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Science (General/Chat)

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  • In Mysterious Pattern, Math and Nature Converge

    02/27/2015 11:49:40 AM PST · by LibWhacker · 23 replies
    Quanta Magazine ^ | 2/5/15 | Natalie Wolchover
    In Mysterious Pattern, Math and Nature Converge Marco de LeijaIn Cuernavaca, Mexico, a “spy” network makes the decentralized bus system more efficient. As a consequence, the departure times of buses exhibit a ubiquitous pattern known as “universality.”  By: Natalie WolchoverFebruary 5, 2013 Comments (1) print In 1999, while sitting at a bus stop in Cuernavaca, Mexico, a Czech physicist named Petr Šeba noticed young men handing slips of paper to the bus drivers in exchange for cash. It wasn’t organized crime, he learned, but another shadow trade: Each driver paid a “spy” to record when the bus ahead of his...
  • What is flashing us from mysterious dwarf planet? Riddle of Ceres' deepens .. ANOTHER flashing mark

    02/27/2015 11:44:59 AM PST · by Red Badger · 64 replies
    www.dailymail.co.uk ^ | 02-27-2015 | By Ellie Zolfagharifard
    Ceres continues to baffle astronomers as the Dawn spacecraft gets closer to being captured into orbit around the dwarf planet. The latest images, taken nearly 29,000 miles (46,000km) from Ceres, reveal that a bright 'alien' spot that stands out in previous images lies close to yet another bright area. While Nasa has not provided an explanation, scientists suggest these spots may be frozen pools of ice at the bottom of a crater that reflect light. 'Right now, all we can say is that the material reflects 40 per cent or more of the light falling on it,' UCLA astronomer Chris...
  • Richard Weikart: Should we encourage death or life?

    02/27/2015 6:18:13 AM PST · by Heartlander · 1 replies
    Merced Sun Star ^ | 02/23/2015 | Richard Weikart
    Richard Weikart: Should we encourage death or life? By Richard Weikart 02/23/2015 12:49 PM The California Legislature is considering Senate Bill 128 to legalize physician-assisted suicide. Perhaps some lawmakers see this as progressive, a way to promote humans rights and liberty. Oregon and Washington permit physician-assisted suicide, and Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland allow physicians to help people end their lives. Recently the Canadian Supreme Court struck down Canada’s law banning physician-assisted suicide. Is this the wave of the future? Or is it a descent into barbarism that undermines the value of human life?Debate over assisted suicide inflames passions...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Long Lovejoy and Little Dumbbell

    02/27/2015 4:58:58 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | February 27, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Buffeted by the solar wind, Comet Lovejoy's crooked ion tail stretches over 3 degrees across this telescopic field of view, recorded on February 20. The starry background includes awesome bluish star Phi Persei below, and pretty planetary nebula M76 just above Lovejoy's long tail. Also known as the Little Dumbbell Nebula, after its brighter cousin M27 the Dumbbell Nebula, M76 is only a Full Moon's width away from the comet's greenish coma. Still shining in northern hemisphere skies, this Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) is outbound from the inner solar system some 10 light-minutes or 190 million kilometers from Earth....
  • These Are the Darkroom Techniques Photoshop’s Tools Are Based On

    02/26/2015 7:23:30 PM PST · by SWAMPSNIPER · 30 replies
    PETAPIXEL ^ | 02/26/15 | Michael Zhang
    As a tribute to Photoshop for its recent 25th birthday, Lynda created this “before there was Photoshop” video that shows the darkroom tools and techniques that were used by film photographers before Photoshop and digital photography arrived on the scene. Photographer Konrad Eek works on a print by dodging, burning, adding gradients, using masks, feathering, and more. If you’ve never made a print in a darkroom before, this video could be quite illuminating.
  • Sleep a lot? You might have a heightened risk of stroke, study says

    02/26/2015 6:39:55 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 61 replies
    latimes.com ^ | Karen Kaplan
    When the study participants were examined according to age, the researchers found that sleeping for more than eight hours a night increased stroke risk only for people who were at least 63 years old. On the flip side, they found that sleeping for less than six hours a night heightened stroke risk for younger people more than for older people. Finally, they discovered that “short” sleepers were more at risk for an ischemic stroke (the kind caused by a clot that blocks blood flow to the brain) while “long” sleepers were more at risk for a hemorrhagic stroke (the kind...
  • Hyperloop moves closer to becoming reality

