Monthly Archives: February 2007

Spear-wielding killer chimps are hunting other primates!

No, it’s not a scene from Planet of the Apes, and it’s not the nightmare you’ll have after spending too much time in your zoo’s primate house. It’s actually the results of research described in a paper recently published in Current Biology. The paper by Jill Pruetz and Paco Bertolani describes the behavior of a troop of savannah chimps in the Fongoli area of southeast Senegal, in western Africa. The Fongoli chimps make wooden spears in a four- or five-step process, then use the spears to hunt down bushbabies… Continue reading

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Episode 1 — What is "science?"

It’s always a good idea to start at the beginning, so I thought the first “real” podcast episode ought to cover some of the basics. This week’s episode tries to answer two basic questions — what is science, and how do you tell the difference between “science” and “not science?” Continue reading

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It's good to be back in scouting…

You know, it’s been a few years since I was a Boy Scout, so it’s nice that there’s now an organization for older, science-minded types who still have a soft spot for merit badges. The folks over at the SCQ (Science Creative Quarterly) have started the Science Scouts (or more fully, the Order Of The Science Scouts Of Exemplary Repute and Above Average Physique, or OOTSSOERAAAP).Below, I’ve listed the Science Scouts badges that I’ve earned to date (you know, in case you were actually curious about it), each linked to its Science Scout Handbook description and with the badge name in “hover” text. Continue reading

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Good "Sciencey" Blog Carnivals

There are some good blog carnivals available for your reading pleasure this month, I thought I’d take a moment to talk about them…For those new to the idea, blog carnivals are like traveling road-shows of blogging goodness — each has a given subject area, and each moves from blog to blog on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. This gives readers a bit more variety in their “fodder” than they’d normally see, and it gives bloggers a chance to show their work before a variety of new (to them) readers… Continue reading

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Now repeat after me — "awwwwwww….."

In a victory for romantics everywhere, researchers in Italy have decided not to split up what now has to be the world’s most famous skeletal couple. The two were buried together, embracing, between 5,000 and 6,000 years ago in what is now northern Italy.They’re felt to be young (since they still have all their teeth), and the presumption is they were a pair of young lovers buried in a tender embrace. Continue reading

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"Hiking maps" for Mars

Today, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced that they had produced the first “hiking maps” of Mars — essentially, topographic maps…. Continue reading

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Episode 0 — Welcome to the Podcast

Just a quick little audio welcome to the podcast — this serves both as an introduction to the podcast, as well as a guinea pig to test out my podcast work flow…. Continue reading

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Encouraging progress for JWST

The BBC is reporting that the last mirror segment has been machined for the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for launch in 2013. JWST is a huge infrared telescope — the mirror is so big (6.6m / 22ft in diameter) that it can’t fit in any launch vehicle, and so has to be built in segments and essentially unfolded once in space…. Continue reading

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The ultimate science fair project — build your own volcano

I can still remember the fun I had as a kid, making a semi-functional model of a volcano for a science fair. The subject of today’s post, though, wasn’t a science fair project — it was a completely avoidable and very damaging accident. Back in May of 2006, a crew was drilling an exploratory natural gas well on the island of Java when they had a REALLY bad day…. Continue reading

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How Not to Leave a Legacy

It’s kind of funny what happens when you go out of your way to NOT get bipartisan support for a marquis program — as soon as the “other guys” get into office, they turn around and gore your ox. Back … Continue reading

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