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You don't see this every day - a new land mass forming right before your eyes. This video shows a giant shield volcano erupting beneath the Red Sea and forming an island on the surface. Fishermen from Yemen first noticed erupting magma about a month ago, and now an island has appeared, adding to the chain of islands called the Zubair Island Group. The huge volcano sets on a rift where the African and Arabian continental plates are pulling away from each other. More information can be found on the Smithsonian Science website.
You can't make this stuff up. As reported in a recent Scientific American article:
"PepsiCo, [Mountain Dew]'s parent company, defended itself against a man who claimed he found a dead mouse in a can of the citrus soda. Experts called in by PepsiCo's lawyers offered a stomach-churning explanation for why it couldn't be true: the Mountain Dew would have dissolved the mouse, turning it into a 'jelly-like substance,' had it been in the can of fluid from the time of its bottling until the day the plaintiff opened it, 15 months later.
Forget legal disputes over canned vermin. The new question has become: Is Mountain Dew really so corrosive that it can dissolve a mouse carcass? And if so, what does it do to your teeth and intestines?"
Courtesy Mollivan Jon via FlickrLast year you may remember, Thor posted a story about thousands of dead blackbirds found in the small town of Beebe, Arkansas on New Year's Day. Looks like history has repeated itself as a number of dead birds have been discovered there again this year. On the bright side, the death toll in this latest event was only about 50 or 60 birds; about one percent of the number that died last year. Authorities blame the phenomenon on loud New Year's Eve fireworks that startled the birds from their roosts and caused them to fly disoriented into buildings, trees, or even the ground. This is good news.It means the strange event has nothing to do with the 2012 end of the world allegedly predicted by the Mayan calendar.
This is worth sharing.
Courtesy NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)Hey look! Somebody made a snow angel in outer space! How appropriate and wonderful it should occur during this festive holiday season. This remarkable image was captured by the Hubble Telescope, and actually shows a star-making region of our Milky Way galaxy some 2000 light-years away in the direction of the constellation Cygnus. It’s a nebula (known as Sharples 2-106) that contains massive clouds of gas spreading across several light-years of space. The imagined perception of images (religious or otherwise) in nature or in ordinary, everyday objects isn’t something new. The Ancient Greeks called it simulacra and there’s even a scientific explanation for the phenomena . Still, it’s a pretty dang cool-looking celestial image, apropos for the season, and another item to add to the list.
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons When is cash money like a Blue Morpho butterfly? When the manufacturers of said cash money are inspired by the ultra-cool iridescent nano-qualities of said butterfly's wings to make cash money nearly-impossible to counterfeit. Three cheers for the powers of biomimicry!
So what's happening here?
Courtesy F. Nijhout, Duke University The Blue Morpho is unique because its vibrant color isn't due to pigment - it's due to a very special structure of the wings that reflects light in a very specific way. If you wet the butterfly's wings, or light the wings from behind, they look completely different - no longer the shock of gorgeous blue - because the light reflects off the wing structure differently.
Since it's highly unlikely that counterfeiters are going to have,
Courtesy Shinya Yoshioka, Osaka University or have access to, the equipment to replicate or design their own comparable nano-structures any time soon, this counts as a win for governments.
Well at least researchers at MIT can. You can watch the video below or see it on their website along with even more information.
The European Union has passed a law which prohibits manufacturers from claiming that drinking water prevents dehydration.
Only a few days after Google published satellite photographs of possibly secret nuclear facilities in Iran, new images of obviously manmade structures have been spotted in the Gobi desert in China. All of the structures are located in northwestern China, near the borders of Xinjiang and Gansu province. This is an area that China uses for its military, space and nuclear programs.
In this Google Map image, burnt-out vehicles can be see seen in what is speculated to be a military training facility. Northwest of that site can be seen an additional manmade facility. Another image reveals what appear to be large manmade bodies of water. This radial structure may be a targeting site.