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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Daily Drift

 Ahem, humor!

Some of our readers today have been in:
Baghdad, Iraq
Vancouver, Canada
Riga, Latvia
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Budapest, Hungary
Athens, Greece
Douglas, Scotland
Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Makati, Philippines
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Hanoi, Vietnam
Cheras, Malaysia
Chisinau, Moldova
San Jose, Costa Rica
Bangkok, Thailand
Keningau, Malaysia
Skopje, Macedonia
Barranquita, Puerto Rico
Cape Town, South Africa
Santiago, Chile
Chocianow, Poland
Cali, Colombia
Kuwait, Kuwait
Kranj, Slovenia
Bandar Seri Begawan, Malaysia
Jakarta, Indonesia
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Johannesburg, South Africa
Cebu City, Philippines
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Lagos, Nigeria

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Today in History

1297 Scots under William Wallace defeat the English at Stirling Bridge.
1695 Imperial troops under Eugene of Savoy defeat the Turks at the Battle of Zenta.
1709 John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, wins the bloodiest battle of the 18th century at great cost, against the French at Malplaquet.
1740 The first mention of an African American doctor or dentist in the colonies is made in the Pennsylvania Gazette.
1777 General George Washington and his troops are defeated by the British under General Sir William Howe at the Battle of Brandywine in Pennsylvania.
1786 The Convention of Annapolis opens with the aim of revising the articles of confederation.
1802 Piedmont, Italy, is annexed by France.
1814 U.S. forces led by Thomas Macdonough route the British fleet on Lake Champlain.
1847 Stephen Foster's "Oh! Susanna" is first performed in a saloon in Pittsburgh.
1850 Soprano opera singer Jenny Lind, the "Swedish Nightingale," makes her American debut at New York's Castle Garden Theater.
1864 A 10-day truce is declared between generals Sherman and Hood so civilians may leave Atlanta, Georgia.
1857 Indians incited by Mormon John D. Lee kill 120 California-bound settlers in the Mountain Meadows Massacre.
1904 The battleship Connecticut, launched in New York, introduces a new era in naval construction.
1916 The "Star Spangled Banner" is sung at the beginning of a baseball game for the first time in Cooperstown, New York.
1944 American troops enter Luxembourg.
1962 Thurgood Marshall is appointed a judge of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.
1965 The 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) arrives in South Vietnam and is stationed at An Khe.
1974 Haile Selassie I is deposed from the Ethiopian throne.
2001 In an unprecedented, highly coordinated attack, terrorists hijack four U.S. passenger airliners, flying two into the World Trade Center towers in New York and one into the Pentagon, killing thousands. The fourth airliner, headed toward Washington likely to strike the White House or Capitol, is crashed just over 100 miles away in Pennsylvania after passengers storm the cockpit and overtake the hijackers.

Non Sequitur


The wingnuts are now trying to destroy small business owner who bear-hugged Obama

President Obama must be destroyed. So anyone who shows any sign of humanity vis-a-vis the President - like this repugican (maybe he is the last republican) small businessman who gave Obama a bear hug  when the President stopped in his pizza joint - must also be destroyed.

They're attacking his Yelp profile and voting down his business in order to convince people that it's not a reputable business, and ultimately hurt the small business owner financially.

All because he hugged the President of the United States.

Here's an example of what they're doing to him on Yelp, a site that's supposed to rate how well the man operates his business:
Well.. I'd eat there but after seeing the owner grab our leftist President I felt compelled to disrespect his establishment as much as the President disrespects our constitution. Shame on you Scott Van Duzer for thumbing your nose at all the small business owners this President has disrespected for the last four years. I guess you DIDN'T BUILD IT!

I hope you're prepared for many more Yelps like this!!! Maybe you weren't thinking, or maybe you are the only liberal pro Obama business owner, who knows.. but you won't get mine or anyone else's business for your treachery.
Let me recap.  Democrats boycott your business because you used the proceeds from your business to take away their civil rights, such as the Mormons did in financing Prop 8 or Chick-fil-A did in financing officially-designated hate groups.  The repugicans boycott your business because you got excited to meet the President of the United States.

