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Submission + - In Cats, Memory Comes from Motion (canada.com)

Geoffrey.landis writes: "Researchers in Edmonton asked the question, what makes a cat remember? They placed a small wooden block in the path of a cat, and then distracted the cat after the cat's front legs had stepped over the obstacle. They discovered that, even after ten minutes, the cat would demonstrate that it remembered the obstacle, taking a high step with its rear legs when resuming motion (even though the obstacle had been removed by the researchers). When the obstacle was seen, however, but the cat had not yet stepped over it, the memory lasted only ten seconds.

Apparently (at least in cats) what you do is more memorable than what you see.

Other links to the story:
Regina Leader Post"


Submission + - Is There a Theory of Everything? (space.com)

Raver32 writes: "Ancient philosophers thought wind, water, fire and earth were the most basic elements of the cosmos, but the study of the small has since grown up. Physicists continue to carve the known universe into particles to describe everything from magnetism to what atoms are made of and how they remain stable. Yet striking similarities in the world of quantum mechanics, as the study of particles and their forces is known, has led to a one of the most important questions in modern science: Is there a single theory that can describe everything? "We understand a lot about the universe up to the first few energetic microseconds, but earlier than that our physics break down," said Mark Jackson, a theoretical physicist at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois. "But those first moments are where the really interesting things happened." If a theory can be designed to withstand the incredible energies of the early universe as well as incorporate gravity, Jackson said, then a universal theory of physics could become a reality."

Submission + - Endeavour lands. Tile perfoms better than expected

Eponymous Bastard writes: Space Shuttle Endeavour landed yesterday afternoon after completing its mission to the International Space Station. You might remember earlier articles about the damaged thermal protection tiles. The tiles held up better than the experiments at the arc jet facility suggested, which were meant as a worst case scenario. Wikipedia has before and after pictures. Compare with the test pictures here. Full article here

Submission + - Strange Asteroids Baffle Scientists (space.com)

Raver32 writes: "Two space rocks in our solar system's outer asteroid belt might contain mineral evidence for a new class of asteroids or long eroded mini-worlds. The asteroids, (7472) Kumakiri and (10537) 1991 RY16, were found to contain basalt, a grey-black mineral that forms much of the crust on Earth and the other inner planets. Basalt has also been found in space rocks shed by Vesta, the third largest object in the asteroid belt, located between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars. The presence of basalt is evidence that an object was once large enough to sustain internal heating. "We need now to observe both objects in the near-infrared range to confirm whether they have a basaltic surface," said study leader Rene Duffard of the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia in Grenada, Spain. "If they do, we will need to try to work out where they came from and the fate of their parent objects. If they do not, we will have to come up with a new class of asteroid." The finding, made using photometric data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), was presented at annual European Planetary Science Congress in Potsdam, Germany"

Submission + - Zoho online office suite to add offline editing (computerworld.com)

toddatcw writes: "For two years the Web-based Zoho office productivity suite has allowed users to create and share their documents online for free, without having to buy expensive proprietary software. But a longtime shortcoming — the inability to edit those same documents offline — is being fixed within 3 to 4 weeks. In a Computerworld story yesterday, Zoho said it is immediately giving users the new ability to store documents in read-only mode, while the offline editing features will be ready soon. Since the product's inception, Zoho users have been able to save their documents in other formats such as Microsoft Office and OpenOffice, but it can be unwieldy switching back and forth between formats when going online and offline. Zoho, whose proprietary applications run atop the Google Gears open source platform, will now add the offline editing feature which ironically is not yet available in Google's own Google Apps online office suite."

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