Free Republic 3rd Quarter Fundraising Target: $85,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $70,319
82%  
Woo hoo!! And we're now over 82%!! Less than $15k to go!! Let's git 'er done!! Thank you all very much!!

Science (General/Chat)

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Oldest Yet Known Metal Object Discovered in the Middle East

    08/22/2014 8:00:53 PM PDT · by fatez · 48 replies
    Live Scient ^ | August 22, 2104 | Charles Q. Choi
    A copper awl is the oldest metal object unearthed to date in the Middle East. The discovery reveals that metals were exchanged across hundreds of miles in this region more than 6,000 years ago, centuries earlier than previously thought, researchers say.
  • NASA to send rats to space to test micro-gravity

    08/22/2014 3:29:20 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 23 replies
    indianexpress.com ^ | August 22, 2014 4:49 pm
    NASA is planning to send rats to the International Space Station (ISS) for a longer duration of up to three months to better understand the long-term effects of micro-gravity on living organisms. While rodents have flown on space shuttle flights in the past, those missions have only lasted a week or two. The new mission, however, could range between 30 and 90 days, depending on the availability of spacecraft to ferry them on the round-trip, ‘Space.com’ reported. “This will allow animals to be studied for longer period of time on space station missions,” said Julie Robinson, NASA’s chief scientist for...
  • Stolen Meteorite Found at a Tennis Court

    08/22/2014 1:48:23 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 4 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | August 22, 2014 | Jason Major on
    Here’s a bit of good news: the Serooskerken meteorite, which was stolen from the Sonnenborgh Museum and Observatory in Utrecht, Netherlands on Monday night, has been recovered. It was found in a bag left in some bushes alongside a tennis court and turned in to the police. It’s not quite “game, set, match” though; unfortunately the meteorite was broken during the theft. (See a photo here via Twitter follower Marieke Baan.) Still, the Sonnenborgh Museum director is glad to have the pieces back, which he said will remain useful for research and can still be exhibited.
  • Scientists develop a water splitter that runs on an ordinary AAA battery

    08/22/2014 10:51:36 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 94 replies
    Phys.org ^ | 08-22-2014 | Provided by Stanford University
    In 2015, American consumers will finally be able to purchase fuel cell cars from Toyota and other manufacturers. Although touted as zero-emissions vehicles, most of the cars will run on hydrogen made from natural gas, a fossil fuel that contributes to global warming. Now scientists at Stanford University have developed a low-cost, emissions-free device that uses an ordinary AAA battery to produce hydrogen by water electrolysis. The battery sends an electric current through two electrodes that split liquid water into hydrogen and oxygen gas. Unlike other water splitters that use precious-metal catalysts, the electrodes in the Stanford device are made...
  • Before they left Africa, early modern humans were 'culturally diverse'

    08/21/2014 9:55:57 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 30 replies
    Phys dot org ^ | August 18th, 2014 | Oxford University
    Researchers have carried out the biggest ever comparative study of stone tools dating to between 130,000 and 75,000 years ago found in the region between sub-Saharan Africa and Eurasia. They have discovered there are marked differences in the way stone tools were made, reflecting a diversity of cultural traditions. The study has also identified at least four distinct populations, each relatively isolated from each other with their own different cultural characteristics. The research paper also suggests that early populations took advantage of rivers and lakes that criss-crossed the Saharan desert. A climate model coupled with data about these ancient water...
  • Pamela Anderson, Carey Hart Slam ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in Online Rants

    08/21/2014 2:46:52 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 31 replies
    Us Weekly ^ | August 21, 2014 | Javy Rodriguez
    Cool it! While Hollywood has accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in droves, uploading often-creative, LOL videos and nominating each other, Pamela Anderson and Carey Hart took to their social media pages to criticize the viral campaign, meant to raise funds for Lou Gehrig's disease research. On Wednesday Aug. 20, Anderson, a longtime supporter of animal rights, posted a Facebook message criticizing ALS researchers for their research practices... The next morning, on Thursday, Aug. 21, Hart similarly railed against those who have hopped on the ice bucket bandwagon...
  • Watson, Dawkins: What Is It with Scientists Who Become Crusading Atheists and Raging Bigots?

