BMEWS
 
Death once had a near-Sarah Palin experience.

calendar   Thursday - December 04, 2008

Archaeologists have discovered a lost city carved into the Andes Mountains.

Lost city of ‘cloud people’ found in Peru
Archaeologists have discovered a lost city carved into the Andes Mountains by the mysterious Chachapoya tribe.

By Jeremy McDermott, Latin America Correspondent
The Telegraph

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The settlement covers some 12 acres and is perched on a mountainside in the remote Jamalca district of Utcubamba province in the northern jungles of Peru’s Amazon.

The buildings found on the Pachallama peak are in remarkably good condition, estimated to be over 1,000 years old and comprised of the traditional round stone houses built by the Chachapoya, the ‘Cloud Forest People’.

The area is completely overgrown with the jungle now covering much of the settlement but explorers found the walls of the buildings and rock paintings on a cliff face.

The remote nature of the site appears to have protected the site from looters as archaeologists found ceramics and undisturbed burial sites.

Archaeologist Benedicto Pérez Goicochea said: “The citadel is perched on the edge of an abyss.

“We suspect that the ancient inhabitants used this as a lookout point from where they could spot potential enemies.”

The ruins were initially discovered by local people hacking through the jungle. They were drawn to the place due to the sound of a waterfall.

The local people “armed with machetes opened a path that arrived at the place where they saw a beautiful panorama, full of flowers and fauna, as well as a waterfall, some 500 metres high,” said the mayor of Jamalca, Ricardo Cabrera Bravo.

Initial studies have found similarities between the new discovery and the Cloud Peoples’ super fortress of Kulep, also in Utcubamba province, which is older and more extensive that the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu, but has not been fully explored or restored.

Little is known about the Chachapoya, except that they had been beaten into submission by the mighty Incas in 1475.

When in 1535 the Spanish Conquistadores arrived in Peru, they found willing allies in the Cloud People for their fight against the Incas.

Spanish texts from the era describe the Cloud People as ferocious fighters who mummified their dead.

They were eventually wiped out by small pox and other diseases brought by the Europeans.

The women of the Chachapoya were much prized by the Incas as they were tall and fair skinned. The Chronicler Pedro Cieza de León offers wrote of the Chachapoyas.

“They are the whitest and most handsome of all the people that I have seen in Indies, and their wives were so beautiful that because of their gentleness, many of them deserved to be the Incas’ wives and to also be taken to the Sun Temple.”

LOST

Wish the Telegraph would post the shots here they have in the hard copy.  I think this is awesome.  How much else is out there somewhere waiting to be discovered?


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/04/2008 at 06:03 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesHistoryScience-Technology •  
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calendar   Sunday - November 23, 2008

Rimshot Generator

Rancino sends me this link to an amazing science story. In less than 10 seconds I’d figured out 3 wise remarks based on the article, each worthy of the old Bah-dump-bump rimshot. Several more came up [rimshot] as I wrote this little post. Even the author couldn’t resist adding her own. Have at it in the comments.

Foreskin for Clear Skin?

The Sex Files, by Julia Wallace.

A new dermatological treatment pulls the cells from newborns’ foreskins and injects them, Botox-style, into aging faces

All together now: Jab it in, jab it in!

It sounds like just another uber-meltable cheese product, but Vavelta is actually miles away from anything you’d want to put in your mouth. It’s a radical new treatment for facial pitting, scarring, and wrinkles made out of—what else?—newborns’ foreskins. Foreskins have long been treasured by cosmetic dermatologists because they are rich in fibroblasts, tiny cells that play a crucial role in healing wounds and generating collagen and connective tissue. (One foreskin can be bioengineered into a piece of lab-grown skin the size of a football field.) The makers of Vavelta extract them by finely dicing the foreskins and treating them with enzymes. Then the fibroblasts are suspended in a proprietary cell storage medium and injected into “problem areas” with a fine gauge needle.

