What Song Are You Listening To? Listening In On Londoners' Stereograms
|3:43:09 PM, Thursday, July 07, 2011|
Goddamn Electric Bill - Lost in the Zoo
|3:24:26 PM, Thursday, July 07, 2011|
Polar Bears Rooted in Ireland
|3:18:05 PM, Thursday, July 07, 2011|
"If she could have talked, the mother of the modern polar bear may have had a brogue. Genetic studies of fossil and modern bears have revealed some hanky-panky 45,000 years ago, when polar bears interbred with now-extinct Irish brown bears. Although a decidedly different species, today's polar bears have Irish brown bear genetic material in their cells, indicating that the polar bear "Eve" was brown and that bear evolution was far from simple.
The finding also shows that interbreeding doesn't necessarily destroy a species. Hybridization with brown bears, a concern today because declining sea ice cover is forcing polar bears to extend their range and come into contact with brown bears, doesn't by itself doom the polar bear, says Graham Slater, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who was not involved with the work. "A little bit of hybridization isn't necessarily a bad thing," he notes. However, he cautions that the threats from human activity could push the species over the edge.
Global warming has caused big problems for polar bears, which depend on sea ice for access to the ocean so they can hunt seals and other prey. As sea ice disappears, polar bears are being forced to hunt more on land, which brings them into conflict with humans and increases contact with brown bears. There have been several recent documented cases of hybrids caught in the wild, and interbreeding in zoos has resulted in fertile offspring. To understand the implications of these changes, Beth Shapiro, an evolutionary biologist at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, and her colleagues wanted to know how past climate change had affected the genetic diversity and distribution of bears.
The team gathered genetic material from 242 bears from 14 different locations. The material included 8000-year-old polar bear fossils as well as modern samples of polar bears. Daniel Bradley and Ceiridwen Edwards, geneticists at Trinity College Dublin, obtained samples from 23 ancient Irish bear fossils found in caves in Ireland as well. Past studies by other researchers had looked at brown bear DNA in comparison to polar bears, but this was the first time anyone had been able to get DNA material from Irish brown bears..."
Astronomy Picture of the Day: A Beautiful Trifid
|10:52:01 PM, Wednesday, July 06, 2011|
-- "The beautiful Trifid Nebula is a cosmic study in colorful contrasts. Also known as M20, it lies about 5,000 light-years away toward the nebula rich constellation Sagittarius. A star forming region in the plane of our galaxy, the Trifid illustrates three different types of astronomical nebulae; red emission nebulae dominated by light emitted by hydrogen atoms, blue reflection nebulae produced by dust reflecting starlight, and dark nebulae where dense dust clouds appear in silhouette. The bright red emission region, roughly separated into three parts by obscuring, dark dust lanes, lends the Trifid its popular name. In this well met scene, the red emission is also juxtaposed with the telltale blue haze of reflection nebulae. Pillars and jets sculpted by newborn stars, below and left of the emission nebula's center, appear in Hubble Space Telescope close-up images of the region. The Trifid Nebula is about 40 light-years across. "
Woman Caught Smuggling Man Out of Jail in Suitcase
|10:34:20 PM, Wednesday, July 06, 2011|
"A woman has been caught trying to smuggle her husband out of jail in a suitcase.
The failed escape attempt took place in a prison in Mexico. Local police have said that the prisoner, Juan Ramirez Tijerina, climbed into the black bag during a conjugal visit with his wife.
Maria del Mar Arjona Rivero, 19, then raised suspicions when staff noticed she was rolling out a noticeably bulky suitcase afterwards, Yahoo! 7 reports.
Appearing nervous and claiming that the suitcase was full of "dirty underwear", the woman was asked by the guards on duty to open her bag.
Upon finding her husband inside, Ajorna Rivero was arrested and charged for attempting to aid an escape.
Ramirez Tijerina was found guilty of possessing illegal weapons in 2007, resulting in a 20-year sentence. Prison authorities have stated that he is a "very dangerous" inmate."
Some Catholics Seek to Counter Galileo
|9:28:47 PM, Wednesday, July 06, 2011|
"Some people believe the world literally revolves around them. It's a belief born not of selfishness but faith.
A small group of conservative Roman Catholics is pointing to a dozen biblical verses and the Church's original teaching as proof that the Earth is the center of the universe, the view that prompted Galileo Galilei's clash with the Church four centuries ago.
The relatively obscure movement has gained a following among a few Chicago-area Catholics who find comfort in knowing there are still staunch defenders of original Church doctrine.
"This subject is, as far as I can see, an embarrassment to the modern church because the world more or less looks upon geocentrism or someone who believes it in the same boat as the flat Earth," said James Phillips, of Cicero.
Phillips attends Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Church in Oak Park, a parish run by the Society of St. Pius X, a group that rejects most of the modernizing reforms the Vatican II council made from 1962 to 1965.
But by challenging modern science, the proponents of a geocentric universe are challenging the very church they seek to serve and protect.
