Author Archives: Xeno

Video: Robotic Cheetah that can jump over small walls

This robotic cheetah from MIT is fun to watch (video below) To get a running jump, the robot plans out its path, much like a human runner: As it detects an approaching obstacle, it estimates that object’s height and distance. The robot gauges the best position from which to jump, and adjusts its stride to… Read More »

Scientists find one of most massive objects in universe

Through the thick fog of our own galaxy, astronomers have spotted an ultimate prize: one of the largest-known structures in the Universe. Called the Vela supercluster, the newly discovered object is a massive group of several galaxy clusters, each one containing hundreds or thousands of galaxies. … Kraan-Korteweg and her team published their discovery of… Read More »

Video: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 by 167 theremin nesting dolls

The theremin instrument was invented by Laeon Theremin in 1920. The sound is like that of the Tannerin, an electrotheremin which appeared in The Beach Boys hit Good Vibrations. In the musical performance below, the performers are playing an invention of Masami Takeuchi. € Takeuchi placed the frequency antenna of a theremin inside a Russian nesting… Read More »

Thunderstorm Asthma is real, and a killer

You’d think that rain cleans the air, but not always. Two Australians have died and more than 2,000 others experienced breathing difficulties after a rare outbreak of ‘thunderstorm asthma’ on Monday – a phenomenon where weather changes brought on by storms can trigger widespread asthma attacks and breathing problems. The condition is incredibly rare, but… Read More »

Can you spot the hidden dwarf galaxy?

Scientists have discovered a hidden dwarf galaxy orbiting our own Milky Way – and it could change our understanding of how dark matter holds galaxies together. The reason this galaxy has remained hidden is that it’s incredibly faint – in fact, it’s the faintest satellite galaxy we’ve found to date. And the discovery suggests that… Read More »

Sunken City: Kekova-Simena

The ancient Lycian city of Simena, often referred to as Kekova-Simena, once straddled the long and narrow island of Kekova in the Mediterranean Sea near the Turkish coastline. In the olden times, Simena was a small fishing village and was later an outpost of the Knights of Rhodes. Part of the city lies on the… Read More »

Moose battle encased in lake ice

Two moose have been found encased in ice in a lake while battling each other in a remote Alaskan village. Brad Webster, a teacher in Unalakleet village, was out walking with a friend at a nearby Bible camp when he spotted moose antlers poking out of the ice. He said the discovery in western Alaska… Read More »

Real Popular Vote: Nobody for president won by a landslide

Nearly half of eligible voters (231,556,622 people) did not vote in the 2016 presidential election, according to data of early turnout rates compiled by the United States Election Project and crunched by Josh Nelson. The full results may not be available until two weeks. The early data found that of the U.S. population: 46.6% didn’t… Read More »

‘Alien Megastructure’ Star Mystery Deepens

Three months back, after conducting a detailed study of the star KIC 8462852, astronomers came to the conclusion that it was, unequivocally, “the most mysterious star in our galaxy.” Now, the star, whose bizarre behavior sparked speculation over existence of an alien civilization around it, is grabbing headlines once again. First, some background. In September,… Read More »

Secret to indestructibility: stealing DNA

Washington (AFP) – The minuscule but nearly indestructible tardigrade gets a huge chunk of its genome from the DNA of foreign organisms, which scientists say may hold the key to its survival. Also known as water bears, or moss piglets due to their morphology, these micro animals live all across the world. They are usually… Read More »

The Crab on Mars

   THE Mars Curiosity Rover has taken a strange image that has left space enthusiasts captivated. Captured by NASA, the image shows a crab-like object on the surface of the red planet. Since emerging online, social media has been abuzz with users claiming the finding is proof of alien life. However, scientists have been quick… Read More »

Meditation Improves Brain Function

There is mounting evidence from researchers at leading research institutions about the benefits of meditation for brain health and function. One of the latest series of studies, from researchers at Harvard, was explained at length in the Washington Post. The short story – meditation improves brain function and grows the brain in important ways. Sara… Read More »

