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Submission + - Diamonds from the Popigai impact crater, Russia (dailymail.co.uk)

Arvisp writes: The deposits of super solid diamond — impactites — were discovered in the Popigai Basin by Soviet geological expedition in the mid-1960s. The scientists determined that the deposit appeared about 35 million years ago, after an asteroid, about seven kilometers in diameter, rammed into Earth. According to Gazeta.ru, Soviet specialists were busy with producing synthetic diamonds during the 1960s, so the studies of impactites were stopped, the information about their deposit was classified.

In late 1970s, it became known that the abrasive qualities of Popigai diamonds were significantly higher than that of synthetic and natural stones. About three years ago, Russian experts together with their Ukrainian colleagues conducted a series of experiments to study the properties of these minerals. It turned out that impactites differed from conventional diamonds considerably. Moreover, diamonds with such properties have never been found anywhere else in the world. Therefore, experts believe that the Popigai diamonds are of extraterrestrial origin. Nikolai Pokhilenko said that the mineral originated from graphite as a result of a meteorite impact, when pressure reached 1.5 million atmospheres and temperature went up to 3,000 degrees Centigrade.
Diamonds at Popigai Astroblem in Siberia are 'twice as hard' as normal, making them ideal for high-precision scientific instruments and industry


Air Force Sonic Booms Ignite Crocodiles' Sex Drives 61

It turns out the key to a male crocodile's heart is a sonic boom. Crocodiles at an Israeli farm have begun making mating calls in response to sonic booms created by air force planes breaking the sound barrier. From the article: "The males have already begun their mating calls, described by the newspaper as 'the sound a vehicle breaking,' normally reserved for the crocodiles' spring mating season, Israeli newspaper Maariv reported. David Golan of the Hamat Gadar crocodile farm in the Golan Heights, believes the reptiles were responding to the sonic booms, wrongly believing they were the calls of rival males encroaching on their territory

Submission + - NASA records solar blast of epic proportions (spaceweather.com)

Arvisp writes: As predicted, the a "mega-filament" of solar magnetism erupted on Dec. 6th, producing a blast of epic proportions. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the action as the 700,000-km long structure lifted off the stellar surface and--snap!!--hurled itself into space.
The eruption produced a bright coronal mass ejection (CME) observed by the STEREO-A spacecraft: video. Earth was not in the line of fire; the cloud should sail wide of our planet. Earth-effects might be limited to pretty pictures.

Some nice pictures in the article


Submission + - NASA Sets Extraterrestrial Search Update (cbsnews.com)

Arvisp writes: A seemingly routine press release issued by NASA is causing a serious stir in the blogosphere today with no small amount of hyperventilation about the possibility that scientists may have something to say about the discovery of extraterrestrial life.
A press conference, which will be streamed on NASA TV, is set for Thursday at 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT) at the agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C. According to NASA, the event will discuss "an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe."
NASA has also brought together a geologist, an oceanographer, a biologist, and an ecologist for a panel discussion at the press conference. That's got peoples' imaginations running wild.

Submission + - Nokia reaffirms commitment to Symbian (reuters.com)

Arvisp writes: Nokia today reaffirmed its commitment to the Symbian platform. Nokia plans to continue to invest its own resources in developing Symbian, the world's most widely used smartphone platform, and expects to deliver a strong portfolio of Symbian-based smartphones to people around the world.

However if you read TFA, you will notice legal footnote called "Forward-looking statements". In fact it is bigger than PR article itself. Makes me think, why do you go such lengths. Are they really as committed as they say they are ? Or just trying to win some time for newly launched devices.

Submission + - OHA lead tips Android 2.3 incoming (slashgear.com)

Arvisp writes: Android 2.3 Gingerbread is fast approaching, according to Open Handset Alliance “Leadership Team” member Alvaro Fuentes Vasquez. According to his (translated) Twitter message, developers should “Prepare your Nexus One (Developer version) for Android OTA update 2.3 (Gingerbread) in the next few days,” a timescale that fits into previous rumors about the Android SDK.
Meanwhile a recent Flash Player 10.1 update also added fuel to the fire, suggesting that developers should look to installing the software prior to November 11. That date – this coming Thursday – has been heard on several occasions, and it looks like developer Nexus One handsets will be getting a friendly Gingerbread update before the week is out.

Submission + - Robotic grip made from ground coffee and balloon (theregister.co.uk)

Arvisp writes: The manipulator works by pressing the soft balloon full of loose coffee grounds down on the object to be gripped. Then the air is sucked out of the balloon, causing the coffee granules to press together and lock into a rigid shape — just as they do when vacuum-packed. The object is now securely grasped by the manipulator, and can be released as desired by ending the suction on the granule-filled bulb.

Article contains video of robotic arm in action.


Submission + - Background noise affects taste of foods (sciencedirect.com)

Arvisp writes: The level of background noise affects both the intensity of flavour and the perceived crunchiness of foods, researchers have found.
Blindfolded diners assessed the sweetness, saltiness, and crunchiness, as well as overall flavour, of foods as they were played white noise.
While louder noise reduced the reported sweetness or saltiness, it increased the measure of crunch.
It may go some way to explaining why airline food is notoriously bland — a phenomenon that drives airline catering companies to heavily season their foods.


Submission + - The world's most expensive iphone - £5 MILLI (dailymail.co.uk) 1

Arvisp writes: British designer Stuart Hughes, 38, of Liverpool, was commissioned to make two of the bespoke handset by a mega-rich Australian businessman.
The handset is wrapped in more than 500 individual flawless cut diamonds totalling 100 carats.
It features two interchangeable diamonds which fit over the 'home' button — a single cut 7.4 carat pink diamond and a rare 8 carat single cut flawless diamond which are together worth more than £4 million.
The back of the phone is plated in rose gold and the Apple logo glitters with 53 diamonds.

Submission + - UFO's tampered with American nukes (reuters.com)

Arvisp writes: Witness testimony from more than 120 former or retired military personnel points to an ongoing and alarming intervention by unidentified aerial objects at nuclear weapons sites, as recently as 2003. In some cases, several nuclear missiles simultaneously and inexplicably malfunctioned while a disc-shaped object silently hovered nearby. Six former U.S. Air Force officers and one former enlisted man will break their silence about these events at the National Press Club and urge the government to publicly confirm their reality.

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