Archive for January, 2009

“Hobbits” Were Separate Species, Skull Suggests

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 23, 2009   View Article

The skull of the so-called hobbit discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003 suggests its owner was an archaic human ancestor, not a diminutive or diseased modern human, according to a new study.

The conclusion stems from a comparison of the skull to the noggins of modern humans and apes, as well as the fossil brain cases of early human ancestors.

8 insights gleaned from brain science research

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: January 23, 2009   View Article

Does political bias distort rational thought? Can we teach ourselves compassion? Is technology overload rewiring our brains? These are some of the questions scientists are pursuing in the quest to understand how and why our noggins do what they do.

Ten views: From Earth to the Universe

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: January 22, 2009   View Article

Check out ten images featured in “From Earth to the Universe,” one of several projects organized for the International Year of Astronomy. More than 40 countries have announced plans to participate. About 125 space images are available for display in airports, parks and other public places around the world. Some of the images here just might show up at an exhibit near you.

Lizards Evolving Rapidly to Survive Deadly Fire Ants

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 21, 2009   View Article

Long legs and skittish behavior are recently evolved traits that allow fence lizards in the southeastern U.S. to co-exist with lethal and invasive fire ants, according to a new study.

The new findings could boost hopes for species whose habitats are quickly changing due to climate change, experts say.

Spring Coming Earlier, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 21, 2009   View Article

Tired of winter? Good news: Spring arrives an average of 1.7 days earlier now than it did in the first half of the 20th century, according to a new study.

Summer, fall, and winter are also starting 1.7 days earlier. And there is less of a temperature difference between winter and summer.

The shifts, which are occurring over land (seasonal shifts are different over oceans), appear to stem from as-yet-to-be determined changes in the physics of the Earth’s climate system.

Blast to the past with these eight classic gadgets

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: January 20, 2009   View Article

When the Apple iPhone was introduced in June 2007, it won kudos as a world-changing gizmo. Finally, gadget freaks had a cell phone, music and video player, camera, PDA, and Web browser together in one seamless package operated purely by touch. Check out eight classic gadgets that made a mark on technology. Many of their functions are now standard features on today’s all-in-one smartphones.

“Nanodiamond” Find Supports Comet Impact Extinction Theory

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 5, 2009   View Article

The discovery of tiny “nanodiamonds” supports a controversial theory that a catastrophic bombardment of space rocks altered the course of Earth history.

About 12,900 years ago, Earth was escaping the grips of an ice age when something triggered a sudden refreeze.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach