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Science (General/Chat)

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  • Humans and Neandertals likely interbred in Middle East

    01/29/2015 1:26:30 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 58 replies
    Science ^ | 28 January 2015 | Michael Balter
    The discovery of a 55,000-year-old partial skull of a modern human in an Israeli cave, the first sighting of Homo sapiens in this time and place, offers skeletal evidence to support the idea that Neandertals and moderns mated in the Middle East between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago. What's more, the skull could belong to an ancestor of the modern humans who later swept across Europe and Asia and replaced the Neandertals. The find supports a raft of recent genetic studies. A 2010 analysis, for example, found that up to 2% of the genomes of today's Europeans and Asians consist...
  • Genghis Khan's genetic legacy has competition

    01/29/2015 1:19:28 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    Nature ^ | 23 January 2015 | Ewen Callaway
    In addition to Genghis Khan and his male descendants, researchers have previously identified the founders of two other highly successful Y-chromosome lineages: one that began in China with Giocangga, a Qinq Dynasty ruler who died in 15823, and another belonging to the medieval Uí NĂ©ill dynasty in Ireland. Jobling's team made a systematic search for genetic founders by analysing the Y chromosomes of more than 5,000 men from 127 populations spanning Asia... because lots of data were available and there was already evidence of such lineages. The team identified 11 Y-chromosome sequences that were each shared by more than 20...
  • Found in Spain: traces of Hannibal's troops

    01/29/2015 12:59:42 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    The Local, Spain's news in English ^ | January 28, 2015 | Jessica Jones
    Spanish archaeology students have discovered a 2,200-year-old moat in what is now the Catalan town of Valls, filled with objects providing evidence of the presence of troops of the Carthaginian general Hannibal in the area. The moat, which surrounded the Iberian town of Vilar de Vals, contained coins and lead projectiles, researchers said in a statement. It is estimated the moat could have had a width of 40 metres (131 feet), a depth of five metres, and a length of nearly half a kilometre. Jaume Noguera from the Prehistory department at the University of Barcelona, and Jordi López, from the...
  • Icebergs 'have sound signature'

    01/29/2015 9:56:43 AM PST · by NormsRevenge · 48 replies
    BBC News ^ | 1/29/15 | Rebecca Morelle
    Listening to icebergs could help to assess the extent of glacier melt, scientists report. Researchers in Poland, the UK and US have found different types of icebergs have their own acoustic signature as they calve away from the ice. Monitoring this could help to determine how much ice is being lost and the effect this could have on global sea level rise. The findings are reported in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Oskar Glowacki, from the Institute of Geophysics at the Polish Academy of Sciences, said: "Using acoustics, we can get very accurate data and we can collect this data...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Close Encounter with M44

    01/29/2015 9:04:07 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | January 29, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On Monday, January 26, well-tracked asteroid 2004 BL86 made its closest approach, a mere 1.2 million kilometers from our fair planet. That's about 3.1 times the Earth-Moon distance or 4 light-seconds away. Moving quickly through Earth's night sky, it left this streak in a 40 minute long exposure on January 27 made from Piemonte, Italy. The remarkably pretty telescopic field of view includes M44, also known as the Beehive or Praesepe star cluster in Cancer. Of course, its close encounter with M44 is only an apparent one, with the cluster nearly along the same line-of-sight to the near-earth asteroid....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Comet Lovejoy in a Winter Sky

    01/29/2015 9:01:49 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | January 28, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Which of these night sky icons can you find in this beautiful and deep exposure of the northern winter sky? Skylights include the stars in Orion's belt, the Orion Nebula, the Pleiades star cluster, the bright stars Betelgeuse and Rigel, the California Nebula, Barnard's Loop, and Comet Lovejoy. The belt stars of Orion are nearly vertical in the central line between the horizon and the image center, with the lowest belt star obscured by the red glowing Flame Nebula. To the belt's left is the red arc of Barnard's Loop followed by the bright orange star Betelgeuse, while to...
  • Prominent Atheist Professor says Intelligent Design is Plausible

