Archive for April 7th, 2012
Fossils of a previously unrecognized dinosaur found in China show that it is the largest known feathered animal, living or extinct, scientists report …
The new species was a distant relative of Tyrannosaurus rex, the mighty predator that lived 60 million years later, at the end of the dinosaur era. The scaly T. rex apparently did not go in for feathers.
In an article in the journal Nature, published online Wednesday, Chinese and Canadian paleontologists said the discovery provided the first “direct evidence for the presence of extensively feathered gigantic dinosaurs” and offered “new insights into early feather evolution.”
Three months into 2012, chances are good that those grand plans for self-improvement hatched at the start of the new year have become more of a dead weight.
Many people vow to eat less and exercise more; stop smoking, drinking or spending too much; and better organize our wayward lives.
Research in the Journal of Clinical Psychology has found that only 64 percent of New Year's resolutions are maintained after one month and, six months later, less than half still stand.
Why the swift breakdown?
Up next, meet the Huang Twins, 14-year old brothers from California. Mike and Cary have been working as a team to design and program all kinds of great web stuff, including The Scale of the Universe 2, an incredible applet that let’s you compare the sizes of all kinds of things big and small. It uses scientific notation to describe the sizes, so if you’ve never seen that before, you might want to read up. It’s genius. — Math Munch
It has a smoky, bitter taste, a deeply unpleasant odor and bears a close resemblance to black gobs of tar. Pricey tar, mind you: 10 grams (a month's supply) will set you back $80.
The substance, called shilajit, is an ancient ayurvedic medicine. On websites, you'll read that it has anti-anxiety, "rejuvenating" and aphrodisiac properties and is a panacea for many ills, from diabetes to bronchitis — and, further, that it was praised by Aristotle, prized by Genghis Khan and was the closely guarded secret weapon of Soviet cosmonauts and Olympic athletes. Whew. Now it's hit Hollywood, and "Big Love" actor Branka Katic, for one, is a fan. "It brightens my view of the world. My head feels calmer and I have more energy," she says.
What exactly is this stuff? Shilajit consists of ancient plant matter transformed over millions of years into a black substance that oozes from the rocks of the Himalayas. Johann Helf, founder of Los Angeles-based importer Lotus Blooming Herbs, says he navigated a narrow Himalayan pass in a snowstorm, with a Buddhist monk — praying all the while — riding pillion on his motorcycle, to obtain a source of shilajit from a village in Ladakh, India. The curious and the hopeful are now sampling the stuff at the Hollywood Farmers Market.
The likely culprit in sharp worldwide declines in honeybee colonies since 2006 is imidacloprid, one of the most widely used pesticides, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health.