Tag Archives: discovery

Paleontologist discovers tiny terrifying dinosaur – beak of a parrot, fangs of a vampire

Dr. Paul C. Sereno, a paleontologist at University of Chicago has discovered a new dinosaur, from The Register:

A two-foot long dinosaur with the beak of a parrot, teeth of a vampire and covered in some sort of bristly quill stuff…the Pegomastax africanus scampered around the earth 200 million years ago.

Called Pego, and judging by the illustration, the beast was terrifying with fangs in its beak and sharp quills down it’s back. But it would have weighed less than a house cat and was a herbivore – speculation is that the fangs were for fighting during mating competitions.

The fossil was surprisingly well preserved in volcano ash, allowing Dr. Sereno to study the bristles in addition to the bones. And the reason for this discovery is the Doctor finally pulled the fossil out of his desk drawer. It had been sitting there for 50 years collecting dust. Now, he is moving on to the second drawer.

Scientists discover 2 million new plankton species – on a 2.5 year ocean voyage

A team of scientists spent 2.5 years traveling the oceans, over 70,000 miles, and came back with a startling discovery. There was once thought to be 30,000 species of plankton but they discovered more than 2 million species. The diversity, and strangeness, is astounding. One species combines together to form a chain 40 meters long while another forms symbiotic colonies, living within each other.

Watch the BBC story:

 

Learn more about the Tara Expédition by visiting their website, listening to PRI’s interview, or following them on Facebook.

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StumbleUpon gets new design for website and iOS devices…do you Stumble?

StumbleUpon was once just a browser add-on in Firefox. Then it became internet famous and was bought by eBay – only to be sold back the founders two years later. And today it is humming along with 25 million users and two bold new designs for its website and iOS – iPhone, iPad.

 

The new design for iPhone, iPad (source: TheNextWeb)

 

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Set that bottle adrift…98-year old message in a bottle found

From the Smithsonian:

Andrew Leaper, a Scottish skipper, has discovered the world’s oldest message in a bottle. He found the bottle while on the same fishing vessel where another mate had set the previous record, for a bottle that had been floating in the ocean for 92 years and 229 days. Now, Leaper has broken his buddy’s Guinness World Record: his discovery turned out to be a 98-year old message in a bottle.

 

If you follow the BBC link, the message was ‘return to sender’ with a reward of six-pence. Was that a lot of money in 1914?

 

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UCLA researcher discovers Mars has tectonic plates

Planetary geologist An Yin has made a startling discovery about Mars:

UCLA scientist discovers plate tectonics on Mars

For years, many scientists had thought that plate tectonics existed nowhere in our solar system but on Earth. Now, a UCLA scientist has discovered that the geological phenomenon, which involves the movement of huge crustal plates beneath a planet’s surface, also exists on Mars.

This is exciting news, Mars has earthquakes and lava!

The article also talks about the Grand Canyon of Mars that is 9x times bigger, called Valles Marineris.

 

 

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A brochure from the Olympics – the map from the London Tube

 

I’ve got two maps for you. The first is the slippy map above from London Town:

I like the…hand-drawn feel of the map. Venues are shown in indicative locations rather than being geographically correct, as the details of London between the venues are missed out. This makes it a very poor map for navigating around London between the venues, but a good graphic illustrating just how many venues in London there are, and how they relate geographically to the major London landmarks. – Mapping London

 

Second, is the one you would pick up in the London Tube if you were going to the games. Created for the Olympics, the “London Summer 2012″ map looks like a pretty cool brochure/souvenir for the games:

The maps feature key landmarks, the locations of Olympics related events (such as London Live) and shops, a selection of interesting museums and also more practical information such as public amenities, police stations and NHS walk in centres. The maps also include 6 discovery trails (round trips) to help explore different areas (such as the City; Spitalfields and Brick Lane; Regent’s Park; and the West End).

Two screenshots of it below – more at – Mapping London

 

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Archaeologist discover Shakespeare’s original theater

The remains of London’s second playhouse, The Curtain Theatre, could be unearthed in Shoreditch as part of a development by Plough Yard Developments.

The Curtain Theatre was home to William Shakespeare’s company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, before they settled at the Globe and staged several of Shakespeare’s plays including Romeo and Juliet. Despite being immortalised as “this wooden O” in Henry V, which had its premier at The Curtain Theatre, little detailed information is known about this early playhouse. Excavations are expected to provide great insight into its history.

