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Arianna Huffington made a grand gesture - a fleet of buses for people to attend Jon Stewart's rally to D.C. to protest...well, apparently they are protesting the protesting by right wing people against Obama in 2010 that was a 'hallmark of democracy' when leftwing people in 2005 did it against Bush.
Deaf or blind people often report enhanced abilities in their remaining senses, but  no one has explained how and why that could be. Researchers say they have discovered there is a causal link between enhanced visual abilities and reorganization of the part of the brain that usually handles auditory input in congenitally deaf cats.

The findings provide insight into the plasticity that may occur in the brains of deaf people.

Another question for those considering cochlear implants; if the brain has rewired itself to compensate for the loss of hearing, what happens when hearing is restored?
You may not be able to trust Exxon for objective data on emissions and our planet but you sure can't trust advocacy-based political groups in a highly-charged political state like California either.
California grossly miscalculated pollution levels in a scientific analysis used to toughen the state's clean-air standards, and scientists have spent the past several months revising data and planning a significant weakening of the landmark regulation... 
writes the San Francisco Chronicle.
Facebook recently implemented a system where you can be added to groups without any choice in the matter.  Result: technology blogger Michael Arrington, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Mahalo founder Jason Calacanis all found themselves added to a group called North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). 

Adding Zuckerberg without his permission would seem to make the point privacy groups are concerned about rather clear, but it didn't.  
One of the funniest things I read as a young man was a minister in the newly Communist state of Nicaragua explaining why they shut down the newspapers; 'They said we suppressed freedom of expression.  This was a lie and we could not allow them to publish it.'
If you are one of those nostalgic types, you might insist football players were better when you were young.  You are wrong.   Kids today are bigger and faster.   When my local football team, Folsom, played Grant for the first game of the season this year, I predicted a loss of 35 points despite the fact that Folsom wins most of its games by 40 - and that would be a good showing.   My reasoning?  Two kids on the other team could bench press 400 lbs and weighed over 300, 5 would go to top schools on scholarships.     When I went to college, it was a big deal to bench press 300 lbs. for a football player.
Like dinosaurs, being huge is not an advantage throughout history and Paris japonica stands a greater chance of extinction because of its large genome, say researchers.

Paris japonica has 152.23 picograms (pg) of DNA, 50 times bigger than the human genome, which is 3.0 picograms. A picogram is one trillionth of a gram.

Why does that matter?  The more DNA there is in a genome, the longer it takes for a cell to copy all of its DNA and divide, thus a key reason why plants living in deserts which must grow quickly after rains have small genomes enabling them to grow rapidly.
Databases are tough.   Unless you want to spend a million dollars on Oracle you are stuck with sporadic performance, testy optimization and occasional baffling behavior over a product you didn't build and can't control.

But without databases, it is hard to run.   If you look in our footer avatar bar there are always a few hundred people reading and then contributors online writing or chatting.   Even that takes a dedicated server that sometimes wheezes under the load.
In July, the remains of a wooden ship were unearthed at the World Trade Center construction site.  Since then, researchers have sought clues as to why 'the Ground Zero ship' was there and how to preserve it.

Did it sink or was it junked to make a foundation for Manhattan?  No one is sure.  The 32-foot-long piece is the back end and bottom quarter of what researchers believe was a two-masted sloop, many of which traveled the Hudson River and perhaps the Atlantic coast taking goods to and from the Caribbean or colonies north.
Surrender your booty!   There be archaeologists on them thar seas!

Just off the coast of North Carolina the Queen Anne's Revenge, Blackbeard's flagship, is believed to have sank in 1718.

But the archaeologists diving to the wreck there aren't trying to find gold doubloons or something cool, they instead want to save the cannons ship's from saltwater corrosion.
The oldest evidence of the dinosaur lineage—fossilized tracks—is described this week in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.    This fossilized trackway places the very closest relatives of dinosaurs on Earth about 250 million years ago—5 to 9 million years earlier than previously described fossilized skeletal material has indicated. The paper also described the 246-million-year-old Sphingopus footprints, the oldest evidence of a bipedal and large-bodied dinosaur.


