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Welcome to Science Saturday, where the Overnight News Digest crew, consisting of founder Magnifico, regular editors maggiejean, wader, Man Oh Man, side pocket, rfall, and JML9999, alumni editors palantir, Bentliberal, Oke, jlms qkw, Interceptor7, and ScottyUrb, guest editors annetteboardman and Doctor RJ, and current editor-in-chief Neon Vincent, along with anyone else who reads and comments, informs and entertains you with this week's news about science, space, health, energy, and the environment.

Between now and the end of the primary season, Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday will highlight the research stories from the public universities in each of the states having primary or special elections for federal or state office this year plus stories from all research universities in major cities having municipal elections as listed in the 2014 Daily Kos Elections Calendar.  Tonight's edition features the research and outreach stories from the city of San Diego and the states of Alabama and Georgia.

This week's featured stories come from NASA,, and LiveScience.

Olympic Torch Completes Longest Relay in History

As the XXII Winter Olympic Games begin in Sochi, Russia, the athletes who compete must turn their eyes to the sky to see how far the torch that is lighting the Olympic flame has traveled. The symbol of peace, friendship, hope and understanding among the nations participating in the Olympic Games traveled by car, plane, reindeer, train and by a Russian Soyuz rocket that ferried it to the International Space Station, itself a symbol of peaceful international cooperation.
Sochi Winter Olympics Launch with Space-Flown Torch, Cosmonaut Flag-Bearers
By Robert Z. Pearlman,
February 07, 2014 04:18pm ET
The 22nd Winter Olympic Games were launched in Sochi, Russia on Friday (Feb. 7) using a torch that flew to the International Space Station and back.

The space-themed Olympic spectacle, which took place as part of an elaborate opening ceremony, also featured cosmonauts helping to raise the Russian and Olympic flags in the Fisht Olympic Stadium and the projection of recorded scenes from the historic spacewalk that carried the Olympic torch into open outer space for the first time.

The ceremony also included spacesuited dancers saluting the nation's space race heritage, holding a large model of the Soviet-era Vostok rocket that launched the world's first satellite and human into space, during a theatrical retelling of Russia's history.

Sochi Could Be Too Warm to Host Olympics in 50 Years
Agata Blaszczak-Boxe, Staff Writer
February 04, 2014 03:23pm ET

This year may be the perfect time for Sochi to host the Winter Olympics, as new research suggests that by the middle of this century, the Russian town could be too warm to support many cold-weather sports.

In fact, the new research found that several of the cites that have hosted Winter Olympics in the past — including Vancouver, British Columbia; Squaw Valley, Calif.; and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany — will not be cold enough to host the Winter Games by mid-century, thanks to global warming.

Over the past two decades, global surface temperatures have risen, and the amount of snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has decreased, according to climate data released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last year.

LiveScience has more science- and technology-themed coverage of the Winter Olympics that it will update throughout the event.

More stories after the jump.

Recent Science Diaries and Stories

Tweet Of God has the last word on the evolution/creationism 'debate'
by Laurence Lewis

Green diary rescue: Thousands of protesters fight Keystone XL, coal ash spill taints the Dan River
by Meteor Blades

Hungry Polar Bears Eating Eggs, Decimating Nesting Birds, as Sea Ice Declines
by FishOutofWater

This week in science: let the games begin!
by DarkSyde


Past Horizons: The Towers of Ras Al-Khaimah
By David Connolly
Article created on Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Adventures in archaeology are hard to come by in these days of satellite technology and the increasing loss of remote locations around the world. One example of this lies in the far north of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and only 100km from Dubai.  Ras al-Khaimeh (RAK) is one of the seven Emirates that make up the UAE, and is now transforming into a modern 21st century state with even talk of building a space port.
In the late 1980s I worked there on the excavations at Julfar, an Arabic trading port. At that time RAK’s mysterious hinterland and mountains were still largely unexplored. A few archaeologists such as the redoubtable Miss Beatrice De Cardi had ventured there, and some of the known sites such as Hili and Bat, enormous stone and mud brick third-millennium BC round towers, had already been surveyed. These buildings were not the only examples of military architecture to be found in RAK, for wherever you looked you could see fortified towers, both round and square, some abandoned only 20 years before and now slowly crumbling to dust.  These buildings appeared to be the most visible testimony of a way of life that had all but disappeared, as the people no longer needed to protect themselves from attack by the mountain tribes, and inter-Emirate warfare was a distant memory rendering these fortified towers largely redundant.
My colleague on the site, Derek Kennet (now at Durham University), suggested we attempt to locate every defensive tower in RAK before they vanished forever. So, supported by the Department of Antiquities and Museums of RAK, and the far-sighted understanding of H.H. Sheikh b. Saqr  al-Qasimi, we put our project together. Starting in December 1991 we set about what we were told would be an impossible task: to locate, record and interpret every tower in the entire country in the space of six weeks.

Hat/Tip to annetteboardman for these stories.

KPBS: Archeologists Study Howell Torpedo Found By Dolphins Off San Diego Coast (Video)
By Beth Ford Roth
Monday, February 3, 2014

Remember back in March of last year, when Navy dolphins discovered a 19th century torpedo off the coast of San Diego? Now archeologists from the Naval History and Heritage Command are studying the artifact, hoping it will unlock some secrets from the past.

KPBS: Battling A Small Pest To Keep California Citrus Flourishing

For a description, see the accompanying article under Biodiversity.

KPBS: San Diego Leaders, Environmentalists Gather For Zero Waste Symposium

Zero Waste San Diego is hosting its first symposium Tuesday in Kearny Mesa, bringing together business leaders, nonprofits and local governments for a discussion on reusing or recycling all materials.
For more, read the accompanying story under Environmental Policy.

KPBS: One Year After 'Blackfish,' SeaWorld Goes On Offensive

The documentary "Blackfish," about SeaWorld and killer whales in captivity, premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2013. A year later, the debate continues and SeaWorld is going on the offensive.
For more, read the accompanying article at the KPBS site.
The movie 'Blackfish' has grossed $2 million at the box office. That's quite a feat for any documentary. It has been seen by more than 21 million TV viewers, thanks to its broadcast on CNN.

The enduring controversy about 'Blackish' has made it impossible for SeaWorld to ignore.