    08/21/2014 11:35:46 AM PDT · by Heartlander · 9 replies
    Evolution News and Views ^ | August 21, 2014 | Wesley J. Smith
    Watson, Dawkins: What Is It with Scientists Who Become Crusading Atheists and Raging Bigots? Wesley J. Smith August 21, 2014 11:00 AM | Permalink First, there was James Watson who came out as a eugenicist and also remarked about how "some anti-Semitism is justified" (he later apologized). Now Richard Dawkins has let out his own inner bigot by claiming that women have an ethical duty to abort Down babies. From the Telegraph story: Richard Dawkins, the atheist writer, has claimed it is "immoral" to allow unborn babies with Down's syndrome to live. The Oxford professor posted a message on Twitter saying would-be parents who...
  • Neanderthals Died Out 10,000 Years Earlier Than Thought, With Help From Modern Humans

    08/21/2014 10:35:33 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 50 replies
    Nationalgeographic.com ^ | 08-20-2014 | Dan Vergano
    New fossil dates show our ancient cousins disappeared 40,000 years ago. The Neanderthals died out about 10,000 years earlier than previously thought, new fossil dating suggests, adding to evidence that the arrival of modern humans in Europe pushed our ancient Stone Age cousins into extinction. (Read "Last of the Neanderthals" in National Geographic magazine.) Neanderthals' mysterious disappearance from the fossil record has long puzzled scholars who wondered whether the species went extinct on its own or was helped on its way out by Europe's first modern human migrants. "When did the Neanderthals disappear, and why?" says Tom Higham of the...
  • Ecosystem found under Antarctic ice sheet raises hopes for alien life

    08/21/2014 3:30:31 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 7 replies
    Daily Telegraph (UK) ^ | 7:04PM BST 20 Aug 2014 | Sarah Knapton
    An entire ecosystem has been discovered under the Antarctic, raising hopes that life could exist in extreme environments, such as other planets in the solar system. Researchers have discovered that tiny life-forms are thriving in a lake under half a mile of pack ice, even though the habitat has not seen sunlight or fresh air for a million years. The discovery has led to excitement among the scientific community who had previously theorized that microorganisms may be able to survive by evolving novel ways to generate energy. And it raises the possibility that similar life could exist on Mars or...
  • Will there be Affirmative Action Quotas of Human Employees, vs Robots 'Having It All'?

    08/21/2014 1:28:02 AM PDT · by lee martell · 21 replies
    Aug. 21, 2014 | lee martell
    We get closer having the ability to implement a fully automated, robotized, dehumanized society every day. Google has been testing self driving cars in select areas of the country for the last six or seven years. Only now, has the driverless car become something more than an engineers fantasy. McDonald's Restaurants and other fast food retailers are preparing themselves to be forced to offer a minimum wage that usually comes only after several skill sets have been mastered by a seasoned employee. The restaurants prepare for this change by wheeling in a few automated order taking machines. Drones may soak...
  • Strangest Creature of Ancient Earth linked to Modern Animals

    08/20/2014 9:14:51 PM PDT · by null and void · 38 replies
    Scientific Computing ^ | Tue, 08/19/2014 - 3:08pm | University of Cambridge
    Fossil Hallucigenia sparsa from the Burgess Shale Courtesy of M. R. Smith / Smithsonian InstituteThe spines along its back were thought to be legs, its legs thought to be tentacles along its back, and its head was mistaken for its tail. The animal, known as Hallucigenia due to its otherworldly appearance, had been considered an ‘evolutionary misfit’ as it was not clear how it related to modern animal groups. Researchers from the University of Cambridge have discovered an important link with modern velvet worms, also known as onychophorans, a relatively small group of worm-like animals that live in tropical...
  • A Piece of Vesta Has Been Stolen!

