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  1.    #41  
    Military Wants To Control Weather

    <snip> Thunderbolts on demand
    What would a military strategist gain by having an "on switch" for the weather?

    Clearly, it offers the ability to degrade the effectiveness of enemy forces. That could come from flooding an opponent’s encampment or airfield, or even generating downright downpours that disrupt enemy troop comfort levels. On the flip side, sparking a drought that cuts off fresh water can stir up morale problems for warfighting foes.

    Even fooling around with fog and clouds can deny or create concealment — whichever weather manipulation does the needed job.

    In this regard, nanotechnology could be utilized to create clouds of tiny smart particles. Atmospherically buoyant, these ultra-small computer particles could navigate themselves to block optical sensors. Alternatively, they might be used to provide an atmospheric electrical potential difference — a precise way to aim and time lightning strikes over the enemy’s head — and thereby concoct thunderbolts on demand.

    Perhaps that’s too far out for some. But some blue-sky thinkers have already looked into these and other scenarios in "Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025" — a research paper written by a seven-person team of military officers and presented in 1996 as part of a larger study dubbed Air Force 2025. <snip>


  2.    #42  
    Scientists Find the T-Rex of Crocodiles

    Scientists have nicknamed it Godzilla, but it really belongs in another movie, one not yet made but possibly titled: "Jaws Meets Jurassic Park."

    The creature, whose discovery is being announced today in the journal Science, is a large sea-dwelling crocodile that lived 135 million years ago, in the middle of the dinosaur era.

    Unlike most crocodiles today, this one possessed a snout that was short and stout, like that of Tyrannosaurus rex, and its foot-and-a-half-long jaws held 52 large teeth with serrated edges - the type that can tear chunks of flesh out of other large creatures.

    "I'm sure it wasn't nice," said Diego Pol, a researcher at the Mathematical Biosciences Institute at Ohio State University and a member of the research team. "A top predator role in the food chain."...............

  3. #43  
    cool are they from the dead sea
  4.    #44  
    Astronomers Take Big Step In Finding Where Here Actually Is
    Scientists figure out our place in Milky Way
    Triangulation yields a distance to our galaxy’s nearest spiral arm

    Astronomers can provide detailed images of beautifully swirling galaxies millions of miles away. It’s our own galaxy they haven’t been able to get their arms around.

    “It’s clear that the Milky Way has a structure like those, but it’s hard to tell being in it,” said Mark Reid of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

    Now, a team of astronomers has taken an important step toward mapping the Milky Way by accurately measuring the distance to the star-forming region W3OH in the Perseus spiral arm, the nearest arm to us. This long strand of stars streaks out of the Milky Way’s disk in the same manner as others seen in galaxies across the universe.

    Until now scientists had difficulties figuring just how far away spiral arms are, and various measurements and techniques had discrepancies ranging by a factor of two.

    The new results are from a telescope nearly the size of Earth. The astronomers used the Very Long Baseline Array, taking observations from several telescopes stretching from Hawaii to the Virgin Islands, to create the resolution of a telescope nearly 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) in diameter.

  5.    #45  
    Double-Mouthed Fish Pulled From Neb. Lake
    A rainbow trout fished out of Holmes Lake in Lincoln, Neb., on Dec. 17, 2005, features a double mouth. Clarence Olberding, 57, of Lincoln, wasn't just telling a fisherman's fib when he called over another angler to look at the two-mouthed trout. It weighed in at about a pound. Olberding, who plans to smoke and eat the fish, said the hook was in the upper mouth, and that the lower one did not appear to be functional.(AP Photo/Submitted photo, Charrye Olberding)

    LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - This fish didn't have a chance. A rainbow trout pulled out of Holmes Lake last weekend had double the chance to get hooked: It had two mouths.

    Clarence Olberding, 57, wasn't just telling a fisherman's fib when he called over another angler to look at the two-mouthed trout. It weighed in at about a pound.

    "I reached down and grabbed it to take the hook out, and that's when I noticed that the hook was in the upper mouth and there was another jaw protruding out below," said Olberding.

    He said in his 40 years of fishing, he's never seen anything like it.

    Don Gabelhouse, head of the fisheries division of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, said a two-mouthed fish was new to him, too.

    "It's probably a genetic deformity," he said. "I don't think there's anything wrong with it."

    The second mouth didn't appear to be functional, Olberding said. He has plans for the fish, which don't included mounting.

