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Science (General/Chat)

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  • Thermal Hot Spot Melts Yellowstone Road

    07/13/2014 3:32:06 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 43 replies
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | July 11, 2014 | Associated Press
    CHEYENNE, Wyo.—The ever-changing thermal geology of Yellowstone National Park has created a hot spot that melted an asphalt road and closed access to popular geysers and other attractions at the height of tourist season, officials said Thursday. As they examined possible fixes, park officials warned visitors not to hike into the affected area, where the danger of stepping through solid-looking soil into boiling-hot water was high.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Planetary Nebula NGC 2818 from Hubble

    07/13/2014 6:09:41 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | July 13, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: NGC 2818 is a beautiful planetary nebula, the gaseous shroud of a dying sun-like star. It could well offer a glimpse of the future that awaits our own Sun after spending another 5 billion years or so steadily using up hydrogen at its core, and then finally helium, as fuel for nuclear fusion. Curiously, NGC 2818 seems to lie within an open star cluster, NGC 2818A, that is some 10,000 light-years distant toward the southern constellation Pyxis (the Compass). At the distance of the star cluster, the nebula would be about 4 light-years across. But accurate velocity measurements show...
  • IBM's $3bn bet on next-gen computers: Carbon nanotubes, neuro chips

    07/12/2014 10:46:29 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 13 replies
    theregister.co.uk ^ | 9 Jul 2014 | Jack Clark,
    IBM boffins have been given a tidy $3bn cash pile to solve a problem that lurks not too far in our future. That problem is the imminent breakdown in conventional chip operation and chip materials as we shrink transistor gates from today's 14nm process size to 10nm and 7nm. At around 7nm, which most industry observers expect we will hit in the early 2020s, things start to get really unpleasant. More and more jostling electrons jump in and out of gates against processor designers' wishes, leading to a frustrating problem known as gate current leakage. ... These investment areas include:...
  • Commercial Antares/Cygnus Rocket Loaded with Science for July 13 Virginia Launch – Watch Live

    07/12/2014 1:46:57 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 1 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | July 12, 2014 | Ken Kremer on
    Following further weather delays this week Orbital Sciences Corp. commercial Antares rocket is at last set to soar to space at lunchtime Sunday, July 13, from a beachside launch pad in Virginia carrying a private Cygnus cargo freighter loaded with a diverse array of science experiments including a flock of nanosatellites and deployers, student science experiments and small cubesat prototypes that may one day fly to Mars. The privately developed Antares rocket is on a critical cargo resupply mission – named Orb-2 – bound for the International Space Station (ISS) and now targeting liftoff at 12:52 p.m. on July 13...
  • Brisbane (Australia) hits coldest temperature in 103 years

    07/12/2014 11:12:29 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 18 replies
    theaustralian.com.au ^ | July 12, 2014 10:59AM | Chris McMahon, Sharnee Rawson
    ******************************************************************************* If you are lucky enough to be reading this from the comfort of your blankets, it might be best to stay there, as Brisbane has hit its coldest temperatures in 103 years. Not since July 28 1911 has Brisbane felt this cold, getting down to a brisk 2.6C at 6.41am.At 7am, it inched up to 3.3C.Matt Bass, meteorologist from BOM, said the region was well below our average temperatures.“If it felt cold, that’s because it was, breaking that record is pretty phenomenal for Brisbane,” Bass said.“The average for this time of year is 12C, so Brisbane was about 9C...
  • Smelling farts could be the best thing you do today [bizarre "health discovery"]

    07/12/2014 12:08:16 AM PDT · by Slings and Arrows · 68 replies
    CNET.com ^ | July 11, 2014 | Anthony Domanico
    It's Friday, and what better way to spend the day that starts with F than talking about Flatulence? Anyone who has accidentally let one rip in a social situation understands the immediate horror associated with getting caught passing gas. But instead of being ashamed when you fart in public, you should embrace your dirty deed with pride, as you may have just helped saved someone's life. Well, that's what a study currently getting some attention might suggest, but it's more complicated than that. The study out of the University of Exeter in the UK found that the hydrogen sulfide gas...
  • Scientists ‘Have No Handle On’ Radio Bursts Coming From Deep Space

