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January 2012

Written By: grant on January 10, 2012 No Comment

The fun thing, New Scientist seems to be saying, about dark matter right now is that it’s really dark. Like, really, really not a glimmer of light at all:

Yet any hopes that the nature of the stuff would be quickly revealed by these first detections have been utterly dashed. The trouble is that dark matter appears to be [...]

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Written By: grant on January 8, 2012 No Comment
Science Art: <i>Braunfische oder Balenen (Plate 98)</i>, Johann Saur (after Lakas Schan), <i>Fischbuch, das ist, aussführliche Beschreibung und lebendige…</i>, 1598

A medieval hunt for the “brownfish, or baleen.” Centuries before we got our light and energy by burning petroleum, we got it from whales.

This illustration comes from a series of books considered “the basis of modern zoology,” despite having mermaids and the Beast of Revelation among the squid and whale-hunters.

Written By: grant on January 6, 2012 No Comment

The Swedes *really* like their torrents. They revere them. It’s not just entertainment any more – file-sharing is a religion. Literally.

BBC News:

The Church of Kopimism claims that “kopyacting” – sharing information through copying – is akin to a religious service.

The “spiritual leader” of the church said recognition was a “large step”.

Torrent Freak:

While copyright holders are often [...]

Written By: grant on January 6, 2012 No Comment

That’s what designers will be doing to make stores and furniture and *everything else* comfortable for aging Baby Boomer consumers. Discover looks at the way MIT is putting young people in a senior citizen’s shoes:

By 2030, 20% of the American population will be over the age of 65, and if you think these folks are going to [...]

Written By: grant on January 5, 2012 No Comment

File this Washington Post story under “unintended consequences,” maybe. Researchers in Yellowstone Park are noting that as wolf populations are rebounding, the number of trees is growing too:

The return of gray wolves has dramatically altered the landscape in portions of Yellowstone National Park, as new trees take root in areas where the predators have curbed the size of [...]

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Written By: grant on January 4, 2012 No Comment

Medical Xpress seems quite excited over the prospect of using “deep brain stimulation” to cure depression:

The study was led by Helen S. Mayberg, MD, professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine, with co-investigators Paul E. Holtzheimer, MD, lead psychiatrist and now associate professor and director of the Mood [...]

Written By: grant on January 2, 2012 No Comment

Oh, tetrapod. How Science Daily says you’ve changed. The first walkers, they’re saying, may have had more to do with floods than droughts:

University of Oregon scientist Gregory J. Retallack, professor of geological sciences, says that his discoveries at numerous sites in Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania suggests that “such a plucky hypothetical ancestor of ours probably could not [...]

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