May 31, 2013
Turtle Time

A new study on an ancient fossil is providing insights into the evolution of turtles. Specifically, how and when their shell formed.

Posted by scott at 06:28 AM
May 30, 2013
Good, Creamy Fun

Posted by scott at 10:24 AM
Hold My Beer, and Watch This

Moab, for the rest of us.

Posted by scott at 09:01 AM
May 29, 2013
Your Thought for the Day

Posted by scott at 07:54 PM
Splatter Save

An iconic Jackson Pollock original has been completely restored, and in the process old mysteries were solved, and new ones were revealed.

Posted by scott at 06:35 AM
May 28, 2013
Pew Pew Pew!

Ever wonder what it's like to be under an artillery barrage? Well, no, I haven't either but the video sure is cool. Unfortunately since this is real life, far too many people know exactly what it sounds like to be under an artillery barrage. For many, I imagine it's a rather brief experience.

Posted by scott at 10:28 AM
That's Not Good

There's a reason they strap a car down when it takes a dynomometer run. Looks like it fragged his rear suspension. Hopefully the guy who owns the machine has insurance, because I'm pretty sure the regular car-type won't cover this.

Posted by scott at 10:25 AM
May 24, 2013
Steam Punk Park

It looks like that, after something like thirty years, the French have finally come up with an alternative to EuroDisney. Even though it looks like it's just one giant mechanical elephant and a really weird carousel, I still think this would make a cool import to our shores. Here's to hoping!

Posted by scott at 06:27 PM
Base Creatures

So, does Islamic culture emphasize women must cover up to express humility and modesty, or is it to try and provide at least some protection against their men? I'd wager the truth is far closer to the latter than any intellectual would care to admit. I also agree with the producers of the documentary: the only way to change this is to investigate and expose it. Good luck to them.

Posted by scott at 10:35 AM
The Color of History

The British Film Institute has restored a rare early color film made in 20s-era London. It makes me a little wistful when I think that pretty much everyone in the film is long gone, and that they were all on the edge of a precipice nobody knew was there at the time. It's good to remember.

Posted by scott at 08:48 AM
Adapt and Reuse

Sears is poised to become a data center giant. It's their property, they can do what they like with it. Department stores aren't particularly well known as icons of architecture, but surely this is more efficient than yanking the old structure down and building something new in its place.

Posted by scott at 07:05 AM
May 23, 2013
When Lego Goes to 11

Someone went and did it... they went and made a replica X-wing out of Lego. Full size replica, no less. It's a steel-framed construct that weighs 46,000 pounds. Of course I want one. Don't you?

Posted by scott at 06:17 PM
Galaxy Overdrive

New observations from the Herschel space telescope may finally solve the mystery of early elliptical galaxies. If you were thinking "galactic collision," you can collect your prize. And then explain all the math to me.

Posted by scott at 06:30 AM
May 22, 2013
Booya! Ding-Dong!

Posted by scott at 01:13 PM
Bird Food

A new study that combines engineering, anatomy, and CGI simulations has discovered that the dinosaur Allosaurus ate things in a way quite different than the younger, more famous T. Rex. In fact, its technique seems to most closely resemble that of modern small falcons. Birds of a... what am I saying? Dinosaurs are weird!

Posted by scott at 06:34 AM
May 21, 2013

The stuff you find out trolling Wikipedia's "on this day" list: Introducing Sada Abe, who:

... is remembered for erotically asphyxiating her lover, Kichizo Ishida (石田 吉蔵 Ishida Kichizō?), on May 18, 1936, and then cutting off his penis and testicles and carrying them around with her in her handbag.

There's bound to be at least a short story in there, but I'm not gonna be the one to write it.

Posted by scott at 10:49 AM
Spear Chucker

A new study on cut marks has pushed the date humans started throwing spears back to 90,000 years. Cut mark studies have been around a long time. I remember them back when I was an undergrad in the mid-80s. You'd think someone would've thought to do this sooner, but I guess not. At any rate, now that they know what to look for, I'll be the date gets pushed back even further as new finds come to light.

