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In the aftermath of the Newtown, CT shooting, people are searching for answers. The mental illness aspect is obvious, much like with the psychology graduate student in Colorado who opened fire on viewers at a theater, but this time the focus is on the anti-social tendencies of Adam Lanza and how they were exacerbated by video game and Hollywood violence.

In a discovery that may prove important for cognitive science, our understanding of nature and applications for robot vision, researchers at the University of Adelaide have found evidence that the dragonfly is capable of higher-level thought processes when hunting its prey.

Prehistoric farming communities in Europe constructed water wells out of oak timbers - it seems early farmers were skilled carpenters long before metal was discovered or used for tools. 

 These first Central European farmers migrated from the Great Hungarian Plain approximately 7,500 years ago, and left an archaeological trail of settlements, ceramics and stone tools across the fertile regions of the continent, a record named Linear Pottery Culture (Linearbandkeramik - LBK). However, much of the lifestyle of these early settlers is still a mystery, including the climate they lived in and technology or strategies they used to cope with their surroundings. 

Solar panels are easily susceptible to mechanical problems.  Storms, leaves, you name it - but some of that is because they are rigid.  That rigidity also limits their applications.

New flexible, decal-like solar panels that can be peeled off like band-aids and stuck to virtually any surface, from papers to window panes, could make solar power a lot more deployable.  The world's first peel-and-stick thin-film solar cells have been created by researchers at Stanford University and unlike standard thin-film solar cells, their peel-and-stick version does not require any direct fabrication on the final carrier substrate.

When is diversity a bad thing?  When it comes to environmental action, according to a new paper from  the University of East Anglia (UEA). 

Scandinavian countries, low in ethnic and religious diversity, take more collective action than more diverse nations, like the UK, China and the United States. But the UEA paper frames diversity using the more negative term 'fragmentation'.

Americans may love separation of church and state and the mix of multiple religions in the USA but Dr. Elissaios Papyrakis, a senior lecturer in UEA's School of International Development and a senior researcher at Vrije Universiteit
in Holland, found that religious diversity has an even greater detrimental impact on environmental performance than ethnic diversity. 

Human hands and their remarkable dexterity have given us everything from the guitar of Segovia to the art of the Dutch masters but, says David Carrier from the University of Utah, they evolved to be what they are for a more practical reason.  As a weapon. 

Carrier and colleague Michael Morgan publish their hypothesis that human hands evolved their square palms and long thumb to stabilise the fist and produce a compact club for use in combat in The Journal of Experimental Biology.