    08/20/2014 7:31:51 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 28 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | August 20, 2014 | Jason Major on
    On Aug. 19 a burglary was reported at the Sonnenborgh Museum and Observatory in Utrecht, Netherlands, and one of the items missing is a meteorite that is thought to have originated from the asteroid Vesta. Seen above in a photo from the museum’s collection, the Meteorite of Serooskerken was recovered from a rare fall in 1925 in the province of Zeeland. Only five meteorites have ever been found in the Netherlands, making the Serooskerken specimen somewhat of a national treasure – not to mention a valuable piece of our Solar System’s history! About 5–6% of all the meteorites found on...
  • Modern Humans Arrived in Europe Earlier Than Previously Thought, Study Finds

    08/20/2014 2:50:07 PM PDT · by Fractal Trader · 55 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | 20 August 2014 | GAUTAM NAIK
    A new study concludes that modern humans arrived in Europe much earlier than previously believed, and clarifies more specifically the long time period they overlapped with Neanderthals. The significant overlap bolsters a theory that the two species met, bred and possibly exchanged or copied vital toolmaking techniques. It represents another twist in an enduring puzzle about human origins: why we triumphed while the better adapted and similarly intelligent Neanderthals died out. The study was published Wednesday in the journal Nature. Neanderthals are our closest known extinct relatives, with about 99.5% of DNA in common with humans. They had a brain...
  • Where It All Leads: Professor Death Supports Doctor Death

    08/20/2014 5:30:53 AM PDT · by Heartlander · 5 replies
    Evolution News and Views ^ | August 19, 2014 | Wesley J. Smith
    Where It All Leads: Professor Death Supports Doctor Death Wesley J. Smith August 19, 2014 2:21 PM | Permalink It is time to start calling Peter Singer "Professor Death."The Princeton moral philosopher -- surely a misnomer in his case -- is the world's foremost proponent of infanticide. He typically uses examples of disabled babies, but the reason he believes they can be killed is that they are supposedly not "persons." Thus, Singer has refused to state that killing a baby because she was ugly would be wrong.Professor Death also supports euthanasia, both voluntary and non-voluntary against ill human non-persons, such as Alzheimer's patients.He has...
  • Iceland evacuates areas close to rumbling volcano

    08/19/2014 8:05:07 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 24 replies
    yahoo.com ^ | 5 hours ago
    Iceland on Tuesday began evacuating areas close to its largest volcano after warnings of a possible eruption, four years after millions of air travellers were grounded by a huge ash cloud from another peak. Scientists believe the ash from an eruption at Bardarbunga, a huge volcano under Iceland's largest glacier, the Vatnajokull in the south of the country, could disrupt transatlantic and northern European air traffic. They also fear floods from melting ice could cause serious damage to the country's infrastructure. On Tuesday, police announced that they had "decided to close and evacuate the area north of Vatnajokull as a...
  • Curiosity Rover Stalled By Sandy Trap On Mars' 'Hidden Valley'

    08/19/2014 3:39:13 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 63 replies
    designntrend.com ^ | Aug, 19, 2014, 02:53 PM | Mary Nichols ,
    The 1-ton Curiosity rover had been heading for Mount Sharp - a 3.4-mile-high (5.5 kilometers) mountain in the center of Mars' Gale Crater - via 'Hidden Valley' - a low-lying sandy landscape about the length of a football field. However, Curiosity turned back shortly after entering the valley's northeastern end earlier this month after finding that the sand surprisingly slippery, NASA officials said. 'We need to gain a better understanding of the interaction between the wheels and Martian sand ripples, and Hidden Valley is not a good location for experimenting,' Curiosity project manager Jim Erickson, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory...
  • Biological information: New perspectives from intelligent design

    08/19/2014 11:24:31 AM PDT · by Heartlander · 11 replies
    Human Events ^ | 8/19/2014 | Robert J. Marks II
    Biological information: New perspectives from intelligent design By: Robert J. Marks II A diverse group of scientists gathered at Cornell University in 2011 to discuss their research into the nature and origins of biological information. The symposium brought together experts in computer science, numerical simulation, thermodynamics, evolutionary theory, whole organism biology, developmental biology, molecular biology, genetics, physics, biophysics, mathematics, and linguistics. The proceedings of this symposium have recently been published for public consumption in a book. There is a wrinkle, though, which may make this technical volume of unusual interest to Human Events readers. Most of these researchers, with Ph.D.’s...
  • The 3 Dumbest Things About Whole Foods Market

