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Jul 20,2007
BRAIN SWEAT Rearrange the letters of the following three words to form three new words that are all related: CARTELS, CRIMEAN, MICRONS. PATENTLY ABSURD   WHAT IS IT? - This is an aerial picture of the so-called Richat Structure, a geological formation in the Maur Adrar Desert in Mauritania, Africa. CNS Photo.    SURELY YOU'RE JOKING - How many programmers does it take to change a light bulb? CNS Photo.    PAVLOV'S BUGS - Researchers have shown that American cockroaches ... [full story]
1698 times read - No comment posted

Jul 06,2007
BRAIN SWEAT   ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE - Press tycoon William Randolph Hearst once sent a telegram to a leading astronomer asking if there was life on Mars and to please cable back a 1,000-word reply on the subject. The astronomer sent back: 'Nobody knows,' repeated 500 times. CNS Photo.     ELECTRON INK - The www.botanicus.org Web site has 200 historical botanical texts containing plant artwork, all published between 1480 and 1935. CNS Photo.     JUST ASKING - What size were hailstones ... [full story]
3651 times read - No comment posted

Jun 29,2007
ELECTRON INK Project Puffin   TRUE FACTS - Peanuts are an ingredient in dynamite. CNS Photo.    WHERE IN THE WORLD - When it's completed in 2009, the Three Gorges Dam on China's Yangtze River will be the world's largest hydroelectric power generator and one of the few man-made structures visible to the naked eye from space. CNS Photo.    THUNDERING HERDS - Recent aerial surveys conducted by Wildlife Conservation Society researchers indicate that at least some species have not ... [full story]
1849 times read - No comment posted

Jun 29,2007
On May 4, a massive tornado, estimated at 1 3/4 miles wide, roared through Greensburg, Kan. It obliterated the town and killed a dozen people. Unfortunately, that twister was not an isolated incident this year. Tornadoes have already killed 73 people in the United States, well above the annual average of 55 fatalities. The 2007 toll is the highest since 1999. The spike in death and destruction, as with many extreme weather events recently, inevitably ... [full story]
2833 times read - No comment posted

Jun 29,2007
WASHINGTON - NASA has created a new office to study in more detail some of the universe's most exotic phenomena: dark energy, black holes and cosmic microwave background radiation.The new Einstein Probes Office will facilitate NASA's future medium-class science missions to investigate these profound cosmic mysteries. The office will be housed in the Beyond Einstein Program Office at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.The Beyond Einstein Program consists of five proposed missions: two major ... [full story]
1503 times read - No comment posted

Jun 29,2007
CORVALLIS, Ore. – Researchers at Oregon State University have received a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the North American Carbon Program to determine how climate and human activities affect the terrestrial “carbon balance” in Oregon, Washington and California. The research will examine areas covered by forests, crops, shrubs, woods and grass, and things that affect carbon sequestration or release, such as wildfire, logging and urbanization. The work will also consider the effects of climate variation, ... [full story]
3232 times read - No comment posted

Jun 29,2007
House­cats around the world can now trace their an­ces­try back to the Near East­ern wild­cat, Fe­lis sil­vestris ly­bica, re­search­ers say af­ter a new DNA anal­y­sis. Do­mes­tic cats come from a “found­er” pop­u­la­t­ion of five or more fe­lines that were do­mes­ti­cat­ed in the Fer­tile Cres­cent zone of the Near East probably some­time over 9,000 years ago, they said. A wild­cat, Fe­lis sil­vestris ly­bica, which was trapped as part of the re­search in­to the or­i­gin of cat ... [full story]
2961 times read - No comment posted

Jun 29,2007
WASHINGTON - NASA's Mars rover Opportunity is scheduled to begin a descent down a rock-paved slope into the Red Planet's massive Victoria Crater. This latest trek carries real risk for the long-lived robotic explorer, but NASA and the Mars Rover science team expect it to provide valuable science.Opportunity already has been exploring layered rocks in cliffs around Victoria Crater. The team has planned the descent carefully to enable an eventual exit, but Opportunity could become ... [full story]
1635 times read - No comment posted

Jun 29,2007
Much of North Amer­i­ca would be un­der­wa­ter were it not for heat that makes rock buoy­ant, new re­search in­di­cates. Sci­en­tists list­ed var­i­ous parts of the con­ti­nent that stay afloat thanks to heat with­in Earth’s rocky crust, and how far those re­gions would sink be­neath sea lev­el if they lacked that heat-in­duced lift.On the coast, New York City would sit 1,427 feet (435 me­ters) be­low the At­lan­tic; New Or­leans 2,416 feet (736 me­ters) un­der­wa­ter and Los ... [full story]
6011 times read - No comment posted

Jun 29,2007
KEY WEST, Fla. - With the start of hurricane season, meteorologist Matt Strahan regularly scans computer screens for signs of a storm brewing near this famously carefree island. Strahan figures that few of the people he is there to protect are as worried as he is about a less imminent but far-reaching threat: Global warming is causing the world's oceans to expand, and they gradually could swallow coral reefs such as Key West. Likewise, rising ... [full story]
5056 times read - No comment posted

Jun 22,2007
Forget Spider-Man, who for all his cinematic web-slinging is still pretty much a one-trick phony. If you want to see truly marvelous silk savvy, look for the real thing: spiders.   GOT SILK? - A wasp spider sits in its web. Some spiders produce as many as seven kinds of silk, including dragline silk to support the spider as it moves about and adhesive silk for snaring prey. CNS Photo. Of course, they have had plenty of ... [full story]
2799 times read - No comment posted

Jun 22,2007
WHAT IS IT? ANSWER The world's longest-running experiment. In 1930, physicist Thomas Parnell began an experiment to show that even ordinary materials possess remarkable properties.   WHAT IS IT ANSWER - This thick pitch placed in a funnel in a sealed chamber has dripped out at a rate of nine drops over 77 years. CNS Photo.    SPONGEBOB'S REVEALING GENES - There's a reason SpongeBob SquarePants isn't very bright: He has no brain. In fact, as a sponge, ... [full story]
2491 times read - No comment posted

Jun 22,2007
A specialized breed of an­cient gray wolves once roamed Alas­ka’s icy ex­panses, with bone-crushing jaws for tak­ing on huge prey, scientists say.The ex­tinct Alas­kan wolves had ro­bust bod­ies, strong jaws, and mas­sive ca­nine teeth for kill­ing prey larg­er than them­selves and reg­u­larly con­sum­ing large bones, ac­cord­ing to the re­search­ers. But the wolves ap­par­ently died out along with oth­er big an­i­mals at the end of the last Ice Age.“The un­ique at­tributes of Alas­kan Pleis­to­cene [Ice-Age] wolves had ... [full story]
3795 times read - No comment posted

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