    "I'm going to smoke it up and eat it," he said.
    I LOVE fishing....but I don't think I would eat that one!
  6.    #46  
    Satellite sleuth closes in on Noah’s Ark mystery

    Images pinpoint Mount Ararat feature that may have inspired biblical saga

    The red ellipse marks the location of the "Ararat anomaly" on the northwest corner of Mount Ararat in Turkey. For more than a decade, veteran national security analyst Porcher Taylor has been looking into whether the feature might be the remains of a giant ancient vessel.

    High on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey, there is a baffling mountainside "anomaly," a feature that one researcher claims may be something of biblical proportions.

    Images taken by aircraft, intelligence-gathering satellites and commercial remote-sensing spacecraft are fueling an intensive study of the intriguing oddity. But whether the anomaly is some geological quirk of nature, playful shadows, a human-made structure of some sort, or simply nothing at all — that remains to be seen.

    Whatever it is, the anomaly of interest rests at an elevation of 15,300 feet (4,663 meters) on the northwest corner of Mount Ararat, and is nearly submerged in glacial ice. It would be easy to call it merely a strange rock formation.

    But at least one man wonders if it could be the remains of Noah's Ark — a vessel said to have been built to save people and selected animals from the Great Flood, the 40 days and 40 nights of deluge as detailed in the Book of Genesis.

    The Genesis blueprint of the Ark described the structure as having a 6-to-1 length-to-width ratio (300 cubits by 50 cubits). The anomaly, as viewed by satellite, is close to that 6-to-1 proportion.


    "I had no preconceived notions or agendas when I began this in 1993 as to what I was looking for," Taylor said.

    As for the saga of Noah's Ark, he is quick to note that there are those who say it is fable while others take it as truth.

    Nevertheless, the anomaly may not be a ridge line of ice, snow and possibly rock, but an artificial ridge line, Taylor said. "I maintain that if it is the remains of something manmade and potentially nautical, then it's potentially something of biblical proportions."

    While chiding the intelligence communities to release more of their closely guarded satellite imagery, Taylor said that soon-to-fly commercial remote sensing spacecraft are sure to help his archaeological undertaking.


    The face of the anomaly measured 1,015 feet (309 meters) across, Franz said. "I also found the shape of the anomaly appears to fit on a circle. I am not sure what this means, if anything, but I find it curious."

    Given that length, Taylor pointed out, the anomaly dwarfs the Titanic and Bismarck in size, and equals the size of the largest modern aircraft carrier. That analysis would seem to call into question whether the anomaly is a wooden ship and raises a key question: If a boat were truly that huge, would it float?


  7.    #47  
    Nanotech restores vision in hamsters

    Synthetic mesh may someday be used for human brain injuries

    A photomicrograph shows a section of hamster brain treated with the synthetic nanofiber scaffold. The growth of new axons and nerves is shown in green.

    Scientists partially restored the vision in blinded hamsters by plugging gaps in their injured brains with a synthetic substance that allowed brain cells to reconnect with one another, a new study reports.

    If it can be applied to humans, the microscopic material could one day help restore sensory and motor function to patients suffering from strokes and injuries of the brain or spinal cord. It could also help mend cuts made in the brain during surgery.

    "If we can reconnect parts of the brain that were disconnected by a stroke, then we may be able to restore speech to an individual who is able to understand what is said but has lost the ability to speak," said study team member Rutledge Ellis-Behnke from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    The substance contains nano-sized particles that self-assemble into a fibrous mesh. The mesh mimics the body's natural connective tissue when placed in contact with living cells.

    The mesh allows existing neurons whose axons have been severed by injury or stroke to reconnect. Axons are branchlike projections that link neurons to one other, allowing them to communicate. When many axons are bundled together, they form a nerve.


    The researchers severed a nerve tract within the visual system of both young and adult hamsters, which resulted in blindness. For some of the animals, the synthetic substance, called SAPNS, was applied immediately after the incision. Other animals were given saline as a control.

    Within 24 hours, all of the animals treated with SAPNS showed signs of healing; with time, the gaps in their brain tissues closed up completely.

    In the adult group, vision was functionally restored within six weeks. In one animal, the severed nerve tract was restored to more than 80 percent that of a normal animal. In other studies, the researchers found that nerves needed to be only about 40 percent healed for animals to have functional vision.


  8.    #49  
    Time to update all of our textbooks with only 8 planets in our solar system?

    Scientists decide Pluto’s no longer a planet
    Planet definition approved, but dissenters plan a counteroffensive
    This lineup shows the 12 planets that were proposed last week, with a wedge of the sun at far left. Ceres, Pluto, Charon and 2003 UB313 are barely visible. Now Charon will continue to be considered Pluto's satellite, and the three other worlds will be dubbed "dwarf planets" rather than full-fledged planets. The planets are drawn to scale, but without correct relative distances.