Posted by scott at 08:43 AM
May 20, 2013
Flipper Find

Navy Dolphins have discovered a rare early torpedo off the California coast. Fortunately they didn't feel the need to blow the thing to bits for safety's sake, so maybe it'll be put on display some time in the future. Worked with a flywheel instead of a motor, so steampunk fans should be all atwitter over it, too.

Posted by scott at 03:30 PM
Responding to Incentives

Disney is investigating whether or not rich families are hiring disabled people to help them jump ahead in line. I almost started thinking, "well, why not?" But then I realized that now Disney will have to introduce some sort of pain-in-the-ass scheme to ensure it doesn't happen anymore. When cheaters exploit trust, the rest of us lose.

Posted by scott at 06:51 AM
May 17, 2013
Old Monkey

Scientists have announced the discovery of the oldest known fossils of both apes and monkeys. The finds date to about 25 million years ago, which puts them much closer to the predicted split between the two genera than anything else found to-date. The fossils themselves aren't much... a jaw fragment and a single tooth. However, now that they know where to look for these sorts of fossils, I'll bet there will be better finds on the way.

Posted by scott at 06:52 AM
Cosmos Redux

Neil deGrasse Tyson has been tapped to host an upcoming "reboot" of the iconic series, Cosmos. There've been several thinly disguised copies of the show created over the years. I think Morgan Freeman's Through the Wormhole came closest to the balance of wonder and fact that made the original so captivating. Tyson himself hosted another, although its title escapes me. It'll be interesting to see what he brings to the explicitly titled comeback.

Posted by scott at 06:41 AM
May 15, 2013
Busting History

On the anniversary of one of the most remarkable raids in WWII, the BBC is taking a look at just how effective the "dambuster" raids really were. Sometimes I think all these "aerial bombardment didn't do any good" histories were all written by, I don't know, navy people or something.

Posted by scott at 06:49 AM
May 14, 2013
Ancient Ears

A new fossil study has revealed that even our oldest relatives had ears that resembled ours. No, not the fleshy bits on the outside, but apparently one (and only one) of the three ear bones quite strongly resembled our own. No, I don't know what it really means, either. I guess we'll get the answer file when they get their grant renewed.

Posted by scott at 06:52 AM
Bits and Pieces

Yet another childhood milestone of mine has passed into the "you might be surprised to find..." category. Hell I can remember watching John Belushi's Weekend Update segment about this. Hello? John Belushi? Cheeburger? No?

Well then, get the hell off my lawn!

Posted by scott at 06:48 AM
Veg Attack

A carnivorous relative of the tomato seems to be the most genetically "pure" living thing found to-date. In other news, the common tomato has a carnivorous cousin. Can Attack of the Killer Humped Bladderwort be far behind? I think not!

Posted by scott at 06:34 AM
May 13, 2013
Dis Fud Moov Funny

Posted by scott at 10:55 AM
Venus in the Bedroom

A new book is providing new evidence that women's sexual desires are far from politically correct. Take-away for men: even women don't understand women. Isn't that a comforting thought?

Posted by scott at 06:51 AM
Bad Best Korea, No Biscuit!

It looks like China may finally be willing to turn a few screws to get "Best Korea" to behave. Yeah, it looks like the move is more symbolic than functional, but this is North Korea we're talking about here. They almost literally live and breathe on symbols. It'll be fun to see what sort of gyrations their propaganda goes through over this.

Posted by scott at 06:40 AM

It seems the effort to grow meat in a vat has taken another step forward. Cattle take up a lot of space, and the whole business of the slaughterhouse makes me a bit queasy. If this ends up costing, say, .00001% of what it costs now, hell I might even try it.

Posted by scott at 06:27 AM
May 10, 2013

Posted by scott at 08:29 AM

A Florida (naturally) restaurant is experiencing a bit of a backlash over its "lion tacos." Yep, you read that right, lion tacos. In other news, somewhere in the US there seems to be a farm that's raising lions for meat. I bet it's really hard keeping herding dogs around on it.

Posted by scott at 08:21 AM
The Shape of Things to Come

Most theories of the origin of the universe predict an equal amount of matter and antimatter was created. Explaining why it all didn't annihilate itself the very next instant just went all pear-shaped. Particle physics is, like, you know, hard and stuff. I'll take their word for it.

