Cool and Interesting News & Such.

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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Tawmis » Tue May 24, 2011 2:38 pm

That's no clump of dirt... wrote:http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/201 ... stodonhair

Earlier this year, Linda Azaroff's fourth-grade class received a 2.2-pound (1-kilogram) box containing what one student described as a "clump of dirt."

But this wasn't just any dirt — it was sediment, or matrix, collected from a backyard in Hyde Park, N.Y., in 2000, where a project to deepen a backyard pond uncovered the remains of a mastodon — an extinct elephantlike animal. Working under a deadline, but not wanting to miss any important pieces, excavators carted away about 22,000 pounds (10,000 kg) of matrix from around the bones, more than they could realistically sort through in the years to come. [25 Amazing Ancient Beasts]

The excavators turned to citizen scientists volunteering for the Mastodon Matrix Project, which enlists school classes, hobbyists, families and other volunteers scour the matrix from mastodon excavations. Since 2008 alone, more than 3,500 participants from around the U.S. have worked on matrix from Hyde Park.

"One of the huge limiting things form a scientific standpoint is we often don't have the staff time either from interns or scientists themselves to go through all of this stuff," said Carlyn Buckler, an education and outreach associate at the Paleontological Research Institution (PRI), which operates the Mastodon Matrix Project. "The more data we can get, the more complete a picture we will come up with about the environment."

This approach isn't unique; students and other citizen scientists can contribute their time and effort to a variety of projects, from recording road kill to counting stars. In return, volunteers get hands-on experience with science and the chance to contribute to real research projects.

Fourth-grade paleontologists

Now the fourth-graders at Landisville Intermediate Center in Pennsylvania had a chance to become paleontologists, and they had plenty of expectations about what they would find in the matrix.

"I thought we'd find some teeth," said Ian Stringer. "I thought we were going to find some small bones and wings of a butterfly, maybe," said Nolan Deck. "Plants or leaves and sticks," said Melissa Grube.

The matrix arrived with a set of instructions that guided the class through the same basic process — such as sifting through samples with their fingers and toothpicks — professional paleontologists would use as they searched for bits of the 11,500-year-old mastodon along with shells, twigs, seeds and other fossils. The finds were weighed, bagged and returned to PRI in New York.

A fourth-grade class doesn’t typically have the most sophisticated scientific equipment, but the students were armed with plastic magnifying glasses.

"We found these tiny shells that were swirly and white," said Caitlyn Cazad during a Skype video interview with LiveScience. "Some of them would break easily."

"I found a big stick, it looked a little like a root, it had little things coming off it," said Jack Reichler.

A memorable find

The students all agreed on their favorite find: an 8-inch long hair that turned up in Elliot De La Torre's matrix. He described it as black and really stiff.

"It could not have been a human hair," he said.

All of the students examined the hair, which had been embedded in the soil, through their magnifying glasses and found that it did not resemble human, dog or cat hair, Azaroff recounted. The conclusion was unavoidable: It came from the mastodon.

"The children felt they had touched and handled something that was thousands of years old," she wrote in an email.

Others have found hairs in their matrix samples, however, few have been positively identified as a mastodon's, according to Buckler. It's possible the hairs could have come from a number of mammals living at the time, she wrote in an email.

The results

Once PRI receives sorted samples, researchers further identify what they have found, naming twigs or shells by species, for example. Everything is catalogued and some items join a reference collection from the excavation. Researchers with questions about life or the environment during this time can look to this collection for answers.

An assessment of 36 samples returned from citizen scientists found that, after some additional sorting and corrections, the volunteers turned up similar results to those that paleontologists would find. The researchers found the abundance of finds in broad categories — such as total mollusks — varied depending on students' recognition of objects, their thoroughness, and, most likely, how they processed the samples. But within the broad categories, the abundance of specific types of organisms — such as types of freshwater mollusks — appeared consistent, both among most citizen scientist samples and with professionals' work on similar samples.

Part of the goal of the Mastodon Matrix project is to give students and the public an opportunity to scour the dirt and attempt to answer open-ended questions about its content, just like scientists. For Ms. Azaroff's class, the experience appeared to have left quite an impression. Half a year after returning their sample, the students remembered their work vividly.

