Science (General/Chat)

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  • Newly discovered arthropod fossil swam in Cambrian seas

    03/30/2015 9:55:22 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    AOL ^ | March 29th 2015 | unattributed
    Paleontologists have discovered the fossilized remains of a new arthropod. Yawunik kootenayi was swimming around oceans in Canada in the Cambrian period, 508 million years ago. It's thought to share a common ancestor with today's spiders and scorpions. The arthropod had four eyes and arms lined with both tiny claws to help it feed, and long antennae to sense its surroundings. The study's lead author says species today don't have limbs that function like that. "This dual function is very, very special, because it does not appear in modern forms. If you take insects as an example, they have a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Flag Shaped Aurora over Sweden

    03/30/2015 7:23:46 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | March 30, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It appeared, momentarily, like a 50-km tall banded flag. In mid-March, an energetic Coronal Mass Ejection directed toward a clear magnetic channel to Earth led to one of the more intense geomagnetic storms of recent years. A visual result was wide spread auroras being seen over many countries near Earth's magnetic poles. Captured over Kiruna, Sweden, the image features an unusually straight auroral curtain with the green color emitted low in the Earth's atmosphere, and red many kilometers higher up. It is unclear where the rare purple aurora originates, but it might involve an unusual blue aurora at an...
  • Tree Grown From 2,000-Year-Old Seed Has Reproduced

    03/29/2015 5:41:32 PM PDT · by EBH · 41 replies
    Smithsonianmag.com ^ | 3/26/2015 | Laura Clark
    et out the cigars—Methuselah, a Judean date palm tree that was grown from a 2,000 year old seed, has become a papa plant. Elaine Solowey, of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies at Kibbutz Ketura in Israel, recently broke the good news to National Geographic: “He is over three meters [ten feet] tall, he's got a few offshoots, he has flowers, and his pollen is good," she says. "We pollinated a female with his pollen, a wild [modern] female, and yeah, he can make dates." Methuselah sprouted back in 2005, when agriculture expert Solowey germinated his antique seed. It had...
  • Report says most stars in galaxy have planets in habitable zone

    03/29/2015 5:27:51 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 31 replies
    Yakima Herald Republic ^ | March 22, 2015 | Rachel Feltman, Washington Post
    For a planet to have liquid water -- something necessary to support life as we know it -- it has to be within a certain distance of its star. Too close, and the water burns up. Too far away, and it's a frozen wasteland. But according to new research, most stars in the galaxy have so-called "Goldilocks planets," which sit in the habitable zone, where temperatures are just right for life... The calculations, which were produced by a group of researchers from the Australian National University and the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, are based on a...
  • ESA's CHEOPS satellite to hunt transits of suspected exoplanets

    03/29/2015 5:21:46 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    Phys dot org ^ | March 18, 2015 | Tomasz Nowakowski, Astrowatch
    Just like the Pharaoh Cheops, who ruled the ancient Old Kingdom of Egypt, ESA's CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite (CHEOPS) could be someday ruling in the field of exoplanet hunting. It will be the first mission dedicated to search for transits by means of ultrahigh precision photometry on bright stars already known to host planets... Large ground-based high-precision Doppler spectroscopic surveys carried out during the last years have identified hundreds of stars hosting planets in the super-Earth to Neptune mass range and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future. The characteristics of these stars and the knowledge of the planet...
  • Hubble Search for Transit of the Earth-mass Exoplanet Alpha Centauri Bb

    Results from exoplanet surveys indicate that small planets (super-Earth size and below) are abundant in our Galaxy. However, little is known about their interiors and atmospheres. There is therefore a need to find small planets transiting bright stars, which would enable a detailed characterisation of this population of objects. We present the results of a search for the transit of the Earth-mass exoplanet Alpha Centauri Bb with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). We observed Alpha Centauri B twice in 2013 and 2014 for a total of 40 hours. We achieve a precision of 115 ppm per 6-s exposure time in...
  • Oldest evidence of breast cancer found in Egyptian skeleton

