Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Cassini scoops complex organics in Titan flyby

"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

History of elephants in Europe

"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."

Opera 8 released

If you haven't tried Opera as a browser then now is the time...

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Sex android begats Armageddon machine

"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™"

Mice put in 'suspended animation'

"Mice have been placed in a state of near suspended animation, raising the possibility that hibernation could one day be induced in humans."

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Spitzer Sees an Alien Asteroid Belt


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.

Randomly-generated 'scientific paper' accepted

"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 Quest for World Destruction

"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."

New material structure produces world's fastest transistor

"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."

The World's Smallest Motor

"Scientists recently unveiled the tiniest electric motor ever built. You could stuff hundreds of them into the period at the end of this sentence."

Monday, April 11, 2005