    08/19/2014 10:43:58 AM PDT · by EveningStar · 96 replies
    Forbes ^ | August 18, 2014 | Steven Salzberg
    I have a love-hate relationship with Whole Foods Market. On the one hand, I love their fresh produce, their baked goods, and many other food choices there. On the other hand, they have embraced anti-science positions in the interest of keeping everything "natural."
  • Fowl play: Neanderthals were first bird eaters (Update)

    08/18/2014 8:00:35 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    Phys dot org ^ | August 07, 2014 | Brian Reyes
    Neanderthals may have caught, butchered and cooked wild pigeons long before modern humans became regular consumers of bird meat, a study revealed on Thursday. Close examination of 1,724 bones from rock doves, found in a cave in Gibraltar and dated to between 67,000 and 28,000 years ago, revealed cuts, human tooth marks and burns, said a paper in the journal Scientific Reports. This suggested the doves may have been butchered and then roasted, wrote the researchers—the first evidence of hominids eating birds. And the evidence suggested Neanderthals ate much like a latter-day Homo sapiens would tuck into a roast chicken,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Star Trails Over Indonesia

    08/18/2014 7:00:19 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | August 18, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Both land and sky were restless. The unsettled land included erupting Mount Semeru in the distance, the caldera of steaming Mount Bromo on the left, flowing fog, and the lights of moving cars along roads that thread between hills and volcanoes in Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park in East Java, Indonesia. The stirring sky included stars circling the South Celestial Pole and a meteor streaking across the image right. The above 270-image composite was taken from King Kong Hill in mid-June over two hours, with a rising Moon lighting the landscape.
  • Cancer Screening in Seniors Yields Few Benefits

    08/18/2014 6:42:51 PM PDT · by Innovative · 63 replies
    Medpage Today ^ | Aug 18, 2014 | Charles Bankhead
    Screening older patients for cancer provided minimal benefit at considerable cost and increased use of invasive procedures, reported investigators in two separate studies. "It is particularly important to question screening strategies for older persons," Gross continued. "Patients with a shorter life expectancy have less time to develop clinically significant cancers after a screening test and are more likely to die from noncancer health problems after a cancer diagnosis."
  • The Evil that Men Do: How Bad Governments Create Poverty

    08/18/2014 1:10:03 PM PDT · by Politically Correct · 19 replies
    Pharoah, let my people go: How did ancient Egypt become a land of slaves building fantastic monuments to dictatorial leaders? The land of Egypt was rich and fertile, a seeming paradise for egalitarian living. Stephanie Pappas writes in Live Science about how despots “evolved” in ancient societies, but that’s a misleading use of the term; it actually was a series of bad choices by free people. She writes how Simon Powers at the University of Lausanne came up with a mathematical model to explain the shift from egalitarianism to despotism. Whether it actually explains them could be disputed, but he...
  • SpaceX First Stage Reentry Captured By Chase Plane

    08/18/2014 12:50:51 PM PDT · by Moonman62
    SPACE.com ^ | 08/18/14 | Spacex
    In July 2014, the private space company's Falcon 9 rocket launched six ORBCOMM OG2 satellites. It also tested its reusable first stage technology. A chase plane was on hand to capture some of its fall through the atmosphere and the last few seconds before splashdown.
  • A New Video Documentary Reveals the Hidden Ideological and Scientific Roots of World War I

    08/18/2014 9:30:18 AM PDT · by Heartlander · 26 replies
    Evolution News and Views ^ | August 18, 2014 | News
    A New Video Documentary Reveals the Hidden Ideological and Scientific Roots of World War I Evolution News & Views August 18, 2014 5:55 AM | Permalink This month marks the hundredth anniversary of the start of the First World War. Between 1914 and 1918, the conflict took 16 million lives in brutal combat yet its causes remain strangely cloudy to most of us. One historian titled his recent book about the origins of the war The Sleepwalkers, as if nations and leaders stumbled into the global catastrophe almost by accident, unmotivated by any particular philosophy or ideology.World War II is...
  • Archaeologists shocked to find 5,000-year-old battlefield in prehistoric Cardiff