KPBS: San Diego Water Quality Databases Track Pollution In Inland Watersheds

Clean water advocates are making it easier to track water quality along San Diego County's rivers and creeks. San Diego Coastkeeper's new website gets freshwater quality data out on the web in a way people can use it.

Science at NASA: ScienceCasts: California Drought

California is experiencing a historic drought--by some measures the deepest in more than 100 years. NASA researchers are investigating a number of explanations for what the underlying cause may be.

NASA: Webb Telescope's progress on This Week @NASA

NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Goddard Center Director Chris Scolese congratulated the Goddard team recently for progress in development of the James Webb Space Telescope. The telescope's flight instruments and primary mirrors are being integrated at Goddard. JWST is the agency's flagship science project and the most powerful space telescope ever built. Scheduled to launch in 2018, it will study every phase in the history of our universe, including the first luminous glows after the big bang and the evolution of our own solar system. Also, Crawler-Transporter test drive, Adapter ring complete, Engine test, Progress up, Progress down and more!

JPL/NASA: What's Up for February 2014

See all the planets, plus mission updates from comet and asteroid missions Dawn and Rosetta.

NASA Goddard: Playing Tag With an Asteroid

What's the best way get a sample of an asteroid? Play tag with it! That's the plan for OSIRIS-REx, a NASA spacecraft that will approach the asteroid Bennu in 2018. The collection will be done with an instrument on board called the Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism, or, TAGSAM. Learn how it works in this video. Curiosity Sees Earth and Moon From Mars | Video

The Mars Science Laboratory captured imagery of the brightest object in its twilight sky, Earth and its orbiting Moon. The rover's Mast Camera imaged them on January 31st, 2014, its 529th day on the Red Planet.

Astronomy/Space Hubble Telescope Helps Solve Mystery of Universe's Massive Galactic Burnouts
By Megan Gannon, News Editor
February 07, 2014 07:11am ET

Using data from the Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories, astronomers are learning why some massive galaxies hit their peak young and quit making stars when the universe was less than a quarter of its current age.

Scientists have been puzzled by compact, elliptical-shaped galaxies that seem to have burned out when the universe was 3 billion years old. For comparison, our Milky Way galaxy is 12 billion years old and still making stars. These burnouts are sometimes nicknamed "red and dead" galaxies because of their reddish color, compared to the blue hues of star-making galaxies, according to NASA. Strangely, these dead galaxies are just as massive as today's large spiral galaxies, but with stars squeezed into an area three times smaller.

"This means that the density of stars was 10 times greater," Sune Toft, an astrophysics and cosmology professor at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, explained in a statement. "Furthermore, the galaxies were already dead, so they were no longer forming new stars. It was a great mystery." Black Holes Heated Early Universe Slower Than Previously Thought
By Nola Taylor Redd, Contributor
February 05, 2014 01:01pm ET

Black holes acting as companions to early stars may have taken more time to raise the temperature of the ancient universe than previously thought, a new study suggests.

Scientists found that the energy streaming from these early pairings took longer to raise the temperature of the universe, which means astronomers could detect signs of the heating process previously thought to be out of bounds. Two cosmic milestones occurred in the universe a few hundred million years after the Big Bang— dominating hydrogen gas was both heated and made transparent.

"Previously, it was thought that these two milestones are well separated in time, and thus in observational data as well," study co-author Rennan Barkana, of Tel Aviv University, told via email. Wobbly Alien Planet with Wild Seasons Found by NASA Telescope
By Megan Gannon, News Editor
February 05, 2014 01:00pm ET

Astronomers have discovered an alien planet that wobbles at such a dizzying rate that its seasons must fluctuate wildly.

Throughout all of the planet's fast-changing seasons, however, no forecast would be friendly to humans. The warm planet is a gassy super-Neptune that orbits too close to its two parent stars to be in its system's "habitable zone," the region where temperatures would allow liquid water, and perhaps life as we know it, to exist.

The faraway world, which lies 2,300 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus, was discovered by NASA's planet-hunting Kepler space telescope. Dubbed Kepler-413b, the planet orbits a pair of orange and red dwarf stars every 66 days. NASA Spacecraft Snaps More than 200,000 Photos of Mercury (Image)
By Miriam Kramer, Staff Writer
February 07, 2014 10:51am ET

A probe orbiting Mercury has beamed more than 200,000 images to ground controllers on Earth, and it's still going strong.

NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft has been in orbit around Mercury since 2011. Originally, scientists only expected the probe to beam 1,000 or 2,000 images of Mercury home during the life of its mission, but the spacecraft surpassed that goal long ago.

"Returning over 200,000 images from orbit about Mercury is an impressive accomplishment for the mission, and one I've been personally counting down for the last few months," Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab's Nancy Chabot, instrument scientist for the Mercury Dual Imaging System on MESSENGER, said in a statement. "However, I’m really more excited about the many thousands of images that are still in MESSENGER's future, especially those that we plan to acquire at low altitudes and will provide the highest resolution views yet of Mercury's surface."


Accuweather via LiveScience: Five Monuments that Might Not Pass the Test of Time
Jenna Abate,
February 07, 2014 02:35pm ET

Ancient civilizations have long written about the power and force that weather once brought upon them. There have been descriptions of grueling heat from the ancient Egyptians to accounts of great typhoons passed down by the ancient Greeks.

Centuries have passed and few visible signs of ancient people still exist today; we regard monuments across the world as major tourists attractions. Slowly but surely, extreme weather is weakening popular monuments across the globe. Meteorologist Jim Andrews, who specializes in international weather, weighs in on this list of the world's wonders and whether they can outlast the test of time.

The Guardian (UK): Volunteer army set up to examine archaeological sites uncovered by floods
Museum of London Archaeology wants to record items washed up in thousands of sites around the UK
Maev Kennedy
The Guardian

The Museum of London Archaeology is recruiting a volunteer army of dog walkers, bird watchers, amateur historians and geology enthusiasts to help record sites that have been uncovered by storms and flood tides over the winter.

The project is being launched by the museum, with the help of a Heritage Lottery grant – an initial £1.4m, including a development grant of £75,000 – to help recruit the amateur archaeologists.

Artefacts including medieval bones and stone age cooking pots have been washed out of sites around the coast and unknown shipwrecks have been revealed.

Hat/Tip to annetteboardman for these stories.