    01/29/2015 7:13:06 AM PST · by Heartlander · 21 replies
    Sense of Events ^ | January 28, 2015 | Donald Sensing
    Prominent Atheist Professor says Intelligent Design is Plausible By Donald Sensing Prominent Atheist Professor of Law and Philosophy Thomas Nagel Calls Intelligent Design Scientific and Constitutional to "Mention" in Science Classes Prof. Thomas Nagel has published an important essay entitled, "Public Education and Intelligent Design", in the Wiley InterScience Journal Philosophy & Public Affairs, Vol. 36, issue 2, on-line at < http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118493933/home>  His paper is a significant because it encourages all intelligent, educated, informed individuals to consider that intelligent design may be a valid scientific approach to understanding how DNA and the complex chemical systems of life came to attain...
  • To Protect His Son, A Father Asks School To Bar Unvaccinated Children

    01/29/2015 6:14:28 AM PST · by C19fan · 87 replies
    NPR ^ | January 27, 2015 | Staff
    Carl Krawitt has watched his son, Rhett, now 6, fight leukemia for the past 4 1/2 years. For more than three of those years, Rhett has undergone round after round of chemotherapy. Last year he finished chemotherapy, and doctors say he is in remission. Now, there's a new threat, one that the family should not have to worry about: measles. Rhett cannot be vaccinated, because his immune system is still rebuilding. It may be months more before his body is healthy enough to get all his immunizations. Until then, he depends on everyone around him for protection — what's known...
  • Researchers find evolutionary reasons for homosexual behavior in beetles

    01/29/2015 4:50:24 AM PST · by SoFloFreeper · 39 replies
    phys.org ^ | 1/28/15 | Bob Yirka
    A small team of researchers with the University of Ulm's Institute of Experimental Ecology in Germany has found an evolutionary explanation for same-sex sexual behavior (SSB) in burying beetles..... .... if a male burying beetle has difficulty determining if another beetle is male or female (which is does because gender identification with such beetles is difficult to determine) and if it is clear that there are few females around, than the males become less discriminating and will attempt to mate with whatever female or male beetle they find—because it increases the likelihood of passing on their genes (with male/female copulation,...
  • Unraveling the Nature and Identity of the Green Man

    01/28/2015 5:53:57 PM PST · by Reverend Saltine · 20 replies
    Ancient-Origins.net ^ | January 28, 2015 | Ryan Stone
    An enigma spanning thousands of years, the Green Man is a symbol of mysterious origin and history. Permeating various religious faiths and cultures, the Green Man has survived countless transformations and cultural diversities, enduring in the same relative physical form to this day. Although specifics about his beginnings and his worship are not fully known, due in large part to how far back and to what initial cultures he can be traced to, it is a testament to the widespread reach of his character that he is still remembered and worshipped to this day. The Green Man is most highly...
  • Charles Townes, 99, inventor of laser, dies

    01/28/2015 2:20:17 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 26 replies
    CBS News ^ | 01/28/2015 | Gregory Bull
    BERKELEY, Calif. - Charles Townes, professor emeritus of physics at the University of California, Berkeley who shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for his invention of the laser died Tuesday, according to Berkeley's website. Townes, 99, had been in failing health and passed away en route to the hospital. "The passing away of Professor Charles Townes today marks the end of an era," said astrophysicist Reinhard Genzel, a colleague and professor of physics at UC Berkeley. "He was one of the most important experimental physicists of the last century." In 1951, Townes was seated on a park bench in...
  • How to reduce the amount of air in a football without letting any air out

    01/28/2015 1:26:13 PM PST · by Brad from Tennessee · 49 replies
    Watts Up with That? ^ | January 28, 2015 | By Alec Rawls
    Just fill the ball with warm humid indoor air, then when it temperature-equalizes with the 25°F cooler outdoor air on your AFC Championship playing field some of the water vapor in the ball will condense into water, leaving less air in the ball, solving the great mystery: how did the footballs used by the Championship winning New England Patriots show 12.5 psi of inflation pressure in the official pre-game check but only 10.5 psi when checked at halftime? There is also a decrease in pressure due to the cooling of the molecules that remain gaseous. Those air molecules are not...
  • A Voyage through Time on the Canal du Midi