    07/12/2014 9:55:31 AM PDT · by shove_it · 42 replies
    CBSTampaBay ^ | 11 jUL 2014 | Benjamin Fearnow
    Arecibo, Puerto Rico (CBS TAMPA) – A succinct blip of radio waves detected from far beyond the Milky Way Galaxy amid deep space has left scientists saying they “really have no handle on” the mysterious “fast radio burst.” The split-second burst of radio waves discovered through the Arecibo radio telescope has given scientists new evidence of the rare, mysterious pulses emanating from deep outer space – well beyond the ends of the galaxy. Published July 10 in The Astrophysical Journal, the “fast radio burst” is the first of similar sounds to be detected by an installation other than the Parkes...
  • The Minoans were Caucasian

    07/12/2014 4:58:18 AM PDT · by Renfield · 34 replies
    Daily Mail (UK) ^ | 5-16-2013 | Damien Gayle
    DNA analysis has debunked the longstanding theory that the Minoans, who some 5,000 years ago established Europe's first advanced Bronze Age culture, were from Africa. The Minoan civilisation arose on the Mediterranean island of Crete in approximately the 27th century BC and flourished for 12 centuries until the 15th century BC. But the culture was lost until British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans unearthed its remains on Crete in 1900, where he found vestiges of a civilisation he believed was formed by refugees from northern Egypt. Modern archaeologists have cast doubt on that version of events, and now DNA tests of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- SN 1006 Supernova Remnant

    07/12/2014 4:20:54 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | July 12, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A new star, likely the brightest supernova in recorded human history, lit up planet Earth's sky in the year 1006 AD. The expanding debris cloud from the stellar explosion, found in the southerly constellation of Lupus, still puts on a cosmic light show across the electromagnetic spectrum. In fact, this composite view includes X-ray data in blue from the Chandra Observatory, optical data in yellowish hues, and radio image data in red. Now known as the SN 1006 supernova remnant, the debris cloud appears to be about 60 light-years across and is understood to represent the remains of a...
  • Ironsides, formally proven DNS now handles Recursive DNS

    07/11/2014 8:14:39 PM PDT · by OneWingedShark · 7 replies
    Ironsides.martincarlisle.com ^ | 11 Jul 14 | OneWingedShark
    IRONSIDES is an authoritative/recursive DNS server pair that is provably invulnerable to many of the problems that plague other servers. It achieves this property through the use of formal methods in its design, in particular the language Ada and the SPARK formal methods tool set. Code validated in this way is provably exception-free, contains no data flow errors, and terminates only in the ways that its programmers explicitly say that it can. These are very desirable properties from a computer security perspective. IRONSIDES is not a complete implementation of DNS. In particular, it does not support zone transfers or all...
  • Poor man’s polar vortex to make shocking summer return in eastern U.S. next week

    07/11/2014 1:20:13 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 12 replies
    Washington Post ^ | 10 April 2014 | Jason Samenow
    Call it the ghost of the polar vortex, the polar vortex sequel, or the polar vortex’s revenge. Meteorological purists may tell you it’s not a polar vortex at all. However you choose to refer to the looming weather pattern, unseasonably chilly air is headed for parts of the northern and northeastern U.S at the height of summer early next week.
  • New species found: walking catfish, Beelzebub bat and two-legged lizard

    07/11/2014 12:47:52 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 21 replies
    www.telegraph.co.uk ^ | 07-10-2014 | Staff
    From a devilish-looking bat to a frog that sings like a bird, scientists have identified 126 new species in the Greater Mekong area, the WWF said in a new report detailing discoveries in 2011. But threats to the region's biodiversity mean many of the new species are already struggling to survive, the conservation group warned. "The good news is new discoveries. The bad news is that it is getting harder and harder in the world of conservation and environmental sustainability," Nick Cox, manager of WWF-Greater Mekong's Species Programme, said.
  • Vasectomy linked with aggressive prostate cancer risk

