Archives for October, 2010

MySci Round-Up October 26: Killer Asteroids vs. Zombies–Take Your Pick

In an op-ed piece in today’s New York Times, former astronaut Russell Schweikart warns that it’s high time to get a system in place to deal with asteroids that might collide with Earth and cause a catastrophe of almost unfathomable proportions. Even if a relatively small asteroid smashed into our planet, he explains, it could destroy an…

Siamang Swing

The Houston Zoo is continually trying to improve the lives of the animals in its care, and is completing construction on a six-acre multimillion-dollar African forest to house some of its star inhabitants. Zoo Confidential: Urban Jungle premieres on Nat Geo Wild Tuesday October 26 at 9P et/pt. Video Preview: Zookeepers install bamboo-like poles in…

Insect Empires

Social insects – like bees, termites, hornets and ants – build magnificent empires often hidden from human view. But within these minute organizations are the enslaved and oppressed, the rewarded and ruling. Worker termites, Microtermes, are smaller than a grain of rice. They spend their days chewing up dead wood, carving through fallen branches, and making…

Hunting Crocs

The crocodile – a masterful predator that has change little in over 200 million years. And in the Katuma River in Africa, massive crocodiles wait in the calm water for the perfect ambush opportunity. These hunters are so strong, they grip their quarry and hold it beneath the water’s surface until it drowns. Since crocodiles…

Halloween Dangers for Dogs

It’s Halloween time, the annual trick-or-treating spookfest with delicious chocolate rewards. But this holiday has some potential dangers for your dog, so I spoke with Charlotte-based veterinarian Joy Fine to learn more. She shared some fascinating examples from what she’s seen, heard and learned during her many years of working with dogs as a professional…

Raised Dog Feeders

Roscoe, my Boston Terrier, recently started eating from a These Creatures raised standing feeder.  Some experts believe that raised dog feeders are more comfortable for your pet, allowing him to feed without straining the joints, neck, back and spine.Dogs (especially large breeds) can swallow a significant amount of air when eating food because they tend to lift…

Making History: Gangsters

by Denis MinihanSet DesignerIt’s hard to think of a time when criminals didn’t operate in gangs, but prohibition in America was the catalyst that ushered in a new era of organised crime in the modern age. The term gangster conjures up the iconic image of a shadowy figure in a sharp suit, Trilby hat and…

World War Crime

On the evening of March 24th, 1944, 76 airmen broke out of German POW Camp, Stalag Luft III, in a desperate bid for freedom. It was the most famous escape of World War II—it was also a complete disaster. Of the 76 escapees, all were recaptured, and 50 were murdered in cold blood. The murders were immediately…

MySci Round-Up October 25: Goodbye to the Walkman

Sony has just announced that it is ending production of the cassette version of the Walkman, the portable music player that it first introduced in 1979.Back then, of course, the happenin’ thingie of the music world was the audio cassette—which, for the benefit of you Millennials, we should explain was a recording medium that spooled magnetic analog…

Sinking the Unsinkable

Some 60 years after it was sunk by the British Navy, an international team will travel nearly 5,000 meters into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean—to the final resting place of the infamous Nazi supership: The Battleship Bismarck—the supposedly unsinkable vessel whose name once instilled fear and spelled certain doom to any that dared cross it’s path. The…