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...reductionism will never be able to account for the role of historical contingency and accident. Even if an all-powerful being could account for all biological scenarios emerging from an initial state of the universe, it could never tell us why one particular scenario is preferred over others...evolutionary accidents by definition cannot be predicted from starting conditions because they depend on chance and opportunity. 
The discovery of a new civilization, named al-Maqar after the site's location, will challenge the theory that the domestication of animals took place 5,500 years ago in Central Asia, said Ali al-Ghabban, Vice-President of Antiquities and Museums at the Saudi Commission for Tourism&Antiquities in Arabia.

The site also includes remains of mummified skeletons, arrowheads, scrapers, grain grinders, tools for spinning and weaving, and other tools that are evidence of a civilization that is skilled in handicrafts.
Texas Governor Rick Perry is one Republican who doesn't seem to be a big fan of science but, regardless of what you may read, he is not the norm.  Pres. George W. Bush was also criticized as being 'against' science despite doubling funding of the NIH and boosting a NASA program which had declined throughout the 1990s.

Most people don't recall President Ronald Reagan as advocating for more spending of anything - he was distrustful of Big Government and the nation agreed with him after the bloated government spending of the 1960s and the 'stagflation' of the 1970s.

But he was a fan of more spending in one area - science.
Josh Rosenau at Scienceblogs tackles some criticism leveled at people who don't think all religious politicians (and voters) should be met with scorn and derision, a la the Richard Dawkins way.

The topic is, of course, Texas Governor Rick Perry, who plays to the fundamentalist base among Republicans by noting that evolution 'has some gaps', a wink to religious folks who don't believe in it at all (though they are few, and nearly as many Democrats, as I noted).
Some psychologists have decided that the ratio of face height and width determines aggression.  Yes, your facial ratio is deterministic.   How so?
In 1963, Jerry Gretzinger began doodling, a rectangle with a crosshatch that looked like a top down view of a housing plan.   Then he began expanding it until he created an entire fantasy world, composed of nothing but hand-painted maps he has created for no reason at all, other than loving it.

It's alive to him, it changes.

See this amazing story and you'll be wondering just like we all are; "Will Ukrainia be saved?"

On August 15th, the closeout memorandum for the Office of Inspector General at the National Science Foundation agreed with two reviews commissioned by Pennsylvania State University which cleared climate researcher Michael Mann of allegations regarding research integrity, including allegations of research misconduct, specifically

(1) falsifying research data
(2) concealing, deleting or otherwise destroying emails, information or data
(3)misusing privileged information and
The Rev. Donnie Russell of West Virginia found a 2.1-centimeter-long egg last month on his farm. It weighs just 3.46 grams, just over a one-tenth of an ounce, and is about the size of a penny.

The chicken that he believes laid the egg is normal sized and the state Department of Agriculture has certified the egg's size.  The Guinness Book Of World Records currently lists the smallest recorded chicken egg as 2.7 centimeters.



World's Smallest Chicken Egg Hard To Beat
A US-Albanian underwater expedition believes they have found a 1st century B.C. Roman shipwreck off the southwestern Albanian coast, close to the Sazan Island off the Karaburun Peninsula and the Vlora city, 87 miles southwest of the capital, Tirana.

They speculate  the 'well-preserved' 30-yard tall ship and some 300 Lambolie 2-type amphora were in the wine transport business. 

Unfortunately, the amphora were empty.  If wine gets better with age, it would have to be pretty terrific after 2,000-plus years.  


At the University of Cincinnati, it is said McMicken Hall’s stone lions, Mick and Mack, roar when a virgin walks by.  The urban legend is well-known enough to be documented on the Urban Legend Reference Page of Snopes.com. 

Has anyone actually ever heard this roaring thing happen?  Nope, which means young men who really want dates now know where to matriculate.

If you can't stand the thought of living in Ohio - residents of Pittsburgh, we mean you - there are similar virgin-sensing lions at the universities of Missouri and Michigan.

Northport Middle Schooler Aidan Dwyer has accomplished more in his life than most people three times his age. He sails, he golfs...and he is a patented innovator of solar panel arrangements.

Dwyer applied the Fibonacci sequence to solar panel arrays in a months-long backyard experiment. He found that small solar panels arranged according to the Fibonacci sequence found in tree branches produced 20 percent more energy than flat panel arrays, and prolonged the collection window by up to two and a half hours.

'Young Naturalist' Granted A Patent In Solar EnergyBy Leah Bush, Patch.com
Last week, Science Exchange launched a website allowing scientists to outsource their research to 'providers' — other researchers and institutions that have the facilities and equipment to meet requesting scientists' needs.

Zoë Corbyn at Nature asked the company's co-founder, researcher-turned-entrepreneur Elizabeth Iorns, how the website works, and what an online marketplace for experiments could mean for the future of research...
more than 65 years, and it is finally on the verge of creating a true electronic brain.

Big Blue is announcing today that it, along with four universities and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), have created the basic design of an experimental computer chip that emulates the way the brain processes information.

IBM’s so-called cognitive computing chips could one day simulate and emulate the brain’s ability to sense, perceive, interact and recognize — all tasks that humans can currently do much better than computers can.


Researchers in Singapore have re-engineered a harmless strain of bacteria to fight another common, drug-resistant microbe that spreads in hospitals and is deadly to patients with weak immune systems.

To fight the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterium, the scientists used a strain of the E.coli bacteria that is normally present in the human gut.

They inserted into E.coli foreign DNA fragments that empowered it to sense the offending pathogen and quickly produce and release a deadly toxin.
Kudos to The Mac Observer's John Martellaro for dusting off his geometry and calculating the diameter of the circle that would circumscribe the Pentagon's five 921-foot sides. Answer: 1,566 feet.

But he went astray when he eyeballed the floor plans for Apple's (AAPL) proposed new headquarters -- made public last week by the Cupertino city council -- to estimate the diameter the main office building. He came up with 1,615 feet "plus or minus a few feet." That's the diameter he used to draw the image below that shows the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense slipping neatly inside Steve Jobs' "spaceship" with room to spare.
I can't stand cotton candy but my kids love it - naturally that means a science experiment is in the making but it turns out University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor of Food Engineering Richard Hartel has already done the hard work.

So celebrate the end of Summer by by turning outrageously hot sugar into sticky threads.  All you need is a cotton candy machine and a 375 degree heating element, so I guess it's not that easy to do, but it is still fun.



Source: BytesizeScience
A marble statue of Hercules from the second century has been uncovered during excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority at Horvat Tarbenet.

Horvat Tarbenet is located in the Jezreel Valley, three kilometers northeast of Kefar Barukh, and four kilometers northwest of Afula. Tarbenet was a Jewish settlement in the third century AD, which is mentioned in the Jerusalem Talmud (Megilla 4, 5).

According to Dr. Walid Atrash of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “This is a rare discovery. The statue, which probably stood in a niche, was part of the decoration of a bathhouse pool that was exposed during the course of the excavations. It is c. 0.5 m tall, is made of smoothed white marble and is of exceptional artistic quality."
Sales people and business-side executes tend to believe as a matter of faith that if people can get something for free, they won’t pay for it. But all they need to do is look at their own behavior to see how that isn’t true: when they go to a restaurant in a distant town that they’ll never visit again, they still leave a 20% tip. 

The fact is that no one subscribes to the WSJ or the FT because of their exclusivity. As a result, the smart thing for both papers to do is to maximize their paying readership by maximizing their overall readership. Instead, both have taken a scared and defensive approach to digital subscriptions, fearing that if their readers can get their content for free, then they won’t pay.
Not all of Adolph Hitler's family were homicidal megalomaniacs - his sister Paula was quite nice.

British spies at one point hatched a plan to feminize Hitler a little by doping up his food with estrogen. Professor Brian Ford of Cardiff University discovered that, and other ingenious plans in old unclassified documents, and outlines them in Secret Weapons: Technology, Science And The Race To Win World War II.
By now you'll be familiar with publication bias: the phenomenon where studies with boring, negative results are less likely to get written up or published. You can estimate this using a tool such as, say, a funnel plot. The principle is simple: expensive landmark studies are harder to brush under the carpet, but small ones can disappear more easily. So split your studies into "big ones" and "small ones": if the small studies, averaged out together, give a more positive result than the big studies, then maybe some small negative studies have gone missing in action.