Science (General/Chat)

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  • Comet discovery closes door to theory of origin of Earth's oceans

    12/18/2014 3:24:20 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 25 replies
    newsworks.org ^ | December 18, 2014 |
    "We were looking to measure a certain particle called dueterium," said Alexander. It is this element that would confirm or scuttle the theory of comets hydrating Earth. And, as it turned out, Rosetta's data cast a strong doubt that comets were our aquatic benefactors.
  • An iPad app can land your plane if the engine quits

    12/18/2014 2:33:38 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 22 replies
    EndGadget ^ | 12/18/2014 | Steve Dent
    If the engine quits in a small plane, it's not the end of the world -- just glide to the nearest airport and make a dead-stick landing. Simple, right? Sure, if the pilot makes perfect, lightning-quick decisions. Since we're only human, there's now an iPad app called Xavion that can connect with a small-plane's autopilot, find the nearest airport and, if possible, fly you to the runway's threshold by itself. It'll even tell you if you can't make it, so that you can find a nearby farmer's field instead. According to Popular Science, the autopilot update will arrive in a...
  • Tesla Drivers Don't Be Too Smug: Electric Cars Are Not So Green, Says Study

    12/18/2014 1:03:43 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 33 replies
    Reason ^ | 12/18/2014 | Ronald Bailey
    In a new study in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences University of Minnesota researchers report in various scenarios that vehicles using alternative fuels are often more harmful to human health than are conventional gasoline-powered automobiles. From the abstract: We find that powering vehicles with corn ethanol or with coal-based or “grid average” electricity increases monetized environmental health impacts by 80% or more relative to using conventional gasoline. PNAS The AP reported: "It's kind of hard to beat gasoline" for public and environmental health, said study co-author Julian Marshall, an engineering professor at the University of Minnesota. "A...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 7331 and Beyond

    12/18/2014 9:13:33 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | December 18, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Big, beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 7331 is often touted as an analog to our own Milky Way. About 50 million light-years distant in the northern constellation Pegasus, NGC 7331 was recognized early on as a spiral nebula and is actually one of the brighter galaxies not included in Charles Messier's famous 18th century catalog. Since the galaxy's disk is inclined to our line-of-sight, long telescopic exposures often result in an image that evokes a strong sense of depth. The effect is further enhanced in this sharp image from a small telescope by galaxies that lie beyond the gorgeous island...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Geminid Fireball over Mount Balang

    12/18/2014 9:08:45 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | December 17, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This was a sky to remember. While viewing the Geminids meteor shower a few days ago, a bright fireball was captured over Mt. Balang, China with particularly picturesque surroundings. In the foreground, a sea of light clouds slowly floated between dark mountain peaks. In the background, the constellation of Orion shone brightly, with the familiar three stars of Orion's belt visible near the image top right. Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, is visible near the image center. The bright fireball flashed for only a fraction of second on the lower right. The source of the fireball...
  • Volume of world's oldest water estimated

    12/18/2014 1:33:29 AM PST · by WhiskeyX · 42 replies
    BBC ^ | 17 December 2014 Last updated at 20:25 ET | Rebecca, BBC
    The world's oldest water, which is locked deep within the Earth's crust, is present at a far greater volume than was thought, scientists report. The liquid, some of which is billions of years old, is found many kilometres beneath the ground. Researchers estimate there is about 11m cubic kilometres (2.5m cu miles) of it - more water than all the world's rivers, swamps and lakes put together. The study was presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. It has also been published in the journal Nature. The team found that the water was reacting with the rock to release...
  • Strange rock containing 30,000 diamonds baffles scientists

    12/17/2014 8:01:13 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 20 replies
    "The exciting thing for me is there are 30,000 itty-bitty, perfect octahedrons, and not one big diamond," said Larry Taylor, a geologist at the University of Tennessee, who presented the findings at the American Geophysical Union's annual meeting. "It's like they formed instantaneously. This rock is a strange one indeed."
  • Stanford to host 100-year study on artificial intelligence

