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Science News

The Annular Solar Eclipse Revisited
2012-05-29 20:32:00
I followed the Solar Eclipse with interest. You can find my article here. I loved the sheer guts and determination that one amateur astronomer was willing to put into sharing his passion with us mere mortals. Scotty Degenhardt is my kind of people, he has passion for his subject and loves to share that passion with ...
Beware The Long Tail ? Science News
2012-05-05 11:32:00
… Occasionally crashes are so large that they are outliers even from the power law distribution, says Didier Sornette of ETH Zurich. Their specialness makes them predictable, says Sornette, who calls the standout events “dragon-kings.” Sornette and his colleagues argue …Read more »
Movie Review: Iron Lady
2012-02-06 05:58:00
To watch the film “The Iron Lady” is like trying to learn about a person from a list. Grocer’s daughter, check. Politician, check. Anti Thatcher demonstrations, check. Falklands war, check. Going to celebrate the fall of the Iron curtain, check. For anyone not aware of the history of the 1970’s and 1980’s, the quick scenes depicting some ...
Science News Highlights of 2011
2011-12-24 15:11:00
From BBC News - Science & Environment: The year 2011 offered up glimpses of Earth-like planets, hints of the Higgs boson and suggestions of a discovery that could turn modern physics on its head. Read the whole article
Japan Quake, Asteroid Flyby, Neanderthal Sex Top Science News in 2011
2011-12-23 15:33:00
From CBC | Technology & Science News: Japan's devastating earthquake, Earth's close encounter with an asteroid, and our ancestors' inter-species sexual escapades were the top three science stories of 2011. Read the whole article
Floods Now, Hunger Later
2011-10-06 02:01:00
While CNN International is the “Michael Jackson trial” 24/7, and Google News’ major story is about someone called Amanda Knox, the story here in SE Asia is the floods from the typhoons. Here in the Philippines, large areas remain flooded, partly due to the fact that the irrigation dams are still open to drain the run ...
Flooding in the Philippines Continues
2011-10-01 06:01:00
Here in the rice lands of Luzon, the latest news is bad. You probably read in the news that we were hit by Typhoon Pedring, but this time Manila was not devestated as in Typhoon Ondoy two years ago. Manila Bay’s affluent waterfront properties were damaged when the storm wall failed, but Manila was not as ...
Avatar: It?s like a PC Western in Outer Space with Blue People
2009-12-19 19:34:00
James Cameron is credited with making some of the most spectacular films in recent memory: Titanic, Terminator and Terminator 2.  Moreso he may be known for making some of the most expensive films in history.   Avatar squarely falls in the latter category and does so for many reasons.Avatar is the story of Jake Sully (Sam ...
Ferry Miracle in the Philippines
2009-09-08 09:09:00
One headline in the Philippine Inquirer described it as “Just Like the Titanic, minus the icebergs”. The big news here in the Philippines is another ferry accident, but this one with a happier ending than that of last year’s “Princess of the Stars” disaster, because this time, the ferry didn’t flip over in a typhoon, but ...
Philippines to cull Pigs to stop Ebola Reston spread
2009-03-02 07:27:00
The Ebola-Reston virus outbreak in Philippine pigs is now costing farmers a lot of money, but so far no humans have died, thank the Lord. Last month, when some pigs that probably died of other viruses were found to have been infected with a type of Ebola virus only found previously in monkeys, no one here ...
Zimbabwe: Disease, strikes, and Elephant meat
2009-01-26 14:37:00
Months ago, we had hope for our friends in Zimbabwe. But every week, reports coming out are worse. The talks between the government of President Mugabe and the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai are “stalled”, and often reporters seem to think this means both sides are at fault. After all, essentially the government is not working and the economy ...
Nat Geo heart Genocidal Warlord
2009-01-24 04:53:00
The good news coming out of Africa today is that Rwanda has arrested General Laurent Nkuda, and is planning to turn him over to the DRCongo so that he can be prosecuted for war crimes. Human Rights Watch noted in January 2006: ?An arrest warrant was issued against Nkunda for war crimes, crimes against humanity and insurrection ...
Philippine Update: Pig Ebola found in human, but didn?t make him sick
2009-01-24 02:40:00
The Bad News: Those pigs near Manila infected with a mild variation of the Ebola virus (the Ebola Reston strain) have spread the virus to at least one human. The good news: He didn’t get sick. Authorities testing those in contact with the infected pigs found one man had antibodies on a blood test, proving he was infected ...