    07/11/2014 10:59:41 AM PDT · by KeyLargo · 19 replies
    Medical News Today ^ | 10 Jul 2014
    Vasectomy linked with aggressive prostate cancer risk Thursday 10 July 2014 - 3am PST Prostate / Prostate Cancer Men's Health Cancer / Oncology In the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind, researchers from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, MA, find that vasectomy is associated with a small increased risk of prostate cancer, and a larger increased risk for advanced or lethal prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is a major cause of cancer-related deaths in men in the US, where vasectomy is a common form of contraception, with around 15% of American men having the minor procedure, which...
  • Every Year, A Few Americans Still Get The Plague

    07/11/2014 8:25:34 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 17 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 07/11/2014 | LAUREN F FRIEDMAN
    The recent news that a Colorado man was diagnosed with the plague may have left some wondering: Does that still happen here?The answer, somewhat surprisingly, is yes.While the last plague epidemic in the United States was back in 1924, when 37 people died in Los Angeles, the much-feared disease still surfaces in humans from time to time, though it's very infrequent — and fully treatable with antibiotics if it's caught in time."Plague... spread from urban rats to rural rodent species, and became entrenched in many areas of the western United States," the CDC explains. "Since that time, plague has...
  • Climate Change Could Cause More Kidney Stones

    07/11/2014 1:33:02 AM PDT · by Up Yours Marxists · 32 replies
    City Lab ^ | July 10, 2014 18:12 GMT | John Metcalfe
    When one thinks of the warming climate, the phrases that pop into mind probably aren't "nausea and vomiting," "sharp, stabbing pain," and "blood in your urine." Yet these awful symptoms could become more prolific in the coming decades, as hotter weather appears to be linked with the risk of growing a kidney stone. This disheartening prognosis comes from doctors at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and elsewhere who've completed a seven-year-long study of 60,433 patients in several major U.S. cities. When the temperature goes up, there's a subsequent spike in the number of people visiting hospitals for stone issues, they...
  • Cursed Warship Revealed With Treasure Onboard

    07/10/2014 10:31:59 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    National Geographic ^ | July 7, 2014 | Jane J. Lee
    It was the largest and fiercest warship in the world, named the Mars for the Roman god of war, but it went up in a ball of flames in a brutal naval battle in 1564, consigning 800 to 900 Swedish and German sailors and a fortune in gold and silver coins to the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Now, a few years after the ship's discovery, researchers have concluded that the one-of-a-kind ship is also the best preserved ship of its kind, representing the first generation of Europe's big, three-masted warships. Naval historians know a lot about 17th-century ships, but...
  • What Rome's Arch-Enemies Wore Into Battle

    07/10/2014 10:15:51 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    Forbes ^ | July 8, 2014 | Paul Rodgers
    Naval archaeologists think they’ve found the only example of armor from Carthage to survive the destruction of the city-state by Rome in 146BC. The helmet, recovered from the site of the Battle of the Egadi Islands, northwest of Sicily, is dramatically different from the Celtic style worn across Europe, popularly known as a Roman helmet. It appears to have a nose guard, a broad brim protecting the back of the neck from ear to ear, and a high, narrow crest, said Dr Jeff Royal, director of archaeology at the RPM Nautical Foundation in Florida. Roman helmets, called montefortinos, are easily...
  • Mesolithic shamanistic meteorite talisman unearthed

    07/10/2014 10:08:05 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    Past Horizons ^ | Monday, July 7, 2014 | PAP – Science and Scholarship in Poland
    Archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology (IAE) in Szczecin, Poland, have discovered a meteorite fragment inside the remains of a hut dating back more than 9,000 years at Bolków by Lake Świdwie in Western Pomerania... The archaeologists also excavated a rich assemblage of objects with a spiritual association: an amulet, a bone spear tip with engraved decoration and so-called magic wand made of antler, decorated with geometric motifs. In addition to the remains of the hut, which contained the meteorite, archaeologists discovered a second, almost identical structure. In both of them, within the peat layer, were the preserved...
  • 11,000 years old elk bones shrouded in mystery

