What people are talking about in the world of science and beyond. [Water Cooler Archive]
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Bizarre Sect Gets More Bizarre
In Mexico's strange town called New Jerusalem, there's no freedom of religion. You can't play soccer, either. But John F. Kennedy is a saint, explains reporter Chris Hawley. End times come and go. And now the apocalyptic sect is falling apart from within.
- Police chopper said to just miss a UFO
- Colorful Canadian Fireball Spotted
- Over 200 whales trapped in Canadian ice
- Biblical City Where David Battled Goliath Found?
- Cat has 26 toes
Warning Issued for Midwest Quake Potential
Reuters reports FEMA has issued a warning for the potential of a catastrophic earthquake in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, centered in Missouri.
This is not news. The region, which experienced whopping temblors in the early 1800s, has several times been fingered as ripe for another big one. Indeed, it will likely happen, seismologists have long warned. Nobody has a clue when, however. The origin of the story is a press release issued by FEMA in which the agency touts what it is doing to publicize the concern and hold workshops for builders, planners and emergency officials.
Anyway, for those who didn't know, here's the latest rendition of the warning: "People who live in these areas and the people who build in these areas certainly need to take into better account that at some time there is ... expected to be a catastrophic earthquake in that area, and they'd better be prepared for it," said FEMA spokesperson Mary Margaret Walker.
- Canadian Court: Obese have right to two airline seats
- Popes said to predict, in 1985, "an undisciplined economy would collapse by its own rules"
- Oh, @#$%: Time to flush flush toilets
ordered to tone down her ads because, well, c'mon. "I am 100 per cent successful with people who come to see me," claims Sister Charlotte, a crystal ball, tarot card and palm reader in Manchester, England. But she can't prove her claims are true, said the Advertising Standards authority. In Philadelphia last year, the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) cited state law in banning fortune-telling for profit in closing storefront psychics and astrologers. A week later business was back to normal, however. Learn more about how psychics fail.
- Single-cell creature a whopping 1-inch in size!
- Did asteroid cause ancient N.Y. tsunami?
- Invasive Plants in Galápagos May Really Be Native
- Iran: Enough uranium for 1 bomb
- Calif. Supreme Court to hear gay marriage ban case
- World’s First Zero-Star Hotel
Stem Cells Restore Animal Sight, Hearing
Stem cells from embryos restored lost hearing and vision in animals, researchers said. The research could lead to such treatments for humans.
- Turkey farm abuse alleged: Workers brag
- Toilets: A privilege that nearly half the world lacks
- Oldest known polar bear dies in zoo
- Sign of the Times: CEOs Flew Private Jets to Plead for Public Funds
- Ginkgo biloba doesn't prevent dementia, study finds
- OUCH: Earliest English-language work on the 'art' of dentistry
- Inmate gets $300,000 for lost genitals
- Hitler had just one testicle
DON'T GO THERE: What readers are saying about this story on God & evolution co-existing: Christian, or any religion could be taught as a subject without the usual indoctrination of any value that it would espouse. ... We are almost about to define a consciousness that will fit God's intentions in a matter which would not violate science at all. ... If 'God' is incomprehensible as many percieve, maybe we never will know and shouldn't.
PIRATE UPDATE: Indian Navy Sinks Pirate Ship / Pirates 'Out of Control'
Pirates Nab Saudi Tanker ... and more...
Last week we told you how, for the first time in modern memory, the Royal Navy engaged in a shootout on the high seas with pirates, killing three. Pirate activity has been increasing in recent years, especially off the coast of Somalia, but few nations had done much but watch as the thieves capture cargo ships and hold them ransom. Billions of dollars are lost to pirates every year. Now a Saudi supertanker packing a couple million barrels of oil has been seized and is anchored off the coast of Somalia. This one was different, according to the Financial Times: "The attack also took place farther out to sea than before, signaling that the pirates have become increasingly bold, organized and able to adapt their tactics, experts say." U.S. Navy officials said they do not expect to intervene. UPDATES: Danish ship seized briefly / Hong Kong ship captured, too
Don't buy into the "medical miracle" claims of this story. Rather, it's a hard-won victory of science. A Spanish woman has become the first patient to receive a whole organ transplant — her windpipe — grown using her own cells. Said a surgeon associated with the case: "This is just the beginning. I think it will completely transform the way we think about surgery." Miracles, on the other hand, are what Bad Science Columnist Ben Radford calls a "newsroom cliche," and they have nothing to do with science.
The Scars of Love
Women seeking short-term relationships are attracted to men with scars, a new study finds. May be that they associate the scars with health and bravery, according to the scientists. What other factors go into picking a mate?
- U.S. Won't Kill Wild Horses -- For Now
- 900 Oven-Ready Owls, 7,000 Live Lizards Seized in Asia
- Pics: Chicago during the Great Depression
- Obama addresses global warming summit
DON'T GO THERE: What readers are saying about this smoking story: My biggest complaint about smokers is that they are costing all of us with their addiction. ... It angers me that big business has retarded a perfectly acceptable past-time into a money making machine. ... An awful lot of smokers die before they reach an age where things like alzihimers and dementia kicks in.