    02/26/2015 11:26:09 AM PST · by Mellonkronos · 26 replies
    CNBC ^ | February 26, 2015 | Phil LeBeau
    [It would really be great if private entrepreneurs could develop this system! Musk is an innovator. Check out the videos in the article.] “Hyperloop moves closer to becoming reality.” Phil LeBeau@Lebeaucarnews (Hyperloop Transportation Technologies,Inc., says Elon Musk’s vision for the new transportation system is beginning to take hold. CNBC’s Phil LeBeau reports, and talks to Ahlborn about the 5-mile stretch to be tested in the next few years.) The Hyperloop, just an idea in the mind of Elon Musk two years ago, is moving closer to becoming reality. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies has signed an agreement with a developer in central...
  • Earth's other 'moon' and its crazy orbit could reveal mysteries of the solar system

    02/26/2015 6:29:41 AM PST · by Red Badger · 47 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 02-25-2015 | by Duncan Forgan
    We all know and love the moon. We're so assured that we only have one that we don't even give it a specific name. It is the brightest object in the night sky, and amateur astronomers take great delight in mapping its craters and seas. To date, it is the only other heavenly body with human footprints. What you might not know is that the moon is not the Earth's only natural satellite. As recently as 1997, we discovered that another body, 3753 Cruithne, is what's called a quasi-orbital satellite of Earth. This simply means that Cruithne doesn't loop around...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Love and War by Moonlight

    02/26/2015 6:11:35 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | February 26, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Venus, named for the Roman goddess of love, and Mars, the war god's namesake, came together by moonlight in this lovely skyview, recorded on February 20 from Charleston, South Carolina, USA, planet Earth. Made in twilight with a digital camera, the three second time exposure also records earthshine illuminating the otherwise dark surface of the young crescent Moon. Of course, the Moon has moved on from this much anticipated triple conjunction. Venus still shines in the west though as the evening star, third brightest object in Earth's sky, after the Sun and the Moon itself. Seen here within almost...
  • Monster Black Hole Is the Largest and Brightest Ever Found

    02/26/2015 5:24:51 AM PST · by C19fan · 26 replies
    Space.com ^ | February 25, 2015 | Charles Q. Choi
    Astronomers have discovered the largest and most luminous black hole ever seen — an ancient monster with a mass about 12 billion times that of the sun — that dates back to when the universe was less than 1 billion years old. It remains a mystery how black holes could have grown so huge in such a relatively brief time after the dawn of the universe, researchers say.
  • What is Mars Made Of?

    02/25/2015 3:19:43 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 79 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | February 25, 2015 | Matt Williams on
    Like Earth, the interior of Mars has undergone a process known as differentiation. This is where a planet, due to its physical or chemical compositions, forms into layers, with denser materials concentrated at the center and less dense materials closer to the surface. In Mars’ case, this translates to a core that is between 1700 and 1850 km (1050 – 1150 mi) in radius and composed primarily of iron, nickel and sulfur. This core is surrounded by a silicate mantle that clearly experienced tectonic and volcanic activity in the past, but which now appears to be dormant. Besides silicon and...
  • Cornell researchers find safest place to hide from zombies

    02/25/2015 2:58:43 PM PST · by workerbee · 47 replies
    Fox ^ | 2/25/15 | Kate Seamons
    ***SNIP***The researchers used a number of techniques that are used when modeling real diseases, and the abstract ends with this dismal line: "We build up to a full scale simulation of an outbreak in the United States, and discover that for 'realistic' parameters, we are largely doomed." But Phys.Org relays a glimmer of hope by way of Alex Alemi, a grad student involved in the research: He says those who want to remain safe from the undead for as long as they can should head to the northern Rockies. He explains that while books and movies typically show an outbreak...
  • Exposed: what fracking really does to you, your family, pets and food

