Why Don’t Ballet Dancers Get Dizzy?

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Scientists have discovered differences in the brain structure of ballet dancers that may help them avoid feeling dizzy when they perform pirouettes.

The research suggests that years of training can enable dancers to suppress signals from the balance organs in the inner ear.

The findings, published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, could help to improve treatment for patients with chronic dizziness. Around one in four people experience this condition at some time in their lives. read more

Amazing Underwater Waterfall

Image credit: Satellite Photograph by DigitalGlobe via Google Maps.

Image credit: Satellite Photograph by DigitalGlobe via Google Maps.

The world’s oceans have always been special to me, and bodies of water in general. The air smells different, the wind blows cool, and you’re reminded of the power of the salty seas every time you step in. It’s one of the reasons that the old sea shanties have always fascinated me.

But there’s one ocean sight I had never seen before until earlier this week: an underwater waterfall! read more

Education’s Shiny Toy Syndrome

from: Michelle Malkin

It’s elementary. Public education bureaucrats do the darnedest, stupidest things. Clever kids are ready, willing and able to capitalize on that costly stupidity in a heartbeat. Within days of rolling out a $30 million Common Core iPad program in Los Angeles, for example, students had already hacked the supposedly secure devices.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the disastrous initiative has been suspended after students from at least three different high schools breached the devices’ security protections. It was a piece of iCake. The young saboteurs gleefully advertised their method to their friends, fellow Twitter and Facebook users, and the media. read more

Global Warming Lives at the IPCC

by: the Common Constitutionalist

 

So the U.N. IPCC high priests of Global Warming are meeting this week. No doubt flying in to Stockholm, Sweden on private pollutant spewing jets.

Despite all data to the contrary, their final report on the scourge of manmade global warming, to be released on Sept. 30 will surely be chock-full of dire predictions of Armageddon unless America reverts to third world status.

Yet some have started to recognize the graffiti on the walls at the “Church of the Burning Planet”, as Larry Bell calls it, that temperatures have been flat to cooling for the past 17 years.

Mr. Bell wrote that of all publications, The New York Times reported on June 6: “The rise in the surface temperature of Earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace.” Reporter Justin Gillis went on to admit that the break in temperature increases “highlights important gaps in our knowledge of the climate system”, whereby the lack of warming “is a bit of a mystery to climate scientists.”

Maybe the New York Times is the harbinger of a global climate shift? Could this be the opening salvo to the eventual shift from the warming hysteria to cooling? They were the first to do a 180 from cooling to warming in 1981, when just 6 years earlier Newsweek had their infamous, “The Ice Age Cometh” cover story that scared the crap out of many. The NYT even published their own article in 1975 entitled “Major cooling may be ahead”. read more

Really Aged Cheese

Move over, 15-year cheddar. Researchers believe they may have found a sample of cheese residue dating back some 7,000 years — the earliest known appearance of the preserved dairy product.

Archaeologists began uncovering ancient pieces of hole-riddled pottery in Poland in the 1920s and ’30s. The reassembled ceramics immediately brought to mind modern cheese strainers for Princeton anthropologist Peter Bogucki, who published a paper on them in 1984. read more

Mother Nature Amazes

A cloud shaped like a giant rolling pin or sideways tornado had people craning their necks for a better look in Washington DC yesterday.

The unusual weather phenomenon, known as a roll cloud, stretched in a long line low in the sky at about 7.30am.

As it crept across the region, many people snapped pictures of the odd-looking cloud, which they posted to Twitter and Facebook.

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Rolling in: The arcus cloud was spotted hovering over the National Weather Service station
Rolling in: The arcus cloud was spotted hovering over the National Weather Service station

 

It is such an unusual sight that even meteorologists at the National Weather Service’s offices in northern Virginia took a picture of it as it loomed over their offices. read more

Invisible Touch

Touch is one of the most primitive senses we use, with almost every creature in the animal kingdom relying on it to survive.

But it seems humans have a far more advanced sense of touch than had been previously been believed.

According to a recent study, humans can sense bumps that are just 13 nanometers thick – about the size of an antibody molecule or a millionth of a millimeter.

Touch
The study suggests that humans have a far more advanced sense of touch that had previously been believed

 

The findings could have implications in a range of areas, from smartphone that provide haptic feedback to better consumer products, such as tissues and hair conditioner.

Lead researcher Professor Mark Rutland, at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, told ABC Science that touch is a relatively unknown sense. read more

One Way Ticket to Mars

 

A one-way ticket to a barren, hostile landscape, where temperatures can drop as low as -150°C, might not sound like everyone’s dream destination. 

But as of the application deadline a week ago, more than 200,000 people from 140 different countries have applied to be among the first colonists on Mars.

The applicants have agreed to stay on the red planet for the rest of their lives – and be filmed for a reality TV programme, said the company behind the mission, Mars One.

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The colony as it is expected to look in 2015 - with four astronauts arriving every two years on the one-way missionThe colony as it is expected to look in 2015 – with four astronauts arriving every two years on the one-way mission

The Dutch group wants to launch a supply mission that will land on Mars as soon as October 2016.  A ‘settlement rover’ will then land in 2018.

They added that landing systems will be tested eight times before they are used to transport humans – a move that Mars One said will make the trips ‘much safer than moon missions’.

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Ancient Predator of the Sea

A giant lizard that ruled the prehistoric seas up to 85 million years ago, killing anything in its path, was a skilled hunter as deadly as a shark, Swedish scientists have said.

At a time when T-Rex roamed the land, the Prognathodon was the top predator underwater, using its tail fin to propel itself at speed and grab prey ranging from turtles to sharks.

The terrifying creatures could grow up to 17 metres long, weigh as much as 20 tonnes and would have spent most of the day swimming near the seabed stalking their next meal from the cover of seaweed and rocks.

 
A giant lizard that ruled the prehistoric seas up to 85 million years ago was as skilled and deadly as a shark, Swedish scientists have saidA giant lizard that ruled the seas 85 million years ago was as deadly as a shark, Swedish scientists have said. The Prognathodon used its tail fin to propel itself at speed and grab prey ranging from turtles to sharks. A fossil, skeleton diagram and illustration of the creature is pictured

 

Being caught in the jaws of a Prognathodon meant almost certain death, although the lizards were still vulnerable to attack themselves, with one fossil bearing the marks of a shark bite in its spine.

The latest and best specimen was dug up from rocks in central Jordan, with part of its soft tissue preserved, including the perfect outlines of its tail fin and flippers.

A member of the mosasaur family, the marine reptile discovered measured just five feet long and was a juvenile when it died. It would have ended up six times its size had it lived.

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