Friday, December 30, 2011

Great White Sharks Hunting Cape Fur Sseals Off The Coast Of Cape Town, South Africa

A seal tries to outmanoeuvre a great white shark, seconds before it becomes lunch. The tiny Cape fur seal is dwarfed by the enormous shark as it hunts off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. These images taken by wildlife photographer David Jenkins show the constant struggle for survival for the animals that live on Seal Island in False Bay where around 12,000 seal pups are born each November and December. Taken over three years, the photos illustrate exactly why great whites are considered one of the world's most efficient predators. Picture: Specialist Stock / Barcroft Media

CSN Editor:
A cool gallery of pictures. The link is here.

101 Gadgets That Changed The World

101. Duct Tape
NASA astronauts have used it to make repairs on the moon and in space. The MythBusters built a boat and held a car together with the stuff. Brookhaven National Laboratory fixed their particle accelerator with it. And enthusiasts have used it to make prom dresses and wallets. You might say it's a material, not a gadget, but trust us: Duct tape is the ultimate multitool.

101 Gadgets That Changed The World -- Popular Mechanics

The alarm clock. The personal computer. The smartphone. The radio. You know the greatest gadgets of all time (and you’ve probably owned most of them), but which has changed the world more than any other? To make our list of 101, a gadget had to be something you could hold in your hands, mechanical or electronic, and a mass-produced personal item. The rest was up to the judges. Check out our selections, and watch the 101 Gadgets TV special on History, premiering June 15. Then, let the debate begin.

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My Comment: They are all indispensable in today's world.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Helicopter Drone For The U.S. Army

(Credit: U.S. Army)

US Army Unveils 1.8 Gigapixel Camera Helicopter Drone -- BBC

New helicopter-style drones with 1.8 gigapixel colour cameras are being developed by the US Army.

The army said the technology promised "an unprecedented capability to track and monitor activity on the ground".

A statement added that three of the sensor-equipped drones were due to go into service in Afghanistan in either May or June.

Boeing built the first drones, but other firms can bid to manufacture others.

"These aircraft will deploy for up to one full year as a way to harness lessons learned and funnel them into a program of record," said Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Munster, product manager at the US Army's Unmanned Aerial System Modernization unit.

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More News On The U.S. Army`s Newest Helicopter Drone

US deploys 1.8 gigapixel helicopter surveillance drones to Afghanistan -- The Register
Hummingbird robo-drone gets 1.8-gigapixel camera -- CNet
New spy drone has 1.8 gigapixel camera -- Extreme Tech
US Army's A160 Hummingbird drone-copter to don 1.8 gigapixel camera -- Endgadget
Army to deploy vertical take-off UAS --

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Massive Solar Storm Heading Our Way

It's coming this way: The CME, seen by Nasa's STEREO-B spacecraft, can be seen blasting out from the Sun on the right-hand side (circled)

Massive Solar Storm 'Could Knock Out Radio Signals' Over Next Three Days, Warn Scientists -- Daily Mail

Skywatchers will be hoping for clear skies from today because particles from a recent solar storm will slam into Earth and produce amazing Northern Lights, or auroras.

On the downside, experts expect radio blackouts for a few days, caused by the radiation from the flare – or coronal mass ejection (CME) – causing magnetic storms.

The flare is part of a larger increase in activity in the Sun, which runs in 11-year cycles. It is expected to peak around 2013.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Where Science And The Search For Understanding Can Produce Mankind's Worst Nightmare

This transmission electron micrograph taken at a magnification of 150,000x, reveals the ultrastructural details of an avian influenza A (H5N1) virion, pictured by the United States government's Centre for Disease Control.

Studies Of Deadly H5N1 Bird Flu Mutations Test Scientific Ethics -- L.A. Times

Dutch scientists have created a version of the deadly H5N1 bird flu that's easily transmitted. In an unprecedented move, a U.S. board asks that some details of the research not be published.

In a top-security lab in the Netherlands, scientists guard specimens of a super-killer influenza that slays half of those it infects and spreads easily from victim to victim.

It is a beast long feared by influenza experts, but it didn't come from nature. The scientists made it themselves.

Their noxious creation could help prevent catastrophe in the battle against the deadly H5N1 bird flu that has ravaged duck and chicken flocks across Asia and elsewhere since the mid-1990s but has mostly left our species alone — for one crucial reason. Though H5N1 kills with brutality when it takes hold in a human, it infects extremely rarely and doesn't go on to easily spread between people.

Public health officials have long fretted that the virus may one day find a way to do so.

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Previous Post
: A Bioterror Weapon That Can Easily Kill Billions

My Comment: From what I have been reading, this genetically engineered virus is incredibly lethal (60%). And while the desire is to now limit it`s findings, the sad fact is that we are now faced with a situation in which "Pandora`s Box" has been opened, and there are now too many people who are aware of its findings.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Should We Scour The Moon For Ancient Traces Of Aliens

A pit in Mare Ingenii, possibly the result of a collapsed lava tube. Natural tunnels like this would be ideal sites for an alien moon base. Photograph: Nasa

We Should Scour The Moon For Ancient Traces Of Aliens, Say Scientists -- The Guardian

Online volunteers could be set task of spotting alien technology, evidence of mining and rubbish heaps in moon images.

Hundreds of thousands of pictures of the moon will be examined for telltale signs that aliens once visited our cosmic neighbourhood if plans put forward by scientists go ahead.

Passing extraterrestrials might have left messages, scientific instruments, heaps of rubbish or evidence of mining on the dusty lunar surface that could be spotted by human telescopes and orbiting spacecraft.

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My Comment: The moon is one hell of a big place.