    02/25/2015 10:38:18 AM PST · by Citizen Zed · 45 replies
    The Ecologist ^ | 2-25-2015 | Allison Wilson
    The first researchers to systematically document ill health in livestock, pets, and people living near fracking drill sites were Michelle Bamberger and Robert Oswald. Bamberger, a veterinarian, and Oswald, a professor of molecular medicine at Cornell University, used a case study approach-looking at individual households-to search for possible effects (Bamberger and Oswald 2012). Many fracking chemicals are known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors or other classes of toxins (Colborn et al. 2011). Bamberger and Oswald's studies, carried out during the ongoing fracking boom, uncovered serious adverse effects including respiratory, reproductive, and growth-related problems in animals and a spectrum of symptoms in humans...
  • NASA:Coverage of U.S. Spacewalk # 30

    02/25/2015 7:14:01 AM PST · by yoe · 1 replies
    NASA TV on Ustream ^ | February 25, 2015
    6 a.m., Wednesday, February 25 - Coverage of U.S. Spacewalk # 30 (Spacewalk scheduled to begin at 7:10 a.m. ET; Wilmore and Virts) (all channels)
  • Astroquizzical: What happens when Betelgeuse explodes?

    02/25/2015 6:57:23 AM PST · by C19fan · 31 replies
    Starts with a Bang! ^ | February 24, 2015 | Jillian Scudder
    Question: If Betelgeuse explodes right now, could we see it with naked eye? It is over 400 light years away, so you might think that people would see it long after it actually happens? Betelgeuse is already one of the brightest stars in the night sky, sitting somewhere around the 8th or 9th brightest star in the night sky. (These lists don’t include the Sun, which is somewhat obviously always the brightest object in the sky.) It sits in the constellation Orion, along with a number of other bright stars, and makes up the left hand shoulder of the warrior....
  • Richard Dawkins: Children need to be "protected" from religion

    02/25/2015 5:36:23 AM PST · by Heartlander · 30 replies
    Irish Times ^ | February 24, 2015 | Joe Humphreys
    Richard Dawkins: Children need to be ‘protected’ from religion ‘You have to write off those people’ who put the Bible ahead of science, author says Children need to be “protected” from religious indoctrination in schools, biologist and atheist campaigner Richard Dawkins has said, backing a campaign by Atheist Ireland to overhaul our education system.Speaking to The Irish Times in advance of a public talk at Trinity College Dublin on Tuesday evening, Prof Dawkins said: “There is a balancing act and you have to balance the rights of parents and the rights of children and I think the balance has swung...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Rosette Nebula in Hydrogen and Oxygen

    02/25/2015 5:25:27 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | February 25, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Rosette Nebula is not the only cosmic cloud of gas and dust to evoke the imagery of flowers -- but it is the most famous. At the edge of a large molecular cloud in Monoceros, some 5,000 light years away, the petals of this rose are actually a stellar nursery whose lovely, symmetric shape is sculpted by the winds and radiation from its central cluster of hot young stars. The stars in the energetic cluster, cataloged as NGC 2244, are only a few million years old, while the central cavity in the Rosette Nebula, cataloged as NGC 2237,...
  • Multiple Camera Drones Were Lost for This Imagery of a Volcano’s Insides

    02/24/2015 8:28:59 PM PST · by SWAMPSNIPER · 22 replies
    PETAPIXEL ^ | 02/24/15 | Michael Zhang
    Explorer Sam Cossman recently employed the help of multiple drones to capture photos and footage of the Marum Crater in an active volcano on the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu. He ended up losing multiple drones in the process, but he left the island with spectacular images that will help provide a better understanding of the volcano and the life that exists around it.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Unusual Plumes Above Mars

    02/24/2015 2:18:41 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    NASA ^ | February 24, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What is creating unusual plumes on Mars? No one is sure. Noted and confirmed by a global contingent of amateur astronomers on photos of the red planet in March 2012, possibly similar plumes have now been found on archived images as far back as 1997. Since the plumes reach 200 kilometers up, they seem too high to be related to wind-blown surface dust. Since one plume lasted for eleven days, it seemed too long lasting to be related to aurora. Amateur astronomers will surely continue to monitor the terminator and edge regions of Mars for new high plumes, and...
  • Could there be another planet behind the sun?