    12/17/2014 6:33:19 PM PST · by TigerLikesRooster · 28 replies
    Stanford University ^ | December 16, 2014 | Chris Cesare
    Stanford to host 100-year study on artificial intelligence Stanford University will lead a 100-year effort to study the long-term implications of artificial intelligence in all aspects of life. By Chris Cesare Russ Altman, a professor of bioengineering and of computer science at Stanford, will serve as faculty director of the One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence. Stanford University has invited leading thinkers from several institutions to begin a 100-year effort to study and anticipate how the effects of artificial intelligence will ripple through every aspect of how people work, live and play. This effort, called the One Hundred Year...
  • Voyager 1 Rides 'Tsunami Wave' in Interstellar Space

    12/17/2014 1:48:27 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 13 replies
    space.com ^ | December 16, 2014 04:22pm ET | Megan Gannon,
    "Most people would have thought the interstellar medium would have been smooth and quiet," study researcher Don Gurnett, professor of physics at the University of Iowa, and the principal investigator of Voyager 1's plasma wave instrument, said in a statement from NASA. "But these shock waves seem to be more common than we thought."
  • 111 Years Ago Today: Man’s First Powered Flight.

    12/17/2014 11:49:14 AM PST · by EveningStar · 46 replies
    Alert 5 ^ | December 17, 2014 | Tom Demerly
    It is equipped with side stick controls like an F-16 Fighting Falcon. It uses an advanced, “mission adaptive” wing that has no seams at the control surfaces. The wing is so unique its design is protected under U.S. patent 821,393. The entire wing changes shape to control the roll axis of the aircraft ... And it is the first successful powered aircraft ever, the Wright Flyer. 111 years ago today Orville Wright became the first man to achieve powered flight. His first 12-second flight, covering only 120 feet, changed the course of mankind. 10:35 Local, Thursday, 17 December, 1903; Kill...
  • Climate change: Beavers boost emissions with 800 million kg of methane every year

    12/17/2014 10:27:19 AM PST · by Abathar · 38 replies
    International Business Times ^ | December 16, 2014 | Hannah Osborne
    Beavers are contributing to climate change, adding an estimated 800 million kg of methane to the atmosphere every year, scientists have found. Over the last century, there has been a worldwide conservation effort to save beavers from extinction. The fur trade between the 16th and 19th century almost led to the annihilation of beavers across the globe. After trapping was limited and the creatures were reintroduced to their natural ranges, their numbers grew significantly, with scientists now estimating their population to have reached over 10 million worldwide. Beavers build dams in rivers to create standing ponds,However, the consequence of this...
  • International Emissions Idiocy

    12/17/2014 9:27:16 AM PST · by rktman
    canadafreepress.com ^ | 12/17/2014 | Alan Caruba
    Most of the people of the world have concluded that the decades of warnings about “global warming” and its successor, “climate change”, is just idiotic nonsense. Few believe that humans ever had or ever will have any role in what the weather will be tomorrow or a thousand years from now. They are right. One of the most distinguishing factors about the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory has been the way its advocates have always predicted major changes decades into the future. When the future arrived, as it has since the first doomsday predictions were made in the late 1980s, they...
  • When you lose weight, where does the fat go? It turns into carbon dioxide.