    07/10/2014 10:03:45 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    Science Nordic ^ | July 1, 2014 | Anne Marie Lykkegaard
    Someone put elk bones in a bog several thousand years ago -- but archaeologists have no clue who it was... when the bones of several elks were excavated from Lundby bog in south Zealand in 1999, the archaeologists dated some of the animal remains back to sometime between 9,400 and 9,300 BC. Recently, however, the archaeologists did a new carbon 14 dating on some of the bones which revealed that they dated back to between 9,873 and 9,676 BC. These elk bones were clearly not buried in the bog over a short period, as originally thought, but were placed there...
  • Forestry officials unearth stone spearheads in northern Lapland

    07/10/2014 9:58:10 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    YLE ^ | July 4, 2014 | unattributed
    Archaeologists in Finland are celebrating the discovery of a number of artefacts in Lapland, northern Finland. A series of surveys by the forestry watchdog Metsähallitus has unearthed hundreds of hunting pits, several prehistoric habitations, pottery shards and a stone spearhead. The most exceptional part of the archaeological find was a stone spear tip or a possible prehistoric knife, which was discovered close to the Norwegian border. The stone implement has been uncovered by high winds as it lay in a sand pit. Experts estimate that the rough blade had been used during the Stone Age or the early metal age,...
  • Yellowstone Closes Road Because It's Melting (What a world, what a world)

    07/10/2014 9:53:46 PM PDT · by Enterprise · 73 replies
    Newser ^ | July 20, 2014 | John Johnson
    You'll never guess why "Firehole Lake Drive" is temporarily off-limits to tourists in Yellowstone National Park. Yes, the popular 3.3-mile loop is closed for a while because the asphalt is melting, reports National Parks Traveler. "Extreme heat from surrounding thermal areas has caused thick oil to bubble to the surface, damaging the blacktop and creating unsafe driving conditions," says a park release. While that kind of thing isn't uncommon given Yellowstone's geology, the damage to the road is "unusually severe," reports the AP.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Spotty Sunrise over Brisbane

    07/10/2014 9:26:58 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | July 11, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: In this composite cityscape, dawn's first colors backdrop the lights along Brisbane's skyline at the southeastern corner of Queensland, Australia, planet Earth. Using a solar filter, additional exposures made every 3.5 minutes follow the winter sunrise on July 8 as planet-sized sunspots cross the visible solar disk. The sunspots mark solar active regions with convoluted magnetic fields. Even as the maximum in the solar activity cycle begins to fade, the active regions produce intense solar flares and eruptions launching coronal mass ejections (CMEs), enormous clouds of energetic particles, into our fair solar system.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M51: X-Rays from the Whirlpool

    07/10/2014 8:36:47 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | June 10, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What if we X-rayed an entire spiral galaxy? This was done (again) recently by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory for the nearby interacting galaxies known as the Whirlpool (M51). Hundreds of glittering x-ray stars are present in the above Chandra image of the spiral and its neighbor. The image is a conglomerate of X-ray light from Chandra and visible light from the Hubble Space Telescope. The number of luminous x-ray sources, likely neutron star and black hole binary systems within the confines of M51, is unusually high for normal spiral or elliptical galaxies and suggests this cosmic whirlpool has experienced...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- How to Identify that Light in the Sky

    07/10/2014 8:33:02 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | June 09, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What is that light in the sky? Perhaps one of humanity's more common questions, an answer may result from a few quick observations. For example -- is it moving or blinking? If so, and if you live near a city, the answer is typically an airplane, since planes are so numerous and so few stars and satellites are bright enough to be seen over the din of artificial city lights. If not, and if you live far from a city, that bright light is likely a planet such as Venus or Mars -- the former of which is constrained...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Open Cluster NGC 290: A Stellar Jewel Box

    07/10/2014 8:29:52 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | June 08, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Jewels don't shine this bright -- only stars do. Like gems in a jewel box, though, the stars of open cluster NGC 290 glitter in a beautiful display of brightness and color. The photogenic cluster, pictured above, was captured recently by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. Open clusters of stars are younger, contain few stars, and contain a much higher fraction of blue stars than do globular clusters of stars. NGC 290 lies about 200,000 light-years distant in a neighboring galaxy called the Small Cloud of Magellan (SMC). The open cluster contains hundreds of stars and spans about 65...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- M16 and the Eagle Nebula

    07/10/2014 8:26:31 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | June 07, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A star cluster around 2 million years young, M16 is surrounded by natal clouds of dust and glowing gas also known as The Eagle Nebula. This beautifully detailed image of the region includes cosmic sculptures made famous in Hubble Space Telescope close-ups of the starforming complex. Described as elephant trunks or Pillars of Creation, dense, dusty columns rising near the center are light-years in length but are gravitationally contracting to form stars. Energetic radiation from the cluster stars erodes material near the tips, eventually exposing the embedded new stars. Extending from the left edge of the frame is another...
  • 'The View' Host Sherri Shepherd Rejects Unborn IVF Baby

    07/10/2014 4:27:02 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 12 replies
    Breitbart ^ | 7-10-14 | Austin Ruse
    A year ago The View co-host Sherri Shepherd announced she and her husband Lamar Sally were going to have a baby using a surrogate. The procedure was to use Shepherd’s eggs and the womb of a stranger. Shepherd said at the time that she had found “a drama-free uterus” and that “we’re putting in our eggs and Sal’s sperm and we’ll let you know how it progresses.” It turns out not to have progressed very well either for a baby or for the marriage. TMZ reported this week that Shepherd’s eggs and Sally’s sperm did not work and that she...
  • Student goes blind after keeping her contact lenses in for 6 months & bug EATS her eyeballs(edit)

    07/10/2014 4:23:31 PM PDT · by SMGFan · 10 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | July 10, 2014
    Single-cell amoeba ate away Taiwanese pupil Lian Kao's sight She didn't take out and clean the contacts once during that time Kao even kept her contact lenses in while swimming and washing
  • Solar Notch-Delay Model Released (Dr. David Evans Mpdel --from Australia)

    07/10/2014 1:30:40 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 9 replies
    wattsupwiththat.com ^ | July 8, 2014 | by Anthony Watts
    Readers may recall the contentious discussions that occurred on this thread a couple of weeks back. Both Willis Eschenbach and Dr. Leif Svalgaard were quite combative over the fact that the model data had not been released. But that aside, there is good news. David Archibald writes in to tell us that the model has been released and that we can examine it. Links to the details follow.While this is a very welcome update, from my viewpoint the timing of this could not be worse, given that a number of people including myself are in the middle of the ICCC9...
  • Mysterious Earthen Rings Predate Amazon Rainforest

    07/10/2014 12:35:30 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 42 replies
    Live Science ^ | July 07, 2014 03:37pm ET | Stephanie Pappas
    Carson and his colleagues wanted to explore the question of whether early Amazonians had a major impact on the forest. They focused on the Amazon of northeastern Bolivia, where they had sediment cores from two lakes nearby major earthworks sites. These sediment cores hold ancient pollen grains and charcoal from long-ago fires, and can hint at the climate and ecosystem that existed when the sediment was laid down as far back as 6,000 years ago. An examination of the two cores — one from the large lake, Laguna Oricore, and one from the smaller lake, Laguna Granja — revealed a...
  • Record levels of solar ultraviolet measured in South America (in the Tropical Andes)

    07/10/2014 12:48:53 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 19 replies
    wattsupwiththat.com ^ | July 8, 2014 | by Anthony Watts
    From FrontiersA team of researchers in the U.S. and Germany has measured the highest level of ultraviolet radiation ever recorded on the Earth’s surface. The extraordinary UV fluxes, observed in the Bolivian Andes only 1,500 miles from the equator, are far above those normally considered to be harmful to both terrestrial and aquatic life. The results are being published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Environmental Science.“These record-setting levels were not measured in Antarctica, where ozone holes have been a recurring problem for decades,” says team leader Nathalie A. Cabrol of the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center. “This...
  • Missing Light Crisis: 'Something is Amiss in the Universe'

    07/10/2014 6:57:55 AM PDT · by shove_it · 40 replies
    IBTimes ^ | 10 Jul 2014 | Hannah Osborne
    There is a "missing light crisis" taking place in the universe with a huge deficit on what there should be and what there actually is, astronomers have said. In a statement, experts from the Carnegie Institution for Science said "something is amiss in the universe" with 80% of the light missing. Lead author of the study Juna Kollmeier said: "It's as if you're in a big, brightly-lit room, but you look around and see only a few 40-watt lightbulbs. Where is all that light coming from? It's missing from our census." Published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, scientists found that the...
  • Earth's Magnetic Field Is Weakening 10 Times Faster Now

    07/09/2014 2:11:03 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 54 replies
    livescience.com ^ | July 08, 2014 11:29am ET | Kelly Dickerson
    Earth's magnetic field, which protects the planet from huge blasts of deadly solar radiation, has been weakening over the past six months, according to data collected by a European Space Agency (ESA) satellite array called Swarm. The biggest weak spots in the magnetic field — which extends 370,000 miles (600,000 kilometers) above the planet's surface — have sprung up over the Western Hemisphere, while the field has strengthened over areas like the southern Indian Ocean, according to the magnetometers onboard the Swarm satellites — three separate satellites floating in tandem. The scientists who conducted the study are still unsure why...
  • Hospitals at Increasing Risk of Overheating Due to Climate Change (Yeah, Right)

    07/09/2014 2:02:17 AM PDT · by Up Yours Marxists · 34 replies
    Telegraph UK ^ | July 9, 2014 06:00 GMT | Emily Gosden
    Nine out of ten hospital wards may be at risk of overheating, increasing the dangers for vulnerable patients who are left sweltering in temperatures of more than 26C (78.8F), government advisers have warned. Poor ventilation, thin walls, low ceilings and big windows that can barely be opened are contributing to temperatures far exceeding acceptable levels during hot weather, according to the Committee on Climate Change. One fifth of domestic properties could also already be overheating, with flats especially vulnerable, it finds. The number of people dying prematurely from overheating could triple to 7,000 per year by the 2050s as global...
  • Study: Fossil soaring bird had huge wingspan

    07/08/2014 8:57:10 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 36 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jul 7, 2014 3:12 PM EDT | Malcolm Ritter
    A fossil found in South Carolina has revealed a gigantic bird that apparently snatched fish while soaring over the ocean some 25 million to 28 million years ago. Its estimated wingspan of around 21 feet is bigger than the height of a giraffe. …
  • In Search Of... The Coming Ice Age (1977)

    07/08/2014 5:06:45 PM PDT · by Dallas59 · 18 replies
    Youtube ^ | 7/8/2014 | Youtube
    Video Linky Here
  • Astronomy: Planets in chaos. Standard ideas of Planet formation are being demolished

    07/08/2014 2:09:26 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 19 replies
    NATURE ^ | 07/02/2014 | Ann Finkbeiner
    The discovery of thousands of star systems wildly different from our own has demolished ideas about how planets form. Astronomers are searching for a whole new theory. Not so long ago — as recently as the mid-1990s, in fact — there was a theory so beautiful that astronomers thought it simply had to be true. They gave it a rather pedestrian name: the core-accretion theory. But its beauty lay in how it used just a few basic principles of physics and chemistry to account for every major feature of our Solar System. It explained why all the planets orbit the...
  • Would the Real ‘SuperMoon’ Please Stand Up?

    07/08/2014 10:59:09 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 5 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | July 8, 2014 | David Dickinson on
    What’s happening this summer: First, here’s the lowdown on what’s coming up. The closest Full Moon of 2014 occurs next month on August 10th at 18:11 Universal Time (UT) or 1:44 PM EDT. On that date, the Moon reaches perigee or its closest approach to the Earth at 356,896 kilometres distant at 17:44, less than an hour from Full. Of course, the Moon reaches perigee nearly as close once every anomalistic month (the time from perigee-to-perigee) of 27.55 days and passes Full phase once every synodic period (the period from like phase to phase) with a long term average of...
  • Cyclone Spying: 3-D Hurricane View Of Arthur Reveals Rain Towers

    07/08/2014 10:38:43 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 3 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | July 8, 2014 | Elizabeth Howell on
    While Hurricane Arthur was still a hurricane, the new Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory flew over the storm last week and captured its structure in 3-D. This was a good test of the new satellite, which is supposed to help NASA track these Atlantic storms to better precision than before. NASA-Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency mission allowed researchers to do better forecasting because they could track the precipitation to 1,000 feet vertically and three miles horizontally
  • Genetic Science vs. Belief: Racial differences are real, but no cause for discrimination.

