Quite an intriguing read.
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Tuesday , February 26, 2008
Scientist have nailed down how and when the Earth will cease to exist.
The sun will slowly expand into a red giant, pushing the Earth farther out into space, but not far enough.
Our home planet will be snagged by the sun's outer atmosphere, gradually plunging to its doom inside the fiery stellar furnace.
"The drag caused by this low-density gas is enough to cause the Earth to drift inwards, and finally to be captured and vaporized by the sun," explains astronomer Robert Smith of the University of Sussex in southern England.
Previous projections had all figured that the Earth would avoid falling into the sun, even during our star's red-giant phase.
The good news: This won't happen for another 7.6 billion years.
The bad news: Life on Earth will end long before then.
The as-yet-unnamed material - a form of artificial rubber - is made from vegetable oil and a component of urine.
The substance, described in the journal Nature, produces surfaces when cut that retain a strong chemical attraction to each other.
Pieces of the material join together again as if never parted without the need for glue or a special treatment.
The findings could have a major significance for directing the flow of large crowds especially in disaster cases, when it’s crucial to evaluate how the mass of people will react.
“There are many situations where this information could be used to good effect,” says Professor Jens Krause of the University’s Faculty of Biological Sciences. “At one extreme, it could be used to inform emergency planning strategies and at the other, it could be useful in organising pedestrian flow in busy areas.”
They conducted a series of experiments in which groups of people were asked to walk randomly around a large hall. A few of them received more exact instructions about where they were supposed to go. They were not allowed to talk with each other, but they were supposed to stay within an arm’s reach of any other person. So the results were not that surprising, when you stop to think about it: the ‘informed individuals’ were followed by others in the crowd.
“We initially started looking at consensus decision making in humans because we were interested in animal migration, particularly birds, where it can be difficult to identify the leaders of a flock,” says Professor Krause. “But it just goes to show that there are strong parallels between animal grouping behaviour and human crowds.”
Article here. All the usual copyrights apply.
If you read any antiscience screeds, at some point or another most will claim that science is based on faith just as much as religion is. For example, the horrific Answers in Genesis website has this to say about science:
Much of the problem stems from the different starting points of our divergence with Darwinists. Everyone, scientist or not, must start their quests for knowledge with some unprovable axiom—some a priori belief on which they sort through experience and deduce other truths. This starting point, whatever it is, can only be accepted by faith; eventually, in each belief system, there must be some unprovable, presupposed foundation for reasoning (since an infinite regression is impossible).
This is completely wrong. It shows (unsurprisingly) an utter misunderstanding of how science works. Science is not faith-based, and here’s why.
By: Brie Cadman
A bad day is often attributed to “waking up on the wrong side of the bed.” But most of us haven’t figured out which side is supposed to be the “right” one. Luckily, a study commissioned by the UK-based Premier Hotel Chain has the answer for us.
Following a “hot debate” by a sleep scientist, a Feng Shui expert, and a motivational speaker, the final conclusion to the bedside conundrum was that left was right, and right was wrong.
But, like the Sandman, the Tooth Fairy, and monsters under the bed, it’s hard to find concrete evidence for why this situation supposedly exists.
| By Pallab Ghosh |
Science correspondent, BBC News
Amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill would restrict the use of such embryos, which contain a small amount of animal DNA.
But the scientists say they are vital to the development of new treatments.
The appeal comes from the Medical Research Council, the Royal Society, the Wellcome Trust and the Academy of Medical Sciences.
The government's bill attempts to update the current rules on the use of embryos for research in light of recent scientific advances.
One of the most contentious proposals is to enable researchers to create animal-human hybrids for research purposes - a move that some in the House of Lords are keen to overturn.
Up to 5,000 mirrors would be used to focus a beam of sunlight on to the asteroid, melting the rock and altering its orbital path away from earth.
The announcement came after a team at the University of Glasgow compared nine different methods of deflecting near earth objects - asteroids and comets.
Analysis of Neolithic remains, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests no European adults could digest the drink at that time.
University College London scientists say that the rapid spread of a gene which lets us reap the benefits of milk shows evolution in action.
Indore, February 5, 2007
In a remarkable feat, three amateur explorers have stumbled upon more than 100 fossilised eggs of dinosaurs in Madhya Pradesh. The eggs, belonging to the Cretaceous Era (approximately 144 to 65 million years ago), have been discovered in Kukshi-Bagh area of Dhar district, some 150 kms south-west of
The rare find is a significant step in the study of the pre-historic life in
"All the eggs were discovered from a single nesting site in a start to end exploration for 18 hours at the site in Kukshi-Bagh area, 40 kms from Manavar. As many as 6-8 eggs were found per nests," an excited Vishal Verma of the Mangal Panchayatan Parishad, a group of amateur explorers, told Hindustan Times from near the site.
"The eggs are from upper cretaceous era when the dinosaurs were yet to be extinct. These eggs can be categorised in three types of soropaud dinosaurs, which were herbivorous. These animals used to come from far away areas to lay eggs on the sandy banks of the rivers in this area, identified scientifically as Lameta bed," Verma said.
The dinosaurs were 40-90 feet in length, he added.
Along with the fossilised eggs, the team - comprising two other members Rajesh Chouhan and Govind Verma - also discovered footprints of the dinosaurs through which they could also trace the 'track way' of the heavy animals now extinct.
• The richest dinosaur field in
• A small but ferocious dinosaur, about the size of adult humans, was named Jubbulpuria after it was found in
Geological Survey of India's former Director (Palaeontology) Dr Arun Sonakia who was also at the site of the find told this correspondent over telephone, "It's a good job done by amateurs. With this find, the scientists would be able to know more about the spread of the dinosaurs. It can also throw light on the reasons of extinction."
"Plus the nesting sites and large number of fossilised eggs would also throw light on the variety of dinosaurs that existed in the cretaceous era," Sonakia added.
The Parishad had earlier discovered fossilised bones of the dinosaurs in the region.