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Archive for August, 2012

‘CYBORG’ TISSUE CREATED WITH LIVING CELLS AND ELECTRONICS

The line between human and robot begins to blur.

The future is now folks!

Scientist’s have developed human tissue that is half electronics and half organic cells!

New Scientist writes:

They beat like real heart cells, but the rat cardiomyocytes in a dish at Harvard University are different in one crucial way. Snaking through them are wires and transistors that spy on each cell’s electrical impulses. In future, the wires might control their behaviour too.

Versions of this souped-up, “cyborg” tissue have been created for neurons, muscle and blood vessels. They could be used to test drugsMovie Camera or as the basis for more biological versions of existing implants such as pacemakers. If signals can also be sent to the cells, cyborg tissue could be used in prosthetics or to create tiny robots.

“It allows one to effectively blur the boundary between electronic, inorganic systems and organic, biological ones,” says Charles Lieber, who leads the team behind the cyborg tissue.

Artificial tissue can already be grown on three-dimensional scaffolds made of biological materials that are not electrically active. And electrical components have been added to cultured tissue before, but not integrated into its structure, so they were only able to glean information from the surface.

Lieber’s team combined these strands of work to create electrically active scaffolds. They created 3D networks of conductive nanowires studded with silicon sensors. Crucially, the wires had to be flexible and extremely small, to avoid impeding the growth of tissue. The scaffold also contained traditional biological materials such as collagen.

The researchers were able to grow rat neurons, heart cells and muscle in these hybrid meshes. In the case of the heart cells, they started to contract just like normal cells, and the researchers used the network to read out the rate of the beats.

When they added a drug that stimulates heart cell contraction, they detected an increase in the rate, indicating the tissue was behaving like normal and that the network could sense such changes.

Lieber’s team also managed to grow an entire blood vessel about 1.5 centimetres long from human cells, with wires snaking through it. By recording electrical signals from inside and outside the vessel– something that was never possible before– the team was able to detect electrical patterns that they say could give clues to inflammation, whether tissue has undergone changes that make it prone to tumour formation or suggest impending heart disease.

Read more at www.newscientist.com


FIRST MUSIC EVER PLAYED ON MARS

Pop music artist  Will.i.am’s newest song “Reach For The Stars” is the first man-made made music to be broadcasted on another planet.

The Telegraph writes:

The extraordinary feat was among several astonishing achievements by US space agency’s £1.6 billion Curiosity rover, which landed on the surface of the Red Planet earlier this month.

The Black Eyed Peas rapper’s song, titled Reach for the Stars, was beamed more than 300 million miles back to Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

The first music broadcast from another planet came after the planetary explorer beamed back incredible high-resolution, colour portrait images from Mars.

Nasa staff clapped their hands and held their arms in the air, smiling and swaying to the rhythm during the slightly less scientific use of the rover’s hi-tech equipment and communications ability.

The achievement also gave great delight to dozens of students who gathered at the laboratory to listen.

“It seems surreal,” said will.i.am, who is also an actor.

He explained how Charles Bolden, the Nasa administrator, had called him to suggest beaming a song back from Mars as part of educational outreach efforts by the US space agency.

The song, which includes lyrics “I know that Mars might be far, but baby it ain’t really that far”, involved a 40-piece orchestra including French horns, rather than a more modern electronically-generated sound.

The 37-year-old, whose real name William James Adams, told a student audience that he didn’t “want to do a song that was done on a computer,” given that it was going to be the first piece of music broadcast back to the Earth from Mars.

“I wanted to show human collaboration and have an orchestra there and something that would be timeless, and translated in different cultures, not have like a hip hop beat or a dance beat,” he said.

 

Read more at telegraph.co.uk/science


THE HOVER BIKE OF THE FUTURE AVAILABLE TODAY

The Aerofex hover vehicle looks a little familiar.

If we weren’t living in enough of ‘The World of the Future” as we’ve seen in novels, movies and television for your liking, it looks like someone has taken a step in the right direction… up.

Space.com writes:

A resurrected hover vehicle won’t fly through dense forests as effortlessly as the “Star Wars” speeder bikes from “Return of the Jedi,” but its intuitive controls could someday allow anyone to fly it without pilot training.

The aerial vehicle resembles ascience fiction flying bike with two ducted rotors instead of wheels, but originates from a design abandoned in the 1960s because of stability and rollover problems. Aerofex, a California-based firm, fixed the stability issue by creating a mechanical system — controlled by two control bars at knee-level — that allows the vehicle to respond to a human pilot’s leaning movements and natural sense of balance.

“Think of it as lowering the threshold of flight, down to the domain of ATV’s (all-terrain vehicles),” said Mark De Roche, an aerospace engineer and founder of Aerofex.

