Tuesday, December 11, 2007

12-11-07 Science/Tech/etc.

Britain plans to install 7,000 offshore wind turbines as part of a goal of having 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

Solar thermal power development in California is stalled while waiting to see if a property tax exemption will be extended.

Fark.com filed for a trademark for the phrase NSFW (not safe for work). Even if the trademark were granted, I don't see how it could possibly be enforced.

Life is listing the top 10 scientific discoveries of 2007: stem cell breakthroughs, DNA mapping, brightest supernova recorded, hundreds of new species identified, building a human heart valve from stem cells, "hot Jupiters" discovered, large birdlike dinosaurs found, evidence of the time period early man migrated out of Africa, the world's oldest animal (a 405 year old clam) was found, and a mineral with the chemical makeup imagined for kryptonite was found in Serbia (unfortunately they can't name it kryptonite because of krypton gas).

Somebody else discusses the trials and tribulations of cataloging their personal library. Unlike us, they only had to deal with about 3,500 books, but it is nice to occasionally see someone else going through some of the same issues.

JPL has an interesting article on the discovery of a silica patch by the Mars rover Spirit as it prepares to find a safe spot for the winter.

Hubble has observed its first extra-solar sunset, as a Jupiter-like planet passed in front of its star, giving hints as to the atmosphere.

Umbilical cord blood is saving the lives of babies born with metabolic disorders at Duke University.

The House has voted to make the Do Not Call registry permanent, so we wouldn't have to re-register every 5 years. The Senate still has to approve it.

A new genus and species of dinosaur has been found in Antarctica. It is a massive plant-eating primitive sauropodomorph (like Apatosaurus) from the early Jurassic. There is a brief article here, or the full scientific paper can be read here in PDF.

Scientists think they have found the energy source for the northern lights.

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