"The hardest part was probably actually seeing the stuff," because it's so tiny, said Ben Henry. "The best part was trying to figure out what things were there because I really never saw those things in my life before," said Diamondli Lopez. "I liked it when I got dirty," said Kyle Luong.

The Mastodon Matrix Project — which uses samples from three excavations — began in 1999 as a collaboration between PRI and Cornell University, after the excavation of a mastodon in Chemung County, N.Y., that fall.
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby audiodane » Tue May 24, 2011 5:16 pm

Tawmis wrote:
Rogue Planets wrote:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20110518/ ... tswithsuns

Image

Astronomers have discovered a whole new class of alien planet: a vast population of Jupiter-mass worlds that float through space without any discernible host star, a new study finds.


I'm sorry, but I absolutely love stories like this -- scientists find something that okay, SOMEBODY theorized, but NOBODY believed was apparently this common. God's up there saying, "take THAT!" and just sits back and watches... laughing... :)

But just on that "somebody's theorized" ... I mean com'n, I could sit down and write a dozen wacky and wild theories and one day, ONE DAY, 100 years from now, if one of them is remotely close to an actual finding, BOOM, I'm a genius!

I'm off to write theory #1: micro black holes can and do exist everywhere, including within our own solar system

..dane
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Tawmis » Tue May 24, 2011 5:28 pm

audiodane wrote:
Tawmis wrote:Image


I'm sorry, but I absolutely love stories like this -- scientists find something that okay, SOMEBODY theorized, but NOBODY believed was apparently this common. God's up there saying, "take THAT!" and just sits back and watches... laughing... :)

But just on that "somebody's theorized" ... I mean com'n, I could sit down and write a dozen wacky and wild theories and one day, ONE DAY, 100 years from now, if one of them is remotely close to an actual finding, BOOM, I'm a genius!

I'm off to write theory #1: micro black holes can and do exist everywhere, including within our own solar system

..dane


I love those kinds of stories. Science.com is an awesome site.

Unrelated, but here's another one I just got off science.com ...

The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of Racism? wrote:Despite ongoing racial disparities in America, whites believe they are victims of racism more than blacks, a new study finds.

According to the researchers, the study contradicts the notion of a "post-racial" society ushered in by President Barack Obama's election.

"It's a pretty surprising finding when you think of the wide range of disparities that still exist in society, most of which show black Americans with worse outcomes than whites in areas such as income, home ownership, health and employment," study researcher Samuel Sommers, a psychologist at Tufts University, said in a statement.

Sommers and his colleagues asked a nationwide sample of 208 blacks and 209 whites to complete questionnaires asking how much racial discrimination each group experienced from the 1950s onward. While both groups agreed on the amount of racial discrimination in the 50s, whites believe that racism against blacks decreased faster than blacks do. [Read: Rare Individuals Have No Racial Biases]

The biggest difference, however, was that whites believe that anti-white bias has increased as anti-black bias has decreased. On average, the researchers found, whites rated anti-white racism as more prevalent in the 2000s than anti-black bias by more than a full point on a 10-point scale. Eleven percent of whites said whites are currently "very much" targets of discrimination, compared with 2 percent of blacks who said blacks are "very much" discrimination targets.

The study suggests that whites see racial equality as a zero-sum game, in which one group wins at the other's expense.

"These data are the first to demonstrate that not only do whites think more progress has been made toward equality than do blacks, but whites also now believe that this progress is linked to a new inequality — at their expense," Sommers and his colleagues wrote in May in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science.
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Collector » Tue May 24, 2011 11:28 pm

Tawmis wrote:
The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of Racism? wrote:Despite ongoing racial disparities in America, whites believe they are victims of racism more than blacks, a new study finds.

According to the researchers, the study contradicts the notion of a "post-racial" society ushered in by President Barack Obama's election.

"It's a pretty surprising finding when you think of the wide range of disparities that still exist in society, most of which show black Americans with worse outcomes than whites in areas such as income, home ownership, health and employment," study researcher Samuel Sommers, a psychologist at Tufts University, said in a statement.