In preliminary studies, Vavelta has worked well at eliminating wrinkles and scars without any side effects other than mild redness and itching (and the weirdness of knowing that you’ve got a foreskin in your face). Whether it’s a viable mainstream cosmetic treatment remains to be seen. For one thing, a vial of the stuff costs around $1500. There are also ethical issues to consider, especially if the folks behind Vavelta start paying parents for their sons’ severed sheaths. Foreskins discarded after hospital circumcisions are already used to make skin grafts for leg ulcers and burns—but does blending them into an epithelial milkshake and injecting them into aging faces like so much Botox cross some kind of line?



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Vavelta? I thought they said Velveeta!! [rimshot]



Don’t cut yourself short, go read more about it in the original article, were the mannequin getting pricked in the mouth looks a lot like Paris Hilton with brown hair! [and that’s probably a double rimshot right there]


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Wonderful results: Acne sufferer Karen Mollison (above), shown before (l)
and after (r) her Vavelta treatment, says the injections helped smooth out her scars

See honey, I told you it was good for your complexion![rimshot]



See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/23/2008 at 03:55 AM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and Discoveries •  
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calendar   Thursday - November 06, 2008

Spoil Your Kids

Got kids? Got money? Want to get them one of those ultimate Christmas gifts? Boy does a company called UGOBE have a toy for you!

Introducing PLEO, the interactive animatronic baby dinosaur


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thank you, thank you very much

Every Pleo is autonomous. Yes, each one begins life as a newly-hatched baby Camarasaurus, but that’s where predictability ends and individuality begins. Like any creature, Pleo feels hunger and fatigue - offset by powerful urges to explore and be nurtured. He’ll graze, nap and toddle about on his own -when he feels like it! Pleo dinosaur can change his mind and his mood, just as you do.

Pleo’s natural disposition is alert and inquisitive. He ambles about with a bright eye, swaying tail, and leisurely pace, content to explore the sights, sounds, shapes, and textures of his world—and that, of course, includes you.

If your Pleo loves a good tug-of-war or shows off in front of friends, congratulate yourself—it’s all the fun you’ve had together that has made him the good sport that he is. In his excitement, he just might let loose with a few hoots and honks.

Let’s not forget that this Camarasaurus is just a baby. Something in Pleo’s new environment scares him ---hear him whimper? Does Pleo ever get upset? Well, everybody has his limits -let’s just say you shouldn’t hang him by his tail for too long.

Leave a sociable Pleo alone too long or interrupt a game of tug-of-war and Pleo may become sad. How can you tell? That pleading call and forlorn look let you know that he’s looking for a friendly pat or another chance to grab his favorite toy.

Stroke Pleo from head to tail, and he’ll blissfully arch his back. Call out to him or shine a light, and see how he responds. Just like us, Pleo experiences the world through his senses.

Pleo is a fully articulated sensor loaded baby toy dinosaur, about 21” long, that can see, hear, learn, interact, play, sulk, explore, eat, nap, get angry or sad ... and teach your kid how to interact with animals. Pleo has a 32 bit main microprocessor and several 8 bit motor control microprocessors. Almost as good as a real pet, and no litter box. You can even download holiday themes - temporary personalities? - for her, including one that lets you use Pleo as a burglar alarm/watchdog. And a lifesystem operating system upgrade, in case your kid ever gets bored with the 1001 things this awesome little robot can do.

from the Hammacher Schlemmer ad blurb:

Winner of the prestigious Nuremberg Toy Innovations Award, this is the first fully-animatronic simulacrum of a one week-old dinosaur (a Late Jurassic period Camarasaurus.) It is programmed with distinct behavior routines that respond differently to stimuli, creating a one-of-a-kind personality for each one made. It has a sophisticated sensory system comprised of a color camera, two sound sensors, two infrared sensors, 14 servos, 106 gears, eight touch sensors, an orientation sensor, and four foot switch sensors, all of which form a biomechanical skeleton that delivers smooth, natural movements. The dinosaur’s unique accelerated lifespan passes through three distinct phases; when you first turn it on, it acts like a hatchling for the first 15 minutes. For the next two hours, it acts like an infant by exhibiting hunger. For the rest of its life, it acts as a juvenile, and is fully-responsive to light, sound, and touch. Its outer skin is Krayton rubber, and the young reptile’s rechargeable battery provides one hour of operation and requires four hours for a full recharge. Ages 8 and up.

