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Stanford University

  1. How Well Does Your Computer Know You? Machines May Understand Us Better Than Our Friends or Family

    Time to embrace our robot overlords.

    According to Wu Youyou, lead author on a study published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, "the human-computer interactions depicted in science fiction films such as Her seem to be within our reach." Yay?

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  2. Stanford Researcher Explains the Science of Captain America and the Hulk’s Powers [VIDEO]

    "Get in, losers. We're going to do science."

    Stanford biologist Sebastian Alvarado is here to take the wind out of your sails, pedants. Superheroes will probably never be 100% scientifically accurate, but Alvarado's rationalizations for the real science that could be at work behind the Hulk and Captain America would make the Science Bros. proud. Watch him explain Captain America above and then hit the jump for the Hulk.

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  3. Stanford Researchers Wrote a Report on Silicon Valley’s “Mean Jerk Time” Joke

    I don't even know how peer reviewing this would work.

    The crowning glory of Silicon Valley's season finale was the scene in which the show's many, many men calculated how long it would take to pleasure 800 penises to completion. Now a bunch of Stanford researchers with brain cells to throw around have written a 12 page paper to determine if the "Mean Jerk Time" holds up. Use this information wisely.

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  4. New Study Explores the Nature of Altruism Using Random Acts of Pizza

    Protip: be poor and sad.

    Want a pizza but don't feel like doing that thing where you pay for it? You can always ask the Internet to send you one. If you're on the right part of Reddit, they actually might, which has some Stanford University researchers curious about why.

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  5. “Father of Inflation” Surprised With News of Gravitational Waves [Video]

    Well, this is absolutely beautiful.

    Yesterday Stanford announced that the first direct evidence of cosmic inflation and gravitational waves may have been found. Chao-Lin Kuo, designer of the BICEP-2 detector that made the breakthrough, went to personally surprise Father of Inflation Andre Linde with the news that his life's work had just been validated. Beware: tearjerker territory.

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  6. Scientists Accidentally Discover How to Stop or Start Pain Using Light

    And no, seeing a Pink Floyd show at the Planetarium won't have the same effect.

    Because you're reading this right now and not staring into my shining eyes, you won't understand how excited I am for a major development in optogenetics, the manipulation of nerves using light. Let me be clear: I'm stoked to the max. Researchers have discovered that light can be used to create or end pain, and that's exciting and terrifying news.

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  7. 18-Year-Old Uses Google Glass to Combat Autism, Rest of World Feels Inadequate

    Am I the only one whose sick of these brilliant, good-hearted kids making us twenty-somethings look bad?

    Since the first announcement of Google Glass, it's been a goldmine for comedians (and wannabe-comedians) everywhere. But while many of us were busy mocking this latest tech, one teenager conceived of a way to use it to help those suffering from autism -- by creating a program to recognize expressions and emotion.

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  8. Stanford Researchers Analyze World’s Greatest Picture to Discover Recipe for Reddit Success

    What makes a successful post on Reddit? A lot of things, but laser-eye Abraham Lincoln certainly doesn't hurt.

    After tireless analysis of reams of data, researchers at Stanford University think they've uncovered the formula for success on Reddit. With this weapon in their hands, we can fully expect Stanford scientists and students to conquer Reddit in short order, with the "funny" board becoming 100% devoted to jokes about UC-Berkeley science programs by 2014.

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  9. High-Speed Cameras Create Beautiful Slow-Motion Bird Videos for Science

    Birds: How do they work?

    We know birds can fly, because they do, but we don't know much about how they fly. It probably has something to do with their wings. Part of the problem with studying birds is that they move much faster than we do. That's why students at Stanford University have been using high-speed video cameras to capture slow motion video of birds in flight. The resulting video is really quite beautiful.

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  10. Arguing Could Lead to Better Science Education

    Sometimes it seems that no matter how well an idea is accepted by the scientific community, there's someone out there not willing to believe it. That's why Jonathan Osborne, professor of education at Stanford University, says we should be teaching students how to argue based on evidence, not just cram facts into their head. The challenge, Osborne says, isn't in getting students to argue -- it's getting teachers on board with teaching "argumentation." Why not just argue with them until they agree?

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