    12/17/2014 8:43:25 AM PST · by Pining_4_TX · 47 replies
    Science Daily ^ | 12/16/2014 | University of New South Wales
    The most common misconception among doctors, dieticians and personal trainers is that the missing mass has been converted into energy or heat. "There is surprising ignorance and confusion about the metabolic process of weight loss," says Professor Andrew Brown, head of the UNSW School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences. "The correct answer is that most of the mass is breathed out as carbon dioxide. It goes into thin air," says the study's lead author, Ruben Meerman, a physicist and Australian TV science presenter. ------------------- The second most frequently asked question is whether weight loss can cause global warming.
  • Climate change: Beavers boost emissions ith 800 million kg of methane per year

    12/17/2014 8:01:26 AM PST · by EQAndyBuzz · 44 replies
    IB Times Uk edition ^ | 12/16/2015 | Hannah Osborn
    Beavers are contributing to climate change, adding an estimated 800 million kg of methane to the atmosphere every year, scientists have found. Over the last century, there has been a worldwide conservation effort to save beavers from extinction. The fur trade between the 16th and 19th century almost led to the annihilation of beavers across the globe.
  • Evidence of Viking/Norse metalworking in Arctic Canada

    12/17/2014 7:39:36 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    Eurekalert! ^ | December 15, 2014 | Dawn Peters
    A small stone container found by archaeologists a half-century ago has now been recognized as further evidence of a Viking or Medieval Norse presence in Arctic Canada during the centuries around 1000 A.D. Researchers reporting in the journal Geoarchaeology discovered that the interior of the container, which was found at an archaeological site on southern Baffin Island, contains fragments of bronze as well as small spherules of glass that form when rock is heated to high temperatures. The object is a crucible for melting bronze, likely in order to cast it into small tools or ornaments. Indigenous peoples of northern...
  • The Josh-WUWT 2015 Climate Skeptics Calendar is now available

    12/16/2014 11:29:35 PM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 6 replies
    Wattsupwiththat.com ^ | December 12, 2014 | Anthony Watts
    Here is your chance again to join “Josh of the Month Club”. Samples follow.After the great response we had the last two years, Josh has sent his artwork across the pond to provide a special WUWT calendar for USA and Canadian readers again this year. It contains artwork more centric to issues here on this side of the pond, along with some cartoons never before published on WUWT.These make great Christmas gifts for yourself, your friends, or some of those special people like Mike Mann that need some cheer and enlightenment. Recall that Dr. Mann turned our simple gift...
  • Hot New Book: Climate Change: The Facts 2014 ($AUD)*

    12/16/2014 10:49:44 PM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 18 replies
    Jjoannenova.com.au ^ | December 16th, 2014 | Joanne
    Hot New Book: Steyn, Delingpole, Bolt, Carter, Plimer, Lindzen, Lawson, Watts, Nova Too many big names too list, and all in one book, edited by Alan Moran and published by the IPA. I’m am just tickled, delighted to be one of the authors.The proper headline should include Ross McKitrick, Willie Soon, Pat Michaels, Garth Paltridge, Kesten Green, Stewart Franks, Christopher Essex, Jennifer Marohasy and John Abbott. Not to forget the great writers Rupert Darwall, and Donna LaFramboise.– JoAn excerpt:Shh, don’t mention the water To state the bleeding obvious, Earth is a Water Planet. Water dominates everything and it’s infernally complicated. Water...
  • NASA Rover Finds Active and Ancient Organic Chemistry on Mars

    12/16/2014 4:22:20 PM PST · by Islander7 · 22 replies
    JPL ^ | Dec 16, 2014 | Staff
    NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory's drill. "This temporary increase in methane -- sharply up and then back down -- tells us there must be some relatively localized source," said Sushil Atreya of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, a member of the Curiosity rover science team. "There are many possible sources, biological or non-biological, such as interaction of water and rock."
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- W5: Pillars of Star Formation

    12/16/2014 2:05:46 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | December 16, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: How do stars form? Images of the star forming region W5 like those in the infrared by NASA's Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite provide clear clues with indications that massive stars near the center of empty cavities are older than stars near the edges. A likely reason for this is that the older stars in the center are actually triggering the formation of the younger edge stars. The triggered star formation occurs when hot outflowing gas compresses cooler gas into knots dense enough to gravitationally contract into stars. In the featured scientifically-colored infrared image, spectacular pillars, left...
  • Do we finally have proof of life on Mars?

