Saturday, February 5, 2011

Using Google Earth To Find Archaeological Secrets

Google Earth Finds Saudi Arabia's Forbidden Archaeological Secrets -- The Telegraph

An armchair archaeologist has identified nearly 2,000 potentially important sites in Saudi Arabia using Google Earth, despite never having visited the country.

David Kennedy, a professor of classics and ancient history at the University of Western Australia, used Google Earth satellite maps to pinpoint 1,977 potential archaeological sites, including 1,082 teardrop shaped stone tombs.

"I've never been to Saudi Arabia," Dr Kennedy said. "It's not the easiest country to break into."

Dr Kennedy told New Scientist that he had verified the images showed actual archaeological sites by asking a friend working in the Kingdom to photograph the locations.

Read more

My Comment: This is what i call using your brain.

NASA Discovers Six-Planet Solar System

Multi-planet systems are extremely rare, and none with more than three planets have ever been found, until now. Credit: NASA/Kepler mission/Wendy Stenzel

From Cosmos:

SYDNEY: A six-planet system has been discovered by NASA's space-telescope Kepler, and is the first known transiting planetary system beyond our own that has more than three planets orbiting a sun.

The planets are much smaller than many that have been discovered outside of our Solar System, which are often referred to as ‘hot Jupiters’ – a class of large planets that have a close proximity to their parent stars.

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My Comment: if they found six .... I am sure that it will only be a matter of time before they find seven.

The Google - Apple Tablet Wars Continue

Photo: Motorola's Xoom tablet will be the first built around the honeycomb release of Android

Google Eyes Apple In Tablet War -- BBC

Google has unveiled an operating system for tablet computers aimed at ramping up the competition with Apple's iPad.

More than 15 million iPads have been sold since Apple launched the gadget in 2010.

The latest version of Google's Android OS is called Honeycomb and it has been specifically optimised for tablets.

The features include the ability to buy applications from a computer, buy features inside the app, video chat and improved graphics.

Read more ....

My Comment: I personally favor Apple.

Should The Super Bowl be Televised In 3D

Should the Super Bowl be shot and broadcast in 3D?

Why We're Glad The Super Bowl Isn't In 3D -- Popular Mechanics

You may have noticed that the Super Bowl isn't in 3D this year. Good. We're big proponents of the latest 3D tech, but when it comes to sitting through a 4-hour football game in a room full of friends and food, the home 3D experience just isn't there yet. Here are five reasons why we're happy to wait.

Read more

My Comment: I do not know .... I think it would be pretty cool to see it in real 3D.

Internet For Robots Lets Bots Share Instructions And Learn From One Another

Robot to RoboEarth to Robot RoboEarth

From Popular Science:

Well, we’ve seen this movie before (literally speaking). A group of robotics engineers at the University of Technology in Eindhoven are developing an Internet for robots; a kind of online database from which robots can download instructions and to which they can upload “experience.” According to its creators, their RoboEarth system will allow robots to share information and learn from each other, allowing the benefits of machine cognition and learning to proliferate through a network of bots. Cue the SkyNet comparisons.

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My Comment: Yup .... cue the Skynet comparisons.

Human Blood Vessels Can Now Be Grown In The Laboratory

Human Blood Vessels Grown In The Laboratory -- The Telegraph

Off-the-shelf blood vessels that could revolutionise heart surgery have been developed by scientists.

Researchers have come up with a way of growing new human veins in the laboratory that can be stored for up to a year and safely transplanted into any patient.

The blood vessels could one day replace artificial versions – which easily clog and cause infection – in a number of operations, including thousands of heart bypasses a year, it is believed.

Read more ....

Is There Life Out There?

Hunting: Nasa's planet-hunting telescope is finding whole new worlds of possibilities in the search for alien life

Chances Of Finding Aliens Given A Boost After Nasa Finds Evidence Of Over 1,200 MORE Planets - And 54 Of Them May Be Able To Support Life! -- The Daily Mail

The chances of finding alien life were given a boost last night after Nasa revealed it had found evidence of more than 1,200 planets in orbit around far distant stars.

If the findings are confirmed, it will more than triple the number of known planets outside our own solar system in one fell swoop - and, amazingly, 54 of them could be able to support life.

Only two potentially habitable planets have previously been found outside earth's solar system, so Kepler chief scientist William Borucki said 54 is 'an enormous amount, an inconceivable amount'.

Read more ....

Oldest Cemetery Discovered In The Middle East

Graves from the Middle Epipalaeolithic cemetery of ‘Uyun al-Hammam. (Credit: Lisa A. Maher, Jay T. Stock, Sarah Finney, James J. N. Heywood, Preston T. Miracle, Edward B. Banning. A Unique Human-Fox Burial from a Pre-Natufian Cemetery in the Levant (Jordan).

Anthropologists Discover Earliest Cemetery in Middle East -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Feb. 2, 2011) — Anthropologists at the University of Toronto and the University of Cambridge have discovered the oldest cemetery in the Middle East at a site in northern Jordan. The cemetery includes graves containing human remains buried alongside those of a red fox, suggesting that the animal was possibly kept as a pet by humans long before dogs ever were.

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My Comment: It seems that we have been burying our love ones longer than what we thought.

Expect More Monster Winter Storms With Climate Change

This visible satellite image shows the low-pressure area stretching from the Colorado Rockies and Texas east to New England. The image shows the storm on Feb. 1 at 1401 UTC (9:01 a.m. EST). Credit: NOAA/NASA GOES Project.

With Climate Change, Expect More Monster Winter Storms -- Live Science

No single weather event can be directly attributed to climate change. But as the globe warms up, Americans can expect more storms like the one bearing down on much of the United States, scientists say.

That's not because the Feb. 1 storm can be linked to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels or increasing global temperature – again, such a connection is impossible to make – but, according to climatologists, an increased propensity for winter storms is exactly what you'd expect in a warming world.

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My Comment: I have trouble understanding this logic .... because of global warming our temperatures will fall and we will have more snow .... hmmm.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Egyptian Mummy Mystery Thickens

One of the heads from a mummy damaged during the break-in at Cairo's Egyptian Museum appears in the photo above. Click to enlarge this image. Zahi Hawass Website

Headless Egyptian Mummy Mystery Thickens -- Discovery News

The mummies have become the symbol of the world's concern for ancient Egyptian cultural heritage.

* Egyptologists still don't know the identities of the two mummies whose heads were ripped off during a break-in at Cairo's Egyptian Museum.
* Initial reports that they could be King Tut's great-grandparents turned out to be unfounded.
* Based on evidence available so far, it's fairly clear that the mummies are non-royals.

Read more

My Comment
: This vandalism is just unbelievable.

Experts Fret Over Egypt's Treasures

Visitors look at the 8-metres high sandstone statue of Ramses II (1279-1213 BC) at entrance to the Nubian Museum in the southern Egyptian city of Aswan, about 879 km (549 miles) south of Cairo November 8, 2010. Credit: Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

From Cosmos:

PARIS: Archaeologists voiced deepening concern after fresh street battles erupted around Cairo's Egyptian Museum housing the gold sarcophagus of King Tutankhamun and other priceless relics.

Websites and chat-rooms buzzed with anxiety after a break-in that left a number of glass cabinets smashed and precious objects damaged, including two mummies. There were also accounts of pilfering at an antiquities storage depot at Qantara and anecdotal reports of tomb raiding at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara.

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My Comment: They should be worried.

Amazon Drought 'Severe' In 2010

Amazon Drought 'Severe' In 2010, Raising Warming Fears -- BBC

Last year's drought in the Amazon raises concerns about the region's capacity to continue absorbing carbon dioxide, scientists say.

Researchers report in the journal Science that the 2010 drought was more widespead than in 2005 - the last big one - with more trees probably lost.

The 2005 drought had been termed a "one in a century" event.

In drought years, the Amazon region changes from being a net absorber of carbon dioxide into a net emitter.

Read more ....

My Comment: This is not the first time that a drought has occurred in the Amazon .... but if it continues .... it will be a good reason to be concerned.

Super Bowl XLV In Dallas

In the control room at Cowboys Stadium, the large screen monitors cell phone calls, not dropped balls

The World’s Most Wired Stadium? Super Bowl XLV In Dallas -- Popular Mechanics

During Super Bowl Media Day, we took a break from the action on the field to peek behind the curtain at the Dallas Cowboys tech-rich stadium. What we found: 8 million feet of Ethernet cable, 6 million feet of copper wiring, 260 miles of fiberoptic cable and an insane amount of computing power, all aimed at giving fans instant digital gratification.

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My Comment: The Dallas Cowboys stadium is brand new .... so I expect some high tech wizardly.

How Stuxnet Has Given Hackers A Blueprint For Sophisticated New Malware

Epic Fail Malicious programs could blow up factories and sabotage power grids Jamie Sneddon

What Could Possibly Go Wrong: Industrial Cyber-Sabotage -- Popular Science

Stuxnet gives hackers a blueprint for sophisticated new malware.

Computers already do so much of our work that it seems natural to let them take care of our sabotage, too. This might have been the line of thinking that led to Stuxnet, the first known malware worm designed to disrupt industrial processes.

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My Comment: I suspect that this is just the start of something bigger .... hence we are now having governments proposing the need for Cyberwar protocals.

Is The Cyberhug As Good As The Real Thing?

