NASA: Back to the Moon, perhaps Mars, if we’ve got the pocket change.
Miller-McCune: Monkey see, monkey do.
Children Exposed to ‘Togetherness’ More Likely to Help. “A new study finds 18-month-olds who were subtly introduced to the concept of togetherness were far more likely to help someone in need.” Once again, I’m surprised researchers are surprised.
The New Yorker: Speaking of interpretation ...
Should we hate Judas Iscariot? “All this, I believe, is a reaction to the rise of fundamentalism—the idea, Christian and otherwise, that every word of a religion’s founding document should be taken literally. This is a childish notion, and so is the belief that we can combat it by correcting our holy books. Those books, to begin with, are so old that we barely understand what their authors meant.” Can’t force modern society into an ancient archetype, and it is endlessly futile to try ... I suppose that’s why it’s a lucrative business for many.
SF New Mexican: Saying no to plastic packaging.
Hold the plastic: Consumers are ingesting more than they bargain for, through food packaging. “Your kitchen is a laboratory. The traditional materials used in laboratories are glass, ceramics and stainless steel, because these materials are relatively inert and do not affect the results of laboratory experiments, so they won’t contaminate your food, either.” Hear, hear.
Scienceblogs: I feel very small and insignificant.
Hell Yeah, Hubble! Yet ... I want interstellar travel already, don’t you?
Miller-McCune Nah, I’m too busy to weblog ...
Researchers Say We Overestimate How Much Temptation We Can Handle. “Study shows that people who believe they have a high capacity for impulse control will expose themselves to greater levels of temptation and ultimately exhibit more impulsive behavior.” Oops.
Discover: Fascinating effect on Saturn’s rings.
Like the fist of an angry god. “It’s not exactly clear what’s going on here, even in this slightly zoomed shot. But it looks for all the world - or worlds — like some small object on an inclined orbit has punched through Saturn’s narrow F ring, bursting out from underneath, and dragging behind it a wake of particles from the rings.”
BBC: Itching, low level pain? Scratch that.
Scientists find an itchiness cell. “The finding suggests itching is not simply a low-level variation of pain - but a distinct sensation.”
New Scientist: Hand-sized rock maps.
Found: A pocket guide to prehistoric Spain. “‘This is a pretty spectacular find,’ says prehistoric archaeologist Lawrence Straus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. ‘It may give us a glimpse into the ways in which people navigated and explained their territories.’”
National Geographic: To toke, or not to toke ... that is the question.
Did Shakespeare Puff on “Noted Weed”? “Other substances found in the pipes are a little more puzzling. Scientists detected traces of camphor, myristic acid, and quinoline. Francis Thackeray, a paleontologist from the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria, who initiated the pipe study, believes he might have an explanation. ‘Myristic acid, which is found in nutmeg, has hallucinogenic properties, and camphor, perhaps, was used to hide the smell of tobacco or other substances,’ said Thackeray.”
BBC: HIV, soon to be hacked.
Structure of HIV genome ‘decoded’. “The team from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said they planned to use the information to see if they could make tiny changes to the virus. ‘If it doesn’t grow as well when you disrupt the virus with mutations, then you know you’ve mutated or affected something that was important to the virus,’ says Ron Swanstrom, professor of microbiology and immunology.”
CNN: Free their doubtful minds ...
Cooling is catching on for cardiac arrest patients. “More than 90 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest, as Dietrich did, end up dying. For more than a decade, there has been evidence that cooling a patient’s body — or therapeutic hypothermia — improves those odds. No one quite knows why, but it’s thought that the cold reduces the body’s need for oxygen and slows the deadly chemical cascade that sets in when oxygen isn’t circulating because the heart stopped beating.” You know what I’m going to cue up for this ...
Times Online: For every action, a re-action.
Fumes from rotting seaweed on France’s northern beaches could kill. “A stretch of beach had to be closed after a horse rider lost consciousness as a result of the putrefying algae. His horse was killed. Local residents have also been treated in hospital.”
BBC: The environment on Mars, is kinda like ... Martian.
Martian methane mystery deepens. “The problem is if we just take into account the photochemistry as we know it on Earth and if we put it in the model, then we cannot reproduce the model and that was a surprise. The current chemistry as we know it is not consistent with the measurements of methane on Mars. There is something else going on, something that lowers the methane lifetime by a factor of 600. So if the measurements are correct, we must be missing something quite important.” Like little green men.
NY Times: We’re being involuntarily psychoanalyzed.
Mind - Finding Clues to National Well-Being in Songs and Blogs. I’ll save y’all the trouble. I write a weblog, have occasional strong opinions, *and* stop to help people in distress. Obviously, I’m certifiable.
Reuters: Bark Beetles in Wyoming.
Forests fall to beetle outbreak. Come see the West green while you can; it may not be for long.
The Independent.UK: Perhaps I should put some green away for an a/c unit.
BBC: I’ve been wondering why some birds seem awfully mangy.
‘Feather-eating bugs’ dull birds.: “Brightly coloured birds can become infected with bacteria that eat their feathers. That in turn can affect the health of the birds and dull their plumage. The discovery comes from a study that found that 99% of all Eastern bluebirds surveyed in Virginia, US were infected with feather-degrading bacteria.”
BBC: Discovering historical locations ... another reason to take a ‘broad overview.’
Maps reveal Venice ‘forerunner’. “Aerial photographs have revealed the streetplan of a lost Roman city called Altinum, which some scholars regard as a forerunner of Venice. The images reveal the remains of city walls, the street network, dwellings, theatres and other structures.”
New Scientist: Being afraid stinks.
Scent of fear puts brain in emergency mode. “The smell of the sweat you produce when terrified is not only registered by the brains of others, but changes their behaviour too, according to new research. It adds to a growing body of evidence that humans may communicate using scent in a similar way to how other animals use pheromones.”
Yahoo: Unknown Da Vinci.
Times Online: A limited-scope study on organics finds no benefits.
Organic food has no health benefits, study finds. “He made clear, however, that he had not looked at pesticide and herbicide residues in food produced by organic and conventional farming methods. The study also did not seek to compare the taste of the products.” Less pesticide residue would be a health benefit, no? So where’s the study on washing commercial veg vs. organics?
NASA: You might miss a nuance in the Collins interview.
Statement from Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins. “Other countries are outstripping us in the quality and quantity of math and science grads, and this can only hurt in the long run. But a liberal arts education, particularly English, is a good entry point no matter what the later specialization. I usually talk up English.” My italics. Not what most space-aficionados would expect.
CNN: Why the Blue Man Group stays so limber?
BreakingNews.ie: Use it or lose it?
Bizarre theory suggests time may be running out. So, stop worrying that the universe may continue to expand forever. Perhaps the cosmic clock will just run out and freeze everything in place.