Such intuitive controls could allow physicians to fly future versions of the vehicle to visit rural patients in places without roads, or enable border patrol officers to go about their duties without pilot training. All of it happens mechanically without the need for electronics, let alone complicated artificial intelligence or flight software. [See Hover ‘Bike’ Fly (Video)]

“It essentially captures the translations between the two in three axis (pitch, roll and yaw), and activates the aerodynamic controls required to counter the movement — which lines the vehicle back up with the pilot,” De Roche told InnovationNewsDaily. “Since [the pilot’s] balancing movements are instinctive and constant, it plays out quite effortlessly to him.”

Read more at www.space.com


FOOTAGE OF THE CURIOSITY ROVER LANDING ON MARS IN HI-DEFINITION

The original, but quite shaky and hard to view, footage has been re-done in beautiful HD.

You have got to watch this:

The LA Times writes:

You may have seen video of Curiosity’s descent before, but you haven’t seen it like this — with the craters on Mars rendered in high definition, the contrast amped up, and the whole thing set to a string score by Kevin Macleod that helps heighten the grandeur, and also the loneliness, of the rover’s descent to the red planet.

(Never underestimate the importance of a soundtrack!)

Consider it the Mars Curiosity descent post-production video. It’s like the original, but better.

The video was put together by Dominic Muller, known on Reddit as Godd2, reports iO9.

On the video’s YouTube page Muller explains that he used an editing technique called frame interpolation, which allowed him to take the original choppy video released by NASA and smooth it out. He writes that it took him four straight days to put it together.

You can find a thorough and technical explanation of how Muller made this video on Reddit.

Or you can just watch this over and over again and think about how awesome Mars looks.

As one commenter wrote, “It’s weird that we’re looking at another world.”

Read more at www.latimes.com


MEET VENUS THE CHIMERA CAT WITH TWO FACES

Venus has a genetic condition that causes her face and eyes to be of different colors.

This is pretty cool! Due to a genetic condition called ‘Chimerism” Venus the cat has two complete different hair color and patterns  perfectly split down the middle of her face and, due to another condition called heterochromia, she has two different colored eyes as well!

Here’s a video showing the beautiful cat just hanging out:

Daily Mail writes:

When there seems to be a new cute kitten gaining YouTube fame each week, it’s tough to stand out from the cat crowd. 

But that’s certainly not a problem for Venus – the ‘two-faced’ cat who is the internet star du jour. 

The feline’s face is perfectly divided in two – one half is jet black while the other is calico. And, as if this wasn’t enough, her eyes are different colours too – one is ice blue, the other is green. 

Venus is known as a chimera cat because of her genetic composition and her different eye colours are caused by heterochromia.

Janus, the Roman god with two faces, would have perhaps been a more obvious deity to name the three-year-old cat after, even if she is a female. 

 

Venus has several YouTube videos which have been seen about 154,000 times with thousands clicking the ‘like’ button. 

Unsurprisingly, Venus now has her own Facebook page too where she has attracted more than 22,000 fans. 

However, Venus is learning that world-wide fame has its downsides too as she has been unfavourably likened to Harvey Dent, Batman’s nemesis Two-Face. 

Venus’ proud owner describes her lovingly as a ‘gentle’ and ‘perfect’ pet with a deceptively big appetite. 

‘As tiny as she is she likes to pick the giant pieces of food from the dog food bowl rather than eat her cat food,’ the owner writes on Venus’ Facebook page.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news


SILVER DISC SEEN FLYING OVER NEW YORK STATE

What could this be flying above Vestal, NY?

WBNG 12 ACTION NEWS Writes:

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) One viewer says he saw an unidentified flying object in the Southern Tier sky.

Brian Titus says he was at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton, when he saw something rising behind a hill in Vestal.

In an email, Titus wrote, “It sat there for about ten seconds and then it shot up like a bullet and vanished.”

He says at least ten people saw it happen.

Minutes later when he was coming home, Titus saw the U.F.O. again.

During this second sighting, Titus snapped the picture.

Titus wrote, “I am so exited and freaked out at the same time.”

Read more at wbng.com/news/local


HAVE WE FOUND AMELIA EARHART’S PLANE WRECKAGE?

Researchers believe they've found the actual debris field from Amelia Earhart's legendary last flight.

The mystery of Amelia Earhart has intrigued the world ever since her disappearance on what would have been her record-breaking around-the-world flight in 1937.

Researchers, conspiracists, and just plain curious people from all over continue to investigate and could have possibly found her!

ABC News writes:

Forensic imaging specialists have found what looks like a wheel and other landing gear off the coast of Nikumaroro Island in the Pacific Ocean, right where analysts and archeologists think Amelia Earhart’s plane went down in 1937.

“We don’t know whether it’s her plane, but what we have is a debris field in a place where there should be a debris field if what we had put together based on the evidence that we had is correct,” said Ric Gillespie, executive director of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), which led the $2.2 million expedition last month.

During the trip, Gillespie said he was “bummed” because they didn’t see much in the coral reef from their standard video camera. The high definition camera footage couldn’t be viewed in real time, so they had to process it and send it over to forensic analyst Jeff Glickman before they could get any answers.

“On Tuesday afternoon, he calls me and says, ‘You know, there’s stuff here. It looks like manmade debris,” Gillespie said.

