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Pangaea Supercontinent Timeline may be Wrong

An artist's rendition of Cifelliodon wahkarmoosuch, a transitional creature between reptiles and mammals that may readjust...
An  artist’s rendition of Cifelliodon wahkarmoosuch, a transitional creature between reptiles and mammals that may readjust our understanding of when the supercontinent Pangaea broke apart(Credit: Jorge A. Gonzalez)

If you feel like you’ve had some drawn-out breakups, they probably have nothing on the supercontinent of Pangaea, which took tens of millions of years to split up. But now, a unique fossil skull might readjust the timeline, with a strange creature turning up on a different continent to its previously-discovered relatives. read more

Sign Language Translating Robot Arm

A robotic hand that can translate words into sign language gestures for deaf people has been created by scientists.

Named Project Aslan, the 3D-printed hand costs as little as £400 ($560) to make and interprets both written text and spoken words.

The device communicates through ‘fingerspelling’, a type of sign language where words are spelled out letter-by-letter through separate gestures on a single hand.

The robot, which will be ready in five years, could one day be carried around in a rucksack, scientists say.

It could help some of the 70 million worldwide who are deaf or hard of hearing to communicate with people who don’t know sign language. read more

Stick Figures on Mars

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has spotted a set of mysterious ‘stick-like figures’ on the red planet.

In a photo shared to the rover’s Twitter account this week, NASA revealed a look at the unusual formations recently discovered on the face of a Martian rock.

It’s unclear what exactly created the quarter-inch-long ‘stick-figures,’ though the space agency says they could be crystals or minerals left in the gaps where crystals dissolved. read more

California is Falling Apart

from the American Spectator:

 California’s Infrastructure Is Crumbling (When It’s Not Burning)

Oroville-Dam

Wen I first moved to California from Ohio in the 1990s, I spotted a postcard in a gift shop that noted the state’s four seasons: wildfires, mudslides, earthquakes and riots. The postcard wasn’t entirely wrong. Outside of drought years, the state does suffer through a regular cycle of fires, slides and earthquakes, although the riots aren’t actually a seasonal thing. Californians are accustomed to the state’s weather disasters the same way a Kansan is accustomed to tornado drills.

Currently, Southern California is ablaze. Not long ago, out-of-control wildfires consumed a large portion of the Napa Valley, tragically destroying about 5 percent of the region’s housing stock and killing dozens of people. I once had to flee a raging wildfire – and the experience is far from pleasant. During last year’s floods, we were packed and ready to go while hoping the aging levee system held near my little ranch downstream from the state’s last wild river. read more

Global Warming is Killing the Polar Bears – Not

While reading this ridiculous account from the left chronicled by IBD, be mindful of these actual facts. The most recent Scientific Working Group Study of Polar Bear populations from 2016 shows a maximum of only 10,000 Polar Bears remained in the 1960’s. By 2005, populations increased to upwards of 25,000. They continue to increase each year. In 2015 the number jumped to maximum of 31,000 and last year, 2016, the number jumped again to over 32,250. I guess Global warming has been good to the Polar Bear.

from IBD:

No, Global Warming Isn’t Killing Off The Polar Bears

It’s a heart-rending video: A National Geographic video shows a plainly starving, shockingly thin polar bear rummaging for food. It’s near death. The tragic scene went viral on the internet.

“When scientists say bears are going extinct, I want people to realize what it looks like,” said SeaLegacy photographer Paul Nicklen, whose video of the bear was later shared online by National Geographic.

And, of course, the media wasted no time in fixing blame: global warming. read more

An Assault Rifle is just too Scary to Own

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

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A report out of Southern California describes a “gun enthusiast” who purposely destroyed his AR-15 rifle. It is further explained that he did so, “to do his part to put a stop to mass shootings.”

He took a sledge hammer to it.

“I can’t do it,” Chad Vachter said. “I can’t have something in my house that so easily could become a part of another situation like that, and I’m not going to be desensitized to it. I refuse to.”

“Vachter, of Riverside County, first noticed his feelings toward the weapon changing after the San Bernardino, Calif., attack that killed 14 people at the Inland Regional Center in 2015. His son was being treated for autism there,” KMIR reports.

While I understand why he feels a connection toward the Center and likely some of the slain staff there – what does he mean? Has Vachter become unstable? Is he on the verge of a mental break-down, to the point that he fears becoming the next mass-shooter? read more