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Monthly Archive: December 2011

Dec 21 2011

Rock-hard planet on planet action

The first detected “mini-Earth” and an Earth-sized planet with a water-vapour atmosphere are two of five planets found orbiting Kepler-20. Image: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech.

Two weeks ago Kepler gave us its first probable earth-like world orbiting the habitable zone of a sun-like star. This week it’s not one but two, count ‘em two, small and probably rocky worlds. And these guys are tiny by exoplanetary standards:

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Dec 20 2011

Of nu-nus and wee-wees: size does matter?

Evolution is all about sex, baby, at least for us big hulking heterotrophs. When it comes to sex, sex organs play a central role in that evolution, regardless of what cultists invested in mythical invisible sky wizards would have you believe. And new research shows size does matter — it’s just that bigger doesn’t mean …

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Dec 20 2011

Who is in charge of North Korea?

Concentration camps, starving populace, brutal authoritarian regime, and loose nukes; what could possibly go wrong with North Korea? (TimeMag) — As odd and erratic as the North Koreans might be, they are not about to inaugurate new leadership by raining nuclear destruction on their Asian-Pacific neighbors – and they probably couldn’t do so even if …

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Dec 19 2011

Breaking: North Korea’s Kim Jong II dead at 69

News that Kim Jong-il, the enigmatic leader of impoverished North Korea, died of a heart attack on Saturday has ripped through one of the last truly communist countries like a monsoon this morning. The late dictator was 69 years-old. Presidents, prime-ministers, and monarchs are watching intently to see what now becomes of the world’s most isolated …

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Dec 15 2011

Stolen climate emails may land denialist bloggers in hot water

global4

Police investigating serial hackers stealing and posting emails between climate researchers raided the home and confisctaed the computer of at least climate denier’s home this week:

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Dec 15 2011

Scaled composites takes on big space project

ScaledComp

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, its a giant launch system for commercial spacecraft! It’s not built yet, but the legendary Burt Rutan claims his company will build it and space customers will come:

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Dec 14 2011

And Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2011 is …..

… The Protestor?! From Occupy Wall Street to the bloody sands of Libya, the person who most changed our world in 2011 was the humble protestors. AKA brave patriots when the powers that be agree with their cause in a foreign land, dirty jobless hippies when the protests are here in America. And while choosing the pseudonymous collective as the …

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Dec 14 2011

Atheists say “Bah Humbug”?

Humbug

According to the headline on this MSNBC story, we’re all just a bunch of Scrooges. Sans the redeeming visiting spirits and a short trip to hell wrapped in chains bit. The title reads Atheists ramp up message for holidays: Humbug! Of course the actual message was nothing of the sort:

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Dec 13 2011

CERN live: Christmas in Geneva

And now I have to leave this exciting story and sign in to help people fix their damn computers over the phone … if anyone is seasonally inclined, contributions to my Paypal account, [email protected], might someday help free me of this dreary ball and chain. BTW, we’re tweeting up a storm on this, I’m at SAndrewDKos. @CERN: Bottom line from …

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Dec 12 2011

Saudi’s execute accused witch

She’s a witch! That may be a little comical what with Life of Brian and the weight of ducks and all, but the story linked below is nothing of the sort. Our staunch oily allies in Saudi Arabia literally put a woman to death for being a sorceress: (SacBee) — Saudi authorities have executed a woman …

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