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Science (General/Chat)

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  • The Top Four Candidates for Europe's Oldest Work of Art

    05/19/2012 6:34:05 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    Smithsonian 'blogs ^ | May 16, 2012 | Erin Wayman
    In 1940, a group of teenagers discovered the paintings of bison, bulls and horses adorning the walls of France's Lascaux Cave. Roughly 17,000 years old, the paintings are Europe's most famous cave art, but hardly the oldest. This week archaeologists announced finding in another cave in France art dating to about 37,000 years ago, making it a candidate for Europe's most ancient artwork. Here's a look at the new discovery and the other top contenders for the title of Europe's oldest work of art. Nerja Caves (possibly about 43,000 years ago)... by Neanderthals, the [humans] that lived in this part...
  • Bronze Age 'Facebook' discovered by Cambridge experts

    05/19/2012 6:28:45 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 24 replies
    Cambridge News ^ | May 2012 | Leanne Ehren
    Mark Sapwell believes he has discovered an 'archaic version' of social networking site Facebook. Mark Sapwell, who is a PhD archaeology student at St John's College, believes he has discovered an "archaic version" of the social networking site, where users share thoughts and emotions and give stamps of approval to other contributions -- similar to the Facebook "like". Images of animals and events were drawn on the rock faces in Russian and Northern Sweden to communicate with distant tribes and descendants during the Bronze Age. They form a timeline preserved in stone encompassing thousands of years. Mr Sapwell said: "Like...
  • New Paleolithic remains found near the Liuhuaishan site in Bose Basin, Guangxi

    05/19/2012 6:23:31 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    PhysOrg ^ | May 17, 2012 | Acta Anthropologica Sinica
    The Liuhuaishan site is an important early Paleolithic site found in the Bose Basin. In December 2008, Scientists from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP), Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Youjiang Museum for Nationalities, Bose, carried out a short survey around this site and found three new Paleolithic localities with a collection of 37 stone artifacts. This new finds will help better understand the human behavior at open-air sites in south China, researchers reported in the latest issue of Acta Anthropologica Sinica 2012 (2). The stone artifact assemblage included cores, flakes, chunks, choppers and chopping tools, and picks,...
  • Scientists illuminate the ancient history of circumarctic peoples

    05/19/2012 6:17:52 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    PhysOrg ^ | May 17, 2012 | unattributed
    ...The team's results indicate several new genetic markers that define previously unknown branches of the family tree of circumarctic groups. One marker, found in the Inuvialuit but not the other two groups, suggests that this group arose from an Arctic migration event somewhere between 4,000 and 8,000 years ago, separate from the migration that gave rise to many of the speakers of the Na-Dene language group. "If we're correct, [this lineage] was present across the entire Arctic and in Beringia," Schurr said. "This means it traces a separate expansion of Eskimo-Aleut-speaking peoples across this region." ... "Perhaps the most extraordinary...
  • Photos: "Body Jars," Cliff Coffins Are Clues to Unknown Tribe [ Cambodia ]

    05/19/2012 6:06:43 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    National Geographic News ^ | May 15, 2012 | John Miksic
    Skulls and other human bones poke from large ceramic jars at Khnorng Sroal, one of the newly dated mountainside burials in southwestern Cambodia's Cardamom Mountains. The bones were placed in the 20-inch-tall (50-centimeter-tall) body jars only after the bodies had decomposed or had been picked clean by scavenging animals, according to the study, which is published in the latest issue of the journal Radiocarbon. "The Cardamom highlanders may have used some form of exposure of the body to de-flesh the bones, like the 'sky burials' known in other cultures," study leader Beavan said. Placing the sky-high burials couldn't have been...
  • The Beagles Have Landed: 20 Laboratory Dogs See the Sun for the First Time

    05/18/2012 9:15:58 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 20 replies
    SCPR ^ | Lisa Brenner | May 11, 2012
    A San Diego County research lab released 20 beagles to rescue groups on Thursday in an effort to get the dogs adopted. Ten are staying in San Diego County, 10 will be put up for adoption in Los Angeles. Ranging in age from 4 to 7 years old, the dog have spent their entire lives inside a lab, and met with grass and sun for the first time at an adoption event at Four Paws Coonhound Rescue & Friends in El Cajon, reports U-T San Diego. The lab, which has a regular arrangement to release its animals, worked with Four...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Annular Solar Eclipse

