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October 2007
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December 2007

Impact of Post-Peak Oil on Our Quality of Life

Shutterstock_7324738_2_2 Say good-bye to Planet Earth and don't thank the Vogon construction fleet for the privilege. Thank the oil companies. As long as the price of crude oil stays above $90 a barrel then extraction from post-peak sources becomes profitable. And that means more plastic crap from China, more SUVs on the road, and more greenhouse gases in the air. But it's not just increased consumption that gives cause to worry. The extraction methods required to get at post-peak oil require far more energy and cause much more ecological devastation than current methods. Another issue the resulting product produces a higher concentration of greenhouse gases than conventional crude.

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Marscraft -NASA's Manned Mission

Mars_mission"All civilizations become either spacefaring or extinct."

Carl Sagan

It only took 8 years for JFK’s dream to land a man on the moon to be fulfilled, but plans to to land a man on is going to take just that little bit longer. Twenty-Four years to be precise, but at least we know how we’re going to go about getting our people there.

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Antarctica -Mapping The White Continent

Landstat_antarctica Antarctica has always been one of those destinations that people have longed to visit. For those of us without the bank balances to reach the frosty snows of South Pole, another option is here.

Working together and using images primarily from the American Landsat spacecraft, US and UK researchers have pasted together more than a thousand images of Antarctica. The result is a magnificent high-definition image of Antarctica.

Supposedly 10 times more detailed than ever before, the The Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica can be viewed through a free website, and will also be included virtual globe projects like Google Earth.

   

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Jurassic Park Roundup –The Top 10 Discoveries of '07

Dinosaursinriverposters This year was a great one, at least in terms of dinosaur discoveries. Here’s a sampling of some of the most odd, interesting, fantastic and unusual findings of the year.

1. A Huge Shark-Eating Predator

The remains of an enormous, previously unknown carnivorous dinosaur was found. The monster once thrived around a giant lake 200 million years ago. The fearsome predator specialized in eating and catching giant sharks and huge bony fish that, when consumed, would have been "like biting through chain mail," Utah State paleontologist James Kirkland said. These dinos also make it to the top of the “10 Dinosaurs You’d Never Want to Pet” list. Link

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Is the Human Species Hardwired for Beauty?

Botticelli_venus_2_3 Are we hardwired for beauty? A recent Italian study suggests so. Researchers at the University of Parma showed fourteen test subjects with no experience in art theory original and distorted images of Classical and Renaissance sculptures and monitored their brain activity. The originals conformed to the Golden Ratio of 1.618 (the constant phi) which occurs when the ratio between the sum of two quantities and the larger of these constituent quantities is the same as the ratio between the larger and the smaller quantities.

The Golden ratio is found in nature in the proportions of spiral galaxies and seashells, tree branches and the bones that comprise human limbs . It was known to the Ancient Greeks (and was used in the design of the Parthenon, among other things), employed by renaissance painters (Leonard Da Vinci was obsessed with it), and is still taught to graphic artists as one of the foundations of good design.

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Einstein’s “Biggest Blunder” May Turn Out to Be His Greatest Success

Einstein A new project is revealing that Einstein was probably wrong about being wrong. In other words, Einstein was right even though he didn’t know it. His self-proclaimed “biggest blunder” was a postulation of a cosmological constant (a force that opposes gravity and keeps the universe from collapsing) may actually be completely correct, according to the research of an international team of scientists. WOW. That means Einstein was so damn smart that even his biggest failure will likely turn out to be true.

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