You can also download software that let’s you create your own tricks for Pleo, like making her dance, as well as a couple troubleshooting tools.

This is some darned amazing stuff ... Pleo sells for about $349 but might show up at Target or Wal Mart for a bit less. Extra battery pack, $49.

OK, I took out the video because it was a right pain in the buttocks. It’s the last one over at the Pleo web site. Go there and see it.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/06/2008 at 08:58 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesFun-Stuff •  
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calendar   Saturday - October 18, 2008

Just the High Notes Please

California Rebuilds Musical Roadway

You know those water grooves that the highway department cuts into certain parts of some roads? When you drive over them they make quite a racket inside your car. Well, some bright worker figured out that if the spacing between the grooves was altered a bit, then the racket would turn into music if you drove over them at the right speed. So they tried it, and it worked, and people got a kick out of it. Naturally government stepped in and put the kabosh on things. But now they’ve figured out that it’s a tourist attraction, so they’re going to put them back. Nothing like wasting more of the taxpayer’s money, right?

LANCASTER, Calif.  — The folks who silenced the nation’s first “musical road” are singing a different tune. Workers on Wednesday began carving grooves on Avenue G that will produce notes of the “William Tell Overture” when cars drive over them.

The high desert city north of Los Angeles placed the grooves on another road, Avenue K, last month for a Honda commercial. The quarter-mile strip was engineered to play the notes — better known as the theme for “The Lone Ranger” — when motorists in Honda Civics hit them at 55 mph.

It was believed to be the first such musical road in the United States, although there are others in Japan, South Korea and Holland.  The city paved over that stretch two weeks later after neighbors complained the noise was annoying and kept them awake. The city, however, received hundreds of calls praising the road and decided to retain the concept.

“It will be a tourist attraction. It will pull people off the freeway,” Mayor R. Rex Parris said.

Many residents also liked it.
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The city paved over that stretch two weeks later after neighbors complained the noise was annoying and kept them awake.
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The city decided to recreate the road in an industrial area away from homes. On Tuesday the City Council approved spending up to $35,000 for the work. City officials said there has been interest from several companies in sponsoring the road and reimbursing the cost in return for publicity.

I wonder how long it will take before somebody figures out that this kind of road surface is also a speed trap? If the tempo is off, it’s a guarantee you’re speeding.

I can see the advertising angle easily. They won’t even have to put up a sign saying “this bit of road sponsored by”. Americans are so familiar with advertising jingles it would be automatic. You’re just driving along, minding your own business, and suddenly everyone in the car is singing “Extra value is what you get, when you buy Coronet.”

Let’s take this to the next level and see if this concept can’t also synthesize speech. 


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/18/2008 at 11:08 AM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesFun-Stuff •  
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calendar   Monday - October 06, 2008

ANTIQUITY FOR US HISTORY BUFFS … FOUND IN A COMPUTER MAGAZINE.

As everyone who knows me also knows by now, I’m blown away by things like this.  Even though I read this short piece, I still can not grasp exactly how they can know for sure how an ancient Greek instrument sounded.  I understand what they are telling me here. No problem there.
I guess I don’t have the imagination to quite figure out how they can be so sure they have it right.

Bottom line though is, I do believe em and think this is a great find.

For our BMEWS readers who are bored by this kind of thing, take heart and please be patient.
I’m sure I can find blood and gore and politics to post. Especially the first two as there’s so damn much of it here.

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The link below is an audio only, no photos.

http://www.astraproject.org/examples/dufay.mp3


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Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 10/06/2008 at 12:56 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and Discoveries •  
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calendar   Tuesday - September 23, 2008

A 14th-century recipe book compiled by King Richard II’s master cooks is to put online.

PLEASE tell me I’m not the only one here who thinks WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! and gets all kinds of XCITED over ancient stuff like this.
What’s so amazing is that any of these things have lasted so long and been preserved so well over time. 