Posted by scott at 06:39 AM
May 09, 2013
Lost Land

Scientists using a new deep-diving submersible are claiming to have found an original piece of the long-lost continent, Pangaea. Which is a little strange to me. Just about any rocks that have, say, dinosaur fossils pretty much must be from Pangaea, right? Maybe I'm missing something. That's usually the case.

Posted by scott at 06:26 AM
May 08, 2013
Garden Found

A British historian is claiming to have discovered the actual location of the hanging gardens of Babylon. If they're right, it should more properly be called "the hanging gardens of Assyria." Relying on new translations of old sources can be problematic, but it's not like this is the only person in the world who can translate that stuff. Someone else can take a close look, too.

Posted by scott at 06:30 AM
May 07, 2013
Build Big

Oh, look. Someone's let the architects loose again. I'm pretty sure they meant to say the Palace of the Soviets was to be 1000 meters tall, not 100. As I recall, Hitler's "new Reichstag" would've enclosed roughly the same area as NASA's VAB. Except back then they would've had a harder time stopping rain clouds from forming inside it.

Posted by scott at 07:06 AM
May 06, 2013
Meanwhile, in Russia...

Posted by scott at 10:39 AM
Binky Bash

A new study has found at least some evidence that sucking on your kid's pacifier can provide substantial protection against allergies and asthma. The findings are, of course, controversial and even the authors admit it's not conclusive. We would do this occasionally when Olivia was little, and she is mostly allergy-free. Of course, that could also have something to do with growing up in her very own petting zoo, so even we can't provide even anecdotal support for any of this.

Posted by scott at 06:38 AM
Old Crazy

It looks like everyone's favorite wacky White House protestor is about to hang up her hat the hard way. I've seen her signs at least half a dozen times in the past twenty years. I had no idea what a soap opera it all actually was.

Posted by scott at 06:23 AM
May 05, 2013
Short n' Curly Awareness

I'm all for raising awareness of any cancer, but some kinds just don't lend themselves very well to a mascot. Different cultures, different strokes. You know, as it were.

Posted by scott at 08:50 AM
May 04, 2013

Coming soon to an oil tycoon near you: an IMAX "private theater". That seats about thirty people, it looks like. Meh, your money, your house.

Posted by scott at 09:43 AM
May 03, 2013
Tiny Terror

Posted by scott at 03:25 PM

Presenting the world's smallest flying robot. It's mostly meant as a research tool into insect flight, but apparently with a bit more miniaturization it can be turned into a fully-autonomous design. No worries. I'm sure I'll figure out how to crash it.

Posted by scott at 06:34 AM
How About No?

And yeah, the seventh seal was opened. I've only ever seen poutine, but I think Ellen's actually tried the stuff. She gags at the thought. Acquired taste, I suppose.

Posted by scott at 06:12 AM
May 02, 2013
Moon Trap

By using contemporary accounts and almanacs, scientists are claiming an astronomical solution for the mystery of Stonewall Jackson's untimely death. I'm not completely convinced this actually is much of a mystery, but if it drums up interest in astronomy, why not?

Posted by scott at 06:43 AM
May 01, 2013
Chop Chop

Scientists have found clear physical evidence of cannibalism in England's first permanent settlement in the New World. And, if the reconstruction is accurate, they had pretty good taste, indeed.

Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week!

Posted by scott at 01:58 PM
~ Made Lots of Money / Paid for My House ~

It's official: John Williams is set to return as music composer for the next Star Wars film. He's 81, though. I guess they're serious about getting it done in the next two years.

Posted by scott at 11:51 AM
Birthday Class

Posted by scott at 09:42 AM
Crystal Time

A group of scientists has finally figured out a way to test whether or not a specific crystal formation vibrates through time instead of space. The "my little physicist" explanation seems to be: there's a mathematical construct that, if it can be built in the form of a crystal, will vibrate without expending energy or ever winding down. I think. Sounds cool, especially now that they can test it.

Posted by scott at 06:46 AM