    03/29/2015 4:44:43 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    Reuters ^ | Tuesday, March 24, 2015 | Mahmoud Mourad; editing by John Stonestreet
    A team from a Spanish university has discovered what Egyptian authorities are calling the world's oldest evidence of breast cancer in the 4,200-year-old skeleton of an adult woman. Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty said the bones of the woman, who lived at the end of the 6th Pharaonic Dynasty, showed "an extraordinary deterioration". "The study of her remains shows the typical destructive damage provoked by the extension of a breast cancer as a metastasis," he said in a statement on Tuesday. Despite being one of the world's leading causes of death today, cancer is virtually absent in archaeological records compared to...
  • The stapes of a neanderthal child points to the anatomical differences with respect to our species [

    03/29/2015 4:34:10 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies
    University of the Basque Country• ^ | Wednesday, March 25, 2015 | (press release)
    New remains recovered in an excavation carried out over 40 years ago have enabled this auditory ossicle to be reconstructedAsier Gómez-Olivencia, an Ikerbasque researcher at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country, has published in The Journal of Human Evolution a piece of research in which he stresses the importance of reviewing old excavationsThe Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) inhabited Europe and parts of western Asia between 230,000 and 28,000 years ago... The archaeological site at La Ferrassie, excavated throughout the 20th century, is a mythical enclave because it was where 7 Neanderthal skeletons, ranging from foetuses to almost complete skeletons of...
  • Stone-age Italians defleshed their dead

    03/29/2015 4:21:21 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 32 replies
    Science Magazine ^ | March 27, 2015 | Garry Shaw
    About 7000 years ago in Italy, early farmers practiced an unusual burial ritual known as "defleshing." When people died, villagers stripped their bones bare, pulled them apart, and mingled them with animal remains in a nearby cave. The practice was meant to separate the dead from the living, researchers say, writing in the latest issue of the journal Antiquity... Robb and his team examined the scattered bones of at least 22 Neolithic humans -- many children -- who died between 7200 and 7500 years ago. Their remains were buried in Scaloria Cave, a stalactite-filled grotto in the Tavoliere region of...
  • Archaeologists say skeleton of woman is latest known early medieval burial found in Wales

    03/29/2015 4:20:53 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    Culture24 ^ | March 26th, 2015 | Ben Miller
    A stone-built cist grave carrying a skeleton and a mysterious metre-wide wall, missing from early maps and believed to have been part of a medieval monastic settlement, have been found by archaeologists during excavations carried out at a church in North Wales with foundations in the 6th century. Experts say they immediately realised the "huge significance" of a set of large flat stones a metre below the foundations of St Mary's Church in Nefyn, where the current building was built by the Victorians in 1825 before being converted into a museum in 1977. Lifting the stone cover, a skeleton --...
  • Ancient gold artefacts uncovered in north Wales [ 1000 BC ]

    03/29/2015 4:14:53 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    ITV Report ^ | Thursday, March 26, 2015 | unattributed
    Two gold artefacts thought to be around 3,000 years old have been found near Wrexham. The Late Bronze Age hoard of two 'lock' gold rings were discovered in the Community of Rosset. The wearer would've been a person of wealth and status within Late Bronze Age Society, between 10000 and 800BC. In terms of their use, archaeologists aren't certain whether they were used as ear-rings or worn to gather locks of hair, as the name suggests. In Wales, lock-rings have previously been found at Gaerwen, Anglesey, the Great Orme, Conwy and Newport, Pembrokeshire. This largely coastal pattern hints at possible...
  • Red Lady cave burial reveals Stone Age secrets

    03/29/2015 11:54:12 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    New Scientist ^ | March 18, 2015 | Penny Sarchet
    Aged between 35 and 40 when she died, she was laid to rest alongside a large engraved stone, her body seemingly daubed in sparkling red pigment. Small, yellow flowers may even have adorned her grave 18,700 years ago -- a time when cave burials, let alone one so elaborate, appear to have been very rare. It was a momentous honour, and no one knows why she was given it... Her remains were discovered when Straus's team began digging behind this block in 2010. Radiocarbon dating reveals that the block fell from the ceiling at most only a few hundred years...
  • Raytheon Engineers Reveal how Technology Will Detect Alien Spaceships

