Animals, Biology, News

Killer whales are so smart they can learn to speak “dolphin”

Image via Animal National.

Killer whales are smart, we already know that; they’re also really scary. But a new study has shown that they are actually scary smart – up to the point where they can learn the language of another species. Killer Smart Killer whales are actually a species of dolphins found in all oceans, from the frigid Arctic and Antarctic regions to tropical seas….

Anthropology, Archaeology, News

Roman Gladiators were mostly Vegetarian, Drank Sports Drinks from Bone and Ashes

A retiarius ("net fighter") with a trident and cast net, fighting a secutor (79 AD mosaic).

Roman gladiators – some of the most feared warriors in history were mostly vegetarian, a new anthropological study has shown. Gladiators fought to entertain audiences in the Roman Republic and Roman Empire in violent confrontations; they fought each other, wild animals, and convicted criminals. Some gladiators were volunteers who risked not only their social standing, but also their lives, but most of…

Biology, Geology

Fossils Reveal “Beer-Bellied” Dinosaur

Image via Scientific American.

It was about as big as T-Rex, but not quite as fit – new fossils have revealed that Deinocheirus mirificus had quite a beer belly. “This is an entirely new body plan” for such dinosaurs, says Stephen Brusatte, a vertebrate palaeontologist at the University of Edinburgh, UK. Indeed, few scientists would have imagined such a scientific appearance. The first fossils of Deinocheirus mirificus (which means ‘unusual…

Health & Medicine, News

Scientists Retract Research On Dr. Oz-Endorsed Weight Loss Pill

Screenshot from doctoroz.com

If you live in the US, then you almost certainly know who Doctor Oz is – or at least you’ve heard of him. Even if you’re not, there’s a pretty good chance you might know a thing or two about him. But do you know that some (if not all) of the products he promotes on his shows and markets…

News, Renewable Energy

Kenya Opens World’s Largest Single Turbine Geothermal Plant

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Kenya has announced the launch the world’s largest single turbine geothermal power plant, which will add 140 Megawatts (MW) to the country’s national electricity grid. The project will bring much needed cheap energy to an impoverished country and fuel development in the area. A suitable area The Olkaria Area is an region located immediately to the south of Lake Naivasha in…

News, Science

Over half of 2007-2012 published research is now available for free

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More than half of all peer-reviewed studies published between 2007 and 2012 are now available, for free, on the internet, for everyone to access. The results were published in a report made by the European Commission. The report is part of the European Commission’s effort to monitor the evolution of scientific data availability. “A substantial part of the material openly available…

News, Pollution

Texas chief toxicologist: No need for smog regulations, just stay indoor

Downtown Houston in October, 2008. The city has severe smog issues and new research suggests that pollution from fracking contributes significantly to the problem.
CREDIT: AP/DAVID J. PHILLIP

Dr. Michael Honeycutt, the top toxicologist in the state of Texas argued that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shouldn’t tighten smog rules because there would be little to no health benefit. “Ozone is an outdoor air pollutant because systems such as air conditioning remove it from indoor air,” he argues on a blog post on the TCEQ website. “Since most…

Great Pics

Slumbering lions win wildlife photography award

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The magnificent picture you see above won the Wildlife Photography of the Year award. But this isn’t only an out of context image – it comes with a story. Michael “Nick” Nichols tracked the pride of big cats for six months before capturing the stunning shot which includes not only the slumbering pride, but also a magnificent African sky on the…

GeoPicture

GeoPicture of the Week: Complete double rainbow encircles Australian town

C. LEONHARDT/BIRDSEYE VIEW PHOTOGRAPHY

For our GeoPicture of the Week, we’ve gotten used to pictures of minerals, fossils or geological phenomena – but today, I want to show you something different: a stunning, complete, double rainbow: The picture was taken from a helicopter flying over Cottesloe Beach in Western Australia. Rainbows appear because water droplets act like prisms, separating visible light into its constituent spectral…