So Gillespie compared the logs to his maps and said, “Whoa. What he’s seeing is right where we reasoned things should be.”

Based on the last thing Earhart ever said over the radio, she was on a navigational line called 157337, which has two other islands along it other than Howard Island, which was where Earhart was aiming to land. Although the Navy began looking for her along the route initially, the idea was forgotten until two retired Navy officers approached Gillespie in 1988.

Read more at abcnews.go.com


THERE WERE NOT ONE, BUT TWO UFOS THAT CRASHED IN ROSWELL

An Air Force Colonel has come forward to state there were in fact, 2 seperate crashes in Roswell, N.M.

As if the controversy and speculation around that fateful day in Roswell, New Mexico, retired Air Force Colonel Richard French is stirring things up a bit by saying that there were 2 seperate ufos recovered.

Huffington Post writes:

The 1947 UFO controversy of Roswell, N.M. is like a bad penny: It keeps turning up.

The legend, rehashed by conspiracy theorists in countless documentaries, revolves around allegations that an unusual object fell from the sky — an object so bizarre that the U.S. Air Force issued a press release that a flying saucer had crashed.

That story was quickly recanted, creating what would become one of the greatest urban legends in American history.

Until now, most debunkers doubted that there was even one crash. Now, in an exclusive interview, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Richard French told The Huffington Post that there were actually two crashes.

This revelation is especially remarkable considering that French was known in the past to debunk UFO stories.

“There were actually two crashes at Roswell, which most people don’t know,” French told HuffPost. “The first one was shot down by an experimental U.S. airplane that was flying out of White Sands, N.M., and it shot what was effectively an electronic pulse-type weapon that disabled and took away all the controls of the UFO, and that’s why it crashed.”

French — an Air Force pilot who was in Alamagordo, N.M., in 1947, being tested in an altitude chamber, an annual requirement for rated officers — was very specific in how the military allegedly brought down what he believes was a spacecraft from another world.

“When they hit it with that electromagnetic pulse — bingo! — there goes all their electronics and, consequently, the UFO was uncontrollable,” said French, who flew hundreds of combat missions in Korea and Southeast Asia, and who held several positions working for Military Intelligence.

Another retired officer doubts French’s story.

“No chance! Zero chance!” said Army Col. John Alexander, whose own top-secret clearance gave him access in the 1980s to official documents and UFO accounts. He created a top-level group of government officials and scientists who determined that, while UFOs are real, they couldn’t find evidence of an official cover-up.

Read more at huffingtonpost.com/2012


GOOD-INTENTIONED GRAFFITI GOES WRONG

A good intentioned touch-up turned out not-so great.

What started out as a good-intentioned touch-up of a 100 year old painting inside a church near Zaragoza, Spain turned out to be, to put it nicely, quite the poorly done “restoration” of the work of art feature Jesus himself.

Entertainment on Today writes:

Would you think to match your home-grown painting skills against a classical artist? Probably not, but that’s just what a well-intentioned woman in her 80s did recently in Spain.

The three photos above tell the tale. The image on the left is the original work, a century-old oil painting of Christ called “Ecce Homo (Behold the Man)” that was painted on a column inside a church near Zaragoza, Spain, by artist Elias Garcia Martinez.

Over the years, the work began to deteriorate, as shown in the second image. According to the Centre de Estudios Borjanos, the unnamed amateur artist (without permission from the church, needless to say) thought she could improve the work and set to work with paints and brushes. The third picture is the result.

The BBC reports that the woman realized her mistake and contacted Juan Maria Ojeda, a city council member in charge of cultural affairs for the area. “I think she had good intentions,” Ojeda told the BBC.

A team of art restoration experts is reportedly examining the painting, will quiz the woman on what materials she used in her attempt, and will figure out how best to proceed.

Read more at todayentertainment.today.com


MAN FINDS 10 YEAR OLD LOST FORK… IN HIS STOMACH

The fork had remained intact inside his stomach despite lying in a pool of stomach acid for a decade. - Caters News

Apparently one meal didn’t go quite the way Lee Gardner of Cudworth, England, instead of swallowing his food, he swallowed the utensil!

BBC News writes:

Doctors operating on a man who was taken to hospital with stomach pains discovered a 9in long plastic fork that he swallowed a decade ago.

Lee Gardner was taken to Barnsley Hospital when he started vomiting blood and having cramps.

He said he was told the fork, which he swallowed 10 years ago, would pass through his system naturally so he did not think to mention it to doctors.

Surgeon Hanis Shiwani said Mr Gardner was lucky there was not more damage.

Mr Gardner, from Cudworth, Barnsley, said: “I can’t believe it. I have never had any problems with my stomach except once a couple of years ago I remember thinking I felt like something had lodged when I bent over awkwardly.

“But the advice at the time was that it would just pass through my system, and as that was so many years before I really didn’t think it could be the fork.”