Sommers and his colleagues asked a nationwide sample of 208 blacks and 209 whites to complete questionnaires asking how much racial discrimination each group experienced from the 1950s onward. While both groups agreed on the amount of racial discrimination in the 50s, whites believe that racism against blacks decreased faster than blacks do. [Read: Rare Individuals Have No Racial Biases]

The biggest difference, however, was that whites believe that anti-white bias has increased as anti-black bias has decreased. On average, the researchers found, whites rated anti-white racism as more prevalent in the 2000s than anti-black bias by more than a full point on a 10-point scale. Eleven percent of whites said whites are currently "very much" targets of discrimination, compared with 2 percent of blacks who said blacks are "very much" discrimination targets.

The study suggests that whites see racial equality as a zero-sum game, in which one group wins at the other's expense.

"These data are the first to demonstrate that not only do whites think more progress has been made toward equality than do blacks, but whites also now believe that this progress is linked to a new inequality — at their expense," Sommers and his colleagues wrote in May in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science.

It would be even more telling to see a demographical breakdown of this study. I am sure that you would see this more pronounced in the areas that the Tea Party has gained traction, as this seems to be a large factor in their motivation.
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby DeadPoolX » Wed May 25, 2011 3:01 am

The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of Racism? wrote:The study suggests that whites see racial equality as a zero-sum game, in which one group wins at the other's expense.

Unfortunately, this is somewhat true. Movements that begin with equality often turn their agendas toward superiority.
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Rath Darkblade » Thu May 26, 2011 7:46 am

audiodane wrote:I'm sorry, but I absolutely love stories like this -- scientists find something that okay, SOMEBODY theorized, but NOBODY believed was apparently this common. God's up there saying, "take THAT!" and just sits back and watches... laughing... :)


Pardon me for butting in, but does anybody else have a problem with this idea that God... might be... messing with our heads...? I mean, how could you sleep at night with a thought like that? :|

I don't know if God exists, or what kind of god he/she/it might be, but if there is some kind of superior intelligence behind it all, I think I'd prefer to think of him/her/it as slightly amused at (and bemused by) human beings, rather like Terry Pratchett's Death. Of course, depending on your religion and degree of faith in said religion, YMMV. ;)

That said, I too am absolutely fascinated with stories about new scientific discoveries in space, and have been ever since I read Asimov's astronomy books at a young age. Personally, though, I do not ascribe such discoveries to a deity that decided it might be fun to laugh at us. That sounds far too cruel (and may I say, childish?) for a deity to do. :(

Thoughts?
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby audiodane » Thu May 26, 2011 10:25 am

Rath Darkblade wrote:
audiodane wrote:I'm sorry, but I absolutely love stories like this -- scientists find something that okay, SOMEBODY theorized, but NOBODY believed was apparently this common. God's up there saying, "take THAT!" and just sits back and watches... laughing... :)


Pardon me for butting in, but does anybody else have a problem with this idea that God... might be... messing with our heads...? I mean, how could you sleep at night with a thought like that? :|


haha.. :) My faith in God is extremely strong, vivid, and real. The bible tells us that God created mankind in his own image, which means he created humor, anger, and every other emotion. (sidebar: anger itself is not a sin; its the bad choices that we make IN our anger that may be sinful; Jesus got angry in the Temple but did not sin in his anger.) So I can think of no reason why God does not also have a sense of humor. Of course his sense of humor would not be sadist in nature, but I could easily imagine that he allows things to happen (good and bad) that help point mankind towards believing that God does in fact exist. It becomes difficult to explain the second part (that bad things are allowed to happen). I believe I have an understanding of it but my understanding probably wouldn't make much sense to a non-believer (please, no offense intended).