    05/18/2012 9:09:37 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | May 19, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Tomorrow, May 20, the Moon's shadow will race across planet Earth. Observers within the 240-300 kilometer wide shadow track will be able to witness an annular solar eclipse as the Moon's apparent size is presently too small to completely cover the Sun. Heading east over a period of 3.5 hours, the shadow path will begin in southern China, cross the northern Pacific, and reach well into North America, crossing the US west coast in southern Oregon and northern California. Along the route, Tokyo residents will be just 10 kilometers north of the path's center line. Of course a partial...
  • Pollution enhanced thunderstorms warm the planet?

    05/18/2012 7:01:44 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 10 replies
    watts up with that? ^ | May 18, 2012 | Anthony Watts
    From the DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a new paper in GRL saying something that doesn’t make much sense to me. As shown in the diagram above, thunderstorms transport heat from the lower troposphere upwards. The heat source at the base of the atmosphere (at the surface) is the absorption of sunlight by the surface of the Earth. That transfers heat to the lower atmosphere by conduction (a small amount), and mostly be re-radiated Long Wave IR. Heat is then transported upwards by convection, which is done by clouds (cumulus for example) and especially thunderstorms. So, given the amount of...
  • The Death of the Hockey Stick?

    05/18/2012 10:48:33 AM PDT · by Twotone · 28 replies
    PJ Media ^ | May 17, 2012 | Rand Simberg
    People who have been following the climate debate closely know that one of the most controversial and key elements of the controversy is the so-called “hockey stick” — a graph of supposed global temperature over the past centuries that ostensibly shows a dramatic increase in average temperature in the last century or so (the upward swoop of the graph at that point is the business end of the stick, with regard to the puck). It vaulted its inventor, Michael Mann of Penn State University, to climate stardom, with associated acclaim and government grants, when he first presented it in the...
  • New paper using RADARSAT data: Antarctic ice shelves slowed down – “…have not been changed...

    05/18/2012 10:43:42 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 12 replies
    watts up with that? ^ | May 17, 2012 | by Anthony Watts
    A new paper published May 15th in the the journal The Cryosphere utilizes 12 years worth of RADARSAT data to determine the rate at which some well known ice shelves in Antarctica have been moving and changing, and the answer is: “not much”. In fact it appears there has been a slowing down. First a map of Antarctica and the most worrisome Ross Ice Shelf (marked by the red x) is in order: If you follow the alarmosphere and MSM related to the Ross Ice Shelf and others, you get these kinds of stories: West Antarctic ice sheet collapse even...
  • Reverse Terraforming (for Supervillains only)

    05/18/2012 10:41:44 AM PDT · by LibWhacker
    Starts with a Bang ^ | 5/17/12 | Ethan Siegel
    "The Earth destroys its fools, but the intelligent destroy the Earth."-Khalid ibn al-Walid Usually, when we talk about terraforming, we think about taking a presently uninhabitable planet and making it suitable for terrestrial life. This means taking a world without an oxygen-rich atmosphere, with watery oceans, and without the means to sustain them, and to transform it into an Earth-like world. The obvious choice, when it comes to our Solar System, is Mars. (Image credit: Daein Ballard.) The red planet, after all, is not a total stranger to these conditions. On the contrary, for the first billion-and-a-half years of our...
  • US Government *only* spent $70 billion on climate since 2008

    05/18/2012 10:31:44 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 8 replies
    JoNova ^ | May 19th, 2012 | Joanne
    Remember the fear of global warming is falling because skeptics are well organized and well funded by vested interests and, after all, the US government is only spending ten thousand times more than Heartland. How could they compete? The Congressional Research Service estimates that since 2008 the federal government has spent nearly $70 billion on “climate change activities.”Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe presented the new CRS report on the Senate Floor Thursday to make the point that the Obama administration has been focused on “green” defense projects to the detriment of the military.The Daily Caller Hello to all the fans...
  • Discovered: The turtle the size of a SmartCar..