Greg from, where else, Arizona:
Talk about committing business suicide. After picking up Obama, your books are gonna be in the red pretty soon. Not too smart.
Another poster raised a good point:
These reviews demonstrate that the right-wingers DON'T support small businesses. They support small businesses that agree with their stinking POLITICS, which is the same thing as not supporting small businesses AT ALL.
Where are Romney and Ryan on the fact that their supporters are now trying to destroy a small businessman simply for being a patriotic American?

But this Yelp commenter said it:
Simply to balance out the idiots, like Mike A., who are reviewing a place because the owner was able to not hate someone that they did.
And isn't that what it's really all about? Democrats dislike you because you hate. The repugicans dislike you because you don't hate.  And then they criticize us for being intolerant of their intolerance.

There's a reason the repugican cabal is perceived as bigoted, homophobic and intolerant.  As mean and uncaring.  As greedy, and for the rich.  Because it is.

And who wonder why they are referred to as repugicans? Because repugnant-reprehensible-reptilian-religinut- lunatic fringe -icans is too long to say every time.

Romney to remove pre-existing condition protections for 1/3 US workforce, 89m Americans

We wrote in the post below about how Mitt Romney had flip-flopped four times on whether he'd repeal all of the President's Health Care Reform law.  Romney is famous for not having a set position on anything, but rather reading the tea leaves on any particular day.  So it was somewhat surprising, even for the eminently flip-flopable Mitt Romney, to flip-flop four times yesterday on this one issue

To recap: First, yesterday morning Romney said that he wouldn't repeal health care reform's provisions that would stop insurance companies from turning you down based on pre-existing conditions.  (He also said that he wouldn't repeal the provisions that make insurance companies accept kids up until the age of 26 on their parents' plans.)

Then later in the day, Romney's staff said "no," he's for repealing all of it.

Then, yesterday evening, Romney's staff said "nuh uh," Romney will keep the pre-existing conditions party mostly.

Then, when folks actually looking at the exact words that Romney's staff used, they realized that Romney wasn't planning on doing anything that wasn't already in the law, and under Romney's proposal one-third of the American workforce, 89 million Americans, would lose the pre-existing condition protections they currently have under ObamaCare, as Romney so derisively calls it.

Mind you, that's in addition to the six million children who would lose health insurance under Romney's plan because they're currently on their parents' insurance.

So, grand total for the number of Americans hurt under Mitt Romney's health care reform repeal proposal, 95 million.

And counting.  People be hurt by Romney's repeal because ObamaCare is the only thing guaranteeing that they'll have insurance to cover their prescription drugs.  Currently,  foe example, Blue Cross Blue Shield cuts people off every year because their prescription drugs cost "too much."  Under ObamaCare, annual limits on coverage would go away, and in principle they'd no longer have to go abroad every year to find cheaper versions of the same drugs.

So people will very much be hurt by Mitt Romney's proposed repeal of ObamaCare.  Any parent who currently has child age 26 or younger on their health insurance.  Any anyone who ever changes jobs, loses their job, moves to another state, or decides to start consulting - suddenly all of you will be at risk of losing your health insurance all over again, thanks to Mitt Romney.

Romney flip-flops 4 times on health care reform in 24 hours

The man believes in nothing.
Sunday morning on NBC, Mitt Romney said that while he wants to repeal Health Care Reform, he would leave the provisions in place that ban insurers from discriminating based on pre-existing conditions, and that require insurance companies to cover children up to the age of 26 on their parents' plans.

Hooray!  A moment of humanity from the ice princess!

Not so fast.  As soon as Mitt's conservative overlords got wind of it, Romney did a quick 180, and now is against helping people with pre-existing conditions, and with children aged 26 and under.