    07/08/2014 7:03:17 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 5 replies
    National Review ^ | 07/08/2014 | Michael Barone
    ‘New analyses of the human genome establish that human evolution has been recent, copious and regional,” writes Nicholas Wade in his recently published book A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History. That sounds reasonable, and Wade, a science reporter and editor for many years at Nature and the New York Times, seems an unimpeachable source. But many well-meaning people will regard his words as provocative and even dangerous. For they fatally undermine the idea, widely shared by so-called progressives, that any apparent differences between groups of people are the product of nurture rather than nature, of social conditioning rather...
  • BBC Refusing Airtime to Deniers of Climate Change, Striving for Gender Balance

    07/07/2014 8:01:54 PM PDT · by Up Yours Marxists · 12 replies
    UPI ^ | July 7, 2014 21:05 GMT | J.C. Sevcik
    BBC report: “Impartiality in science coverage does not simply lie in reflecting a wide range of views, but depends on the varying degree of prominence (due weight) such views should be given.” LONDON, July 7 (UPI) --In an internal report released today by the BBC trust addressing the broadcaster's impartiality in science reporting and the gender balance of its contributors and presenters, the BBC has officially taken the position that it will be giving climate change deniers less airtime in an effort to provide more accurate reporting that better reflects the weighted view of the scientific community. When they set...
  • Will Australia get carbon trading? The Palmer and Al Gore paradox goes on…

    07/07/2014 6:06:25 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 5 replies
    joannenova.com.au ^ | July 8th, 2014 | Joanne
    Palmer is offering to vote for Tony Abbott’s Direct Action Plan as long as he gets “his” Emissions Trading Scheme as well (the one he didn’t want eight weeks ago, to solve a problem he didn’t believe existed). None of it makes sense on its face. Clive Palmer, the coal miner and die-hard unbeliever, appears to “want” an ETS, the Climate Change Authority, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and direct action to reduce CO2 as well as the RET.  (And some say that Gore lost?)Is Palmer just playing games with both the Coalition and the media, holding cards for negotiation-sake,...
  • Scientists criticize Europe’s $1.6B brain project

    07/07/2014 12:52:22 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 10 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jul 7, 2014 12:30 PM EDT
    Dozens of neuroscientists are protesting Europe’s $1.6 billion attempt to recreate the functioning of the human brain on supercomputers, fearing it will waste vast amounts of money and harm neuroscience in general. The 10-year Human Brain Project is largely funded by the European Union. In an open letter issued Monday, more than 190 neuroscience researchers called on the EU to put less money into the effort to “build” a brain, and to invest instead in existing projects. …
  • 'Vampire' Squirrel Has World's Fluffiest Tail

    07/07/2014 12:16:13 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 23 replies
    Science ^ | 30 June 2014 | Erik Stokstad
    Few scientists have ever seen the rare tufted ground squirrel (Rheithrosciurus macrotis), which hides in the hilly forests of Borneo, but it is an odd beast. It’s twice the size of most tree squirrels, and it reputedly has a taste for blood. Now, motion-controlled cameras have revealed another curious fact. The 35-centimeter-long rodent has the bushiest tail of any mammal compared with its body size. "The species is really quite bizarre," says Erik Meijaard, a conservation scientist with People and Nature Consulting International in Jakarta. Meijaard and his wife, Rona Dennis, an independent remote sensing scientist, gathered a collection of...
  • The Problem with Science... Is Scientists