KPBS: ‘Pineapple Express’ Is Bringing Rain To Northern California
By David Wagner
Friday, February 7, 2014

Heavy precipitation is predicted for Northern California this weekend. But don't expect the so-called "Pineapple Express" to end California's historic drought, say San Diego climate scientists.

This weekend, Scripps Institution of Oceanography sent Marty Ralph on flights straight into an "atmospheric river" over Northern California. Atmospheric rivers are narrow but powerful plumes of moisture. The ones that hit the West Coast tend to originate in Hawaii, hence their fruity nickname. These storms are responsible for delivering a huge amount of California's annual precipitation.

Scripps climate researcher Dan Cayan contributed to the research while staying grounded in La Jolla. He says if we think of normal storms like lawn sprinklers, then atmospheric rivers are more like fire hoses. They can cause floods, but can also replenish drought-stricken regions.

KPBS: How Does California’s ‘Zero Water Allocation’ Affect San Diego?
By Susan Murphy
Monday, February 3, 2014

Amid California's severe drought, water officials announced Friday the State Water Project may not make any deliveries this year -- an unprecedented decision that impacts residents and farmers across two-thirds of the state, but will not have an immediate impact on San Diego County, according to San Diego County Water Authority.

Twenty percent of the county’s water supply generally comes from the state’s system of canals, pipes and dams that delivers melted snowpack and rainfall runoff from Northern California to water agencies across the state.

San Diego County gets the majority of its supply, 60 percent, from the Colorado River.

KPBS: Toxic Releases Inventory Finds Pollution In San Diego Trending Up
By Erik Anderson
Wednesday, February 5, 2014

San Diego and California are going in different directions when it comes to the release or transfer of toxic materials.

A new federal survey from the Environmental Protection Agency finds toxic releases falling in the state, but rising in San Diego.

More than 1,200 California businesses reported they released a total of 33 million pounds of toxic materials in the air, on land or in water in 2012. That's less than compared to the previous year.

University of Georgia: Drought affects the carbon cycle in Georgia blackwater rivers
February 6, 2014

Athens, Ga. - Droughts might be affecting how Georgia's blackwater rivers process carbon, according to a new study led by an ecologist while he was at the University of Georgia. The results, which were published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, report less carbon being transported downstream, higher concentrations of carbon in the water and increasing rates of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere in years following droughts.

Blackwater rivers wind through the wetlands and bottomland forests of Georgia's coastal plain. These waters are home to some of the state's most iconic features with towering cypress trees rising gracefully from their slow moving and tannin-stained waters.

Blackwater rivers also contain large amounts of carbon, making them important for their role in the global carbon cycle-the continuous movement of carbon in various forms through soil, water, air, plants and animals.


KPBS: Battling A Small Pest To Keep California Citrus Flourishing
By Erik Anderson
Wednesday, February 5, 2014

SAN DIEGO — Congress set aside $125 million in the new farm bill to help beat back an attack on the nation's citrus trees.

Greening disease already has cost the Florida citrus industry billions and Southern California researchers want to keep the illness out of this state's commercial groves.

A tiny Pakastani import is helping growers here wage war on a bug that spreads the disease.


UCSB: Global Regulator of mRNA Editing Found
Protein controls editing, expanding the information content of DNA
By Scott LaFee   
February 06, 2014

An international team of researchers, led by scientists from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Indiana University, have identified a protein that broadly regulates how genetic information transcribed from DNA to messenger RNA (mRNA) is processed and ultimately translated into the myriad of proteins necessary for life.

The findings, published today in the journal Cell Reports, help explain how a relatively limited number of genes can provide versatile instructions for making thousands of different messenger RNAs and proteins used by cells in species ranging from sea anemones to humans. In clinical terms, the research might also help researchers parse the underlying genetic mechanisms of diverse diseases, perhaps revealing new therapeutic targets.

“Problems with RNA editing show up in many human diseases, including those of neurodegeneration, cancer and blood disorders,” said Gene Yeo, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at UC San Diego. “This is the first time that a single protein has been identified that broadly regulates RNA editing. There are probably hundreds more. Our approach provides a method to screen for them and opens up new ways to study human biology and disease.”

UCSD: Split Decision: Stem Cell Signal Linked With Cancer Growth
By Scott LaFee   
February 03, 2014

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a protein critical to hematopoietic stem cell function and blood formation. The finding has potential as a new target for treating leukemia because cancer stem cells rely upon the same protein to regulate and sustain their growth.

Hematopoietic stem cells give rise to all other blood cells. Writing in the February 2, 2014 advance online issue of Nature Genetics, principal investigator Tannishtha Reya, PhD, professor in the Department of Pharmacology, and colleagues found that a protein called Lis1 fundamentally regulates asymmetric division of hematopoietic stem cells, assuring that the stem cells correctly differentiate to provide an adequate, sustained supply of new blood cells.

Asymmetric division occurs when a stem cell divides into two daughter cells of unequal inheritance: One daughter differentiates into a permanently specialized cell type while the other remains undifferentiated and capable of further divisions.

NPR via KPBS: By Dropping Cigarettes, CVS Gives Its Reputation A Boost
By Scott Hensley / NPR
Originally published February 5, 2014 at 10:07 a.m., updated February 5, 2014 at 3:04 p.m.

When drugstore chain CVS said Wednesday that it would stop selling tobacco products by October, the company also told investors that the move would probably cost it $2 billion a year in lost sales.

CVS says it has figured out unspecified ways to help make up for the profits from cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Still, it's pretty clear that CVS, which also runs a network of 800 in-store health clinics and provides drug benefit services to corporations, has already burnished its image by making the high-profile decision.

While the value to the company's image is hard to measure, there's little doubt that it's big.

University of Alabama at Birmingham: First stroke guidelines for women created with help of UAB expert
Written by  Nicole Wyatt
February 06, 2014

While stroke occurrences have been on a consistent decline in the United States since the early 1900s, more women are still dying from them than are men. To aid in curbing these deaths, first-of-their-kind stroke-prevention guidelines for women have been released with the help of one University of Alabama at Birmingham expert.

Stroke is the fourth-leading cause of death for all Americans, and 60 percent of strokes occur in women, according to the American Stroke Association.

