Viral Video Recap Features Google’s Year In Review


Viral Video Recap Features Google’s Year In Review
Google compiled a Year In Review video posted on December 12. The nearly three-minute clip starts with Baumgartner’s jump from 24 miles above the earth and progresses into clips of other history-making moments this year: Oscar Pistorius’ competing in the Olympics as the first athlete to have carbon-fiber artificial legs; clips from this year’s presidential debates; images from the Arab Spring and the protests in Greece, plus some adorable animal videos that kept us entertained.

Iceman Mummy Found | Science News


FROZEN FARMER The 5,300-year-old Iceman mummy found in the Alps was part of a wave of immigrants that moved into Europe as agriculture spread from the Middle East, a new genetic analysis finds.          more >>
© South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, EURAC, Samadelli, Staschitz

Latest News
  • The insidious spread of an abnormal protein may be behind Parkinson’s disease, a study in mice suggests. A harmful version of the protein crawls through the brains of healthy mice, killing brain cells and damaging the animals’ balance and coordination, researchers report in the Nov. 16 Science.                   11.16.12 | more >>

  • NASA’s Curiosity rover isn’t leaving just tire tracks in the reddish Martian dust — it’s also leaving scoop marks in an area called Rocknest, about 480 meters away from where the rover touched down in August.                   11.16.12 | more >>

  • Not all planets are content to dutifully circle a star. A new rogue planet has been spied roaming free among a pack of young stars about 115 to 160 light-years from Earth.                   11.15.12 | more >>

  • A rainforest katydid doesn’t talk like a mammal, or walk like a mammal, but it does hear with the first mammal-like, three-stage sound-sensing system known outside vertebrates.                  11.15.12 | more >>

  • Beefing up some muscles doesn’t take steroids or exercise — paraffin wax will do. Incorporating wax into artificial muscles spun from carbon nanotubes gives them superior flexing power, a discovery that could lead to smart materials such as fabrics that respond to environmental changes.                   11.15.12 | more >>

  • Scientists working in South Africa have unearthed the oldest-known spear tips, apparently made by a common ancestor of people and Neandertals around 500,000 years ago.                  11.15.12 | more >>

  • View the videos  Snowboarders and marine engineers both worry about avalanches, but the latter may have a tougher job when working underwater. They have to understand not only what makes a cliffside collapse, but also how fluid between sand grains affects the flow.                  11.15.12 | more >>

  • The Ebola virus can spread through the air from pigs to macaques, a new study suggests.                  11.15.12 | more >>

  • Droughts shrivel crops, threaten communities, and wither ecosystems. Studies claim global warming is increasing drought worldwide, and may already have done so. But the standard method of assessing drought has exaggerated drying trends over the past 60 years, scientists report in the Nov. 14 Nature.                   11.14.12 | more >>

  • A collection of reports from the conference, held November 6-10 in San Francisco                  11.14.12 | more >>

  • China’s famous Qinling pandas may run out of their favorite food by the end of this century. Scientists have simulated how three bamboo species native to central China’s Qinling Mountains might move around as climate changes. And the news is bad for hungry pandas: All three plant species shrink in range.                  11.13.12 | more >>

  • A mysterious, 3-million-year-old member of the human evolutionary family had a maverick taste for grasses and flowering plants called sedges, a chemical analysis of the creature’s teeth suggests.                  11.12.12 | more >>

  • SAN FRANCISCO — Nearly gnawed-off telomeres — the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes — may portend a higher risk of death, a new study suggests.                   11.11.12 | more >>

  • The effects of a baby’s rough start can linger. An early stressful environment during a baby girl’s first year was associated with altered brain behavior and signs of anxiety in her late teens, scientists report online November 11 in Nature Neuroscience.                   11.11.12 | more >>

  • SAN FRANCISCO — Rare tweaks in single letters of DNA are not as powerful a force in health and in common diseases as scientists hoped, new work suggests.                   11.08.12 | more >>

  • Classic Maya civilization rose and fell with the rains.                  11.08.12 | more >>

  • When a killer seaweed touches a kind of spiky coral, the coral pushes a chemical panic button that brings small resident fish to the rescue.                  11.08.12 | more >>

  • Making hydrogen gas in water just got a little easier. The discovery may lead to inexpensive, practical means of harvesting sunlight to create clean-burning hydrogen for powering cars or generating electricity.                   11.08.12 | more >>

  • Sea levels may swell much higher than previously predicted, thanks to feedback mechanisms that are speeding up ice melt in Greenland and Antarctica.                   11.08.12 | more >>

  • Astronomers on the prowl for potentially habitable planets have found a new candidate: a world seven times as massive as Earth in a nearby solar system.                  11.07.12 | more >>

  • The seemingly unending election cycle may have left you battle-weary and bleary-eyed, but that’s not why physicist Mark Newman’s election maps look distorted. He makes cartograms, maps in which familiar shapes are morphed to represent something other than just area.                  11.07.12 | more >>

Ron Paul Lied Again | More Deranged, Racist Ron Paul Newsletters Released by TNR


More Deranged, Racist Ron Paul Newsletters Released by TNR
“Only 8 to 10 sentences?”
 By Charles Johnson
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul continues to evade responsibility for the ugly, deranged newsletters he sold for many years; recently he claimed that “only 8 to 10 sentences were offensive,” out of all these newsletters.

This, dear readers, is what is commonly known as “an outright lie.” And today The New Republic demonstrates just how blatant a lie, by publishing many more pages from the newsletters. Far from being taken out of context, the craziness you’ve already heard about was Ron Paul’s stock in trade; this is how he made (by some reports) millions of dollars.