MORE OUT THERE:
- Biplane hits cow
- Baby monitor tells WHY he's crying
- Kangaroo genes close to humans
- US gasoline closer to $2, cheapest since March 2005
- Lance Fears France: 'There're some aggressive, angry emotions'
- 691,000 U.S. kids went hungry in '07
Science Guy? I See the Future
The new British Science Minister, Lord Drayson, apparently thinks he can foresee the future. "In my life there have been some things I have known, and I don't know why," Drayson said in an interview. "I think there is a lot we don't understand about human capability." Do humans really have such abilities?
Copper has been used since ancient times for everything from weapons to plumbing system. Now its bacteria- and fungus-fighting properties could be put to use for poles or other surfaces in public transportation systems, figures Jurgen Leibbrandt, head of market development for the Chilean state copper giant Codelco. And maybe even clothes or towels. One problem: Copper is prized by thieves in the United States, who sell it to scrap metal dealers. [What are pennies made of?]
- Rare blood transfusion attempted on tiger cub
- 'Extinct' Primate Found in Indonesia
- The end of instant messaging (as we know it)
- 'This is the film Al Gore and Hollywood don't want you to see'
- Salvation Army bell-ringers to take credit cards this year
- World record for dominos is toppled
- Homo erectus fossil challenges evolution ideas
- Ancient Greeks pre-empted Monty Python: Ancestor of Dead Parrot sketch found
The Energy Debates: Can We Change?
Starting Monday, Nov. 17, LiveScience will present "The Energy Debates," a series of articles about the pros, cons, policy debates, myths and facts related to various alternative energy ideas. We invite you to join the debate by commenting directly on each article. Today, why the debate is needed: The reduced interest and pullback in investment into alternative energy sources.
MORE OUT THERE:
- Michelangelo's secret messages
- Marine plankton found in amber
- Elusive microbe fertilizes oceans
- California fire destroys 100 homes
- Which Came First: the dinosaur or the egg?
- Why some tumors spread and others don't
Ice Age Cometh?
A new study in the journal Nature suggests that Earth is near a turning point: In the next 10,000 to 100,000 years, ice sheets could cover much of Europe, Asia and South America. Ice age cycles over the past million years are like a slow-mo version of a seismograph during an earthquake, the researchers argue. But the dramatic global warming going on right now, and all the greenhouse gases man has pumped into the air, might actually prevent the Ice-Age scenario from happening. The upshot: You should worry. Or not.
Royal Navy engaged in a shootout on the high seas with pirates, killing three. Pirate activity has been increasing in recent years, especially off the coast of Somalia, but few nations had done much but watch as the thieves capture cargo ships and hold them ransom. Billions of dollars are lost to pirates every year. [Almost related: How warfare shaped human evolution]
- SHUT UP! Tiny shrimp make a sound louder than a jet engine
- MAKE NOISE!: Justices Revoke Limits on Navy's Use of Sonar (a whale of an issue)
- Pregnant Man Expecting Second Child
- Tigers kill zoo cleaner
- Preacher with 86 wives gets court reprieve
- Biological "Machines" Fight Disease
- Doctors say marrow transplant may have cured AIDS
- Google predicts flu epidemics
- Cosmetic surgery addict injected cooking oil into her own face
- Prisoner, too fat for cell, released early
DON'T GO THERE: What readers are saying about this idea to combine several alternative energy facilities onto one floating island: It seems quite reasonable and in fact a great idea to implement all these things on one rig. ... I'm wary of any technology that claims to solve all our energy problems. ... I'm huge on renewable energies but how do they think this thing is going to survive the ocean?
WAYBACK MACHINE: General Richard Montgomery led American troops in the capture of Montreal on this day in 1775. The American presence in Canada proved short-lived, however, and soon they all went scrambling back to New York.
Speed Dating: Pick! Hurry!
Given too many choices, people resort to base instincts and pick potential dates based on looks and sex appeal alone, a new study finds. A few of the participants got many offers, "while the least popular ended up with fewer or no offers." While the results seem likely, the reason for the study is less clear. [Related: Why online dating doesn't work / Our Mates Look Like Mom and Dad]
T. Boone Pickens: Wind Can Wait
"I'm the only person in the United States that has a plan," the Texas oil billionaire said on his TV commercials. Well, plans change. With prices for oil and natural gas down, wind can wait, Pickens said yesterday at a meeting of utility and investment officials.
Al Gore might have invented the Internet, but Barack Obama owns it now. Transition officials say he'll use his network of some 3 million contributors and more than 10 million supporters in viral lobbying and communications efforts. Pundits on both sides of that proverbial aisle think that is either great or worrisome, of course.