“Men are physiologically different from women, so preventive tips cannot be one-size-fits-all,” explained Virginia Howard, Ph.D., co-author of the new scientific statement Guidelines for the Prevention of Stroke in Women, published from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association Council on Stroke in the AHA journal Stroke.

University of Alabama at Birmingham: New ‘living document’ provides real-time Hepatitis C treatment guidance
Written by  Nicole Wyatt
February 06, 2014

When treatment guidelines for a particular disease emerge, they are often published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, which can take up to three years. One University of Alabama at Birmingham infectious diseases expert recently helped develop new Hepatitis C virus (HCV) guidelines that can be updated and published as new data emerge and new therapies are approved.

HCV — which affects more than 3 million people in the United States and is the leading cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — last saw guidelines released in 2011.

University of Georgia: Racial discrimination takes biological toll on body for some
February 3, 2014

Athens, Ga. - Racial discrimination has a health cost in additional to the emotional toll the abuse has on victims. According to a new study from the University of Georgia, African-American youth who experience frequent discrimination during adolescence are at risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke. Parental and peer emotional support was found to buffer these health risks.

The health risk inequities that African Americans experience undoubtedly arise from more than class disadvantage. Psychosocial stressors that disproportionately impact African Americans have been proposed as a mechanism that increases their vulnerability to poor health. Consistent with this reasoning, an emerging line of research has focused on racial discrimination, a qualitatively unique source of psychosocial stress that African Americans face.

"Exposure to racial discrimination during childhood and adolescence will have negative effects on the functioning of biological stress regulatory systems and, ultimately, on health," said Gene Brody, lead author of the study and director of the UGA Center for Family Research.

Georgia Tech: In Vitro Innovation: Testing Nanomedicine With Blood Cells On A Microchip
Posted February 4, 2014 | Atlanta, GA

Designing nanomedicine to combat diseases is a hot area of scientific research, primarily for treating cancer, but very little is known in the context of atherosclerotic disease. Scientists have engineered a microchip coated with blood vessel cells to learn more about the conditions under which nanoparticles accumulate in the plaque-filled arteries of patients with atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of myocardial infarction and stroke.

In the research, microchips were coated with a thin layer of endothelial cells, which make up the interior surface of blood vessels. In healthy blood vessels, endothelial cells act as a barrier to keep foreign objects out of the bloodstream. But at sites prone to atherosclerosis, the endothelial barrier breaks down, allowing things to move in and out of arteries that shouldn’t.

In a new study, nanoparticles were able to cross the endothelial cell layer on the microchip under conditions that mimic the permeable layer in atherosclerosis. The results on the microfluidic device correlated well with nanoparticle accumulation in the arteries of an animal model with atherosclerosis, demonstrating the device’s capability to help screen nanoparticles and optimize their design.


University of Alabama: UA Professor Finds Link Between Drinking Patterns, Alcohol ‘Cues’
Feb 4, 2014

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The motivations for one to drink alcohol and patterns of future drinking can be related to the attentional narrowing – or zeroing-in – one has to a photograph of an alcoholic beverage, according to a psychology professor at The University of Alabama.

Drinking alcohol can lead to myopia, or a narrowing of focus. It’s a key reason why drinking and driving is dangerous and illegal. But people can experience the same myopic state without ingesting alcohol – a picture of a cocktail or a beer ad in a magazine can trigger the same narrowing of attention and can predict future drinking patterns, according to a study recently conducted by Dr. Philip Gable, assistant professor of social psychology at UA.

“The idea that alcohol narrows attention has been around for a long time,” Gable said. “But the idea that these cues can cause the same narrowing of attention is pretty novel. When people have a strong desire to drink, they tend to focus on the goal to drink (alcohol cues), possibly to the detriment of negative consequences associated with drinking.”

University of Georgia: UGA study finds volunteering increases workers’ job performance
February 3, 2014

Athens, Ga. - Volunteerism is on the rise in the U.S., with more than a quarter of Americans engaging in charitable work. But how do all the hours spent working for free affect workers' on-the-job performance?

According to new research from the University of Georgia Terry College of Business published in the Academy Of Management Journal, employee volunteering is linked to greater workplace productivity and satisfaction.

"Overwhelmingly employees who volunteered gave more time and effort to their jobs, were more willing to help out their colleagues, talked more positively about their companies and were less likely to do detrimental things like cyberloaf or waste time on the job," said Jessica Rodell, an assistant professor of management at UGA and author of the research.


LiveScience: 4,600-Year-Old Step Pyramid Excavated in Egypt
By Owen Jarus, LiveScience Contributor
February 03, 2014 07:36am ET

TORONTO — Archaeologists working near the ancient settlement of Edfu, in southern Egypt, have uncovered a step pyramid that dates back about 4,600 years, predating the Great Pyramid of Giza by at least a few decades.

The step pyramid, which once stood as high as 43 feet (13 meters), is one of seven so-called "provincial" pyramids built by either the pharaoh Huni (reign ca. 2635-2610 B.C.) or Snefru (reign ca. 2610-2590 B.C.). Over time, the step pyramid's stone blocks were pillaged, and the monument was exposed to weathering, so today, it's only about 16 feet (5 m) tall.

Al Ahram (Egypt): Ancient mastaba tomb found in Egypt's Dakahliya
Well-preserved mummy among finds in mastaba tomb newly uncovered in Dakahliya
Nevine El-Aref

A collection of 180 ancient Egyptian ushabti figurines and a limestone sarcophagus have been found in a mastaba tomb in Egypt's Dakahliya.

During routine excavation work at Tel Tabla archaeological site in the Delta city of Dakahliya, an Egyptian archaeological mission discovered a mud brick mastaba tomb from the Late Ancient Egyptian period. The tomb consists of a number of burial shafts.

Culture 24 (UK): Iron industry revered by Romans discovered during link road dig in East Sussex
By Ben Miller
03 February 2014

An epicentre of the prehistoric iron industry, coveted by the conquering Romans for its sophisticated production techniques and believed by archaeologists to have been one of the finest sites of its kind in ancient Europe, has been discovered during a major roadbuilding project in Sussex.

Dozens of boreholes, 181 trial trenches and 24 test pits have been investigated by Oxford Archaeology along the future 5.6km link road between Bexhill-on-Sea and Hastings. The evidence ranges from the late Mesolithic and Neolithic periods to the Bronze, Iron, Saxon and Medieval ages.

