Category Archives: Outlets

Barcelona Walking Tour Podcast

Bienvenido a Barcelona! This Let’s Go audio walking tour should help you find the gaudiest and finest Barcelona has to offer. You could do it all in one long day, or pick and choose, since each track covers a separate sight or neighborhood.

Download the audio files [mp3] or read the story behind the story here…

This and the Paris walking tour were my first stab at writing the script for an audio format. It took a little over a year for me to get around to visiting Barcelona myself, but when I did I was able to share parts of this tour with some other travelers–fun!

Unlike Paris, Barcelona’s public bicycle system is not geared towards short-stay visitors.

Paris Walking Tour Podcast

Bienvenue a Paris! This Let’s Go audio walking tour should help you find the crème de la crème in the City of Lights. You could do it all in one long day, or pick and choose, since each track covers a separate sight or neighborhood.

Download the audio files [.zip] or read the story behind the story here…

This and the Barcelona walking tour were my first stab at writing the script for an audio format. I’ve since walked most of this tour, but today I’d advise using the Velib bicycles to speed it up!

Multifaceted Menace

Mosquitoes can walk on water as well as any waterbug, or stick to a wall like Spiderman. Now Chinese bioengineers are figuring out what makes them such versatile pests.

A team led by C. W. Wu at the Dalian University of Technology in China mounted a mosquito‘s leg on a needle and pushed it down onto a tub of water on a digital balance. By varying the angle, they found that a single leg could hold 23 times a mosquito‘s weight before becoming submerged, they report in July’s Physical Review Letters.

Scanning electron microscope images revealed that the insect’s legs are equipped with tiny scales, each with up to a dozen longitudinal ridges connected by fine transverse ribs. The scientists speculated that air trapped between the ribs may form “nanocushions” that contribute to buoyancy, but their experiments also indicated the importance of the angle of the leg in not breaking through the surface. As the authors note, mosquitoes are equally at home on dry land. It turns out that their feet are equipped with tiny hooks and covered in adhesive hairs similar to those on a fly.

Mathematician David Hu of New York University notes that understanding water-repellent nanostructures will be useful for anyone who wants to make an all-terrain robotic insect. “If it’s ever going to fly in the rain, water repellency is going to be important.”

Originally appeared in Science Magazine as a Random Sample: [html] [pdf]

Work Out, Chow Down

Heavy snacking after exercise may have little to do with hunger or appetite hormones. In a new study, people who rode a bike for an hour ate more for lunch than those who just sat around ate, despite similar levels of hunger and short-term appetite-suppressing hormones. The urge to gobble after exercise, it turns out, may be a more complicated mixture of psychology and body chemistry. Continue reading