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Sunday 28 November 2004

Quick updates and a load more geeky articles

Posted by kim @ 9:57am

As you can probably guess by the lack of entries, nothing much has been happening: work is still busy and I'm usually too tired/slack outside of work hours to do anything interesting. I've even let my blog reading slip lately and my RSS feed to Newscientist.com sat on 31 unread entries before I sorted through them to find these:

Kyoto Protocol gets the green light
Russia has ratified the Kyoto Protocol, triggering a 90-day countdown to bring the international climate treaty into force. ...

Clouds of pollution pictured from space
Haze and dust from industrial activity blanket low-lying regions of eastern China and northern India, satelite images reveal. ...

Not all great apes were swingers
The oldest common ancestor of humans and other living great apes reveals that vertical climbing evolved separately from swinging. ...

Persistent coughs melt away with chocolate
An ingredient in chocolate may actually be a more effective cough medicine than traditional remedies, researchers suggest. ... (I'll have to remember this one :) )

Ocean census reveals hidden depths
A major attempt to map Earth's oceans has now logged almost a quarter of a million species, report researchers. ...

Grand Canyon deluge may save river life
Geologists are flooding part of America's famous canyon to restore lost sediment in a bid to save Colorado River wildlife. ...

Mystery of world's tallest sand dunes solved
The dunes, some up to half a kilometre tall, survive in a windy Chinese desert thanks to vast hidden water reserves, a new study suggests. ...

Cassini captures Tethys in all her glory
In a portrait of perfect composition, Saturn's lonely-looking moon is captured hanging in space, just below the planet's horizon. ...

Forensic clock calls time on crimes
A technique that measures how quickly genetic material breaks down could reveal when a person was present at a crime scene. ...

Climate helped wipe out large mammals
Human hunters may not be to blame for a crash in bison numbers and the extinction of other 'megafauna', researchers suggest. ... (I'm sorry, but I can't agree with this article - it sounds to me like the human race is saying 'see, look, it wasn't me, I didn't do it'. And I don't believe it for an instant. Yes, the decline may have started long before humans came onto the scene, but we certainly didn't help stop the decline, we made it worst, much worse, and the bison almost went extinct because of it.)

'Suicide tree' toxin is 'perfect' murder weapon
The plant is a common means of suicide across India, but experts fear its popularity as a 'perfect' murder weapon is increasing. ...

Wolves' genetic diversity worryingly low
Wolf hunting in the US had a devastating impact on the diversity of surviving populations, a new study reveals. ...

Sunday 14 November 2004

Geeky stuff

Posted by kim @ 9:09am

Some more sciency articles, courtesy of Newscientist.com, for your geeky reading pleasure :)

Threatened species may spiral into oblivion
Rampant inbreeding can put panthers, cheetahs and other endangered species at increased risk from parasites and infections. ...

Half of European bird species in danger
Almost half of Europe's 524 native species of bird face an uncertain future, with even the common starling becoming less common. ...

Cassini discovers music of the rings
NASA spacecraft hears the eerie tune played by Saturn's rings as meteoroids rain down on them. ...

Moas in decline before humans arrived
Volcanic eruptions or disease may have decimated the giant flightless birs before people arrived in New Zealand and finished them off. ...

Titan has no breaking waves
The Cassini space probe discovers that the surface of Saturn's moon is not awash with liquid after all - ice or volcanism may prevail. ...

Rogue finger gene got bats airborne
A change to a single gene allowed bats to grow wings and take to the air. ...

Stormy Uranus takes astronomers by surprise
Spring brings weird and tempestuous weather to what had been considered the most boring planet in the solar system. ...

Overfishing puts a strain on land-based wildlife
The fate of African wildlife that is eaten as bushmeat may be inextricably linked to the health of coastal fisheries. ...

Mothers urged to emulate kangaroo care
Colombian doctors claim the innovative technique is a huge leap forward in the care of low-birthweight infants. ...

Those last two make logical sense. I don't know why they weren't thought of before.

Sunday 7 November 2004

A cloudy day

Posted by kim @ 5:21pm

Iain and I went for a walk before, between rain showers, and I snapped a few pics:

The building-in-construction in the middle of the pic with the crane sticking up above it ... has lost the top of its crane. A tall building? or a low cloud? ... a tall building - its actually several floors higher then the blue-green coloured building to its right, but because its further away it looks smaller. Its to be the tallest in Brisbane. Yes, thats right, its that tall, and it isn't finished yet. In fact, its only about half finished.

A happy water dragon (in the centre of the pic).

Gentle cascades down the cliff face at Kangaroo Point.

Saturday 6 November 2004

'Til next year

Posted by kim @ 4:20pm

Well, its all over for another year. I just finished watching the last race of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, where I was cheering on a lovely big grey, Shadowmaker, who made a great run up the final straight, coming from the back of the field, but just missing out by a nose, literally. Oh well. It has been as great as ever to watch these fantastic horses the past two weeks or so. And I can't wait for next year.

Wednesday 3 November 2004

She's done it

Posted by kim @ 7:30am

Makybe Diva won the Melbourne Cup yesterday, becoming the first mare ever to have won the race two years running, and only the fifth horse in history to have won two years running - and quadrupling her value as a brood mare in 'retirement' I'd say :) Good on you, girl! Well done!

Oh, and Vinnie Roe, a very nice looking Irish stallion, whom I was also cheering on, followed her in to take second.

They had been the two faves for the race (but thats not why I'd picked them - I'd been following them the past few weeks/races and seen that they were in *very* good form, any wonder they were the faves) so there will be a lot of happy punters out there.

Good run guys! Was a terrific race. See you all again next year :)

October 2004 | December 2004