Back on topic with an analogy. If you have children, have you ever wanted to show them something that totally blows their mind, and you are humored and warmed by their sense of awe and wonder at what you show them? It could be as simple as showing your son/daughter how totally AWESOME a new power tool is, or videotaping and playing back at high-speed a caterpillar entering the chrysalis stage and emerging as a butterfly (both of those I've done), or any other example you could think of. The fact is, you weren't so much KEEPING the truth from them about power tools or butterflies as much as just waiting until they were old enough to understand what they were seeing. Butterflies have been living and dying for "a few" years now, but to my kids, the year we raised butterflies in our house, it was the first time they ever experienced anything like that. It was quite a "new discovery" to them.

Rath Darkblade wrote:I don't know if God exists, or what kind of god he/she/it might be


I can answer that for you... :D But it wouldn't do any good until you came to that same conclusion yourself.. :)

Rath Darkblade wrote:That said, I too am absolutely fascinated with stories about new scientific discoveries in space, and have been ever since I read Asimov's astronomy books at a young age. Personally, though, I do not ascribe such discoveries to a deity that decided it might be fun to laugh at us. That sounds far too cruel (and may I say, childish?) for a deity to do. :(

Thoughts?


I think laughing at someone can have very different connotations. When I suggested that God was laughing at us, I did not mean in the sense that he's making fun of us. More along the lines of what I described above, a laughing as in taking pleasure at our bewilderment and awe of what He just revealed to us in a new scientific discovery. He knows exactly how the universe works and what is and isn't there, and -- if I might diverge with dane's personal theology moment of the day -- he decides when and how to reveal things to us throughout all of history.

My belief in God boils down to this question: if He created everything, and knows everything, then is God ever "surprised" about anything? If you answer yes, then God cannot be omnipotent (all knowing) and we must drop-kick this God and find out what's BIGGER than God that IS omnipotent and follow THAT God. If you answer no, then you must acknowledge that God is never surprised and does in fact know all things, including things yet to come, including when and how we will "discover" new things. (in quotes because it's only us that are "discovering" something new, God knew about it all along, so it's really nothing "new" at all but just our understanding of it that is new.) And why wouldn't he take pleasure in our ability to learn and be in awe and wonder over things we figure out as we "grow up?" :)

Just a thought (or two) ...

..dane
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Tawmis » Thu May 26, 2011 2:59 pm

After 3 Weeks - Dog Crawls Home After Tornado - With Two Broken Legs. wrote:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/2 ... 67125.html

This little guy makes the animals from Homeward Bound look like they achieved nothing.

Almost three weeks after deadly tornadoes ripped through Alabama, this dog finally returned home. With two broken legs.

Mason, as WAVY-TV 10 refers to the dog, was blown away during the storms. He had been hiding in a garage when the storm picked him up and blew him away on April 27th.

Perhaps most astounding was the extent of Mason's injuries.

"They've not been able to be in alignment so neither one of them have healed, so he had to crawl on two broken legs to get home," said veterinary Dr. Barbara Benhart.

"This is probably the most dramatic we've seen as far as an injury in an animal that's survived this long," said Phil Doster, an animal-shelter worker.

The owners had all but given up on finding the dog when they returned home on Monday, but there he was, sitting on the front porch, according to ABC7. The distance and lengths he traveled to get home remain a mystery.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6A1UBLK ... r_embedded


Now, first, that's a freaking remarkable story. But what blows my mind is the people gave the dog to the shelter. Now I get - they've lost everything. Their home is destroyed. And their jobs may be lost as well (if those buildings were destroyed). And they may be staying at a hotel, or somewhere where they don't allow dogs - but if, after a natural disaster like that, Odin disappeared, and crawled back home - 3 weeks later - on two broken feet no less! I don't know that I could hand the dog over. I mean... Is there any greater proof of love than what this dog did? All it wanted was it's family, and sadly the family couldn't care for it. :( A touching story, but one that breaks my heart as well.

On a much cheerier note - what happens when a lioness in South Africa steals your camcorder?
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Tawmis » Thu May 26, 2011 8:06 pm

Did you hear that explosion? wrote:LONDON – A group of researchers claim they've found the most distant explosion ever detected, a pulse of high energy radiation sent by a disintegrating star near the very edge of the observable universe.

The stellar blast was first spotted by a NASA satellite in April 2009, but researchers announced Wednesday that they have since gathered data placing it more than 13 billion light years away — meaning that the event took place when the universe was still in its infancy.

