Skeleton flower turns translucent when it comes in contact with water

This rare flower’s petals are usually white, but turn translucent (their “skeleton” form) when exposed to water. Being completely clear and of striking, glass-like beauty while wet, they turn white again when they dry off.

The Leidenfrost effect and a cool water maze

Last week we showed you some great fluid dynamics at work – water bridges between two beakers connected to high voltage current. Water and fluids in particular sometimes behave in amazing ways under certain conditions. Today, I’d like to show another dazzling display: the Leidenfrost effect. This is a phenomenon that occurs when liquid, say water, is in near contact

70% of the land in Britain is still owned by 1% of the population, largely descended from William the Conqueror’s army [shorties]

Well now, this is certainly interesting: according to the writer Kevin Cahill, in Britain 70% of land is still owned by less than 1% of the population. If we were to go even deeper with that, 0.3% of all British population owns 66% of the country, and these 160,000 families who own two thirds of Great Britain largely descend from

Expedition 36 Trio Lands in Kazakhstan

Expedition 36 crew members Pavel Vinogradov, Chris Cassidy and Alexander Misurkin landed in Kazakhstan at 10:58 p.m. Tuesday (10 Sept) without any problems. Thus, their 5 and a half month mission onboard the ISS has ended. Just the day before, Vinogradov handed over control of the station to Flight Engineer Fyodor Yurchikhin in the traditional Change of Command Ceremony, and

Shorties: astronomers detect intergalactic radio signals from 11 billion light years away

The overwhelming part of the universe is still a mystery to astronomers – and most of what we know is a result of deduction and analysis. So it should be no big surprise that when radio waves from 11 billion light years was received, they couldn’t pinpoint its origin. Their brightness and distance suggest that they originated when the Universe

Spiders eat bats – almost everywhere [shorties]

Yep, spiders eat bats all across the world – except for Antarctica that is. Bats rank among the most successful groups of mammals, with the more than 1,200 species of bats comprising about one-fifth of all mammal species; aside for humans, they have very few natural enemies, and usually, their numbers are large enough to survive even amidst several predators.

Irish science gets historic €300-million boost [shorties]

It’s a good day to be Irish! The Irish government this morning outlined details of a €300-million package of research funding that will establish seven new hubs where industry will collaborate with academic researchers. Areas which will receive the most funding will be data analytics, marine renewable energy, biomaterials, perinatal research, nanotechnology, functional foods, photonics and drug synthesis. “This is

Graphene and brain research get biggest research prize ever – $2 billion [shorties]

Research into the new wondermaterial graphene and the neurochemistry of the human brain will be given up to two billion euros ($2.68 billion) in funding – the largest research grant in official, recorded history, the European Commission said on Monday. The two areas are the beneficiaries of the Future Emerging Technology (FET) Flagship programme, described as an “X-Factor for science”;

Archaeology news: 1.400 year old gold coins found in Iraq, 300 prehistoric clay figurines found in Greece [shorties]

Gold coins found in Iraq Archaeologists working in the area unearthed 66 magnificent gold coins that are at least 1,400 years old, dating back to the Sassanid era that extended from 225 BC to 640 AD. The coins were sent to the lab for age analysis which will better pinpoint their origin in time. The coins have flame decorations and

Pig genome sequenced [shorties]

For the past 10.000 years, humans and pigs have had quite a close and complex relationship – though to be quite honest, the benefits were pretty one sided. From domestication to modern breeding practices, humans have shaped the genomes of domestic pigs. Now, researchers have sequenced the genome of a female domestic Duroc pig (Sus scrofa) and compared it with

Earthquake strikes southern Maine – no injuries or immediate damage [shorties]

The earthquake that struck southern Maine was felt in New England as well as Connecticut, but as far as reports tell us, there’s no significant damage, and not even a single injury. According to USGS, the earthquake had a meager magnitude of 4.0, despite initial estimates of 4.0, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it couldn’t be dangerous. The earthquake seems

Gray wolves – endangered once again in California [shorties]

Gray wolves are just one of the emblematic species found on the endangered list in many parts of the world. But not in the US – they were removed from the endangered list. Now, as expected, it turns out this was a bad move, and the state of California wants to put it back there. A petition to protect the

Shorties: Burmese Pythons invade the Florida Everglades, endanger local mammals

The disappearance of raccoons and bobcats from the Everglades National Park can be credited to one single event, according to a new study: a python invasion. Sightings of medium sized mammals are down by 99 percent in areas where giant constricting snakes from Asia have been spotted. The growing concern is that the snakes, which can live up to 35

Just students on their way to school, in Indonesia

You can’t really put a price tag on education – it’s inestimable. Here’s what the kids in Lebak, Indonesia, have to go through every day in order to get to school. Just think a moment about this, and think that there are many, many more like them in the world.

Shorties: Staggering picture of star in an epic tantrum

A couple of days ago Hubble released a picture that will blow your mind! Click on the picture to make it big, and trust me, you really want to make it big. This baby is about 15 times heavier than our Sun, but it is over 10.000 times brighter! It’s still in the process of forming itself, but it’s getting

Shorties: extremely rare Persian Leopard caught on tape

Camera traps positioned in the rocky terrain from Afghanistan recently caught surprising photographs of a Persian leopard, a top predator, but which was long thought extinct from the area. However, this series of images shows beyond the shadow of a doubt that the predator is still, against all odds, alive and kicking. But sadly, despite all its amazing qualities and

Shorties: Stunning pictures of Fukang Pallasite

You’re probably wondering what a Pallasite is; well Pallasites are is a type of iron meteorite, quite rare, made out of large olivine crystals in an iron-nickel matrix – and they look just fabulous. Olivine is a a magnesium iron silicate quite common in our planet’s subsurface, but which weathers fast when exposed to the surface. What you are looking at

Shorties: IBM sets up supercomputer to fight climate change

IBM has recently developed a new 1.6-petaflop high-performance computer for the National Center for Atmospheric Research with the purpose of installing a new supercomputing ability and help the center’s research in atmospheric and climate change. A pentaflop is a unit of measure of a supercomputer’s performance; it is basically the ability to do a quadrillion floating point operations per second

100.000 monks gather and ‘pray’ for a better world

What you are looking at is a gathering of 100.000 Theravada Buddhist monks who are ‘praying’ for a better world. The reason why I am adding the apostrophe is because they are not literally praying, there is no deity to whom they address. This happened at a temple in Bangkok.

Shorties: Asteroid has mountain three times bigger than Everest

A giant mountain, three times taller than Earth’s highest peak marks the southern polar regions of Vesta, a relatively well studied asteroid spotted by NASA’s Dawn Science Probe. The mountain is depicted in the picture below. Dawn orbited around Vesta, which is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter in July, and since then, it received a whole