    01/28/2015 1:35:08 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies
    France Today ^ | October 19, 2014 | Florence Derrick
    ...Pierre-Paul Riquet, the man behind one of the 17th century's greatest works of engineering -- and some say, works of art -- remains in Vauban's shadow, despite his life's accomplishment, which was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. This 150-mile long waterway was once known as the Canal Royal en Languedoc, for good reason. French revolutionaries may have removed the 'royal' from its title in 1789, yet this is a canal which remains fit for a king. Dappled sunlight streams onto its emerald-green water from between the leaves of the 42,000 plane and oak trees which line...
  • Lawrence Krauss, Eric Metaxas, and Aquinas' Fifth Way

    01/28/2015 6:24:24 AM PST · by Heartlander · 1 replies
    Evolution News and Views ^ | January 27, 2015 | Michael Egnor
    Lawrence Krauss, Eric Metaxas, and Aquinas' Fifth Way Michael Egnor January 27, 2015 8:31 PM | Permalink As Daniel Bakken noted here earlier, atheist physicist Lawrence Krauss has responded in The New Yorker to Eric Metaxas's recent Wall Street Journal essay "Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God." Krauss denies that astrobiology and cosmology point to God's existence. I disagree with every keystroke of Krauss's rebuttal, except, oddly, the title: "No, Astrobiology Has Not Made the Case for God." It pains me to agree with Krauss's assertion, in the following limited sense. I agree not because I doubt God's existence,...
  • Once Again Going After Eric Metaxas, Now in The New Yorker, Lawrence Krauss Opts for Misdirection

    01/28/2015 6:21:37 AM PST · by Heartlander · 1 replies
    Evolution News and Views ^ | January 27, 2015 | Daniel Bakken
    Once Again Going After Eric Metaxas, Now in The New Yorker, Lawrence Krauss Opts for Misdirection Daniel Bakken January 27, 2015 2:21 PM | Permalink Now a month after the fact, cosmologist and "skeptic" Lawrence Krauss has made another attempt at damage control in the wake of that wildly popular Christmas Day article by Eric Metaxas in the Wall Street Journal. The Metaxas essay, which went viral, argued that science increasingly makes the case for God. The first try by Dr. Krauss was obviously rushed, and wasn't published by the WSJ, though the Richard Dawkins Foundation did post it on...
  • David Suzuki’s Anti-Human "Blue Dot" Campaign

    01/28/2015 6:18:07 AM PST · by Heartlander · 9 replies
    Evolution News and Views ^ | January 28, 2015 | Wesley J. Smith
    David Suzuki’s Anti-Human "Blue Dot" Campaign Wesley J. Smith January 28, 2015 4:01 AM | Permalink Canadian environmental radical David Suzuki is at it again. Not content with denigrating humans as "maggots" that go around defecating on the environment, he now wants to add a "right" in the Canadian Charter to "a clean environment." Such a "right" would be anti-human in that it would destroy Canada's prosperity and subvert individual liberty.The "Blue Dot" campaign, like most radical thrusts, is long on warm fuzzies and short on specifics to hide its ruinous intent. It uses propaganda -- pretty pictures of nature and ugly ones...
  • 11 Unexpected Facts Proven by Science That Can Make Your Life Happier and Exciting

    01/27/2015 10:25:11 AM PST · by Heartlander · 36 replies
    Plash ^ | January 27, 2015 | Amber Kapor
    11 Unexpected Facts Proven by Science That Can Make Your Life Happier and Exciting Spend time with friends and family. Be sure to exercise. Get enough sleep.Scientists have long known that these and other familiar strategies really can boost your mood. But recent research has revealed several not-so-obvious links to happiness, including everything from the ambient temperature to your political views.Some are causal links, others just interesting associations. But keep reading for some surprising facts that may have you rethinking your pursuit of happiness. 1. Make sure the temperature is right. Research has shown a clear link between warm weather...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Our Galaxy's Magnetic Field from Planck

    01/27/2015 8:31:28 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | January 27, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What does the magnetic field of our Galaxy look like? It has long been known that a modest magnetic field pervades our Milky Way Galaxy because it is seen to align small dust grains that scatter background light. Only recently, however, has the Sun-orbiting Planck satellite made a high-resolution map of this field. Color coded, the 30-degree wide map confirms, among other things, that the Galaxy's interstellar magnetism is strongest in the central disk. The rotation of charged gas around the Galactic center creates this magnetism, and it is hypothesized that viewed from the top, the Milky Way's magnetic...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Milky Way over the Seven Strong Men Rock Formations