Read more at bbc.co.uk/news


DNA TESTING TO DETERMINE THE ELEPHANT MAN’S AILMENT

The Elephant Man suffered from an unknown disease that scientist are now trying to name.

Joseph Merrick didn’t exactly have the most peaceful life, having been the now, and then, famous Elephant Man of London but, even in death he shall not rest peacefully for scientists plan on investigating his bones to determine just what caused his problems.

The Independent writes:

He was the thing of children’s nightmares, outcast by a Victorian society unable to comprehend his grotesque deformities, but was later immortalised in films and plays. Joseph Merrick, better known as the Elephant Man, is one of medical history’s enigmas: 122 years after his death, no one knows exactly what caused his extreme disfigurement. But scientists will attempt to solve the puzzle next month by extracting DNA from his bones for analysis.

Merrick came to the attention of the medical profession in the 1880s. Ever since, scientists have struggled to explain the huge growths that caused him to be first shunned and finally celebrated by society – by the end of his life his courage and humility had, at last, been recognised. Merrick became a folk hero for speaking up for others who were similarly afflicted.

It was initially thought that he suffered from Elephantiasis, a parasitic infection characterised by the thickening and enlargement of skin and tissue, hence his nickname.

Then, in 2001, some scientists suggested that Merrick had suffered from a rare disease called Proteus syndrome – a congenital disorder that causes skin overgrowth and abnormal bone development. But other experts questioned the diagnosis, saying that the way his disease manifested was not typical of that condition. It is hoped this latest research will finally prove conclusive.

Scientists will extract DNA from Merrick’s skeleton, which has been kept at the Royal London Hospital at Whitechapel, east London, since his death, aged 27, in 1890. Tests will then be carried out to see if it is possible to sequence Merrick’s genome thereby identifying any gene alteration. The already complex technique has been made harder by the fact that Merrick’s skeleton has been poorly preserved, and years of bleaching to keep it clean have degraded the remains.

Researchers hope that, by finally diagnosing his condition, they will be able to treat other sufferers.

Read more at independent.co.uk/news/science


LARGEST PYTHON EVER FOUND IN FLORIDA EVERGLADES NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THERE

Giant Burmese Pythons have been taking over the Florida Everglades

Things are getting bad in the beautiful Everglades of Florida. They’re being over run by giant snakes that are  non-native to the area… and they’re getting bigger.

This little lady was the most recent find, and the largest ever. Not to mention the 87 eggs she had in her.

Huffington Post writes:

There are some Florida records no one wants to see broken, but apparently the exotic snakes invading the Everglades weren’t informed.

Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey captured a state record-breaking Burmese python that was not only a whopping 17 feet and 7 inches long, but carrying an also-record-breaking 87 eggs.

The massive gal weighed 164 pounds, according to staff at the University of Florida, who said the previous records for length and fertility were a measly 16.8 feet and 85 eggs.

“She was a beast!” USGS research ecologist Dr. Kristen Hart, whose team caught the snake, told HuffPost. “She was really impressive.”

The massive python was nearly a foot wide, said the Florida Museum of Natural History’s herpetology collection manager Dr. Kenneth Krysko (hear him describe her in the video in the slideshow below). The python was sent to the Gainesville museum so UF staff could perform a necropsy for research before mounting the body, which will eventually be returned to Everglades National Park. And then, presumably, there’s a party to be had.

“When you find something outside the known or expected range,” said FMNH’s Ichthyology collection manager Rob Robins, “it’s exciting.”

Hart said the huge python was initially spotted in March when a “judas snake” — a male python outfitted with a transmitter for tracking during mating season — led USGS biologists Thomas Selby and Brian Smith straight to her. Getting the snake from the brush to the office was no small feat, though the very fit Selby and Smith are roughly 6′ 5″ and 5′ 10″, respectively.

“She was tired from pulling against them, they were tired from wrestling her,” Hart said. “They were just exhausted but also excited: ‘You’re not gonna believe how big this snake is!'”

Read more at www.huffingtonpost.com


ANCIENT INK: SIBERIAN TATTOO THAT’S 2,500 YEARS OLD

Princess Ukok, preserved for 2,500 years, of ancient Russia had several intricate tattoos.

It seems that right now is far from the first time for  humans to have tattoos come into fashion, it’s just taken a little bit time to come back around. Like, 2,5o0 years or so.

Daily Mail writes:

The astonishing 2,500 year old tattoos of a Siberian princess, and how they reveal little has changed in the way we decorate our bodies

  • Incredibly well preserved body found high in the Altai mountains, with two warriors buried close by for protections and six horses to ease the journey into the next life
  • Tattoos on left shoulder, including a deer with a griffon’s beak and a Capricorn’s antlers.

The intricate patterns of 2,500-year-old tattoos – some from the body of a Siberian ‘princess’ preserved in the permafrost – have been revealed in Russia. 

The remarkable body art includes mythological creatures and experts say the elaborate drawings were a sign of age and status for the ancient nomadic Pazyryk people, described in the 5th century BC by the Greek historian Herodotus.