    07/07/2014 8:15:45 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 9 replies
    National Review ^ | 07/07/2014 | Kevin D. Williamson
    To repurpose Willi Schlamm, the problem with science is scientists. In the current issue of National Review, Charles C. W. Cooke has a pitiless essay on the cult of Neil deGrasse Tyson and “America’s nerd problem,” and in the prior issue I touched on a similar subject, the meme-ification of science for political purposes, in “Nobody @#$%&*! Loves Science.” The common theme is prestige: Science enjoys enormous public esteem, which it has earned for itself, and it is inevitable that political types seek to bask in that prestige themselves, or to dress their policy preferences in white lab coats. Thus...
  • The 2014 El Niño is looking more and more like a bust

    07/06/2014 7:51:30 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 25 replies
    //wattsupwiththat.com ^ | July 6, 2014 | by Anthony Watts
    Peru says El Niño threat over, waters cooling and fish returningLIMA (Reuters) – The worst of the potentially disastrous weather pattern El Nino is now behind Peru and cooling sea temperatures are luring back schools of anchovy, the key ingredient in fishmeal, authorities said on Friday.Temperatures in Peru’s Pacific peaked in June, rising 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 Fahrenheit) above average levels, but have since retreated and will likely return to normal by August, the state committee that studies El Nino said.“The possibility of us seeing an extraordinary Nino is ruled out,” said German Vasquez, the head of the committee.Read more:...
  • Lying with Statistics: The National Climate Assessment Falsely Hypes Ice Loss ...

    07/06/2014 7:41:36 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 23 replies
    wattsupwiththat.com ^ | July 6, 2014 | by Guest Blogger
    Lying with Statistics: The National Climate Assessment Falsely Hypes Ice Loss in Greenland and AntarcticaPosted on July 6, 2014 by Guest Blogger by E. Calvin Beisner and J.C. KeisterHow fast are Greenland and Antarctica losing ice?If you trust the National Climate Assessment (NCA), you’ll think, “Very fast!” And that’s intentional. The aim is to provoke fear so the American public will support the Obama administration’s aim to spend $Trillions fighting global warming.Here’s how the NCA (in Appendix 4, FAQ-L) depicts the rate of loss from the ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica: Pretty steep declines, right? Downright scary.But if there’s any...
  • Gingers could become extinct due to climate change, experts warn

    07/06/2014 5:09:47 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 73 replies
    The Mirror ^ | 7-6-14 | Natalie Evans
    Scientists believe the gene that causes red hair could die out if temperatures continue to rise Polar bears and Emperor penguins aren't the only species under threat due to climate change. Gingers could become extinct as a result of increasingly sunny skies, experts have warned. Scientists believe the gene that causes red hair is an evolutionary response to cloudy skies and allows inhabitants to get as much Vitamin D as possible. But if predictions of rising temperatures and blazing sunshine across the British Isles turn out to be correct, flaming red heads could cease to exist within centuries. While only...
  • Quran Is Far Ahead of Modern Science, Says Scholar

    07/06/2014 2:56:14 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 41 replies
    Khaleej Times ^ | 3 July 2014 | Ahmed Shaaban
    Dr Hamid Al Naimi says many recent discoveries made by modern science are mentioned in the Quran, which was revealed over 1,400 years ago. The universe is expanding, and will come to an end and die like all creatures. This was one of the many miraculous facts of our universe — mentioned in the Holy Quran — chronicled in the third lecture of the cultural programme of the Dubai International Holy Quran Award held on Tuesday night. The lecture, which was attended by Commander-in-Chief of the Dubai Police Major-General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, traced the journey of the universe as...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Manhattanhenge: A New York City Sunset

    07/05/2014 10:42:01 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    NASA ^ | July 06, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This coming Saturday, if it is clear, well placed New Yorkers can go outside at sunset and watch their city act like a modern version of Stonehenge. Manhattan's streets will flood dramatically with sunlight just as the Sun sets precisely at each street's western end. Usually, the tall buildings that line the gridded streets of New York City's tallest borough will hide the setting Sun. This effect makes Manhattan a type of modern Stonehenge, although only aligned to about 30 degrees east of north. Were Manhattan's road grid perfectly aligned to east and west, today's effect would occur on...