marți, 1 februarie 2011

Few random links for your viewing pleasure

First, here is a first hand account of Frances by Darksyd (first posted by Pharyngula). I'm glad I live in boring Erie, PA and don't have to experience that.

Another news-worthy item has former Secretary of State George Shultz endorsing a California ballot measure to provide $3 billion dollars for stem cell research. Interesting to note that Shultz is a republican, and a pretty powerful one.

Here's an Iranian who refused to fight an Israeli in the Olympics, and receives $125,000 dollars for his trouble. Idiot.

Former Senator Bob Graham of Florida is ready to release a book on how the White House covered evidence that could linked Saudi Arabia to the Sept. 11 hijackers. The White House covering something up? No, I don't believe it...

Lastly, did the first Americans come from Australia? Some researchers believe so, and Native Americans are pissed off over it. But DNA doesn't lie.

Random links around the net

One of many lost nuclear bombs lost during the Cold War might have been found.

How about a peek at a neutron star?

An old navy warship becomes something else--a science ship.

Down south, the Gulf coast is preparing for Ivan to make landfall. Here's a picture of the predicted path of Ivan. This could get ugly...

This blog has made exactly $0.00 since opening up, and it looks like not many other people's blogs are having success either. The article is a good read.

It looks like the FDA wants warning labels on anti-depression drugs. I've mentioned this several times in the past few weeks.

And finally, have proof that Bush served in TANG? Then you can earn yourself $50,000.

A trip around the web

Over at Pharyngula, PZ has changed to a pirate theme for the day. He must be looking for that elusive buried treasure.

On an update from Ivan, it looks like the barrier islands in the gulf are now gone. These important barriers help keep the mainland from flooding.

Science and Nature magazines have interviews with Kerry and Bush on science issues. I'll talk more about their answers a little bit later.

How do fertility clinics dispose of embryos? It varies, but some do wild things.

Seven clinics said they performed a quasi-religious ceremony, including a prayer, for each embryo they destroyed.

Seven others took the technically unnecessary step of culturing the cells in a lab dish, then allowing them to multiply on their own, briefly, before they perish.

Four insisted that, whatever method was chosen for disposal, the patient be present when it happens. Others barred them from being in the room, or recommended that they be uninvolved.
Unbelievable...I wonder if the garbage can was an answer?

And finally, my beloved Redskins commited 7 turnovers in their loss to NY Giants. It's still early in the season.

Antarctic glaciers melting faster than ever before

Really bad news: Two separate studies show that glaciers are flowing into the Weddell Sea, due to climate changes. The glaciers could then melt, causing the world sea level to rise. The article says that over 150 miles of coastline has been affected in just 15 years. If enough melt is produced, then coastlines would migrate inwards. For those living near the coastline, that would mean flooding and loss of your property.

Glaciers are one of nature's greatest natural wonders. Antarctica has some of the world's biggest glaciers and influence the climate (for a quick tutorial on climate change, check out the interactive box in this article). The loss of them would affect everyone on Earth.

Save the glaciers!

NYT endorses California stem cell measure

Prop 71 is getting lots of support, and rightly so.

The ballot measure, known as Proposition 71, would expand embryonic stem cell research far beyond the 20 or so cell lines that can be studied with federal support under the Bush policy, thus allowing the fuller range of research that most scientists deem important. Senator John Kerry has promised that, if elected, he would lift the Bush restrictions to make many more cell lines available, and would ramp up spending to at least $100 million a year, four times the current level. He would also allow federal support for therapeutic cloning to derive treatments tailored to a specific individual, but not for reproductive cloning to make a baby. The California proposition would also support therapeutic but not reproductive cloning, and it would pour in much more money than Mr. Kerry has proposed.

Supporters of Proposition 71 cite the great potential of stem cell research to provide treatments for a wide range of ailments, including diabetes, Parkinson's and heart disease, among some 70 or more ailments. The supporters gloss over the uncertainties over whether embryonic stem cell research will pay off in a big way, and they play down the likelihood that any clinical applications are years away. The supporters also cite studies purporting to show that the California measure would more than pay for itself by generating taxes, creating jobs, bolstering the state's biotech industry and cutting future health care costs by providing new treatments.
A vote for Prop 71 is a vote for new discoveries.

Key dinosaur discovery made by Canadian geologists?

Huge news from our friends upnorth. Ancient tracks found in Western Canada may help solve whether dinosaurs ever roamed that far west.

The dinosaur tracks and a fossilized turtle shell, estimated to be about 125 million years old, were discovered north of Terrace, British Columbia, by provincial geologists doing a routine survey for energy exploration.

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Dinosaur tracks had never been found so far west in Canada. Although large quantities of fossils have been recovered east of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, scientists have speculated a geological feature -- a mountain range or an ocean arm -- had blocked the dinosaurs' path.

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Mustard said the size of the footprints indicated the dinosaurs were likely raptors, predators that stood taller than a man.

The tracks were probably made as the animals walked across soft sand on a river bank or flood plain. They were then covered by layers of sediment and hardened into clearly identifiable three-toed footprints.

Mustard predicted the finding would lead to more discoveries in the region. "There's an entire world to be seen there," he said.
This is pretty big. This could open the flood gates to new discoveries in western Canada. Footprints may not be the only thing found. All new species of dinosaurs could follow suit. Yes, I'm excited.