But scientist Natalia Polosmak – who discovered the remains of ice-clad ‘Princess Ukok’ high in the Altai Mountains – is also struck about how little has changed in more than two millennia.

‘I think we have not moved far from Pazyryks in how the tattoos are made,’ she told the Siberian Times ( SiberianTimes.com ).

‘It is still about a craving to make yourself as beautiful as possible.’

For example, about the British.

‘A lot of them go on holiday to Greece, and when I’ve been there I heard how Greeks were smiling and saying that a British man’s age can be easily understood by the number of tattoos on his body. 

‘I’m talking the working class now.

‘And I noticed it, too.

‘The older a person, the more tattoos are on his body.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech


BLOOD RED WATER FLOWS IN FRANCE

In the flats of Camargue, the usually blue water turns a very creepy red.

Horror movie scenes and natural phenomena collide in the salt flats of France where the Rhône river meets the sea, creating quite the startling sight.

The high concentration of salt not only turns the water red, but also collects on just about everything.

NY Daily News writes:

At first glance, it might look like a sign of the apocalypse – but scientists say the blood red lakes in southern France are actually a natural phenomenon.

Camargue, France is a river delta where the Rhône meets the sea. The picturesque area is home to numerous salt flats, and it is this concentration of salt that will occasionally stain red the regions normally blue water.

A photographer driving through the region recently stopped to chronicle the incredible blood-red color of the water and the trillions of salt crystals crusting rocks, branches and shoreline.

Though it is unclear how often this phenomenon occurs, salt has been a lifeblood of the region for hundreds of years.

Today, evaporation pans at Salin-de-Giraud, the largest salt extraction city in Europe, extend for thousands of acres and produce some 1,000,000 metric tons of salt per year, according to Languedoc.com.

The area is also home to riz rouge, or red rice, so-named for its unmistakable blood red color.

Read more at nydailynews.com


20,000 MILLION YEAR OLD ANTARCTIC LAKE 12,000FT BELOW ICE HAS BEEN REACHED

The Russian research team made contact with the lake 12,366 feet (3,769 meters) below the ice on Sunday, 05/02/12.

What this looks like to me is the opening scene of a sci-fi horror movie, where the scientists out in the ice deserts of Antarctica break through ancient ice to an underground lake of freshwater that’s been cutoff from the outside world for 20 million years except, nothing scary happened when these guys actually did just that. Bummer?

Msnbc.msn.com writes:

MOSCOW — Opening a scientific frontier miles under the Antarctic ice, Russian experts drilled down and finally reached the surface of a gigantic freshwater lake, an achievement the mission chief likened to placing a man on the moon.

Lake Vostok could hold living organisms that have been locked in icy darkness for some 20 million years, as well as clues to the search for life elsewhere in the solar system.

Touching the surface of the lake, the largest of nearly 400 subglacial lakes in Antarctica, came after more than two decades of drilling. It was a major achievement avidly anticipated by scientists around the world.

“In the simplest sense, it can transform the way we think about life,” NASA’s chief scientist, Waleed Abdalati, told The Associated Press in an email Wednesday.

The Russian team made contact with the lake water Sunday at a depth of 12,366 feet (3,769 meters), about 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) east of the South Pole in the central part of the continent.

Scientists hope the lake might allow a glimpse into microbial life forms that existed before the Ice Age and are not visible to the naked eye. Scientists believe that microbial life may exist in the dark depths of the lake despite its high pressure and constant cold — conditions similar to those believed to be found under the ice crust on Mars, Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s moon Enceladus.

Akin to the space race
Valery Lukin, the head of Russia’s Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, said reaching the lake was akin to the Americans winning the space race in 1969.

“I think it’s fair to compare this project to flying to the moon,” said Lukin, who oversaw the mission and announced its success.

American and British teams are drilling to reach their own subglacial Antarctic lakes, but Columbia University glaciologist Robin Bell said those are smaller and younger than Vostok, which is the big scientific prize.

“It’s like exploring another planet, except this one is ours,” she said.

Read more at msnbc.msn.com


1ST EVER PANORAMIC VIEW OF MARS, FROM MARS!

A panoramic view from the Curiosity Rover inside Gale Crater on mars.

No signs of life, yet.

Here’s a cool video NASA has released of Curiosty’s actual decent on the red planet:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UcGMDXy-Y1I

NASA writes:

PASADENA, Calif. – The first images from Curiosity’s color Mast Camera, or Mastcam, have been received by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The 130 low-resolution thumbnails, which were received Thursday morning, provide scientists and engineers of NASA’s newest Mars rover their first color, horizon-to-horizon glimpse of Gale Crater.

“After a year in cold storage, where it endured the rigors of launch, the deep space cruise to Mars and everything that went on during landing, it is great to see our camera is working as planned,” said Mike Malin, principal investigator of the Mastcam instrument from Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego. “As engaging as this color panorama is, it is important to note this is only one-eighth the potential resolution of images from this camera.”