    01/27/2015 8:27:56 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | January 26, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: You may have heard of the Seven Sisters in the sky, but have you heard about the Seven Strong Men on the ground? Located just west of the Ural Mountains, the unusual Manpupuner rock formations are one of the Seven Wonders of Russia. How these ancient 40-meter high pillars formed is yet unknown. The persistent photographer of this featured image battled rough terrain and uncooperative weather to capture these rugged stone towers in winter at night, being finally successful in February of last year. Utilizing the camera's time delay feature, the photographer holds a flashlight in the foreground near...
  • Aristotle on the Immateriality of Intellect and Will

    01/27/2015 7:23:20 AM PST · by Heartlander · 22 replies
    Evolution News and Views ^ | January 26, 2015 | Michael Egnor
    Aristotle on the Immateriality of Intellect and Will Michael Egnor January 26, 2015 3:27 PM | Permalink At Why Evolution Is True, Jerry Coyne has responded to my post about the immateriality of the intellect and will and the reality of free will. He admits that he doesn't grasp the argument completely, so I'll expand upon it a bit. First, a note on the provenance of the argument. The argument is not mine. It was originally proposed by Aristotle (De Anima, Book III). For two millennia, it was the common wisdom of educated men, and was widely considered decisive. Thomas...
  • Why wormholes (probably) don’t exist

    01/27/2015 2:09:07 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 24 replies
    Galileo's Pendulum ^ | 1/26/15 | Matthew Francis
    The test rig for the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) at Fermilab. I picked this image today because it kinda sorta looks like the wormhole-making machine from the film version of Contact. [Credit: moi]A lot of science fiction plot devices are devoted to getting around the speed of light. In the real Universe, nothing with mass can travel faster than light, which means we can’t travel to distant stars without taking decades, centuries, or longer in transit. So, sci-fi draws from teleportation, hyperdrive, warp drive, and the ultimate cosmic short-cut: wormholes.[1] In some cases, the source of a science fiction...
  • The Smartest Person Who Ever Lived

    01/26/2015 8:10:21 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 154 replies
    RCS ^ | 01/26/2015 | Alex B. Berezow
    Who was the smartest person to ever live? There are certainly many worthy contenders. Today, the very name of "Einstein" is synonymous with genius. Others may suggest Stephen Hawking. Those who appreciate literature and music may proffer William Shakespeare or Ludwig van Beethoven. Historians may recommend Benjamin Franklin. Before I submit my own suggestion, we must first discuss what we even mean by smart. Colloquially, we routinely interchange the words smart and intelligent, but they are not necessarily the same thing. There is an ongoing debate among psychologists, neuroscientists, and artificial intelligence experts on what intelligence actually is, but for...
  • Lucky Us: Turning the Copernican Principle on Its Head

    01/26/2015 1:29:43 PM PST · by Heartlander · 25 replies
    Evolution News and Views ^ | January 26, 2015 | Daniel Bakken
    Lucky Us: Turning the Copernican Principle on Its Head Daniel Bakken January 26, 2015 11:27 AM | Permalink Editor's note: As a series at ENV, we have been pleased to present " Exoplanets." Daniel Bakken is an engineer who teaches astronomy at the college level, and an entrepreneur in compound semiconductor crystal growth. In a series of articles he has critically examined recent claims about exoplanets beyond our solar system, asking whether our own planet Earth is a rarity, or common, in the cosmos.As we have seen in this series, which concludes today, at present the idea that the Earth...
  • Voices of the Revolution: The Five Riders [Four + One]

    01/26/2015 1:01:46 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 27 replies
    Constitution Facts ^ | Oak Hill Publishing
    ...Paul Revere, born in Boston in 1734... After the death of his father in 1754, Paul enlisted in the provincial army to fight in the French and Indian War... When the war was over, he returned to Boston to take over his father's silversmith business, only to fall into financial difficulties during the Stamp Act of 1765. Frustrated by this gave him cause to join the Sons of Liberty... On the night of April 18, 1775, Joseph Warren sent Revere to send the signal to Charlestown that the British troops were on the move... His journey ended in Lexington where...
  • Particles accelerate without a push (But Newton's not dead)

