Did you just uncover an interesting tidbit of knowledge related to current science? Tell us.
Courtesy Ron Miller Just from watching the opening of Star Trek episodes, we've heard that space is vast. But to we really understand the scale of things comparing our little planet with other planets, stars and galaxies? This collection of illustrations helps grasp those concepts better. Hang on tight!
The lyrebird is an excellent mimicker. Two species of the ground-based songbird (Menura novaehollandiae and Menura alberti) reside in Australia, and can mimic just about any sound they hear with near perfect fidelity. This video, shot at the Healsville Sanctuary lyrebird enclosure, just east of Melbourne, shows just how good this bird is at replicating sound.
Since we're smack dab in the middle of Shark Week, I thought this would be the perfect time to show the exciting time my niece's husband, Todd Redig, of St. Paul, MN had during a recent Florida fishing trip. I would have loved to been on board to see this. Be sure to watch the slowed down version of the event that's at the end of the video.
NOTE: the clip, understandably, contains some mild expletives.
Courtesy Public domain via Mark RyanToday marks the anniversary of the birth of Edward Drinker Cope, American naturalist and paleontologist born 174 years ago in Philadelphia. A child prodigy, Cope had little formal training in the natural sciences yet became very noted in several fields including herpetology, paleontology, and comparative anatomy. He published over 600 scientific papers during his lifetime, and described and named over 1000 prehistoric species, including several dinosaurs. Cope and his former friend, Yale paleontologist Othniel C. Marsh, became bitter rivals and were the principal generals in the famous "Bone Wars" that took place in the field of vertebrate paleontology from the late 1870s until their deaths in the late 1890s. Cope's huge 1000 page and wonderfully illustrated tome, The Vertebrata of the Tertiary Formations of the West is known as "Cope's Bible".
Every summer, we get to see incredible photos of massive mayfly hatchings somewhere along the Mississippi River. This year, however, a huge sudden hatching was captured on the National Weather Service radar based in LaCrosse, Wisc. Click through the link to see this incredible phenomenon.
The U.S. Marines this week demonstrated their new robotic mule in training exercises in Hawaii. The walking robot can carry up to 400 pounds of gear up to 20 miles before needing to be refueled. The Marines are hoping the robot will be able to lighten the loads of ground forces. Pretty cool, huh?
And, of course, Dave Letterman has already come up with a Top Ten list for the robotic mule:
Before the next time you feel like saying someone is as smart as a potted plant, you might want to watch this MinuteEarth video.
Courtesy Mark, Vicki, Ellaura and MasonIt's no surprise, people love taking trips to museums (like ours) to gaze upon the remains of dinosaurs (like ours), even though the non-avian branch of the ruling reptiles is long gone. Not so for artist Rachel Sussman. She likes to travel the world to seek out some of the oldest organisms still populating the Earth. We're not talking Larry King or Abe Vigoda. These things are a bit older and include sea grasses, underground trees, predatory fungus, and other organisms that have been around for more than 2000 years. In her research, Sussman collaborated with biologists and also published a book of photographs she's taken of the various ancient life titled, . You you can see a gallery of some of the photos here. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the gallery page to see and hear Sussman's TedTalk on the subject.
Here is footage from a helmet cam of a base jumper who leaped off 1 World Trade Center in lower Manhattan last fall. This is an illegal activity and three of the four people involved in this jump were arrested yesterday. But the footage is so cool.
Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/TAMUCheck out this NASA photograph of Earth taken January 31st from the surface of Mars by the Curiosity rover. I hope everyone had their eyes open. If you're having trouble making out our dazzling planet in the Martian evening sky, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory page points it (and our moon!) out for you here.