LiveScience: Indian Ocean's Oldest Shipwreck Set for Excavation
By Megan Gannon, News Editor
February 04, 2014 12:42pm ET

The oldest known shipwreck in the Indian Ocean has been sitting on the seafloor off the southern coast of Sri Lanka for some 2,000 years. In just a couple of weeks, scuba-diving archaeologists will embark on a months-long excavation at the site, looking for clues about trade between Rome and Asia during antiquity.

The wreck lies 110 feet (33 meters) below the ocean's surface, just off the fishing village of Godavaya, where German archaeologists in the 1990s found a harbor that was an important port along the maritime Silk Road during the second century A.D.

The Miami Herald via Valley News: Prehistoric Village Uncovered in Downtown Miami
By Andres Viglucci
The Miami Herald
Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Miami — Archaeologists who for months have been uncovering mounting evidence of an ancient and extensive Native American village in the middle of downtown Miami have concluded it’s likely one of the most significant prehistoric sites in the United States.

The archaeologists, under the direction of veteran South Florida archaeologist Bob Carr, have so far painstakingly dug up eight large circles comprised of uniformly carved holes in the native limestone that they believe to be foundation holes for Tequesta Indian dwellings dating as far back as 2,000 years.

They have also discovered linear, parallel arrangements of hundreds of such postholes stretching across the site that Carr hypothesizes mark the foundation for other structures, possibly boardwalks connecting the dwellings. The village site borders a rocky outcropping that his team has concluded was the original natural shoreline at the confluence of Biscayne Bay and the Miami River, a spot long ago occluded by fill.

Asahi Shimbun (Japan): Remains of building may be part of ancient queen's palace
February 07, 2014

SAKURAI, Nara Prefecture--New excavations at the Makimuku archaeological dig here have unearthed the remains of a building that further indicate the palace of the shaman queen Himiko was located on the site in the earliest days of Japan, municipal education board officials said Feb. 6.

"The latest finding virtually confirms that buildings stood in a regular geometry along the central axis of a quadrangular area stretching 150 meters from east to west," said Hironobu Ishino, director of the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Archaeology. "That is an extraordinary dimension for third-century artifacts. It now appears ever more likely that the site represents the residential area of the two queens of the Yamatai state, Himiko and her successor, Toyo, who are mentioned in an official chronicle of China."

Michigan Tech via PhysOrg: Researcher digs deep into St. Thomas's past
by Dennis Walikainen
Feb 04, 2014

He's digging up the past—somewhere between 200 BC and 400 AD—in an unexpected archaeological excavation in downtown Charlotte Amalie on the Caribbean island of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands

David Hayes, who got his MS in Industrial Archaeology from Michigan Technological University in 2000, is principal investigator for a year-old dig that began when he noticed pottery popping out of a highway improvement site. The highway work was stopped, and the pieces have since been dated to early ceramic makers and farmers of the Saladoid era, 2000 to 1,400 years ago.

"This is a major discovery," Hayes said. "Very rich." In addition to the shards, he's found animal bones, shell beads, shell bows "and a lot more, like faces in clay."

Daily Post (UK): Anglesey: Medieval wall found at St Ffinan's church
Archaeologists describe the find as 'very exiciting'
3 Feb 2014 10:10

Archaeologists have hailed the finding of a medieval wall at an Anglesey church as “very exciting.”

The discovery was made by archaeologist Matt Jones during work to install a new electricity cable at St Ffinan’s Church, near Talwrn, Anglesey.

The present church was built in 1841, but the excavation uncovered the foundations of a demolished medieval church underneath it.

The trench work was being carried out for the Diocese of Bangor.

The seven metre section is of a substantial 1-metre wide stone wall which had survived to a height of three courses.

Irish Times: Archaeological find shines light on ancient religious rituals

Large pilgrimage route on island lost to folk memory has been found on Co Mayo island

A medieval pilgrimage “round”, or circuit, has been identified on the Mayo island of Caher, which archaeologists believe shines fresh light on religious practices in the west of Ireland up to 1,000 years ago.

Caher, a rocky outcrop lying between the southern tip of Clew Bay and Inishturk, marks the sea end of Bóthair na Naomh, the so-called saint’s road, up to the summit of Croagh Patrick and down towards the Atlantic.

The Bolton News (UK): Ancient cross which stood in Radcliffe is rediscovered – at the library

AN historic mediaeval cross which stood in Radcliffe for many years has been rediscovered after laborious research by a local historian — and a sprinkle of luck.

Seeing Radcliffe’s old village cross for herself was the reward of years of work for retired Carol Kemp, who can trace six generations of her family back to the Top o’the Cross area.

Radcliffe-born Carol, who now lives in Walmersley, followed a trail of references to the cross in historical texts, council minutes and Ordinance Survey maps, but had no idea of its whereabouts or if it had lasted the passage of time.

South Whidbey Record: Anchor of ages believed found off Whidbey Island
by JUSTIN BURNETT,  South Whidbey Record Editor
Feb 6, 2014 at 6:00AM updated Feb 7, 2013 at 7:20PM

Once strong and new, it secured our future. Now rusty and covered in sea life, it will connect us with our past.


Considered by some to be a Holy Grail of Puget Sound archaeology, three men — a commercial diver, an amateur historian and an attorney — believe they have found the fabled lost anchor of Captain George Vancouver’s exploration of the Pacific Northwest more than 200 years ago.

Lying in shallow water along the west side of Whidbey Island, the historic artifact could be recovered by the three-man team that makes up Anchor Ventures LLC within the month.

Hat/Tip to annetteboardman for these stories.


Herald & Review: Chris Brodnicki explored beyond home in world of archaeology

DECATUR — Before becoming the face of the Decatur Civic Center, Chris Brodnicki lived out his dream of hunting for dinosaur bones and stumbled upon a piece of history from 66 million years ago.

About a decade ago, Brodnicki found himself driving 30 miles into the Badlands of Montana, absent any roads, with the remains of a teenage triceratops in the truck bed of his Dodge 4x4.

He and his prospecting group knew they had discovered a 2-foot-long bony core of a horn, along with a leg bone and some teeth, but they did not realize the bones belonged to a triceratops from the Cretaceous Period.