    12/16/2014 11:00:01 AM PST · by Red Badger · 60 replies
    www.dailymail.co.uk ^ | Updated: 13:36 EST, 16 December 2014 | By Jonathan O'Callaghan
    Unexplained methane spikes suggest bacteria is living on the red planet Nasa scientists in California have revealed evidence for life on Mars They say methane spikes on the planet could be produced by bacteria And, at the moment, there is no better explanation for the spikes The signs were spotted briefly occurring by one of Curiosity's instruments Life is the chief producer of methane on Earth, although there are many non-biological processes that can also generate the gas But no such process could be ruled out during tests - suggesting there may be bacteria living on or under the surface...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Potsdam Gravity Potato

    12/15/2014 3:22:41 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 50 replies
    NASA ^ | December 15, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why do some places on Earth have higher gravity than others? Sometimes the reason is unknown. To help better understand the Earth's surface, sensitive measurments by the orbiting satellites GRACE and CHAMP were used to create a map of Earth's gravitational field. Since a center for studying this data is in Potsdam, Germany, and since the result makes the Earth look somewhat like a potato, the resulting geoid has been referred to as the Potsdam Gravity Potato. High areas on this map, colored red, indicate areas where gravity is slightly stronger than usual, while in blue areas gravity is...
  • At UN climate talks, a crack in rich-poor barrier

    12/14/2014 6:17:28 PM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 3 replies
    myway.com AP ^ | Dec 14, 5:08 PM (ET) | KARL RITTER
    LIMA, Peru (AP) — A last-minute deal that salvaged U.N. climate talks from collapse early Sunday sends a signal the rich-poor divide that long held up progress can be overcome with a year to go before a landmark pact is supposed to be adopted in Paris.
  • 10 Mysterious Underwater Cities You Haven't Heard Of

    12/14/2014 3:38:25 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 32 replies
    Listverse ^ | August 5, 2013 | Andrew Handley
  • 120-114 BC: The Cimbrian flood and the following Cimbrian war 113-101 BC

    12/14/2014 12:59:31 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    climate4you ^ | before 2014 | unattributed
    The Cimbrian flood (or Cymbrian flood) was a large-scale incursion of the North Sea in the region of the Jutland peninsula (Denmark) in the period 120 to 114 BC, resulting in a permanent change of coastline with much land lost. The flood was caused by one or several very strong storm(s). A high number of people living in the affected area of Jutland drowned, and the flooding apparently set off a migration of the Cimbri tribes previously settled there (Lamb 1991)... The Cimbri were a tribe from Northern Europe, who, together with the Proto-Germanic Teutones and the Ambrones threatened the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Molecular Cloud Barnard 68

    12/14/2014 8:07:43 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | December 14, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Where did all the stars go? What used to be considered a hole in the sky is now known to astronomers as a dark molecular cloud. Here, a high concentration of dust and molecular gas absorb practically all the visible light emitted from background stars. The eerily dark surroundings help make the interiors of molecular clouds some of the coldest and most isolated places in the universe. One of the most notable of these dark absorption nebulae is a cloud toward the constellation Ophiuchus known as Barnard 68, pictured above. That no stars are visible in the center indicates...
  • The UN’s so-called plan to fight climate change is a socialist, money-sucking scheme

    12/14/2014 6:19:39 AM PST · by Dartman · 16 replies
    Toronto Sun ^ | Dec. 13/14 | Lorrie Goldstein
    The latest United Nations effort in Lima to draft a new global treaty on climate change proves Prime Minister Stephen Harper was right when he described its efforts as “a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations.” Harper was pilloried by Canada’s opposition parties after his statement, contained in a 2002 fundraising letter for the now-defunct Canadian Alliance, was revealed in 2007, shortly after he won the 2006 federal election. But Harper was right. Indeed he was vindicated in 2011, when a senior UN climate official, German economist Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,...
  • Geminid Meteor Shower TONIGHT!

