Times Online.UK: Hubble takes the most detailed pictures yet of Pluto, the ‘dwarf planet’.
What’s black and orange and yellow all over? I hear Percival Lowell shouting “Canals! I see canals!”
Discovery Magazine: Evolution for kids.
Evolution for kids. Teach the realities.
Discover Magazine: The Real Rules for Time Travelers.
ars technica: Archaeologists find evidence of birds’ dinosaur ancestors
Lordy, to be an archaeologist in China these days. I’m jealous.
BBC News: US anti-missile test of ‘Iran or N Korea’ attack fails.
“... the sea-based X-band radar system failed. The system has been under development for many years at the cost of tens of billions of dollars, and the Pentagon will be embarrassed by the failure, says the BBC security correspondent Nick Childs.”
BBC News: Healthier lifestyles ‘may add more years of bad health.’
“... there should be a new emphasis on what was trying to be achieved, pointing out that many public health interventions focused on extending life expectancy without necessarily ensuring it was lived in good health.” The need to emphasize not only length of life, but quality of life.
CBC News: Moon possibly formed by natural nuke: study.
COLOURlovers: The True Colors Of Dinosaurs by.
The color palettes of dinosaurs are now easily available for your use.
Discover Magazine: Will Genetically Modified Eucalyptus Trees Transform Southern Forests?
NY Times: Obama Calls for End to NASA’s Moon Program.
“It is a somewhat risky proposition ... [snip] ... but we’ve been kind of stuck using the technologies we’ve developed in the ’50s and ’60s.” Need to go further back. We need to be using Steampunk technology to reach new heights.
Discovery News: Rome’s Ancient Aqueduct Found.
Discover Magazine: Scientist Smackdown: French Strike Back Against British G-Spot Study.
Oh, this is going to be fun: “I don’t want to stigmatise at all but I think the Protestant, liberal, Anglo-Saxon character means you are very pragmatic. There has to be a cause for everything, a gene for everything ... [snip] ... I think it’s totalitarian.” Goodness, maladie de la vache folle and no G spots. Incroyable!
New Scientist: Did rice wine lead to flushed faces in Asia?
”The mutation causes alcohol to be metabolised at 100 times the speed that it otherwise would be. As the enzyme removes alcohol so quickly from the blood stream, it protects people from the harmful effects of alcohol ...” Downside: the antithesis of a cheap date.
FOXNews: Biggest and Brightest Full Moon of 2010 Tonight.
“Tonight it (the Moon) will be about 14 percent wider and 30 percent brighter than lesser full Moons of the year, according to Spaceweather.com. As a bonus, Mars will be just to the left of the moon tonight. Look for the reddish, star-like object.”
Discover Magazine: Engineered E. Coli Bacteria Produces Road-Ready Diesel.
“The bacteria can work on any type of biomass, including wood chip, switchgrass, and the plant parts that are left behind after a harvest–all contain cellulose, a structural material that comprises much of a plant’s mass. Study coauthor Jay Keasling and his colleagues report engineering E. coli bacteria to synthesize and excrete the enzyme hemicellulase, which breaks down cellulose into sugars. The bacteria can then convert those sugars into a variety of chemicals – diesel fuel among them. The final products are excreted by the bacteria and then float to the top of the fermentation vat before being siphoned off.” Knew I should have bought that VW Jetta TDI.
NPR: Atmospheric Dry Spell Eases Global Warming.
“It turns out that starting in the year 2000, a narrow layer of the stratosphere dried out quite rapidly. And water in the atmosphere traps heat, like glass in a greenhouse. So less stratospheric water means less warming.” As scientists find more mitigating factors, factors they did not know of when they declared the globe warming, one wonders how all these new pieces fit into the ‘story’ of climate change. Is there a current ‘overview’ site of some kind?
Monstrous Beasts: 14 Bizarre Dinosaurs and Extinct Species.
These are incredible. 3D artists, start your engines. Movie creatures have a long way to go to compare with nature.
NPR: Humans Were Born To Run Barefoot.
I think it would be more accurate to say humans run sub-optimally in modern sneakers. It should be obvious we were ‘born to run barefoot.’ Note, and I quote, “I mean, I think we have to be really, really careful about what we do and don’t know. We have not done any injury studies; this is not an injury study.”
Design View / Andy Rutledge: Again With the Risks.
A designer reads an article by Garry Kasparov, chess master, and mentions the metaphors of chess vs. poker when discussing risk. Here’s the original article the writer references.
Kasparov comes to this unoriginal conclusion late. Von Neumann laid out this conclusion over 60 years ago with his scholarly treatment of game theory, The Theory of Games and Economic Behavior, 1944. That’s a little dense, I’ll mention you can read a simplified synopsis in Strategy in Poker, Business and War.
Simply, Von Neumann states chess should be able to be played to a win or a draw ... because you have ‘perfect information’, full knowledge of the opponent’s moves and potential moves. This is a departure from real life, and a failure of the metaphor and most of the strategic ‘benefits’ chess provides. Poker, you have no such luxury. It’s more like the real world, strategically. You must bluff. You must play your opponent’s hand. And more.
John Nash (’A Beautiful Mind’), extended Von Neumann’s work, and became a Nobel Laureate for his work. Nice to see that tortured soul get some recognition (I remember him clearly from my youth in Princeton, baggy chinos and a haunted look on his face as he went to and from Firestone Library).
Ultimately, I’ll take this designer’s article and agree - play poker. Dump the chess. You’ll be the better designer, the better businessperson for it.
[Longtime readers will be sick of hearing about this one. My apologies. I get tired of today’s celebrities thinking they’re originals, when their revelations have been covered decades before.]
SF New Mexican: Meet Encanto.
CNN: Dinosaur feathers, all reddish-orange?
I don’t know about this. Is science finding the color at death, or the original color of the feather? Unless I’m misunderstanding the tests, I suspect we’ll hear this discovery adjusted relatively swiftly. Robins here in the Southwest are sun-bleached from black and warm red to grey and a faded brownish-tomato.
NPR: Do view the photo gallery.
The sunset shot - why haven’t I seen that before? The smallness of the Sun really bespeaks an alien world. And this isn’t science fiction, it’s REAL. NASA: Mars Rover Will Likely Rove No More.
Discover Magazine: Last thing I want landing in my hair.
Discover Magazine: Dye, botox and lip-plumpers are safe from recession, one supposes.
YouTube: Linking this because it’s interesting.
But also to make a point about presenting. Listen to this man, listen to his ‘passion.’ Count the ‘ums.’ (I counted three.) And not a single Powerpoint slide. Does Neil Tyson think we are alone in the universe?