    03/29/2015 7:33:55 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 41 replies
    inventorspot.com ^ | Paul Fitzgerald
    The duo suggests that alien-like ships traveling at relativistic speeds can easily intermingle with photons in the cosmic microwave background, which is dubbed CMB. This means that a spacecraft traveling at near light speed would leave a unique signature, and this means it would therefore be fully discoverable. Their research, which was just published in this month's MIT Technology Review, points out that the interaction with photons in the CMB “should create a drag that imposes specific limits on how fast spacecraft can travel.” And, “it should also produce a unique signature of relativistic spaceflight that ought to be visible...
  • New insights found in black hole collisions

    03/28/2015 10:39:33 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 14 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | Mar 27, 2015
    New insights found in black hole collisions Mar 27, 2015 Enlarge Black Holes Go 'Mano a Mano.' Credit: NASA, Chandra, 10/06/09 New research provides revelations about the most energetic event in the universe—the merging of two spinning, orbiting black holes into a much larger black hole. An international team of astronomers, including from the University of Cambridge, have found solutions to decades-old equations describing what happens as two spinning black holes in a binary system orbit each other and spiral in toward a collision.The results, published in the journal Physical Review Letters, should significantly impact not only the study of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Shadow of a Martian Robot

    03/28/2015 10:05:00 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | March 29, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What if you saw your shadow on Mars and it wasn't human? Then you might be the Opportunity rover currently exploring Mars. Opportunity has been exploring the red planet since early 2004, finding evidence of ancient water, and sending breathtaking images across the inner Solar System. Pictured above in 2004, Opportunity looks opposite the Sun into Endurance Crater and sees its own shadow. Two wheels are visible on the lower left and right, while the floor and walls of the unusual crater are visible in the background. Opportunity is continuing on its long trek exploring unusual terrain in Meridiani...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Diamond Rings and Baily's Beads

    03/28/2015 10:02:27 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | March 28, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Near the March 20 equinox the cold clear sky over Longyearbyen, Norway, planet Earth held an engaging sight, a total eclipse of the Sun. The New Moon's silhouette at stages just before and after the three minute long total phase seems to sprout glistening diamonds and bright beads in this time lapse composite of the geocentric celestial event. The last and first glimpses of the solar disk with the lunar limb surrounded by the glow of the Sun's inner corona give the impression of a diamond ring in the sky. At the boundaries of totality, sunlight streaming through valleys...
  • NASA selects ‘Option B’ for Asteroid Redirect Mission

    03/28/2015 12:32:23 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 22 replies
    spaceflightinsider.com ^ | Collin Skocik
    NASA has announced that it has selected “Option B” for its Asteroid Redirect Mission (more commonly referred to as ARM), meaning that rather than towing an entire asteroid into lunar orbit, it will instead retrieve a boulder from an asteroid and bring it into a distant retrograde lunar orbit. Using Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP), an uncrewed spacecraft will retrieve a boulder from a yet-to-be-determined asteroid and tow it into lunar orbit, where it will be visited by astronauts on a future Orion / SLS mission. NASA Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot said that Option B offers more choices for what object...
  • Scientists aiming to redefine the kilogram

    03/28/2015 1:24:25 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 59 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 27 Mar 2015 17:59 GMT+01:00 | Matty Edwards
    The German Nation Metrology Institute (PTB) in Braunschweig has set itself the enormous task of finding a new formula for measuring a kilogram. The weight is currently based on a metal cylinder called the International Prototype Kilogram that is kept in a safe in Paris. The problem is that the precious object is—very gradually—losing weight, according to scientists. […] A race is now underway between scientists around the world to find a way of defining an unchangeable kilogram without relying on a lump of metal, which is unsurprisingly rather complicated. Researchers at the PTB in Braunschweig claim to be very...
  • Dark matter is apparently ‘darker’ than we thought