    12/13/2014 9:27:57 PM PST · by Jack Hydrazine · 22 replies
    Slooh ^ | 13DEC2014 | FR Staff Writer
    You can follow live coverage of the shower at the link. They are using a meteor shower radio, from their listening post in New Mexico, to listen when the meteors strike the atmosphere and leave an ionized gas trail that reflects radio waves. The radiant is located in the constellation of Gemini which is in the NW direction about 40 degrees above the horizon. Dress warmly!
  • Quileute Tribe celebrates discovery of historic rock carving

    12/13/2014 6:51:28 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    Seattle Times ^ | December 11, 2014 | Joseph O'Sullivan
    A fisherman stumbled upon a rock carving that appears to show a legendary battle in Quileute mythology... An old petroglyph found by a fisherman in the Calawah River was celebrated with a ceremony by a group of Quileute tribal members before it was moved to the tribal headquarters in La Push. State archaeologists authenticated the carving and think it may date to around or before the mid-1700s... The rock they stumbled upon appears to be a carving that depicts a legendary battle in Quileute mythology, according to tribal and state officials... The rock -- which could weigh up to 1,000...
  • Israel: 7,500-year-old lost Neolithic village discovered off coast of Haifa

    12/13/2014 6:43:11 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    IBTimes ^ | December 10, 2014 | Sanskrity Sinha
    A prehistoric water well hinting at the existence of a thriving Neolithic settlement has been excavated under water at Israel's East Mediterranean coast. The 7,500-year-old water well, currently under five metres of water, was submerged following prehistoric rise in sea level. Maritime archaeologist Ehud Galili of the Israel Antiquities Authority led the excavation at Kfar Samir site in collaboration with experts at Flinders University in South Australia and University of Haifa in Israel. Archaeologists said that the well which was a source of fresh water for the village dwellers was abandoned as the sea level rose. "Water wells are valuable...
  • Israeli cave offers clues about when humans mastered fire

    12/13/2014 6:40:04 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    Science ^ | 12 December 2014 | Nala Rogers
    In layers older than roughly 350,000 years, almost none of the flints are burned. But in every layer after that, many flints show signs of exposure to fire: red or black coloration, cracking, and small round depressions where fragments known as pot lids flaked off from the stone. Wildfires are rare in caves, so the fires that burned the Tabun flints were probably controlled by ancestral humans, according to the authors. The scientists argue that the jump in the frequency of burnt flints represents the time when ancestral humans learned to control fire, either by kindling it or by keeping...
  • The Origin of the Number Zero

    12/13/2014 6:32:47 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 60 replies
    Smithsonian Magazine ^ | December 2014 | Amir Aczel
    Of all the numerals, "0" -- alone in green on the roulette wheel -- is most significant. Unique in representing absolute nothingness, its role as a placeholder gives our number system its power. It enables the numerals to cycle, acquiring different meanings in different locations (compare 3,000,000 and 30). With the exception of the Mayan system, whose zero glyph never left the Americas, ours is the only one known to have a numeral for zero. Babylonians had a mark for nothingness, say some accounts, but treated it primarily as punctuation. Romans and Egyptians had no such numeral either... Found on...
  • Water's role in the rise and fall of the Roman Empire

    12/13/2014 6:19:39 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 39 replies
    Science Daily ^ | December 11, 2014 | European Geosciences Union
    Smart agricultural practices and an extensive grain-trade network enabled the Romans to thrive in the water-limited environment of the Mediterranean, a new study shows. But the stable food supply brought about by these measures promoted population growth and urbanisation, pushing the Empire closer to the limits of its food resources... Brian Dermody, an environmental scientist from Utrecht University, teamed up with hydrologists from the Netherlands and classicists at Stanford University in the US. The researchers wanted to know how the way Romans managed water for agriculture and traded crops contributed to the longevity of their civilisation. They were also curious...
  • Affluence Explains Rise of Moralizing Religions, Suggests Study