    Capping years of intense debate, astronomers resolved Thursday to demote Pluto in a wholesale redefinition of planethood that is being billed as a victory of scientific reasoning over historic and cultural influences. But the decision is already being hotly debated.

    Officially, Pluto is no longer a planet.

    "Pluto is dead," said Mike Brown, a planetary scientist at the California Institute of Technology who spoke with reporters via a teleconference while monitoring the vote. The decision also means a Pluto-sized object that Brown discovered will not be called a planet.


    The resolution
    The decision establishes three main categories of objects in our solar system.
    • Planets: The eight worlds starting with Mercury and moving out to Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
    • Dwarf planets: Pluto and any other round object that "has not cleared the neighborhood around its orbit, and is not a satellite."
    • Small solar system bodies: All other objects orbiting the sun.
    Pluto and its moon Charon, which would both have been planets under the initial definition proposed Aug. 16, now get demoted because they are part of a sea of other objects that occupy the same region of space. Earth and the other eight large planets have, on the other hand, cleared broad swaths of space of any other large objects.

    "Pluto is a dwarf planet by the ... definition and is recognized as the prototype of a new category of trans-Neptunian objects," states the approved resolution.


    "The public is not going to be excited by the fact that Pluto has been kicked out," Brown said. "But it's the right thing to do."

    Textbooks and classroom charts will, of course, have to be revised.
  9.    #50  
    Cloak of invisibility: Fact or fiction?

    The black lines in this drawing show the path that light rays would take through a theoretical cloaking device. The device's metamaterial would be patterned in such a way to route the rays around the cloaked sphere.

    WASHINGTON - Harry Potter and Captain Kirk would be proud. A team of American and British researchers has made a Cloak of Invisibility.

    Well, OK, it’s not perfect. Yet.

    But it’s a start, and it did a pretty good job of hiding a copper cylinder.


    Cloaking differs from stealth technology, which doesn’t make an aircraft invisible but reduces the cross-section available to radar, making it hard to track. Cloaking simply passes the radar or other waves around the object as if it weren’t there, like water flowing around a smooth rock in a stream.

    When water flows around a rock, Smith explained, the water recombines after it passes the rock and people looking at the water downstream would never know it had passed a rock. The cloaking has to be designed for specific bandwidths

    The new work points the way for an improved version that could hide people and objects from visible light.


    The first working cloak was in only two dimensions and did cast a small shadow, Smith acknowledged. The next step is to go for three dimensions and to eliminate any shadow.


    In this case it’s microwaves, and someone measuring them wouldn’t be able to tell they had passed around an object. The hope is to do the same for light waves.

    Looking at a cloaked item, Smith explained: “One would see whatever is behind the cloak. That is, the cloak is, ideally, transparent. Since we do not have a perfect cloak at this point, there is some reflection and some shadow, meaning that the background would still be visible just darkened somewhat.

    The ideal cloak would have nearly negligible reflection and virtually no shadowing, Smith said. “This first experiment has provided a confirmation that the mechanism of cloaking can be realized, we now just need to improve the performance of cloaking structures.”

  10. #51  
    This is hillarious:

    Mars Rover Beginning To Hate Mars
  11. wilsonb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRamsauer View Post
    How come we can hit a comet 80 million miles from earth and I can land a 3 wood on a 50 yard-wide fairway?
    Or haven't come up with safe Petroleum replacement a long time ago? Ohh ya, the biggest Business of them all, Government.
  12.    #53  
    Everything we can see and touch is estimated to be only around 10% of material and components that everything is made up of. In other words we don't know for sure what makes up the other 90% of everything. Dark Matter is the leading theory to help explain this.

    I just read this month's Smithsonian magazine where they are actually conducting 2 years of experierements a mile deep in the earth trying to detect if Dark Matter is real and if they can find some here underneath our feet.

    Why does Dark Matter matter?

    But they think they have just found a ring of dark matter in another galaxy:

    Hubble reveals ghostly ring of dark matter
    Circle formed when two huge clusters of galaxies slammed together

    Astronomers have discovered an enormous, ghostly ring of dark matter 5 billion light years away — the most blatant evidence to date for the existence of a mysterious substance hidden throughout the universe.

    Dark matter makes up a vast majority of gravity-exerting mass in the universe, while only about 10 percent is matter we can see and touch. If dark matter didn't exist, scientists say, galaxies like the Milky Way would have already flown apart from a severe lack of gravitational "glue."


    Because so much dark matter resides in the ring, astronomers said, it bends the light around it to create the ripple effect — dark matter's calling card. The findings were announced at a NASA press conference today.

