New Scientist reports that Beagle 2, the British lander lost on Mars in 2003, should never have been built. That is the damning conclusion of the official investigation into the loss of the probe in a report that the UK government and the European Space Agency (ESA) attempted to hide. The probe was carried to Mars on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft and released towards the Red Planet in December 2003. It was never heard from again.
New Scientist report that dyslexia can impair a driver's reactions as much as a moderate drinking session. That is the conclusion of a small study which compared how quickly dyslexic and non-dyslexic drivers react to traffic signs.
This /. poll reminds people that today is the anniversary from the Challenger's explosion from 1/28/1986. So sad. I was ten years old back in Pennsylvania, USA, if I remember correctly. I did not see this accident live on TV. I saw the recording on the local news. I wasn't crazy about space stuff back then compared to today, but yet it was sad. :( Columbia's accident is coming up very soon too. :(
So, where were you when it happened (e.g., wasn't born yet)?
Discovery Channel News' article says ants use angled signposts, marked with scent, to find their way home or follow the path into the
This Yahoo! News article says American and French scientists believed they have explained how one of nature's marvels, the Venus flytrap, snaps shut to snare its victims. The plant -- described by Charles Darwin as "one of the most wonderful in the world" -- is able to enclose a fly within its clamshell-shaped leaves in just 100 milliseconds, faster than the eye can blink.
CNET's News.com and The New York Times articles say George W. Bush probably won't be remembered as "the high-tech president." The strongholds of the biotech and infotech industries, on the East and West Coasts, voted against him. If his State of the Union address next week, his fourth, is like the previous three, it will say next to nothing about the role of science or advanced technology in the nation's economic and social future. The symbol of Al Gore's relationship with gizmos was the early-model BlackBerry he wore on his belt. The symbol of Bush's was his tumble from a Segway computerized scooter in 2003.
The New Yorks Times (no registration required) says the space shuttle's skin is turning out to be even more fragile than NASA engineers thought, its scientists and engineers say. Impact tests and analysis performed as part of the return-to-flight effort show that pieces of insulating foam that weigh less than half an ounce can cause small cracks and damage to the surface coating on the heat-resistant panels on the leading edge of the wing, agency officials said in interviews this week.
Compfused.com posted some cool videos today, but two of them were worth noting:
A Yahoo! News story says heart disease has been the nation's top killer for decades. Now, cancer has taken its place for Americans 85 and younger.
BBC News says failing to make your bed in the morning may actually help keep you healthy, scientists believe. Research suggests that while an unmade bed may look scruffy it is also unappealing to house dust mites thought to cause asthma and other allergies. A Kingston University study discovered the bugs cannot survive in the warm, dry conditions found in an unmade bed.
This Globe and Mail's article says the high cost of getting permission to use archival footage and photos threatens to put makers of documentaries out of business...
According to Yahoo! News story, almost eight in 10 Americans say it isn't safe to eat food dropped on the floor. This is despite the so-called rule that says if it's on the floor for a few seconds it's safe to eat.
This News@Nature.com article reports warm eyeballs allow swordfish to see prey faster in the murky depths. Zoologists have answered the intriguing question of why swordfish keep their eyes warm while the rest of the body remains resolutely cold-blooded: it's all the better to see their prey with.
Yahoo! News' story says a study, published Monday, found that people who sleep less tend to be fat, and experts said it's time find if more sleep will fight obesity. Monday's study from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk covered 1,000 people and found that total sleep time decreased as body mass index -- a measure of weight based on height -- increased. Men slept an average of 27 minutes less than women and overweight and obese patients slept less than patients with normal weights, it said. In general the fatter subjects slept about 1.8 hours a week less than those with normal weights.
This Yahoo! News article says rats can use the rhythm of human language to tell the difference between Dutch and Japanese, researchers in Spain reported Sunday.
SFGate.com's article says it seems as if single men are discovering what single women have known since ancient Egyptian times: Cats are worthy of worship. At least unmarried British men say so, in a recent survey conducted by Cats Protection, a leading animal welfare society in the United Kingdom. And judging by the delirious worship that single men I know lavish on their kitties, I'd like to think American men -- those brave enough to stand up and be counted -- feel the same way.
This Daily Yomiuri On-Line article says computer games in which children can identify with a hero or heroine who attacks his or her enemies are more likely to make them aggressive than games featuring indiscriminate violence, according to a recent survey. In November and December 2001, researchers led by Ochanomizu University Professor Akira Sakamoto conducted a survey on the effects of video games popular among 592 fifth-grade students at six primary schools, mainly in Kanagawa and Niigata prefectures.
Blue's News posted a Mail Online article about computer game addicts failing in the classrooms. Children who spend hours playing computer games and watching television are failing to develop the skills to succeed at school. The warning comes from leading scientist Professor Robert Winston, who said youngsters are not acquiring the long-term powers of study and application they need in class. This is because the games they play and programmes they watch require only short-term bursts of concentration.
Either I am still dreaming (someone please poke me!) or this story is crazy!
Biddybot, a member on my ant message board, mentioned and posted a couple links (#1, #2, and #3 (third one is my find)) about ants cutting people's hair. It is a localized scalp hair shedding/focal alopecia (aka bald spots), in human beings, caused by Pheidole ants and overview of similar case reports.