Saturday, February 5, 2011

Using Google Earth To Find Archaeological Secrets

Google Earth Finds Saudi Arabia's Forbidden Archaeological Secrets -- The Telegraph

An armchair archaeologist has identified nearly 2,000 potentially important sites in Saudi Arabia using Google Earth, despite never having visited the country.

David Kennedy, a professor of classics and ancient history at the University of Western Australia, used Google Earth satellite maps to pinpoint 1,977 potential archaeological sites, including 1,082 teardrop shaped stone tombs.

"I've never been to Saudi Arabia," Dr Kennedy said. "It's not the easiest country to break into."

Dr Kennedy told New Scientist that he had verified the images showed actual archaeological sites by asking a friend working in the Kingdom to photograph the locations.

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My Comment: This is what i call using your brain.

NASA Discovers Six-Planet Solar System

Multi-planet systems are extremely rare, and none with more than three planets have ever been found, until now. Credit: NASA/Kepler mission/Wendy Stenzel

From Cosmos:

SYDNEY: A six-planet system has been discovered by NASA's space-telescope Kepler, and is the first known transiting planetary system beyond our own that has more than three planets orbiting a sun.

The planets are much smaller than many that have been discovered outside of our Solar System, which are often referred to as ‘hot Jupiters’ – a class of large planets that have a close proximity to their parent stars.

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My Comment: if they found six .... I am sure that it will only be a matter of time before they find seven.

The Google - Apple Tablet Wars Continue

Photo: Motorola's Xoom tablet will be the first built around the honeycomb release of Android

Google Eyes Apple In Tablet War -- BBC

Google has unveiled an operating system for tablet computers aimed at ramping up the competition with Apple's iPad.

More than 15 million iPads have been sold since Apple launched the gadget in 2010.

The latest version of Google's Android OS is called Honeycomb and it has been specifically optimised for tablets.

The features include the ability to buy applications from a computer, buy features inside the app, video chat and improved graphics.

Read more ....

My Comment: I personally favor Apple.

Should The Super Bowl be Televised In 3D

Should the Super Bowl be shot and broadcast in 3D?

Why We're Glad The Super Bowl Isn't In 3D -- Popular Mechanics

You may have noticed that the Super Bowl isn't in 3D this year. Good. We're big proponents of the latest 3D tech, but when it comes to sitting through a 4-hour football game in a room full of friends and food, the home 3D experience just isn't there yet. Here are five reasons why we're happy to wait.

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My Comment: I do not know .... I think it would be pretty cool to see it in real 3D.

Internet For Robots Lets Bots Share Instructions And Learn From One Another

Robot to RoboEarth to Robot RoboEarth

From Popular Science:

Well, we’ve seen this movie before (literally speaking). A group of robotics engineers at the University of Technology in Eindhoven are developing an Internet for robots; a kind of online database from which robots can download instructions and to which they can upload “experience.” According to its creators, their RoboEarth system will allow robots to share information and learn from each other, allowing the benefits of machine cognition and learning to proliferate through a network of bots. Cue the SkyNet comparisons.

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My Comment: Yup .... cue the Skynet comparisons.

Human Blood Vessels Can Now Be Grown In The Laboratory

Human Blood Vessels Grown In The Laboratory -- The Telegraph

Off-the-shelf blood vessels that could revolutionise heart surgery have been developed by scientists.

Researchers have come up with a way of growing new human veins in the laboratory that can be stored for up to a year and safely transplanted into any patient.

The blood vessels could one day replace artificial versions – which easily clog and cause infection – in a number of operations, including thousands of heart bypasses a year, it is believed.

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Is There Life Out There?

Hunting: Nasa's planet-hunting telescope is finding whole new worlds of possibilities in the search for alien life

Chances Of Finding Aliens Given A Boost After Nasa Finds Evidence Of Over 1,200 MORE Planets - And 54 Of Them May Be Able To Support Life! -- The Daily Mail

The chances of finding alien life were given a boost last night after Nasa revealed it had found evidence of more than 1,200 planets in orbit around far distant stars.

If the findings are confirmed, it will more than triple the number of known planets outside our own solar system in one fell swoop - and, amazingly, 54 of them could be able to support life.

Only two potentially habitable planets have previously been found outside earth's solar system, so Kepler chief scientist William Borucki said 54 is 'an enormous amount, an inconceivable amount'.

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Oldest Cemetery Discovered In The Middle East

Graves from the Middle Epipalaeolithic cemetery of ‘Uyun al-Hammam. (Credit: Lisa A. Maher, Jay T. Stock, Sarah Finney, James J. N. Heywood, Preston T. Miracle, Edward B. Banning. A Unique Human-Fox Burial from a Pre-Natufian Cemetery in the Levant (Jordan).