Let me be more precise.  Mitt Romney is now saying that if he's elected president he will take away health care from 6.6 million children that are now on their parents' health insurance plans, and he will once again let insurance companies turn away people with "pre-existing conditions" as benign as psoriasis, high cholesterol and asthma.
In reference to how Romney would deal with those with preexisting conditions and young adults who want to remain on their parents’ plans, a Romney aide responded that there had been no change in Romney’s position and that “in a competitive environment, the marketplace will make available plans that include coverage for what there is demand for. He was not proposing a federal mandate to require insurance plans to offer those particular features.”
Then, suddenly, last night the Romney campaign amended their amended statement in an effort to suggest that they would in fact preserve the non-discrimination language concerning pre-existing conditions.  Hurray!

But not so fast, a re-read of the new statement makes clear that in fact Romney won't be preserving the pre-existing conditions protections that are in Health Care Reform.  Romney simply wanted you to think he was going to preserve it, but he really isn't.

So now he's not simply spineless, he's also duplicitous.

When you're worth a minimum of a quarter of a billion dollars it's of little consequence to you that more than six million children will lose their health insurance because of your incessant pandering to the far right.

But just as serious, this is all the more evidence that Mitt Romney simply believes in nothing.  He will be whatever the highest bidder wants him to be.  And that doesn't bode well for the rest of us not worth a quarter of a billion dollars.

Did you know ...

That 11,000 show up for President Obama in Florida while only a few hear Romney in Virginia

About the history of men redefining rape

About the repugican fact vaccum

About the Arctic tipping point: a north Pole without ice

Random Celebrity Photo

victoria justice
Victoria Justice

Buenos Aires's Librería El Ateneo

You're looking at the Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid, a 1920s theater in Argentina that has been converted into the fanciest bookstore in exsistence. The theater boxes now serve as quiet reading rooms, and as one of the busiest bookshops in the country, the selection is incredible. For more awesome bookstore built in spaces that used to serve very different purposes, check out the collection on Flavorwire

Bueno Aires's Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid used to be a beautiful movie palace. Saved from the wrecker's ball, it is now one of the most majestic bookstores I've ever clapped eyes upon, a veritable temple to books. Marilyn sez, "El Ateneo Grand Splendid in downtown Buenos Aires is a spectacular bookstore that retains all the glamour of its former life as a 1920s movie palace, with a original balconies, painted ceiling, ornate carvings and crimson stage curtains. Photo by Bob Krist for National Geographic Traveler. The Guardian named El Ateneo as one of the top ten bookshops in the world (along with Secret Headquarters):'Where else can you sit in a theater box and leisurely read a volume of Neruda, or sip a cortado where Carlos Gardel once performed?'"
Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid

China continues to deliver poor economic numbers

This year continues to be a rough year for China. The ghost towns are still there, demand for raw materials is sagging, the critical 8% growth rate is slipping and now exports are also slowing along with internal consumer demand.
Again, for almost any other economy many of the numbers would be impressive but in the case of China, the numbers are both disappointing as well as reason for concern. For years the economic growth has been the key to social stability so when the growth disappears, the future is much more in question. To date, China has refused to implement a second stimulus though as the numbers get worse, that may be necessary. It also may be too late.

What next?
Exports grew 2.7 percent year-on-year last month, below the 3 percent forecast in a Reuters poll, confirming President Hu Jintao's warning of the "grave challenges" posed by the world economy.

Data for imports was even worse, showing a fall of 2.6 percent on the year in August, compared with expectations for a 3.5 percent rise. The number will solidify market expectations for further stimulus and monetary easing to support growth as China heads towards a once-a-decade leadership change later this year.

