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An Alien? October 18, 2007

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The latest Cosmic Discovery: Say hello to Frank July 21, 2007

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There’s mighty Jupiter, dubbed after the paramount god of Roman mythology. Pluto, whose name was inspired by the god of the underworld. Mercury, its title bestowed in honor of the winged messenger.

Then there’s Frank.


The oddball name has been temporarily given to Saturn’s 60th moon, the European Space Agency (ESA) said here on Friday.

The newly-discovered satellite of the Solar System’s second largest planet was spotted by astronomers led by Carl Murray of Queen Mary College at the University of London. (more)…

Unlock your car with a Tennis Ball July 15, 2007

Posted by ionicflux in Discovery, Entertainment, Video.
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iPhone Field Test Mode Lets You Spy On The AT&T Network July 14, 2007

Posted by ionicflux in Discovery, Gadgets.
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Interesting AT&T stuff you can get by dialing *3001#12345#* on your iPhone

Richard Baguley, chief cellular ninja over at WirelessInfo.com, just published a number that, when called, turns your iPhone into a mobile field testing station. Suddenly, up pops a new menu (as you can see on our own iPhone at left) that provides detailed reporting on strengths and characteristics of the cell towers in your area, plus a load of other nerdy networky factoids. In other words, you can see things that AT&T might not want you to see…(more)

UFO The Greatest Story Ever Denied November 7, 2006

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[gv data=”http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=-3116615689929270034&hl=en&playerMode=embedded”%5D%5B/gv%5D

The Beauty of Math November 3, 2006

Posted by ionicflux in Discovery.
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1 x 8 + 1 = 9
12 x 8 + 2 = 98
123 x 8 + 3 = 987
1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876
12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765
123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654
1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543
12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432
123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321

1 x 9 + 2 = 11
12 x 9 + 3 = 111
123 x 9 + 4 = 1111
1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111
12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111
123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111
1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111
12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111
123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111

9 x 9 + 7 = 88
98 x 9 + 6 = 888
987 x 9 + 5 = 8888
9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888
98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888
987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888
9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888
98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

Brilliant, isn’t it?
And finally, take a look at this symmetry:

1 x 1 = 1
11 x 11 = 121
111 x 111 = 12321
1111 x 1111 = 1234321
11111 x 11111 = 123454321
111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321
11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321
111111111 x 111111111=123456789 87654321

Big Bang theory saved October 29, 2006

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An apparent discrepancy in the Big Bang theory of the universe’s evolution has been reconciled by astrophysicists examining the movement of gases in stars.


Professor John Lattanzio from Monash’s School of Mathematical Sciences and Director of the Centre for Stellar and Planetary Astrophysics said the confusion surrounding the Big Bang revolved around the amount of the gas Helium 3 in the universe.

“The Big Bang theory predicts a certain amount of Helium 3 in the universe,” Professor Lattanzio said. “The trouble is, low mass stars (about one to two times the size of our sun) also make Helium 3 as a side product of burning the hydrogen in their cores.

“It’s been thought that when the star becomes a giant it mixes the helium 3 to its surface and, near the end of its life, spews the helium 3 into space just before it becomes a planetary nebula.

“But there are inconsistencies with the amount of Helium 3 predicted to be in the universe and the amount that’s actually there; there’s much less than expected.”

Some scientists have theorised that the rapid rotation of low mass stars destroys the helium 3 they produce. But computer models that have included this rotation, while showing some destruction of helium 3, have not been able to reconcile the Big Bang theory.

Professor Lattanzio, in collaboration with Dr Peter Eggleton and Dr David Dearborn from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories in the US, ran 3D computer models of a red giant’s life on some of the world’s fastest computers to investigate whether there was some sort of gaseous mixing occurring in stars that destroyed Helium 3.

Their findings have been published in today’s issue of the international journal Science.

Near the end of a star’s life there is a ‘core flash’ and it was at around this time that the computer models revealed a small instability in the movement of the gases in the star. “When we looked at this in 3D we found this hydrodynamic instability caused mixing and destroyed the helium 3 so that none was released into space,” Professor Lattanzio said.

“This apparent problem with the Big Bang has been solved – the helium 3 in the universe comes from the Big Bang and low mass stars, although they produce helium 3, do not release any into the universe because they destroy it.”

British scientists grow human liver in a laboratory October 19, 2006

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liver02.jpg British scientists have grown the world’s first artificial liver from stem cells in a breakthrough that will one day provide entire organs for transplant.

The technique that created the ‘mini-liver’, currently the size of a one pence piece, will be developed to create a full-size functioning liver.

Described as a ‘Eureka moment’ by the Newcastle University researchers, the tissue was created from blood taken from babies’ umbilical cords just a few minutes after birth.

As it stands, the mini organ can be used to test new drugs, preventing disasters such as the recent ‘Elephant Man’ drug trial. Using lab-grown liver tissue would also reduce the number of animal experiments.

Within five years, pieces of artificial tissue could be used to repair livers damaged by injury, disease, alcohol abuse and paracetamol overdose.

100,000-year-old remains of giant camel discovered in Syria October 8, 2006

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camel.jpgSwiss researchers have discovered the 100,000-year-old remains of a previously unknown giant camel species in central Syria.

“This is a big discovery, a revolution in science,.” Professor Jean-Marie Le Tensorer of the University of Basel told Reuters. “It was not known that the dromedary was present in the Middle East more than 10,000 years ago.”

“Can you imagine? The camel’s shoulders stood three metres (yards) high and it was around four metres tall, as big as a giraffe or an elephant. Nobody knew that such a species had existed.”

Where Words Come From October 6, 2006

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The English language has developed from an Anglo-Saxon base of common words: household words, parts of the body, common animals, natural elements, most pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions and auxiliary verbs. Other modern words in English have developed from five sources. These are discussed below.

Words Created From Nothing

Examples of words that have just appeared in the language out of nothing are byte, dog (replacing the earlier hund), donkey, jam, kick, log, quasar, googol, and yuppie. The latter is an acronym (a word made from its initials).Shakespere coined over 1600 words including countless, critical, excellent, lonely, majestic, obscene.

From Ben Johnson we got damp, from Isaac Newton centrifugal and from Thomas More: explain and exact.

Words Created In Error

The vegetable pease was thought to be a plural so that the individual item in the pod was given the name pea. The verb laze was erroneously created from the adjective lazy. The word buttonhole was a mis-hearing of button-hold.