Lizard jaw, Coniophis jaw and a snake jaw; courtesy of Nick Longrich Sorry, sea serpents. Snakes, it seems, slithered off their lizard legs on land. A new analysis of a primitive snake fossil suggests that these animals emerged from a line of burrowing reptiles.Snakes are in the same reptilian order that includes lizards, but just how and where they split off to live their legless lives has been a bit of a mystery.
An artist's rendition of the New York Genome Center exterior at 101 Avenue of the Americas, Manhattan. Credit: NYGC NEW YORK—For a spot news junkie, the sight of a podium-studded dais surrounded by people holding up recording devices is irresistible, especially on a hot summer day.
Reconstruction of a male Neandertal from the Neanderthal Museum in Mettmann, Germany. Image: Ökologix, via Wikimedia Commons The stocky, heavy-browed Neandertals ruled Europe for hundreds of thousands of years.
You know what climate change is, right? Well, most of us think we do, until we find ourselves having to explain some aspect of it concisely. Help will come from a new book released today, Global Weirdness: Severe Storms, Heat Waves, Relentless Drought, Rising Seas and the Weather of the Future (Pantheon Books; $22.95).The 200-page, small format book is a collection of 60 very short chapters—two to three pages each—that explain in straightforward terms a litany of typical questions, statements and misunderstandings about climate change that we hear again and again.
Sally Ride during the STS-7 mission in 1983. Credit: NASA Sally Ride, the first U.S. woman in space, died today at age 61, according to the Web site of her science-education company, Sally Ride Science.
"It's an urban legend that the government launched the Internet," writes Gordon Crovitz in an opinion piece in today's Wall Street Journal . Most histories cite the Pentagon-backed ARPANet as the Internet's immediate predecessor, but that view undersells the importance of research conducted at Xerox PARC labs in the 1970s, claims Crovitz.
This summer's Olympic games in London feature 14 different freestyle swimming competitions, by far the most races for any type of stroke. The world's elite swimmers can traverse a 50-meter pool in 22 to 26 seconds, yet they are divided over which of two variations of the stroke are more effective: the more powerful "deep catch" approach or the more streamlined "scull." And the physics behind the debate is fascinating.In the deep catch approach, a swimmer puts his or her arm straight forward, then down as deep as possible into the water, and pushes that arm back as hard as possible, keeping the palms perpendicular to the direction the swimmer wants to move.
A variety of pies celebrating the number pi. Pi Approximation Day is July 22. Source: flickr/djwtwo I hope you're ready for your big Pi Approximation Day party tomorrow.
Shortly after moviegoers had settled in to watch a midnight premier of The Dark Night Rises on Friday morning, a heavily armed gunman entered the Aurora, Colo., theater through an emergency exit and opened fire.
Source: Museum of Math Last Wednesday night I attended a "Math Encounters" program co-sponsored by the soon-to-open Museum of Math in New York City. In 2008, Glen Whitney, a mathematician and former hedge fund manager, was dismayed to learn that a small museum dedicated to math in Long Island was closing.
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