April 2011 Archives


Hats off to the Grand Canyon!

Weird Science Friday Links

By Daniel Smith on Apr 29, 11 10:00 AM


Bored at work? Counting down the hours to the weekend?

Then Weird Science can help (as long as the boss doesn't spot ya!).

Weird Science Friday Links give you a nudge towards stuff you'll hopefully find more diverting than the stack of papers in front of you!

Thirty awesomely bad school portraits.

One hundred suns - exploration of A-bomb tests.

Ditch the trainers - running barefoot is the best.

Top ten most valuable records.

How not to clean a window.



Evolution in action has been observed in snails by members of the public taking part in an online science project.

More than 6,000 people from 15 European countries took part in the Open University study, Evolution MegaLab, launched in April 2009 to mark the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth.

Participants were asked to report sightings of banded snails to the MegaLab project via a website address.

More than 7,600 new observations were made in 2009 which were added to historical data collected between 1950 and 1990.

Sunspots move around

By Daniel Smith on Apr 28, 11 12:00 PM

This amazing video captured in February by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows how sunspots surface, change, and grow over time as the forces of both convection and the Sun's powerful magnetic field act upon them.

The time elapsed is about two weeks, or a half rotation of the Sun.

New species of pre-human?

By Daniel Smith on Apr 28, 11 10:03 AM


This spooky image shows the controversial cranium of Australopithecus sediba, unearthed in April 2010 in a South African cave.

Fossils of the bones of the young male and adult female suggests a controversial new species, that walked upright and shared many physical traits with the earliest known human Homo species.

The finding of the pre-human, or hominid, fossils - which scientists say are between 1.78 and 1.95 million years old - is believed to possibly answer some key questions about where humans came from.

Tortoise power!

By Daniel Smith on Apr 27, 11 11:58 PM

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Giant tortoises have rescued the ecology of a tropical island devastated by deforestation in a successful example of "rewilding".

British scientists brought the giant Aldabra tortoise, Aldabrachelys gigantea, to the Ile aux Aigrettes, off Mauritius, to help disperse ebony tree seeds.

Intensive logging that lasted until the early 1980s has decimated the ebony forest which once covered the 25-hectare island.

Earth hangs up on ET

By Daniel Smith on Apr 27, 11 02:56 PM

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A field of radio dishes that look like giant dinner plates have waited for years in the mountains of Northern California for the first call from intelligent life among the stars.

But they are not listening any more because cash-strapped governments, it seems, can no longer pay the interstellar phone bill.

Astronomers at the SETI Institute said a steep drop in state and government funds has forced the shutdown of the Allen Telescope Array, a powerful tool in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, an effort scientists refer to as SETI.

A rose in the heavens

By Daniel Smith on Apr 27, 11 12:00 PM


This image of two interacting galaxies, called Arp 273, has been released NASA in celebration of the 21st anniversary of the Hubble Space Telsescope's launch into space.

Gravitational forces have pulled the objects into the shape of a rose on a stem as seen from Earth's vantage point.

Jetpack sets new flight record

By Daniel Smith on Apr 27, 11 10:00 AM

The jetpack dream is moving upward once again. Martin Aircraft, makers of the Martin Jetpack, have set a new flight duration record with their personal flight device, putting it in the air for seven solid minutes during a recent outdoor test.

At last, the future is nearly here!

Rare white lion cubs born

By Daniel Smith on Apr 26, 11 03:00 PM

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A three-day-old white lion cub takes it easy this week.

Four white lions cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were born in Belgrade Zoo, Serbia.

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Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith - a long time ago, in a galaxy far away just north of Watford, Daniel fancied himself as a scientist but turned out to be the worst scientist since that bloke who mapped out all those canals on Mars that turned out to be scratches on his telescope's lens. Luckily, he is now not working on the Large Hadron Collider inadvertently creating a black hole that would swallow the world but is safely behind a desk writing this blog, bringing you the fantastical underbelly of nature... weird science.

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