The Curiosity team also continued to downlink high-resolution black-and-white images from its Navigation Camera, or Navcam. These individual images have been stitched together to provide a high-resolution Navcam panorama, including a glimpse of the rover’s deck. Evident on some portions of the deck are some small Martian pebbles.

“The latest Navcam images show us that the rocket engines on our descent stage kicked up some material from the surface of Mars, several pieces which ended up on our rover’s deck,” said Mike Watkins, mission manager for Curiosity from JPL. “These small pebbles we currently see are up to about 1 centimeter [0.4 inch] in size and should pose no problems for mission operations. It will be interesting to see how long our hitchhikers stick around.”

Curiosity’s color panorama of Gale Crater is online at: http://1.usa.gov/P7VsUw . Additional images from Curiosity are available at: http://1.usa.gov/MfiyD0 .

Read more at nasa.gov/mission_pages


LOST PYRAMIDS OF EGYPT FOUND USING GOOGLE EARTH?

Are these geographical anomalies actual ancient egyptian pyramids?

Certainly you hadn’t thought we found all of Earth’s hidden wonders and ruins of ancient civilizations. In the Amazon Rainforest alone there are at least 60 that we know of and can’t get to, and assuredly hundreds more we haven’t even found yet.

Scouring the extensive imagery available via Google Earth has led to quite few discoveries about our own planet. The most recent being this set of what could possibly be ancient egyptian pyramids.

I09 writes:

Satellite archaeologist Angela Micol believes she may have stumbled upon two previously unidentified pyramid structures by using Google Earth. Located in Egypt, the sites contain distinct features and orientations that definitely suggest the potential presence of pyramids — a prospect that has local archaeologists eager to check it out. The Archaeology News Network reports:

“One of the complex sites contains a distinct, four-sided, truncated, pyramidal shape that is approximately 140 feet in width. This site contains three smaller mounds in a very clear formation, similar to the diagonal alignment of the Giza Plateau pyramids.

The second possible site contains four mounds with a larger, triangular-shaped plateau. The two larger mounds at this site are approximately 250 feet in width, with two smaller mounds approximately 100 feet in width. This site complex is arranged in a very clear formation with the large plateau, or butte, nearby in a triangular shape with a width of approximately 600 feet.”

According to Egyptologist and pyramid expert Nabil Selim, these structures have never been identified — and he notes that one of the proposed sites is similar in size to 13th Dynasty Egyptian pyramids. It’s anticipated that archaeologists will visit the site to conduct what’s called “ground truthing.”

Micol, who is based in Maiden, North Carolina, has been conducting satellite archaeological research for over a decade — and she has made Google Earth her primary tool. The program has helped her document a number of potential archaeological sites, including a potential underwater city off the Yucatan Peninsula.

Read more at i09.com


NEW PARTICLES LET YOU LIVE W/OUT BREATHING

 If you thought science wasn’t as “futuristic” as you thought it’d be after watching all the crazy movies and tv shows we have now-a-days, looks like something pretty incredible is coming down the pipeline!

Gizmodo writes:

This may seem like something out of a science fiction movie: researchers have designed microparticles that can be injected directly into the bloodstream to quickly oxygenate your body, even if you can’t breathe anymore. It’s one of the best medical breakthroughs in recent years, and one that could save millions of lives every year.

The invention, developed by a team at Boston Children’s Hospital, will allow medical teams to keep patients alive and well for 15 to 30 minutes despite major respiratory failure. This is enough time for doctors and emergency personnel to act without risking a heart attack or permanent brain injuries in the patient.

The solution has already been successfully tested on animals under critical lung failure. When the doctors injected this liquid into the patient’s veins, it restored oxygen in their blood to near-normal levels, granting them those precious additional minutes of life.

Read more at gizmodo.com


MAN CRUSHES 6 POLICE CRUISERS WITH TRACTOR

Police officers with 2 of the 6 totaled police cars that were the victim of one mans tractor.

Here’s one way NOT to retaliate when you feel you’ve been wrongly harassed by the local police force. A man in Vermont , Roger Pion, decided driving his tractor of a couple, well more like 6 or 7, police cruisers while they were parked in front of the station was a good way to spend an afternoon.

Huffington Post writes:

When an angry Roger Pion allegedly took a tractor and crushed six police cars and a van last week an unlikely anti-establishment hero was born.

The 34-year-old Vermont man, who pleaded not guilty on Tuesday, has been lionized on Facebook pages, tribute songs and a t-shirt.

The Orleans Sheriff’s Department alleges that Pion, smarting over an earlier arrest for marijuana possession and resisting arrest, destroyed much of their fleet in Newport last Thursday.

Two officers jumped from a cruiser as Pion headed towards them. He was arrested at gunpoint two miles away, the Burlington Free Press reported.

On Facebook, there’s a page called “Roger Pion, the magnificent,” with more than 2,300 fans. Supporters are asked to donate to his defense fund. The page is filled with snarky posts riffing on popular advertising campaigns.