"I have no idea who these people are. Are they sincere, or is this a clever bit of theater?" said Brother Guy Consolmagno, the curator of meteorites and spokesman for the Vatican Observatory..."
Eyewitness: Fireworks Accident Decapitates Fargo Man
|4:56:03 PM, Wednesday, July 06, 2011|
"An eyewitness here says a Fourth of July fireworks accident decapitated a Fargo man Monday night.
Police identified the victim as Jesse William Burley, a 41-year-old father of two, who enjoyed life to its fullest, said Burley’s stepfather Chuck Asplin of Fargo.
Chris Hanson, Burley’s neighbor who saw the accident, was packing up his car to leave north Fargo’s Riviera Heights mobile home park as tornado sirens sounded just before 9:30 p.m.
Burley was getting ready to set off a second round of what Hanson said he believed was either a homemade or illegal artillery shell firework.
“He went over into the middle of the street, and within 10 seconds of us talking to him, he lit it and all we saw was a cloud of smoke, a bang,” Hanson said.
What Hanson saw next immediately sent him into shock, he said.
“When I walked up to his body, it was nothing but his shoulders down,” Hanson said Tuesday.
Police Lt. Joel Vettel said Tuesday police are confident the device was a commercial-grade firework, which are federally regulated.
The area Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting Fargo police to investigate whether this type of firework was illegal and how it was obtained, Vettel said..."
Japan Finds Rare Earth Supply That May Ease Tech Shortages
|10:37:57 PM, Tuesday, July 05, 2011|
"Japan's Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology has made a discovery that could end technology shortages and reduce dependence on China. A total of 78 very large deposits have been found at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, near Hawaii, that equate to about 80 billion to 100 billion metric tons of material like yttrium (pictured). The material should be easy to get out and is even low on the dangerous uranium and thorium that often affects these deposits, the Agency explained to The Guardian.
The minerals will help get the phosphors and other materials needed for displays, including LCDs and their LED backlighting, as well as in mobile device batteries, hybrid cars, and others. They could guarantee a steady supply of material for these supplies and help companies like Apple and Toyota alleviate bottlenecks on production for iPads, smartphones, and a rapidly growing demand for more eco-friendly vehicles.
For most countries, the move could also help avoid depending heavily on just one or two countries for all their supply. While rare earth minerals exist across the world, most of the 110 billion tons of existing supply are concentrated in China with some in Russia and some its former Soviet-era territories. The divide not only gives just a handful of countries a bargaining chip but pushes the US and others further into deals where political conflicts and human rights can be problematic..."
Aerial Assault: Bird Attacks Tiger
|10:18:33 PM, Tuesday, July 05, 2011|
World's First 'Live' Video Feed of Earth from Space
|4:57:03 PM, Tuesday, July 05, 2011|
Bugatti Unveils Veyron Grand Sport L'Or Blanc
|4:45:28 PM, Tuesday, July 05, 2011|
"This is a Bugatti Veyron with porcelain bits on it. Yep, we've had chrome-effect R8s, snakeskin-shod Escalades, wide-mouth Cayennes, but now there's this - the crockery-spec Grand Sport L'Or Blanc (White Gold to you and I).
Built in conjunction with Bugatti and chinasmiths, Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur (Royal Porcelain Manufactory Berlin) it was unveiled at a premiere ceremony in Berlin at the KPM workshops.
And according to Bugatti, the fastest production convertible in the world is the first car ever to wear porcelain inside and out. Which could be because people don't want bits of sculpted bog in their car.
Nevertheless, the wheel centres, fuel and oil filler caps, EB badge on the rump, centre console surround and rear interior centre trim are all rendered from china. Some even have relief elephants in them..."
Caricature Map of Europe 1914
|5:34:17 PM, Monday, July 04, 2011|
-- Love it! Follow the link for explanation.
Wide Angle Camera Mounted on Firework
|2:11:51 PM, Monday, July 04, 2011|
-- Happy 4th of July! USA USA USA!!! ;)
North Korea Shuts Down Universities for 10 Months
|8:30:45 PM, Sunday, July 03, 2011|
"North Korea has shut down its universities for the next 10 months and sent students to work in factories, agriculture and the construction sector as it struggles to rebuild its economy.
Pyongyang has told the North Korean people that the nation will have achieved its aim of becoming "a great, prosperous and powerful nation" in 2012, which marks the 100th anniversary of the founder of the reclusive state, Kim Il-sung.
In addition, Kim Jong-il will turn 70 in February and the "Dear Leader" hopes to be able to transfer his power and an economically stronger nation to his son and heir-apparent, Kim Jong-Un.
Reports in South Korea indicated that the government in Pyongyang on Monday ordered all universities to cancel classes until April of next year. The only exemptions are for students who will be graduating in the next few months and foreign students.
The reports suggested that the students will be put to work on construction projects in major cities while there are also indications that repair work may be needed in agricultural regions that were affected by a major typhoon recently.
Analysts in Japan claim there may be other reasons behind the decision to disperse the students across the country..."
|6:00:46 PM, Sunday, July 03, 2011|
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