    05/18/2012 6:35:17 AM PDT · by C19fan · 28 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | May 18, 2012 | Eddie Wrenn
    Picture a turtle the size of a Smart car, with a shell large enough to double as a children's pool. Paleontologists from North Carolina State University have found just such a specimen – the fossilised remains of a 60-million-year-old South American giant that lived in what is now Colombia. The turtle in question is Carbonemys cofrinii, which means 'coal turtle', and it is part of a group of turtles known as pelomedusoides. The specimen's skull measures 24 centimeters, and the shell, which was recovered nearby and is believed to belong to the same animal - measures 172 centimeters, or about...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- GALEX: The Andromeda Galaxy

    05/18/2012 4:22:35 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | May 18, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A mere 2.5 million light-years away, the Andromeda Galaxy really is just next door as large galaxy's go. So close, and spanning some 260,000 light-years, it took 11 different image fields from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) satellite's telescope to produce this gorgeous portrait of the spiral galaxy in ultraviolet light. While its spiral arms stand out in visible light images of Andromeda (also known as M31), the arms look more like rings in the GALEX ultraviolet view, dominated by hot, young, massive stars. As sites of intense star formation, the rings have been interpreted has evidence Andromeda collided...
  • Remains may be ancient[Australia]

    05/17/2012 11:44:04 PM PDT · by Theoria · 16 replies
    The Area News ^ | 16 May 2012 | Emily Tinker
    ARCHAEOLOGISTS are on the cusp of unravelling the mystery behind a set of “hugely significant” ancient Aboriginal remains discovered in the region last year. Former local man Robert Harris Jnr found the remains near an old water course late last February while working on a property outside Lake Cargelligo. The remains – confirmed to be tens of thousands of years old –have been hailed as the greatest discovery in more than half a century. “They’re more significant than first thought,” local Aboriginal site recorder and brother of Robert, Max Harris said. “They are as old, or even older than Mungo...
  • (D@mn Dirty Apes!) Deceptive Chimp Hides Ammo, Blasts Unsuspecting Zoo Visitors

    05/17/2012 7:27:36 PM PDT · by DogByte6RER · 33 replies
    Live Science ^ | 17 May 2012 | Charles Choi,
    Deceptive Chimp Hides Ammo, Blasts Unsuspecting Zoo Visitors - (Santino just 1 second before the throw.) A chimp that creates hiding places for rocks he throws at zoo visitors reveals for the first time that humanity's closest living relatives can plan to deceive, researchers say. These findings could shed light on the evolution of higher mental functions such as planning, investigators added. The chimpanzee known as Santino is the dominant male of his group at Furuvik Zoo in Sweden. Intriguingly, past research showed the ape calmly gathered stones from his enclosure's moat and pieces of concrete he pulled off an...
  • Doubt Cast on the ‘Good’ in ‘Good Cholesterol’

    05/17/2012 4:16:35 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 11 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 16, 2012 | GINA KOLATA
    The name alone sounds so encouraging: HDL, the “good cholesterol.” The more of it in your blood, the lower your risk of heart disease. So bringing up HDL levels has got to be good for health. Or so the theory went. Now, a new study that makes use of powerful databases of genetic information has found that raising HDL levels may not make any difference to heart disease risk. People who inherit genes that give them naturally higher HDL levels throughout life have no less heart disease than those who inherit genes that give them slightly lower levels. If HDL...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Herschel's Cygnus X

    05/16/2012 9:52:42 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies
    NASA ^ | May 17, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The Herschel Space Observatory's infrared view of Cygnus X spans some 6x2 degrees across one of the closest, massive star forming regions in the plane of our Milky Way galaxy. In fact, the rich stellar nursery already holds the massive star cluster known as the Cygnus OB2 association. But those stars are more evident by the region cleared by their energetic winds and radiation near the bottom center of this field, and are not detected by Herschel instruments operating at long infrared wavelengths. Herschel does reveal the region's complex filaments of cool gas and dust that lead to dense...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Star Formation in the Tarantula Nebula

    05/16/2012 2:13:04 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | May 16, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The largest, most violent star forming region known in the whole Local Group of galaxies lies in our neighboring galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). Were the Tarantula Nebula at the distance of the Orion Nebula -- a local star forming region -- it would take up fully half the sky. Also called 30 Doradus, the red and pink gas indicates a massive emission nebula, although supernova remnants and dark nebula also exist there. The bright knot of stars left of center is called R136 and contains many of the most massive, hottest, and brightest stars known. The above...
  • New nanostructure for batteries keeps going and going...