Quite often btw, treasure hunters with those metal detector things keep finding artifacts from ancient Rome and even before. I haven’t a clue how they manage to ID some things, but they are able to. From pottery to coins and weapons and even ancient graves long lost.

We have a Bronze Age burial ground just at the end of our short street here in the village. The mounds are plain to see and I often have to walk through the site to get to a friends house, who lives just beside it.  This place has so much history and so much natural beauty. Wish I were able to tour further afield as there is so much more to see and photograph.


King Richard II’s recipe book to go online
A 14th-century recipe book compiled by King Richard II’s master cooks is to put online for the first time to give modern-day chefs an insight into the delicacies of the Middle Ages.


By Nicole Martin, Digital and Media Correspondent

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The book is one of 40 rare manuscripts that are being digitally photographed and put on the internet Photo: University of Manchester’s John Rylands University Library

Forme of Cury, which was written in 1390 in Middle English, details more than 200 recipes that were cooked in the royal household, including blank mang (a sweet dish of meat, milk, sugar and almonds) and mortrews (ground and spiced pork).

The book is one of 40 rare manuscripts that are being digitally photographed and put on the internet by the University of Manchester’s John Rylands University Library.

Other Middle English manuscripts include one of the earliest existing editions of the complete Canterbury Tales by Chaucer, John Lydgate’s two major poems Troy Book and Fall of Princes, and 500-year-old translations of the Bible into English.

The work, which will be carried out using a state-of-the-art high-definition camera, will begin next month and is due to be completed by late 2009.

Jan Wilkinson, the director of the John Rylands library, described the library’s manuscripts as “a research resource of immense significance”.

“Yet the manuscripts are inherently fragile, and until now access to them has been restricted by the lack of digital copies. Digitisation will make them available to everyone,” she said.

“For the first time it will be possible to compare our manuscripts directly with other versions of the texts in libraries located across the world, opening up opportunities for new areas of research. We hope that this will be the beginning of a wider digitisation programme, which will unlock the tremendous potential of our medieval manuscripts and printed books for the benefit of the academic community and the wider public.”

http://preview.tinyurl.com/3jvdql


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Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 09/23/2008 at 09:08 AM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesFun-StuffLiteratureUK •  
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calendar   Saturday - August 30, 2008

Are All Marine Scientists Moonbats?

Get a load of this bit of silly. Some scientists find a new species of giant clam up in the north end of the Red Sea. There aren’t very many of them ... perhaps that’s why they haven’t been found until now? So right away they spin up a theory ... no, not global warming, not yet ... but that the clams were over fished by early man when they first go the hell out of Africa all those thousands of years ago. Yup, the only reason they can figure that the clams aren’t wall to wall under the sea is because evil humans ate them all once upon a time. Funny though, if most of these wonder clams were eaten up then, then why haven’t they made a comeback since? They’ve had 125,000 years to do it. Even clams must be able to breed better than that.

Oh, clam up already!



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Giant clams two feet long might have helped feed prehistoric humans as they first migrated out of Africa, new research reveals. The species, Tridacna costata, once accounted for more than 80 percent of giant clams in the Red Sea, researcher now say.

Really? 80%? How do they know? If the sediment is littered with these things, wouldn’t they have been discovered before? And if people caught them, wouldn’t they have taken the damn things OUT of the water onto shore to have their chowder? So wouldn’t there be giants middens lying around? If so, then once again, what took you so long to discover this species?

Today, these mollusks, the first new living species of giant clam found in two decades, represent less than 1 percent of giant clams living there.

This novel clam, whose shell has a distinctive scalloped edge, was discovered while scientists were attempting to develop a breeding program for another giant clam species, Tridacna maxima, which is prized in the aquarium trade. The new species appears to live only in the shallowest waters, which makes it particularly vulnerable to overfishing.

Oh here it comes!

“These are all strong indications that T. costata may be the earliest example of marine overexploitation,” said researcher Claudio Richter, a marine ecologist at the Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany.

Fossil evidence that the researchers uncovered suggests the stocks of these giant clams began crashing some 125,000 years ago, during the last interval between glacial periods. During that time, scientists think modern humans first emerged out of Africa, Richter said.