    08/17/2014 1:17:04 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 34 replies
    Culture24 ^ | 11 August 2014 | Ben Miller
    Archaeologists hoping to discover Roman and Iron Age finds at a Welsh hillfort were shocked to unearth pottery and arrowheads predating their predicted finds by 4,000 years at the home of a powerful Iron Age community, including flint tools and weapons from 3,600 BC. Caerau, an Iron Age residency on the outskirts of Cardiff, would have been a battleground more than 5,000 years ago according to the arrowheads, awls, scrapers and polished stone axe fragments found during the surprising excavation. “Quite frankly, we were amazed,” says Dr Dave Wyatt, the co-director of the dig, from Cardiff University... “But no-one realised...
  • Archaeologists compare Neolithic Kent site to Stonehenge, find Bronze Age funerary monument

    08/17/2014 1:10:57 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    Culture24 ^ | 12 August 2014 | Ben Miller
    Archaeologists suspect a “sacred way” could have led to a henge 6,000 years ago at Iwade Meadows, to the west of the Kent industrial town of Sittingbourne. Positioned on a north-west slope, the 30-metre diameter structure is one of several prehistoric monuments on a north-west slope above the Ridham fleet stream running through the centre of the site. ...says Dr Paul Wilkinson, of... SWAT Archaeology... “The monuments are in a location that would have formerly had extensive views to the Swale Estuary and the Island of Sheppey beyond. “The archaeological evidence suggests that the outer ditch may have originated in...
  • Unearthed Neanderthal site rich in horse bones

    08/17/2014 12:02:34 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    Horsetalk ^ | August 15, 2014 | unattributed
    A site in southwestern France found to be rich in the bones of horses and other large herbivores has provided important insights into the hunting and scavenging habits of Neanderthals. A team of archaeologists from the French archaeological agency Inrap have unearthed hundreds of bones at the Middle Paleolithic site in Quincieux dating back 35,000 to 55,000 years. The work was started due to roadworks in the area, with the outstanding discovery prompting local authorities to extend the time available for excavations. The excavation of the prehistoric site, on a hill overlooking the old bed of the Saone River, revealed...
  • ‘Significant’ human burial site uncovered by archaeologists in Cyprus

    08/17/2014 11:49:52 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    Cyprus Mail ^ | Thursday, August 14th, 2014 | Elias Hazou
    The Department of Antiquities has announced the completion of the 2014 excavation season of the Kourion Urban Space project (KUSP) under the direction of Dr. Thomas W. Davis of the Tandy Institute for Archaeology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. This year’s excavations uncovered the remains of more victims of the massive earthquake that destroyed Kourion in the fourth century AD. According to an official announcement, initial analysis indicates the remains consist of two adults, a juvenile, and an infant. The family was found huddled together; the infant was found under the right arm of one of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Jupiter and Venus from Earth

    08/17/2014 6:27:19 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 34 replies
    NASA ^ | August 17, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It was visible around the world. The sunset conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in 2012 was visible almost no matter where you lived on Earth. Anyone on the planet with a clear western horizon at sunset could see them. Pictured above in 2012, a creative photographer traveled away from the town lights of Szubin, Poland to image a near closest approach of the two planets. The bright planets were separated only by three degrees and his daughter striking a humorous pose. A faint red sunset still glowed in the background. Early tomorrow (Monday) morning, the two planets will pass...
  • A bacterium that destroys tumors' dark heart shows promise

    08/16/2014 7:50:12 PM PDT · by Innovative · 14 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | Aug 16, 2014 | Melissa Healy
    When scientists injected spores of a weakened form of the bacterium Clostridium novyi directly into the soft-tissue tumors of dogs and that of a single human subject, the results were not only abscesses, fever and pain at the site--all inflammatory responses that showed the immune system had been drawn to the area. In a matter of hours, the bacterial spores quickly found their way into these tumors' necrotic cores and began replicating madly, in several cases killing the malignant tissue. In three of 16 dogs treated with the C. novyi, tumors disappeared altogether and the animals were cured. In three...
  • Boston Researchers Train Bees To Detect Diabetes