Know-It-All May Suffer from Hindsight Bias

Did you watch a whodunit movie with someone who later proclaimed that he knew the killer all along? Don't be annoyed with such people for they probably couldn't help it. They may be suffering from "hindsight bias":
Researchers found that they are suffering from “hindsight bias”, when a person genuinely believes that they know something when in fact they are hearing or seeing it for the first time.
Although the effects might seem relatively harmless, researchers claimed it could prevent people learning why something has happened or from taking advice.
Prof Neal Roese, of Northwestern University in Chicago, said: “If you feel like you knew it all along, it means you won’t stop to examine why something really happened.
“It’s often hard to convince seasoned decision-makers that they might fall prey to hindsight bias.”
I, of course, have known about it all along: More

Border Patrol arrests are at their lowest in 40 years

Border Patrol arrests are at their lowest in 40 years, more people appear to be heading to Mexico than entering the US.  
The US Border Patrol is ditching a program that offered illegal Mexican immigrants a free ride home, having sent 125,000 people back to Mexico since 2004.
Oops, there goes another wingnut screeching point.

Russian teenage girl attempted to rob bank in order to finance suicide bid

A teenage girl tried to rob a bank in the Urals Republic of Udmurtia so she could afford to leave her home city and commit suicide, the Russian Investigation Department said on Thursday.

Investigators believe that on August 28, 14-year-old, Lima Lavrova, masked and armed with a knife, tried to rob a bank in the regional capital of Izhevsk. However, she was detained by bank guards.

“The detainee explained that she committed the robbery in an attempt to free herself from her overbearing parents. She wanted to use those money to leave the city and commit suicide,” the Investigation Department said.

The girl faces up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.

Teenager attacked mother in dispute over 'short shorts'

A 15-year-old Florida girl faces charges after she and her mother got into an argument, which turned physical, over "short shorts." On Aug. 30 an Okaloosa County Sheriff's deputy was summoned to a Destin residence to investigate a disturbance.

Once there the deputy was told by the girl's mother that she and her daughter had become embroiled in an argument over shorts that were too short for school. The woman said her daughter became "verbally combative," so as punishment she decided to remove some electronics from the girl's room.

The girl started throwing items around the room and told her mother to "Shut up f----up bitch!" the deputy wrote in his report. The girl's mother admitted she "smacked" the girl in the mouth for cursing her, at which point the girl knocked her mother's glasses off, kicked and bit her several times, and tried to choke her before fleeing the house.

The deputy saw bite marks and bruises on the woman's arm. Another sheriff's deputy found the girl at her bus stop and asked her what had happened. The girl recounted a similar to story to her mother's, but said she bit her mother so she could escape. She was charged with misdemeanor battery and has an Oct. 10 court date.

Rangers investigating shooting of man near park

A man who told authorities he was shot while hiking off-trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park now says the incident occurred outside of the park boundaries.
Sanford Lethco initially said he was hiking off-trail in the Smokies near Cosby on Friday when two gunshots struck him in the lower right leg. The 29-year-old, who lives in Sevier County, was airlifted to the University of Tennessee Medical Center and released the next day.
Park officials on Monday said Lethco confessed to investigators that the gunshot wounds were sustained in an incident outside the park. They didn't provide any additional information.
"Park investigators have been working with the Sevier County Sheriff's Office who has now taken the lead on the shooting case," Chief Ranger Clay Jordan said.

Man jailed for assaulting mother during bacon spat

A Pittsfield man who police said attacked his mother last December after she yelled at him for eating too much bacon pleaded guilty to two charges on Thursday and was sentenced to four months in jail.

In Central Berkshire District Court, 19-year-old Christopher Rougeau of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and battery and felony witness intimidation, for pushing his mother, grabbing her by the throat and knocking her to the ground, and disabling a phone she was trying to use to call for help.

The incident began, according to a Pittsfield Police report, when Rougeau’s mother came home and found him eating a large plate of bacon. She said she had been saving the meat for a special breakfast later in the week.

Rougeau is already serving a six-month jail sentence for violating probation and his other sentence will run concurrently to that stint. The underlying charge was another assault and battery against his mother in June 2011. Attorney Joseph P. Colonna, one of two lawyers representing Rougeau said his client was getting on the right track and had repaired his relationship with his mother.

Chinese man bought 2,000 family buckets from KFC to protest at unhygienic handling of food

Wealthy businessman Yang Lin fought dirty when a KFC branch ignored his complaint about hygiene while on business trip from Beijing to Wuhan. Angry Yang spent 140,000 yuan, (£14,000), buying 2,000 family buckets at the branch in central China after staff did nothing when he complained about a chef preparing food without gloves or face mask.