Too much latte causing visions? Not Really.
2009-01-15 04:43:00
The “fake scientific study” of the day is the one that announced that four cups of coffee would make you see visions. It got a lot of press, of course, with even the staid National Geographic reporting “Coffee may cause hallucinations”. The UK press had a field day: Three cups of brewed coffee a day ‘triples risk of ...
Clear Tape one, Expensive fingerprint reading machine zero
2009-01-14 03:13:00
I’ve been fingerprinted lots of times. You get fingerprinted to work for the US government, of course. Then I got checked again when I adopted my kids. Then again when I moved to the Philippines and applied for residency. All of these checks were legitimate checks to see if I had a history of crime, including child ...
The Mediterranean Diet for Weight Loss
2009-01-13 11:06:00
The Mediterranean Diet offers a healthy, tasty, aromatic array of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, wild greens, fish, olive oil, and red wine while sharply reducing intake of milk products, meat, processed foods, sweets, and caffeine. The MD helps prevent cardiovascular disorders, reduce the incidence of cancer and diabetes, and–it appears–curb neurodegenerative processes. It is strange, ...
Fake Anthropology isn?t teaching
2009-01-13 02:43:00
A news article in the Christian Science Monitor describes an Anthropology class that teaches students to understand cultural change by making up fake cultures, and then going into the “big bad globalist conqueror versus poor natives who lose their wonderful culture” mode to teach them about globalization. The people of Mekka? kneel in the dirt, sorting ...
Pouring iron powder into ocean to fight global warming
2009-01-06 22:42:00
A team of Indian and German scientists have started a 70-day ocean expedition to find out if pouring iron powder into ocean can trap greenhouse gas, CO2 from atmosphere and can keep it long enough under water to make a difference in global warming situation, according to a report by Times of India. The scientists leaving ...
Hold the honey, Honey?and don?t use that plastic spoon
2009-01-02 04:14:00
The United States is considering banning imported honey from China because it is contaminated with the antibiotic Chloramphenicol. SFGate reports that in 1997, Chinese beekeepers used the antibiotic instead of destroying hives when their bees suffered from a bacterial infection, and that traces of the antibiotic continues to be found in honey imported from China. ...
Ebola in Philippine Pigs?
2008-12-13 04:38:00
Anyone who has read the best seller “The Hot Zone” knows about the Ebola virus, a virus that is hiding in Africa, and one that kills 90% of those infected by destroying the body’s tissues and causing massive bleeding. In the book, a strain of the virus killed all the monkeys in a Reston Virginia lab…but ...
The four horsemen of Harare
2008-12-12 01:32:00
The modern city of Harare has descended into hell as the four horsemen of the Apocalypse have descended into Zimbabwe. The traditional four horsemen are war, anarchy, famine and disease. War? Not a war so much as Mugabe using his henchmen to destroy his enemies. Harare has seen riots of soldiers in the capital, terror by the ...
Cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe
2008-12-10 06:04:00
The bad news coming from Zimbabwe constantly getting worse.  Now the problem is cholera. Cholera is one of the few diseases that can literally kill a healthy person in 24 hours. You start vomiting, get terrible diarrhea to the point that your bowels empty and you end up passing clearish fluid. You literally dehydrate to ...
Global Warming makes a convenient scapegoat
2008-12-05 06:02:00
I’m an agnostic on global warming: I figure climate change may or may not exist, but that the theory is being used to explain away things when the real problem is pollution and misuse of resources. So we have a Health Secratary blaming recent typhoid, Dengue and malaria outbreaks on Global warming: The increasing number of dengue, ...
Caffeine: Overcomer of Deficits
2008-11-29 10:22:00
Caffeine, the world’s most widely used psychoactive substance, attracts a lot of research. PubMed contains 23,000+ citations for caffeine, for instance. Caffeine also attracts controversy. Some scientists argue that caffeine is a benign and useful drug whose side effects are only of concern in regard to a small number of “sensitives”, including those with pre-existing anxiety or ...
More UK Parents chose to have their children with Down?s syndrome
2008-11-27 12:24:00
One of the reasons behind legalizing abortion was the anguish of parents having disabled children. Ironically, the ability to prevent many cases of retardation via vaccines (e.g. against Rubella, a common cause of profound retardation in the past), treatment (congenital syphillis), or surgery (meningomyelocoel and hydrocephalus) has improved over the last 40 years. Other diseases that in ...