LiveScience: Europe's Oldest Human Footprints Found
By Megan Gannon, News Editor
February 07, 2014 08:49am ET

Footprints pressed into the mud of modern-day England more than 800,000 years ago might represent the oldest-known human tracks ever found in Europe, archaeologists say.

A storm exposed the footprints at the archaeologically rich coastal site of Happisburgh in Norfolk in May 2013. Scientists rushed to examine and document the fragile prints before they were washed away by waves within just two weeks. Images and 3D models, along with sediment cores from the site, suggest the impressions, left by a group of at least 12 people, are among the earliest ever found.

Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology via PhysOrg: Dating is refined for the Atapuerca site where Homo antecessor appeared
Feb 07, 2014

One of the issues of the Atapuerca sites that generates the most scientific debate is the dating of the strata where the fossils are found. Therefore, researchers at the Spanish National Research Centre for Human Evolution, among others, strive to settle the dates. A study published by the 'Journal of Archaeological Science' has clarified that the sediment of Gran Dolina, where the first remains of Homo antecessor were discovered in 1994, is 900,000 years old.

The findings at the Lower Palaeolithic cave site of Gran Dolina, in the Sierra de Atapuerca mountain range (Burgos), have led to major advancements in our knowledge of human evolution and occupation of Eurasia.

Hat/Tip to annetteboardman for these stories.


LiveScience: Small Earthquake Strikes Off California Coast
LiveScience Staff
February 06, 2014 03:06pm ET

An earthquake of preliminary magnitude 4.2 struck just off the coast of California today, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The earthquake's epicenter was 9 miles (15 km) south-southwest of San Simeon, Calif., and 26 miles (42 km) west-northwest of Morro Bay, Calif. It originated 2.2 miles (3.5 km) deep and struck at 11:42 a.m. Thursday local time (19:42 UTC), the USGS reports.


University of Georgia: UGA engineer receives $1 million to develop milk cooler
February 3, 2014

Athens, Ga. - Keeping milk safe and healthy to drink is a challenge in areas without electricity. A University of Georgia engineer received $1 million to continue working on a milk cooler designed to help dairy farmers, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, who lack access to refrigeration.

The milk cooler, developed by William Kisaalita, professor of biological and mechanical engineering in the UGA College of Engineering, uses the principle of evaporative cooling to quickly bring the temperature of milk to a safe holding temperature.

"It's the same phenomenon that occurs when you jump into a swimming pool and then you come out on a windy day," said Kisaalita. "If there's water on your skin, you will feel cold. This same principle is applied in chilling the milk."


LiveScience: Hark, Quarks! Strange Tiny Particles Loom Large in New Study
By Jesse Emspak, LiveScience Contributor
February 07, 2014 11:13am ET

The most precise measurement yet of a fundamental property of quarks — one of the building blocks of matter — brings scientists closer to finding new exotic particles.

The new study, which revisited a decades-old experiment, could help physicists find a theory beyond one of the most successful in physics: the Standard Model.

At the U.S. Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Laboratory, scientists fired a beam of electrons at an atom of deuterium, or heavy hydrogen, which consists of one proton and one neutron. They looked at the way the electrons scattered after hitting the nucleus of the atom, and used that pattern to find out more about quarks, which make up protons and neutrons. The experiment is similar to one done in the late 1970s, which helped confirm that the Standard Model successfully explained the behavior of tiny particles. The work appears in the Feb. 6 issue of the journal Nature.

LiveScience: Exotic Particles, Tiny Extra Dimensions May Await Discovery
By Katia Moskvitch, LiveScience Contributor
February 06, 2014 12:34pm ET

LONDON — Exotic particles never before detected and possibly teensy extra dimensions may be awaiting discovery, says a physicist, adding that those searching for such newbies should keep an open mind and consider all possibilities.

Such particles are thought to fill gaps in, and extend, the reigning theory of particle physics, the Standard Model, said David Charlton of the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, who is also a spokesperson of the ATLAS experiment at the world's biggest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and one of the experiments that pinpointed the Higgs boson particle thought to explain why other particles have mass.

Charlton addressed an audience of researchers last month at a talk titled "Before, behind and beyond the discovery of the Higgs Boson" here at the Royal Society.


Georgia Tech: Ballistic Transport in Graphene Suggests New Type of Electronic Device
Posted February 5, 2014 | Atlanta, GA

Using electrons more like photons could provide the foundation for a new type of electronic device that would capitalize on the ability of graphene to carry electrons with almost no resistance even at room temperature – a property known as ballistic transport.
Walt de Heer - Ballistic Transport

Research reported this week shows that electrical resistance in nanoribbons of epitaxial graphene changes in discrete steps following quantum mechanical principles. The research shows that the graphene nanoribbons act more like optical waveguides or quantum dots, allowing electrons to flow smoothly along the edges of the material. In ordinary conductors such as copper, resistance increases in proportion to the length as electrons encounter more and more impurities while moving through the conductor.

The ballistic transport properties, similar to those observed in cylindrical carbon nanotubes, exceed theoretical conductance predictions for graphene by a factor of 10. The properties were measured in graphene nanoribbons approximately 40 nanometers wide that had been grown on the edges of three-dimensional structures etched into silicon carbide wafers.

Science Crime Scenes

LiveScience: Guggenheim Painting Proven to Be a Fake
By Megan Gannon, News Editor
February 06, 2014 04:50pm ET

A painting in the Guggenheim collection initially attributed to French modern artist Fernand Léger has languished out of view for decades after it was suspected to be a fake.

Now scientists have confirmed that the artwork is a indeed forgery; in a first, they detected faint signatures of Cold War-era nuclear bombs in the canvas that reveal the painting was created after Léger's death.

The influential American art patron Peggy Guggenheim bought the painting, believing it to be part of Léger's "Contraste de Formes" (Contrasts of Forms), an abstract series created between 1913 and 1914 that breaks up figures into schematic units. (Léger was a contemporary of Pablo Picasso.) In the 1970s, Léger scholar Douglas Cooper voiced serious skepticism about its authenticity. Without any consensus from experts, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the current steward of the painting, has never exhibited nor catalogued the artwork.

Hat/Tip to annetteboardman for these stories.

L.A. Times: Attack on electric grid raises alarm
Damage to power station in shooting last year prompts worries over terrorism.
By Evan Halper and Marc Lifsher
February 6, 2014, 5:55 p.m.