    05/16/2012 7:25:16 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 10 replies
    http://phys.org ^ | 05-11-2012 | Mike Moss & Provided by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    For more than a decade, scientists have tried to improve lithium-based batteries by replacing the graphite in one terminal with silicon, which can store 10 times more charge. But after just a few charge/discharge cycles, the silicon structure would crack and crumble, rendering the battery useless. Now a team led by materials scientist Yi Cui of Stanford and SLAC has found a solution: a cleverly designed double-walled nanostructure that lasts more than 6,000 cycles, far more than needed by electric vehicles or mobile electronics. “This is a very exciting development toward our goal of creating smaller, lighter and longer-lasting batteries...
  • Russia presents highest resolution image of Earth

    05/15/2012 8:08:31 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 30 replies
    Fox News ^ | May 15, 2012
    MOSCOW – A Russian satellite has captured what is thought to be the highest resolution picture of our planet ever taken from space.
  • The oldest farming village in the Mediterranean islands is discovered in Cyprus

    05/15/2012 7:39:27 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    PhysOrg ^ | May 15, 2012 | CNRS
    Previously it was believed that, due to the island's geographic isolation, the first Neolithic farming societies did not reach Cyprus until a thousand years after the birth of agriculture in the Middle East... However, the discovery of Klimonas, a village that dates from nearly 9000 years before Christ, proves that early cultivators migrated to Cyprus from the Middle Eastern continent shortly after the emergence of agriculture there, bringing with them wheat as well as dogs and cats... The archaeologists have found a few votive offerings inside the building, including flint arrowheads and green stone beads. A great many remnants of...
  • Modern Man Tries to Build a 3,500 Year Old Boat from the Bronze Age and Fails

    05/15/2012 7:13:08 PM PDT · by DogByte6RER · 55 replies
    IO9 ^ | May 14, 2012 | Casey Chan
    Modern Man Tries to Build a 3,500 Year Old Boat from the Bronze Age and Fails A team of people from 2012 tried to re-create and build a boat from 1550 BC, the Bronze Age, but failed spectacularly. When the ship was lowered into the ocean, it immediately filled with water and started sinking. Yikes, we suck. The team was made up of British archaeologists and craftsmen who have been hammering away and building the boat with Bronze Age tools and methods for the past three months. The boat it was based on, used oak planks sewn together with yew...
  • Private Space Taxi Builders Ponder Future Beyond NASA

    05/15/2012 7:05:52 PM PDT · by KevinDavis · 16 replies
    space.com ^ | 05/15/12 | Denise Chow
    The private spaceflight company SpaceX is poised to launch a robotic capsule toward the International Space Station Saturday (May 19) on a test flight that, if successful, could be a watershed moment for the commercial space industry. But while SpaceX has a NASA contract to provide cargo deliveries to the space station, the company and other private spaceship developers are looking to a future beyond NASA funding. The Hawthorne, Calif.-based SpaceX is one of several aerospace firms who are competing for NASA funding under the third and final phase of NASA's commercial crew development program. Proposals for this stage of...
  • Tragedy of the day: 1 in 10 animals unable to outrun climate change

    05/15/2012 12:34:03 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 19 replies
    watts up with that? ^ | May 14, 2012 | Anthony Watts
    From the University of Washington, via Eurekalert, sympathy for snails, turtles, sloths, slow moving howler monkeys, shrews and moles and other slow moving critters that will apparently bake in place due to the 0.7C temperature rise of the past century. They just can’t move fast enough it seems. No mention of adaptation either. Why oh why did nature equip them so poorly? /sarc Gotta love this reasoning: Only climate change was considered and not other factors that cause animals to disperse, such as competition from other species. The natural world doesn’t work that way. You can’t just turn off all...
  • Amazingly, the earths water is really a miniscule amount

