Guardian.UK: Geminid meteor shower begins: watch out for fireballs.
“A bright, waning moon will render some of the fainter meteors invisible for much of the night, so the observed rate may be down by half. Nevertheless, the Geminids can usually be relied upon to produce a good supply of bright meteors, called fireballs.” Never as much fun when there’s a bright Moon out.
SciAm: Salt Spray May Prove Most Feasible Geoengineering.
Well, it’s an idea. Less onerous than some.
BBC: Dinosaur mummy’s fleshy head crest.
Neat, but I have to laugh at the photo. How many birds have suddenly-colorful crests on a brown body? The crests are usually integrated with the remainder of the coloring.
Wait a minute … oops. A quick Google tells me to stop my North-American-bird-based theorizing …
I’ll leave my mistake here, rather than erase it and edit the whole thing. Educating the young bloggers.
Guardian.UK: FDA to crack down on antibiotics in animals reared for meat.
A little behind the eight ball, what?
SagePub: Point-and-Shoot Memories.
“If participants took a photo of each object as a whole, they remembered fewer objects and remembered fewer details about the objects and the objects’ locations in the museum than if they instead only observed the objects and did not photograph them.” Unless you zoom in on details, as when a subject engages you. This is exactly why, for some compelling experiences, I put away the camera. Some things are better in memory.
The New Yorker: Out Loud - The Roots of Our Tragedies.
MeFi: Aliens didn’t do it.
Gophers created the ‘Mima Mounds’? A computer simulation seems to point to that as the answer, but I have to question whether anyone took gopher behavior into account. Esp. because I’m having a war with a rapacious one in my back courtyard. They don’t dig in the same place all the time … they busily expand their network of tunnels. The mounds they push up get washed away by rain, even here in the dry Southwest. With our populations of rodents, and the hard rock layers below the topsoil, you’d think (given the simulation) that we’d have these mounds all over the place. We don’t. Loosely filed under “Science.”
Mlive: Remains of Civil War-era shipwreck rumored to carry gold found in Lake Huron.
“Nobody even knew the ship had sunk until more than a week later, when wreckage was spotted off Port Austin and the Keystone State’s wheelhouse washed ashore. Since then, the ship has remained one of the many Great Lakes shipwreck mysteries; a tragedy that claimed the life of 33 crew members and sparked rumors about a clandestine cargo load of gold and war materials.” Smells like a trove. Thanks, @apachebird1!
Guardian.UK: Canada to claim north pole as its own.
Oh, wonderful. Likely no Arctic ice by 2016, so everyone wants to move in for the ‘easy’ fossil fuels. Might as well light fires on your way to Hades.
SciAm: Formula 1 Racing Loud Enough to Damage Hearing.
Check the photo! I suppose SciAm has a theory about what Formula One cars actually look like …
NY Times: Hearings on San Francisco Crash to Explore Broader Problems.
“Humans are bad automation monitors.” Full auto or full manual - never the twain shall be managed.
Cell: Targeting a Dual Detector of Skin and CO2 to Modify Mosquito Host Seeking.
Finding compounds that turn off mosquitos ability to detect odor. Interestingly, CO2 is not the only attractant; the same receptors detect human odor. Via ars technica.
SciAm: Blame Heat Waves on Loss of Arctic Sea Ice.
“The loss of sea ice leads to a weakening of winds high in the atmosphere. The reduced temperature difference between the Arctic and lower latitudes diminishes the jet stream as well. It also moves the jet stream north, letting hot air sit longer.” In Santa Fe, ceiling fans used to be plenty. No more. We’re now on the cusp (some say beyond) of needing A/C for the summer months. As I’ve expressed repeatedly, we’re becoming Phoenix.
Slate: Creativity is rejected.
RationalWiki: List of scientists who became creationists after studying the evidence.
The Art of Manliness: How to Pull an All-Nighter - Tips from the Special Forces.
Interesting. When I used to have to pull multiple all-nighters, naps and caffeine saw me most of the way through. Excitement did the rest (my A/V work was stimulating, at that time). So I’d add ‘thrill’ to the recipe.
Snopes.com: Python Eats Man … FALSE.
Please, folks, check Snopes before reposting/retweeting belief-straining stuff. More often than not, you’ll save yourself a couple of dozen keystrokes a day.
Looks like an antelope to me, which is totally normal.
SciAm: Bacterium Reverses Autism-Like Behavior in Mice.
Of course, more research needs to be done. There’s always that little (big) caveat.
Note the mention of leaky gut syndrome, which is commonly felt not to be a ‘real’ medical diagnosis. See Wikipedia for a quick overview.
Before you turn up your nose, as I almost did, I dug a little further on reputable research sites, and found that studies for my gluten intolerance - and other autoimmune disorders - are uncovering intestinal permeability as being a legitimate testable medical condition. So it is not, apparently, voodoo. Doctors (and alternative medicine, in spite of claims) are unable to, as yet, figure out how to treat it.
I tell you, once again, if I had life to do all over again, I’d get into research on gut bugs.
Later: Another study pointing to intestinal permeability as being one of three preconditions to onset of autoimmune disease.
ArtDaily: Six years raising the shipwreck, China to recover ancient treasures.
Surely much safer, though hardly as romantic to be digging treasure out of a steel box.
Guardian.UK: The male pill? Here are some grim side-effects to expect.
“So when it comes to the introduction of the male pill, I’ve got some selfish demands. In the interest of empathy, and to help men and women understand each other a little bit better, I’d like the guys to experience the side-effects that we’ve been putting up with since our teens.” Payback time. But I don’t want to experience acne again!
Guardian.UK: Winter storm blasts western US prompting safety warnings for residents.
Not since the ‘90’s? Where’ve you folks been? We had below-zero temps for an extended period just a couple of years ago. Water systems were freezing up spectacularly all over New Mexico. Got the insulation caps on my outdoor taps. I’m ready (I hope).
Guardian.UK: UN’s 2C target will fail to avoid a climate disaster, scientists warn.
Simons Foundation: Physicists Discover Geometry Underlying Particle Physics.
I found a source mentioning an “amplituhedron”, but a paywall stopped me short. Couldn’t let it rest, I had to dig further.
PS Mag: When Do Great Artists Hit Peak Creativity?
Only if you’re content to be average ‘great’ …
SciAm: When Harmless Bacteria Go Bad.
“When the body responds to a flu virus by raising the temperature and releasing stress hormones such as norepinephrine, the bacteria react in turn to those changes in their environment. They disperse from their colonies and begin expressing different genes that make them more deadly to respiratory cells …” Flippin’ little opportunists, they are. They like to kick a person when they’re down.