- Bilingual Birds: They learn foreign calls
- Speculation: Obama to act quickly on climate
- Warmer Arctic means bursts of plankton
- Urgent regulation needed for nanomaterials
Women, Ahem, Mellow with Age
Or, as the British press put it, they "become less bitchy" because once they hit 50 they "are more likely to warm to other females because they no longer see them as rivals." The British press don't mince words. The study was rather small, however, so don't read too much into those unminced words. But do READ ON >>>
good for your heart, a new study finds. Or, rather, "when people listened to their favorite music, their blood vessels dilated in much the same way as when laughing," Reuters reports. That adds to other evidence that music can kill pain, reduce stress and improve the mind. Oh, and about laughter as the best medicine? You don't even have to chuckle: just thinking about laughing can add endorphins to your bloodstream.
MORE OUT THERE:
- Meet Jules, a disembodied androgynous robotic head
- Scientists turn tequila into diamonds
- Americans forego health care
- 'Flying coffin' kills widow on way to husband's funeral
- Utah Ski Resort: 2nd earliest opening in 38 years
DON'T GO THERE: What readers are saying about this article on the need for a global backup plan on climate change: The best an ordinary citizen can hope to do is cut back on energy consumption and start buying food and dry goods from local markets. ... I think the space shade idea makes the most sense. Perhaps we could use existing space debris to build one? ... So (by default) "climate change" means "global warming" but what if the current global cooling trend continues and we'll not be able to remove the enthusiastically created sun shade?
The Last Living U.S. WWI Veteran
Frank Woodruff Buckles lied about his age to get into World War I. Now he's the United State's last living link to the "War to end all wars." In a recent interview, Buckles said: "The world was interested in it. I was interested." In Europe: War veterans Henry Allingham, 112, Harry Patch, 110, and Bill Stone, 108, led a two-minute silence at the Cenotaph national war memorial. Between 1914 and 1918, among the major combatants, Germany lost 1.9 million troops, Russia 1.7 million, France 1.4 million, the Austro-Hungarian empire a million and Britain 760,000, according to AP. An estimated 117,465 U.S. troops and civilians died.
[Origin of Veterans Day / More Articles about War]
- Surrogate Grandmother Feels Fine After Triplets
- The Coldest Place in the Universe ... is ... here on Earth
- U.S. left nuclear warhead under ice in Greenland after B52 crash in 1968
- Quarter of Atlantic sharks and rays face extinction
- FREAKY: Woman found living with three dead siblings
Obama Could Lift Stem Cell Funding Ban
Barack Obama's transition chief says the president-elect is reviewing President George W. Bush's executive orders. Bush has long held that any research that destroys embryos is immoral. "There's a lot that the president can do using his executive authority without waiting for congressional action, and I think we'll see the president do that," Podesta said. "I think that he feels like he has a real mandate for change." So what's that mean?
- Blueprints for Auschwitz camp found in Germany
- Circle of Life: Heatbeats could power pacemakers
- Gore: World needs leadership to protect integrity and livability of the planet
- MP3 headphones can deactivate pacemakers
- The Screaming Mummy Mystery
- Shed-sized nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes in seven years
- Woman has twins from cancer survivor's 13-year-old sperm
- Obama climate policy caught in Democratic tussle
- Accident on Russian Nuclear Submarine Kills 20
- Blinded pilot guided safely to ground
We're running out of landfill space, trucks use too much energy picking up the stuff, it all has to be sorted by hand. [Find a Recycling Center Near You]
Make Less, Eat Worse
As people around the world tighten their budgets, they'll be loosing their belts as consumers turn increasingly to fast food as a dietary mainstay. McDonald's reports global same-store sales jumped 8.2 percent during October. [Nutrition Quiz]
DON'T GO THERE: What readers are saying about this story on Earth's limited resources: Actually, the Earth will last just fine. We humans are at risk - not the Earth. ... The Earth is already depleted, pitching towards termination. ... For us to survive we need to do two things. Limit our breeding to a more logical limit and recycle everything to keep it in the system.
- Science in the Obama Era
- New gecko species
- Election Pop: Obama Girl to Tina Fey
- Early exposure to peanuts may prevent allergy
- Killer whales are discriminating diners
- Are Men Disappearing? Fertility issues, birth defects and male disorders cited
- Plains blizzard traps hundreds of drivers
- Pig organs 'available to patients in a decade'
- Surfer survives 41-foot wave
- Coin toss decides mayor's race
- Al Gore group urges Obama to create U.S. power grid
- 9-year-old boy caught driving to grandma's house
- 'Cage of Death': Well, not really, but you can now swim with Crocs
Python Tries to Swallow a Wallaby
snake was too ambitious, the Daily Mail reports: "Despite opening its jaws to an enormous width it could not consume the rest of the animal and was forced to regurgitate it." Wallabies are relatives of the kangaroo that can weigh up to about 50 pounds. So, how do snakes swallow things larger than themselves? Check out these videos showing how a snake swallows a bigger snake. The main trick: Snake jaws are very flexible (contrary to myth, they do not dislocate, however).
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