Anthropologists Discover Earliest Cemetery in Middle East -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Feb. 2, 2011) — Anthropologists at the University of Toronto and the University of Cambridge have discovered the oldest cemetery in the Middle East at a site in northern Jordan. The cemetery includes graves containing human remains buried alongside those of a red fox, suggesting that the animal was possibly kept as a pet by humans long before dogs ever were.

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My Comment: It seems that we have been burying our love ones longer than what we thought.

Expect More Monster Winter Storms With Climate Change

This visible satellite image shows the low-pressure area stretching from the Colorado Rockies and Texas east to New England. The image shows the storm on Feb. 1 at 1401 UTC (9:01 a.m. EST). Credit: NOAA/NASA GOES Project.

With Climate Change, Expect More Monster Winter Storms -- Live Science

No single weather event can be directly attributed to climate change. But as the globe warms up, Americans can expect more storms like the one bearing down on much of the United States, scientists say.

That's not because the Feb. 1 storm can be linked to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels or increasing global temperature – again, such a connection is impossible to make – but, according to climatologists, an increased propensity for winter storms is exactly what you'd expect in a warming world.

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My Comment: I have trouble understanding this logic .... because of global warming our temperatures will fall and we will have more snow .... hmmm.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Egyptian Mummy Mystery Thickens

One of the heads from a mummy damaged during the break-in at Cairo's Egyptian Museum appears in the photo above. Click to enlarge this image. Zahi Hawass Website

Headless Egyptian Mummy Mystery Thickens -- Discovery News

The mummies have become the symbol of the world's concern for ancient Egyptian cultural heritage.

* Egyptologists still don't know the identities of the two mummies whose heads were ripped off during a break-in at Cairo's Egyptian Museum.
* Initial reports that they could be King Tut's great-grandparents turned out to be unfounded.
* Based on evidence available so far, it's fairly clear that the mummies are non-royals.

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My Comment
: This vandalism is just unbelievable.

Experts Fret Over Egypt's Treasures

Visitors look at the 8-metres high sandstone statue of Ramses II (1279-1213 BC) at entrance to the Nubian Museum in the southern Egyptian city of Aswan, about 879 km (549 miles) south of Cairo November 8, 2010. Credit: Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

From Cosmos:

PARIS: Archaeologists voiced deepening concern after fresh street battles erupted around Cairo's Egyptian Museum housing the gold sarcophagus of King Tutankhamun and other priceless relics.

Websites and chat-rooms buzzed with anxiety after a break-in that left a number of glass cabinets smashed and precious objects damaged, including two mummies. There were also accounts of pilfering at an antiquities storage depot at Qantara and anecdotal reports of tomb raiding at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara.

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My Comment: They should be worried.

Amazon Drought 'Severe' In 2010

Amazon Drought 'Severe' In 2010, Raising Warming Fears -- BBC

Last year's drought in the Amazon raises concerns about the region's capacity to continue absorbing carbon dioxide, scientists say.

Researchers report in the journal Science that the 2010 drought was more widespead than in 2005 - the last big one - with more trees probably lost.

The 2005 drought had been termed a "one in a century" event.

In drought years, the Amazon region changes from being a net absorber of carbon dioxide into a net emitter.

Read more ....

My Comment: This is not the first time that a drought has occurred in the Amazon .... but if it continues .... it will be a good reason to be concerned.

Super Bowl XLV In Dallas

In the control room at Cowboys Stadium, the large screen monitors cell phone calls, not dropped balls

The World’s Most Wired Stadium? Super Bowl XLV In Dallas -- Popular Mechanics

During Super Bowl Media Day, we took a break from the action on the field to peek behind the curtain at the Dallas Cowboys tech-rich stadium. What we found: 8 million feet of Ethernet cable, 6 million feet of copper wiring, 260 miles of fiberoptic cable and an insane amount of computing power, all aimed at giving fans instant digital gratification.

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My Comment: The Dallas Cowboys stadium is brand new .... so I expect some high tech wizardly.

How Stuxnet Has Given Hackers A Blueprint For Sophisticated New Malware

Epic Fail Malicious programs could blow up factories and sabotage power grids Jamie Sneddon

What Could Possibly Go Wrong: Industrial Cyber-Sabotage -- Popular Science

Stuxnet gives hackers a blueprint for sophisticated new malware.

Computers already do so much of our work that it seems natural to let them take care of our sabotage, too. This might have been the line of thinking that led to Stuxnet, the first known malware worm designed to disrupt industrial processes.

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My Comment: I suspect that this is just the start of something bigger .... hence we are now having governments proposing the need for Cyberwar protocals.

Is The Cyberhug As Good As The Real Thing?