    The ascetic and moralizing movements that spawned the world's major religious traditions -- Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Christianity -- all arose around the same time in three different regions... The emergence of world religions, they say, was triggered by the rising standards of living in the great civilizations of Eurasia... It seems almost self-evident today that religion is on the side of spiritual and moral concerns, but that was not always so, Baumard explains. In hunter-gatherer societies and early chiefdoms, for instance, religious tradition focused on rituals, sacrificial offerings, and taboos designed to ward off misfortune and evil. That...
  • Scientists reveal parchment's hidden stories

    12/13/2014 5:59:17 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    Eurekalert ^ | Monday, December 8th, 2014 | Thomas Deane, Trinity College Dublin
    The new technique of analyzing DNA found in ancient parchments can shine a focused light on the development of agriculture across the centuries. Millions of documents stored in archives could provide scientists with the key to tracing agricultural development across the centuries... Amazingly, thanks to increasingly progressive genetic sequencing techniques, the all-important historical tales these documents tell are no longer confined to their texts; now, vital information also comes from the DNA of the parchment on which they are written. Researchers used these state-of-the-art scientific techniques to extract ancient DNA and protein from tiny samples of parchment from documents from...
  • Planned Arizona copper mine would put a hole in Apache archaeology

    12/13/2014 5:43:39 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 34 replies
    Science ^ | 10 December 2014 | Zach Zorich
    A site on Apache Mountain, where Apache warriors plunged to their deaths to avoid the U.S. cavalry, may soon overlook a copper mine. Archaeologists and Native American tribes are protesting language in a Senate bill that would approve a controversial land exchange between the federal government and a copper mining company -- a swap that may put Native American archaeological sites at risk. The bill is needed to fund the U.S. military and is considered likely to pass the Senate as early as today. The company Resolution Copper Mining hopes to exploit rich copper deposits beneath 980 hectares of Arizona's...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Infrared Visible Andromeda

    12/13/2014 5:49:17 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | December 13, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This remarkable synthetic color composite image was assembled from archives of visible light and infrared astronomy image data. The field of view spans the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), a massive spiral a mere 2.5 million light-years away. In fact, with over twice the diameter of our own Milky Way, Andromeda is the largest nearby galaxy. Andromeda's population of bright young blue stars lie along its sweeping spiral arms, with the telltale reddish glow of star forming regions traced in space- and ground-based visible light data. But infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, also blended directly into the detailed composite's...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Crystals on Mars

    12/13/2014 5:44:56 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | December 12, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This extreme close-up, a mosaic from the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on the Curiosity rover, spans a breathtaking 5 centimeters. It captures what appear to be elongated crystal shapes formed by the precipitation of minerals dissolved in water, a likely result of the evaporation of ancient lake or river from the Martian surface. Brushed by a dust removal tool and illuminated by white LEDs, the target rock named Mojave was found on the Pink Cliffs outcrop of the Pahrump Hills at the base of Mount Sharp. The MAHLI images were acquired on Curiosity's sol 809, known on planet...
  • California Drought Linked to Natural Causes, Not Climate Change

    12/12/2014 9:24:13 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 11 replies
    LiveScience ^ | December 08, 2014 06:01pm ET | Becky Oskin
    Natural temperature swings in the ocean, not global warming, are driving California’s extreme drought, according to a new government study. Researchers said sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean set up an atmospheric roadblock off the West Coast that diverted winter storms away from California. The state relies on winter rain and snow for most of its yearly water. The roadblock is a persistent ridge of high pressure that first formed in 2011 during a La Niña event. Even though La Niña broke down after the 2011-2012 winter, the western equatorial Pacific Ocean remained a warm water bull’s-eye, a...
  • Half of Republicans back carbon limits, [AP] poll says

