But in fact, those who deliver gifts only have beautiful uniforms and the most unenviable status.

But in fact, those who deliver gifts only have beautiful uniforms and the most unenviable status.

AT SEA AND ON LANDThe underground life of orchidsVinogradova T.N.At the word "orchids" something bright, exquisite, luxurious is immediately presented. Orchid bouquet! Large flowers of an unusual shape, plastic test tubes with a mysterious liquid, put on the stems below, crispy packaging. But what if you don’t follow the knurled path? What do we know about orchids?

SCIENTIFIC COMMENTATORThe wisdom and longevity of parrotsReznik N.L.Parrots are not fools, oh no! Their intellectual abilities in some cases are not inferior to those of great apes. In addition to remarkable cognitive abilities, parrots also have other features: a complex social organization, late adulthood and longevity. In addition, they have an extremely large relative size of the forebrain. All these features, and above all the similarity with great apes, intrigue scientists, who found parrots an excellent model for studying the evolution of complex traits.

NANOFANTASTICHeirAndrey VozninThree days of waiting in an endless queue allowed a good look at all the paintings hung along the walls of the corridors. I liked the circles and spirals. Triangles looked menacing, and squares and more complex shapes made you overwhelmed with an abundance of corners. The wife was delighted with dots and straight lines. Which, however, is not surprising, given her mental abilities. Or rather, their absence.

MUSEUMMuseum of the History of ComputingDmitry ZlatopolskyThe Moscow School No. 1530 "School of Lomonosov" has existed for over 15 years a museum of the history of computer technology. Its exposition includes more than 300 exhibits, clearly demonstrating the main stages of the long and complex path of development of computing facilities. From primitive calculating devices using pebbles, fruit pits, knots on ropes to electronic computers – calculators and computers.

PANACEICLife-prolonging rhododendronRuchkina N.Modern man is reminiscent of Carroll’s White Rabbit: he is constantly in a hurry, does not succeed in anything, and therefore desperately needs means to relieve fatigue and give strength. Most often, products containing caffeine are used for this purpose, but this alkaloid has unwanted side effects. Luckily, nature has some decaf stimulants in store for us. The shoots of Adams’ rhododendron, also known as sagan daila, which in translation from Buryat means "prolonging life", are very popular now.

FANTASYTime to chooseMarina Shurukhina- Tell me, please, what is your sexual orientation?The woman opposite me calmly looked me in the eyes, as if she asked such questions every day. It looks like it was.I choked on my latte. The questionnaire says: a wife and two children. What’s incomprehensible?“Heterosexual,” I managed, finally swallowing my perfectly brewed coffee.I was in a fashionable office on the forty-ninth floor of a huge skyscraper glittering with glass. Here, every corridor was patrolled by security guards, the doors were opened by fingerprint scanning, and the women who came across looked like they had just stepped off the covers of glossy magazines.- Have you ever been registered with a psychiatrist?

Life of great quotesKonstantin DushenkoIn this section, there will be stories about popular quotes, the origin of which is not obvious, as well as quotes with a long and interesting history that we attribute to various great people. Because, "the more successful the phrase, the more applicants for authorship" (Arthur Bloch, author of books on "Murphy’s laws"). Moreover, in many cases, the meaning of a particular quote changed over time, and it could have different meanings in different national cultures. Knowing where it came from and what it meant at different times is not at all superfluous. And besides, finding out this is an extraordinarily exciting exercise; it is not for nothing that in the English language there is a concept “phrase detective” – “investigator of the origin of quotations”.

MEMOIRSNot all people are enemies …Chernenko M. B.We continue to publish excerpts from the memoirs of one of the founders of Chemistry and Life, MB Chernenko, “Strangers and Ours”.

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TECHNOLOGIESRegeneration from bacteria: from Siberia with loveShishatskaya E.I., Horuzhaya A.N.The Krasnoyarsk biophysicist Ekaterina Shishatskaya, Head of the Department of Medical Biology of the Institute of Fundamental Biology and Biotechnology of the Siberian Federal University, spoke about the new class of biodegradable biopolymers. In 2009, Ekaterina became a laureate of the Russian President’s Prize in Science and Innovation for Young Scientists, and her research on this class of biodegradable polymers ensured the priority and world renown of the Russian scientific school.

SCIENTIFIC COMMENTATORFullerenes in spaceElizariev P.At the end of 2015, a group of Swiss and German researchers led by John Mayer from the University of Basel was able to finally prove the presence of a positively charged C 60+ fullerene in interstellar space. It is noteworthy that for this, the scientists themselves did not measure the spectra of the stars. They solved a long-standing riddle about cosmic fullerenes in a terrestrial laboratory.