    08/16/2014 7:30:12 PM PDT · by Innovative · 18 replies
    CBS Boston ^ | Aug 14, 2014 | Dr. Mallika Marshall
    “Diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions, not only in the U.S. but worldwide,” says Dr. Allison Goldfine, a diabetes specialist at the Joslin Diabetes Center. She is helping foreign graduate students Tobias Horstmann and Juliet Phillips with their research project. They’re trying to use bees to sniff out diabetes. In collaboration with the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, they are using a device to house the bees and observe the bees’ reaction. If a patient breathes into the device and acetone is detected, the bees stick out their tongues in response.
  • Public gets to nominate and vote on exoplanet names

    08/16/2014 10:56:11 AM PDT · by null and void · 15 replies
    Electronic Products ^ | 07/14/2014 | Max Teodorescu
    Sorry, no pop-culture references Astronomers have amassed such a gigantic database of identifiable celestial bodies, that naming these objects has largely fallen wayside in favor of efficiency. Devoting time and creative energy cooking up a unique name for a dot in the sky is not worth NASA’s (or other space agencies) time, considering the millions of stars in the observable universe. Exoplanets, planets orbiting a star other than our own, are a different story. Our spacecrafts and telescopes have only spotted about 1800 of them, including the first potentially habitable Earth-sized planet, a planet anticlimactically named Kepler-186F. This is all...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- No X-rays from SN 2014J

    08/16/2014 4:53:24 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | August 16, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Last January, telescopes in observatories around planet Earth were eagerly used to watch the rise of SN 2014J, a bright supernova in nearby galaxy M82. Still, the most important observations may have been from orbit where the Chandra X-ray Observatory saw nothing. Identified as a Type Ia supernova, the explosion of SN2014J was thought to be triggered by the buildup of mass on a white dwarf star steadily accreting material from a companion star. That model predicts X-rays would be generated when the supernova blastwave struck the material left surrounding the white dwarf. But no X-rays were seen from...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Luminous Night

    08/15/2014 6:54:51 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | August 15, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What shines in the world at night? Just visible to the eye, a rare electric blue glow spread along the shores of Victoria Lake on January 16, 2013. Against reflections of a light near the horizon, this digitally stacked long exposure recorded the bioluminescence of Noctiluca scintillans, plankton stimulated by the lapping waves. Above, the night skies of the Gippsland Lakes region, Victoria, Australia shine with a fainter greenish airglow. Oxygen atoms in the upper atmosphere, initially excited by ultraviolet sunlight, produce the more widely seen fading atmospheric chemiluminescence. Washed out by the Earth's rotation, the faint band of...
  • Humans need not apply.

    08/15/2014 6:46:59 PM PDT · by Twotone · 25 replies
    Wimp.com ^ | NA | NA
    Humans have spent centuries advancing technology to the point where some jobs have been completely taken over by less expensive robots. In the future, technology will take over more and more sectors until there's nothing left. What will humans do then?
  • What Would Aliens Actually Look Like? We Asked 7 Experts

    08/15/2014 5:37:29 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 72 replies
    Popular Mechanics ^ | August 7, 2014 | John Brandon
    Movies and TV shows would have us believe aliens would look a bit like us, only with a big (bald) head, green skin, and crazy eyes. But we weren't satisfied with that old cliche. So we decided to ask sci-fi authors, science experts, and ET buffs what they think a real alien might look like.
  • What the Haters Got Wrong About Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Comments on GMOs

    08/15/2014 1:22:41 PM PDT · by EveningStar · 9 replies
    Food and Farm Discussion Lab ^ | August 13, 2014 | Marc Brazeau
    Like anything relating to GMOs, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s recent off the cuff remarks on GMOs and his exhortation to ‘chill out’ was met with competing choruses of cheers and jeers. I watched the reaction unfurl on his Facebook page and on Chris Mooney’s posts in Mother Jones. These were interesting vantage points for related reasons. Chris Mooney writes about the politics of science and is particularly interested in how political loyalties tend to scramble our brains when it comes to picking and choosing which science we choose to accept (or even understand). Neil deGrasse Tyson is a great champion of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Surreal Moon