In a parody of the famous milk ads, there’s a photo of Pion’s vehicle and the caption “Got Tractor?” Another shows demolished patrol cars with a tag line lifted from Verizon Wireless, “Can you hear me now?”

A t-shirt with the words “Free Roger Pion” and a picture of a tractor has been created, according to the Associated Press.

Read more at huffingtonpost.com


BRITISH EXPLORER SET TO FIND PIRATES LOST GOLD ON ‘TREASURE ISLAND’

An archaeological expedition is heading to Cocos Island in search of the “Treasure of Lima”, a true life “treasure island” if there ever was one.

The Telegraph writes:

It eluded Franklin Roosevelt, Sir Malcolm Campbell and Errol Flynn, but now an explorer from Melton Mowbray could be on the trail of a multi-million-pound hoard of gold, silver and jewellery stolen by pirates and buried on a treasure island.

Shaun Whitehead is leading an archaeological expedition to Cocos Island, the supposed hiding place of the “Treasure of Lima” – one of the world’s most fabled missing treasures.

The haul – said to be worth £160 million – was stolen by a British trader, Captain William Thompson, in 1820 after he was entrusted to transport it from Peru to Mexico.

He is said to have been stashed his plunder on the Pacific island, from where it has never been recovered.

An original inventory showed 113 gold religious statues, one a life-size Virgin Mary, 200 chests of jewels, 273 swords with jewelled hilts, 1,000 diamonds, solid gold crowns, 150 chalices and hundreds of gold and silver bars.

The site, credited by some as the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, is uninhabited and around 350 miles off the coast of Costa Rica, of which it is a part.

It has also been designated a Unesco World Heritage Site for its unspoilt environment and variety of wildlife and it has taken around 18 months of negotiations with the authorities to secure permission to go there on an exploratory mission.

Although there have been no official expeditions to the island for more than a quarter of a century, Mr Whitehead will join an impressive a line of notable adventurers and explorers who been attracted by the lure of the “Lima loot”.

They include Roosevelt, the American president from 1933 to 1945, who travelled there with friends in 1910, Campbell, the racing driver, who went there in the 1920s, and Flynn in the 1940s.

Another explorer, August Gissler, a German, spent 19 years living on the island hunting the treasure but returned with just six gold coins.

However, Mr Whitehead’s team is equipped with technology that has never before been used on the island. He has also established the most likely spots around the island on which to focus his efforts.

Read more at telegraph.co.uk


AUSTRALIAN X-FILES RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC

Australia has released documents 30 years that describe many encounters with UFOs.

Here comes some interesting info out of the land down-under!

By law in Australia, any government documents 30 years old must be released to the public and there are a few folks scouring those documents for anything interesting, and boy have they found something good!

The Age over in Australia writes:

It is probably the closest Australia has come to scrambling fighter jets to intercept a UFO.

Documents that have just become available under the 30-year rule at the National Archives of Australia reveal how two RAAF Mirage jets were placed on the second highest level of alert to determine the cause of unidentified radar contacts seen on screens at Mascot.

The ”X Files” viewed in Canberra also give details of other unexplained sightings, some of which are supported by witness statements to police.

In the Sydney alert, the papers stamped ”restricted” tell how operation ”Close Encounter” was launched by No.3 Control and Reporting Unit at RAAF Base Williamtown near Newcastle on June 30, 1983, after the phenomenon was first noticed earlier in the month.

Senior air controllers at Mascot said the contacts were mostly located between 70 and 150 nautical miles north of Sydney at ”alleged speeds of 1100-6500 km/h that suggested high altitude”.

The papers state that no scramble was to occur in the round-the-clock operation unless confirmation of any reported tracks was made on the radar screens at RAAF Williamtown or any radar other than Sydney.

At the same time, three senior air defence controllers were dispatched to Sydney to investigate and plot every contact and ”control interceptors against these contacts if a reasonable chance of interception presented itself”. But then one of the defence controllers, a squadron leader, asked whether a comparison had been made of the contacts on the screens of Mascot’s Area Approach Radar Centre and those in a ”workshop across the corridor”. Soon after, tests showed that the ”unidentified objects reported by Sydney were generated entirely by radar interference known colloquially as ‘running rabbits’ ”.

Squadron leader K. Keenan, in his six-page report, said operation Close Encounter cost 66½ days of overtime, 1000 kilometres was travelled by a staff car and a C130 Hercules transport aircraft ”may have been diverted to Sydney airport” to deliver one of the defence controllers.

He wrote: ”The lines of communication, extending as they did across the width of an entire corridor, seem to have been insufficient for the purpose.”

He added rather dryly: ”Fortunately there was no temptation to launch aircraft and add to the fuel bill occasioned by use of the RAAF Datsun.” A cautiously worded statement was released as a result ”in a manner that would not embarrass departmental personnel” which blamed ”random atmospheric conditions”. Other reports in the X Files give details of an ”unidentified physical feature” of circles on Milo Station at Adavale, Queensland, in 1982. The file refers to photographs that apparently were taken, but they were not among the papers.