Let's be honest, Russian winters are the kiss of death in the best of circumstances - just ask Napoleon and Hitler how things would change if they had a do-over.

But this year could be even worse.  If you believe the somewhat suspect record-keeping that is currently used to make temperature claims before the last 30 years, you'll want to avoid Russia during the coldest winter Europe has seen in the last 1,000 years.

Luckily, like most temperature forecasts even today, that one is only 70% accurate.

But it's best to be sure so, Russians, make sure you remove all that summer smog from your air vents.
There is a perception that modern generations want to sex up their culture, and cheerleader dance routines are no exception - but at least one school squad has protested being forced to wear outfits they think are too skimpy and went to the School Board to ask for help.

"It really hurts our self esteem," said Ariana Mesaros, another senior on the team, in a voice hoarse from cheering the night before. "I am embarrassed to stand up here dressed like this. Is this really how you want Bridgeport to be represented?"
Their son died in a horrific car accident, but that was just the beginning of dealing with his heart-wrenching death for his parents.

Next, after he was buried, they found out his brain was on display in the medical examiner’s office.   The ME’s office told the parents the brain was held for tests with other brains, but the parents said they were never informed. So the parents won a court order for its return.
I doubt many of us will lament the loss of BIOS.   It is a testament to Microsoft that they made sure as much software as possible was as backward-compatible as possible for as long as possible by holding onto standards that made mandatory new versions of purchased tools unnecessary - an issue that kept Apple Computer from gaining serious ground in the market.

Faster processors and more memory have really just masked the problem - computers are still a 'turn it on and go get a cup of coffee proposition' unless you leave them in a low power state, which isn't great for the environment.
No one is canceling vacation plans just yet but the strongest warning yet about visiting France and Germany has come from Britian, that the terror threat there was high.  It's no surprise since French intelligence has said the same thing, noting the rise in North African terrorism activity.

The US added similar caution this weekend and now Japan and Sweden have done the same.   
The public concerns intensified last week after a Pakistani intelligence official said eight Germans and two British brothers were at the heart of an al-Qaida-linked terror plot against European cities.
The IAC made "some incorrect assumptions and conclusions" in its report, according to this letter from IPCC Working Group II (fourth assessment), responding to criticism about the IPCC's process, comment review policies and methodology (see InterAcademy Council Report Urges 'Fundamental Reform' Of IPCC).

Here is their letter:

To: Dr Harold Shapiro, (Chair, IAC Committee to Review the IPCC)

From: The Co-Chairs, all Convening Lead Authors and Head of Technical Support Unit of Working Group II of IPCC Fourth Assessment

4th October 2010

The little people in China can never catch a break - there are a lot of them and the government in charge is not exactly benevolent so issues that might kill some peasants, like space debris falling on their houses, were likely factored in as acceptable casualties.

For its part, despite the launch debris falling on two villages, the Chinese government has declared Chang’e II a successful mission.    Unfortunately the residents won't even get to keep these as souvenirs - soldiers already whisked them away.
Everything is LEGOs these days.  My kid has played some game that is LEGOs but is based on all three Star Wars movies.    25 years ago LEGOs were almost out of business, today they are bigger than the Bible.  Well, not bigger, but big enough to be the Bible.

Side note: The Bible has made a heck of a comeback.   Atheists have been predicting its demise for centuries yet it is still out there and more popular than ever.  Heck, it is even a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game (see The Bible MMO - in where I get beat to the best gaming idea ever)
New research challenges the controversial theory that an ancient comet impact devastated the Clovis people, one of the earliest known cultures to inhabit North America.

The comet theory first emerged in 2007 when a team of scientists announced evidence of a large extraterrestrial impact that occurred about 12,900 years ago. The impact was said to have caused a sudden cooling of the North American climate, killing off mammoths and other megafauna. It could also explain the apparent disappearance of the Clovis people, whose characteristic spear points vanish from the archaeological record shortly after the supposed impact.