Anthony Biggs Jr. Victim of a Cruel Society
2008-11-25 20:52:00
I got an email from my best friend on Saturday. It was a Yahoo story about a young man who committed suicide via a webcam in front of a live, virtual audience. This took place on the site .The way I understand it, this young man was threatening to take his own life and ...
Medical Tourism in the Philippines
2008-11-25 08:56:00
One of our relatives here in the Philippines recently developed a cataract. Cataracts are common here, probably from exposure to UV light while working outside. So we took her to the local Ophthalmologist, a recent graduate and the daughter of a friend. We found she could have the cataract removed and a new lens placed into her ...
Got Anthrax In Your Mail ? These folks Have A Solution
2008-11-19 01:56:00
I spend a good deal of time reading truly bizarre stories, most of which I ignore and just forget. Occasionally though you get one that is just too good to ignore. A fine example is a press release I received from Noble Inc, Entertainment Security, to put this into simple terms, these guys supply the rent ...
Fighting Poverty with Killer Eggplant
2008-11-18 07:01:00
The Killer Eggplants are coming…they should arrive in 2009. I’m joking, of course. But Science Daily News reports that scientists have developed a newer genetically modified eggplant, which is now in the testing phase and so far it has tested safe and nutritious. If it passes the test, the new variety would allow farmers to grown eggplant without ...
Hayden Panettiere wants your help!
2008-11-01 15:52:00
By Honey Gillard Hayden Panettiere no longer wants you to “save the cheerleader”, instead she wants YOUR help to “save the whales”. Just one-year after the ?Heroes? star stirred up much trouble in Japan by partaking in various anti-whaling rallies and initiatives, the actress has got back on ?anti-whaling? boat, this time asking for you to ...
Crackers and eggs from China contaminated with melamine
2008-10-28 01:40:00
The tainted food scandal of China has now spread from milk to other foods. In Hong Kong, eggs from northern China tested positive for Melamine.  The Hong Kong Heatlh commissioner says that he suspects that animals have been fed melamine contaminated food, resulting in higher than normal levels of the chemical in the eggs. But if this ...
David Suzuki A Fraud
2008-10-17 23:23:00
Now it seems we are the problem. Now he is not talking about CO2, or global warming, or climate change. Now it’s just us. Humans. The scourge of the planet, that somehow all the changes are our fault, we are killing everything. I wonder if he has ever heard of “the natural order of things”? If ...
Chinese Babies dying from contaminated formula (Same ?contamination? that w
2008-09-13 05:56:00
More than a dozen children in China’s rural Gansu province are sick, and at least one has died due to contaminated baby formula. Unlike a similar scandal in 2004, where over a dozen children died from being fed fake formula without nutritional value, in this case, the children developed kidney stones, making them sick and killing ...
Questions raised about that ?cancer vaccine?
2008-09-08 13:42:00
I support giving girls the new vaccine to prevent infections by some strains of the Human Papilloma virus (AKA Warts) that is associated with cervical cancer in women. But at the time the vaccine was released, it’s use almost became a crusade: Some states even mandated young girls receive the very expensive vaccine, and parents who ...
Will the world end on Wednesday? Black Holes, Quarks, leptons and the Higg
2008-09-08 12:56:00
While the rest of us go about our daily business, maybe worrying about our mortgages, the elections or perhaps even global warming, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) will conduct a multi-billion experiment that critics say could create a black hole right here on earth that will destroy the world.  Unless an urgent appeal ...
Cholera stalks Harare
2008-09-06 13:28:00
The latest scourge to hit Zimbabwe is the deterioration of their water supply in the capital of Harare, resulting in an outbreak of diarrhea disease and cholera. Cholera is not unknown in Africa: when I worked in Zimbabwe, there was an outbreak from a contaminated well in one rural area, and when I worked in Liberia, ... - Scientists Say Invisibility Cloak Now Possible - Science News
2008-08-28 02:20:00
From the page: "WASHINGTON â€" Scientists say they are a step closer to developing materials that could render people and objects invisible. Researchers have demonstrated for the first time they were able to cloak three-dimensional objects using artificially engineered materials that redirect light around the objects. Previously, they only have been able to cloak very thin two-dimensional objects. The findings, by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, led by Xiang Zhang, are to be released later this week in the journals Nature and Science." Read More...