    03/27/2015 8:14:51 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 46 replies
    WaPo ^ | Rachel Feltman
    A new study published Thursday in Science suggests that dark matter might be able to zip through the universe without slowing or dragging because particles of it don't even interact with each other. Based on what we can observe about the universe, galaxies should be tearing themselves apart. That's where so-called dark matter comes in: It's a term for the as-of-yet unobserved matter that must be bulking up cosmos, giving galaxies the gravity they need to spin at the rates they do without falling to pieces. But even though we haven't caught dark matter (so named because it doesn't interact...
  • Collapse of the universe coming sooner than expected according to new research

    03/27/2015 12:33:56 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 126 replies
    AOL ^ | March 26th 2015 | unattributed
    You've heard of the Big Bang, but what about the "Colossal Crash?" Get ready, because it might be coming sooner than you think ... relatively speaking. In a paper published in Physical Review Letters a group of physicists have theorized a mechanism for "cosmological collapse" which predicts the universe will at some point stop expanding and then collapse back onto itself, destroying us and pretty much all matter. The idea has been floating around the scientific community in one form or another for a while now, but the latest paper is noteworthy because its numbers and models suggest that collapse...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 2403 in Camelopardalis

    03/27/2015 10:22:22 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | March 27, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Magnificent island universe NGC 2403 stands within the boundaries of the long-necked constellation Camelopardalis. Some 10 million light-years distant and about 50,000 light-years across, the spiral galaxy also seems to have more than its fair share of giant star forming HII regions, marked by the telltale reddish glow of atomic hydrogen gas. The giant HII regions are energized by clusters of hot, massive stars that explode as bright supernovae at the end of their short and furious lives. A member of the M81 group of galaxies, NGC 2403 closely resembles another galaxy with an abundance of star forming regions...
  • Porcupine unearths 1,400 year old oil lamp at archaeological site in Emek Hefer

    03/27/2015 9:58:54 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 45 replies
    Jerusalem Post ^ | March 23, 2015 | JPost staff
    Archaeologists with the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) have uncovered a 1,400 year-old ceramic oil lamp with the help of an unlikely aide – a porcupine. Last week, during a routine patrol at the Horbat Siv ancient ruins – a Roman-Byzantine site near Emek Hefer in central Israel, anti-antiquities theft inspectors found the oil lamp on top of a pile of dirt that a porcupine had unearthed while digging a burrow. Porcupine’s live in underground burrows that can stretch to as long as 15 meters. Ira Horovitz from the anti-antiquities theft unit of the IAA said that “the porcupine is an...
  • Hegel's Deity: How Evolution Gave Us Postmodernism, Deconstructionism, and Political Correctness

    03/27/2015 9:28:13 AM PDT · by Heartlander · 8 replies
    Evolution News and Views ^ | March 27, 2015 | Nancy Pearcey
    Hegel's Deity: How Evolution Gave Us Postmodernism, Deconstructionism, and Political Correctness Nancy Pearcey March 27, 2015 5:59 AM | Permalink How has evolution shaped our view of humanity? We often hear that evolution is the key scientific prop for the philosophy of materialism, with its reduction of the human person to a complex biochemical machine. But spiritualized versions of evolution have appeared as well -- for example, in the philosophy of Hegel. In our own day, Hegel's spiritual/cultural view of evolution has led to its own form of reductionism: the postmodern reduction of individuals to social groups based on race,...
  • Prometheus Unbound: The Fitness of Nature for Large Trees

    03/27/2015 9:21:51 AM PDT · by Heartlander · 5 replies
    Evolution News and Views ^ | March 27, 2015 | Michael Denton
    Prometheus Unbound: The Fitness of Nature for Large Trees Michael Denton March 27, 2015 3:34 AM | Permalink One of the critical requirements for sustainable fires, sufficiently hot to smelt metal ores, is wood. Thin twigs, dried grasses will burn, but such materials are unsuitable for making fires, which reach temperatures of several hundred degrees, sufficient to smelt metals from their ores. Wood or wood products such as coal or charcoal or coke are the only natural fuels available that will do. It was the mastery of fire that led to metallurgy and the energy stored in wood and coal...
  • Major publisher retracts 43 scientific papers amid wider fake peer-review scandal

    03/27/2015 7:12:44 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 10 replies
    Washington Post ^ | 03/27/2015 | By Fred Barbash
    A major publisher of scholarly medical and science articles has retracted 43 papers because of “fabricated” peer reviews amid signs of a broader fake peer review racket affecting many more publications. The publisher is BioMed Central, based in the United Kingdom, which puts out 277 peer-reviewed journals. A partial list of the retracted articles suggests most of them were written by scholars at universities in China, including China Medical University, Sichuan University, Shandong University and Jiaotong University Medical School. But Jigisha Patel, associate editorial director for research integrity at BioMed Central, said it’s not “a China problem. We get a...
  • Using sound waves to put out fires.

