Author Archives: bigkingken

About bigkingken

A science writer dedicated to proving that the Big Ten - or the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, if you will - is more than athletics.

Cloaking Device Alters Appearance Instead of Hiding an Object Altogether

Metamaterials are meta-awesome. They look deceptively simple, and yet they’re probably the building blocks of future Star Trek technologies come to life. To the untrained eye, they just look like a sheet of grids or squares of geometrically repeating copper … Continue reading

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Playing Video Games a Lot Linked to Healthier Young Adults…or Not

I came across this headline recently from the University of Illinois, “Teen gaming addicts may wind up physically healthier as young adults, study says.” That’s a big head-scratcher. I mean, really? You’d think that the more a teen is plopped … Continue reading

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Competition Produces Giant(er) Noggins

I have a large head. When I first started playing peewee football, they had to grab me a helmet from the varsity team. Once I got to junior high, they had to run over to the high school to find … Continue reading

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Messing with Bacterial Roll Calls

In politics, quorum is the number of people you need present to vote on legislation. It’s that minimum target you avoid by having politicians leave the state to stop ridiculous policies from being rammed through the system. It’s the number … Continue reading

Posted in Wisconsin | Leave a comment

What You Can’t Smell Might Kill You

Besides decreased mobility and ability to clean and bathe properly, there’s a good reason for that old person smell that everyone knows and hates—your sense of smell deteriorates as you get older. So even those who are blessed with a … Continue reading

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Showing Upwardly Mobile Chinese Your Face

If you’re looking to make a few bucks in the stock markets in the next decade, a good recommendation might be hotels catering to the Chinese. And if you’re really smart, you’ll look for brands who understand face. No, I … Continue reading

Posted in Illinois, Purdue | Leave a comment

Shocking Memory Improvements

Want to improve your memory? Just zap the hell out of it with some magnetic fields! According to a new study from Northwestern University, targeted electric shocks to the surface of the brain can improve memory in adults more than … Continue reading

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A Made-to-Order Materials Menu

If you think ordering a drink from Starbucks can be a tall order, try picking out the right material for a new product or experiment. An iced, half-caff, four-pump, sugar-free, venti cinnamon dolce soy skinny latte may be a mouthful, … Continue reading

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Chimps Need No Help for Violence

Whoever wrote the script for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes should have done some more homework. The primary antagonist of the film is Koba, a scarred bonobo who holds a grudge against humans for his mistreatment. The only … Continue reading

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Sunday Runday Funday Scientifically Proven

A new study from Northwestern University that is making use of all of those new-fangled fitness applications and wearables has revealed an athletic truism that I would have bet money on based on anecdotal evidence—people drink more on days that … Continue reading

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