Scientists Develop The 'Cyberhug' -- The Telegraph

Scientists claim the average hug lasts for three seconds, but it has long been claimed that computers could allow us to do so remotely using electrical sensors.

Sensory equipment enabling people to share a hug across cyberspace has been in development for several years, and experts insist it will one day become part of everyday life.

Adrian Cheok, associate professor at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University developed one such system, based on the award-winning Hug-Shirt, that allows parents and children to share "cyberhugs" while miles apart.

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My Comment: It can never be as good as the real thing.

Oysters Are Disappearing

Delicacy: But the oyster is disappearing from its natural habitat and is now 'functionally extinct' in many places due to over-exploitation

Oysters Are Becoming 'Functionally Extinct' As 85% Of Reefs Disappear Around The World -- The Daily Mail

Oyster reefs around the world are disappearing so fast that more than 85 per cent have been lost to disease and over-harvesting, according to a study.

The mollusk is disappearing from its natural habitat and is now 'functionally extinct' in many places due to over-exploitation, scientists believe.

In areas such as the Wadden Sea in Europe and Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, fewer than 1 per cent of former reefs still exist.

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My Comment: And one day the last oyster will be gone.
Is the apparent randomness of the scratch ticket just a facade, a mathematical lie?
Photo: John Midgley

Cracking The Scratch Lottery Code -- Wired Science

Mohan Srivastava, a geological statistician living in Toronto, was working in his office in June 2003, waiting for some files to download onto his computer, when he discovered a couple of old lottery tickets buried under some paper on his desk. The tickets were cheap scratchers—a gag gift from his squash partner—and Srivastava found himself wondering if any of them were winners. He fished a coin out of a drawer and began scratching off the latex coating. “The first was a loser, and I felt pretty smug,” Srivastava says. “I thought, ‘This is exactly why I never play these dumb games.’”

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The Landscape Of Mars Is Actively Changing

Three images of the same location taken at different times show seasonal activity causing sand avalanches and ripple changes on a Martian dune. Every year, dune fields at high latitudes are covered by a seasonal polar cap of condensed carbon dioxide (dry ice). Sand sliding down the dune carves out new alcoves at the top and adds to the debris apron on the bottom. The top image was taken in the Martian summer when the dunes were free of seasonal dry ice. Spring found the region covered by a layer of seasonal ice (middle). Evaporation of this seasonal ice layer shows up as dark streaks of fine particles carried to the top of the ice layer by escaping gas. As the ice changes from solid to gas, gas flowing underneath destabilizes the sand and causes it to avalanche down the dune. The bottom image shows the resulting changes, revealed during the following summer after the ice was gone. New wind ripples can be seen on the debris apron. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took these images, each showing an area of 285 x 140 meters, centered at 84 degrees North latitude and 233.2 degrees East longitude. (Credit: NASA/JPL/The University of Arizona)

Northern Mars Landscape Actively Changing -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Feb. 4, 2011) — Sand dunes in a vast area of northern Mars long thought to be frozen in time are changing with both sudden and gradual motions, according to research using images from a NASA orbiter.

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My Comment: I guess Mars is more windy than what it is given credit for.

NASA: Mark Kelly Will Return To Space

Astronaut Kelly listens to U.S. President Obama speak at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington on Feb. 3. Mr. Kelly is the husband of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who is recovering from the Tucson shootings. Kelly also spoke at the prayer breakfast. KEVIN LAMARQUE/Reuters

Wounded Congresswoman’s Husband Will Fly On Shuttle -- New York Times

Cmdr. Mark E. Kelly, the husband of Representative Gabrielle Giffords, will head the space shuttle mission in April that he was assigned to command before his wife was shot, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced on Friday.

"I am looking forward to rejoining my STS-134 crew members and finishing our training for the mission," Commander Kelly said in a statement released Friday. “I appreciate the confidence that my NASA management has in me and the rest of my space shuttle crew."

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My Comment: Now that he and his wife have made a decision .... they have my 100% support.

World's Largest Known Bear Unearthed

The largest land predator of its time, the South American giant short-faced bear (Arctotherium angustidens), in comparison to a person. Credit: Soibelzon, Schubert, Journal of Paleontology

Standing At 11 Feet: World's Largest Known Bear Unearthed -- Live Science

The fossils of the largest known bear to have ever lived have been found, a giant that was the most powerful land carnivore of its time, scientists said.

The remains were unearthed during the construction of a hospital in La Plata City, Argentina. It was a South American giant short-faced bear (Arctotherium angustidens), the earliest and largest member of its genus (its group of species of bears). This titan lived between 2 million to 500,000 years ago, with its closest living relative being the spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus) of South America.

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My Comment: Imagine having his head as a trophy on your wall.

