April 30, 2013
The Purpose of a Fire Extinguisher Is...

Posted by scott at 10:08 AM
Speaking of Dinosaurs

It seems that humans aren't the only creatures to have evolved in Africa. Of course, I'm pretty sure Africa wasn't actually Africa, in appearance or location, at the start of the Triassic. Also, it may not be that the creatures evolved in that spot. Rather, it may simply be a case of the right stratigraphy being exposed in that precise spot. Anyway, it's a damned old dinosaur, is all I'm sayin'...

Posted by scott at 06:39 AM
Behind the Empire

I dunno, man, if these pictures are any indication, life on the various sets of Empire Strikes Back was every bit as much fun as it looked. Especially when you consider that, unlike the last time, everyone knew this one was going to be a monster hit.

Posted by scott at 06:31 AM
April 29, 2013
The Color of Dinos

Canadian scientists are using a sophisticated light source to see if they can figure out what color a specific dinosaur was. I'm not so sure this is the only "3D dinosaur skin fossil." I distinctly remember that the natural history museum in New York has a fossil on display that has intact skin. Of course, that could be part of the same fossil.

Posted by scott at 06:18 AM
Fun with Beards

So... Maybe I've found my next hobby? Oh, who am I kidding? Mine starts driving me nuts five days after I trim it.

Posted by scott at 06:05 AM
April 26, 2013
Earth's Sun

New experiments are revealing that the Earth's core is much hotter than previously thought. As in, "hotter than the surface of the sun" hot. However, this is actually good news, since it allows the reconciliation of several otherwise good models with the observed data.

Posted by scott at 02:57 PM
Dead Wrong

Who the hell gets bitten by a... basically by any damned thing in Australia and then goes on a mile and a half run? Just about the only thing that's not viciously venomous is, oh hell, I dunno, probably some of the sheep.

Posted by scott at 10:24 AM
Mayan Mahem

A new archeological study is indicating that the origins of Mayan civilization are more complicated than previously thought. Turns out the earliest indicators of Mayan civilization pre-date the older and even more mysterious Olmec, but the influence of that civilization is undeniable.

Posted by scott at 06:42 AM
Not Your Average Floater

I guess even statues can piss off gangsters: a mysterious, giant floating head was found recently in the Hudson river. I'm thinking it might be from some sort of abandoned amusement park somewhere upstream, but heck I guess anything's possible.

Posted by scott at 06:34 AM
April 24, 2013
Building Go Boom

Ever wonder what it'd be like to be on the roof of a building when it was imploded? Just ask this guy. The camera was zoomed in real close, so it's really hard to tell what was falling where. To me, it looked like he missed getting clobbered by a brick wall by just inches.

Posted by scott at 10:33 AM
Making Europe

A new genetic study of ancient human remains in Europe has revealed important, and previously unknown, migrations in the distant past. One problem with using archeology alone is that a new population may replace the people but keep using their tech. DNA analysis will spot that change.

Posted by scott at 06:57 AM
Dude. Wait, What?

News you can use: "If you're going to get your vagina high, you should definitely do so thoughtfully and with the uttermost respect." All those times women have shaken their heads at the goofy crap men get up to between fifteen and twenty-five? Yeah, I just found at least one counter-weight to that.

Posted by scott at 06:44 AM
April 23, 2013
Bouncing Higher

SpaceX's effort to create a fully reusable rocket has just passed another test. A+ for the sense of humor as well. Oh, and lest you think that was one brave chopper pilot flying so close, it was (apparently) a small RC quad copter that played the role of the camera vehicle. GoPro cameras, FTW!

Posted by scott at 01:19 PM
Bowling Crush

It's all fun and games until an arm falls out of the bowling pin machine. I've seen the manual for one of those things. It's a giant collection of moving parts that will fold, mutilate, and spindle a person in a heartbeat. Reaching in to one that's turned on? Well, he already got what he deserved.

Posted by scott at 06:50 AM
Coming Home

The innovative RTS game series Homeworld has been picked up at auction. The original Homeworld has to be one of my all-time favorite games. It's good to see someone picking up the check to breathe some life into it.

Posted by scott at 06:45 AM

It looks like one of the Marathon bombers may have played a role in a bizarre triple murder case from 2011. Apparently he knew one of the victims. Me, I think it smells a little bit of "let's pile on," but who knows? Maybe it will lead to something.

Posted by scott at 06:31 AM
April 22, 2013
Drop 'em

Ever wonder what it'd be like to ride down with the jeep during an air drop? Well of COURSE we're gonna help you imagine that. Other than that really big swing at the start, it doesn't really look too bad. You know, just from watching.

Posted by scott at 10:22 AM
Ouch Ouch Ouch

Assuming the story can be believed, a Chinese woman is on trial for killing a man by squeezing his junk. And by "junk," I'm not talking about the trash in his back yard, ya know?

Posted by scott at 06:34 AM
Space Horse

Two advanced space telescopes have recently taken pictures of an iconic celestial object. While Hubble is scheduled to keep functioning for another decade, this may well be some of the last images taken by the ESA's Herschel observatory.