HISTORY OF CONTEMPORARYBlack swans of Russian chemistsShulpin G.B.Physicist Nikolai Nikolaevich Semyonov was the organizer and curator of Soviet projects to create atomic and hydrogen bombs and, by the will of fate, the only Russian Nobel laureate in chemistry. He was one of the first to suggest looking for new ways of carrying out chemical reactions based on the principle of copying biochemical processes in living organisms. This method, then called "chemical bionics", is now known as the "biomimetic approach".

ELEMENT NO.Sulfur: facts and factsPetrova O.Yu., Lyabin M.P.Sulfur is widespread in nature and has been known to man since ancient times. However, sulfur as a chemical element was first characterized by the French chemist Antoine Laurent Lavoisier: burning substances, he discovered the release of gas; as we now know, it was sulfur dioxide. Later, Lavoisier studied the properties and nature of the chemical element that gave rise to the gas.

WHERE IS YOUR NAME?More about phenols and quinonesLeenson I.A.Veratric acid is found in a free state in the seeds of plants of the genus Veratrum and is formed by the breakdown of many alkaloids. Poisonous alkaloids of black hellebore cause sneezing and coughing. The Latin name for plants veratrum (from verus – truth) comes from the belief that sneezing after spoken words confirms their truth. It’s funny that the ancient Romans believed in this!

HEALTHDealing with stressZhukov D.A.What attracts adults to such an unpleasant character like Carlson? Presumably, such a property of the psyche as carelessness and serenity. The ability to sweep aside any trouble with the words "trifles, everyday business" – this is what makes Carlson attractive to adults who have long lost this ability. And it’s not only about age-related changes in the psyche, the ability to foresee the long-term consequences of their actions – the zones of the cerebral cortex responsible for this develop fully only by the age of twenty-one. The loss of serenity is also a direct consequence of the stressful situations that constantly accompany us in everyday life.

HYPOTHESESBlind WillAkkizov A.Yu."They knew they were taking a mortal risk!" – you can often hear from the layman when it comes to people who died in the mountains. However, it should be well understood that most climbers go primarily to the top. And risk is just a necessary evil, which they try to reduce, preparing themselves for the ascent as for solving the problem: "to conquer the top and return alive."

PROBLEMS AND METHODS OF SCIENCEMicrobial communicationPuchkov E.O.There is a universal law of nature, which was most succinctly formulated by the Haida Indian people living in Canada and the United States: "Everything depends on everything else." Therefore, it is natural to expect that intercellular interactions will arise in mono- and polymicrobial associations: physical contacts, chemical interaction. However, by virtue of the same law, the chemical relationships of microorganisms are so diverse and so intertwined that the study of individual reactions is not an easy task.

NANOFANTASTICCinema in a circleDurov AlexeyComing out of the cinema, I was happy to compare. I always liked the film, it was a pity that it was over, but I was remembered either by shooting and chases, then by surfing and parachute jumps, or by jokes. Last time I wanted to strangle the leader of the gang, this time, on the contrary, I sympathized with him … Or last time? And, yes, he sympathized with both this and the last one, but he wanted to strangle him the year before last … Or this one?

QUESTIONS – ANSWERSDo dollars always have cocaine on them?Viktorova L.If you carry dollars in your pocket, then almost certainly with them – and cocaine, albeit crumbs. Dollar bills can contain from 0.006 micrograms (several thousand times less than one grain of sand) to 1240 micrograms of this drug. By the way, one grain of sand weighs about 23 micrograms.

QUESTIONS – ANSWERSWhy is cubic zirconia called zircon in the West?Viktorova L.No, they do not call it, this is an erroneous statement. Although just in Russia you can often hear the name "zircon" or "zirconium" in relation to cubic zirconia. Both are wrong. Zirconium is a chemical element, not a stone. Cubic zirconia and zircon are two different stones!

QUESTIONS – ANSWERSHow to make ferrofluid at home?Viktorova L.It has been 52 years since NASA employee Steve Papell invented ferromagnetic fluid. He solved a very specific problem: how, in zero gravity, to force the liquid in the fuel tank of the rocket to approach the hole from which the pump pumped fuel into the combustion chamber. It was then that Papell came up with a non-trivial solution – to add some magnetic substance to the fuel in order to control the movement of the fuel in the tank with the help what is george orwell 1984 of an external magnet. This is how ferromagnetic liquid was born.