Andrew Levan, one of the scientists behind the discovery, said this blast from the past blew open a window onto the universe's early years, showing that massive stars were already dying within the first few hundred million years of the birth of the universe.

This particular explosion wasn't a supernova but a gamma ray burst, the name given to a short but powerful pulse of high energy radiation. Such bursts, thought to result from the collapse of massive stars into black holes, shoot jets of energy across the universe.

Charles Meegan, a NASA researcher in gamma ray astronomy, said that a typical burst "puts out in a few seconds the same energy expended by the sun in its whole 10 billion year life span."

"You can't get your arms around that very easily," he said. "I can't. And I've been thinking about it for decades," added Meegan, who was not involved in the research.

Not only are gamma ray bursts more powerful than supernovae, they're faster too — typically lasting only a few seconds or minutes. They work differently as well. Whereas a supernova spreads its radiation all around, gamma ray bursts shoot it out in narrow beams, like a laser, which can make them hard to detect.

NASA's Neil Gehrels, who serves as the lead scientist on Swift, the gamma-ray detecting satellite which first picked up the distant burst's signal, said that "we only see about one in 1,000 of all the gamma ray bursts that go off."

So when a promising one comes along, scientists take note.

The University of Warwick's Levan said he was at an early morning meeting in Sweden on April 29, 2009, when his phone went off, alerting him to the explosion. From that moment on, it was a race against time. Gamma ray bursts come and go far too quickly for telescopes, but their afterglows linger for a little while longer and can be analyzed by astronomers.

Levan rushed out of the meeting.

"Fortunately the office was next door," he said. "So I was able to rush into the building and get online."

There Levan got a little less lucky. Some of the world's most powerful telescopes were soon tasked with tracking the burst, but the view from Chile's La Silla Observatory was hampered by unfavorable atmospheric conditions, while two Hawaiian telescopes — Gemini North and the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope — were buffeted by high winds. Chile's Very Large Telescope managed to train its eye on the sky for a while, but by then it was already getting light.

The glitches deprived Levan's team of some important data, but they spent the next two years painstakingly trying to build context and double-check their observations. His paper, due to published soon in Astrophysical Journal, stated with 90 percent certainty that the gamma ray burst had been spotted between 13.11 billion and 13.16 billion light years away.

Gehrels, whose satellite identified the burst but who wasn't involved in the paper, said he believed Levan was right — praising his team's "careful analysis."

But other outside experts said they were skeptical. Richard Ellis, a professor of astronomy at the California Institute of Technology, called the discovery "potentially very exciting" but said that there wasn't enough data to justify such a bullish estimate. In any case, he warned of the difficulties associated with peering across such a vast distance.

"This is plonk at the frontier, where we have very little idea what's going on," he said.

Richard McMahon, a professor of astronomy at Cambridge University, made a similar point, pointing out that the mechanics of how gamma ray bursts occurred were still too little understood to rule out the possibility that some other factor could be at play.

"There are still some surprises in store for us," he predicted.

The paper's lead author, Antonio Cucchiara, is at University of California, Berkeley.

___

Online:

NASA Swift Homepage: http://heasarc.nasa.gov/docs/swift/swiftsc.html

Raphael G. Satter can be reached at: http://twitter.com/razhael


Daredevil not too far off... wrote:http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/201 ... singechoes

Some blind people are able to use the sound of echoes to "see" where things are and to navigate their environment. Now, a new study finds that these people may even be using visual parts of their brains to process the sounds.

Echolocation is best known in bats, who send out high-pitched sounds and then use the echoes to track their prey in the dark. But a select few blind people use echolocation as well, making clicking sounds with their tongues to tell them where obstacles are. The new study, published May 25 in the open-access journal PLoS ONE, is the first to peer into the brains of blind people who are doing just that.

The study finds that in two blind men who can echolocate, brain areas normally associated with vision activate when they listen to recordings of themselves echolocating.

"Our data clearly show that EB and LB [the study participants] use echolocation in a way that seems uncannily similar to vision," wrote the study authors. "In this way, our study shows that echolocation can provide blind people with a high degree of independence and self-reliance."