Archaeologists from Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) have been undertaking exploratory digs at the site of The Curtain Theatre in Hackney. They have discovered what is believed to be one of the best preserved examples of an Elizabethan theatre in the UK. The discoveries include the walls forming the gallery and the yard within the playhouse itself.

 

Learn moreRemains of Shakespeare’s Curtain Theatre discovered in Shoreditch

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‘Tropical’ lakes of methane are found on Saturn’s moon of Titan

Infrared imaging by JPL’s Cassini spacecraft has shown the existence of large methane lakes near the equator of Saturn’s moon Titan. One of them is about the size of Utah’s Great Salt Lake at its lowest recorded level and is at least three feet deep. The spacecraft also discovered smaller, shallower “ponds” nearby similar to marshes on Earth, with knee- to ankle-level depths.

Astronomers have previously observed large methane lakes near Titan’s poles, but the discovery of the “tropical” lakes is a surprise because it was generally assumed that this region was too warm to allow such lakes to exist for any length of time. Titan’s weather system is similar to Earth’s in one respect, but with liquid methane instead of water. The methane near the equator evaporates and is transported by winds to the poles, where it condenses back into a liquid.

…Like water vapor, which dissociates in the upper atmosphere to form ozone, methane is also dissociated by sunlight to produce reactive carbon atoms that can combine to form organic chemicals such as amino acids. Such compounds have been detected in Titan’s atmosphere and are the basis of some researchers’ speculation that Titan may harbor life forms of some sort.

Keep readingCassini spacecraft finds ‘tropical’ lakes on Saturn moon Titan

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Watch a Boeing 727 test-crash into the desert

If the plane crashes nose-first then sit in the back (but not all the way back).

 

For a new documentary, the Discovery Channel took a Boeing 727 to a remote part of the Mexican desert and had it crash to examine what exactly happens in an emergency situation.

It didn’t go well for the plane.

The fuselage of the 727 actually broke in two. The cockpit and front seats actually folded under the back half.

The plane, which was thankfully full of crash dummies, was being controlled remotely to make for a fairly realistic crash. The pilot that flew it from take-off had ejected just moments before.

This is the first full crash test of an airplane in these conditions since NASA’s 1984 test crash in California’s Mojave Desert.

via Business Insider

 

 

// Thx to Reg Saddler

Whale Wars confronts slaughter of Pilot whales in the Faroe Islands

Faroe Islands fishermen wade into a shallow bay to kill a pod of pilot whales in a hunt called a "grind." Sea Shepherd has launched a new show called "Whale Wars: Viking Shores" to focus attention on the hunt.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, capitalizing on the tremendous success of their Animal Planet TV show, “Whale Wars,” has now taken on a new battle. With the Japanese fleet’s Antarctic hunt finished for the season, the skull-and-crossbones crew have turned their attention on the Faroe Islands with a new show: Whale Wars: Viking Shores

In the Faroe Islands, the oceangoing conservation outfit is not hectoring a faceless, corporate, government-subsidized commercial whaling outfit with massive factory ships that kill whales in the name of “research.” On this grouping of 18 small islands in the North Atlantic, a Danish protectorate situated between Iceland and Scotland, the people kill pilot whales by hand, on the shore, as part of a traditional hunt called the “Grind,” (pronounced “grinned”) which residents say is thousands of years old.

The Grind is not pretty, and “Viking Shores” pulls no punches. The Faroese send boats out into the ocean to find pilot whales, which are cetaceans not as large as the fin or minke whales hunted by the Japanese, but are slightly bigger than dolphins. Then they herd the mammals toward one of several dozen beaches on the islands, where residents lie in wait. As the powerful creatures beach themselves in panic, hunters wade into them with long curved hooks and slaughter the whole pod in a bloody frenzy. The Faroese eat a lot of pilot whale.

via LA Times

The second episode of “Viking Shores” airs Friday at 9 p.m. on Animal Planet.

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Read an interview with Sea Shepherd captain and environmental warrior, Paul Waston, on what it’s like to confront the Faroes people on their ancient tradition.

Download episode  1 – Bad Blood for free on iTunes (warning: link opens iTunes).