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April 08, 2014

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2:35 PM | Your Europa Mission Primer of the Day
Trying to understand NASA's current efforts to explore Europa? Read this excellent piece on the recent, frustrating history to scout out this watery moon of Jupiter.
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2:30 PM | The Principle: A Documentary About Geocentrism. Yeah, I Know.
Of all the wrongiest wrongs that ever wronged wrongness, Geocentrism is way up on the list. The idea that the Earth is the center of the Universe makes creationism look positively scientific in comparison. It might be edged out by people who think the Earth is flat, but just barely. And yet somebody actually went out and made a “documentary” where, apparently, that is exactly what they’re trying to promote. It’s called The Principle, and it’s making the rounds on […]
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2:19 PM | Watch Mars Invade Our Sky: Biggest and Brightest Since 2007
You may have noticed that fiery-orange-hued, beacon-like star rising in the eastern evening sky—the planet Mars. No better time exists than now to get close and personal with the red planet. On Tuesday, April 8, the dusty, ruddy world reaches what is known as opposition, when the planet and the sun are on opposite sides…
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2:00 PM | Uwingu Funds Travel Grants
Planetary Science Students Eligible I’ve written several times about the Uwingu group and their ongoing efforts to raise funds for science research and outreach. Their most recent project, naming craters on a Mars map has been quite successful, enabling the awarding of grants to several groups. Today, the Uwingu fund announced that it is soliciting applications [...]
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1:47 PM | Opposition time for Mars, and several months of dancing with the stars
The Mars Express team showcases some of the best viewing opportunities of Mars in 2014, including how to spot Comet Siding Spring when it flies past Mars this October.
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1:25 PM | Exploring Montana’s Sea of Grass
By Ellen Anderson, American Prairie Reserve -  In prairie ecosystems, it is difficult to see the biodiversity that is there from the window of a vehicle, even for people who are plant nerds like my husband Lars and me. Who can really distinguish different grass species without walking out into the prairie? Once we throw…
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1:05 PM | What do NYC Streets and Asteroids Have in Common?
                    Fatigue, that’s what. As a particularly frigid winter recedes across the north and east of the United States (we’ve... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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1:00 PM | Debunking Captivity: 3 Reasons Not to Keep Dolphins in a Tank
By Maddalena Bearzi   I have spent much time in the company of wild dolphins over the last twenty-something years. I’ve built a career following their everyday movements and observing their behavior both from shore and from research boats. When I began my studies, I knew these creatures primarily as the objects of my research but,…
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12:57 PM | Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #64
Kingfishers, fish-eagles, orioles, flycatchers, lovebirds, wagtails, bush-shrikes, broadbills, bee-eaters, and laughing-thrushes… A fantastic collection of wild bird photographs that sets the standard for 2014! All these photographers need to be commended for their commitment and skill. We need to do everything we can to make sure that our children get to see, hear and photograph…
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12:25 PM | SKA and the search for extraterrestrial life
I had the opportunity to read the Italian SKA (Square Kilometer Array) White Book and my attention was caught by a section dedicated to SKA for SETI (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence). There is a curious statement:  When the SKA will be working, for the first time it will be possible to detect TV programs broadcasted by Alien Civilizations in the Galaxy, up to a distance of about 10 light years [Sect. 8.4.1, p. 141]. Well, it is a strong statement and suggests a strong […]
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12:12 PM | NASA’s LADEE to ‘Take the Plunge’!
Launched from Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Flight Facility on Sept 6, 2013, NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft with its three science payload instruments has been working to unravel mysteries of the lunar atmosphere and dust environment. The vending-machine size spacecraft began orbiting the Moon on Oct 6, and on Nov […]
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12:00 PM | April 8th: Hello, World!
Podcaster: Host: Dr Pamela Gay ; Guests: Robert Boehme, Karsten Becker & John Thornton
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11:45 AM | "Our National Debate About Climate Policy Is Broken"
A new study just released by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) shows that of the three major cable news networks, in 2013 Fox News far and away is the worst at covering news about climate change: Over 70% of their coverage contained misleading statements about it. Shocking, I know. Comparatively, CNN’s coverage was misleading 30% of the time, while MSNBC was the most accurate with “only” 8% of their coverage being misleading. This is not a surprise at all, of course; Fox […]
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10:49 AM | Ecco il canguro robot
In arrivo un altro gioiellino robotico: si chiama BionicKangaroo e lo hanno costruito gli ingegneri di Festo, azienda specializzata in automazione e integrazione di meccanica ed elettronica. Come suggerisce il nome, si tratta di un canguro artificiale completamente ispirato al suo omonimo naturale. BionicKangaroo ha infatti dei tendini nelle zampe che lo spingono in avanti e recuperano energia in fase di atterraggio. Come si vede nel video, un pistone pneumatico tira indietro la zampa per […]
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10:24 AM | Mikulski wants to up the new budget to flat
While the White House proposed a fiscal year 2015 budget that cut NASA by about one percent over 2014, the chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee said Monday she will try to change that. “My goal for NASA is to make sure we’re at least at the 2014 level,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) in [...]
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8:53 AM | G2’s ‘close’ encounter with the supermassive black hole Sgr A*
In queste ore, una nube “suicida” di gas si sta dirigendo verso il buco nero supermassiccio della nostra galassia. Si tratta di un evento raro che può accadere in qualsiasi […]
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8:19 AM | Legge 40, oggi la Consulta decide sul divieto di eterologa
La Corte Costituzionale Italiana oggi affronta un tema che molti paesi europei hanno già regolamentato, si tratta del divieto presente nella legge 40/2004:  la Procreazione Medicalmente Assistita con gameti (spermatozoi o ovociti ) esterni alla coppia, detta “Fecondazione Eterologa”. Il Cecos Italia, associazione che riunisce i più importanti centri che combattono la sterilità, è in attesa di una decisione positiva e lungimirante da parte degli […]
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8:00 AM | An Arctic Encounter
Traveling in the north country, the open-skied Arctic of North American, you can’t help thinking of the first people and their journey across the Bering Land Bridge to this side of the world. They would have arrived in what is now Alaska and the adjoining Yukon Territory. The landscape has not changed much in the […]
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6:46 AM | Premi SIF FARMINDUSTRIA 2014
C'è tempo fino al 31 maggio per concorrere ai premi banditi per l'anno 2014 nell’ambito del Protocollo di intesa tra la SOCIETÀ ITALIANA DI FARMACOLOGIA e FARMINDUSTRIA. In palio ci sono: 5 Premi per ricerche farmacologiche riservate a ricercatori dell’Accademia e di altri Enti di Ricerca5 Premi per ricerche farmacologiche riservati a ricercatori dell’IndustriaIl bando è disponibile su SIFWEB alla […]
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6:43 AM | Research day
ResearchDay nasce da un’idea della Società Italiana di Farmacologia (SIF) per favorire l’incontro fra ricercatori universitari e dei vari centri di ricerca italiani titolari di nuove “idee” o di brevetti finalizzati allo sviluppo di nuove molecole di interesse per la salute dell’uomo e il mondo dell’industria farmaceutica. Verranno presentati nel corso della giornata gli otto migliori progetti selezionati da una commissione giudicatrice composta da […]
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5:42 AM | Un segnale lanciato dalla materia oscura?
Arriva dal centro della nostra Via Lattea e forse è il segno più chiaro lanciato (e captato) della materia oscura, la massa mancante e invisibile dell’Universo, osservabile solo attraverso gli effetti prodotti dalla sua gravità. Il segno in questione è un forte bagliore di raggi gamma, un eccesso di emissioni non giustificabile con quelle emesse da sorgenti note e riconducibile invece ad alcune forme di materia […]
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5:00 AM | “Sulla Sindone c'è un'altra crocifissione”
Ultima puntata della lunga diatriba sull'autenticità della Sacra Sindone: le tracce di sangue presenti sul telo non sono compatibili con le ferite di un uomo crocefisso a braccia aperte, nella posizione “a T” in cui l'iconografia cristiana ha rappresentato Gesù negli ultimi due millenni. Le macchie, piuttosto, suggerirebbero una crocefissione “a Y”, con le braccia sollevate più in alto della testa del soggetto rappresentato. Così ha concluso […]
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4:43 AM | Messier Monday: The farthest Messier object (for now), M58 (Synopsis)
“When we are sure that we are on the right road there is no need to plan our journey too far ahead. No need to burden ourselves with doubts and fears as to the obstacles that may bar our progress. We cannot take more than one step at a time.” -Orison Swett Marden Every Messier…
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1:56 AM | THOUGHTS on STEM EDUCATION
When one enters the technical field (also known as STEM), there are certain guiding principles that are significant for one’s success. The biggest factor is having appropriate and good role models or mentors. Truth being, it is very hard to lift oneself with one’s bootstraps. The worst is the ‘dumbing down’ that mainstream media portrays […]
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1:33 AM | Cop A Feelie
In Brave New World, there’s all kinds of fun to be had. There’s Centrifugal Bumble Puppy, rudimentary sexual games for the young ones in school, and, of course, there’s the feelies. The feelies aren’t exactly virtual reality—based on Huxley’s descriptions, … Continue reading →
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12:33 AM | An Octopus Bite and a Visit From Mozambique’s Youngest Ocean Explorers
A group of young local underwater enthusiasts called the Nemos Pequenos inspire the Pristine Seas team with their interest and excitement, and an esteemed scientist is bitten by an octopus, in this update from Mozambique.

