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Cars and trucks thundering down the road in southwestern Nebraska stand a much lower chance today of smacking a cliff swallow than they did in the 1980s, according to a new study that suggests the birds have evolved shorter wings to pivot away from oncoming traffic.
NO, IT'S not a giant haystack - it's an example of one of the largest structures constructed by birds.
The first thing to hit Iain Couzin when he walked into the Oxford lab where he kept his locusts was the smell, like a stale barn full of old hay. The second, third, and fourth things to hit him were locusts. The insects frequently escaped their cages and careened into the faces of scientists and lab techs. The room was hot and humid, and the constant commotion of 20,000 bugs produced a miasma of aerosolized insect exoskeleton. Many of the staff had to wear respirators to avoid developing severe allergies. “It wasn’t the easiest place to do science,” Couzin says.
Teamwork has been fundamental in humanity's greatest achievements but scientists have found that working together has its evolutionary roots in our nearest primate relatives – chimpanzees.
In the rainforests of South America, squirrel monkeys and capybaras would never meet. While squirrel monkeys live in trees up to 60 feet high, capybaras—the world’s largest rodents—dwell along river banks. But at the Beekse Bergen Safari Park in the Netherlands, the two species have shared an enclosure for eight years now, and they seem to be friends. The monkeys ride and groom the capybaras.
Twelve birds lie belly-up in a wooden drawer at the Berkeley Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Bloated with stuffing, their ruddy brown chests resemble a row of sweet potatoes. Slate-blue heads and thin white tails protrude in perfect alignment, except for one bird that cranes its neck to face its neighbor. A pea-sized bulge of white cotton sits where its eye should be. A slip of paper tied to its foot reads, “Ectopistes migratorius. Manitoba. 1884.” This is the passenger pigeon, once the most abundant bird in North America. When Europeans first landed on the continent, they encountered billions of the birds. By 1914 they were extinct.
In 1983, the world lost one of its weirdest frogs. The gastric-brooding frog, native to tiny portions of Queensland, Australia, gave birth through its mouth, the only frog to do so (in fact, very few other animals in the entire animal kingdom do this--it's mostly this frog and a few fish). It succumbed to extinction due to mostly non-human-related causes--parasites, loss of habitat, invasive weeds, a particular kind of fungus. There were two subspecies, the northern and souther gastric-brooding frog, and they both became extinct in the mid-80s sometime.
I appreciate and respect the fact that TED have now bitten the bullet -- which cannot have been easy for them -- and fully retracted their original incorrect allegations against the content of my TEDx presentation "The War on Consciousness". They have done so by crossing out the original allegations and publishing my rebuttal here: http://blog.ted.com/2013/03/14/open-for-discussion-graham-hancock-and-rupert-sheldrake/
They have done the same as regards their original incorrect allegations against the content of the TEDx presentation "The Science Delusion" by my colleague Rupert Sheldrake.
TED have also opened up a new blog page ("Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake A Fresh Take") here: http://blog.ted.com/2013/03/18/graham-hancock-and-rupert-sheldrake-a-fresh-take/
I want to put on record my immense appreciation and respect for the tremendous efforts made by so many members of my online community to get this injustice righted by their engagement on the TED website and the blog posts they have made there. I am touched and heartened, buoyed up and encouraged by this remarkable level of support and it is a sign of the times that our voice has been heard.
TED continue to refuse to restore the talks to the original platform on which they appeared -- the TEDx Youtube channel -- where my talk had been viewed by more than 132,000 people and where Rupert's talk had been viewed by more than 35,000 people before TED took them down. I regard it as unfortunate in the extreme that all the conversations and comments that appeared there have been hidden along with the talks, and that those original links have been broken, and I will continue to press for the restitution of our talks to the TEDx Youtube channel separate from and in addition to the presence they now have on the TED blog pages.
Last month I posted videos of two recent thought-provoking TEDx talks by Graham Hancock and Rupert Sheldrake. However, if you visit either of those stories today, you'll find that the videos are no longer accessible. The reason? Complaints were made to the TED organisation - for example, by atheist blogger Jerry Coyne, and of course, P.Z. Myers - about the lectures being unscientific and full of 'woo'. Under pressure from these bloggers and their readers (and others), TED set up a conversation page to get input from TED viewers about these talks.
Letter dated 15 March 2013 from Graham Hancock to TED. The letter and series of supporting documents below it are self explanatory. It will be necessary to take a look at them all and to follow some of the links given in order to arrive at an informed opinion of what has happened here but for all concerned with freedom of speech, and the negative attitude of a powerful lobby of self-styled scientists towards visionary plants, the exercise should prove worthwhile.
To all those who are interested in freedom of speech, a non-materialist approach to the mystery of consciousness, and the negative attitude of a powerful lobby of self-styled scientists towards visionary plants...
Please study the documents below which concern the removal from wide circulation of two TEDx presentations, one by myself one by Rupert Sheldrake, and the subsequent framing of these presentations in a negative and defamatory light by senior TED staff on TED's own website.
On 29 December 2012, a fireball lit up the early evening skies over the Sri Lankan province of Polonnaruwa. Hot, sparkling fragments of the fireball rained down across the countryside and witnesses reported the strong odour of tar or asphalt.
Over the next few days, the local police gathered numerous examples of these stones and sent them to the Sri Lankan Medical Research Institute of the Ministry of Health in Colombo. After noticing curious features inside these stones, officials forwarded the samples to a team of astrobiologists at Cardiff University in the UK for further analysis.
When it comes to life across the cosmos, the universe might just be an "awful waste of space" after all.
We have dreamed about it for so long. We've told stories, made movies, imagined what it would be like when we humans have our first "close encounter" with an intelligent alien, a creature about our size, who can gaze back, talk (even if we can't understand what's being said) who can scare us, thrill us, make us feel its mind. Who wouldn't want a moment like the one in E.T., when the little alien puts out his finger? But that's the movies.
We now know how big the universe is, how far the stars are from each other. Just as I was getting used to the idea that even if there's intelligent life out there, there's no way we'll ever be able to find the light years to get together, I opened Chip Walter's new book, Last Ape Standing, and discovered — it's already happened.
Riding on the subway can get mighty boring. The New York City metro system, in particular, has no Internet connection on most routes. So, how are you supposed to pass the time? Sure, you could listen to music or space out for a bit, but here's an interesting concept that could make the ride more enjoyable.
LONDON (AP) — British researchers have proposed a new theory for the origins of Stonehenge: It may have started as a giant burial ground for elite families around 3,000 B.C.
New studies of cremated human remains excavated from the site suggest that about 500 years before the Stonehenge we know today was built, a larger stone circle was erected at the same site as a community graveyard, researchers said Saturday.
While an Egyptian pharaoh built majestic temples filled with sparkling treasures, the lower classes performed backbreaking work on meager diets, new evidence suggests.
Ancient soil in Red Deer River valley sheds light on lingering mystery
A defense contractor better known for building jet fighters and lethal missiles says it has found a way to slash the amount of energy needed to remove salt from seawater, potentially making it vastly cheaper to produce clean water at a time when scarcity has become a global security issue.
Low levels of rainfall in Somalia in 2011 which resulted in tens of thousands of famine-related death may have been caused by climate change, according to a new study.
British weather scientists say that close observation of weather patterns in Somalia and elsewhere in East Africa between 2010 and 2011 showed that short rains failed in late 2010 because of the natural effects of the weather pattern La Nina.
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