    02/24/2015 11:08:07 AM PST · by Red Badger · 71 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 02-24-2015 | by Fraser Cain, Universe Today
    If you've read your share of sci-fi, and I know you have, you've read stories about another Earth-sized planet orbiting on the other side of the Solar System, blocked by the Sun. Could it really be there? =========================================================== Color illustration showing the scale of planets in our solar system, focusing on Jupiter and Saturn. Credit: NASA =========================================================== No. Nooooo. No. Just no. This is a delightful staple in science fiction. There's a mysterious world that orbits the Sun exactly the same distance as Earth, but it's directly across the Solar System from us; always hidden by the Sun. Little do...
  • Man gets bionic eye, sees family for first time in 10 years

    02/24/2015 9:06:13 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 23 replies
    Fox News ^ | 02/24/2015
    A Minnesota man saw his wife for the first time in 10 years— and most of his grandchildren for the first time ever— after receiving a bionic eye at the Mayo Clinic earlier this month, ValleyNewsLive.com reported. Allen Zderad, 68, has retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative, genetic eye disease that affects the part of the retina that translates light into sight. The condition progressively stole the Forest Lake man’s vision over the course of his life. Zderad uses a cane to walk and has leaned on his wife, Carmen Zderad, as his sighted guide since losing his ability to see. “Ten...
  • The Evolution Catechism

    02/24/2015 8:10:31 AM PST · by Heartlander · 15 replies
    Uncommon Descent ^ | February 24, 2015 | Vincent Torley
    The Evolution Catechism Posted by Vincent Torley Adam Gopnik has written an impertinent piece for the New Yorker (February 19, 2015), arguing that political candidates should be put on the spot and required to affirm their acceptance of evolution before being allowed to take office. Evolution, he writes, is “an inarguable and obvious truth” which is “easy to understand,” and if you oppose “Darwinian biology,” you thereby “announce yourself against the discoveries of science, or so frightened of those who are that you can be swayed from answering honestly.” A politician who fails to publicly embrace evolution “shouldn’t be trusted...
  • Humans may have migrated out of Africa in phases based on the weather

    02/24/2015 2:49:57 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 46 replies
    Past Horizons ^ | February 21, 2015 | editors
    Parton and colleagues writing in Geology, present a unique alluvial fan aggradation record from southeast Arabia spanning the past approx. 160,000 years. Situated along the proposed southern dispersal route, the Al Sibetah alluvial fan sequence provides a unique and sensitive record of landscape change in southeast Arabia. This record is to date the most comprehensive terrestrial archive from the Arabian Peninsula, and provides evidence for multiple humid episodes during both glacial and interglacial periods. Evidence from the Al Sibetah alluvial fan sequence indicates that during insolation maxima, increased monsoon rainfall led to the widespread activation of drainage systems and grassland...
  • Fish based diets cause archaeological dating problems

    02/24/2015 2:46:06 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 25 replies
    Past Horizons ^ | March 25, 2013 | Bente Philippsen and Rasmus Rorbaek
    Hard water contains less Carbon-14 than the atmosphere, because dissolved carbonates are Carbon-14 free. A fish caught in hard water has thus a higher Carbon-14 age than contemporaneous terrestrial samples. If such a fish is then cooked in a ceramic pot, the radiocarbon age of the food crust will be higher than if a terrestrial animal was cooked in the pot. This is known as the “reservoir effect” because the fish’s carbon actually comes from another “reservoir” than the carbon in terrestrial animals from the surrounding area. “Reservoir age” is the difference between the true age and the Carbon-14 date......
  • History's Largest Megalith

    02/24/2015 2:16:11 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies
    Archaeology ^ | Monday, February 09, 2015 | Eric A. Powell
    A team of archaeologists at a 2,000-year-old limestone quarry in Lebanon’s Bekka Valley recently excavated around a megalith weighing approximately 1,000 tons and dubbed Hajjar al-Hibla, or “stone of the pregnant woman.” It was intended for the Temple of Jupiter, which sits on three limestone blocks of similar size at the nearby site of Baalbek. To the team’s shock, they unearthed yet another block, this one weighing an estimated 1,650 tons, making it the largest known megalith. The German Archaeological Institute’s Margarete van Esse says excavation was suspended when the trench became dangerously deep. “Hopefully in a following campaign we...
  • Zigzags on a Shell From Java Are the Oldest Human Engravings