Scientists Develop The 'Cyberhug' -- The Telegraph

Scientists claim the average hug lasts for three seconds, but it has long been claimed that computers could allow us to do so remotely using electrical sensors.

Sensory equipment enabling people to share a hug across cyberspace has been in development for several years, and experts insist it will one day become part of everyday life.

Adrian Cheok, associate professor at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University developed one such system, based on the award-winning Hug-Shirt, that allows parents and children to share "cyberhugs" while miles apart.

Read more ....

My Comment: It can never be as good as the real thing.

Oysters Are Disappearing

Delicacy: But the oyster is disappearing from its natural habitat and is now 'functionally extinct' in many places due to over-exploitation

Oysters Are Becoming 'Functionally Extinct' As 85% Of Reefs Disappear Around The World -- The Daily Mail

Oyster reefs around the world are disappearing so fast that more than 85 per cent have been lost to disease and over-harvesting, according to a study.

The mollusk is disappearing from its natural habitat and is now 'functionally extinct' in many places due to over-exploitation, scientists believe.

In areas such as the Wadden Sea in Europe and Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, fewer than 1 per cent of former reefs still exist.

Read more ....

My Comment: And one day the last oyster will be gone.
Is the apparent randomness of the scratch ticket just a facade, a mathematical lie?
Photo: John Midgley

Cracking The Scratch Lottery Code -- Wired Science

Mohan Srivastava, a geological statistician living in Toronto, was working in his office in June 2003, waiting for some files to download onto his computer, when he discovered a couple of old lottery tickets buried under some paper on his desk. The tickets were cheap scratchers—a gag gift from his squash partner—and Srivastava found himself wondering if any of them were winners. He fished a coin out of a drawer and began scratching off the latex coating. “The first was a loser, and I felt pretty smug,” Srivastava says. “I thought, ‘This is exactly why I never play these dumb games.’”

Read more ....

The Landscape Of Mars Is Actively Changing

Three images of the same location taken at different times show seasonal activity causing sand avalanches and ripple changes on a Martian dune. Every year, dune fields at high latitudes are covered by a seasonal polar cap of condensed carbon dioxide (dry ice). Sand sliding down the dune carves out new alcoves at the top and adds to the debris apron on the bottom. The top image was taken in the Martian summer when the dunes were free of seasonal dry ice. Spring found the region covered by a layer of seasonal ice (middle). Evaporation of this seasonal ice layer shows up as dark streaks of fine particles carried to the top of the ice layer by escaping gas. As the ice changes from solid to gas, gas flowing underneath destabilizes the sand and causes it to avalanche down the dune. The bottom image shows the resulting changes, revealed during the following summer after the ice was gone. New wind ripples can be seen on the debris apron. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took these images, each showing an area of 285 x 140 meters, centered at 84 degrees North latitude and 233.2 degrees East longitude. (Credit: NASA/JPL/The University of Arizona)

Northern Mars Landscape Actively Changing -- Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Feb. 4, 2011) — Sand dunes in a vast area of northern Mars long thought to be frozen in time are changing with both sudden and gradual motions, according to research using images from a NASA orbiter.

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My Comment: I guess Mars is more windy than what it is given credit for.

NASA: Mark Kelly Will Return To Space

Astronaut Kelly listens to U.S. President Obama speak at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington on Feb. 3. Mr. Kelly is the husband of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who is recovering from the Tucson shootings. Kelly also spoke at the prayer breakfast. KEVIN LAMARQUE/Reuters

Wounded Congresswoman’s Husband Will Fly On Shuttle -- New York Times

Cmdr. Mark E. Kelly, the husband of Representative Gabrielle Giffords, will head the space shuttle mission in April that he was assigned to command before his wife was shot, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration announced on Friday.

"I am looking forward to rejoining my STS-134 crew members and finishing our training for the mission," Commander Kelly said in a statement released Friday. “I appreciate the confidence that my NASA management has in me and the rest of my space shuttle crew."

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My Comment: Now that he and his wife have made a decision .... they have my 100% support.

World's Largest Known Bear Unearthed

The largest land predator of its time, the South American giant short-faced bear (Arctotherium angustidens), in comparison to a person. Credit: Soibelzon, Schubert, Journal of Paleontology

Standing At 11 Feet: World's Largest Known Bear Unearthed -- Live Science

The fossils of the largest known bear to have ever lived have been found, a giant that was the most powerful land carnivore of its time, scientists said.

The remains were unearthed during the construction of a hospital in La Plata City, Argentina. It was a South American giant short-faced bear (Arctotherium angustidens), the earliest and largest member of its genus (its group of species of bears). This titan lived between 2 million to 500,000 years ago, with its closest living relative being the spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus) of South America.

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My Comment: Imagine having his head as a trophy on your wall.