Cyber War Rules Of Engagement Being Proposed



Proposal For Cyber War Rules Of Engagement -- BBC

The world needs cyber war "Rules of Engagement" to cope with potentially devastating cyber weapons, Russian and US experts will tell world leaders at a security conference on Friday.

The cyber proposal, seen exclusively by Newsnight, comes from the influential EastWest Institute in New York.

It describes "rendering the Geneva and Hague conventions in cyberspace".

Cyber security is on the agenda at the annual Munich Security Conference for the first time this year.

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More News On Proposals For Cyber War Rules Of Engagement

Calls for Geneva Convention in Cyberspace -- Wall Street Journal
Calls for 'rules of engagement' for cyber conflict -- BBC
Britain wants international rules on cyberspace -- Reuters
Cyber war rules of engagement drawn up -- The Telegraph
Hague bids to prevent 'cyber war' -- Press Association
World leaders meet to discuss cyberwar rules of engagement -- The Register
Real Cyber Warfare: Carr’s Top Five Picks -- Jeffrey Carr, Forbes

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Day That Our Communications Grid Died

Artwork showing space debris in low and geostationary Earth orbit. Space debris includes thousands of inactive satellites, fragments of broken up spacecraft and equipment lost by astronauts. This artwork is based on density data, but is not to scale Photo: European Space Agency/Science Photo Library

Space So Full Of Junk That A Satellite Collision Could Destroy Communications On Earth -- The Telegraph

Space is so littered with debris that a collision between satellites could set off an “uncontrolled chain reaction” capable of destroying the communications network on Earth, a Pentagon report warned.

The volume of abandoned rockets, shattered satellites and missile shrapnel in the Earth’s orbit is reaching a “tipping point” and is now threatening the $250 billion (£174bn) space services industry, scientists said.

A single collision between two satellites or large pieces of “space junk” could send thousands of pieces of debris spinning into orbit, each capable of destroying further satellites.

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My Comment: There is a lot of redundancy in our communications grid .... still .... a perfect storm of disruptions could result in severe disruptions that will impact everything .... including our military that is dependent on uninterrupted communication networks.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Link Between Dietary Omega-3 And Depression?

Salmon is high in omega 3 fatty acids. How maternal essential fatty acid deficiency impact on its progeny is poorly understood. Dietary insufficiency in omega-3 fatty acid has been implicated in many disorders. Researchers have now studied mice fed on a diet low in omega-3 fatty acid. They discovered that reduced levels of omega-3 had deleterious consequences on synaptic functions and emotional behaviours. (Credit: iStockphoto)

Deficiency of Dietary Omega-3 May Explain Depressive Behaviors -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Jan. 31, 2011) — How maternal essential fatty acid deficiency impact on its progeny is poorly understood. Dietary insufficiency in omega-3 fatty acid has been implicated in many disorders. Researchers from Inserm and INRA and their collaborators in Spain collaboration, have studied mice fed on a diet low in omega-3 fatty acid. They discovered that reduced levels of omega-3 had deleterious consequences on synaptic functions and emotional behaviours.

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My Comment: That's why I like my eggs being Omega-3 certified and my fish always fresh.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Is Sex Possible During Pregnancy


What You Need to Know About Pregnant Sex -- Live Science

Prospective parents can breathe a sigh of relief: According to the latest research, sex during pregnancy is almost always safe.

The latest primer for physicians on the topic, published today (Jan. 31) in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, advises pregnant women and their partners to engage in sex according to the couple's comfort level. The only exception is in the case of high-risk pregnancies. In those cases, sex may sometimes carry risk, the authors wrote, though the evidence is limited.

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Microsoft Security Flaw Puts 900 Million Internet Users At Risk

From FOX News:

Internet users across the world are at risk of being hacked due to a massive security flaw in Internet Explorer, according to a Microsoft announcement.

The flaw, which affects all versions of the popular web browser, puts 900 million people across the globe at risk of being hacked and will require an interim patch update while Microsoft prepares a long term solution.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/02/01/microsoft-security-flaw-puts-million-internet-users-risk/#ixzz1CjIff1Vt

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My Comment: One more reason to use Firefox.

Has The Father Of Triceratops Been Found?

The skull on the left is the Titanoceratops skull, the missing parts of which were reconstructed to look like a Pentaceratops. The illustration on the right shows the missing parts of the frill (shaded). (Credit: Image courtesy of Yale University)

Newly Discovered Dinosaur Likely Father of Triceratops -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Jan. 31, 2011) — Triceratops and Torosaurus have long been considered the kings of the horned dinosaurs. But a new discovery traces the giants' family tree further back in time, when a newly discovered species appears to have reigned long before its more well-known descendants, making it the earliest known member of its family.

