New global warming report

The National Research Council, (US) National Academy of Science has released a major report on climate change. John Baez’ blog contains the executive summary as well as a link to the full report.

Trivia: Singer-songwriter Joan Baez is John Carlos Baez’ cousin.

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The Runes of Mars

NASA’s HiRES experiment on the Mars Reconnaissance Explorer has found Tolkien-style middle earth runes on Mars. Really?

Darwin’s ecological experiment on Ascension Island

A lonely island in the middle of the South Atlantic conceals Charles Darwin’s best-kept secret. When Darwin arrived in 1836 the island of Ascension was bare volcanic rock. He conceived the grand idea of changing Ascension into a tropical paradise

The Encyclopedia of Earth (www.eoearth.org) notes:

“Forests were never present on Ascension Island. Much of the island, particularly to the north and the west, is marked by barren desert areas with some grass interspersed with the endemic Euphorbia origanoides, while a thick scrub of introduced species and Opuntia occurs at higher elevations. The high peak of Green Mountain is covered with lush natural vegetation that is increasingly spreading throughout the island. Twenty-five native vascular plants are recorded for Ascension Island, with 6 endemic ferns and 5 endemic flowering plants.”

Einstein wasn’t perfect

Einstein made mistakes, as this book review shows. You might even buy the book!

Sure-fire Online Dating Service Can Get You Anybody!

You can date anyone at all. Don’t believe it? Read on.

Cast most of your preferences to the wind, do the questionnaire first then,

as explained, you can then go to SettlingDownward.com

Do you like puzzles?

There is plenty here to challenge your puzzle-solving skills…

…and some more here.

Tell us your favorites in a Post a comment, below.

How I (Almost) Saved the Earth

Scott Adams of Dilbert Fame gives an amusing take on designing and building a green home.

Hummingbirds in slow-motion

Behaviour never before seen in this incredible footage.

How do young athletes grow up to be superstars?

There is commonly held idea, the “Ten Thousand Hour Rule”, which claims that anyone who practises a sport for that length of time can become a superstar.

In contrast, recent research has shown that when the young pursue a variety of athletic activities at a young age, which tends to happen in smaller communities, they are more likely to excel.

The mention of Australian Rules Football brings to mind a television series made by Paul Roberts. The series followed football teams in the south-west of Western Australia. It turned out that football is the glue which holds small towns together – a town with no team is at risk of dying. In return the towns look after their local footballers by providing employment. Affirming the comments made in the Wired piece, the small town experience makes for better football as evidenced by the number of players recruited into the major League.

Health and the sex ratio

The mere presence of women seems to bring health benefits to men

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