    03/26/2015 9:49:37 AM PDT · by wyowolf · 30 replies
    Two engineering students at George Mason University have found a way to use sound waves to quash fires and have built a type of extinguisher using what they have learned that they hope will revolutionize fire fighting technology. Viet Tran a computer engineering major and Seth Robertson, an electrical engineering major, chose to investigate the possibility of using sound to put out fires as a senior research project and now believe they have found something that might really work. Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-03-students.html#jCp
  • Nice Fireball in NW sky in Eastern AZ @ 5:45 AM

    03/26/2015 6:16:48 AM PDT · by Migraine · 11 replies
    self | 3/26/2015 | self
    Wife and I, in hot tub this morning, just before dawn, caught sight of a long-duration, glorious meteor/fireball with a long tail. For us (in Eastern Arizona, White Mountains), it began at about 10 o'clock high in the NW sky and arced toward the western horizon. Lasted a good 15 seconds, very bright. Anyone else see it?
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Orion Spring

    03/26/2015 3:55:10 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies
    NASA ^ | March 26, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: As spring comes to planet Earth's northern hemisphere, familiar winter constellation Orion sets in early evening skies and budding trees frame the Hunter's stars. The yellowish hue of cool red supergiant Alpha Orionis, the great star Betelgeuse, mingles with the branches at the top of this colorful skyscape. Orion's alpha star is joined on the far right by Alpha Tauri. Also known as Aldebaran and also a giant star cooler than the Sun, it shines with a yellow light at the head of Taurus, the Bull. Contrasting blue supergiant Rigel, Beta Orionis, is Orion's other dominant star though, and...
  • Why Is Denver a Mile High

    03/25/2015 7:05:19 PM PDT · by JimSEA · 82 replies
    University of Colorado Boulder researchers propose a novel mechanism to explain the region’s high elevation No one really knows how the High Plains got so high. About 70 million years ago, eastern Colorado, southeastern Wyoming, western Kansas, and western Nebraska were near sea level. Since then, the region rose about 2 kilometers, leading to some head scratching at geology conferences. Now researchers at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder have proposed a new way to explain the uplift: water trapped deep below Earth’s crust may...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Naked Eye Nova Sagittarii 2015 No. 2

    03/25/2015 3:30:29 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | March 24, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It quickly went from obscurity to one of the brighter stars in Sagittarius -- but it's fading. Named Nova Sagittarii 2015 No. 2, the stellar explosion is the brightest nova visible from Earth in over a year. The featured image was captured four days ago from Ranikhet in the Indian Himalayas. Several stars in western Sagittarius make an asterism known as the Teapot, and the nova, indicated by the arrow, now appears like a new emblem on the side of the pot. As of last night, Nova Sag has faded from brighter than visual magnitude 5 to the edge...
  • 'Dr. George' Fischbeck dies at 92; popular weatherman at KABC-TV

    03/25/2015 3:12:54 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 28 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | March 25, 2015 | Valerie J. Nelson
    George Fischbeck, a science teacher turned weatherman who joined KABC-TV in 1972 and spent nearly two decades exuberantly delivering the local forecast, has died. He was 92. Fischbeck, who was known as "Dr. George," died of natural causes early Wednesday morning at the Motion Picture & Television Fund retirement home in Woodland Hills, his daughter, Nancy Fischbeck, said. A trained meteorologist, George Fischbeck was so enthusiastic about his subject that he sometimes forgot to talk about the next day's weather.
  • Maya Mural Reveals Ancient 'Photobomb' [no it doesn't]