He then began lining them up outside the shop entrance with signs warning people not to eat them because they were a health risk. But the store refused to give him any more food to him after 22 buckets. He said he has been to many KFC's in other countries and found them to be very strict in sanitation standards.

"I wanted to buy all their food so they couldn't poison anyone else and I wanted to warn people what sort of food they were eating," said 30-year-old Yang. "I'm lucky to have made money in business so I can afford this protest. At first KFC wanted my money, but soon they were begging me to take it back," he added.

Yang only agreed to end the bucket blockade after KFC managers in Wuhan, Hubei province, publicly apologized for their behavior and agreed to improve staff hygiene. "If they'd done that at the start they would have saved themselves a lot of trouble," said Yang.

Buddha-Shaped Pears

These bizarre Buddha-shaped pears were invented by a farmer in China who is planning to export his novel idea. Hao Xianzhang has created 10,000 of the mini marvels at his orchard this season and said he plans to take the fruits of his labour to Europe.

Hao spent six years perfecting the intricate Buddha pears, carefully crafting each one which grows inside an individual mould.

The Science Behind Salt And Vinegar Chips

Salt and vinegar chips are not made by pouring salt and vinegar into a bag of potato chips. Before vinegar can be added to a chip, it needs to be processed into a dry foodstuff that will stick to, and more importantly not get a soggy potato chip. How do chip companies do it?

And I Quote

The History of Glass


Glass has existed for millions of years. Whenever natural events involving super high temperatures -volcanic activity, lightning strikes, or the impact of meteorites- cause certain type of rocks to melt, fuse, and then cool rapidly, glass is formed. Fossil evidence shows that Stone Age humans used this natural glass to make tools, such as spearheads, and cutting instruments, as far back as 9,000 years ago. (Better dating techniques may eventually push that date back much further.) Obsidian, the shiny black glass formed when lava cools quickly (as when flowing into water), was widely used by ancient people for these purposes.

After thousands of years of using naturally-formed glass, humans finally discovered how to make it -probably by accident. The Roman historian Pliny wrote in A.D. 77 that Phoenician sailors places "stones of soda ash" into a fire (presumably to rest their posts on) on a sandy beach. They later found a "hard smooth stone" in the ashes. That's one possible scenario, given that sand, soda ash (sodium carbonate) , and heat are all ingredients for making glass. Another possibility is that potters inadvertently let some sand drift into their kilns, where it stuck to the wet clay, accidentally creating a hard, smooth glaze on their pottery when the baking was done.

Ancient dentistry

"The earliest evidence of ancient dentistry we have is an amazingly detailed dental work on a mummy from ancient Egypt that archaeologists have dated to 2000 BCE. The work shows intricate gold work around the teeth. This mummy was found with two donor teeth that had holes drilled into them. Wires were strung through the holes and then around the neighboring teeth."

First Temple-Era Reservoir Found in Jerusalem

The 10th-century B.C. reservoir may have been used by pilgrims coming to the Temple Mount. Read more

Who Put The '-Stan' In Afghanistan?

Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.
Why do so many countries end in '-stan'?

The Classics


1949 chevrolet by bballchico on Flickr.
1949 Chevrolet

It’s time to get serious about science

By Jim Cooper and and Alan I. Leshner  

Jim Cooper, a Democrat, represents Tennessee’s Fifth 
Congressional District in the U.S. House. Alan I. Leshner is chief executive of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and executive publisher of the journal Science.