    05/15/2012 10:58:01 AM PDT · by central_va · 41 replies
    nasa.gov ^ | 5/15/12 | mother earth
    The blue ball represents all of the earths water. Not that much...
  • Students find rare Roman temple on practice dig [Poppelsdorf, Germany]

    05/15/2012 9:33:56 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    The Local ^ | Friday, May 4, 2012 | jcw
    Lecturers at Bonn University had set up a mock archaeological dig at a building site on campus to teach hopeful historians digging techniques. What they did not expect to find were the 2,000-year-old foundations of a building, nestled into the dense, clayish mud. While the initial discovery was made in March, it was only in the past fortnight that the team realised the foundations were from a temple from the Roman era, the floor of which was scattered with broken pottery dating as far back as 800 BC. The building, which could have been part of a wealthy country estate,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- All the Water on Planet Earth

    05/15/2012 4:39:34 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 35 replies
    NASA ^ | May 15, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: How much of planet Earth is made of water? Very little, actually. Although oceans of water cover about 70 percent of Earth's surface, these oceans are shallow compared to the Earth's radius. The above illustration shows what would happen is all of the water on or near the surface of the Earth were bunched up into a ball. The radius of this ball would be only about 700 kilometers, less than half the radius of the Earth's Moon, but slightly larger than Saturn's moon Rhea which, like many moons in our outer Solar System, is mostly water ice. How...
  • Egypt's Real Crisis: The Dual Epidemics Quietly Ravaging Public Health

    05/14/2012 3:54:13 PM PDT · by LucyT · 15 replies
    PandamicInformationNews ^ | May 14 2012, 7:01 AM ET | Laurie Garrett & Steven A. Cook
    A combination of avian flu and foot and mouth disease risk destroying the protein supply, eroding public trust, and further destabilizing the Arab world's most populous country. Lost in the recent political jockeying and protest violence leading up to Egypt's May 23 presidential elections is the unfolding public health disaster there. Avian flu and foot and mouth disease are running rampant, killing people and livestock as well as inflating the price of food. It's a serious health and economic issue, but it has potentially much larger implications for Egypt, and this little-discussed crisis is beginning to resemble those that occur...
  • Sun Is Moving Slower Than Thought

    05/14/2012 3:47:03 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 36 replies
    National Geographic News ^ | May 10, 2012 | Andrew Fazekas
    The sun is moving through the Milky Way slower than previously thought, according to new data from a NASA spacecraft. From its orbit around Earth, the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) satellite measured the speeds of interstellar particles entering at the fringes of our solar system, 9 billion miles (14.5 billion kilometers) from the sun. Plugging the new data into computer models, the IBEX team calculates that the sun is moving at about 52,000 miles (83,700 kilometers) an hour -- about 7,000 miles (11,000 kilometers) slower than thought. The discovery suggests that the protective boundary separating our solar system from the...
  • Warning signs from ancient Greek tsunami

    05/14/2012 3:27:05 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | April 19, 2012 | Nan Broadbent
    In the winter of 479 B.C., a tsunami was the savior of Potidaea, drowning hundreds of Persian invaders as they lay siege to the ancient Greek village. New geological evidence suggests that the region may still be vulnerable to tsunami events, according to Klaus Reicherter of Aachen University in Germany and his colleagues. The Greek historian Herodotus described the strange retreat of the tide and massive waves at Potidaea, making his account the first description of a historical tsunami. Reicherter and colleagues have added to the story by sampling sediments on the Possidi peninsula in northern Greece where Potidaea (and...
  • Neolithic farmers brought deer to Ireland

    05/14/2012 3:13:40 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    Past Horizons Archaeology ^ | April 18, 2012 | School of Biology and Environmental Science, University College Dublin
    By comparing DNA from ancient bone specimens to DNA obtained from modern animals, the researchers discovered that the Kerry red deer are the direct descendants of deer present in Ireland 5000 years ago. Further analysis using DNA from European deer proves that Neolithic people from Britain first brought the species to Ireland. Although proving the red deer is not native to Ireland, researchers believe that the Kerry population is unique as it is directly related to the original herd and are worthy of special conservation status. Fossil bone samples from the National Museum of Ireland, some up to 30,000 years...
  • Electric Dreams: Congested Streets Spark E-Scooter Trend