    01/25/2015 10:48:22 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 8 replies
    MIT News Office ^ | 1/20/15 | David L. Chandler
    New analysis shows a way to self-propel subatomic particles, extend the lifetime of unstable isotopes. David L. Chandler | MIT News Office January 20, 2015 Press Inquiries Some physical principles have been considered immutable since the time of Isaac Newton: Light always travels in straight lines. No physical object can change its speed unless some outside force acts on it. Not so fast, says a new generation of physicists: While the underlying physical laws haven’t changed, new ways of “tricking” those laws to permit seemingly impossible actions have begun to appear. For example, work that began in 2007 proved that...
  • Man-made adjustments transform cooling to warming in Paraguay, South America

    01/25/2015 1:35:24 PM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 21 replies
    joannenova.com.au ^ | January 25th, 2015 | Joanne
    It’s not fossil fuels causing global warming, it’s man-made adjustments. Stop the adjustments! In South America, there are hardly any rural land thermometers. GISS tells us the area is warming (see the map below). Paul Homewood looked at the raw data. There are only three rural stations currently operating in the area, Puerto Casado, Mariscal, and San Juan, and they all show a raw trend that falls. As in so many other situations, after adjustments, all three show a rising trend. The changes are breathtaking. In Mariscal raw temperatures of 25.5C turned out to be “really” 22.5C. (Those 1950...
  • Italy seizes more than 5,000 looted antiquities in record haul

    01/25/2015 1:33:45 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    France24 ^ | 22 January 2015 | AFP
    The Italian government on Wednesday said police had seized more than 5,000 ancient artefacts in a record 45-million-euro haul after dismantling a Swiss-Italian trafficking ring. Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said it was the country's "largest discovery yet" of looted works and consisted of 5,361 pieces, including vases, jewellery, frescoes and bronze statues, all dating from the 8th century BC to the 3rd century AD. The archaeological treasures came from illegal digs across Italy and "will be returned to where they were found", the minister told reporters. Police said the items were worth around 45 million euros ($52 million) and were...
  • Mani and the Persian Kings

    01/25/2015 1:00:02 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    Patheos ^ | January 25, 2015 | Philip Jenkins
    It is astonishing that scholars of religion refer so little to the Manichaean faith, which in its day -- roughly from the third century AD through the fourteenth century -- was a fully fledged world religion, which interacted with Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Zoroastrianism and Judaism. At various times, its adherents could be found across the whole of Eurasia, from France to China. It also created a substantial body of scriptures and commentaries, most of which are now lost. Manichaeanism (Manichaeism) is, I believe, the only example of a world religion that has arisen and then vanished entirely, seemingly without trace....
  • Millions of GMO insects could be set loose in Florida Keys

    01/25/2015 9:42:05 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 26 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jan 25, 2015 11:36 AM EST | Jennifer Kay
    Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases. Never before have insects with modified DNA come so close to being set loose in a residential U.S. neighborhood. […] Dengue and chikungunya are growing threats in the U.S., but some people are more frightened at the thought of being bitten by a genetically modified organism. More than 130,000 signed a Change.org petition against the experiment. Even potential boosters say those responsible must do more to show that benefits outweigh the risks. […]...
  • Tiny drones could soon be swarming Mars, NASA says

    01/25/2015 9:31:35 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 22 replies
    Science Recorder ^ | January 25, 2015 | Delila James
    One of the main challenges NASA engineers face is the very low density of the Martian atmosphere. To be able to lift off in such a thin atmosphere, the blades of the Mars Helicopter have to spin much faster than here on Earth, a report by Discovery News explains. Even operating only a few minutes a day, NASA says the solar-powered helicopter could enormously accelerate the pace of scientific discovery on the planet. Some envision swarms of these inexpensively built, automated drones zipping daily over the Martian landscape, collecting geological and atmospheric data over a large area. Given the fast...
  • A Secular Case Against Abortion

    01/25/2015 9:08:11 AM PST · by Para-Ord.45 · 8 replies
    http://www.prolifehumanists.org ^ | May 13, 2013 | by Kristine Kruszelnicki
    “Is there really such a thing as a pro-life atheist?” asked Marco Rosaire Rossi in the September/October edition of the The Humanist. “What’s next, Intelligent Design Agnostics? How about Secularists for Sharia Law?” Atheists may not have a pope, but in the eyes of many there is still a proper dogma that all good atheists must adhere to. To be an atheist is to support abortion. Fail to do so and you will be denounced as “secretly religious.” When I joined an agnostic and an atheist from Secular Pro-Life for an information table at the 2012 American Atheist Convention, a...
  • Apple iPhone Grabbing 50 Percent of Smartphone Activations

    01/25/2015 6:40:43 AM PST · by Enlightened1 · 55 replies
    Tech Times ^ | 01/24/15 | Quinten Plummer,
    A new smartphone market report reveals Apple is dominating as iPhones represented nearly half of the new device activations in the fourth quarter of 2014. "Apple had virtually double the sales of Samsung, and five times that of LG. No other brand accounted for as much as 5 percent of U.S. sales," says Lowitz. "The Amazon Fire and Blackberry smartphones registered slight share, which we attribute to random sample fluctuation as much as actual sales." The report found iPhone activations nearly doubled from the previously quarter. Apple smartphones accounted for about 28 percent of new activations in third quarter of...
  • New Horizons probe eyes Pluto for historic encounter

    01/25/2015 3:31:37 AM PST · by Citizen Zed · 21 replies
    bbc ^ | 1-25-2015 | Jonathan Amos
    The mission to Pluto is being billed as the last great encounter in planetary exploration. It is one of the first opportunities to study a dwarf planet up close. The pictures are critical to enable the New Horizons probe to position itself for a closer fly-by later this year. As the probe is still 200 million km away, Pluto will be hardly discernable in the images - just a speck of light against the stars. But the mission team says this view is needed to help line up the spacecraft correctly for its fly-by on 14 July. "Optical navigation is...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Twisted Solar Eruptive Prominence

    01/25/2015 1:20:36 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | January 25, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Ten Earths could easily fit in the "claw" of this seemingly solar monster. The monster, actually a huge eruptive prominence, is seen moving out from our Sun in this condensed half-hour time-lapse sequence. This large prominence, though, is significant not only for its size, but its shape. The twisted figure eight shape indicates that a complex magnetic field threads through the emerging solar particles. Differential rotation of gas just inside the surface of the Sun might help account for the surface explosion. The five frame sequence was taken in early 2000 by the Sun-orbiting SOHO satellite. Although large prominences...
  • 2014: Among the 3 percent Coldest Years in 10,000 years?

    01/24/2015 9:20:14 PM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 35 replies
    wattsupwiththat.com ^ | January 21, 2015 | Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball
    We were told in October, before 2014 was over, that it was heading toward being the warmest year on record (Figure 1). The visual link of Polar Bears underscored the message. In fact, 2014 was among the coldest 3 percent of years of the last 10,000, but that doesn’t suit the political agenda.Figure 1We know the headline referred to NOAA’s projection, but the public only remember “warmest year”. It is a routine of manipulation of headlines practiced by bureaucrats and supporters of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC), from the start. The claim was not surprising, because NOAA was...
  • Latest Research Reveals a Bizarre and Vibrant Rosetta’s Comet

    01/24/2015 8:47:49 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 9 replies
    Despite its solid appearance, 67P is highly porous with a density similar to wood or cork and orbited by a cloud of approximately 100,000 “grains” of material larger than 2 inches (5 cm) across stranded there after the comet’s previous perihelion passage. ... Researchers have identified 19 distinct geological regions on the comet and five basic types of terrain: dust-covered, brittle material, large-scale depressions, smooth terrains and consolidated surfaces. ... Using a spectrometer to scan the comet’s surface researchers discovered complex organic (carbon-based) molecules that could include carboxylic acids – a component of amino acids. These organics only form in...
  • Cosmic Impacts May Have Seeded Early Earth with Ingredients for Life

    01/24/2015 6:09:58 PM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 38 replies
    space.com Astrobiology Magazine ^ | | January 20, 2015 03:37pm ET | By Charles Q. Choi, Astrobiology Magazine
    A picture of the gun used in the experiments. The big white box at the left end of the gun is where the target is stored. Credit: Impact Laboratory, University of Kent Bullets of ice shot at high speeds can deposit organic compounds on surfaces they strike. New findings suggest that comets might, indeed, have helped deliver key ingredients of life to Earth and perhaps elsewhere, researchers say. The scientists detailed their findings in the June 13 issue of the journal Astrobiology.Craters on the moon are evidence that the Inner Solar System was prone to giant impacts from asteroids...
  • Apollo 15 command module pilot Alfred M. Worden: ‘NASA took a step backwards’

