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Adam Block / Mount Lemmon SkyCenter / University of Arizona

Riding the Milky Way in Tucson

A couple of days after I arrived in Tucson, there came a party invitation. The public was invited to the top of Mount Lemmon for a viewing of the annual Perseid showers, a breathtaking display of shooting stars. While I generally brake for sand, I also hit the road for star parties.

Posted on Aug 26, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Sonja Pieper (CC-BY-SA)

Drink Up, Ladies

There are three kinds of studies we hear about. (1) Something incredibly obvious turns out to be true. (2) Something you like is good for you. (3) Something you like is bad for you. Obviously we prefer No. 2s, like this study out of Norway that says drinking wine—especially if you’re a woman—might make you smarter.

Posted on Aug 18, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Nahuel31 (CC-BY)

Nigel Warburton on Why Video Games Are Good

In Tom Chatfield’s “Fun Inc.,” the case is made that far from corrupting popular culture and turning its addicted users into “blinking lizards,” video games can help us be happier and live better.

Posted on Aug 13, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / jepoirrier (CC-BY-SA)

Breakthrough Test for Alzheimer’s

Researchers say they have developed a 100 percent accurate spinal tap test for the brain disease. Brain scans, too, have become a potentially important tool in diagnosing the disease. The new tests are significant because Alzheimer’s can begin more than a decade before symptoms show up and because there is hope that new drugs could be effective.

Posted on Aug 10, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / FotoosVanRobin (CC-BY-SA)

You Just Ate a Clone, Guv

Meat from a bull descended from a cloned cow entered the British food supply, a government regulator said, and “will have been eaten.” Sale of the meat was apparently in violation of European law as the Food Standards Agency has not yet decided whether meat derived from cloning is kosher, so to speak.

Posted on Aug 3, 2010 READ MORE


beer
Flickr / Bernt Rostad

Alcohol: For the Rheumatoid Arthritis That Ails You

This could be a case in which the cure may cause problems above and beyond the severity of the symptoms, but a study that sounds like more fun than others we’ve heard of has found that alcohol consumption may help ease the pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, as well as check the disease itself.

Posted on Jul 28, 2010 READ MORE


Full Face Transplant Recipient

Spanish doctors say they are ready to release “Oscar,” the recipient of the first 100 percent face transplant. Previous transplants in France and the United States were only partial. Warning: This video might disturb some viewers.

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Global Jet (CC-BY)

Heat Wave Silences Climate Skeptics

It’s odd how little we’ve heard lately from the skeptics who deny that climate change is real. What’s the matter, people? Heat stroke?

Posted on Jul 8, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Hamed Saber (CC-BY)

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Flower Heaven

As much as one-third of all flowering plants face extinction at the hands of humans, according to new research—and that’s not even factoring in climate change. Such a die-off would have a devastating impact on the food chain. As one of the researchers put it, “if you get rid of [plants] you get rid of a lot of the things above them.”

Posted on Jul 7, 2010 READ MORE



NASA

If Only Information Flowed as Freely as Oil

“Deep Spill 2” sounds like a sequel to a Hollywood thriller. Unfortunately, it is more of a reality show. “Deep Spill 2” is the name of an ambitious series of proposed scientific experiments that should be happening right now.

Posted on Jul 6, 2010 READ MORE



Book Claims Monogamy Goes Against Our Nature

Today on the list: The Supreme Court-bound argument for gay marriage aims to win over every justice, why one author says monogamy is unnatural (just in case), the sound of sadness as identified by scientists, and more.

Posted on Jun 30, 2010 READ MORE



NASA

Still Searching for Water on the Backup Planet

Our ability to evacuate to Mars once we’re done wrecking the Earth depends on a lot, but the whole idea is a nonstarter if the fourth rock from the sun is dry. Ten years ago scientists discovered evidence of flowing water on Mars and we have reason to believe there’s plenty of the frozen variety, but we still haven’t caught Mars with its gullies wet.

Posted on Jun 22, 2010 READ MORE


shoe

Behold: The World’s Oldest Leather Shoe

Here’s some news the world has been waiting for: It’s about a size seven, and it’s around 5,500 years old, and it’s the oldest leather shoe to date. Hooray for archaeology!

Posted on Jun 10, 2010 READ MORE


Cyberspace Dunderheads

I’ve come down with a bad case of the shallows. That’s technology writer Nicholas Carr’s term—and the title of his new book—for the invisible, invidious impact of computers on the modern brain.

Posted on Jun 8, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Evil Erin (CC-BY)

Tanning Machines Cause Cancer, Study Finds

File this one under the medical science of “duh,” but people who use indoor tanning beds are 74 percent likelier to develop melanoma, a new study has found. According to one researcher, “Our data would suggest that there is no safe tanning device.” Someone alert the cast of “Jersey Shore.”

