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Submission + - Two Earth-sized Bodies With Oxygen Rich Atmosphere (sciencedaily.com)

tugfoigel writes: Astrophysicists at the University of Warwick and Kiel University have discovered two earth sized bodies with oxygen rich atmospheres — however there is a bit of a disappointing snag for anyone looking for a potential home for alien life, or even a future home for ourselves, as they are not planets but are actually two unusual white dwarf stars.

Submission + - French Branch of Scientology Is Convicted of Fraud (nytimes.com) 1

lugannerd writes: The French branch of the Church of Scientology was convicted of fraud and fined nearly $900,000 on Tuesday by a Paris court. But the judges did not ban the church entirely, as the prosecution had demanded, saying that a change in the law prevented such an action for fraud. The church said it would appeal.

The verdict was among the most important in several years to involve the controversial group, which is registered as a religion in the United States but has no similar legal protection in France. It is considered a sect here, and says it has some 45,000 adherents, out of some 12 million worldwide. It was the first time here that the church itself had been tried and convicted, as opposed to individual members.

Submission + - Church of Scientology Convicted of Fraud (timesonline.co.uk) 1

IceDiver writes: As most Slashdotters know, the Church of Scientology's practices are widely scorned and even mocked. Now, however, the so-called Church has been convicted in France of fraud and one of its leaders given a 2 year sentence. Yes, the sentence is only a suspended one, and the effect this will have on the worldwide church is still to be determined, but we can hope. Is this the beginning of the end for L.Ron Hubbard's five-decade-old scam?

Submission + - Synthetic Sebum Makes Slippery Sailboats (newscientist.com)

sonnejw0 writes: "Sea-faring vessels are a major contributor of greenhouse gas production due to a deficit in international laws and inherent inefficiencies at sea, such as barnacle build-up on hulls. Many marine animals avoid the build-up of drag-inducing barnacles through secreting oily residues from their pores or through the nano-molecular arrangement of their skin. Sailors regularly defoul their hulls, remove the barnacles, at dry-dock, which requires them to reduce the amount of time they have at sea. Some synthetic chemicals in paints have been used to prevent barnacle build-up but have been found to be toxic to marine animals and thus outlawed by several nations. Now, engineers are trying to replicate the skin of marine animals to produce a slippery hull to which marine bacteria cannot attach, saving fuel costs and improving speeds:

Designing ships to exude slime from their hulls could cut their fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent. The slime would form a gelatinous skin that continually sloughs off, taking with it the barnacles and other marine life forms that cause energy-sapping drag as they accumulate on the ships' underside.


Programmers used to batch environments may find it hard to live without giant listings; we would find it hard to use them. -- D.M. Ritchie