    01/24/2015 5:50:40 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 24 replies
    Deutsche Welle ^ | 23.01.2015 | Cornelia Bormann
    He’s one of a handful of men to have orbited the moon. Today, Alfred M. Worden says NASA’s on the wrong track. He also tells DW why he likes the moon’s dark side and what he wanted most—but didn't get—upon returning. […] “We took a step backwards back in the late 70s when they decided to build the space shuttle. That was, in my opinion, a mistake. The shuttle was a very complicated machine. It did some pretty unusual, clearly spectacular things, like launch vertically and land horizontally. But from a technical standpoint, we launched a 280,000 pound machine to...
  • Ancient red numbers discovered on Colosseum: Restorers find marks indicating sectors of stadium

    01/24/2015 3:48:35 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 25 replies
    Wanted in Rome ^ | January 22, 2015 | unattributed
    Traces of painted red numbers have been discovered during the ongoing restoration of the Colosseum, indicating various sectors of the amphitheatre similar to the seating system employed by today's stadiums. The numbers were painted on the arches of the Colosseum to guide visitors to their respective stands, according to their social class. Describing it as an "exceptional discovery", the monument's director Rossella Rea said that restorers had not expected the painted numbers to have survived. The director of the restoration project Cinzia Conti said the discovery proved the delicacy of the water-powered process, which removes dirt and smog residue but...
  • Cats Are Finally Getting Geneticists' Attention

    01/24/2015 3:27:14 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 42 replies
    January 15, 2015 ^ | January 15, 2015 | Carl Engelking
    Consumer doggie DNA testing is old hat at this point, having been around since 2007. But cat-lovers who wish to decipher their pet's breed are out of luck -- no such tests exist for felines. That fact reflects the state of the underlying science. Since the first full dog genome was sequenced ten years ago, geneticists have identified hundreds of genes behind canine diseases and physical traits. By comparison, just a handful of such genes have been identified in cats. But a group of geneticists is working to close this gap by sequencing 99 domestic cats. This week the researchers...
  • Scan finds new tattoos on 5300-year-old Iceman

    01/24/2015 3:22:29 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    redOrbit ^ | January 22, 2015 | Aaron Deter-Wolf
    A new study has used advanced imaging techniques to identify previously unknown tattoos on the ribcage of the 5300-year old man known as Ötzi, bringing his total number of tattoos to 61... Thanks to more than two decades of analysis, scientists arguably know more about Ötzi's health and final days than those of any other ancient human. He died at around 45 years of age after being shot in the back with a stone-tipped arrow and bludgeoned. In the 12 hours preceding his death he climbed into the mountains from an Italian valley, and ate a last meal consisting of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Light from Cygnus A

    01/24/2015 12:59:30 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | January 24, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Celebrating astronomy in this International Year of Light, the detailed image reveals spectacular active galaxy Cygnus A in light across the electromagnetic spectrum. Incorporating X-ray data ( blue) from the orbiting Chandra Observatory, Cygnus A is seen to be a prodigious source of high energy x-rays. But it is actually more famous at the low energy end of the electromagnetic spectrum. One of the brightest celestial sources visible to radio telescopes, at 600 million light-years distant Cygnus A is the closest powerful radio galaxy. Radio emission ( red) extends to either side along the same axis for nearly 300,000...
  • Super-Heated Air from Climate Science on NOAA’s “Hottest” Year

    01/24/2015 12:12:21 PM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 18 replies
    wattsupwiththat.com ^ | January 23, 2015 | Guest Post by Roman Mureika
    It was bound to happen eventually. We could see it coming – a feeding frenzy from “really, it is still getting warmer” to “we told you so: this is proof positive that the science is settled and we will all boil or fry!” The latest numbers are in and they show the “hottest” year since temperature data has become available depending on which data you look at. The cheerleader this time around seems to have been AP science correspondent Seth Borenstein. Various versions of his essay on the topic have permeated most of America’s newspapers including my own hometown...
  • A rare sighting of endangered scientific graph in newsprint (Global warming??)