    02/24/2015 1:44:07 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    Smithsonian Magazine ^ | December 3, 2014 | Helen Thompson
    Perhaps even more intriguing is a single shell with what appears to be a geometric pattern—zigzagged grooves carved into the center of the outer shell. Analysis points to the patterns being carved on purpose. Again the team turned to modern mussels; they tried carving similar patterns into Potamida littoralis with a shark tooth and compared that to weathering and natural abrasions. Sure enough, their carvings were the closest matches to the ancient pattern. “That must have been an appealing thing for Homo erectus,” says Joordens. “You can imagine sitting there with a shell in one hand and a tool in...
  • Building a Face, and a Case, on DNA

    02/23/2015 7:03:12 PM PST · by Theoria · 13 replies
    The New York Times ^ | 23 Feb 2015 | ANDREW POLLACK
    There were no known eyewitnesses to the murder of a young woman and her 3-year-old daughter four years ago. No security cameras caught a figure coming or going. Nonetheless, the police in Columbia, S.C., last month released a sketch of a possible suspect. Rather than an artist’s rendering based on witness descriptions, the face was generated by a computer relying solely on DNA found at the scene of the crime. It may be the first time a suspect’s face has been put before the public in this way, but it will not be the last. Investigators are increasingly able to...
  • It’s official: Americans should drink more coffee

    02/23/2015 3:08:05 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 109 replies
    Washington Post ^ | 02/23/2015 | Roberto A. Ferdman
    When the nation's top nutrition panel released its latest dietary recommendations on Thursday, the group did something it had never done before: weigh in on whether people should be drinking coffee. What it had to say is pretty surprising.Not only can people stop worrying about whether drinking coffee is bad for them, according to the panel, they might even want to consider drinking a bit more.The panel cited minimal health risks associated with drinking between three and five cups per day. It also said that consuming as many as five cups of coffee each day (400 mg) is tied to...
  • Mars One mission: 'My boyfriend is cool with me going to Mars on a one-way trip'

    02/23/2015 12:25:08 PM PST · by Gamecock · 99 replies
    telegraph.co.uk ^ | 23 Feb 2015 | Gwendolyn Smith
    Earnshaw has a boyfriend, but says the relationship operates within “the understanding that for me the Mars Mission is what I want to do and if I do end up getting through to the final groups, then we’re going to go our separate ways and that’s something we’re both okay with”.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Milky Way Over the Arizona Toadstools

    02/23/2015 4:01:33 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | February 23, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Which is older -- the rocks you see on the ground or the light you see from the sky? Usually it's the rocks that are older, with their origin sentiments deposited well before light left any of the stars or nebulas you see in the sky. However, if you can see, through a telescope, a distant galaxy far across the universe -- further than Andromeda or spiral galaxy NGC 7331 (inset) -- then you are seeing light even more ancient. Featured here, the central disk of our Milky Way Galaxy arches over Toadstool hoodoos rock formations in northern Arizona,...
  • The Diffusionists Have Landed

    02/22/2015 4:49:11 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    The Atlantic ^ | January 1st, 2000 | Marc K. Stengel
    The Norwegian archaeologists Helge and Anne Stine Ingstad's famous identification, in 1961, of a Viking settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, from just after A.D. 1000 is, of course, a notable exception, no longer in dispute. But that discovery has so far gone nowhere. The Norse settlers, who may have numbered as many as 160 and stayed for three years or longer, seem to have made no lasting impression on the aboriginal skraellings that, according to Norse sagas, they encountered, and to have avoided being influenced in turn. The traditions of the Micmac people, modern-day inhabitants of the area, have...
  • What to Expect Next from the World’s Largest Particle Accelerator

