Friday, January 21, 2011

8 Beautiful Bioluminescent Creatures From the Sea

While a handful of land animals can create their own light, homemade luminescence is the rule rather than the exception in the open ocean's dark waters.
Researchers estimate that between 80 and 90 percent of deep-dwelling animals are bioluminous, creating light by mixing the pigment luciferin with luciferase, the enzyme that makes it glow. The light tends to green and blue, colors that travel far in seawater. Glowing helps attract mates, lure prey or confound predators.
Many of these animals live thousands of meters deep and are difficult for scientists to find and study. Here are some of the prettiest — and strangest — glowing creatures of the seas.

Why First Impressions Are So Persistent

ScienceDaily (Jan. 18, 2011) — New research by a team of psychologists from Canada, Belgium, and the United States shows there is more than a literal truth to the saying that 'you never get a second chance to make a first impression'. The findings suggest that new experiences that contradict a first impression become 'bound' to the context in which they were made. As a result, the new experiences influence people's reactions only in that particular context, whereas first impressions still dominate in other contexts.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chrysler announces battery-free hydraulic hybrid tech, compresses gas to make power

By Tim Stevens  posted Jan 20th 2011 7:35AM

Chrysler announces battery-free hybrid technology, compresses gas to make power
Think of a traditional hybrid and you probably think of a Toyota Prius. Then, after you've woken from your nap, you probably envision some complex system of batteries and electric motors and gears to capture power when braking and spit it back out when accelerating. Chrysler is now looking to deploy a different way, a seemingly much simpler way that's all based on hydraulics. The vehicle is outfitted with a low-pressure reservoir of hydraulic fluid and a high-pressure chamber filled with nitrogen gas. When braking, pumps move the fluid into the nitrogen chamber to compress it and then, when accelerating, that compressed gas is used to push the fluid and drive the wheels. It's a setup that was actually developed by the EPA and is currently in use by some commercial vehicles, most notably UPS trucks, but a hybrid Town & Country minivan could bring it to consumers -- though not until 2012 at the earliest. Now, there's a good chance the idea of a hybrid minivan is threatening to put you back to sleep, so we wish you pleasant dreams. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sharks Seen Swimming Down Australian Streets

Posted by samzenpus on Wednesday January 19, @02:03AM 
from the we're-going-to-need-a-bigger-sidewalk dept.
As if the flood waters weren't bad enough for the people of Queensland, it now appears that there are sharks swimming in the streets. Two bull sharks were spotted swimming past a McDonald’s in the city of Goodna, Butcher Steve Bateman saw another making its way past his shop on Williams street. Ipswich councillor for the Goodna region Paul Tully said: "It would have swam several kilometres in from the river, across Evan Marginson Park and the motorway. It’s definitely a first for Goodna, to have a shark in the main street."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bad Science Writer Talks About the Placebo Effect *NSFW*

Posted by samzenpus on Tuesday January 18, @01:15PM
from the I-want-to-believe dept.
The Guardian newspaper's Bad Science columnist Dr. Ben Goldacre does a stand-up routine about medicine, the placebo effect, and the mysteries of the human body at Nerdstock. From a scientific standpoint, I can't accurately say how funny it is because I was told it was great before I saw it.

Infants Not Exempt from Obesity Epidemic

ScienceDaily (Jan. 4, 2011) — Most people understand that children are part of the obesity epidemic. However, a revealing new study finds that obesity might begin in babies as young as nine months old.

How Europe Will Lower Emissions — Self Driving Cars

Posted by Soulskill on Tuesday January 18, @02:14AM
from the do-they-drive-themselves-to-the-recycling-station dept.
thecarchik writes"Scientists in Europe are working closely with industry and government as part of a new initiative called SARTRE (SAfe Road TRains for the Environment), which hopes to develop self-driving technology that will allow vehicles to drive autonomously in long road trains on the highway. The team behind SARTRE has now conducted its first real world test, using a sole Volvo S60 sedan that followed a lead truck around the automaker's test facility near Gothenburg, Sweden. In the video, the driver is free to take his eyes off the road and his hands off the wheel. In fact, he uses neither his hands nor feet during the test. Subsequent phases of the work will be carried out in 2011, and early 2012 will see the concept demonstrated on a five-vehicle road train with strategies handling interaction with other road users."

GE Venture Will Share Jet Technology With China

Posted by Soulskill on Monday January 17, @10:03PM
from the send-them-the-tsa-while-you're-at-it dept.
vbraga writes"This week, during the visit of Chinese president Hu Jintao to the United States, GE plans to sign a joint-venture agreement in commercial aviation that shows the tricky risk-and-reward calculations American corporations must increasingly make in their pursuit of lucrative markets in China. GE, in partnership with a state-owned Chinese company, will be sharing its most sophisticated airplane electronics (NYT reg. required, reg.-free alternative here), including some of the same technology used in Boeing's new state-of-the-art 787 Dreamliner."

Motorola Atrix: another look (video)

By Paul Miller  posted Jan 9th 2011 9:07PM

Every CES there's something so alluring that we can't help going back for seconds (or thirds). This year it happens to be the Motorola Atrix, which is undoubtedly our gadget of the show, and which Myriam already put together an in-depth hands-on for. We've been using every excuse we can to swing past Motorola's booth "on our way" to other stuff on the show floor, and we finally broke down and went in for another hands-on. Check out our video walkthrough after the break, which hopefully should help explain the transition the Atrix can make from phone to desktop to laptop to set-top box. And please excuse our enthusiasm.