News Briefs 21-01-2005BillFriday, January 21st1 Comment7 min read It’s Friday. Kick back and enjoy the news. Modern birds may have evolved before the mass extinction of the dinosaurs some 65-million years ago. An ancient version of global warming may have been to blame for the the Great Dying, greatest mass extinction in Earth’s history. Damn dinos and their SUVs. Gladiators in Rome were more show business than slaughter. Danish archaeologists are in search of Vikings in Iran. One of the thousands of victims of the Nazi regime’s program to kill mentally ill people was a relative of Adolf Hitler. Controversial research reveals differences between the brains of men and women. The EU said Thursday it will bring the food and advertising industry together with health officials to contain the increasing problem of obesity in Europe, where one out of every four children is obese. Hey fat boy, researchers have discovered the fat gene. Scientists find natural mosquito repellent. Some of us stink. Mystery compound in beer fights cancer. Scientists have identified the gene that controls other cancer-causing genes. When the tongue slips, the eyes have it. Rat cells grown onto microscopic silicon chips worked as tiny robots, perhaps a first step towards a self-assembling device. UA professor Gary E. Schwartz has put Allison Dubois’ psychic abilities to the test. “There is no question this is not a fraud,” he says. US scientists have discovered a way to make plastics from orange peel, using the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. Some of the world’s most endangered plants have a firmer grasp on survival than anyone had suspected until now. The world’s largest iceberg appears to have run aground near Antarctica, posing more problems to scientific bases and penguin colonies, where tens of thousands of chicks face starvation. Transvestite cuttlefish have a better chance of mating. As I told my daughter, every guy, even a cuttlefish, has a plan. How do we explain a disaster that kills hundreds of thousands of people, but animals are spared by a sixth sense. Written records of animals, predominantly amphibians, found encased in solid rock date back to at least the 16th century. Birds of prey fly to ancient city’s rescue. Shrieking frogs unnerve Hawaiian island. I’ve never cared much for shrieking frogs either. Pennsylvania neighbors feud over Darwin and Intelligent Design. A tsunami warning system for the Indian Ocean will be set up by 2006. Anti-windfarm protestors are expected to be out in force this week as councilors debate contentious proposals for a giant turbine development near Blairgowrie. Researchers report that bubble fusion results have been replicated. Modern scientists succeed in the quest for immortality. Hey Americans, why does everyone hate us? Paranoid hatred of the United States is nothing new. Hating America: A History, an enlightening new book places contemporary hatred of America in historical context, available from Amazon US and UK. You knew this was coming with the touch-down on Titan, all those hydrocarbons, and nary a dead dinosaur. Does deep-Earth host untapped fuel? The 22 January 2005 issue of New Scientist is now available. There’s lots of cool articles that beckon your perusal. Madagascar’s witch-doctors talk to the dead. If they feel like it, they will answer him. Indonesians turn to mystics in search of missing tsunami victims. Hey dad, can we stop by Earth for some delicious cow lips? Unexplained bull and cow mutilations continue. A computer model predicts that a 150 sq. mile asteroid will hit the Earth in 65 years. Oops! An Idaho Professor’s Saturn experiment, 18-years in the making, was forgotten. Titan welcomes new visitors. Cosmic crud may be the solution to a nagging forty-year-old mystery, say space dust researchers. It’s all in a day’s work. Eat Chinese takeout, save planet Earth. A massive object calls planet discoveries into question. Scientists have lifted the veil of obscuring dust to view the galactic center, revealing a beautiful vista swarming with stars. Cassini finds high-speed dust streaming from Saturn. Large planetoids may have formed hundreds of times farther from the Sun than previously thought. Jupiter-sized blobs of hot gas embedded in streams of material ejected from hyperactive galaxies known as blazars move close to the speed of light. Space is humankind’s natural environment. Thanks Greg. Quote of the Day: Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools. 1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard’s revolutionary rocket work.