Saturday, November 7, 2009

Martian landscapes

Martian landscapes: "
Since 2006, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been orbiting Mars, currently circling approximately 300 km (187 mi) above the Martian surface. On board the MRO is HiRISE, the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera, which has been photographing the planet for several years now at resolutions as fine as mere inches per pixel. Collected here is a group of images from HiRISE over the past few years, in either false color or grayscale, showing intricate details of landscapes both familiar and alien, from the surface of our neighboring planet, Mars. I invite you to take your time looking through these, imagining the settings - very cold, dry and distant, yet real. (35 photos total)

Intersecting swirling trails left by the earlier passage of dust devils across sand dunes, as they lifted lighter reddish-pink dust and exposed the darker material below. Also visible are darker slope streaks along dune edges, formed by a process which is still under investigation. More, or see location on Google Mars. (NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)


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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

How scientists determined how many humans two lions ate in 1898

How scientists determined how many humans two lions ate in 1898: "516337010_71ef372306.jpgHow do you gauge the magnitude of a series of lion attacks that occurred over a century ago? In 1898, construction on the Ugandan Railroad in East Africa was halted due to deadly, nightly lion invasions that took the lives of Indian and African laborers who were working on the project. By some estimates, over 100 people had been devoured by these animals, hungry because drought and disease had reduced the number of natural prey. But researchers at UC Santa Cruz published a report this week that gave a more accurate estimate of how many humans the two male lions really ate. They did it by running chemical tests on their carcasses:

Scientists hoping to figure out the actual number of people eaten decided to study the remains of the two male lions, now on display at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, testing the types of carbon and nitrogen in their teeth and hair.

Those chemical ratios were compared with the carbon and nitrogen found in modern lions in the region, in lions' normal prey animals and in humans.

Bones and teeth store carbon and nitrogen isotopes over long periods, while the ratios in hair change more rapidly, allowing the scientists to determine the long-term diet and how it changed in the lions' last months.

Humans made up at least half of the diet of one of the lions in the last months of his life, consuming at least 24 people, they concluded. The other lion had eaten 11 people, they found.

In other words, even a century later, you are what you eat.


Study: Man-eating lions consumed 35 people in 1898

Image via Tambako the Jaguar's Flickr


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Now Anyone Can Host Their Own (Experimental) Google Wave Server

Now Anyone Can Host Their Own (Experimental) Google Wave Server: "

Back in May, when Google Wave first made its debut on the stage of the Google I/O conference, we chronicled what we believed to be the top 6 game-changing features of Google Wave.


While we discussed some big ones such as Wave extensions and its wiki-like interface, the feature that we said “may be the most important aspect of Google Wave” was its open-source nature.


Not only did Google promise to let developers improve the code, but they promised federation for Wave, meaning that anyone could take the Wave code and run their own private or public wave server. Today, Google took the first step towards the full federation of its real-time communication platform by announcing that the developer sandbox version of Google Wave is open for experimental federation.



Let’s be clear: this is a very early stage test of federating the Google Wave code onto non-Google servers. It only affects the developer sandbox, meaning that the preview version of Wave that most people are using is not a part of this test. However, it is a big step in making it a widespread product, rather than only a tool of early adopters. Businesses and individuals can begin testing their own local copy of Wave. This is just the beginning of Google’s legitimate attempt to upend email as the standard for web correspondence and communication.


If you’re a developer with a sandbox account and want to get started, Google has published some installation instructions for a Java version. Be warned though: there will be a lot of changes occurring over the next few weeks, many of them based on developer feedback.




More Google Wave Resources from Mashable






- Testing Google Wave: This Thing is Tidal


- The Top 6 Game-Changing Features of Google Wave


- Google Wave: 5 Ways It Could Change the Web


- Google Wave Extensions: An Inside Look


- Could Google Wave Redefine Email and Web Communication?


- Twave: Google Wave + Twitter




Reviews: Google, Google Wave

Tags: Federation, Google, Google Wave, Google Wave Federation



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Monday, November 2, 2009

We do it right. Everytime!