Shooters armed with assault rifles and some knowledge of electrical utilities have prompted new worries on the vulnerability of California's vast power grid.

A 2013 attack on an electric substation near San Jose that nearly knocked out Silicon Valley's power supply was initially downplayed as vandalism by Pacific Gas & Electric Co., the facility's owner. Gunfire from semiautomatic weapons did extensive damage to 17 transformers that sent grid operators scrambling to avoid a blackout.

But this week, a former top power regulator offered a far more ominous interpretation: The attack was terrorism, he said, and if circumstances had been just a little different, it could have been disastrous.

KPBS: San Diego Meth-Related Deaths Up 55 Percent Since 2008
By Jill Replogle
Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Deaths due to methamphetamine have risen more than 55 percent in San Diego since 2008, according to the county’s Meth Strike Force.

Arrests for meth possession and sale are also up, along with the percentage of adult arrestees who test positive for meth and the number of meth users who end up in emergency rooms.

On the other hand, meth labs have nearly been eradicated in San Diego County, authorities say, and the percentage of juvenile arrestees who test positive for meth are down from 10 percent in 2008 to 4 percent in 2012.

KPBS: 45 San Diego Gang Members Charged With Meth, Gun Crimes
By Jill Replogle
Thursday, February 6, 2014

The U.S Attorney’s Office in San Diego announced indictments against 45 people for charges related to gun and methamphetamine trafficking on Thursday. Authorities said the meth was distributed in San Diego, but also as far as Hawaii, Guam and Minnesota.

The indictments followed a yearlong investigation into six San Diego street gangs, including the Oriental Killer Boys, Linda Vista Crips and Logan Heights Calle Treinta.

Most of the meth allegedly sold by suspects was from Mexico, U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said in a press conference. She added that some of the meth was extremely pure — “mid and high 90 percentage.”

University of Alabama: UA Matters: Protecting Yourself Against Identity Theft
Feb 3, 2014

Identity theft is the most prevalent white collar crime in the United States today. The University of Alabama’s Caroline Fulmer helps consumers understand how it occurs, the steps that can be taken to minimize the chances of being a victim and where to get help if they are a victim.

The most common ways identity theft occurs are when your wallet or purse is stolen; records are stolen from inside your home or from your mailbox; you willingly share information with a person who turns out to be a scam artist; using unsecure websites; or your information is stolen from a business.

University of Georgia: Identity thieves may wait to use stolen data during tax season
February 5, 2014

Athens, Ga. - Identity thieves may take advantage of tax season by filing false tax returns with their victims' stolen personal information, warns a data security proponent at the University of Georgia.

"During tax season, identity thieves are quick to file returns and get refunds from the government that will cause a legitimate taxpayer's refund to be denied as a duplicate return," said Laura Heilman, a security awareness training and education manager at UGA's Enterprise Information Technology Services office. "The legitimate taxpayer then takes on the burden of proving they are who they say they are and an identity thief was the fraudulent filer."

According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, fraudulent tax refunds claims associated with identity theft reached $12.1 billion in 2012. Tax-related identity theft and fraud is expected to reach an all-time high as people begin to file their tax returns for 2013.

Science, Space, Health, Environment, and Energy Policy

Columbia Basin Herald: Bill tries to protect burial grounds
But would reduce public records access
By Leilani Leach,
Herald staff writer

OLYMPIA - If the location of historical Native American burial grounds is known, those sites are vulnerable to looting. But if the sites are kept secret, they're vulnerable to damage by unwitting developers building over them.

A bill attempting to address that paradox was heard Tuesday before the House committee in charge of tribal affairs and community development. HB 2274 would exempt archaeological information on cultural places from public records requests.

Hat/Tip to annetteboardman for these stories.

KPBS: House Passes Water Delivery Act; Bill Expected To Die In Senate
By Steve Milne / Capitol Public Radio
Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act would allow more water to be pumped out of the Delta and sent to farms. Critics say it favors farms over fish and environmental concerns.

The bill was co-sponsored by every California House Republican, including Tom McClintock whose fourth district includes El Dorado, Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties.

"Well, it simply restores the Bay-Delta Accord which was a bipartisan agreement back in the 1990s that promised allocations to various groups," McClintock said on Insight with Beth Ruyak. "The water diversions for the Delta smelt absolutely shattered that promise. This bill simply redeems it and restores the Bay Delta Accord."

But Democrats are staunchly opposed; including John Garamendi whose third district includes parts of Sacramento, Yolo and Solano counties.

KPBS: Interim Mayor Asks San Diego To Step Up Water Conservation
By City News Service
Wednesday, February 5, 2014

San Diegans have been good at conserving water in recent years but will have to step up their game because of the statewide drought, interim San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said Wednesday.

"I need to thank all of you for your successful efforts over the past several years to save water and I need to ask you to continue your conservation and even challenge you to ramp it up, given the significant water supply challenges facing our state,'' Gloria said. "We live in a beautiful city, but it's one with a dry climate, and we need to accept conservation as a permanent way of life.''

This is the third dry winter in a row in California and snowfall has been light in the Sierra Nevada mountains, which provides the state with most of its water. Gov. Jerry Brown has asked residents to cut back water use by 20 percent, and state officials have halted deliveries from the State Water Project.

KPBS: UCSD Professor To Lead Community Panel On Decommissioning San Onofre
By Erik Anderson
Thursday, February 6, 2014

SAN DIEGO — A UC San Diego professor will help keep the public informed about the decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant. David Victor was picked for the job by Southern California Edison, the plant's majority owner.

Victor is an international relations professor and the director of the UCSD Laboratory on International Law and Regulation.

He is seen widely as an authority on energy markets.

KPBS: Rents Spike In Tech Hubs Like San Diego
By David Wagner
Thursday, February 6, 2014

According to a new report, rents in cities with booming tech industries are climbing faster than in the rest of the country. San Diego has seen some of the steepest increases.

Real estate company Trulia collected housing cost data on 10 tech hubs from around the country. The price of renting a two-bedroom unit grew fastest in startup-saturated San Francisco. But San Diego was a close second. Local rents shot up over 10 percent last year, compared with a national average increase of 3.3 percent.

