For an absolutely amazing and humbling look at the history of life on our planet, check out this amazing evolution timeline.
The sheer time span involved in this, from the inconceivably long period of basic multi-cellular life, to the tiny dot of hominids. It’s mind boggling to think just how long the planet’s been doing it’s thing, and [...]
Chimps are more or less our cousins in an evolutionary sense. I find it absolutely intriguing that the way they see and deal with death is something that we can identify with readily. While we might find it difficult to accept how at home they are with corpses, hanging around them for months at [...]
Meet Samarium. Rare-earth metal, atomic symbol Sm, number 62. What’s really cool about it, is that it has three extremely long-lived isotopes: 147Sm (1.06 × 1011y), 148Sm (7 × 1015y) and 149Sm (>2 × 1015y). That’s right, 148Sm has a half-life of 7,000,000,000,000,000 years! When these decay, they become an isotope of neodymium. This makes it appropriate for dating extremely old objects — [...]
My Semi-regular Science column is up at io9. Today’s topic: How to Track [...]
Meet Cephalotes varians, the Turtle Ant. I only just found out about these wonderful critters from the wonderful blog Myrmecos. These little fellows have a worker variant with this impressive flat-top. The hive inhabits already existing cavities and holes in a tree trunk. When it comes time to defend their nest, the larger, armored workers plug the [...]
Drawing heavily from stuff I already wrote about here, but with some other details…it’s my semi-regular posting over [...]
In the wake the decision earlier this month in favor of Simon Singh’s libel appeal, the British Chiropractic Association has dropped its suit against the writer. You can read the BCA’s statement, but the money shot is that they think the defense that Singh would use would prove too tough to fight.
Score one for the [...]
Tyrannobdella rex, a newly discovered leech that lives in your nose. It gets up to 6.5 cm long, and has a single row of comparatively gigantic teeth. Read on for [...]
A dedicated panel has analyzed the emails and data from last year’s “Climategate” scandal that wasn’t, and found no evidence of wrongdoing. Said the report:
“We saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit and had it been there we believe that it is likely that we [...]
With the recent announcement of the world’s deepest volcanic vent spotted, here’s a very cool bit of news about how life works down in the deep dark. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute were researching a hydrothermal opening in the Pacific, and happened to be observing it when it erupted, effectively killing the entire ecosystem associated with [...]