    02/22/2015 1:07:49 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 17 replies
    Overall, the consensus among the panelists: the LHC’s second run will produce more data to refine the Standard Model—the theory that describes subatomic particles and the forces that dictate their behavior. This refinement is needed, said Heinemann, because there are still fundamental physics questions the Standard Model can’t address. Questions remain about gravity (Why is it so weak?); antimatter (Why is there so little of it?); and dark matter, the mysterious and invisible substance that makes up nearly a quarter of the universe (What particle might be responsible?).
  • New paper-like material could boost electric vehicle batteries

    02/22/2015 10:55:50 AM PST · by Red Badger · 22 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | Feb 18, 2015 | by Sean Nealon
    Researchers at the University of California, Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering have developed a novel paper-like material for lithium-ion batteries. It has the potential to boost by several times the specific energy, or amount of energy that can be delivered per unit weight of the battery. This paper-like material is composed of sponge-like silicon nanofibers more than 100 times thinner than human hair. It could be used in batteries for electric vehicles and personal electronics. Scanning electron microscope images of (a) SiO2 nanofibers after drying, (b) SiO2 nanofibers under high magnification (c) silicon nanofibers after etching, and (d) silicon nanofibers...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Dark River to Antares

    02/22/2015 8:59:45 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | February 22, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Connecting the Pipe Nebula to the colorful region near bright star Antares is a dark cloud dubbed the Dark River, flowing from the picture's left edge. Murky looking, the Dark River's appearance is caused by dust obscuring background starlight, although the dark nebula contains mostly hydrogen and molecular gas. Surrounded by dust, Antares, a red supergiant star, creates an unusual bright yellowish reflection nebula. Above it, bright blue double star Rho Ophiuchi is embedded in one of the more typical bluish reflection nebulae, while red emission nebulae are also scattered around the region. Globular star cluster M4 is just...
  • Israel unveils its largest find of medieval gold coins

    02/22/2015 8:07:05 AM PST · by Red Badger · 2 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 02-18--2015 | by By Ariel Schalit
    Kobi Sharvit of The Israel Antiquities Authority Fatimid period gold coins that were found in the seabed in the Mediterranean Sea near the port of Caesarea National Park in Caesarea, Israel, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. A group of amateur Israeli divers have stumbled upon the largest collection of medieval gold coins ever found in the country, dating back to the 11th century and likely from a shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit) Israel on Wednesday unveiled the largest collection of medieval gold coins ever found in the country, accidentally discovered by amateur divers and dating back about a...
  • A close call of 0.8 light years [Nibiru?]

    02/22/2015 7:43:37 AM PST · by Red Badger · 38 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | Provided by University of Rochester
    A group of astronomers from the US, Europe, Chile and South Africa have determined that 70,000 years ago a recently discovered dim star is likely to have passed through the solar system's distant cloud of comets, the Oort Cloud. No other star is known to have ever approached our solar system this close - five times closer than the current closest star, Proxima Centauri. In a paper published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, lead author Eric Mamajek from the University of Rochester and his collaborators analyzed the velocity and trajectory of a low-mass star system nicknamed "Scholz's star." The star's trajectory...
  • A New Theory on How Neanderthal DNA Spread in Asia

    02/21/2015 9:25:21 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 37 replies
    NY Slimes ^ | February 19, 2015 | Carl Zimmer
    In 2010, scientists made a startling discovery about our past: About 50,000 years ago, Neanderthals interbred with the ancestors of living Europeans and Asians. Now two teams of researchers have come to another intriguing conclusion: Neanderthals interbred with the ancestors of Asians at a second point in history, giving them an extra infusion of Neanderthal DNA. The findings are further evidence that our genomes contain secrets about our evolution that we might have missed by looking at fossils alone. "We're learning new, big-picture things from the genetic data, rather than just filling in details," said Kirk E. Lohmueller, a geneticist...
  • Winter is coming?