KPBS: San Diego Leaders, Environmentalists Gather For Zero Waste Symposium
By Dwane Brown, Susan Murphy
Originally published February 4, 2014 at 6:50 a.m., updated February 4, 2014 at 5:05 p.m.

The average person throws away 4.5 pounds of trash every day, including recyclable items like aluminum cans, newspaper, plastic cups and styrofoam food containers.

"Actually what I've really found trying to work with the community going on the road to zero waste its always a process. Its about behavior change," said Colleen Foster, a solid waste and recycling management analyst with Oceanside.

Foster helped 1,000 city employees in Oceanside reduce their waste to zero by simply removing their plastic trash cans and replacing them with much smaller ones. That forced everyone to think twice about what to do with their trash.

Science Education

Ars Technica: A visual tour of the Creation Museum
Ars takes in the sights and sounds of Ken Ham's magnum opus.
by Eric Bangeman
Feb 8 2014, 11:47am CST

This past week, Deputy Editor Nate Anderson and I traveled down to Petersburg, Kentucky to cover the debate between Bill Nye the Science Guy and Ken Ham, the president and CEO of both Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum. The morning after the debate, we headed back over to the Creation Museum to take in the sights and to further investigate some of the things that caught our eye in our brief walkabout before the debate.

If you don't hold to a literalist account of the creation narrative in Genesis 1-2, walking through the Creation Museum can be unsettling. There are fossils, incredibly detailed dioramas, and really slick-looking exhibits—all alongside explanations that I never saw in any science classroom.

Hat/Tip to annetteboardman for these stories.

Science Writing and Reporting

University of Alabama at Birmingham: UAB physician Stephen Russell to release first of three novels Feb. 12
Written by Tyler Greer
February 06, 2014

Stephen Russell, M.D., strongly believes creativity is an important aspect of medicine, so much so that he teaches his students to use art to enhance their skills as physicians.

The associate professor in the UAB School of Medicine Division of General Internal Medicine entered the study of medicine as a college student mostly from a liberal arts background. Russell’s fascination with history and the impact people made on history gave him a deep appreciation for the arts, reading — and writing.

“For me, writing has a lot of the same creativity that is required in medicine,” said Russell, who practices internal medicine and pediatrics at UAB Health Center Moody. “It’s finding new ways to deal with challenges around me. There’s a connection between what I write, what I do from a teaching standpoint and what I do from a professional standpoint. Because I’m a physician, and wanted to write about a physician, and I wanted it to be realistic as well.”

Auburn University: Auburn University selects ‘The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind’ as 2014-15 Common Book
February 5, 2014

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Auburn University has selected “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope” for its 2014-15 Auburn Connects! Common Book Program.

In the New York Times bestseller by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, Kamkwamba chronicles his experiences growing up in a small village in Malawi, Africa. He shares African folklore, insights into local and national government, details about cultural customs and the harsh realities of famine. Kamkwamba will be on the Auburn campus Sept. 9 to speak about those experiences.

To fill his time after dropping out of school due to poverty, Kamkwamba began reading old American textbooks in which he learned about windmills. As a young, uneducated boy with minimal English skills, he decided to build a windmill to bring electricity and running water to his farm and his village. With a small pile of scrap metal, tractor parts and bicycle halves, and to the surprise of all the neighbors who called him “misala,” or crazy, he erected a functioning windmill in his backyard.

Science is Cool

American Friends of Tel Aviv University: Finding Israel's First Camels
TAU archaeologists pinpoint the date when domesticated camels arrived in Israel
Monday, February 3, 2014

Camels are mentioned as pack animals in the biblical stories of Abraham, Joseph, and Jacob. But archaeologists have shown that camels were not domesticated in the Land of Israel until centuries after the Age of the Patriarchs (2000-1500 BCE). In addition to challenging the Bible's historicity, this anachronism is direct proof that the text was compiled well after the events it describes

Now Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef and Dr. Lidar Sapir-Hen of Tel Aviv University's Department of Archaeology and Near Eastern Cultures have used radiocarbon dating to pinpoint the moment when domesticated camels arrived in the southern Levant, pushing the estimate from the 12th to the 9th century BCE. The findings, published recently in the journal Tel Aviv, further emphasize the disagreements between Biblical texts and verifiable history, and define a turning point in Israel's engagement with the rest of the world.

"The introduction of the camel to our region was a very important economic and social development," said Dr. Ben-Yosef. "By analyzing archaeological evidence from the copper production sites of the Aravah Valley, we were able to estimate the date of this event in terms of decades rather than centuries."

Gawker has more in The Whole Bible Thing Is B.S. Because of Camel Bones, Says Science
Adam Weinstein on Gawker
The Old Testament. It's been kinda important to much of human civilization going back a fair stretch. It's also a sham! Your cherished psalms and stories of ritualistic filicide are no longer any match for Israelis with radiocarbon dating equipment, sheeple!

Via Fox News (and hey, if they can admit it):

Archaeologists from Israel's top university have used radiocarbon dating to pinpoint the arrival of domestic camels in the Middle East — and they say the science directly contradicts the Bible's version of events.

Hat/Tip to annetteboardman for these stories.

Gizmodo: How LED Streetlights Will Change Cinema (And Make Cities Look Awesome)
Geoff Manaugh

The decision by the city of Los Angeles last year to replace its high-pressure sodium streetlights—known for their distinctive yellow hue—with new, blue-tinted LEDs might have a profound effect on at least one local industry. All of those LEDs, with their new urban color scheme, will dramatically change how the city appears on camera, thus giving Los Angeles a brand new look in the age of digital filmmaking. As Dave Kendricken writes for No Film School, "Hollywood will never look the same."

University of Alabama: UA Museum Celebrates Darwin Day
Feb 7, 2014

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Charles Darwin is turning 205, and The University of Alabama is having a party.

The community is invited to Darwin Day from noon to 5 p.m. Feb. 12, at UA’s Alabama Museum of Natural History in Smith Hall. The free event is a collaborative effort between the University’s Evolutionary Studies Club, biology graduate assistants, the Evolutionary Studies Working Group and the museum.

“Darwin Day is an international event,” said Dr. Dana Ehret, the museum’s curator of paleontology. “It’s an opportunity for campuses and museums worldwide to celebrate his contributions to science.”

Originally posted to Overnight News Digest on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:08 PM PST.

Also republished by SciTech and Astro Kos.

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