It's snowing on Mars →
So says NASA:NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander has detected snow falling from Martian clouds. Spacecraft soil tests experiments also have provided evidence of past interaction between minerals and liquid water, processes that occur on Earth.
LHC halted until next year →
“The Large Hadron Collider near Geneva will be shut off until spring 2009 while engineers probe a magnet failure.” Aw.
Scholar Claims to Find Medieval Jewish Capital →
Via metafilter: A Russian archaeologist says he has found the lost capital of the Khazars, a powerful nation that adopted Judaism as its official religion more than 1,000 years ago, only to disappear leaving little trace of its culture.
A Life More Colorful →
Humans have three kinds of color receptors in our eyes. If only two kinds are working properly, the result is color blindness. Some animals — reptiles and birds among them — are speculated to have four: they’re tetrachromats, and can detect color in the ultraviolet range, with wavelengths too short for humans to see. But some humans may also be tetrachromats. Due to genetics,...
The Urge to End It All →
On suicide. The article’s thesis, which is strongly backed by statistics, is that restricting the means to commit suicide strongly reduces both attempted and successful suicides. Contrary to popular belief, they won’t just do it some other way. In the late 1970s, Seiden set out to test the notion of inevitability in jumping suicides. Obtaining a Police Department list of all would-be...
LHC by the numbers →
Nature:US$4.1 billion = cost of building the LHC. US$4.5 billion = cost of the USS Ronald Regan.
Richard Feynman’s Modest Science →
Gustavo Duarte on his encounter with the Feynman Lectures: I had been hoping for a better explanation - a masterful analogy of weights on springs that would allow me to really understand physics. Instead, here was a Nobel laureate telling me that he didn’t really understand it either - not in the definite, make-believe fashion of high school science. Feynman lifted the veil for me - all my...
Rise of the rat-brained robots →
New Scientist: This is no ordinary robot control system - a plain old microchip connected to a circuit board. Instead, the controller nestles inside a small pot containing a pink broth of nutrients and antibiotics. Inside that pot, some 300,000 rat neurons have made - and continue to make - connections with each other… To create the “brain”, the neural cortex from a rat fetus...