To study EB and LB's echolocation abilities, the researchers recorded their clicks and echoes as they sat near an object (in this case, a screen). The researchers then played those clicks and echoes back as the men lay in a functional magnetic resonance imaging ( fMRI) machine. The fMRI measures blood flow to different areas of the brain, providing a real-time look at brain activity.

The researchers found that as the men listened to the echoes, the primary visual area of their brains, known as the calcarine cortex, became more active. When the researchers played sounds with echoes and sounds without echoes, they found that the blind men's calcarine cortex responded based on the presence of echoes, while the auditory cortex, used to process sounds, did not respond differently either way.

The same tests performed on two sighted men without echolocation abilities turned up no such calcarine cortex activity.

Blind people often show reorganized brain processing compared with their sighted counterparts, so more research is needed on larger groups of people to tease out exactly what's going on in the brain, the researchers wrote. Ideally, researchers may be able to compare not just blind echolocaters and sighted non-echolocaters, but also blind people who don't echolocate and sighted people who do.

According to study researcher Stephen Arnott of the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto and his colleagues, the study is a first step in understanding how the brain processes an ability that seemingly melds sound and sight.

"There is the possibility that even in sighted people who learn to echolocate, visual brain areas might be recruited," Arnott said in a statement.


Make Money With Your Blogs wrote:Casting the digital equivalent of a message-in-a-bottle into the Internet’s vast sea of content, many people start Web sites or blogs hoping that they will find an appreciative audience for their precocious parrot videos, cupcake recipes or pithy commentary on everyday life. The dream, of course, is that they will develop a large and loyal following — and potentially profit from it.

While most of these self-publishers don’t attract the attention of anyone other than indulgent family and friends, there are those who find wider recognition and some income. What the successful have in common is a passion for their subject and a near-compulsion to share what they know. Advertising, merchandising, offline events, book deals, donations and sometimes sheer luck also play a part.

“My advice is to choose a topic you’ll never get tired of,” said Stephanie Nelson, 47, of Atlanta, a homemaker who founded CouponMom.com in 2001 to share tips on saving money by using coupons. “The first three years I made no money at all, so I had to love what I was doing to keep going.”

Ms. Nelson said her Web site now has more than 3.8 million visitors a month, and the income it generates supports her family of four — allowing her husband to retire early from his corporate job five years ago. “I’m still not tired of it,” Ms. Nelson said.

Half of the site’s revenue comes from Google’s AdSense service, and the other half is from companies like Groupon and LivingSocial that buy ads directly from her. AdSense generates text ads based on the words that appear on Web pages. For example, if a blog post is about dogs, ads for dog food or dog grooming might appear beside it.

Many of the Google ads generate income only if people click on them — usually yielding a fraction of a cent per click. It’s also possible to get paid every time a Google ad appears on a page. Rates are determined in part by advertisers bidding in an online auction.

Other companies like BuySellAds.com and BlogAds allow self-publishers to determine what they want to charge for placing an ad on their sites. They then match sites with eager advertisers for a percentage of ad sales — 14 to 30 percent is typical.

Federated Media, which is a sort of Web talent management company, is more selective, negotiating rates on behalf of independent content creators it agrees to represent. In general, online ad rates vary widely, from $54,000 a day for an ad on a popular blog like PerezHilton.com to $10 a month for an ad on the cartoon blog The Soxaholix. (The New York Times Company is an investor in Federated Media.)

Clayton Dunn, 32, and Zach Patton, 31, the bloggers behind The Bitten Word, make around $350 a month from pay-per-click Google ads, and in commissions from Amazon.com when readers follow links to cooking gadgets, books and magazine subscriptions they recommend. Mr. Dunn and Mr. Patton, who live in Washington and blog about recipes they have tried from popular magazines, started the site in 2008 and now have about 150,000 visitors a month.

“It more than pays for the groceries,” said Mr. Dunn, who added that they are further compensated by readers who may give them delicacies like fresh avocados and Hawaiian ginger syrup.