Some policymakers, including certain senators and members of Congress, cannot resist ridiculing any research project with an unusual title. Their press releases are perhaps already waiting in the drawer, with blanks for the name of the latest scientist being attacked. The hottest topics for ridicule involve sex, exotic animals and bugs.
The champion of mocking science was the late William Proxmire, whose Golden Fleece Awards enlivened dull Senate floor proceedings from 1975 until 1988. His monthly awards became a staple of news coverage. He generated good laughs back home by talking about a “wacko” in a lab coat experimenting with something seemingly stupid. Proxmire did not invent the mad-scientist stereotype, but he did much to popularize it.
The United States may now risk falling behind in scientific discoveries as other countries increase their science funding. We need to get serious about science. In fact, maybe it’s time for researchers to fight back, to return a comeback for every punch line.
Toward that end, we are announcing this week the winners of the first Golden Goose Awards, which recognize the often-surprising benefits of science to society. Charles H. Townes, for example, is hailed as a primary architect of laser technology. Early in his career, though, he was reportedly warned not to waste resources on an obscure technique for amplifying radiation waves into an intense, continuous stream. In 1964, he shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Nikolay Basov and Alexander Prokhorov.
Similarly, research on jellyfish nervous systems by Osamu Shimomura, Martin Chalfie and Roger Y. Tsien unexpectedly led to advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment, increased understanding of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and improved detection of poisons in drinking water. In 2008, the trio received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this initially silly-seeming research. Four other Golden Goose Award winners — the late Jon Weber as well as Eugene White, Rodney White and Della Roy — developed special ceramics based on coral’s microstructure that is now used in bone grafts and prosthetic eyes.
Across society, we don’t have to look far for examples of basic research that paid off. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, then a National Science Foundation fellow, did not intend to invent the Google search engine. Originally, they were intrigued by a mathematical challenge, so they developed an algorithm to rank Web pages. Today, Google is one of the world’s most highly valued brands, employing more than 30,000 people.
It is human nature to chuckle at a study titled “Acoustic Trauma in the Guinea Pig,” yet this research led to a treatment for hearing loss in infants. Similar examples abound. Transformative technologies such as the Internet, fiber optics, the Global Positioning System, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computer touch-screens and lithium-ion batteries were all products of federally funded research.
Yes, “the sex life of the screwworm” sounds funny. But a $250,000 study of this pest, which is lethal to livestock, has, over time, saved the U.S. cattle industry more than $20 billion. Remember: The United States itself is the product of serendipity: Columbus’s voyage was government-funded. Remember, too, that basic science, the seed corn of innovation, is primarily supported by the federal government — not industry, which is typically more interested in applied research and development.
While some policymakers continue to mock these kinds of efforts, researchers have remained focused on improving our quality of life. Scientific know-how, the engine of American prosperity, is especially critical amid intense budgetary pressures. Federal investments in R&D have fueled half of the nation’s economic growth since World War II. This is why a bipartisan team of U.S. lawmakers joined a coalition of science, business and education leaders to launch the Golden Goose Awards.
Federal support for basic science is at risk: We are already investing a smaller share of our economy in science as compared with seven other countries, including Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. Since 1999, the United States has increased R&D funding, as a percentage of the economy, by 10 percent. Over the same period, the share of R&D in the economies of Finland, Germany and Israel have grown about twice as fast. In Taiwan, it has grown five times as fast; in South Korea, six times as fast; in China; 10 times. In the United States, meanwhile, additional budget cuts have been proposed to R&D spending for non-defense areas. If budget-control negotiations fail, drastic across-the-board cuts will take effect in January that could decimate entire scientific fields.
Columbus thought he knew where he was going, but he didn’t know what he had found until many years later. He was searching for the Orient, but he discovered something even better: the New World.
Let’s honor our modern-day explorers. We need more of them. They deserve the last laugh.