Posted on May 27, 2010 READ MORE


microscope
Wikimedia Commons / André Luís Carvalho; Leandro Maranghetti Lourenço

Scientists Create ‘Synthetic Cell’

A team of U.S. scientists has created what they’re calling a “synthetic cell,” although really it appears to be more of a Franken-cell, if you will, since the cell’s genome is artificial but the “recipient cell” is not. All the same, it’s still bound to freak some people out.

Posted on May 20, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Dodo-Bird (CC-BY)

Forget Polar Bears, We’re Killing Our Food

Scientists once thought all that carbon dioxide that humans have been pumping into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution kicked off might be good for plants (even if it hotboxes the planet in the process), but recent studies show we have a lot to worry about. (continued)

Posted on May 16, 2010 READ MORE



NASA

Bon Voyage and Farewell, Atlantis

The space shuttle Atlantis is prepped and ready to launch into space one last time, the first of three final flights for each of NASA’s soon-to-be-retired shuttles. She will carry with her six veteran astronauts, a Russian module bound for the International Space Station and a heap of unanswered questions about the future of the manned space program.

Posted on May 13, 2010 READ MORE



Why Stephen Hawking Is Worried About Aliens

The famed physicist is certain that there is alien life, but he’s not convinced we would get Alf: “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”

Posted on Apr 25, 2010 READ MORE



Earth Day Edition

The trouble with “tweet seats,” Andrew Sullivan explains to the president why gays are hollering at him, and why a gutless YouTube is stifling free expression—and comedy.

Posted on Apr 22, 2010 READ MORE


First Stunning Images From NASA’s Solar Observatory

Nobody told NASA scientists they weren’t supposed to look at the sun, so they launched a spacecraft at our nearest star to capture images with 10 times the resolution of HD television.

Posted on Apr 21, 2010 READ MORE



Iceland Ash Edition

Is that an Icelandic volcano erupting or just the sound of Sarah Palin hosting a nature show on the Discovery Channel? Dig into today’s list and judge for yourself.

Posted on Apr 19, 2010 READ MORE



The ‘Trustworthiness of Beards’ Edition

Research shows that people just trust people with beards, “hypersociable” kids are less racist and iPads are messing up Princeton’s network. Get the details on these stories and more after the jump.

Posted on Apr 15, 2010 READ MORE



War and Taxes Edition

On today’s list: Behind the Vatican’s blame-the-gays strategy, how much you owe for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the most corporate band and nine myths about socialism in the U.S.

Posted on Apr 12, 2010 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Pumbaa, Greg Robson (CC-BY-SA)

Your Periodic Table Is Missing an Element

Call it Element 117, for now. An international team of scientists was able to generate six atoms of the stuff for a few millionths of a second—long enough to add one new element to the periodic table.

Posted on Apr 7, 2010 READ MORE



Centers for Disease Control

Can Seeing an Illness Protect You From It?

Researchers in Canada showed young adults photos of obviously diseased people and found that the subjects’ immune systems were significantly more aggressive when later exposed to a glop of bacteria. Test subjects got a negligible boost from similarly upsetting, but not disease-y, images.

Posted on Apr 5, 2010 READ MORE


Harris

Sam Harris: ‘The Separation Between Science and Human Values Is an Illusion’

We were a little slow on the uptake when it came to finding this TED talk that author and Truthdig contributor Sam Harris gave this past winter, but it’s definitely worth a belated look, or even a second look, as the case may be.

Posted on Apr 5, 2010 READ MORE



Modified from a NASA image

Red Alert: NASA Launches Toyota Probe

It seems like everyone is investigating Toyota these days. There’s the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Academy of Sciences and even the automaker itself. Why not NASA? Apparently Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was thinking the same thing. (continued)

Posted on Mar 30, 2010 READ MORE



Noam Chomsky Edition

The water disaster that could destroy California, how much NATO pays for dead Afghan children, and answers to frequently asked questions about health care reform.

Posted on Mar 24, 2010 READ MORE



aquamarinepower.com

The Prince of Tides

Hoping to become the “Saudi Arabia of tidal energy,” the Scottish government is offering 10 million pounds to spur innovation in wave power. Some say the incentive is unnecessary, since private companies are already racing to figure out the best way to generate electricity from the ocean.

Posted on Mar 23, 2010 READ MORE



‘Health Care Reform Is Law’ Edition

Why are Scandinavians so good at murder mysteries? Was Cleopatra really hot? Plus: Stealing your water and the secret deal Obama made to kill the public option.

Posted on Mar 23, 2010 READ MORE



NPR Strike Edition

Wikipedia is big news in college, Texas textbooks go the way of toilet paper and the NPR strike we never saw coming.

Posted on Mar 17, 2010 READ MORE



Mega Media Edition

Hop on past the jump to find out who owns the media, how Gen. David Petraeus wants to handle Israel and why a 13-year-old genius is suing his school.