For those who want to generate more income through advertising, Jonathan Accarrino of Hoboken, N.J., founder of the technology news and how-to blog MethodShop.com, advises having contextual ads, which are highlighted words in posts that provide a link to the vendor of a relevant product or service. A commission is paid on resulting sales.

Adding video to a post is another strategy that Mr. Accarrino said contributes to his blog’s six-figure yearly income: “I’ll record video walk-throughs of my tutorials and upload them to Blip.tv,” a video sharing service similar to YouTube. And like YouTube, Blip.tv gives users the option to run ads with their videos. These generate $1 to $10 for every thousand views, depending on the advertiser.

Indeed, many video bloggers, or vloggers, make money this way. Sheila Ada-Renea Hollins-Jackson, a 22-year-old makeup artist in Farmington, Mich., makes up to $200 a month from the 63 videos about beauty treatments she has posted on YouTube since 2008. “It pays my cellphone bill,” she said. Vloggers either apply or are invited by YouTube to display ads based on demonstrated viewership or outstanding content.

Selling merchandise on a vlog, blog or personal Web site can bring in even more cash. Darren Kitchen, 28, of San Francisco said he makes $5,000 a month selling stickers, T-shirts, baseball caps and computer hacking tools on his Web site, Hak5.org, which offers a weekly video show about computer hacking.

“It’s crazy how many people want the stickers,” said Mr. Kitchen, who started Hak5 in 2005 and says he has 250,000 monthly viewers.

Book deals are the ultimate goal for many bloggers who are aspiring writers. Molly Wizenberg, 32, of Seattle, started her blog, Orangette, in 2004 as a way to hone her writing skills after dropping out of a Ph.D. program in anthropology.

Her musings about food and life attracted 350,000 visitors a month and the attention of Simon & Schuster, which led to the publication last year of her book, “A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes From My Kitchen Table.” Last month she signed a contract to write another book. “It’s beyond what I ever imagined,” Ms. Wizenberg said.

Some people simply ask their fans and followers to make donations to support their creative efforts. Kelly DeLay of Frisco, Tex., said he gets $200 to $400 a month from visitors to his Web site, The Clouds 365 Project, where he posts a daily photograph of cloud formations. “People can be very generous,” said Mr. DeLay, who began taking pictures of clouds after he was laid off from his job as an interactive media director in 2009.

Charging for content is also an option. Collis Ta’eed, 31, of Melbourne, Australia, founded FreelanceSwitch.com, which gives practical advice to freelancers, and Tuts+, which offers technology-related tutorials. He said he brought in $150,000 a month from his sites, most of it from premium content — primarily tutorials and e-books.

“People will pay for content if you offer them something of value that is authentic and is generally useful,” said Mr. Ta’eed, who said his two blogs together have 6.4 million visitors a month. One example of useful content is FreelanceSwitch’s job board, which brings in $7,000 a month, he said. Job posters pay nothing; job seekers pay $9 a month.

And sometimes people will pay to attend events organized by bloggers they admire. Steve Pavlina of Las Vegas said he made $40,000 from weekend workshops that were an outgrowth of his blog, StevePavlina.com, which focuses on issues related to personal development. He started the blog in 2004 and says it has 2.5 million visitors a month. Besides workshops, he said he made about $100,000 a month in commissions from sales of products like speed-reading courses and high-speed blenders that he recommends on his blog.

“I tell people if they want to start a blog just to make money, they should quit right now,” Mr. Pavlina said. “You have to love it and be passionate about your topic.”
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Tawmis » Thu May 26, 2011 9:45 pm

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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Tawmis » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:22 pm

Amazing photos from the volcano eruptions happening in Chile...
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Tawmis » Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:51 am

The River That Flowed... Beneath the Sea. wrote:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/201 ... J3YXRlcjM5

An underwater "river" has been discovered snaking along the ocean bed off southwestern Australia.

The undersea phenomenon — layers of dense water that creep along the ocean floor at a rate of about a half-mile (1 km) a day — was found to be some 65 feet (20 meters) thick and stretches for more than 60 miles (100 kilometers).

Researchers say it's the first time these rivers have been glimpsed in such warm waters.