    The ring, 2.6-million light-years wide, formed when two huge clusters of galaxies slammed together in a head-on collision roughly 1 to 2 billion years ago, puffing the mysterious matter outward, the astronomers figure. If the galactic hit-and-run had occurred outside of Earth's line-of-sight, the result might look more like an oval.

    Unlike other dark matter discoveries, the ring is the first collection of dark matter that differs greatly from the distribution of ordinary matter.
    Here some other recent research on Dark Matter:

    Dark matter mapped in 3-D detail
    Invisible web serves as scaffolding for ‘ordinary’ matter, scientists say

    The most detailed 3-D map of the universe ever made, stretching back over billions of years, provides the best evidence yet that mysterious "dark matter" serves as the unseen scaffolding on which everything we can see is hung, astronomers reported Sunday

  13.    #54  
    A Hole in Mars

    Explanation: Black spots have been discovered on Mars that are so dark that nothing inside can be seen. Quite possibly, the spots are entrances to deep underground caves capable of protecting Martian life, were it to exist. The unusual hole pictured above was found on the slopes of the giant Martian volcano Arsia Mons. The above image was captured three weeks ago by the HiRISE instrument onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter currently circling Mars. The holes were originally identified on lower resolution images from the Mars Odyssey spacecraft, The above hole is about the size of a football field and is so deep that it is completely unilluminated by the Sun. Such holes and underground caves might be prime targets for future spacecraft, robots, and even the next generation of human interplanetary explorers.
    Here is a full article about it:

    This black spot is one of seven possible entrances to subterranean caves identified on Mars

    The hope for the HiRISE images was that we could see some details from inside the hole. But as you can see by the highly stretched version at right, there is absolutely nothing visible inside that hole. It's black black black black black. HiRISE is a very sensitive instrument, and Mars' dusty atmosphere scatters quite a bit of light around, so there is certainly light entering that cave hole and bouncing around the interior. But it seems that the cave is so big and so deep that almost none of the light that enters the cave comes out. It's deep, and it's big; the hole that we see really is just a skylight on a big subterranean room. How big? We'll never know for sure without visiting it, but I expect that Cushing and his coauthors and the HiRISE team will be crunching the numbers on the illumination conditions and the sensitivity of the camera to put a lower limit on how deep that cave must be for HiRISE to be able to see nothing at all inside it.


    Maybe these spots will be explored by Martian speleologists someday. But that day is a distant one, I'm sure. Earth speleologists are only now exploring some of the biggest holes in our world.

    Do you think anything could really be alive in there?!?
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 05/28/2007 at 11:47 PM.
  14. #55  
    ^or a speck of dirt on the len? (grin)
    (my avatar means "I love you" in sign language.
    PalmIII->Sidekick I-->Sidekick II -->Sidekick III and now Treo 750 which blows them all away.
  15. backbeat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aslmentor View Post
    ^or a speck of dirt on the len?
    Due to a government contractor, no doubt.
  16. #57  
    If a speck of dust gets on a len, it depends on the functions of the len, or etc etc- it can cause either a veritcal streak or specks.

    Too bad they don't hire cheap labor to go fly up and clean the lens, I'd volunteer!!
    (my avatar means "I love you" in sign language.
    PalmIII->Sidekick I-->Sidekick II -->Sidekick III and now Treo 750 which blows them all away.
  17. #58  
  18. #59  
    "Microsoft" Surface ?

    Is this like when MS invented the web ?

    Microsoft's Surface Computing isn't "a new paradigm", nor is it adding any innovation to an existing paradigm. Table computing isn't a new market, either, and Microsoft's demos are years away from being productized.

    In fact, according to Bill Buxton - ironically a Principal Researcher at Microsoft's own research centre - these kinds of multi-touch interfaces have been around for over twenty years. Perhaps the Surface Computing marketing guys at Microsoft should check out Bill's web site.
  19.    #60  
    We have been finding planets right and left for the last several years. But this is the first time they have found one with 5 planets with a large one further out with 4 smaller ones closer in, very similar to ours:

    A Planetary System That Looks Familiar

    Astronomers reported Tuesday that there were at least five planets circling a star there known as 55 Cancri, where only four had been known before, making it the most extensive planetary system yet found outside our own. It is also the one that most resembles our solar system, with a giant planet orbiting far out from the star and four smaller ones circling closer in.

    The new addition to the system circles 55 Cancri at roughly the distance of Venus in our own solar system, in the so-called habitable zone where it is warm enough for liquid water. But, with 45 times the mass of Earth, the planet is more apt to resemble Neptune or Saturn than Earth, and thus would be a deadly environment for any kind of life that we know.

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