    01/24/2015 11:43:53 AM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 8 replies
    joannenova.com.au ^ | January 22nd, 2015 | Joanne
    We skeptics get excited about unusual things. The Australian published Michael Asten today in the Op-Ed pages, and took the extremely rare step of publishing a scientific graph (!) with a few error bars and everything. Newspapers publish economic graphs all the time, so it’s nice to see the scientific debate getting a bit more sophisticated than just the usual “deniers are evil, government climate scientists speak the word of God” type of stuff. (In the Enlightenment, data was a greater source of authority than any human; how we pine for those days.) The only thing the story should have...
  • There’s a Crack Forming on Rosetta’s 67P. Is it Breaking Up?

    01/24/2015 9:28:22 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 36 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | on January 24, 2015 | Tim Reyes
    The crack, or fissure, could spell the beginning of the end for comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. It is located in the neck area, in the region named Hapi, between the two lobes that make 67P appear so much like a Rubber Duck from a distance. The fissure could represent a focal point of many properties and forces at work, such as the rotation rate and axis – basically head over heels of the comet. The fissure lies in the most active area at present, and possibly the most active area overall. Though the Hapi region appears to receive nearly constant sunlight, at...
  • Papyrus Found in Mummy Mask May Hold Oldest Known Gospel Text

    01/23/2015 9:20:32 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 16 replies
    Tech Times ^ | 01/23/2015 | By James Maynard
    The Gospel of Mark has been discovered written on a tiny fragment of ancient papyrus, found within a mummy mask. During the era when the mask was created, papyrus was expensive, and the religious text was reused to create the decorative wear for the mummy. This discovery could represent the oldest gospel text ever found by archaeologists. The oldest samples of Christian scripture date from the Second Century of the Common Era. Pharaohs and wealthy individuals were often adorned with mummy masks made of gold and precious materials. Masks for people from lower economic classes were often manufactured from papyrus,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Interior View [space station]

    01/23/2015 3:57:31 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | January 23, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Some prefer windows, and these are the best available on board the International Space Station. Taken on January 4, this snapshot from inside the station's large, seven-window Cupola module also shows off a workstation for controlling Canadarm2. Used to grapple visiting cargo vehicles and assist astronauts during spacewalks, the robotic arm is just outside the window at the right. The Cupola itself is attached to the Earth-facing or nadir port of the station's Tranquility module, offering dynamic panoramas of our fair planet. Seen from the station's 90 minute long, 400 kilometer high orbit, Earth's bright limb is in view...
  • American liberals and conservatives think as if from different cultures

    01/22/2015 11:42:52 AM PST · by sparklite2 · 31 replies
    He noted that liberals in the West tend to live in urban or suburban areas and often have fairly weak social and community ties, move more often and are less traditionally religious. They are more individualistic than conservatives and very unlike most people in Eastern cultures. Conservatives, on the other hand, tend to be more connected to their communities and may live in the same areas throughout their lives, maintaining strong social and familial bonds and commitments, and are more traditionally religious. This puts them more in line with the holistic-thinking majority of the world. "This study shows that the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Launch to Lovejoy

    01/22/2015 11:42:36 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | January 22, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Blasting skyward an Atlas V rocket carrying a U.S. Navy satellite pierces a cloud bank in this starry night scene captured on January 20. On its way to orbit from Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, planet Earth, the rocket streaks past brightest star Sirius, as seen from a dark beach at Canaveral National Seashore. Above the alpha star of Canis Major, Orion the Hunter strikes a pose familiar to northern winter skygazers. Above Orion is the V-shaped Hyades star cluster, head of Taurus the Bull, and farther still above Taurus it's easy to spot the...
  • Peer-Reviewed Science Has Now Demonstrated the Implausibility of Evolving New Proteins

    01/22/2015 11:42:18 AM PST · by Heartlander · 8 replies
    Evolution News and Views ^ | January 22, 2015 | Casey Luskin
    Biologic Institute's Groundbreaking Peer-Reviewed Science Has Now Demonstrated the Implausibility of Evolving New Proteins Casey Luskin January 22, 2015 10:51 AM | Permalink Ann Gauger already provided an excellent series of articles discussing her recent paper co-authored in BIO-Complexity. She explains why it is important for demonstrating intelligent design (see here, here, here, here, and here). However, I wanted to give a slightly different framing of the new data. My purpose here and in a follow-up post will be to explain how this latest ID research (as well as prior work in the field) addresses fundamental questions in the debate...