Scientists Create First Lab-grown Limb

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have taken the first step toward developing artificial, lab-grown limbs, building a rat forelimb with functioning vascular and muscular tissue. This experimental approach could be applied to the limbs of primates – creating replacement limbs suitable for transplantation, a challenge because of the composite nature of limbs. “Limbs contain… Read More »

Woman sees dragon faces

A 52-year-old woman whose rare condition was reported in The Lancet suffered from hallucinations that caused her to see human faces as dragons. “She could perceive and recognize actual faces, but after several minutes they turned black, grew long, pointy ears and a protruding snout, and displayed a reptiloid skin and huge eyes in bright… Read More »

Falling cemetery headstone kills toddler in Texas

A 4-year-old boy died when he was visiting the a Texas cemetery with his family and a nearly 100-year-old headstone fell over and struck him in the head, authorities said. The child, whose named was not released, was brought to the Odessa Regional Medical Center on Friday where he was pronounced dead, Corporal Steve LeSueur,… Read More »

Researchers: Ten Percent of Ozone Pollution in California is from Asia

Approximately 10 percent of ozone pollution in California’s San Joaquin Valley is estimated to be coming from outside of the state’s borders, particularly from Asia, according to preliminary research presented today, March 31, by the University of California, Davis. Secondhand smog from Asia and other international sources is finding its way into one of the… Read More »

Anti-Joke: The man with half of his head a giant orange

  A guy walks into a bar. Half of his head is a giant orange. The bartender goes, “OH MY GOD, YOUR HEAD IS A GIANT ORANGE!” Out of his half-mouth, the guy says, “Yeah, yeah, I know. Pour me a shot and I’ll explain.” Confused, the bartender pours the guy a shot. The guy… Read More »

Video: The Chemistry of Love

Here’s a summary of some science of love, from one biological perspective. Love is a mechanism nature uses to ensure that we reproduce and that our offspring survive. The chemicals involved in our brains can make losing love one of the most painful emotional experiences we can have as human beings. Many people have died… Read More »

Gut microbes predict undernutrition

Gut microbes may predict whether or not children will suffer undernutrition as they grow, according to a study with twins in Malawi. Tens of trillions of microbes live in the gut, where they synthesize vitamins and process nutrients in the diet to keep the body healthy. These microbes and their genes, collectively known as the… Read More »

The only known dwarf who grew to be a giant

Adam Rainer (1899 — 4 March 1950) is the only person in recorded history to have been both a dwarf and a giant. Rainer was born in Graz, Austria-Hungary. In 1917, at age 18, he was measured at 122.55 cm (4 ft 0.25 in). A typical defining characteristic of dwarfism is an adult height below… Read More »

Skeptic sees ‘alien’ creature

A husband and wife in Highland County, Ohio claim they saw an alien run across the road. The incident occurred on the night of Friday, December 12 near Carmel, OH. According to her testimony provided in a report filed with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), the wife describes, “On Friday night (the 12th), we were… Read More »

Video: Common blood pressure drug reverses diabetes in mice

New research conducted at UAB has shown that the common blood pressure drug verapamil completely reverses diabetes in animal models. Now, thanks to a three-year, $2.1 million grant from the JDRF, UAB researchers will begin conducting a potentially groundbreaking clinical trial in 2015 to see if it can do the same in humans. Update 2018:… Read More »

Texas Bill: Cops To Collect Traffic Fines on Spot Via Credit or Debit Card

A house bill recently introduced in the Texas legislature would allow police officers to collect immediate payment from “defendants” for Class C misdemeanor traffic fines “by use of a credit or debit card,” completely circumventing the rule of law and citizens’ due process rights. H.B. No. 121, introduced on Monday by State Rep. Allen Fletcher,… Read More »

Video: Is Anything Real?

This video includes a nice explanation of what we currently think memories are: the result of strengthening of connections between nerve cells.