Using ‘velcro’ to clean up heavy metal pollution

Mercury, when dumped in lakes and rivers, accumulates in fish, and often ends up on our plates. A Swiss-American team ...
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Giant ‘balloon of magma’ inflates under Santorini

Volcano Watch: Swift Swelling at Santorini
Santorini’s volcano drew a rapid breath that has raised the surface of the island.  
Read more

Volcano Watch: Swift Swelling at Santorini

A new survey suggests that the chamber of molten rock beneath Santorini’s volcano expanded 10-20 million cubic meters – up ...
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Early Mars Maybe Not So Wet

New study could impact the odds that life had a chance to take hold on the Red Planet.  
Read more
New study could impact the odds that life had a chance to take hold on the Red Planet

Cosmic Latte: The Color of the Universe

Astronomers discovered that the universe has a color, a beigeish white called "cosmic latte."  
In 2001, Johns Hopkins University astronomers Karl Glazebrook and Ivan Baldry averaged all of the colors from 200,000 galaxies and came up with ... beigeish white.
When they asked for suggestions for a name of the color in a Washington Post article, a reader named Peter Drum came up with Cosmic Latte. Other name suggestions that didn't get picked include Cappuccino Cosmico, Big Bang Beige, Cosmic Cream, Skyvory, Univeige, and Primordial Clam Chowder.

There's enough wind to power global energy demand

Enough wind to power global energy demandThere is enough energy available in winds to meet all of the world’s demand. Atmospheric turbines that convert steadier and ...
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Forest mortality and climate change

Over the past two decades, extensive forest death triggered by hot and dry climatic conditions has been documented on every ...
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Mysterious Changes in Ocean Salt Spur NASA Expedition

Over the past 50 years, the salty parts of the oceans have become saltier and the fresh regions have become fresher. Read more

Climate Change Deniers Tend to Believe in Conspiracy Theories

Quick: what's the connection between climate change and conspiracy theory?
According to a new study published in the upcoming issue of Psychological Science, people who tend to believe in conspiracy theory are also more likely to be climate change deniers:
Believing that climate change isn't happening or that it's not human-caused requires a belief that thousands of climate scientists around the world are lying outright, Lewandowsky and his colleagues wrote in their new paper. Conspiracy theory beliefs are known to come in clusters — someone who thinks NASA faked the moon landing is more likely to accept the theory that 9/11 was an inside job, for example. So Lewandowsky and his colleagues created an online survey and asked eight mostly pro-science blogs and five climate-skeptic blogs to post a link to the survey for their readers. The respondents were self-selecting, but highly motivated to care about climate science, the researchers noted.
The responses came only from the eight pro-science blogs, the researchers reported. Of 1,145 usable survey responses, the researchers found that support for free-market, laissez-faire economics was linked to a rejection of climate change. A tendency to believe other conspiracy theories was also linked to denial of climate change. Finally, climate-change deniers were more likely than others to say that other environmental problems have been solved, indicating a dismissive attitude toward "green" causes.
And as you can expect, the findings of this study sparked its own conspiracy theory. Stephanie Pappas of LiveScience has the story: here.

Guantanamo Bay: A Butterfly Paradise?

The landscape surrounding the controversial detention camp has unintentionally become a wildlife refuge. Read more

Giant catfish turn cannibal after eating all the fish in German rivers

Giant catfish are becoming an increasing problem in German rivers and lakes. Some are even becoming cannibals, with one monstrous 2.5-metre specimen even said to be eating swans in a river it has emptied of all other fish.

Ducks and swans on the Isen River in Upper Bavaria have to fear for their lives because they are being targeted by the giant fish.

Fishermen have been alarmed by the increasing number – and size – of the catfish, which have no natural predators and grow their entire lives.

“The fish are not actually known to eat members of their own species, but by now they are also doing this,” Manfred Holzner, head of the local fisherman’s association said. Controlling their population is difficult - the fish themselves are notoriously tricky to catch, and nets are generally outlawed in the affected waters.

Sea Otters May Be Global Warming Warriors

The fur-coated swimmers keep sea urchin populations in check, which in turn allows carbon dioxide-sucking kelp forests to prosper.  
sea otter

Are Animal-Borne Diseases on the Rise?

From hantavirus to bird flu to West Nile, diseases crossing from animals to people is becoming more common thanks to global warming. Read more

Man raising 6 tigers on rooftop

A Thai man has been arrested and accused of illegally raising six tigers on top of an apartment building on Bangkok's outskirts after police busted a larger tiger-trafficking ring in the country.

Animal Pictures