    03/25/2015 2:24:55 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 30 replies
    LiveScience ^ | February 20, 2015 | Laura Geggel
    The murals also provide information about a man buried beneath them. During an excavation, the archaeologists found the skeleton of a man dressed like the sages in the mural. It's possible the man once lived in the room, which later became his final resting place, Saturno said. Archaeologists discovered the approximately 1,250-year-old mural in the ancient city of Xultun, located in the northeastern part of present-day Guatemala. During an archaeological study of Xultun, an undergraduate student inspecting an old looters' trail noticed traces of paint on an ancient wall covered by dirt... the elements had been kind to the building...
  • Ancient Receipt Proves Egyptian Taxes Were Worse Than Yours

    03/25/2015 11:53:00 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    Live Science ^ | March 14, 2015 | Owen Jarus
    A recently translated ancient Egyptian tax receipt shows a bill that is (literally) heavier than any American taxpayer will pay this year — more than 220 lbs. (100 kilograms) of coins. Written in Greek on a piece of pottery, the receipt states that a person (the name is unreadable) and his friends paid a land-transfer tax that came to 75 "talents" (a unit of currency), with a 15-talent charge added on. The tax was paid in coins and was delivered to a public bank in a city called Diospolis Magna (also known as Luxor or Thebes). But just how much...
  • Coral Pyramids in Micronesia Date Back to Middle Ages

    03/25/2015 11:41:42 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 28 replies
    LiveScience ^ | March 13, 2015 | Megan Gannon
    On a remote Pacific island not much bigger than Manhattan, there are ancient pyramids built out of living coral. New evidence reveals that these tombs could be up to 700 years old — much older than experts had previously thought. The royal tombs are tucked away in an artificially built ancient city called Leluh just off the mainland of Kosrae, a Micronesian island. Leluh was home to Kosraean high chiefs (as well as some lower chiefs and commoners, too) from about 1250 until the mid-1800s, when foreign whalers, traders and missionaries started to arrive on the island. With impressive canals...
  • Magnets Can Control Heat And Sound? Shocking New Research Suggests They Can

    03/24/2015 9:10:14 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 18 replies
    The study is the first ever to prove that acoustic phonons (particles responsible for the transmission of both sound and heat) contain magnetic properties, The Ohio State University reported. The team of researchers demonstrated that a magnetic field about the size of an MRI was able to reduce the amount of heating flowing through a semiconductor by about 12 percent. "This adds a new dimension to our understanding of acoustic waves," said Joseph Heremans, Ohio Eminent Scholar in Nanotechnology and professor of mechanical engineering at Ohio State. "We've shown that we can steer heat magnetically. With a strong enough magnetic...
  • Climate Denial is Immoral, Says Head of US Episcopal Church

    03/24/2015 4:13:09 PM PDT · by Up Yours Marxists · 72 replies
    The Guardian ^ | March 24, 2015 22:29 GMT | Suzanne Goldenberg
    The highest ranking woman in the Anglican communion has said climate denial is a “blind” and immoral position which rejects God’s gift of knowledge. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal church and one of the most powerful women in Christianity, said that climate change was a moral imperative akin to that of the civil rights movement. She said it was already a threat to the livelihoods and survival of people in the developing world.
  • Privileged Species with Geneticist Michael Denton Gets Its Online Premiere; See It Now!

    03/24/2015 2:06:17 PM PDT · by Heartlander · 3 replies
    Evolution News and Views ^ | March 24, 2015 | News
    Privileged Species with Geneticist Michael Denton Gets Its Online Premiere; See It Now! Evolution News & Views March 24, 2015 3:43 AM | Permalink Finally, the stirring and profound documentary with geneticist Michael Denton, Privileged Species, is available to see now, free online. Dr. Denton extends the argument for intelligent design to the ultra-, ultra-fine-tuning of the cosmos for carbon-based life forms like ourselves. You cannot watch these 33 minutes without coming away with the very powerful conclusion that the universe was designed with us very specifically in mind.The documentary investigates the special properties of carbon, water, and oxygen that...
  • Did a volcanic cataclysm 40,000 years ago trigger the final demise of the Neanderthals?