Constable Geoffrey Russell, from the local police station, visited the site and wrote a report for RAAF Base Amberley near Ipswich. The officer saw depressions in the ground and thought they were caused by a motorcyclist doing donuts but then dismissed the idea.

He wrote: ”I strongly feel this [is] no hoax even though I do not know the cause of this ‘feature’.”

Read more at theage.com.au/technology


MAN LANDS CURIOSITY ROVER ON MARS

The Curiosty Rover has transmitted its' first images of itself on the Mars surface. A place truly alien.

Science and world history was made today when the ‘Curiosity” rover built by NASA finally landed on the rocky red surface of Mars. The scientists and helmsman of the rover went through, what they call ‘7 minutes of Hell’ while it was out of communication during its’ actual descent and landing procedure.

NASA writes:

PASADENA, Calif. — NASA’s most advanced Mars rover Curiosity has landed on the Red Planet. The one-ton rover, hanging by ropes from a rocket backpack, touched down onto Mars Sunday to end a 36-week flight and begin a two-year investigation.

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft that carried Curiosity succeeded in every step of the most complex landing ever attempted on Mars, including the final severing of the bridle cords and flyaway maneuver of the rocket backpack.

“Today, the wheels of Curiosity have begun to blaze the trail for human footprints on Mars. Curiosity, the most sophisticated rover ever built, is now on the surface of the Red Planet, where it will seek to answer age-old questions about whether life ever existed on Mars — or if the planet can sustain life in the future,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “This is an amazing achievement, made possible by a team of scientists and engineers from around the world and led by the extraordinary men and women of NASA and our Jet Propulsion Laboratory. President Obama has laid out a bold vision for sending humans to Mars in the mid-2030’s, and today’s landing marks a significant step toward achieving this goal.”

Curiosity landed at 10:32 p.m. Aug. 5, PDT, (1:32 a.m. EDT Aug. 6) near the foot of a mountain three miles tall and 96 miles in diameter inside Gale Crater. During a nearly two-year prime mission, the rover will investigate whether the region ever offered conditions favorable for microbial life.

“The Seven Minutes of Terror has turned into the Seven Minutes of Triumph,” said NASA Associate Administrator for Science John Grunsfeld. “My immense joy in the success of this mission is matched only by overwhelming pride I feel for the women and men of the mission’s team.”

Curiosity returned its first view of Mars, a wide-angle scene of rocky ground near the front of the rover. More images are anticipated in the next several days as the mission blends observations of the landing site with activities to configure the rover for work and check the performance of its instruments and mechanisms.

“Our Curiosity is talking to us from the surface of Mars,” said MSL Project Manager Peter Theisinger of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “The landing takes us past the most hazardous moments for this project, and begins a new and exciting mission to pursue its scientific objectives.”

Read more at NASA.gov


MEET THE ‘ROYAL FAMILY OF STRANGE PEOPLE’

Gary Stretch has the world's stretchiest skin and holds 11 Guinness World Records.

Everyone, including myself, calls their family ‘weird’. Well, this odd family may have you rethink just how weird yours really is!

The Huffinton Post writes:

Swallowing swords, stretching their skins until you’re forced to turn away, this is the world’s most stupendous collection of human oddities.

This eclectic sideshow cabaret, hailed ‘the Coney Island Freak Show for the 21st century’, has been specially commissioned for Priceless London Wonderground and pushes the boundaries of what the human body can achieve.

Marvel at Gary Stretch – owner of the world’s stretchiest skin (above), or wince at the Space Cowboy, the holder of 11 Guinness World Records, the most recent of which saw him swallow 18 swords in one go.

This smorgasbord of strange is on display at the Southbank Centre until September.

Read more at huffingtonpost.co.uk


NEW PHOTO OF THE LOCH NESS MONSTER SURFACES

Some say this is one of the best photos of the Loch Ness monster ever.

Has Skipper George Edwards finally captured the fabled Nessie on film after 21 years of searching?

The Huffington Post writes:

A sailor who has spent 26 years searching for the Loch Ness Monster has what he believes is the best ever picture taken of the elusive beast.

George Edwards spends around 60 hours a week patrolling the famous loch, taking tourists out on his boat Nessie Hunter IV, and has led numerous hunts for the fabled created over the years.

But this image is the one that’s convinced him that there really is a monster or evenmonsters – out there.

It shows a mysterious dark hump moving in the water towards Urquhart Castle.

“I was just about to return to Temple Pier (in Drumnadrochit) and I went to the back of the boat which was facing the pier and that’s when I saw it,” said Edwards.

The 60-year-old added: “It was slowly moving up the loch towards Urquhart Castle and it was a dark grey colour. It was quite a fair way from the boat, probably about half a mile away but it’s difficult to tell in water.”

After watching the object for five to ten minutes, Edwards said it slowly sank below the surface and never resurfaced.

“I’m convinced I was seeing Nessie as I believe in these creatures. Far too many people have being seeing them for far too long,” he said.

Read more at huffingtonpost.co.uk