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Where in the World Are the Odd Perfect Numbers?

A ladybug with a perfect number of spots. Image: Lauren Tucker Photography, via flickr. The launch of Roots of Unity was just in time for this year's Joint Mathematics Meetings, a mathapalooza put on by the two largest professional mathematical societies (the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America).

January 10, 2013 — Evelyn Lamb

The Cataclysm: "A Boiling Mass of Rock"

For most survivors of Mount St. Helens's catastrophic lateral blast, the devastation was nearly silent. You would think that a wall of ash, hot gas and rock hurtling at a minimum of 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph), mangling vehicles and ripping down every tree in its path, would be loud, incredibly loud - but only one witness reported hearing much more than a rumbling sound.

January 10, 2013 — Dana Hunter

Testate amoeba in a sea of bacteria

Here is a filose(="thin-footed) amoeba from nearby decaying leaf litter. Most likely a species of Lecythium , but these amoebae are so poorly studied it's hard to establish what's what (nor has there been hardly any molecular work done to figure out where they fit, but probably somewhere in Cercozoa (in supergroup Rhizaria), near filose scale-plated Euglyphids and other squishy-stringy (and squishy-flagellated) critters.

January 9, 2013 — Psi Wavefunction

#SciAmBlogs Wednesday - Brown Eyes, #OverlyHonestMethods, Australia's Climate, Exoplanets, Stressed Professors, Plesiosaurs, and more.

- Laura Jane Martin - #OverlyHonestMethods, or #SoGladWe’reHavingThisConversation  - Christian Orlic - The Origins of Directed Panspermia  - David Wogan - Australia’s Climate Bureau: get used to record breaking heat  - DNLee - NABJ Proposal: Science 101 for Journalists or So, You want to be a Science Writer?  - Caleb A.

STAFFJanuary 9, 2013 — Bora Zivkovic

Some Barefoot Runners Tip Orthodoxy Back on Heels

Image courtesy of iStockphoto/sculpies Barefoot, five-finger, super-minimal, zero-drop. Whatever joggers embrace as the approach-du-jour for improving form, most of these trends stem from one physiological principal: people who grow up running sans footwear—the way our ancestors did for hundreds of thousands of years—run by landing on their fore- or mid-foot.A new study finds, however, that not all habitually barefoot runners today actually run that way.

January 9, 2013 — Katherine Harmon

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