    02/21/2015 5:16:38 PM PST · by Dartman · 24 replies
    Toronto Sun ^ | Feb 21/15 | Lorne Gunter
    Forget global warming, it’s more likely we’re on the cusp of another Little Ice Age than of a warming Armageddon. The brutal winter that has hammered the U.S. Northeast, Atlantic Canada, Ontario and Quebec could become the norm in the Northern Hemisphere for the next 30 years if a growing number of solar physicists are right. Our sun goes through very predictable 11-year cycles. The current one began in 2008 and is expected to produce among the fewest sunspots and most diminished solar radiation of any of the 24 cycles that have been carefully recorded by scientists going back nearly...
  • How Nazi Ideology Lives on in Post Modern Environmentalism

    02/21/2015 10:23:22 AM PST · by Olympiad Fisherman · 12 replies
    The Intellectual Conservative ^ | 2/20/15 | Mark Musser
    Rational discussions about National Socialism are often hard to come by. The word “Nazi” has become a vitriolic buzzword that only the Left has a license to use, especially against conservatives where many on the so-called political right are metaphorically and wrongfully characterized as present day fascists. All too many have since precluded that Nazism was a right wing Christian racist capitalist movement of some sort, even though the very name, the National Socialist Worker’s Party, betrays that presumption ...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- 45 Days in the Sun

    02/21/2015 8:26:45 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 25 replies
    NASA ^ | February 21, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: From January 11 to February 25 2013, a pinhole camera sat in a field near Budapest, Hungary, planet Earth to create this intriguing solargraph. And for 45 days, an old Antonov An-2 biplane stood still while the Sun rose and set. The camera's continuous exposure began about 20 days after the northern hemispere's winter solstice, so each day the Sun's trail arcs steadily higher through the sky. These days in the Sun were recorded on a piece of black and white photosensitive paper tucked in to the simple plastic film container. The long exposure produced a visible color image...
  • Thunderbolts.info — Rosetta Mission Update | 67P's Mysterious Water Production

    02/21/2015 2:30:22 AM PST · by Swordmaker · 5 replies
    CLICK ON THE PICTURE FOR THE VIDEO REPORT: Video Report on the Electric Universe Explanation for the findings on 67P's Mysterious Water Production
  • Infinity Is a Beautiful Concept – And It’s Ruining Physics

    02/20/2015 6:01:20 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 94 replies
    Discover Magazine ^ | 2/20/15 | Max Tegmark
    Infinity Is a Beautiful Concept – And It’s Ruining Physics By Max Tegmark | February 20, 2015 9:00 am I was seduced by infinity at an early age. Georg Cantor’s diagonality proof that some infinities are bigger than others mesmerized me, and his infinite hierarchy of infinities blew my mind. The assumption that something truly infinite exists in nature underlies every physics course I’ve ever taught at MIT—and, indeed, all of modern physics. But it’s an untested assumption, which begs the question: Is it actually true?A Crisis in Physics There are in fact two separate assumptions: “infinitely big” and “infinitely...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- An Evening Sky Conjunction

    02/20/2015 2:29:54 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | February 20, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Eight years ago, an evening sky held this lovely pairing of a young crescent Moon and brilliant Venus. Seen near the western horizon, the close conjunction and its wintry reflection were captured from Bolu, Turkey, planet Earth on February 19, 2007. In the 8 Earth years since this photograph was taken Venus has orbited the Sun almost exactly 13 times, so the Sun and Venus have now returned to the same the configuration in Earth's sky. And since every 8 years the Moon also nearly repeats its phases for a given time of year, a very similar crescent Moon-Venus...
  • Want To Consume Cow Feces? Have Some Raw Milk

    02/20/2015 6:35:30 AM PST · by C19fan · 116 replies
    Real Science ^ | February 19, 2015 | Hank Campbell
    Would you like some Campylobacter or E. Coli today? Raw milk in 26 U.S. states is now the best place to get it, since most readers of Science 2.0 are not going to have the opportunity to buy chicken from a street vendor in China. That raw milk is risky and has no benefit is not news. In 2012 the CDC showed it again but clamoring for raw milk got even louder. It is in the news again, as part of the naturalistic fallacy that infects mostly the anti-science hippie left and a minority of people on the libertarian 'government...
  • Letter from Ireland: Mystery of the Fulacht Fiadh