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5,000 Years Of Egyptian Antiquities Are Now Being Looted Across Egypt



Egypt's Antiquities Fall Victim To The Mob -- Wall Street Journal

When Zahi Hawass, the secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, came to work at the Egyptian Museum on Saturday, he found that looters had broken in and beheaded two mummies—possibly Tutankhamun's grandparents—and looted the ticket booth. Reports indicate that middle-class Egyptians, the tourism police and later the military secured the museum. But now it appears that many other museum's and storehouses have been looted, along with archaeological sites. A vast, impoverished underclass seems less taken with either the nationalist narrative of Egyptian greatness that stretches back to the pharaohs, or the intrinsic value of antiquities for all humanity, and more intrigued by the possibility of gold and other loot. For his part, Mr. Hawass has now been appointed state minister for antiquities by President Hosni Mubarak.

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More News On Egypt's Collection of Antiquities At Risk As The Unrest Continues To Grow

Egypt sees massive looting of antiquities -- Bikyamasr
Protesters defended Cairo's Egyptian Museum from looters; archeological warehouses raided -- New York Daily News
Egypt: Other face of unrest sees looters plunder country's past -- Scotsman
Details of looting of Cairo and other Egyptian museums -- The Art Newspaper
Haswass Anxiety for Egyptian Antiquities in Attacks on Museums -- Suite101
Egyptian artifacts in danger: antiquities chief -- CBC
Egyptologists fear for relics amid unrest -- CNN
Archaeologists Hold Their Breaths on Status of Egyptian Antiquities -- Science Magazine
Archaeologists assess Tut tragedy -- MSNBC
Egypt crisis: Looters destroy mummies in Cairo museum -- The Telegraph
Egyptian army boosts security at museums and archaeological sites -- The National
Egypt's Treasures Saved from Looters and Vandals -- FOX News
Egypt Treasures Looted, but Public Strikes Back -- National Geographic
Egypt's Human Chain: The Race to Save the Mummies -- Time Magazine
Egypt: military detains 50 at museum -- AP
The Break-In at Cairo's Prized Museum -- Time Magazine
Pictures: Ancient Egyptian Artifacts Damaged in Looting -- National Geographic
The battle for Egypt's past -- CNN
Egypt's museums must be defended -- Jonathan Jones, The Guardian

My Comment: The focus of the media is on the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and efforts to protect it. But the fact is that there are many more museums all across Egypt, and reports are now coming in that they are being looted. To say that this is a catastrophe is an understatement. Regardless of what is happening politically, years from now Egypt will be looking at what is happening today as a dark day in which a good portion of its historical past was looted and stolen.

Why Walking Will Boost Your memory

Memory Boost For Aging Adults: Take A Walk -- Live Science

Forget the brain puzzles, mild exercise such as walking can boost brain volume and improve memory in older adults, researchers have found.

"With a limited investment of time and effort you can produce fairly dramatic improvements in memory and brain health," senior researcher Arthur Kramer, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, told LiveScience. "You can roll back the clock about two years."

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My Comment: Exercise is vital when it get older .... and the fun part is that it is fun.

We All Operate On A 24-Hour Cycle

Scientists have identified the mechanism that controls the internal 24-hour clock of all forms of life. Reuters/Tyrone Siu

Scientists Find the Tiny 24-Hour Clock in Every Living Thing -- FOX News

Scientists have identified the mechanism that controls the internal 24-hour clock of all forms of life -- from us to algae.

Researchers from Britain's Cambridge and Edinburgh universities, whose work was published in the journal Nature on Wednesday, said their findings provide important insight into health-related problems linked to people such as nurses, pilots and other shift workers, whose body clocks are disrupted.

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My Comment: Truth be told .... sometimes I feel that i have been on a 36 hour schedule.

Shutting Down The U.S. Internet: A Doomsday Scenario


From CBS News:

For Americans addicted to Facebook and Google, a day without the Internet might seem to last forever, but the effect of going offline would be no less traumatic for the entire U.S. economy, experts say.

While the economy probably could reverse the damage from being offline a few days, every day without the Internet would be a step closer to calamity for manufacturing, finance and other sectors of the economy.

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The Web Will Soon be Out of Addresses

Net Approaches Address Exhaustion -- BBC

The last big blocks of the net's dwindling stock of addresses are about to be handed out.

The event that triggers their distribution is widely expected to take place in the next few days.

When that happens each of the five regional agencies that hand out net addresses will get one of the remaining blocks of 16 million addresses.

The addresses in those last five blocks are expected to be completely exhausted by September 2011.

Read more ....

Rewriting History Of Man As A Global Species


Out Of Africa: Stone Tools Rewrite History Of Man As A Global Species -- The Independent

A stone-age archaeological site in the Arabian peninsula has become the focus of a radical theory of how early humans made the long walk from their evolutionary homeland of Africa to become a globally-dispersed species.