TNR Exclusive: More Selections From Ron Paul’s Newsletters.

The newsletters repeatedly defended and expressed support for a variety of prominent racists. The May 1990 Political Report cited Jared Taylor, a prominent eugenics advocate. The July 1994 Survival Report again cited the “criminologist Jared Taylor.”

The newsletters warned repeatedly of “race war.” The June 1990 Political Report carried an item entitled, “Race War?” which claimed that said war was on the horizon because of “the victimization mentality created by the civil rights movement, where every black failure is a white crime. If there is indeed this sort of trouble ahead, it is just another reason why every honest American should be armed.” The August 1990 Political Report claimed that “we’ve got a potential race war.” The December 1990 Investment Letter reported that “Abortion is rampant, race war is heating up, AIDS is spreading, and inflation is wiping out the middle class.”

The September 1992 edition of the Political Report wrote of a supposed spate of bank robberies this way: “Today, gangs of young blacks bust into a bank lobby firing rounds at the ceiling.” It also said that “We don’t think a child of 13 should be held as responsible as a man of 23. That’s true for most people, but black males age 13 who have been raised on the streets and who have joined criminal gangs are as big, strong, tough, scary and culpable as any adult, and should be treated as such.”

A January 1993 Survival Report item headlined “Poor Marge Schott!” defended the former Cincinnati Reds owner, who was “being crucified” after she referred to her own players as “million dollar niggers,” said that “sneaky goddamn Jews are all alike” and “only fruits wear earrings,” and claimed that Hitler was an initially positive force for Germany.

The March 1994 Survival Report warned of a “South African Holocaust.” It said, “Quite frankly, I cannot see how South Africa is going to escape a blood bath.” In June 1994—two months after South Africa’s first democratic election—an item headlined, “There Goes South Africa,” claimed that “Mandela is trying to appear as a moderate, and indeed he may be as the Red ANC goes.” The newsletter advocated a separate state for whites in South Africa, writing, “If everyone accepts the notion that a homeland can be created for the Palestinians, I wonder why no consideration is given by world opinion leaders to a similar situation for the whites in South Africa, as they have requested.”

Racism was not the only ugliness Ron Paul peddled; he also traded in conspiracy theories, anti-government militancy, and antisemitism:

A letter on congressional letterhead, dated August 30, 1979, from Paul thanked a Mr. Amos W. Bruce for “the copy of the article in The American Mercury and the copies of your essays. I found them all very interesting.” The American Mercury was an anti-Semitic magazine owned by Willis Carto, one of America’s most notorious holocaust deniers and the founder of The Liberty Lobby. The issue of The American Mercury Paul praised included essays entitled, “You Can’t Escape the Kosher Food Tax,” “Are You Ready for the White Man’s Doomsday,” and “Racism – Black African Style.”

Is it just a coincidence that Ron Paul’s star is rising in the Republican Party at this moment in time?

Chinese Medicine Driving Rhinos to Extinction


Chinese Medicine Driving Rhinos to Extinction

Benjamin Radford, Life’s Little Mysteries Contributor
Date: 17 November 2011 Time: 05:38 PM ET
WWF transports black rhinoceroses by helicopter               Suspended from a helicopter, a critically endangered black rhino(sedated) takes a 10-minute flight to a vehicle destined for a new habitat safe from poachers.CREDIT: Green Renaissance/WWF

Biologists and game park officials in South Africa say that rhinos are being slaughtered at the rate of one each day, and that most of these animals are killed to feed a demand for traditional Chinese medicines and cures.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, more than 340 rhinos have been killed so far this year in South Africa, and the problem is getting worse. Last week, the International Union for Conservation of Nature issued a report on endangered species, concluding that the western black rhino is now officially extinct. Two other species, the black and white rhinos, are also seriously endangered and could be gone from the wild within a few years.

The rhinos are being poached to extinction largely for their horns, which are sometimes sold as trophies or decorations, but more often are ground up and used in traditional Chinese medicine. Sometimes the powder is added to food, or brewed in a tea, as some people believe that African rhino horns are a powerful aphrodisiac and panacea. These animals are not being killed for meat or to control their population, but because of misinformation and superstition.

It’s not just rhinos that face this threat. Throughout Asia, the penises, claws and bones of various animals — including tigers, rhinos, and bears — are sold in folk medicine shops to cure everything from arthritis to asthma, impotence to cancer. Some people believe that tiger bones and claws can cure a variety of maladies, including back pain, arthritis and fatigue.

In July, officials along the border between Russia and China intercepted a truck carrying more than 1,000 bear claws and 26 elk lips — weighing 143 pounds in total — that were destined for medicine shops across Asia. The bears and elk were most likely left to bleed to death after their paws and lips were sliced off by the poachers.

Shark populations have also declined dramatically in recent years, due in part to the demand for shark fins, eaten as a delicacy and used in Chinese medicine. The live, but finless, sharks are often thrown back into the ocean to die.

There is no scientific evidence that any of these animal body parts treat or cure any disease or medical problem, but old beliefs die hard. The threat to Earth’s biodiversity doesn’t just come from pollution and human demand for food, and the extinction of the rhino reveals a dark side to belief in alternative medicines.

This story was provided by Life’s Little Mysteries, a sister site to LiveScience. Follow Life’s Little Mysteries on Twitter @llmysteries, then join us on Facebook.

Benjamin Radford is deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine and author of Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries.

His website is www.BenjaminRadford.com.