Science

Planet-dolia pyramids and poles

Cropped from the original picture from the Mars Rover raw image feed from JPL

A number of stories are circulating online today with claims of weird things found on other planets. As usual, the facts are interesting but mystery-mongering sites overreach and portray them as extraordinary, that is, there are cities or evidence of civilization out there. The evidence for THAT is doubtful indeed. We see what we want…

Soft tissue preservation in dinos is fodder for Creationists

Dinosaurs

As usual, Bible literalists think a few anomalies can overturn our entire established knowledge about the earth. Ain’t gonna happen, guys. Researchers have discovered what appear to be the remnants of red blood cells and connective tissue in 75 million-year-old dinosaur fossils. Source: ‘Blood cells’ found in dino fossils – BBC News The work could shine…

Sykes’ reputation and his Yeti project get slammed

nature of the beast_sykes

As we updated yesterday, Bryan Sykes’ claim of mystery DNA is being hyped by the media apparently ahead of his new book about his Yeti/Bigfoot project (the results of the Oxford-Lausanne Collateral Hominid Project which had a goal of collecting organic material for so called “cryptids”, including that which people believe may be from Bigfoot, and…

Moldy ghosts?

got-mold

Another hypothetical idea about “ghosts”. This one also sounds scientific on the surface, but so far, does not have the chops to explain hauntings. Ghost sightings in haunted houses linked to toxic mould. Researchers studying ghostly apparitions said that hauntings are usually reported in old buildings which often have poor air quality from pollutants. Previous…

A hundred times NO – the moon does not cause a crazy night at the hospital

If the moon ever REALLY looks like this, we're DOOMED.

Yet another analysis has come out to kill the idea that hospital admissions and human birth rates are greater during the full moon than at other times. More than one analysis of such data shows conclusively that the moon has no correlation with these conditions. But, it’s such a widespread belief, I’m not sure another study…

Evidence of huge impact event found in Australia: What did it mean for life on earth?

asteroid_7

Australian scientists announced they have discovered a twin asteroid impact crater in the Central Australia that may be the largest ever found. The question is, does it correspond to a major extinction event. Maybe, but it’s not clear yet as the age is questionable. World’s largest asteroid impacts found in central Australia | ANU. A…

New paper taking another look at “Yeti” data finds no evidence of new bear in the Himalayas

Artists version of the "yeti" as a hybrid polar bear

More news in the Sykes Himalayan yeti saga. If you recall, Oxford geneticist Bryan Sykes published a paper in a prestigious scientific journal in July 2014. The results were a disappointment for Yeti supporters, establishing that the mystery samples of DNA were not primate, but normal animals and human. The Sykes (et al.) study did, however,…

Sky Shows Galaxy-lensed “Reruns” of Exploding Supernova, Demonstrating Gravity of the Situation

Gravitational Lensing Illustration

Sometimes† space is just awesome. More specifically, stuff (or mass) in space has some properties that manifest in empirically awesome ways. Earlier this week, Science put out a report on a supernova (Wikipedia) observed behind a galaxy in the MACS J1149.6+2223 cluster. This particular supernova is visible due to gravitational lensing (Wikipedia) around the cluster, greatly magnifying…

Nat Geo posts an “exclusive” stinker about a non-“lost city” in Honduras

Honduran rain forest - supposedly hiding a mythical city

Nat Geo presented a not “new” finding and forgot they had done this before! Why? They did it for the Nookie, I mean, the hype, the clicks, the attention. Exclusive: Lost City Discovered in Honduran Rain Forest. In search for legendary “City of the Monkey God,” explorers find the untouched ruins of a vanished culture.…

Tattoo me skeptical!

This woman would save a fortune using Falkenham's revolutionary tattoo removal cream.

Tattoo removal as simple as rubbing lotion on it? This new $6 cream promises to painlessly fade your tattoos away. A Canadian uni student has invented a new tattoo removal cream that makes the ink fade away forever by replacing the ink-filled cells with new, clean cells. So Alec Falkenham, a PhD student in the…

Anonymous commenters undermining science have negative impact. We knew this.

No-bs-sign default

This is further justification why we do not allow anti-science commenters on this site. It’s not a debate but the reader often does not know that. Healthcare websites are attempting to educate about health risks but a new study shows, surprisingly, that readers may be influenced more by online comments than by credible public service announcements.…

Will TV be less worse from now on? We are skeptically optimistic!

funny-shark-myspace-pic

We’re seeing a trend. First, Cosmos does well. Then, SyFy announces that they will cut development on “reality” paranormal shows. Now there is news that Neil DeGrasse Tyson is getting his OWN TV TALK SHOW and the new Discovery Channel president is saying some very interesting and positive things. This may be something… As we linked…

It’s frost quake season in North America!

The seismic signal of a frost quake, as recorded by a seismometer in Ontario. Photo: Natural Resources Canada

As reports of mystery booms continue every week, we finally have confirmation that the weather services have determined that frost quakes are occurring in Eastern Canada and even in the U.S. ‘Frost quake’ shakes Montreal’s West Island – Montreal – CBC News. Some residents on Montreal’s West Island were shaken early Tuesday morning by a…

Warblers high-tailed it away from on-coming storm a day in advance

golden_winged_warbler_male2

In a small study that tracked 20 songbirds, scientists noted that five birds seemingly evacuated before an oncoming storm. BBC News – Birds ‘heard tornadoes coming’ and fled one day ahead. US scientists say tracking data shows that five golden-winged warblers “evacuated” their nesting site one day before the April 2014 tornado outbreak. Geolocators showed…

Sea stars mystery: Mass mortality from virus

Pisaster ochraceus, Ochre sea star is affected by the wasting disease (Wikipedia)

We have a worrying update to the news from 2013 about star wasting disease. Starfish in record numbers along the U.S. West Coast were dying – losing limbs and turning to slime (technically reported as “epidermal necrosis and ulceration, and dermal inflammation and edema in the body wall”). Researchers have proposed that a virus is…

L’Aquila decision against geoscientists overturned

DNlogo

In an update to a story that shook geoscientists around the world, almost all of the people formerly found guilty in the L’Aquila earthquake prediction manslaughter case have been acquitted. Verdict Overturned for Italian Geoscientists Convicted of Manslaughter | WIRED. Today, after a surprisingly swift-by-Italian-standards appeals process, the three-judge panel acquitted six of the men.…

Additional evidence that ghosts may be all in the mind

Ghost Behind the Glass

A study of people with brain injuries or those that have experienced hallucinations, suggests that environmental miscues can fool our brains into thinking there is something there that is not. Spooks generated by brain-body mismatch. [U]nder some circumstances, real people can also believe that a non-existent person is close to them — extreme mountaineers often…