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Russians, Americans and Chi-Coms all squared off against each other. Organized deception, intrigue, insults, reclusive personalities ... another day in international politics? Not this time. It's mathematicians. You think physicists are strange?   Try to figure out mathematicians some time.*

It starts with a bit of mathematical fluff called the Poincaré conjecture, encompasses certifiable silliness in the name of string theory and ends with a million dollars. You just don't get more intrigue than that.

We haven't come that far, baby. In the 1970's male cartoon characters outnumbered female cartoon characters by a ratio of almost four to one. Research presented at the American Psychological Association's (APA) 105th Annual Convention in Chicago reveals that male cartoon characters still outnumber female cartoon characters almost four to one. Male characters are also still portrayed as dominate, powerful and aggressive. Female characters don't have any "character" at all.

Despite TV watchdogging, Cynthia Spicher, B.A., and psychologist Mary Hudak, Ph.D., from Allegheny College have found little change in the gender stereotypes that America's young minds are spending two to four hours a day viewing.

To see what progress has been made in portraying gender stereotypes in cartoon characters, Dr. Spicher and Dr. Hudak videotaped and categorized 118 cartoon characters from a single episode of each of the following Saturday morning cartoons: The Bugs Bunny/Tweety Show, Aladdin, Ninja Turtles, The Mask, Eek!stravaganza, Spiderman, Tick and Life with Louie. Characters were rated on sex, prominence, gender stereotyping, aggressive behaviors and occupational roles.

The theorists who first created the mathematics that describe the behavior of the recently announced "invisibility cloak" have revealed a new analysis that may extend the current cloak's powers, enabling it to hide even actively radiating objects like a flashlight or cell phone.

Allan Greenleaf, professor of mathematics at the University of Rochester, working with colleagues around the globe, has announced a mathematical theory that predicts some strange goings on inside the cloak—and that what happens inside is crucial to the cloak's effectiveness.

In October, David R.

Feeling kind of full of yourself over the holidays? You're not alone but there may be help on the horizon! An article on MSNBC.com reveals new findings about the roles that microbes play in your digestive tract. Two different types were isolated and they were found to be partially to blame for how many calories your body could separate from different types of food. 

You can absolutely bet when a marketing department uses the word "ethical" - about its lingerie - someone is out to make a buck at your expense. And they think you will believe anything, my environmental friends.

Pulickel Ajayan, the Henry Burlage Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, is being awarded the MRS Medal from the Materials Research Society and has been named by Scientific American magazine as a Research Leader within the 2006 "Scientific American 50" -- the magazine's prestigious annual list recognizing outstanding acts of leadership in science and technology.

"Professor Ajayan is a world-renowned expert in fabricating materials and devices based on his creative chemical and physical manipulation of carbon," said Acting Provost Robert Palazzo. "His research is unlocking information about how to direct the assembly of carbon at the atomic level, providing opportunities for the assembly of a cornucopia of carbon-based nanostructures.