Discoveries

Human-like depictions in Indian cave art? Nope, aliens.

India alien paintings

I need a shortcut name for these ridiculous evidence-devoid stories that make you scratch your head as to WHY it would be printed in any media outlet except as a joke. In this story, the depictions must be aliens because… because… it makes for a snappy headline. Who needs evidence? 10,000-year-old rock paintings depicting aliens…

Discovered four-winged dinosaur was largest flier of its type at more than quadruple usual weight

Microraptor from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

This is rather exciting news for feathered dinosaur fans (who could probably use a win lately). A new species of feathered dinosaur has been discovered, and it is the largest four-winged flier yet known. Changyuraptor, Large Species of Flying Dinosaur, Is Discovered (New York Times): The new species, Changyuraptor, found in northeastern China, was four feet…

The giant Siberian hole: Yep, media does a crap job reporting (Update)

Closer look at the pockmarked surface of Yamal peninsula, Siberia

Oh man, I really hate to start the day with such an awful excuse for a headline. ‘Bottomless’ pit baffles scientists | New York Post. A huge, mysterious crater spotted in remote Siberia has scientists scrambling for answers: Was it a meteor? Was it a weapon? Or was it an explosive sign of global warming?…

Fantastic purple siphonophore – It’s like weirdo, man

Siphonophore discovered by the Nautilus expedition. Screen capture from video.

What a fantastically weird animal captured by the Nautilus - a remotely operated vehicle taking video and photos of the underwater conditions and whatever they find moving down there. See and hear the scientists describe this bizarre colony of organisms operating as a single unit. The public hardly knows anything about siphonophores. Now YOU know. Amazing purple…

Where was this guy hyding? Rediscovery of colonial hydroid

Protulophila_compilation

Cryptozoologists will get needlessly excited of a colonial hydroid that was MIA for 4 million years. Or maybe they don’t really pay attention to scientific findings. I know, I snark. Anyways, I like these stories because each new find betters our understanding of the evolution of life on earth. Wildlife Extra News – Marine animal…

Gender bruhaha over female storm names

Hurricane Sandy impacts the ENTIRE Eastern U.S.

So, this caused a kerfuffle yesterday on the internet. A study regarding a gender bias turned into a debate about sexism and misogyny. Female hurricanes are deadlier than male hurricanes. Meteorologists and geoscientists have called for greater consideration of social science factors that predict responses to natural hazards. We answer this call by highlighting the…

When talking about strange evolution, choose your words carefully!

sea-gooseberry

We mentioned this yesterday in passing in the Leftovers but posted today is a piece by Carl Zimmer that got me thinking that anti-evolutionists might take this as evidence for their position. It’s not. The genome of the sea gooseberry has been analyzed and it’s weird. Strange Findings on Comb Jellies Uproot Animal Family Tree.…

Physicists plan to make photons matter (and no, it’s not a Star Trek replicator)…

A Feynman diagram of an electron and positron exchanging a photon, by JabberWok at Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Professor Stephen Rose and his research team at Imperial College London have designed an experimental test of a 1934 model by Breit and Wheeler, which would provide empirical verification of the process’s ability to create matter from photons. UK discovery ‘starts race’ to turn light into matter (BBC News): Breit and Wheeler’s theoretical prediction [...] that…

Periodic Updates

Periodic Table (OpenClipArt Public Domain Image)

What happens when a new element is discovered? Another new element, Element 117, is one step closer to being named. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) will review findings and rule on whether the element will be granted an official name and be allowed to strike terror into the hearts of high…

Explorers find Shipshape Volcano

D2 Submersible analyzes asphalt volcano, previously thought to be the hull of a sunken ship. (Photo courtesy of NOAA)

While underwater resemblances aren’t anything new, a recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expedition discovered multiple shipwreck sites in the Gulf of Mexico, and another anomaly led a combined team from NOAA and Texas A&M University to the site of what appeared to be another wrecked ship’s hull. The Asphalt Ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico…

Gallipoli ‘ghost’ solved: A lesson in non-paranormal persistence

Notice figures in the background. Photo: Joe Armao

Here is a great lesson for paranormalists: Make sure you exhaust all the avenues of “normal” before you conclude “paranormal”. In almost all cases, you CAN get to a sound explanation. Gallipoli ‘ghost’ an open and shutter case. Fairfax photographer Joe Armao spent an entire night studying the strange, hair-raising blur on one of his pictures…