These mollusks could have played a key role in feeding people during that crucial era, serving as a prime target due to their large size, the scientists added. Indeed, competition for these clams and other valuable sea resources “may have been an important driver for human expansion,” Richter told LiveScience.

“and other valuable sea resources” means anything you can catch or that turns up on the beach. Like about 100 billion other fish, squid, and lobsters. No, let’s assume that the local cavemen Oogh and Uugh would ignore those, and go after a clam that weighs 100 pounds and needs a jackhammer to open. Riiiight.

Underwater surveys carried out in the Gulf of Aqaba (north of the Red Sea, between the Sinai Peninsula and Arabian mainland) and northern Red Sea revealed this long-overlooked clam must be considered critically endangered. Only six out of 1,000 live specimens the scientists observed belonged to the new species. This mollusk could be the earliest victim of human degradation of coral reefs in this region, the researchers added.

Natural selection? Survival of the fittest? Adapting to changing conditions? Don’t know what any of that means! If we find some critter, and there aren’t zillions of them, then there is one and only one reason for it: evil human degradations!! Either that, or this bunch of researchers needs an new influx of grant money, so this is just a bid to get some fiscal attention.

Once upon a time you could trust scientists. Now they’ll say anything for money. And it looks like the moonbats have taken over there too.



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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/30/2008 at 05:16 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesNature •  
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calendar   Wednesday - August 06, 2008

No News Day

There doesn’t seem to be much blog-worthy out there today. Ok, here’s something a little bit interesting ...

Hot Property: Ventura County hillside is 812 degrees

Scientists puzzle over source of county hot spots

High atop a steep grass-covered mountain overlooking the Little Sespe Canyon near Fillmore, the earth is on fire.

Wisps of smoke rise from a brown patch of grass that looks like it was toasted under an oven’s broiler. Deep down, under the dirt, rocks and grass, something is smoldering and burning, sending smoke through cracks in the parched soil.

It’s being called a natural anomaly, a geological whodunit, a scientific puzzler. And it’s the second time that scientists have been scratching their heads over the fact the earth under Ventura County is burning.

In 2004, a patch of land northwest of Ojai burned so hot, it started a brush fire that scorched three acres in Los Padres National Forest. Firefighters cleared the grass from the newest area of hot earth near Fillmore on Friday so the same thing won’t happen.
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The leading theory behind the latest hot spot is that gas or oil or some other hydrocarbon deep in the soil caught fire and is burning, pushing ground temperatures to 812 degrees. What ignited it or when it started burning is a whole other question.
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Such fires aren’t uncommon in areas where there is a high concentration of gas or oil underground, he said.

But while the origins of this fire may be a relatively common phenomenon, the one near Ojai is still a puzzle.

“We’ve been researching it for a while and don’t have all the answers,” said Scott Minor, a U.S. Geological Survey researcher based in Denver who has made multiple trips to the site. “It’s like detective work.”
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The research group ... would like to drill down into the earth to see if the materials support the theory but is faced with a few hurdles. The first is funding and the second is the fact that the area is in the Dick Smith Wilderness, where no machinery is permitted.

So we’ve got ground so hot it starts fires, but nobody really knows why. And instead of trying to actually find out why, there’s a lot of dick spanking going on because it’s some protected wilderness. Sounds like it might be protected ashes pretty soon.

Here’s a bright idea: drill a hole and find out what’s going on. I’d say this qualifies as an emergency situation that should overrule any land protections. Since it’s a protected area, don’t do anything about it, but instead hook up a geothermal generator and make some electricity from it. I bet you could boil a whole helluva lot of water if the ground is that hot, and that should run steam turbines just fine. Plus, it’s a carbon neutral, environmentally friendly way to help cool off the land. Alternative Energy! Unless it turns out that this is a nascent volcano just waiting to melt it’s way to the surface. In which case Ventura County is doomed. Oh well; such things are all part of the day to day world out there in la-la land California.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/06/2008 at 10:44 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesOil, Alternative Energy, and Gas Prices •  
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calendar   Monday - July 28, 2008

The “Duh” Invention that only took 35 years to come to market

I think it’s really annoying to heat some soup or some leftovers in the microwave only to find the plate or bowl red hot and the food still lukewarm. I never understood this, as I had always heard that microwaves heated things up by making the water molecules vibrate. Well, it turns out that’s still correct, but what I didn’t pick up on was the ability of the containers to absorb heat. From the food! Now there is a new kind of container about to hit the market that ... hold onto your hats here ... actually gets hot when you microwave it!

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Conventional coffee cups are made from ceramic compositions which do not absorb microwaves and hence they do not heat up,” explained Sridhar Komarneni, a professor of clay mineralogy at Pennsylvania State University. “When conventional ceramics are used for heating food, only food heats up and then the hot food heats up the ceramic.”

Komarneni and colleagues in Japan made plates from a mix of 20 percent magnetite and 80 percent of a naturally occurring petalite (LiAlSi4O10) mineral containing lithium, aluminum and silicon oxides. The new ceramic interacts with the microwaves and heats up, and “the microwaves heat up the container and hence the food,” Komarneni told LiveScience. “Rice cooks in about half or less time.”
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“These ceramic materials not only heat up with microwaves but also retain heat for about 15 minutes and hence the food stays hot in the container,” Komarneni said. “Ceramic plates could be used for pizza delivery as these plates are insulating materials.”

Cooking or heating your food in half the time is sure to save quite a bit of electricity too. Just get in the habit of using potholders again. Given the proper shaped container, microwave popcorn should take about half the time too. Oh boy!


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/28/2008 at 05:49 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and Discoveries •  
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calendar   Thursday - July 17, 2008

Another first for Sci-Fi wonder material

Here’s a neat way to use up any extra carbon credits you might have lying around [/sarc]: Graphene. Huh? Graphene is a very recently discovered material. It’s carbon, but bonded together like a honeycomb. Graphene is the individual layers that make up graphite, carbon nanotubes, and buckyballs.


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Welcome to the future


This is some amazing shizzle. It’s just about straight out of a Larry Niven novel. Heck, it might be more sci-fi than any sci-fi material yet written about


  • Since the honeycomb lattice is only 1 atom thick, graphene is essentially two dimensional. It has length and width, but no height (one carbon atom high, and carbon is a small atom).

  • Graphene has just been shown to be the strongest stuff on earth, many many many times stronger than steel or titanium.

    Hone compares his test to stretching a piece of plastic wrap over the top of a coffee cup, and measuring the force that it takes to puncture it with a pencil. If he could get a large enough piece of the material to lay over the top of a coffee cup, he says, graphene would be strong enough to support the weight of a car balanced atop the pencil.


  • Graphene has already been used to create the smallest transistor ever, just 1 atom wide by 10 atoms long

  • Graphene is much more heat resistant than silicone, so those hot running microchips wouldn’t burn up if made from it. Plus with transistors at the atomic level, even the most massive chip would be smaller than a “picochip”. Make it into paint and you get fireproof houses that never need exterior maintenance.

  • Speaking of chips and circuity stuff, graphene is about the closest thing to superconductor cloth that’s ever been. It pushes electrons along at a million meters per second

  • Even better, graphene can propagate a surface charge about 130 times faster than a silicon wafer; circuits made from it really should be “lightning” fast

  • You could make clothes out of it too. A one atom thick sheet of it is opaque. Plus those clothes would never wear out either. And an entire outfit might weigh a quarter ounce. And if you had a trailing thread, you just might be lightning proof while wearing it!

Right now the stuff is so new that it’s properties are still be discovered. Then we have to figure out how to actually make the stuff in usable quantities. But hey, once upon a time aluminum was the most expensive metal on earth, until folks figured out the electric furnace. The other good news is there is a nearly limitless supply of carbon on Earth. So go about your lives for now. This one might take a decade or so to figure out. By that time we’ll have nanotubes and buckyballs for everything too. But when it does happen ...

we won’t need steel,
we won’t need wood,
we won’t need copper,

we won’t need taters,
we won’t need cotton,
when we have graphene,
they’re all forgotten,
but old man ribba,
he jus keeps rollin along.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/17/2008 at 08:35 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and Discoveries •  
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calendar   Wednesday - June 25, 2008

HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD !

Lockheed During WWII
Lockheed During W.W.II This is pretty neat--special effects during the 1940’s:

During World War II the Army Corps of Engineers needed to hide the Lockheed Burbank Aircraft Plant to protect it from Japanese air attack.
They covered it with camouflage netting to make it look like a rural subdivision from the air.

Gotta hand it to Hollywood set designers as well.  Just something of interest that isn’t politics or crime.

BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS.

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Posted by Drew458   United Kingdom  on 06/25/2008 at 05:54 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesArt-PhotographyHomeland-SecurityWar-Stories •  
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calendar   Friday - June 13, 2008

Nice Work If You Can Get It

How the heck do these dweebs get funding for crap like this? More importantly, how do I get on this gravy train???




Study: Women in Bikinis Make Men More Impulsive




File this one under the category “Surprise, Sex Sells Everything!!”



Bikinis and other sexy stimuli can make men more prone to seek immediate gratification — leading to blown diets, budgets and bank accounts, new research suggests.

In the study, detailed in the Journal of Consumer Research, men alternately fondled t-shirts and bras (which were not being worn during the test).  After touching the bras, men valued the future less and the present more, said lead researcher Bram Van Den Bergh of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. Viewing ads with women in bikinis had the same effect. It wasn’t that the men were simply distracted by their sexual arousal, which caused them to choose more impulsively. On the contrary, they exhibited improved cognition and creativity after exposure to sexy stimuli.

“But honey, research has proven that this is good for my brain!!”

The bikini effect does vary in strength from person to person, Van Den Bergh said. While most men are vulnerable to subtle types of stimuli — like sexy ads and touching lingerie — others may need to see a woman nude before feeling impulsive.

No matter, Van Den Bergh warned, “being exposed to a sexy girl may influence what stock you invest in or what candy bar you buy.”
Taken together, all this research, she said “is the beginning of something fascinating.”

The study was funded by a research division of Aegis Group, a marketing company.

Wow. I’m just speechless over this. Who would have ever figured this? Men like sex, and being around naked hot women tends to short circuit their reasoning. Gosh. Phase Two of the research project is rumored to be called “Beer, the wonder liquid”.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/13/2008 at 04:18 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesFun-StuffNo Shit, Sherlock •  
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calendar   Sunday - May 25, 2008

Haunting

Probably the most haunting video you will see today. In 2004 Robert Ballard returned to the wreck of the RMS Titanic…


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 05/25/2008 at 03:26 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and Discoveries •  
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Humpback Whales Make Amazing Comeback: Climate And Diet May Be Key

A bit of learning for a Saturday. Why turn on the TV when BMEWS can bring you the latest bits of science and nature to help you entertain your 4 year old?  This is from an email I got from Knowledge News. Sign up for just $39 you can get access to all sorts of interesting stuff, forever.



Species Safety In Numbers?

Whale watchers worldwide got a bit of good news this week, with the release of a new study that says humpback whales are making a comeback in the North Pacific.

According to the study, the number of whales in the North Pacific may have reached 20,000 for the period between 2004 and 2006. That’s up from a total of fewer than 1,500 whales 40 years ago, when humpback hunting was banned.

Experts still worry that some humpback subgroups are taking longer to bounce back, but one described the news as “definitely very encouraging in terms of the recovery of the species.” It’s certainly enough to make us want to dive in for a closer look at one of the ocean’s marvelous mammals.

Other experts are thrilled that the humpback’s number have increased so dramatically, and wonder weather climate change and dietary change may have something to do with it. “A humpback cow only calves once every 7 years. She gives birth to a single calf, and that calf isn’t ready to breed until she’s 10 years old. Considering the standard rate of infant mortality among even the higher mammals in the wild, something unusual must be going on. To get these kind of numbers in just 40 years means that not only are the females surviving more than we expected, they must be growing faster and breeding younger. Slightly warmer seawater from climate change means the whales have to spend less energy to stay warm, and that helps. But that isn’t enough; they must be getting much higher levels of protein in their diets than you would normally get from eating a ton or so of krill every day.”

imageUproarious Rorquals

Humpbacks hail from the family of whales called “rorquals,” which includes the fin whale, the sei whale, and the blue whale, the world’s largest animal. Blue whales can grow to 100 feet (30 meters) and weigh up to 330,000 pounds (150 metric tons), bigger than any dinosaur we’ve yet discovered.