    08/14/2014 8:11:00 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | August 14, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Big, bright, and beautiful, a Full Moon near perigee, the closest point in its elliptical orbit around our fair planet, rose on August 10. This remarkable picture records the scene with a dreamlike quality from the east coast of the United States. The picture is actually a composite of 10 digital frames made with exposures from 1/500th second to 1 second long, preserving contrast and detail over a much wider than normal range of brightness. At a perigee distance of a mere 356,896 kilometers, August's Full Moon was the closest, and so the largest and most super, of the...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Rings Around the Ring Nebula

    08/14/2014 8:08:39 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    NASA ^ | August 13, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It is a familiar sight to sky enthusiasts with even a small telescope. There is much more to the Ring Nebula (M57), however, than can be seen through a small telescope. The easily visible central ring is about one light-year across, but this remarkably deep exposure - a collaborative effort combining data from three different large telescopes - explores the looping filaments of glowing gas extending much farther from the nebula's central star. This remarkable composite image includes narrowband hydrogen image, visible light emission, and infrared light emission. Of course, in this well-studied example of a planetary nebula, the...
  • One Engineer’s Perspective on Global Warming

    08/14/2014 6:10:20 PM PDT · by tbw2 · 22 replies
    Engineering.com ^ | 8/12/2014 | David Simpson
    Many scientists and non-scientists are discussing "Global Warming" (or as it is increasingly being called "Anthropogenic Climate Change" or ACC). ACC would simply be an interesting topic for discussion if it were not for the politicization, polarization, and sensationalism that have accompanied the science.
  • It's an Unsettling Climate for skeptical scientists like Murry Salby

    08/14/2014 12:11:13 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 7 replies
    joannenova.com.au ^ | August 13th, 2014 | Joanne
    Rupert Darwall is the author of Age of Global Warming (and earning excellent reviews). Darwall has a gift for converting tricky scientific concepts into a story. This month in the City Journal, he beautifully summarizes and updates the story of Murry Salby. He’s interviewed Richard Lindzen and others, and discusses Salby’s work in the context of the way heretics are marginalized. I helped Rupert with some of the background. It’s controversial science, a complex situation, with irrelevant baggage to boot. But that’s exactly the place where science communicators — or in the case of Rupert, excellent historians — are most...
  • Be afraid! Trapped atmospheric waves on the rise. Extreme heatwaves to come.

    08/14/2014 10:28:41 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 37 replies
    joannenova.com.au ^ | August 14th, 2014 | Joanne
    There are waves piling on waves in the weather.A new press release tells us that there have been an “exceptional” number of weather extremes in summer. Weather extremes in the summer — such as the record heat wave in the United States that hit corn farmers and worsened wildfires in 2012 — have reached an exceptional number in the last ten years. Human-made global warming can explain a gradual increase in periods of severe heat, but the observed change in the magnitude and duration of some events is not so easily explained. Heatwaves lend themselves to headlines. Not only are...
  • Low-Salt Diets Shown to Pose Health Risks

    08/13/2014 6:26:20 PM PDT · by Innovative · 35 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Aug 13, 2014 | Ron Winslow
    The new study, which tracked more than 100,000 people from 17 countries over an average of more than three years, found that those who consumed fewer than 3,000 milligrams of sodium a day had a 27% higher risk of death or a serious event such as a heart attack or stroke in that period than those whose intake was estimated at 3,000 to 6,000 milligrams. Risk of death or other major events increased with intake above 6,000 milligrams. Last year, a report from the Institute of Medicine, which advises Congress on health issues, didn't find evidence that cutting sodium intake...
  • NASA’S NuSTAR Catches a Black Hole Bending Light, Space, and Time

    08/13/2014 2:46:34 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 17 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | August 13, 2014 | Shannon Hall on
    In just a matter of days, the corona — a cloud of particles traveling near the speed of light — fell in toward the black hole. The observations are a powerful test of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which says gravity can bend space-time, the fabric that shapes our universe, and the light that travels through it. “The corona recently collapsed in toward the black hole, with the result that the black hole’s intense gravity pulled all the light down onto its surrounding disk, where material is spiraling inward,” said coauthor Michael Parker from the Institute of Astronomy ... NuSTAR...
  • Greek tomb at Amphipolis is 'important discovery'

