brian0918 writes: The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the US Department of Justice has just setup an email address to be used specifically by the public to assist in building a civil rights case against George Zimmerman. On a conference call between DOJ officials and various civil rights organizations, "DOJ officials announced they had set up a way for people to send email tips that could help aid in their investigation. The email address will be operational later this week."
brian0918 writes: "With finals approaching, Oregon State University chemistry professor Nicholas Drapela was fired without warning. Three weeks later, he has still been given no reason for the university’s decision to 'not renew his contract'. Drapela, an outspoken critic of man-made climate change, worked at the university for 10 years and was well-liked by students. Oregon physicist Gordon J. Fulks, another critic of anthropogenic climate change, has circulated a letter in defense of Drapela."
sparkydevil writes: Some catnip to those who have long argued about administrator bias and groupthink in Wikipedia.
Canada's National Post reports here and here that one of the objectives of those promoting Climate alarm was to control Wikipedia. Starting in February 2003 U.K. scientist and Green Party activist William Connolley, one of nine Realclimate.org team members, rewrote Wikipedia'½Â½Â(TM)s articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling as well as working to erase the Little Ice Age, the Medieval Warm Period and infamous hockey stick graph. He rewrote articles on the politics of global warming and on the scientists who were skeptical of the team.
According to the article Connolly created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles, removed more than 500 articles as an administrator and barred over 2000 Wikipedia contributors while rewarding those who supported his views. "In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement."
brian0918 writes: "Since this story broke, almost everyone in the media has claimed that the Climategate emails were hacked by Russians, maybe even ex-KGB types, maybe even working with oil companies in the United States. Now, a sysadmin has examined the structure and provenance of the files and concludes that "the only reasonable explanation for the archive being in this state is that the FOI Officer at the University was practising due diligence. The UEA was collecting data that couldn't be sheltered and they created FOIA2009.zip. It is most likely that the FOI Officer at the University put it on an anonymous ftp server or that it resided on a shared folder that many people had access to and some curious individual looked at it.""
Rational Egoist writes: "Scientists working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have come up with a novel, easy way to detect life on other planets. Rather than try to measure the composition of atmospheres, they want to look at the chirality of light coming from the planet. From the article: "If the [planet's] surface had just a collection of random chiral molecules, half would go left, half right," Germer says. "But life's self-assembly means they all would go one way. It's hard to imagine a planet's surface exhibiting handedness without the presence of self assembly, which is an essential component of life." And they have already built a working model: "Because chiral molecules reflect light in a way that indicates their handedness, the research team built a device to shine light on plant leaves and bacteria, and then detect the polarized reflections from the organisms' chlorophyll from a short distance away. The device detected chirality from both sources." The article abstract is available online."
Rational Egoist writes: "A new study from Tel Aviv University shows that teens who played violent video games, such as UT2k4 and Call of Duty 2, enhanced their ability "to discriminate between subtle contrasts in color or shades of gray", as compared to teens playing games with lower levels of visual-motor coordination, such as The Sims. From the article: "After playing 50 hours of the assigned game over 9 weeks, the students who played the more violent action games showed a 43% improvement, on average, in their ability to discern between very close shades of gray. The players assigned to the Sims game showed no improvement." It's even being suggested as a possible alternative to eye surgery. The full article is available online from Nature Neuroscience."
Rational Egoist writes: "Researchers at Yale University have found that some of the brightest colors in bird feathers are created through structures similar in origin and composition to that of beer foam. Unlike with most colors in nature — which are produced by pigments — the bright blue colors of Bluebirds and Blue Jays are actually produced by sponge-like nanostructures. These structures are formed in quite the same way as beer foam. From the article: "[Researchers] compared the nanostructures to examples of materials undergoing phase separation, in which mixtures of different substances become unstable and separate from one another, such as the carbon-dioxide bubbles that form when the top is popped off a bubbly drink. They found that the color-producing structures in feathers appear to self-assemble in much the same manner. Bubbles of water form in a protein-rich soup inside the living cell and are replaced with air as the feather grows.""
Anonymous Coward writes: "The human penis is comparatively larger than that of the other great apes because of our comparatively larger brains, gynecologist Edwin A. Bowman explains in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. Through millions of years evolution the infant babies' skulls became larger in order to accommodate bigger brains, explained Dr. Bowman. This in turn led to a female pelvis become larger to allow women to give birth to children with larger brains, and this led to the female vagina also becoming less tight."
Invisible Pink Unicorn writes: "As the US gets ready for the political ad onslaught, a potential new factor influencing voters — without their knowledge — may be right around the corner. Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have repeatedly and conclusively shown that exposure to subliminal messages — that is, messages that are processed by our brains but never reach our consciousness — can indeed influence explicit attitudes and real-life political behavior. In three separate studies, half of the subjects were subliminally exposed to their national flag, while the other half were not. The results were the same in every study: the subliminal presentation of their national flag drew right wing, as well as left wing, individuals towards the political center."
Sledhead writes: "we had put up panel #2 for auction on eBay:". "The eBay auction started at 99 cents and quickly reached more than $13,000.00, and there was still more than 6 days left. At the point where it became clear that the auction would reach thousands of dollars, we decided it would be appropriate to use the proceeds after the auction for a charitable purpose. We regret that without warning eBay today decided to delete our auction due to the promised charitable use of the proceeds."
Chris Lindquist writes: "Two on-board computers, a terabyte of storage, two lasers, six cameras and a GPS antenna: That pretty much describes the vans (50 of them) that TeleAtlas is using to create fully 3-D maps of the U.S. and Europe. Reporter Michael Fitzgerald took a ride in one of the vans to get the lowdown on the future of digital mapmaking. One hint: Can you say in-map advertising?"
Invisible Pink Unicorn writes: "UC Davis researchers have dated the earliest step in the formation of the solar system — when microscopic interstellar dust coalesced into mountain-sized chunks of rock — to 4,568 million years ago, within a range of about 2,080,000 years. In the second stage, mountain-sized masses grew quickly into about 20 Mars-sized planets and, in the third and final stage, these small planets smashed into each other in a series of giant collisions that left the planets we know today. The dates of these intermediary stages are well established. The article abstract is available from Astrophysical Journal Letters."
Invisible Pink Unicorn writes: "Mayo Clinic researchers have designed a technique that uses the body's own cells and a virus to destroy cancer cells that spread from primary tumors to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system. This procedure triggered an immune response to cancer cells, which means that it could be used as a cancer vaccine to prevent recurrence. They combined infection-fighting T-cells with the vesicular stomatitis virus that targets and destroys cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. To deliver the virus, researchers removed T-cells from a healthy mouse, loaded them with the virus and injected the T-cells back into the mouse. Researchers found that once the T-cells returned to the lymph nodes and spleen, the virus detached itself from the T-cells, found the tumor cells, selectively replicated within them and extracted tumor cells from those areas."