Scientists have found a set of stone tools buried beneath a collapsed rock shelter in the barren hills of the United Arab Emirates that they believe were made about 125,000 years ago by people who had migrated out of eastern African by crossing the Red Sea when sea levels were at a record low.

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My Comment: This debate is going to go on long after we are all gone.

New Techniques To Find Fingerprints Is Helping To Solve Crimes

Image: University of Abertay Dundee/Scottish Police Services Authority)

Fingerprints On Fabrics Could Now Solve Crimes -- New Scientist

Picture the scene: a body is found dead after falling from a high balcony. As forensics teams gather at the scene they need to understand whether it was an accident or something more sinister. Now, the dead man's shirt might hold the answer.

Read more ....

Is The PC On The Way Out?


Are Tablets Going To Kill The PC? -- Discovery Magazine

It would've been more appropriate to call this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas the Consumer Tablet Show.

In the wake of Apple’s iPad 2010 success with sales topping 10 million units, competing companies rolled out more than 80 tablet devices at the January electronics tradeshow.

“At CES, it seemed like every major company introduced at least one new tablet to its line of products,” said Jonathan Strickland, technology expert who covered CES 2011 for HowStuffWorks.com and the TechStuff podcast.

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My Comment: I am skeptical that this will happen. Computers are easier to use .... and quicker when it comes to work. Tablets will be predominant .... but killing the PC .... nah.

Identifying Skin Cancers With Laser Light

Photo: Holy Mole-y The Verisante Aura uses Raman spectroscopy to analyze moles and other skin growths for the presence of malignant cells nearly instantaneously, taking some of the guesswork out of melanoma diagnosis. Verisante Technology

New Handheld Melanoma Scanner Instantly Identifies Skin Cancers With Laser Light -- Popular Science

Yeah, you’ve been thinking about getting that thing checked out, but it’s just a mole right? Such is the problem with melanoma; it’s tough to know which spots on the skin are benign and which could be the hallmark of early-stage skin cancer. Most dermatologists still decide which moles require a biopsy by good old fashioned eye-balling, but a new device developed by researchers at British Colombia Cancer Agency (BCCA) could remove that guesswork, using a handheld laser to quickly identify problem spots that require closer examination.

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My Comment: I had a skin cancer scare 3 years ago .... this hits me home in more levels than I can imagine.

Startling Images Which Show How Chimpanzees Mourn Their Dead



A Mother's Grief: The Startling Images Which Show How Chimpanzees Mourn Their Dead Just Like Humans -- The Daily Mail

Chimpanzees appear to mourn their dead infants just like humans, scientists have discovered.

Chimpanzee mothers establish close physical relationships with their young, carrying them for up to two years and nursing them until they are six.

But now scientists have filmed how one chimpanzee mother, whose 16-month-old infant died, apparently begins the grieving process.

It’s the latest evidence highlighting just how similar chimps and other great apes are to humans.

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My Comment: A fascinating video. It appears that we are not too different after all.

Monday, January 31, 2011

What If To Do If A Huge Asteroid Was Going To Slam Into Earth?

City Tech student Thinh LĂȘ with the apparatus he built to measure the optical transmission of meteorite samples. (Credit: Michele Forsten)

Asteroid Deflection: What If A Huge Asteroid Was Going To Slam Into Earth? -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Jan. 31, 2011) — So you think global warming is a big problem? What could happen if a 25-million-ton chunk of rock slammed into Earth? When something similar happened 65 million years ago, the dinosaurs and other forms of life were wiped out.

"A collision with an object of this size traveling at an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 mile per hour would be catastrophic," according to NASA researcher and New York City College of Technology (City Tech) Associate Professor of Physics Gregory L. Matloff. His recommendation? "Either destroy the object or alter its trajectory."

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My Comment: A massive asteroid strike on the earth .... that for sure will make my day.

Is A Trip To The Bar The Best Thing For Veterans Mental Health

Photo: First Lt. Travis Gilbert, 34, center, enjoys his first beer since returning from a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan. Anita Powell / S&S

For Veterans, Road to Mental Health May Begin at the Bar -- Live Science

Connecting struggling veterans to the mental health services they need is an ongoing challenge. Now, a new study finds that the process could start with a sympathetic bartender.

The exploratory study found that bartenders at Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) clubs could help identify veterans in trouble and direct them to mental health professionals. Brief and inexpensive training for these bartenders would widen the safety net for veterans in need of care, said study researcher Keith Anderson, a professor of social work at Ohio State University

Read more ....

My Comment:
I do not see many soldiers disagreeing with this course of treatment.

How Egypt Disconnected The Internet



How Egypt Pulled The Plug On The Internet -- CBS News

Within Six Minutes, Internet Providers for 93 Percent of Egypt Went Down - And Have Not Come Back.

(CBS) NEW YORK - The uprising in Egypt is a quintessential 21st century event - born on Facebook and other social networking sites - which led the government to cut off Internet service.

Science and Technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg reports on this desperate effort to keep a lid on dissent.

The Internet blackout was a surprising move for a nation previously known for being open - compared to other countries in the Mideast.

Read more ....

More News On How Egypt Disconnected The Internet

Egypt's Internet service blockade unprecedented -- USA Today
A Look At How Egypt Shut Down The Internet -- Tech Dirt
Egypt Internet Blockade Worst in History -- Mobilemedia

Noor Group, Egypt's last Internet service provider, shuts down -- L.A. Times
Egypt's last Internet provider, The Noor Group, goes dark; 'speak-to-tweet' service launched -- Canadian Press
Egypt's Last ISP, Noor Group, Vanishes from 'Net -- PC Magazine
Egypt’s Last-Standing ISP Goes Dark -- Threat Level
As Final Internet Provider Goes Off-Line, Egyptians Seek Simpler Options -- NPR

Accessing The Internet From Egypt -- NPR (Audio)
Egypt Turns Off the Internet. Now What Happens? -- Technology Review
Egypt’s Internet gambit misfires. Surprised? -- Reuters
Making sense of the internet and Egypt -- John D. Sutter, CNN
Egypt's big internet disconnect -- Andrew McLaughlin, The Guardian

Microsoft Warning Over Browser Security Flaw

From The BBC:

Microsoft has issued a "critical" warning over a newly-discovered flaw in Windows.

In a security advisory, the company warned of a loophole that could be used by malicious hackers to steal private information or hijack computers.

The bug potentially affects every user of the Internet Explorer web browser - around 900 million people worldwide.

Microsoft has issued a software patch to defend against attacks, and said it was working to develop a long-term fix.

Read more ....

My Comment: A Microsoft browser security flaw .... how come I am not surprised. What will really make the news, is when they report that there are no security flaws.

How Are We Going To Feed 9.2 Billion People In 2050


The UN has warned of a global hunger crisis over predicted poor crop yields. Photo by wordpress.com

2.4 Billion Extra People, No More Land: How Will We Feed The World In 2050? -- The Independent

Steve Connor reveals how scientists propose a major policy shift to tackle one of the great challenges of the 21st century.

The finite resources of the Earth will be be stretched as never before in the coming 40 years because of the unprecedented challenge of feeding the world in 2050, leading scientists have concluded in a report to be published next week.

Food production will have to increase by between 70 and 100 per cent, while the area of land given over to agriculture will remain static, or even decrease as a result of land degradation and climate change. Meanwhile the global population is expected to rise from 6.8 billion at present to about 9.2 billion by mid-century.

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My Comment: If not .... what has been happening in Tunisia and Egypt in the past two weeks will be a piper when compared to what may happen in the future when the populations involved are 50% greater.

How Did the Vikings Navigate Their Ships When Cloud Or Fog Hid The Sun

No sun here (Image: Doughoughton/Alamy)

Vikings' Crystal Clear Method Of Navigation -- New Scientist

Viking sagas may have been more truthful than we realised. Crystal "sunstones" could have helped Viking sailors to navigate even when cloud or fog hid the sun.

Vikings navigated using sundials calibrated to show the direction of the North Pole. While there is no physical evidence for the navigational techniques adopted on cloudy days, there are references in the Viking sagas to "sunstones" being used.

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Assessing The Damage At The Egyptian Museum

Photo: The Egyptian Museum (Courtesy Kristoferb/Wikimedia Commons)

Egypt's Treasures: Assessing The Damage -- Discover Magazine

Concern about Egypt’s priceless antiquities continues to grow, and Egyptologists around the world are issuing high-alert statements about the risk of Egyptian antiquities being smuggled abroad.

“It would be a wonderful gesture if people who are in the antiquity business do not buy any Egyptian artifact at the moment, particularly if they look Old Kingdom antiquities or if they appear to come from the Memphite Necropolis of the New Kingdom,” Salima Ikram, professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo, told Discovery News in a phone interview from Cairo.

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Greenland's Ice Sheet Is Not Melting

Greenland Ice Sheet Is Safer Than Scientists Previously Thought -- The Guardian

New study overturns fears that increased melting could lubricate the ice sheet, causing it to sink ever faster into the sea.

The threat of the Greenland ice sheet slipping ever faster into the sea because of warmer summers has been ruled out by a scientific study.

