Wednesday, April 27, 2005
"The Cassini spacecraft has flown through the upper atmosphere of Saturn's giant moon, Titan, and detected a huge number of complex organic chemicals. Scientists believe that similar processes may have built organic molecules in the atmosphere of early Earth."
Monday, April 25, 2005
"The history of elephants in Europe dates back to the ice ages, when mammoths (various species of prehistoric elephant) roamed the northern parts of the Earth, from Europe to North America. However, these became extinct several thousand years ago, and subsequently the presence of elephants in Europe is only due to importation of these animals. As exotic and expensive animals, they were often exchanged as presents between European rulers, who exhibited them as luxury pets."
Saturday, April 23, 2005
"After all, someone has to clear up after man-eating cyberloos have purged the streets of Aberdeen of the last urinating Scotsman who might put up a spirited, albeit somewhat drunken and ultimately futile, fight against the Rise of the Machines™"
Thursday, April 21, 2005
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has discovered an enormous asteroid belt orbiting another star, containing 25 times as much material as the belt in our Solar System. If we had an asteroid belt this thick, it would light up the night sky in a bright band. Once confirmed, this will be the first asteroid belt found orbiting a star similar to our own Sun. Another possibility is that Spitzer is seeing a Pluto-sized comet which has been orbiting the star for many years and has left a bright trail of particles.
"CUTTING-EDGE artificial intelligence it was not, but a student prank still managed to get the better of some human intelligences last week, when a computer-generated piece of gibberish was accepted as a genuine scientific paper."
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
"The Earth was built to last. It is a 4,550,000,000-year-old, 5,973,600,000,000,000,000,000-tonne ball of iron. It has taken more devastating asteroid hits in its lifetime than you've had hot dinners, and lo, it still orbits merrily. So my first piece of advice to you, dear would-be Earth-destroyer, is: do NOT think this will be easy."
"A new type of transistor structure, invented by scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has broken the 600 gigahertz speed barrier. The goal of a terahertz transistor for high-speed computing and communications applications could now be within reach."