Posted on Mar 16, 2010 READ MORE



Liz Cheney Edition

Today on the list: Why Liz Cheney’s fear-mongering is blowing up in her face, how Florida plans to de-gay Hollywood and why books are overrated.

Posted on Mar 10, 2010 READ MORE



Full-Frontal Snow Edition

Today’s list includes indecent snow creations, the new Jim Crow and brand new reasons to be depressed about American foreign policy.

Posted on Mar 9, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / It's Our City

What Do Toyota and Big Tobacco Have in Common?

Fed up with a certain automotive academic who has been challenging Toyota’s claims about its car troubles, the automaker demonstrated similar problems in its competitors’ vehicles and fielded a team of experts to argue counterpoint. One of those experts runs a consulting firm for hire that once found no link between secondhand smoke and cancer. (continued)

Posted on Mar 9, 2010 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Ansgar Walk

Climate Change: The Evidence Piles Up

The evidence that human activities are responsible for global warming is stronger than ever, according to a review of 110 research papers on climate change by the U.K. Met Office, Britain’s national weather service.

Posted on Mar 5, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / mor10am

Science Diet: It’s in the Genes

Low carb or low fat? Diet trends have led to diet debate. Luckily, some actual scientists are weighing in. The preliminary results of a small study suggest that some of us just process food differently, and picking the right diet based on a gene test could shed two to three times more weight.

Posted on Mar 4, 2010 READ MORE



Fun With Geography Edition

There’s talk of single-payer in Pennsylvania, Bibles-for-porn in Texas and iPhones everywhere. Plus: the Arab Jew cultural connection, and why Republicans and Greens are so mad at Obama.

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 READ MORE



Free Umbrella Edition

Inside Citibank’s homophobia, how to clean art with tattoo removal lasers, and populism with brains. All this and more after the jump.

Posted on Mar 2, 2010 READ MORE



Illustration based on a NASA photo

Scientists Find Huge Quantities of Water Ice on the Moon

There may be more than 600 million metric tons of water ice sitting in craters at the moon’s north pole. The discovery, made by an Indian spacecraft, could mean big things for human colonization of our nearest neighbor.

Posted on Mar 1, 2010 READ MORE



Millennial Edition

Why the brain forgets things on purpose, the ugliest fish in the world, and finding out how millennial you are. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Feb 26, 2010 READ MORE



Illustration from sanctumsolitude and Marc Mongenet

God Save the Queen ... and Room for Dessert

America isn’t the only country trying to eat its way to happiness. A new study predicts that by the year 2020, 81 percent of adult British men and 68 percent of women will be obese or overweight. (continued)

Posted on Feb 16, 2010 READ MORE



theonion.com

NASA Needs More Moonage Daydreamers

A lot of people have said in recent weeks that the space agency simply lacks the chutzpah that put a man on a moon. Figure out global warming? Boring, they say. The Onion has come up with a satirical solution that just might blow your minds: Project Spaceman, the David Bowie-inspired Glam Space Program. (continued)

Posted on Feb 9, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / joey.parsons

High Blood Pressure Linked to Dementia

Before we scare you, keep in mind that if everyone in America who experienced high blood pressure—that’s about a third of us—got dementia, you would know about it. However, new research suggests that the relationship between hypertension and dementia is more pronounced and alarming than doctors previously understood ... (continued)

Posted on Jan 25, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / jwillier2 (CC-BY-ND)

That Weekend Rest Isn’t Helping

Our culture tends to reward multitasking, sleep-deprived go-getters, but a new study confirms that catching up on sleep over the weekend just doesn’t work. After weeks of less than seven to nine hours a night, “banking” a long stretch on your days off isn’t going to repair your memory, immune system or ability to drive a car. (Continued)

Posted on Jan 13, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Denies Blowing Up Iranian Scientist

An Iranian spokesman accused the “triangle of wickedness,” otherwise known as Israel, the U.S. and “their hired agents,” of carrying out the Tuesday bombing of Iranian scientist Massoud Ali Mohammadi. The State Department said that was “absurd.”

Posted on Jan 12, 2010 READ MORE



Larry’s List: Blizzard-Free Edition

Curl up with some eggnog and click on to find out why Americans can’t make things (hint: business school), why Michelangelo wasn’t such a loner, after all, and more.

Posted on Dec 22, 2009 READ MORE



Larry’s List: Hanukkah Hangover Edition

Put down the dreidel and step away from the latkes. It’s time to read about the mercenary surge in Afghanistan, Sarah Palin the Terminator, why your boss is incompetent and much more.

Posted on Dec 20, 2009 READ MORE


bookcover

Richard Ellis on Dinosaurs

A revelatory new book by Scott D. Sampson, one of our leading dinosaur paleontologists, suggests we have much to learn about extinction, global warming and energy flow from the biological experience of the charismatic beasts that roamed the Earth more than 60 million years ago.

Posted on Dec 11, 2009 READ MORE


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