    12/12/2014 3:29:27 AM PST · by wtd · 26 replies
    FoxNews ^ | Published December 12, 2014 | • Associated Press
    Half of Republicans back carbon limits, poll says "Six in 10 Americans, including half of all Republicans, said they support regulation of carbon dioxide pollution, although they weren't asked how. Nearly half of Republicans said the U.S. should lead the global fight to curb climate change, even if it means taking action when other countries do not. And majorities across party lines said environmental protections "improve economic growth and provide new jobs" in the long run, a popular Obama administration talking point." [snip] The AP-NORC Center survey of 1,578 adults was conducted online Nov. 20-Dec. 1, using a sample...
  • The Trillion Dollar Market: Fuel in Space from Asteroids

    12/11/2014 11:56:21 PM PST · by WhiskeyX · 1 replies
    YouTube ^ | Jun 10, 2014 | Planetary Resources
    Asteroid sourced hydrogen and oxygen will literally and figuratively fuel expansion of the space economy by providing a locally sourced fuel resource that will change how industry operates in space. While existing satellites cannot be refueled directly today, space tugs fueled by asteroids that are currently being developed, will maneuver Geostationary satellites into their assigned orbit. Thus, keeping them operating and generating revenue far beyond their current life expectancy. Water from asteroids can also be used for a plethora of other applications beyond fuels in space. It can be consumed, used as a radiation shield for humans during deep space...
  • Time to Tackle Global Warming Running Out, Pope Tells Climate Summit

    12/11/2014 5:35:18 PM PST · by Up Yours Marxists · 59 replies
    Catholic Register (Catholic News Service) ^ | December 12, 2014 00:16 GMT | Carol Glatz
    VATICAN CITY - Tackling the problem of climate change is a serious ethical and moral responsibility, Pope Francis told negotiators from around the world meeting for a climate summit in Lima, Peru. "The time to find global solutions is running out. We can find adequate solutions only if we act together and unanimously," he said in a written message to Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Peru's minister of the environment and host president of the 20th UN Climate Change Conference. Thousands of negotiators from 195 countries gathered for the meeting in Lima Dec. 1-12 to hammer out details of a new international agreement...
  • Gamma Ray Bursts Limit The Habitability of Certain Galaxies, Says Study

    12/11/2014 2:59:54 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 27 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | on December 11, 2014 | by Vanessa Janek
    In fact, according to the authors of the new paper, there is a 90% chance that a GRB powerful enough to destroy Earth’s ozone layer occurred in our stellar neighborhood some time in the last 5 billion years, and a 50% chance that such an event occurred within the last half billion years. These odds indicate a possible trigger for the second worst mass extinction in Earth’s history: the Ordovician Extinction. This great decimation occurred 440-450 million years ago and led to the death of more than 80% of all species.
  • How your heartbeat will make passwords obsolete

    12/11/2014 7:55:24 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 16 replies
    CNN ^ | 12/11/2014 | By Tracey Hobbs and Monique Todd,
    Thought your fingerprint was secure? Think again. The unique pattern on the tip of your fingers can easily be copied and used to access your most personal information. As PIN numbers and passwords prove redundant in protecting data, tech companies are looking to convert bodily features into secure identity authenticators. Bionym, the Toronto-based biometrics technology company, have introduced The Nymi -- a wristband that measures heartbeats to authenticate identity. Its embedded sensor reads the electrical pulses produced by your heartbeat, which is unique to each of us. "You leave your fingerprints everywhere - you actually leave this impression which can...
  • The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Falling Gas Prices

    12/11/2014 7:08:04 AM PST · by Citizen Zed · 49 replies
    cato ^ | 12-11-2014 | RANDAL O'TOOLE
    A left-coast writer named Mark Morford thinks that gas prices falling to $2 a gallon would be the worst thing to happen to America. After all, he says, the wrong people would profit: oil companies (why would oil companies profit from lower gas prices?), auto makers, and internet retailers like Amazon that offer free shipping. If falling gas prices are the worst for America, then the best, Morford goes on to say, would be to raise gas taxes by $6 a gallon and dedicate all of the revenue to (boondoggles) “alternative energy and transport, environmental protections, our busted educational system,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Moondog Night