April 07, 2014

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11:35 PM | Bad Weather, Weird Parrot Fish Fact, and More
Bad weather puts the pressure on the team to get the day's underwater surveys done, but there's still time to relate a weird-but-true fact about where sand comes from.
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10:00 PM | Time For a New Patent Exam System?
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) should consider revamping its patent examination system, according to a new white paper authored by two members of the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) U.S. Patent Office Practice Committee. William F. Smith and Joseph Mallon argue that the current scheme has run its course and should be replaced … Continue reading →
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9:21 PM | The 348th Carnival of Space!
It's Global Astronomy Month and a properly diverse Carnival of Space to boot.  Hosted by People Lake on his Aartscope Blog, this week's Carnival celebrates a packed itinerary of must-see April sites; thanks to Spacewriter; and as Aartscope points out, this is an eic month of astral events. We have the Total Eclipse of the Moon and the Mars Opposition to watch out for! Those in Australia can also look forward to the National Australian Convention of Amateur Astronomers. On an […]
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8:05 PM | Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Powers Up in Cook Haven and in Fans' Minds
At the Solander Point section of the rim of Endeavour Crater, Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity spent the month of March just off Murray Ridge working on its final targets in Cook Haven and dusting itself in the winds of winter, while MER mission officials on Earth were roving toward what may be the robot's current greatest potential threat – being cut from NASA's planetary science budget.
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