The all-black swans that glide across New Zealand’s wetlands today are only a lame replacement for the bulky beasts that lived there in the past, scientists have discovered.
When humans first arrived in New Zealand in the thirteenth century, they found it swimming in black swans. But quickly, it seems, they hunted the birds to extinction. By the time Europeans arrived in the late eighteenth century, the swans were gone. But black swans had lived in Austr ...read more
Oh, kids these days. When they want to know something they Google it. When they want to buy something they go to Amazon. When they want to date someone they open Tinder.
It’s almost like they’re from a different country, one where technology has bled into every aspect of life. These so-called “digital natives” are endowed with the ability to seamlessly interact with any device, app or interface, and have migrated many aspects of thei ...read more
Okay, to be more accurate, Cassini produced a noodle. Well, actually, it’s a noddle-shaped movie. Sort of…
This video pans across a continuous long and narrow mosaic of 137 images of Saturn captured by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft when it dove between the giant gaseous planet and its rings on April 26th, 2017. Please click on the image to watch the video. As for why NASA scientists are calling this a “noodle,” read on… (Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Scie ...read more
Toss a few droplets of water in a hot pan and they seem to come alive, skittering to and fro as if trying to escape. Try the same thing with balls of hydrogel, and they actually could break free. The spheres bounce animatedly about a hot pan, emitting a piercing, shrieking noise as they do so.
Both tricks are due to something called the Leidenfrost effect, which describes the instantaneous vaporization that occurs when water touches a hot surface. If enough steam is produced, it can be enough t ...read more
A Tang ad using a Gemini image. via General Foods/Kraft.
Tang, the orange flavoured breakfast drink, is so synonymous with NASA that people seem to think the space agency invented it. Even Homer Simpson somehow called up NASA to demand why he couldn’t get “no Tang ’round here!” But contrary to popular belief NASA didn’t invent Tang. That honour goes to William Mitchell, the guy who also invented Pop Rocks and Cool Whip.
The short version of the story is that Charle ...read more
As Japan’s Himawari satellite watched, Typhoon Noru and Tropical Storm Kulap did a do-si-do in the northwest Pacific — and then Noru pretty much slurped up Kulap. (Infrared imagery: Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies. Animated gif: Tom Yulsman)
It has been expected for awhile, and now it has finally happened: Two tropical systems in the Northeast Pacific spun around each other in a kind of cyclonic do-si-do — and then the bigger one ate most of&nbs ...read more
Does this American alligator seem relaxed or riled up to you? A new study suggests humans can tell, by soundbite alone, an animal’s state of emotional arousal across all terrestrial vertebrate species. (Credit US Fish & Wildlife Service)
Chilled out or worked up? Most of us can pick up pretty quickly on another human’s state of emotional arousal. But Charles Darwin hypothesized that understanding emotional expression across species went way, way back, all the way to the earliest ...read more
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