The Trouble with Live Brain Organ Donors
2008-08-16 05:55:00
To get organs, thirty years ago, doctors decided to make the criteria of “Brain death” the new criteria for death. This is because a valid diagnosis of complete brain death means that the person’s body is being kept alive with machines. But with the push to get more and more organs, there is now a push to ...
Tidal power: Clean electricity or ecodisaster?
2008-08-09 09:17:00
With all the worries about burning coal or oil to make electricity, some countries are turning to technology to harvest other sources. Here in the Philippines, the government has announced that it plans to build a tidal power generator near Cebu to help generate electricity for our central islands. From the Manila Bulletin: The Philippines? quest for energy ...
Norwegian study reports link between abortion and depression
2008-08-07 07:36:00
   A recent study from Norway finds a link between abortion and subsequent depression. Titled, Abortion and depression: A population-based longitudinal study of young women, the research was conducted by Willy Pedersen and published in the 2008 Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, volume 36, pages 424?428. Here is the abstract: Induced abortion is an experience shared by ...
Child abuse and HIV
2008-08-02 03:00:00
My friends in Zimbabwe inform me that the HIV epidemic has caused many people, even educated ones who claim to be Christians, to resort back to traditional methods of healing. Usually this means herbs or ceremonies, but there are bad apples in every profession, and some who go by the name of healer/witchdoctor (i.e. detector of ...
Linux On Mars
2008-06-06 14:01:00
When NASA needs an operating system for a Mars lander does it go knocking on Bill Gates’ door? The answer is no. The newly arrived on the planet Phoenix Lander is powered by a variation of Linux running on a specially hardened CPU and motherboard produced by IBM. The CPU may not sound very exciting, and ...
Will Vaccination fight global warming from Cows and sheep?
2008-06-06 08:53:00
Here in Luzon, our major contribution to global warming is the rotting vegetation in the flooded rice paddies. Right now, our workers are busy in the fields, flooding and mulching to prepare for planting. It’s an ancient form of organic farming: the water kill the weeds, and you mulch and turn it a couple times, then ...
Get Registered to Vote
2008-06-04 00:38:00
Teaching kids to die for Gaia
2008-05-30 02:54:00
The state funded ABC (Australia Broadcasting Corporation) needs to check their website, because under their “Planet Slayer” page for kids one can find a game for kids. Big deal. Except, oh my!: Get the dirt on greenhouse without the guilt trips. No ...
More nanotech worries: Buckyball toxicity
2008-05-28 13:43:00
Last week, I noted that certain nanoparticles the same size and shape of toxic forms of asbestos might lead to lung disease. The research was early, but it was a “headsup” to scientists that more research was needed. Today, another nanoparticle, the round “Buckyball” type, also might enter into cells and cause problems. Nanotechnology is building tiny ...
Nazi Doctor given award
2008-05-26 06:08:00
In our “WTF” Item for the Memorial Day weekend, we find this little gem in the UK Telegraph: A German doctor who allegedly sent 900 children to a Nazi death camp has been given a top medical award. Dr Hans-Joachim Sewering, 92, a former SS member, was honoured for ?services ...
NASA Set To Look For Martian Ice Cubes
2008-05-24 20:35:00
I am always amazed by NASA, these guys certainly have the ‘right stuff’. NASA is an organization that exudes class and style. They undertake missions that are hugely complex and also very long term. A great example is the latest journey to Mars. Mars may be our closest planetary neighbor but it is completely different ...
Grandmom?s guide to Ubuntu: Hardy Heron ate my mp3?s
2008-05-11 11:09:00
Well, it’s time to update the Linux. The latest update is Hardy Heron. Computer people like cute names, and each Linux/ubuntu update has an animal name to identify it. Hardy Heron, gutsy Gibbon, etc. The last time  I updated my Ubuntu operating sytem, I downloaded a torrent file of the iso (in English, I downloaded a new ...
Shoddy Goods from China: It?s Not Just Heparin
2008-05-02 03:58:00
That heparin contamination that killed a few dozen folks might have been a deliberate act, not an accident…well, duh… I noted that two weeks ago… And this is on the heels of the fake protein in cat/dog food, and the lead in the kids’s toys. But in Africa and Asia, things are worse. The tainted cough medicine that ...
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