Posted by scott at 06:21 AM
April 19, 2013
Bad Guy Busted

The man in the iconic, and horrific, picture just after the Boston bombing has not only survived, he seems to have helped identify at least one of the bombers. Unfortunately it seems that one got bagged by the Boston PD last night. Here's to hoping they can catch the other one alive.

Posted by scott at 06:25 AM
Fun with Old Heroes

Posted by scott at 06:18 AM
April 18, 2013
That We May Know Them By Their Limping

Judith Grossman: A Mother, a Feminist, Aghast Unsubstantiated accusations against my son by a former girlfriend landed him before a nightmarish college tribunal. I've read accounts of these tribunals before, in a scenario almost identical to this one. The sad thing was, that account was satire.

Posted by scott at 07:03 AM
Mirror Mirror

While I would've liked very much to see what happened when men did this, I thought this experiment with a sketch artist and a woman's sense of beauty was still quite moving. Yeah, ultimately it's a kind of commercial, but it's subtle and pretty well done.

Posted by scott at 06:53 AM
Old Anchorage

Egyptian archeologists have announced the discovery of the oldest port in the world. Because of our collapsed view of history, "old" to us usually means Greco-Roman, or the very last pharaohs of the New Kingdom. What's been found this time is something much older, going right back to the time the pyramids were being built. They know this because they found receipts for the stone that built them on the site. No, really!

Posted by scott at 06:40 AM

Posted by scott at 06:30 AM
April 17, 2013
Life As We Know It

An academic paper from Cornell is claiming that life in the universe probably evolved about 9.7 billion years ago. If true, it would neatly explain why the universe seems so empty... it actually is. This argument can also be made from a philosophical angle: it took something like 99.5% of the Earth's history before intelligent life evolved. If it took that long in the wider universe (and it may very well have), then intelligent life will naturally be rare, and may not be all that much more advanced than we are.

Posted by scott at 08:38 AM
Short People

A new study is providing more evidence that the Flores hominids were in fact a dwarf species. Which won't stop critics from a new round of "is too!" This is anthropology, after all. If it can't be argued endlessly until the proponents of each side are literally dead, what fun is there?

Posted by scott at 07:10 AM
April 16, 2013

Posted by scott at 12:41 PM
April 15, 2013
Saturn's Phoenix

I don't think the booster it's supposed to power will ever be built, but the effort to resurrect the iconic F-1 engine still just about defines cool. I'd wager most are in pretty good shape. Well, except for the ones that are at the bottom of the Atlantic. When they hauled them off the ocean floor a few months ago, they didn't look so hot to me.

Posted by scott at 03:28 PM
Trigger Time

Next time you visit the battleship New Jersey (no, I haven't either, but...) it looks like they'll let you pull the big trigger. A battleship, like any complex machine, is meant to be used. Not using it causes almost as many problems as letting it sit idle. If you're going to spend money on maintenance anyway, why not have a little fun with it?

Posted by scott at 09:22 AM
Paging Doctor McCoy, White Courtesy Phone Please

Scientists have announced the successful implantation of a lab-grown kidney in a rat. This is by far the most complex organ grown in a lab. The trick, apparently, is in the way the cells are introduced to the "scaffold" that they grow on. The next step will be scaling up the process to see if it can create human-sized (i.e., pig) organs.

Posted by scott at 06:43 AM
April 13, 2013
I Can't Hear You Now

Hell on earth means many things to many people. I'm pretty sure a place with no cell service of any sort would define it for Ellen and Amber. I think the longest Ellen has gone without a cellphone is maybe three hours in the past ten years, but that could be an exaggeration. It's probably less than that.

Posted by scott at 07:33 AM
Time to Let Go

In fishing, sometimes it's "the one that got away." Other times, it's "the one that got taken away." I've never heard of a Galapagos shark. Looks more like a great white to me, but I'm far from an expert.

Posted by scott at 07:19 AM
April 11, 2013
Dino Grow

A fossil formed when a flood washed out a group of dinosaur nests has revealed at least one species to be the fastest growing animal yet discovered. Bonus: they also seem to have found organic matter, by far the oldest example of such stuff found so far.

Posted by scott at 09:02 AM
A Culture of 10

I love cross-cultural comparisons. Seeing what other people think of us gives me a specific sort of very useful mirror to look at. So, not only is this 10 American habits Brits will never understand worth a read, I think the rest of the articles linked at the bottom are, too. Oh, and missing curry? She needs to move out to Herndon, aka "New Herndeli."

Posted by scott at 08:00 AM
April 10, 2013
Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia...

Posted by scott at 09:52 AM
April 09, 2013

Posted by scott at 10:25 AM
Pew Pew Pew!

The Navy has announced plans to deploy an operational laser weapon to a warship in 2014. It's a solid state infrared type, which means it's way better than the Air Force's aborted ABL project. But it's also limited in power and versatility, so it ain't the end-all, be-all. Still, it seems fine for making pirate barbeque or whacking Persian drones from the sky.