    05/14/2012 12:28:05 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 16 replies
    Der Spiegel ^ | 05/11/2012 | Jürgen Pander
    The bigger the city, the smaller a vehicle must be to get around. Whoever has been to Paris, Rome or Beijing knows this has been the case for a long time. This will become a universal principle in the future, as urbanization is on the rise along with people's need for mobility. Smaller ways to get around are in demand: bicycles, scooters and small cars. And the best option is with an electric motor because it is comfortable, cheap, well-engineered and, of course, eco-friendly. At the car show in Paris two years ago, it appeared that the car industry understood...
  • Ernst Haeckel's German Social Darwinism and Environmental Holism is the Root of Fascism

    05/14/2012 8:24:16 AM PDT · by Olympiad Fisherman · 13 replies
    Professor Gasman’s Haeckel’s Monism and the Birth of Fascist Ideology provides insights into the coherent fascist intellectual doctrine that, by 1920, was embraced by a wide swath of European academics and artists ...
  • Nanosheet catalyst discovered to sustainably split hydrogen from water

    05/14/2012 7:04:30 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 68 replies
    http://phys.org ^ | 10 May 2012 | Provided by Brookhaven National Laboratory
    Hydrogen gas offers one of the most promising sustainable energy alternatives to limited fossil fuels. But traditional methods of producing pure hydrogen face significant challenges in unlocking its full potential, either by releasing harmful carbon dioxide into the atmosphere or requiring rare and expensive chemical elements such as platinum. Now, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a new electrocatalyst that addresses one of these problems by generating hydrogen gas from water cleanly and with much more affordable materials. The novel form of catalytic nickel-molybdenum-nitride – described in a paper published online May 8,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Virtual Flight Over Asteroid Vesta

    05/14/2012 4:15:15 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    NASA ^ | May 14, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What would it be like to fly over the asteroid Vesta? Animators from the German Aerospace Center recently took actual images and height data from NASA's Dawn mission currently visiting Vesta to generate such a virtual movie. The above video begins with a sequence above Divalia Fossa, an unusual pair of troughs running parallel over heavily cratered terrain. Next, the virtual spaceship explores Vesta's 60-km Marcia Crater, showing numerous vivid details. Last, Dawn images were digitally recast with exaggerated height to better reveal Vesta's 5-km high mountain Aricia Tholus. Currently, Dawn is rising away from Vesta after being close...
  • Sunspot AR1476 takes aim on Earth ( Video of the action from the comments)

    05/13/2012 10:28:30 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 19 replies
    watts up with that? ^ | May 11, 2012 | Anthony Watts
    From Spaceweather.com NOAA forecasters estimate a 75% chance of M-class solar flares and a 20% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours. Any eruptions are likely to be geoeffective because the source, sunspot AR1476, is directly facing our planet.Yesterday, May 10th, amateur astronomer David Maidment of Sohar, Oman caught the active region in mid-flare during a strong M5-class eruption:The blast, which almost crossed the threshold into X-territory, did not produce a significant coronal mass ejection (CME). “There seemed to be no CME due to the fact that the plasma was captured and dragged back down to the sun,” notes...
  • Newsbytes: Germany Faces Green Energy Crisis

    05/13/2012 9:15:02 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 14 replies
    watts up with that? ^ | May 12, 2012 | From Dr. Benny Peiser at The GWPF
    Posted on May 12, 2012 by Anthony Watts From Dr. Benny Peiser at The GWPFGlobal Warming Policy Foundation (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Network Agency Calls For Suspension Of Emission Laws For Old Coal Plants Last winter, on several occasions, Germany escaped only just large-scale power outages. Next winter the risk of large blackouts is even greater. The culprit for the looming crisis is the single most important instrument of German energy policy: the “Renewable Energy Law.” The economic cost of a wide-scale blackout are measured in billions of Euros per day. The most important test of energy policy is now the...
  • Honda Wins Appeals Decision in Civic Hybrid Lawsuit: How It Happened

