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December 2006

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Dec 22,2006
In the lobby at Hult Health Education Center in Peoria, Ill., 30 students form a circle, clear their minds and move as if in a dreamlike state to the peaceful sound of cello music and the calming voice of the instructor. The students are practicing tai chi, the art of moving meditation. It's exercise to instill balance, relieve stress and promote a healthy mind, body and spirit. Every Monday for eight weeks, the Peoria Park ... [full story]
1513 times read - No comment posted

Dec 22,2006
Teen drug use has declined by 23 percent since 2001 for 8th, 10th, and 12th graders combined, with reductions in the use of nearly every drug in every drug prevalence category, according to the University of Michigan’s 2006 Monitoring the Future (MTF) study, released Thursday.  This translates into approximately 840,000 fewer youth using illicit drugs in 2006 than in 2001.  These reductions represent a nearly exact achievement of President Bush’s goal of reducing youth drug ... [full story]
1368 times read - No comment posted

Dec 29,2006
The first fly­ing mam­mals may have tak­en to the skies much ear­li­er than has been thought, a pa­per in this week’s is­sue of the re­search jour­nal Na­ture sug­gests. Jin Meng of the Amer­i­can Mu­se­um of Na­t­u­ral His­to­ry in New York and col­leagues an­a­lysed fos­sil re­mains of a small, squirrel-sized mam­mal that lived in In­ner Mon­go­lia around 125 mil­lion years ago, dur­ing the so-called Mes­o­zo­ic era.   Artist's con­cept of the fly­ing mam­mal (cour­te­sy Chuang Zhao and Lida Xing)The ... [full story]
1592 times read - No comment posted

Dec 29,2006
I read the editorial on the Bend Weekly web site: "We need compassion for our border guards." This excellent editorial should be read by every American to inform them of the utter miscarriage of justice in the trial of the Border Patrol Agents Ramos and Compean. This case is upside down where the heroes are going to jail and the criminal roams the streets free.  I call and write to elected officials, the attorney general and ... [full story]
1689 times read - 2 comments posted

Dec 29,2006
Sec­re­tary of the In­te­ri­or Dick Kemp­thorne cit­ed cli­mate change as a key rea­son for the threat to po­lar bears. The state­ment prompted en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists to see in the move a pos­si­bly ma­jor de­par­ture from the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion’s past in­at­ten­tion to the glob­al warm­ing threat.“Po­lar bears are one of na­ture’s ul­ti­mate sur­vivors, able to live and thrive in one of the world’s harsh­est en­vi­ron­ments,” said Kemp­thorne. “But we are con­cerned the po­lar bears’ hab­i­tat may lit­er­al­ly be melt­ing.”   Courtesy ... [full story]
1557 times read - No comment posted

Dec 29,2006
WHAT IS IT? ANSWER If you're an arachnophobe, this is your worst nightmare: social spiders. Most arthropod sociality is confined to insects like ants and bees, but there are at least 20 known species of spiders that prefer to live in large groups. Among them: Delena cancerides, or huntsmen spiders, that do not reside in webs, but form year-round colonies of as many as 300 individuals living beneath the bark of dead trees. Not to ... [full story]
1812 times read - No comment posted

Dec 22,2006
Re­search­ers have re­ported what they say is some of the strong­est ev­i­dence to date that an­i­mals, like hu­mans, have dreams with im­ages.Mat­thew A. Wil­son and Dao­yun Ji of the Mas­sa­chu­setts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy in Cam­bridge, Mass., ex­am­ined what hap­pens in rats’ brains as they “dream” about mazes they ran while awake.   A "dreaming" rat. (Courtesy MIT)In a pre­vious stu­dy five years ago, Wil­son found that rat brain cells re­played some of the same ac­tiv­i­ty pat­terns in ... [full story]
1309 times read - No comment posted

Dec 22,2006
WHAT IS IT? ANSWER A neutrophil - a kind of white blood cell - moving across a bone surface toward an infecting virus or bacterium, which it will engulf and destroy. 'TRUE FACTS' In just one year, the perennial sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean has shrunk by nearly 289,500 square miles - an area larger than the state of Texas. BRAIN SWEAT   OUR IGNOBLE HISTORY - Veterinarian Robert A. Lopez's report, “Of Mites ... [full story]
3126 times read - No comment posted

Dec 15,2006
Dust gathered from a comet and brought to Earth tells a tale of a so­lar sys­tem that par­tial­ly turned itself in­side out, re­search­ers say. Dust trail­ing a dis­tant com­et, and gath­ered by a NASA space­craft, has yielded a sur­pris­ing­ly var­ied mix­ture of ma­te­ri­als, as­tro­no­mers say.Since com­ets are thought to con­tain ma­te­ri­al left over from the ear­ly So­lar Sys­tem, this va­ri­e­ty sug­gests some­thing was mix­ing up the con­tents of the sys­tem in its youth, the re­search­ers ... [full story]
1664 times read - No comment posted

Dec 15,2006
SURELY YOU'RE JOKING An elephant and a mouse were talking. The elephant asked the mouse: "Why am I so big and strong and heavy and you are so tiny, weak and gray?" To which the mouse replied: "I've been ill lately." BRAIN SWEAT There are seven players on a coed volleyball team. After an exhausting match, each girl drinks four cups of water, each boy seven cups and the coach quaffs nine. A total of ... [full story]
1460 times read - No comment posted

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