Posted by scott at 08:12 AM
Dark Doom

And in the "Well, that's comforting" file we have a study that aims to find out if you can get a lifetime's dose of hard radiation flying through a thunderstorm. This should make the regular air travelers in my circle of friends much more comfortable, I'm sure. And yes, when you read the article expect to say "sensationalize much?" a LOT.

Posted by scott at 08:04 AM
Big Ones

A new study has provided evidence that size does indeed actually matter. Radical feminists and their ilk will be outraged, I'm sure. Those of us who understand that a century or so of radical politics does not trump millions of years of evolution, not so much.

Posted by scott at 07:52 AM
April 08, 2013
Abraham's House

Scientists have announced the discovery of a new archeology site with the ruins of a building Abraham himself could've walked through. Other good news: at least some parts of Iraq are now stable enough for Milquetoast scientists to poke around in.

Posted by scott at 09:37 AM
I Drank What?!?

Hey, nobody's making me drink one, and it's not happening on my lawn, so when it comes right down to it I don't have a problem with this. Well, with someone ELSE mucking around with it. Or, you know, rubbing one out for it... sort of thing.

Well what am I supposed to say about something like that?

Posted by scott at 07:32 AM
Hover Cart

Those of us who enjoy the carts more than the golf have a new reason to head to the course. What I think the real innovation is gets completely passed over by both the video and the article: noise control. Hovercraft have been around since at least the '50s (probably longer), but one of the main things that holds them back from general use is the enormous racket they make when they work. If this one is quiet enough to use on a golf course, it would seem they've finally conquered that engineering obstacle.

Posted by scott at 07:06 AM
Dog's Gate

Scientists have announced the discovery of the "Plutoneion," a cave entrance the ancients regarded as a gate to hell. It still works, too. The archeologists reported several birds dropping dead near it after it'd been excavated. Maybe they'll bring in a geologist next time to figure out what makes the thing tick.

Posted by scott at 06:41 AM
April 07, 2013
Air Saile

Alternate title: Paging Frank Sinatra, White Courtesy Phone Please. Since it's a sail boat, that means all the lift has to be generated from a tailwind, not a headwind. And... I think you can only go fast on REALLY windy days?

Posted by scott at 09:08 AM
April 03, 2013
Insert Bob Dylan Reference Here

New Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter photos are showing how Curiosity's landing parachute is shifting over time. The atmosphere on mars is so thin I'm actually vaguely surprised it's able to move something that big. Then again, it can cover the whole planet in dust storms, so what do I know?

Posted by scott at 03:11 PM

Watch out! Here comes the spider car! No doubt there will be much wailing and tearing of shirts from a certain segment of Alfisti at the thought of a spider made in Japan. Me, I'm just hoping for an opposite result from the last time Alfa partnered with a Japanese car maker.

Posted by scott at 08:17 AM
Finding Cash

Disney has announced a sequel for Finding Nemo will be released in 2015. On the one hand, there's the standard "finally run out of ideas" complaint. On the other, sequels exist because we want to spend more time with a set of characters. Here's to hoping it doesn't suck!

Posted by scott at 07:38 AM
April 02, 2013
Rock On Wich Yo Pinniped Self

It took training and probably a whole helluva lot of fish, but biologists have manage to train a sea lion to "keep the beat." At first I thought maybe she was just shaking her head, but it does seem like she's responding to the music itself. Ellen and I were just talking about how research said it was just humans and parrots who were the only ones to perceive music. Now we know better.

Posted by scott at 12:39 PM
Insert "Butch Cassidy" Reference Here

It's fine to over-estimate, say, what's needed to make a bridge strong, or an airplane safe. When it comes to cracking open an ATM, that's not the best strategy. Then again, it didn't seem to set the cash on fire. I'm just glad nobody was anywhere near the thing.

Posted by scott at 09:13 AM
Peep Power

Exactly how we managed to miss the 2013 Peeps Diorama Contest, I never will understand. Too busy with foster kittens, I guess. Nah, f- that. I blame Obama.

Posted by scott at 06:30 AM
Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy

I guess we just have to say it much more slowly: Stop trying to sleep with the teenagers you meet on the Internet. I guess we really do need to bring Chris Hansen back

Posted by scott at 06:23 AM
April 01, 2013
Your Thought for the Day

Posted by scott at 09:12 AM
When the News Cycle Attacks

Someone call the AP! The story: "Swedish feminists are going after the way men sit on the train." The reality: a single blogger has set up a site that takes pictures of guys sitting funny on a train. Meh. It's not like I plan on visiting the place anytime soon. But, now that I think about it, guys who sit like that on Metro trains are pretty obnoxious.

Posted by scott at 06:22 AM
Time Solve

A "proof" that time travel exists seems to have been explained. Me, I think relying on great-gramma's memories is pretty questionable, but it does seem to point the way toward more concrete proof. Just go ask the DuPont guys.

Posted by scott at 06:16 AM