    05/13/2012 6:10:34 PM PDT · by jjotto · 19 replies
    automotive.com ^ | May 9, 2012 | Jacob Brown
    After more than four months of legal battles, a Torrance, California, judge overturned the February 1 decision that awarded $9,867 to 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid owner Heather Peters. She won the judgment in California’s small claims court system, convincing the court that Honda made false claims about her car’s ability to achieve 50 mpg when, in reality, she reported her car achieving 29 mpg. Judge Dudley Gray II was nonplussed with the original decision, reversing it today. Because of California law, there can be no further appeals of the case. Regarding the ruling, Honda said in a statement, “We are...
  • 6,000-year-old settlement poses tsunami mystery

    05/13/2012 6:22:14 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    Irish Examiner ^ | Wednesday, May 09, 2012 | Andrew Hamilton
    Archeologists have uncovered evidence of pre-farming people living in the Burren more than 6,000 years ago -- one of the oldest habitations ever unearthed in Ireland. Radiocarbon dating of a shellfish midden on Fanore Beach in north Clare have revealed it to be at least 6,000 years old -- hundreds of years older than the nearby Poulnabrone dolmen. The midden -- a cooking area where nomad hunter-gatherers boiled or roasted shellfish -- contained Stone Age implements, including two axes and a number of smaller stone tools... The midden was discovered by local woman Elaine O'Malley in 2009 and a major...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Spiral Galaxy NGC 1672 from Hubble

    05/13/2012 4:39:19 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | May 13, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Many spiral galaxies have bars across their centers. Even our own Milky Way Galaxy is thought to have a modest central bar. Prominently barred spiral galaxy NGC 1672, pictured above, was captured in spectacular detail in image taken by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. Visible are dark filamentary dust lanes, young clusters of bright blue stars, red emission nebulas of glowing hydrogen gas, a long bright bar of stars across the center, and a bright active nucleus that likely houses a supermassive black hole. Light takes about 60 million years to reach us from NGC 1672, which spans about...
  • Spaceship Enterprise in 20 years? Beam me up!

    05/13/2012 12:58:02 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 22 replies
    MSNBC | Universe Today ^ | 5/12/12 | Nancy Atkinson
    Website lays out detailed plans to make a Star Trek fan's dream come trueIn Star Trek lore, the first Starship Enterprise will be built by the year 2245. But today, an engineer has proposed — and outlined in meticulous detail — building a full-sized, ion-powered version of the Enterprise complete with 1G of gravity on board, and says it could be done with current technology, within 20 years. "We have the technological reach to build the first generation of the spaceship known as the USS Enterprise — so let's do it," writes the curator of the Build The Enterprise website,...
  • EU should keep out of innovation's way, Wikipedia founder says

    05/12/2012 10:37:20 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 08.05.12 @ 19:57 (May 8) | Philip Ebels
    To encourage innovation in Europe, policymakers should just keep out of the way, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has said. "I agree with the idea of streamlining and simplification. The only thing is that I would be much more extreme," he told EUobserver on Tuesday (8 May) on the sidelines of a conference in Brussels on EU innovation policy organized by global accounting firm Ernst & Young. "The most important thing that Europe needs to do to spur innovation is to eliminate barriers," he added. "To make it easier for investors and entrepreneurs to start businesses and to make it easier...
  • Insurance for All: Germans Can't Fathom US Aversion to Obama's Healthcare Reform

    05/12/2012 2:21:57 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 104 replies
    Der Spiegel ^ | 05/11/2012 | Miriam Widman
    As the United States Supreme Court considers whether requiring people to have health insurance is unconstitutional, Germans are bewildered as to why so many Americans appear to be against universal coverage. They also question the continued portrayal of US President Barack Obama and his health reform backers as socialists and communists, noting that healthcare was introduced in Germany in the 19th century by Otto von Bismarck, who was definitely not a leftist, and is supported by conservative and pro-business politicians today. "It's a solidarity principle," says Ann Marini, a spokesperson for the National Health Insurers Association. "Not every 'S' automatically...
  • Frozen in the sands of time: Eerie Second World War RAF fighter plane discovered in the Sahara.