At 45 feet (14 meters) and 80,000 pounds (36 metric tons), humpbacks aren’t nearly as big as cousin Blue. But they can really sing. In fact, according to a 2006 study, humpback whales sing grammatically, combining sounds into phrases, and phrases into songs, according to complex rules called a “hierarchical syntax.” It’s similar to our ability to combine words into clauses and clauses into sentences.

Humpbacks can dance, too. They are among the most acrobatic of whales, sometimes leaping entirely out of the water. Such breaching is common among males during mating season, when humpbacks migrate from polar feeding grounds to tropical breeding grounds. It’s also during mating season that humpback males sing their syntactically sophisticated songs, presumably in pursuit of humpback gals. Until recently, breaching had only been observed in the breeding grounds. Recent whale studies though have found humpbacks breaching in the ice littoral areas on the edge of the polar regions. That’s the edge of the pack ice which in the spring becomes a morass of small bergs and chunks of ice. Humpbacks have been observed breaching right next to smaller pieces of the flow, and sometimes even striking the edge of them without apparent injury. Needless to say, 36 tons of flying whale hitting a bit of ice sheet sends the ice tumbling. Humpbacks are also known to “hover” by resting vertically at the surface with their heads protruding from the water. It is thought that this lets the humpbacks have a look around above the water. Breaching may let them see even further, possibly in an attempt to spot schools of fish feeding at the surface nearby. This is a very hotly debated subject amongst whale researchers.

Straining for Snacks

Like all rorquals, humpbacks are baleen whales. They feed by taking huge mouthfuls of seawater--literally tons of it--then forcing the water out between hundreds of plates of baleen (a.k.a. “whalebone") that hang from the roofs of their mouths. The baleen plates work like a sieve, letting water out but keeping krill and other munchable marine life in.

To catch that seafood dinner, humpbacks sometimes use a special technique called “bubblenet.” First, one or more humpbacks swim in a circle beneath a school of fish, blowing bubbles that float up to form a wall around their prey. Then the humpbacks swim up through their “bubblenet,” slurping the fish-filled water as they go. Bubblenetting is a typical humpback feeding behavior. In the polar regions a pod of whales will often bubblenet around smaller pieces of loose pack ice. The very warm airbubbles are thought to confuse and dislodge small fish and other creatures that use the ice as cover.

Lunge feeding

Humpback whales have yet another ingenious way of getting thier dinner called lunge feeding. Instead of slowly trawling along processing thousands of gallons of seawater for the occassional shrimp, humpbacks also engage in this type of nearly hunting behavior. Whether alone or in pods, whether used with a bubblenet or not, tropical or polar, sometimes humpbacks will dive deep, turn around, and race towards the surface. As they get there they open their mouths wide and snap up whatever they find. Whale research scientists are very impressed with lunge feeding. “There are some fish that live near the surface. If the whales were to come up behind them the fish would sense it and dart away. It’s like trout and mayflies, only much much larger.  Lunge feeding lets the whale catch much bigger creatures we ever realized, especially when they are in a pod in the arctic and making bubblnets. The old idea of the giant gentle humpback getting by on enormous amounts of plankton may just have to be tossed overboard.”

It’s clever, and tremendously effective. A humpback whale can catch, and eat, as much as 3,000 pounds (1,360 kg) of food in a day. But that’s not too surprising--coming from a creature smart enough to sing in syntax. Every year brings exciting new discoveries in the field of whale science. Subscribe to Knowledge News today so you can stay informed!

UPDATE !! Breaking News: researchers find the humpback’s secret protien source.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/25/2008 at 12:34 AM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesAnimals •  
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