    03/24/2015 7:28:00 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 24 replies
    Science Daily ^ | March 20, 2015 | Geological Society of America
    In their climate simulations, Black and colleagues found that the largest temperature decreases after the eruption occurred in Eastern Europe and Asia and sidestepped the areas where the final Neanderthal populations were living (Western Europe). Therefore, the authors conclude that the eruption was probably insufficient to trigger Neanderthal extinction. However, the abrupt cold spell that followed the eruption would still have significantly impacted day-to-day life for Neanderthals and early humans in Europe. Black and colleagues point out that temperatures in Western Europe would have decreased by an average of 2 to 4 degrees Celsius during the year following the eruption....
  • The most complete ancient crossbow unearthed with terracotta army

    03/24/2015 7:21:49 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 26 replies
    chinadaily ^ | March 20, 2015 | Web Editor: Si Huan
    Archaeologists have recently discovered the most complete ancient crossbow to date in the terracotta army pit one in Xi'an, Shaanxi province. Among hundreds of pieces of crossbows unearthed in the past, this one is said to be the best-preserved in general, with a 145cm arch and a 130cm bow string. The bow string has a smooth surface which experts believe to be made from animal tendon instead of fabric and the trigger mechanism is made of bronze, according to Shen Maosheng, head of the archaeological team. Shen also points out that this new discovery sheds light on how Qing, two...
  • Forgotten monuments of Northern Sweden

    03/24/2015 7:15:46 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    Past Horizons ^ | March 22, 2015 | Carl L. Thunberg
    The vast majority of the cairns appear to have been built as monuments to the dead, mainly during the southern Scandinavian Bronze Age; circa 1800-500 BC. They occupy prominent positions overlooking the surrounding area, and some researchers speculate that they had a function as tribal markers for family group territories... Unlike the cairns from the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age which appear to contain cremation burials, the Early Bronze Age examples like one of the Spir Mountain cairns (RAÄ Grundsunda 109:1), have internal burial chambers with cists containing skeletal remains, accompanied by various grave goods. In some cases...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Powers of Ten

    03/24/2015 6:17:50 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | March 24, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: How different does the universe look on small, medium, and large scales? The most famous short science film of its generation gives breathtaking comparisons. That film, Powers of Ten, originally created in the 1960s, has now been officially posted to YouTube and embedded above. Please click the above arrow to see the nine minute movie for yourself. From a picnic blanket near Chicago out past the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies, every ten seconds the film zooms out to show a square a factor of ten times larger on each side. The video then reverses, zooming back in a factor...
  • World's largest asteroid impacts found in central Australia

    03/23/2015 5:53:18 PM PDT · by Utilizer · 26 replies
    Australian National University News Online ^ | 23 March 2015 | Australian National University
    A 400 kilometre-wide impact zone from a huge meteorite that broke in two moments before it slammed into the Earth has been found in Central Australia. The crater from the impact millions of years ago has long disappeared. But a team of geophysicists has found the twin scars of the impacts – the largest impact zone ever found on Earth – hidden deep in the earth’s crust. Lead researcher Dr Andrew Glikson from the ANU School of Archaeology and Anthropology said the impact zone was discovered during drilling as part of geothermal research, in an area near the borders of...
  • Young Jupiter wiped out solar system's early inner planets, study says

    03/23/2015 5:01:44 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 18 replies
    The more planetary systems astronomers discovered, the more our own solar system looked like an oddball. Exoplanets – at least the ones big enough for us to see – tended to be bigger than Earth, with tight orbits that took them much closer to their host stars. In multi-planet systems, these orbits tended to be much closer together than they are in our solar system. For instance, the star known as Kepler-11 has six planets closer to it than Venus is to the sun. Why does our solar system look so different? Astrophysicists Konstantin Batygin of Caltech and Greg Laughlin...
  • Boeing patents 'Star Wars'-style force fields

