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8-Year-Olds Publish Scientific Bee Study Screenshot-sm 174

flintmecha writes "A group of British schoolchildren may be the youngest scientists ever to have their work published in a peer-reviewed journal. In a new paper in Biology Letters, children from Blackawton Primary School report that buff-tailed bumblebees can learn to recognize nourishing flowers based on colors and patterns. The paper itself is well worth reading. It's written entirely in the kids' voices, complete with sound effects (part of the Methods section is subtitled, ''the puzzle'duh duh duuuhhh') and figures drawn by hand in colored pencil."

Submission + - Hybrid Hazard Just Hype (

scdeimos writes: Hybrid vehicles pose no greater danger to pedestrians than equivalent petrol-powered cars, according to research by RACQ.

RACQ's study was prompted by local and international media reports suggesting near silent hybrid vehicles presented a greater hazard to pedestrians than other cars.

Steve Spalding said the study tested the ability of pedestrians to detect hybrid and petrol vehicles in real-world conditions, using hearing alone. "The results showed that while hybrid vehicles could be nearly silent, modern conventional engines are quiet enough that pedestrians have just as much difficulty detecting them in situations where there is traffic noise. All pedestrians need to be aware of the potential risks modern vehicles of all types pose and take appropriate action to ensure their safety."


Willow Garage Robot Fetches Beer, Engineers Rejoice 114

kkleiner writes "Willow Garage has pulled off the ultimate engineering feat: teaching a PR2 robot to fetch you a beer from the fridge. Not only can the PR2 select the correct brew from the fridge, it can deliver, and even open the beer as needed. That's right, all the humans have to do is drink and relax. Prepare yourself for some major robot-envy as you check out the PR2 delivering much-needed refreshment in the video."

Feds Question Big Media's Piracy Claims 261

WrongSizeGlass writes "CNET is reporting that the GAO's study of big media's piracy claims has raised some questions. (Here are the study's summary, highlights [PDF], and full report [PDF].) 'After spending a year studying how piracy and illegal counterfeiting affects the United States, the Government Accountability Office says it still doesn't know for sure.... The GAO said that most of the published information, anecdotal evidence, and records show that piracy is a drag on the US economy, tax revenue, and in some cases potentially threatens national security and public health. But the problem is, according to the GAO, the data used to quantify piracy isn't reliable.'"

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle