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USA Today and many other newspapers have been highlighting the fact that there have been an increasing number of women in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The 113th Congress will have the most women ever---20.
Caperea marginata, pigmy right whales, are the last survivors of an aquatic family that evolved 15 million years ago but little else is known about how they behave, what they eat or how many there are in the world's oceans.

What scientists do know is that it is not a right whale at all but is instead a type of baleen whale, part of the Cetotheriidae family of whales and that it probably evolved nine million years ago. The six other species believed to make up the Cetotheriidae family have all died out.

It was recognized as having an unusual bone structure, including an arched snout, but only now has its position on the whale family tree been established.
On New Year's Day of 1888 in eastern Kentucky, the Hatfield clan set Randolph McCoy's cabin ablaze and gunned down two members of the rival family.

That property, which deeds have traced back to Randolph McCoy, is now owned by Bob Scott, a Hatfield descendant who suspected for years the land was the site of the attack and now excavators have found bullets believed to have been fired by the McCoys in self-defense, along with fragments of windows and ceramic from a cabin.
New Zealand author and film-maker Ray Waru has examined military files buried in the national archives and found that a top secret operation, code-named "Project Seal", set out to test  a 'tsunami bomb' doomsday device - one of many secret super weapons researched by the Allies and Axis powers during the war.

About 3,700 bombs were tested, first in New Caledonia and later at Whangaparaoa Peninsula, near Auckland. The testing concluded the weapon was feasible and that a series of 10 large offshore blasts could potentially create a 33-foot tsunami capable of inundating a small city.
Americans, Italians and Brits can rejoice - health science has finally caught up to their waistlines. 

An analysis of 100 studies including three million people found that those whose B.M.I. ranked them as overweight had less risk of dying than people of normal weight. And while obese people had a greater mortality risk over all, those at the lowest obesity level (B.M.I. of 30 to 34.9) were not more likely to die than normal-weight people. 

 People not selling diet books or otherwise engaged in feel-good fallacies and scare journalism (like us) have said all along that weight and BMI are fake metrics - there are a lot of knobs to turn in good health and being a certain weight is vital if you have other risk factors.
Progressive social authoritarian Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been engaged in what progressive social authoritarians love to engage in - controlling choice and thinking and freedom to shape it into their personal world view.

The rationalizations that social authoritarians engage in to force their world view on others is how Bloomberg could say society needed to 'keep perspective' with a straight face when yet another mentally ill person committed murder in December by pushing someone in front of a subway train, though when a mentally ill person shot up a school in Connecticut, he said guns should be banned. 
The Indiana Jones movies are good when they have some basis in real stuff - like Nazis and the Ark of the Covenant in "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" and Templars and...well, Nazis again...in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade".

When Steven Spielberg ventured into fake temples and 1950s alien hokum, we got movies better left to AFI members to have to endure.  So for Indiana Jones 5, he should throw out whatever bad idea he is working on and read about Qin Shi Huang's tomb. The first emperor of China created a  courtyard-style palace tomb inside a 22-square-mile mortuary compound guarded by more than 6,000 full-size statues of warriors, musicians and acrobats.
In western civilization, New Year's Resolutions are a big deal.  A new year means a new opportunity to meet goals - and losing weight is a popular one.

But do they work?  People binge like crazy during the holidays and heavy people were not eating moderately before that. So dieters are already in the hole, weightwise.  And eating less food is hard.

Writing at Policy Mic, Cameron English says 80% of all dieters fail to lose weight, and one-third even gain additional weight but their health loss may be psychology's gain.  The big question they want to address us: Why is willpower so useless when it's most needed?
It's not biology versus physics but in many ways it is science versus culture: Peter Higgs, he of the Higgs Boson, colloquially called 'the God particle', doesn't think much of Richard Dawkins, the biologist not famous for biology but rather for hating religion.

Why does Dawkins, and by extension a number of biologists, hate religion so much and why don't more physicists give a crap?  Don't physicists see that religion is solely responsible for all of the evils of the world, as Dawkins and his acolytes do? 
From the books The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from Around the WorldBill de Main looks at 15 examples of words from different languages that have no English equivalent. I  particularly like the Italian word slampadato which describes someone addicted to ultraviolet salons, and the Inuit iktsuarpok which means to go out often to check if a guest has arrived. But de Main missed even better examples from de Boinot's book.
Over the past 50 years, about 50 dogs have jumped to their deaths from the exact same spot on the 100-year-old Overtoun Bridge in Milton, near Dumbarton, Scotland.

What gives? 

 Almost all the incidents have taken place on clear, sunny days and the dogs always being long-nosed breeds – collies, retrievers and labs.  The canine suicide spot is located between the last two parapets on the right-hand side of the bridge.
If we were to tell Jimmy Wales that the Science 2.0 entry is an unmitigated pile of garbage written by someone who either knows nothing about Science 2.0 that he didn't Google in 5 seconds (I say 'he' because the place is legendarily hostile to women so it unlikely to be a 'she') he would simply respond that we should fix it.  

Well, his own site does not work that way. The person who knows nothing about Science 2.0 other than to declare it a subset of the meaninginless 'open science' generic term and deny its actual history simply reverts any edits and then gets together and tries to ban people who do fix it.
New York City is willing to hire thousands to make sure you can't buy a Big Gulp but actual fraud is no big worry.

The group Oceana did genetic testing of foods labeled at restaurants and found that every one of 16 sushi bars they investigated sold the researchers mislabeled fish. 39 percent of the seafood from 81 grocery stores and restaurants was not what the establishment claimed it was.

Is this a new problem?  It's no secret to anyone not educated by advertising that a lot of organic food is not organic and if you have not bought veal and gotten pork at some point in your life, you are just lucky. 
Organic food is a $29 billion industry, clearly Big Ag, but they have managed to convince believers that they are small farms that use no pesticides and are nutritionally, structurally and morally better for humanity.

But the glow has been fading. Framing organic food ethically now creates a backlash, according to surveys by Cornell University and the University of Michigan, which asked 371 test persons about their perceptions of food products with and without an organic label.  
If you teach chemistry at the high school or undergraduate level and you're looking to expand your repertoire of experiments, I recommend the Royal Society of Chemistry's Resource Page.
Hate the captcha that Science 2.0 uses when you want to leave a comment?  So do we.

But spammers make money spamming and there is no money at all in preventing it, so many media companies are a lot more annoying than us.  They make you create a proprietary account just to leave a comment, some allow third party general tools, like Disqus or Facebook. We don't want anonymous people here so we are stuck with captcha.

Maybe not for long. The minteye startup has created a “no-type solution” which utilizes a slider that tasks users to straighten out a contorted image.

Geneticist A.J. Bateman did an experiment in 1948 which showed that, in mating fruitflies, the male insects' strategy was to mate with many females, whereas the females' strategy was to be discriminating in their choice of partners. Male reproductive success, in other words, correlated positively with number of mates, but female reproductive success did not.
I'm pretty confident the world is not going to end because a bunch of people who couldn't even keep Spaniards - SPANIARDS - from taking over their country were too lazy to make a new calendar.

NASA is confident also. So confident they created a video to explain why the world did not end December 21st, 2012 in order to appease a wacko Mayan conspiracy theory - and they even released it 10 days early.

Man, are they going to have egg on their faces if we actually are acting out scenes from Fallout 3 a week from now.


A NASA photo error showed just how many sheep in science media are blindly regurgitating anything about space they read.  

NASA got a snapshot from Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko on the International Space Station, 230 miles above Earth, wrong, saying a summit in India was Mount Everest rather than what it really was, Saser Muztagh in the Karakoram Range of the Kashmir region of India. It could have been worse, they could have put Mt. McKinley in Europe or something.
At midnight tonight, new Federal Communications Commission rules will bar television networks from blasting viewers with excessively loud, screamy commercial breaks. 

Adopted a year ago Thursday, the rules "will require commercials to have the same average volume as the programs they accompany," the FCC says. The commission was prompted to action last year when Congress passed the "Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act"—the CALM Act. 

So enjoy your sanity and not having that feeling of dread for 2 minutes and 2 seconds four times during "Modern Family".

Loud-Ass TV Ads Are About to Be Outlawed — By Adam Weinstein, Mother Jones