QUESTIONS – ANSWERSWhy does blood taste metallic? And what does it smell like?Viktorova L.Indeed, if you bite your tongue before blood, you will feel a metallic taste in your mouth. In part, the hemoglobin itself is to blame, or rather, the iron present in it. But to a greater extent – substances that are formed during the interaction of iron ions from hemoglobin (Fe2 +) and fat molecules.

PROBLEMS AND METHODS OF LOVEThe hard way of monogamyReznik N.L.Monogamy is different: social, in which a couple is together for a long time, and genetic, when one male mates with a single female per season. True monogamy, social and genetic at the same time, occurs in animals much less often than polygamous relationships, but until recently, scientists had no idea how much less often. The truth was revealed when zoologists began to define parenting using molecular markers.

DIARY OF OBSERVATIONSOn the role of personality in the herdPomponius SquareIn the mouth of a person, the word "flock" (and also "sheep") has a negative connotation. Meanwhile, there is nothing wrong with this concept: animals gather in flocks, schools, swarms and herds to protect themselves from predators, meet a mating partner, and find food sources. And where there are herds, there must inevitably be herd behavior: coordination of actions, without which a group of animals can split up, and some of its members get lost and even die.

SCIENTIFIC LEISUREAbout the flow of catsMarkina N., Andrianov A.Cat owners are not too surprised by the thought circulating in social networks: "A cat is a liquid." Evidence: the liquid takes the form of whatever vessel it is in; the cat takes the form of any vessel in which it is located, therefore, the cat is a liquid. It turns out that this idea captured the minds of not only ordinary observers of cat plastic, but also scientists.

MATHEMATURESClustering: Unite and ConquerRubina S.We are trying to classify everything, to combine it into groups: stars – into constellations, living beings – into classes, genera, species; and how many different groups and divisions within one species of Homo sapiens! Here you have nations, castes, families, and even personality types. In mathematics, there is even such a concept as cluster analysis – this is a multivariate statistical procedure that collects data containing information about a sample of objects and then arranges the objects into relatively homogeneous groups.

SCIENTIFIC COMMENTATORDinokuryatinaE.Dinosaurs next to us, it is quite possible that edible ones, no longer seem unrealistic. True, now we understand that they will not be obtained by physicists – the projects of a time machine are developing poorly – but by biologists.

HISTORY OF CONTEMPORARYS.V. Meijen: at the origins of non-classical biologyBagotsky S.V.December 17, 2015 marks the 80th anniversary of the birth of Sergei Viktorovich Meyen (1935-1987) – an outstanding Soviet paleontologist and geologist, a talented and original philosopher.

WHAT WE EATTiramisuRuchkina N.Tiramisu is an Italian multi-layered dessert that includes savoyardi biscuits soaked in strong coffee, cream of egg yolks, sugar and mascarpone cheese, and cocoa powder sprinkled on top of the dish.

FANTASYA week before the New YearJacqueline de GueuIt’s funny, people think that Santa Claus is in charge in our office. But in fact, those who deliver gifts only have beautiful uniforms and the most unenviable status. On the top floor in our office it is not frosts and not Santa’s who work at all, but economists and financiers. They really have scale. Either inflation in the Eurozone is frozen, NASA projects, or bank accounts … I went up to them a couple of times, to the top level – not on business, no, what business I might have there … just look.

UNKNOWN LEMIntelligent devicesStanislav LemToday, designers hungry for fame are recklessly using the definition of "intelligent." The latest issue of New Scientist contains tables listing the so-called robots that perform various actions, demonstrating their supposed intelligence.

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NOBEL PRIZEFull gravity waveKomarov S.M.The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three American scientists who not only created and improved gravitational antennas based on laser interferometers, but with the help of hundreds of specialists from all over the world managed to achieve such accuracy on them that the device recorded the tiniest ripples of space-time from terrible events, fortunately taking place at huge distances from the earth: the energy of the gravitational waves recorded at the places of birth is monstrous, it is equal to that obtained from the instantaneous annihilation of several masses of the Sun.

NOBEL PRIZEElectron microscope, accurate calculation and cold sampleKuramshin A.I.The 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Jacques Dubochet (University of Lausanne, Switzerland), Joachim Frank (Columbia University, New York, USA) and Richard Henderson (Cambridge, UK). They received the award for "the development of high-resolution cryoelectron microscopy methods, which make it possible to determine the structure of biomolecules in solution." A Nobel Committee press release explains that cryoelectron microscopy has opened a new era in biochemistry and has helped fill many of the gaps in our knowledge of the molecules of life.