    03/23/2015 9:38:12 AM PDT · by Kartographer · 21 replies
    CNet ^ | 3/22/15 | Michelle Starr
    A new patent granted to aircraft, defense and security company Boeing is taking its cues from science fiction. Just like the glowing energy shields seen protecting troops, machines and even spacecraft in Star Wars and Star Trek, the design -- named "Method and system for shockwave attenuation via electromagnetic arc" -- uses energy to deflect potential damage.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Atlas V Launches MMS

    03/23/2015 4:17:58 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | March 23, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Birds don't fly this high. Airplanes don't go this fast. The Statue of Liberty weighs less. No species other than human can even comprehend what is going on, nor could any human just a millennium ago. The launch of a rocket bound for space is an event that inspires awe and challenges description. Pictured above, an Atlas V rocket lifts off carrying NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission into Earth orbit 10 days ago to study the workings of the magnetosphere that surrounds and protects the Earth. From a standing start, the 300,000 kilogram rocket ship left to circle the Earth...
  • Why ancient myths about volcanoes are often true

    03/22/2015 6:17:13 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 35 replies
    BBC ^ | March 18, 2015 | Jane Palmer
    Story has it that many hundreds of years ago, Tanovo, chief of the Fijian island Ono, was very partial to a late afternoon stroll. Each day he would walk along the beach, watch the sun go down and undoubtedly contemplate this paradise on Earth. But one day Tanovo's rival, chief of the volcano Nabukelevu, pushed his mountain up and blocked Tanovo's view of the sunset. Enraged at this, and robbed of the pacifying effects of his daily meditation, Tanovo wove giant coconut-fibre baskets and began to remove earth from the mountain. His rival, however, caught Tanovo and chased him away....
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Double Eclipse of the Sun

    03/22/2015 6:59:07 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | March 22, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Can the Sun be eclipsed twice at the same time? Last Friday was noteworthy because part of the Earth was treated to a rare total eclipse of the Sun. But also on Friday, from a part of the Earth that only saw part of the Sun eclipsed, a second object appeared simultaneously in front of the Sun: the Earth-orbiting International Space Station. Although space station eclipses are very quick -- in this case only 0.6 seconds, they are not so rare. Capturing this composite image took a lot of planning and a little luck, as the photographer had to...
  • Medieval Ages and The Roots of Modern Science

    03/21/2015 11:41:27 PM PDT · by walkinginthedesert · 29 replies
    How the Medieval Ages paved the way for modern scienceScientific Development in the Medieval AgesNow we get into the medieval foundation of modern scientific thought. Contrary to common opinion, science was not “suppressed” as is the common understanding of this time period. Modern scholarship has brought about the reality that contrary to the common opinion, the Middle Ages actually is actually the root of modern scientific thought.Some of the most compelling arguments came from the medieval times. For example prior to the start of Christianity, and definitely from the time of the Middle Ages, there was a popular scientific consensus...
  • MAVEN uncovers Two Mysteries in Martian Atmosphere

    03/21/2015 10:30:37 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 11 replies
    Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN Mission (MAVEN) of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has uncovered two new mysteries in the atmosphere of Mars. The probe, which has been orbiting the Red Planet since last year has noticed a weird high-altitude dust cloud and an aurora show in the atmosphere of the planet. According to reports, the dazzling aurora light show was much lower in the Martian atmosphere than scientists anticipated. In addition, scientists do not know about the origin of the dust cloud. According to the space agency, the dust cloud had extended from about 150 kilometers to...
  • Prehistoric stone tools bear 500,000-year-old animal residue

    03/21/2015 6:02:42 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 60 replies
    Eurekalert! ^ | March 19, 2015 | American Friends of Tel Aviv University
    Tel Aviv University discovers first direct evidence early flint tools were used to butcher animal carcasses. Some 2.5 million years ago, early humans survived on a paltry diet of plants. As the human brain expanded, however, it required more substantial nourishment - namely fat and meat - to sustain it. This drove prehistoric man, who lacked the requisite claws and sharp teeth of carnivores, to develop the skills and tools necessary to hunt animals and butcher fat and meat from large carcasses. Among elephant remains some 500,000 years old at a Lower Paleolithic site in Revadim, Israel, Prof. Ran Barkai...