Doctor bets against Traditional Chinese Medicine

A skeptic of traditional Chinese medicine is challenging practitioners of the age-old craft to prove themselves by putting his own money on the line. One has accepted the challenge. At stake is the claim that practitioners can discern whether a woman is pregnant by her pulse. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a point of contention… Read More »

New hope for diabetics from babies who make too much insulin

Targeting a cell cycle inhibitor promotes beta cell replication One of the factors underlying the development of type 2 diabetes is loss of cell mass, resulting in decreased insulin production. Once lost, cell mass cannot be restored. In contrast, infants with focal hyperinsulinism of infancy exhibit rapid expansion of the cell mass due to a… Read More »

Video: Solar Freakin’ Roadways

Not a good idea from an engineering point of view, but fun! For practical reasons we would be much better off building huge solar arrays across the Sahara desert, not to mention harnessing the tides. Tides are more predictable than wind energy and solar power. Among sources of renewable energy, tidal power has traditionally suffered… Read More »

Vermont passes GMO labeling law

Senator David Zuckerman and Representative Carolyn Partridge describe the amazing efforts, which spanned more than a decade, resulting in this unprecedented, game-changing new law…. Here’s the quick facts: 1. Starting July 1, 2016, products sold in Vermont that contain more than 0.9% GMO content contamination will require a statement on the label indicating that genetic… Read More »

New study suggests a better way to deal with bad memories

August Cassens – What’s one of your worst memories? How did it make you feel? According to psychologists, remembering the emotions felt during a negative personal experience, such as how sad you were or how embarrassed you felt, can lead to emotional distress, especially when you can’t stop thinking about it. When these negative memories… Read More »

Lego is a tool of Satan, warns Polish priest

A Polish priest has warned parents to be on their guard against Lego, warning the plastic blocks are a tool of Satan and can “destroy” children’s souls. In a presentation aimed at parents, Father Slawomir Kostrzewa said the popular Danish toy company had taken a lurch to the dark side with its series of Monster… Read More »

Man faces charges in ‘alien invasion’ school threat

A Trenton man is facing charges of false public alarm after he allegedly tried to call in an alien invasion to the county’s special services school district twice in nine days, police said. Darren Morris, 31, has no obvious connection to the school for disabled and troubled youths and was not a student there, Capt.… Read More »

The Eagle Cam

Both cameras are equipped with infrared (IR) technology that allows viewing at night. This light spectrum is outside the viewing range of both bald eagles and humans. When on location at night, no light source can be seen by the naked eye. In September 2013, our bald eagle couple returned to the Berry College campus… Read More »

Earth raises a plasma shield to battle solar storms

Earth can raise shields to protect itself against solar storms. For the first time, satellites and ground-based detectors have watched as the planet sends out a tendril of plasma to fight off blasts of charged solar matter. The discovery confirms a long-standing theory about Earth’s magnetic surroundings and offers us a way to keep track… Read More »

Video: 13-year-old builds working nuclear fusion reactor

  Not many 13-year-olds would describe themselves as an “amateur nuclear scientist.” That’s precisely what Jamie Edwards calls himself. When most kids his age are off playing video games, Edwards stays late after school to work on a control panel for a nuclear fusion reactor. He just reached his goal of becoming the youngest “fusioneer”… Read More »

Asteroid mysteriously breaks up

Remember the old Atari Asteroids game and how the space rocks would split into smaller and smaller pieces as your little arrowhead-shaped ship shot tiny balls of light at them? Well, astronomers at UCLA have just seen, for the first time ever they say, that asteroids really do break up that way. The discovery was… Read More »

Bowling a perfect game (300 score)

I beat my previous best game of 180 with a 184 today and started wondering if a perfect game, 12 strikes in a row for 300 points, has been televised. The answer is yes, several. … A handful of 300 games have been broadcast on live TV. Grazio Castellano of Brooklyn, New York was the… Read More »

Warming Arctic May Be Causing Jet Stream To Lose Its Way

Mark Twain once said: “If you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes.” He was making an unknowing reference to the , which drives the weather over North America and Europe like a high-altitude conveyor belt. But increasingly, the jet stream is taking a more circuitous route over the… Read More »