    12/11/2014 7:16:15 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | December 11, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In this night scene from the early hours of November 14, light from a last quarter Moon illuminates clouds above the mountaintop domes of Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona. Bright Jupiter is just left of the overexposed lunar disk with a streak of camera lens flare immediately to the right, but that's no fireball meteor exploding near the center of the picture. Instead, from the roadside perspective a stunningly bright moondog or paraselene stands directly over Kitt Peaks's WIYN telescope. Analogous to a sundog or parhelion, a paraselene is produced by moonlight refracted through thin, hexagonal, plate-shaped...
  • Rosetta Instrument Reignites Debate on Earth's Oceans

    12/11/2014 2:15:28 AM PST · by iowamark · 25 replies
    NASA ^ | 12/10/14
    The question about the origin of oceans on Earth is one of the most important questions with respect to the formation of our planet and the origin of life. The most popular theory is that water was brought by impacts of comets and asteroids. Data from the Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis (ROSINA) instrument aboard the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft indicate that terrestrial water did not come from comets like 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The findings were published today in the journal Science. Researchers agree that water must have been delivered to Earth by small bodies at a later...
  • 2 Futures Can Explain Time's Mysterious Past

    12/10/2014 3:59:19 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 22 replies
    Scientific American ^ | 12/8/14 | Lee Billings
    2 Futures Can Explain Time's Mysterious Past New theories suggest the big bang was not the beginning, and that we may live in the past of a parallel universe December 8, 2014 |By Lee Billings In the evolution of cosmic structure, is entropy or gravity the more dominant force? The answer to this question has deep implications for the universe's future, as well as its past. Credit: NASA; ESA; G. Illingworth, D. Magee, and P. Oesch, University of California, Santa Cruz; R. Bouwens, Leiden University; and the HUDF09 TeamPhysicists have a problem with time.   Whether through Newton’s gravitation, Maxwell’s...
  • A New Physics Theory of Life

    12/10/2014 2:18:28 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 45 replies
    Quanta Magazine ^ | 1/22/14 | Natalie Wolchover
    A New Physics Theory of Life Katherine Taylor for Quanta MagazineJeremy England, a 31-year-old physicist at MIT, thinks he has found the underlying physics driving the origin and evolution of life. By: Natalie WolchoverJanuary 22, 2014 Comments (151) print Why does life exist?Popular hypotheses credit a primordial soup, a bolt of lightning and a colossal stroke of luck. But if a provocative new theory is correct, luck may have little to do with it. Instead, according to the physicist proposing the idea, the origin and subsequent evolution of life follow from the fundamental laws of nature and “should be as...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Reddening of M71

    12/10/2014 10:07:57 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | December 10, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Now known to be a globular star cluster at the tender age of 10 billion years, M71 is a mere 13,000 light-years away within the narrow boundaries of the faint constellation Sagitta. Close to the plane of the Milky Way galaxy in planet Earth's sky, its 10,000 or so member stars are gathered into a region about 27 light-years across near the center of this color composite view. In fact, the line-of-sight to M71 passes along the galactic plane through much intervening diffuse interstellar dust. The dust dims starlight and scatters blue light more efficiently, masking the brightness of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Flame Nebula in Visible and Infrared

    12/10/2014 10:04:49 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | December 09, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What lights up the Flame Nebula? Fifteen hundred light years away towards the constellation of Orion lies a nebula which, from its glow and dark dust lanes, appears, on the left, like a billowing fire. But fire, the rapid acquisition of oxygen, is not what makes this Flame glow. Rather the bright star Alnitak, the easternmost star in the Belt of Orion visible just to the right of the nebula, shines energetic light into the Flame that knocks electrons away from the great clouds of hydrogen gas that reside there. Much of the glow results when the electrons and...