart cliffs of mars? Where ancient alien civilisations used to jump like lemmings to the rocks below expressing their love for each other?

And no liquorice allsorts either; apologies to Ross Clark:

Is it a sample from the abortive Bertie Bassett factory at Sellafield?

What it actually is, is a rather cool Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy (STM) image of palladium atoms. Amazingly, the heart is roughly a nanometre across.

No fully correct answers this week, but nearly all of you got most of the way there. Sophie, Jon d, Tom Williamson and Ellie all recognised we were looking at something very small, probably an STM image. Unfortunately, nearly everyone claimed we were looking at carbon nanotubes, and not Palladium, so no 100% pass rates today.

But you know what, as you were all on the right track, and as the image was in honour of Valentine’s Day and we’re all loving souls here at MSS, we’re going to credit you as having got this one right. So… well done, everyone!

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