"These dense shelf water cascades are common in high-latitude regions as a result of ice formation, but this is the first time these processes have been discovered in sub-tropical regions, and to be present throughout the year," said the University of Western Australia's Chari Pattiaratchi in a statement.

Water evaporation during the region's summers, followed by cooling during the winters, fuels the formation of the rivers, Pattiaratchi said, leading to the gathering of high-density waters in the coastal shallows, which then flow offshore as slow-moving rivers.

So-called underwater rivers have been discovered in different spots around the globe.

In the Black Sea, researchers uncovered an underwater river, but one that cut deep into the seafloor, much as rivers on dry ground wind through a landscape.

The Australian underwater river was uncovered by seafaring gliders, self-propelling robots equipped with sensors to detect water temperature, salinity, plankton productivity, turbidity and dissolved oxygen. They can operate nonstop in the water for up to eight months.

The finding is published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.


Two new elements join the table! wrote:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110608/ap_ ... xlbWVudHM-

NEW YORK – They exist for only seconds at most in real life, but they've gained immortality in chemistry: Two new elements have been added to the periodic table.

The elements were recognized by an international committee of chemists and physicists. They're called elements 114 and 116 for now — permanent names and symbols will be chosen later.

You're not likely to run into any of this stuff. Scientists make them in labs by smashing atoms of other elements together to create the new ones.

"Our experiments last for many weeks, and typically, we make an atom every week or so," said chemist Ken Moody of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, who's part of the discovery team.

In contrast to more familiar elements like carbon, gold and tin, the new ones are short-lived. Atoms of 114 disintegrate within a few seconds, while 116 disappears in just a fraction of a second, Moody said.

Both elements were discovered by a collaboration of scientists from Livermore and Russia. They made them by smashing calcium ions into atoms of plutonium or another element, curium. The official recognition, announced last week, cites experiments done in 2004 and 2006.

In the periodic table, the number of an element refers to the number of protons in the nucleus of an individual atom. Leading the list is hydrogen (H) with one. Sodium (Na) has 11, Iron (Fe) has 26, and silver (Ag) has 47.

In the past 250 years, new elements have been added to the table about once every 2 1/2 years on average, said Paul Karol of Carnegie Mellon University. He chaired the committee that recognized the new elements.

Despite the number 116, the new additions bring the total number of recognized elements to just 114. That's because elements 113 and 115 haven't been officially accepted yet.

Moody said he hasn't talked to his colleagues about what element names to propose to an international group of scientists for approval. He does know the names will have to end in "ium."

For now, the elements have temporary names derived from their numbers.

In recent decades, new elements have generally been named for famous scientists, producing such monikers as nobelium and einsteinium, notes Peter F. Rusch, a consultant in Mountain View, Calif., who chairs the American Chemical Society committee on nomenclature, terminology and symbols.

Before the two newcomers, the most recent addition to the periodic table came two years ago. Element 112 was named copernicium in honor of astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.

Making new elements is just a byproduct of an effort to discover things about the atomic nucleus, Moody said.

"It's just basic science," he said. "And kind of fun."

Moody, 56, recalled that the periodic table had only 104 elements when he was in high school. At the time, chemists thought the list was about finished, he said.

He added that he recently spoke about his work to some high school students and found them fascinated.

To them the periodic table "is an icon," he said. "The fact that it can change and it can be added to, I think, is a novel idea for younger people."

Not so for most older people.

Moody said he doesn't talk about his work at parties "because people don't generally invite you back."
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Tawmis » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:56 pm

Play today's Google Doodle - in memory of Les Paul.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/0 ... 74468.html
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Rath Darkblade » Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:25 am

St Paul's Church in London has received a makeover that's taken the last 15 years. Have a look at the article, plus beautiful pictures! :D

Meanwhile, the government of the state of New York is debating on whether to legalise gay marriage. It's about time, I say.
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Re: Cool and Interesting News & Such.

Postby Collector » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:48 pm

The last few posts have been split to its own thread.
01000010 01111001 01110100 01100101 00100000 01101101 01100101 00100001

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