Until now, it was thought that increased melting could lubricate the ice sheet, causing it to sink ever faster into the sea. The issue was a key unknown in the landmark 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which pinned the blame for climate change firmly on greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.

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My Comment: OK .... I guess global warming is not an issue there.

How Much Can You Sweat

Never Stop Sweating Jetportal is Jeffrey Montes on Flickr

FYI: How Much Can A Human Body Sweat Before It Runs Out? -- Popular Science

It all depends on the size, physical fitness and hydration of the person in question, but it’s possible to sweat buckets before heatstroke sets in and we pass out. After all, there are about three million sweat glands on the human body (the highest concentration is on our palms), and the average person aggressively working out perspires about 0.7 to 1.5 liters per hour. Theoretically, if we were attached to a treadmill and pumped full of liquids, it’s possible to keep sweating forever.

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My Comment: The sentence that caught my attention was the following .....

.... During the Ironman Hawaii, competitors perspire some 15 liters (about four gallons) throughout the combined marathon run, 2.4-mile swim and 112-mile bike ride.


That's a lot of sweat.

Will Astronaut Mark E. Kelly Fly Or Not?

Mark E. Kelly at a news conference in Tucson this month, joined by Dr. Peter Rhee, one of Gabrielle Giffords’s doctors. Joshua Lott/Reuters

Giffords’s Husband Faces Decision on Shuttle Flight -- New York Times

As Representative Gabrielle Giffords settles into a rehabilitation hospital in Houston, a major question remains for her husband, the astronaut Mark E. Kelly: Will he fly or not?

Captain Kelly, a Navy officer who flew 39 combat missions in the Persian Gulf war, is scheduled to fly the shuttle Endeavour on a two-week mission to the International Space Station in April.

With his wife at the beginning of a long and arduous rehabilitation program to recover from a gunshot wound to the head, Captain Kelly and his bosses at NASA will have to determine whether he can maintain the training regimen in the weeks leading up to the launching and command the mission.

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Update:
Giffords husband to decide on space trip in mid-Feb -- Reuters

My Comment: I do not envy the decisions that he has to make.

Commander Of International Space Station Gets A Birthday Present

Expedition 26 crew: (from left to right) Engineers Oleg Skripochka, Alexander Kaleri, Dmitry Kondratyev, Paolo Nespoli, Catherine Coleman and Commander Scott Kelly

Happy Birthday! Commander Of International Space Station Crew Has Present Delivered By Unmanned Rocket -- The Daily Mail

The commander of a six-person crew who are currently on the International Space Station (ISS) has had a special delivery today, Russian Mission Control have confirmed.

The unmanned rocket delivered food, fuel, oxygen, scientific equipment and packages for the U.S.-Russian-Italian crew, who are part of Nasa's Expedition 26.

And commander Scott Kelly, leading the trip which began in November, found a surprise package to help him celebrate when he turns 47 on February 21.

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Who Will Be On Top .... Google Or Facebook?

Will Google Survive Facebook? -- Wall Street Journal

"How can we not be happy?" Google CFO Patrick Pichette asked rhetorically last week as the Internet search giant unveiled stellar earnings and revenue for the fourth quarter and full year 2010.

He got his answer: a swift $25 drop in Google's stock price. Shares closed Friday at $600.99.

On the face of it, Google management and shareholders had plenty to celebrate. In the fourth quarter, sales surged 26%, while profits rose 29%—both above Wall Street's expectations. Growth in Google's core search business accelerated, and Mr. Pichette stressed that newer businesses in display and mobile search were "another growth engine" for the company. Analysts rushed to increase their one-year stock-price targets, with some going as high as $800.

So why the tepid response?

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My Comment: Search will be around forever .... but social networking is where the growth is.

New Material To Revolutionize Electronics?

This is a digital model showing how molybdenite can be integrated into a transistor. (Credit: Credit: EPFL)

New Transistors: An Alternative to Silicon and Better Than Graphene -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Jan. 30, 2011) — Smaller and more energy-efficient electronic chips could be made using molybdenite. In an article appearing online January 30 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, EPFL's Laboratory of Nanoscale Electronics and Structures (LANES) publishes a study showing that this material has distinct advantages over traditional silicon or graphene for use in electronics applications.

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My Comment: This is the next electronic revolution.

King Tut Artifacts Damaged In Egypt


Looters Damage King Tut Artifacts in Egypt -- Live Science

As chaos reportedly ensues on the streets of Cairo, the Egyptian Museum became a piece of property for looters to exploit, according to Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

About 1,000 people jumped over the wall on the eastern side of the museum on Friday (Jan. 28) when the protests began. They raided the gift shop, thinking it was the museum, according to Hawass's blog. Ten of the individuals made their way into the museum.

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My Comment: It could have been far worse .... correction .... much worse.