    05/12/2012 1:01:58 PM PDT · by Doogle · 39 replies
    Dail Mail ^ | 05/10/12 | Paul Harris
    He was hundreds of miles from civilisation, lost in the burning heat of the desert. Second World War Flight Sergeant Dennis Copping took what little he could from the RAF Kittyhawk he had just crash-landed, then wandered into the emptiness. From that day in June 1942 the mystery of what happened to the dentist’s son from Southend was lost, in every sense, in the sands of time.
  • Unknown Ancient Language Found on Clay Tablet

    05/12/2012 11:32:27 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 54 replies
    Sci-News ^ | Fri, May 11th, 2012 | Enrico de Lazaro
    The archaeologists working at Ziyaret Tepe, the probable site of the ancient Assyrian city of Tushan, believe that this language may have been spoken by deportees originally from the Zagros Mountains, on the border of modern-day Iran and Iraq. In keeping with a policy widely practiced across the Assyrian Empire, these people may have been forcibly moved from their homeland and resettled in what is now south-east Turkey, where they would have been set to work building the new frontier city and farming its hinterland. The evidence for the language they spoke comes from a single clay tablet, which was...
  • Archaeologists: Israeli artifacts support Solomon’s Temple

    05/12/2012 10:53:21 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 5 replies
    Sun Herald ^ | 05/12/2012 | MICHELE CHABIN - Religion News Service
    JERUSALEM -- Archaeologists have unearthed a trove of artifacts dating back to the time of the biblical King David that they say closely correspond to the description of Solomon’s Temple found in the Book of Kings. Hebrew University archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel said the find “is extraordinary” first because it marks the first time that shrines from the time of the early Israelite kings were found. In addition, two small, well-preserved models discovered in the excavations closely resemble elements described in the Bible. The multiyear excavations took place at Khirbet Qeiyafa, a fortified city about 20 miles southwest of Jerusalem, adjacent...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Hydra Cluster of Galaxies

    05/12/2012 4:52:21 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | May 12, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Two stars within our own Milky Way galaxy anchor the foreground of this cosmic snapshot. Beyond them lie the galaxies of the Hydra Cluster. In fact, while the spiky foreground stars are hundreds of light-years distant, the Hydra Cluster galaxies are over 100 million light-years away. Three large galaxies near the cluster center, two yellow ellipticals (NGC 3311, NGC 3309) and one prominent blue spiral (NGC 3312), are the dominant galaxies, each about 150,000 light-years in diameter. An intriguing overlapping galaxy pair cataloged as NGC 3314 is just above and left of NGC 3312. Also known as Abell 1060,...
  • New Planet Found in Our Solar System?

    05/12/2012 3:44:38 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 42 replies
    National Geographic ^ | 5/11/12 | Richard A. Lovett
    Odd orbits of remote objects hint at unseen world, new calculations suggest. An as yet undiscovered planet might be orbiting at the dark fringes of the solar system, according to new research.Too far out to be easily spotted by telescopes, the potential unseen planet appears to be making its presence felt by disturbing the orbits of so-called Kuiper belt objects, said Rodney Gomes, an astronomer at the National Observatory of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. Kuiper belt objects are small icy bodies—including some dwarf planets—that lie beyond the orbit of Neptune. Once considered the ninth planet in our system, the...
  • Remember the time we bombed Mexico with German rockets?

    05/11/2012 3:28:38 PM PDT · by DogByte6RER · 13 replies
    IO9 ^ | May 11, 2012 | Esther Inglis-Arkell
    Remember the time we bombed Mexico with German rockets? Germany spent the end of the 1930s and half the 1940s inventing and perfecting missiles. They made so many, they still had a ton of them left over after the end of World War II. So of course, the leftover weapons were confiscated by the United States. And here's one of the things we did with them. Anyone who knows the details about a V-2 rocket has to wonder how any nation managed to make so many of them. The V-2 ran on alcohol and liquid oxygen, only one of which...