    08/13/2014 10:23:09 AM PDT · by the scotsman · 3 replies
    BBC News ^ | 13th August 2014 | BBC News
    'Archaeologists unearthing a burial site at Amphipolis in northern Greece have made an "extremely important find", says Greek PM Antonis Samaras. Experts believe the tomb belonged to an important figure dating back to the last quarter of the Fourth Century BC. A large mound complex has been unearthed at the Kasta hill site in the past two years. Lead archaeologist Katerina Peristeri said it certainly dated from after the death of Alexander the Great.'
  • "Boy, you are insane!" "No, I'm just evolved."

    08/13/2014 10:47:22 AM PDT · by Heartlander · 28 replies
    "Boy, you are insane!" "No, I'm just evolved." Wesley J. Smith August 13, 2014 10:28 AM | Permalink My wife Debra and I have been enjoying the new TNT television crime drama Murder in the First. The other night, the villain articulated his value system -- and it is pure anti-human exceptionalism.POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT for those who haven't seen the program or the final episode yet.The villain admits to a friend that he killed his pregnant girl friend. (I will not name the characters.) From the script: Friend: She was carrying your child!Villain: She was carrying a fetus. I told her...
  • Why you should stop believing in evolution: You either understand it or you don't

    08/13/2014 5:40:47 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 39 replies
    The Week ^ | 08/13/2014 | By Keith Blanchard
    When people joyously discover on Ancestry.com that they're related to, say, a medieval archduke or a notorious Victorian criminal, evolutionary biologists may be permitted to snicker. Because in actuality, we are all related: Humans all share at least one common ancestor if you go far enough back. You are related to every king and criminal who ever lived, to Gandhi and Paris Hilton and Carrot Top. You are even related to me. But buckle up — that's only the beginning. Humanity, after all, is but one ugly branch on the big tree of life. Go back far enough, and you'll...
  • 15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense

    08/12/2014 8:09:40 PM PDT · by JimSEA · 267 replies
    Scientific American ^ | June, 2002 | John Rennie
    When Charles Darwin introduced the theory of evolution through natural selection 143 years ago, the scientists of the day argued over it fiercely, but the massing evidence from paleontology, genetics, zoology, molecular biology and other fields gradually established evolution's truth beyond reasonable doubt. Today that battle has been won everywhere--except in the public imagination. Embarrassingly, in the 21st century, in the most scientifically advanced nation the world has ever known, creationists can still persuade politicians, judges and ordinary citizens that evolution is a flawed, poorly supported fantasy. They lobby for creationist ideas such as "intelligent design" to be taught as...
  • Joe Conason: With Ebola on March, Don't Let Tea Party Obstruct Aid, Science Funding

    08/12/2014 4:27:10 PM PDT · by Up Yours Marxists · 15 replies
    NoozHawk (Santa Barbara) ^ | August 12, 2014 20:30 GMT | Joe Conason
    Most Americans have long believed — in embarrassing ignorance — that the share of the U.S. federal budget spent on foreign aid is an order of magnitude higher than what we actually spend abroad. Years ago, this mistaken view was amplified from the far right by the John Birch Society. Today, it is the Tea Party movement complaining that joblessness and poverty in the United States result directly from the lamentable fact that “President Barack Obama keeps sending our money overseas.” Actually, spending on foreign assistance has remained remarkably steady for many years in Washington, at around 1 percent, a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Collapse in Hebes Chasma on Mars

    08/11/2014 11:20:40 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | August 12, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What's happened in Hebes Chasma on Mars? Hebes Chasma is a depression just north of the enormous Valles Marineris canyon. Since the depression is unconnected to other surface features, it is unclear where the internal material went. Inside Hebes Chasma is Hebes Mensa, a 5 kilometer high mesa that appears to have undergone an unusual partial collapse -- a collapse that might be providing clues. The above image, taken by the robotic Mars Express spacecraft currently orbiting Mars, shows great details of the chasm and the unusual horseshoe shaped indentation in the central mesa. Material from the mesa appears...