    02/19/2015 2:24:40 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    Archaeology ^ | January/February 2012 | Erin Mullally
    On a typically misty morning in the west of Ireland, just outside the medieval town of Athenry, County Galway, archaeologist Declan Moore... is taking me to visit an unexcavated fulacht fiadh (pronounced FULL-ahk FEE-add), or fulachtaí fia in plural, the most common type of prehistoric archaeological site in Ireland. Better known as a "burnt mound" in the neighboring United Kingdom, where they are also found, there are nearly 6,000 recorded fulacht fiadh sites dotted around Ireland alone... When we arrive at the site, Moore shows me the basic features of a fulacht fiadh -- a horseshoe-shaped mound of soil and...
  • Ancient artefacts at Tullaghoge [Ireland, 5000 BC]

    02/19/2015 1:31:39 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    Belfast Telegraph ^ | February 15, 2015 | unattributed
    An archaeological bid to discover more about the hilltop where Ulster chieftains were crowned 700 years ago has uncovered artefacts dating back more than 7,000 years. Tullaghoge Fort in rural Co Tyrone was the place leaders of the dominant O'Neill clan came to be crowned from around the 14th Century to just before the arrival of the planters at the start of the 17th Century. Targeted excavation work around the picturesque tree encircled earthen mound ahead of the planned development of new visitor facilities hoped to find and preserve buried artefacts from that period -- but it ended up unearthing...
  • Neanderthal groups based part of the their lifestyle on the sexual division of labor

    02/19/2015 1:22:29 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 42 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | February 18, 2015 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Marta Garcia
    Neanderthal communities divided some of their tasks according to their sex. This is one of the main conclusions reached by a study performed by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)... which analyzed 99 incisors and canine teeth of 19 individuals from three different sites (El Sidron, in Asturias - Spain, L'Hortus in France, and Spy in Belgium), reveals that the dental grooves present in the female fossils follow the same pattern, which is different to that found in male individuals. Analyses show that all Neanderthal individuals, regardless of age, had dental grooves. According to Antonio Rosas, CSIC researcher at the...
  • Villa Owned by Ben-Hur's Rival Identified

    02/19/2015 1:12:27 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 64 replies
    Discovery News ^ | Friday, February 13, 2015 | Rossella Lorenzi
    Archaeologists investigating the Tuscan island of Elba have identified the remains of the villa belonging to the real-life individual that inspired one of the principal characters in the epic tale of Ben-Hur. Overlooking Portoferraio's bay, the once magnificent 1st-century B.C. villa has long been believed to have been owned by Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus, portrayed as Ben-Hur in the Hollywood blockbuster starring Charlton Heston. Now in ruins, the property was known as Villa Le Grotte (the Caves) because of the shape of its vaulted facades facing the sea. While Ben-Hur was a fictional villain dreamed up in Lew Wallace's 1880...
  • Limited airborne transmission of Ebola is ‘very likely,’ new study says

    02/19/2015 12:54:10 PM PST · by Smokin' Joe · 22 replies
    Teh Washington Post ^ | Feb 19, 2015 | Lenny Bernstein
    A team of prominent researchers suggested Thursday that limited airborne transmission of the Ebola virus is "very likely," a hypothesis that could reignite the debate that started last fall after one of the scientists offered the same opinion. "It is very likely that at least some degree of Ebola virus transmission currently occurs via infectious aerosols generated from the gastrointestinal tract, the respiratory tract, or medical procedures, although this has been difficult to definitively demonstrate or rule out, since those exposed to infectious aerosols also are most likely to be in close proximity to, and in direct contact with, an...
  • Arctic conditions turn geyser in to 'ice volcano' [ New York ]

    02/19/2015 10:07:22 AM PST · by george76 · 14 replies
    Telegraph Media ^ | 19 Feb 2015 | Robert Midgley
    The arctic conditions have turned a geyser at a state park in western New York into a five-story-tall "ice volcano." The geyser is in a pond near the Glen Iris Inn at Letchworth State Park, which straddles the Wyoming-Livingston county line 40 miles south of Rochester. Days of subzero temperatures have formed a solid cone of ice several feet thick with water still spouting out of the top. Park officials tell local media that the formation dubbed an ice volcano is at least 50 feet high.