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Archive for September, 2010

The impact would have generated a fireball seen more than 1,000 kilometres away, and scientists believe it is relatively young – potentially less than a few thousand years old.

This means it is likely to have been seen by early humans.

The crater was spotted in the border region between Egypt, Sudan and Libya in 2008 by mineralogist Vincenzo De Michele, then with the Civico Museo di Storia Naturale in Milan, Italy.

He was searching for natural features when he chanced on the image on his PC screen.

He contacted astrophysicist Dr Mario Di Martino, at the INAF (National Institute for Astrophysics) observatory in Turin, who, along with Dr Luigi Folco, organised an expedition to the site in February this year.

The two week expedition took more than a year to plan, and involved 40 people driving for three days in 40 degree heat to find the site.

They collected fragments and carried out tests, and found that it was in remarkably pristine condition.

Dr Detlef Koschny said: “This demonstrates that metallic meteorites having a mass on the order of 10 tonnes do not break up in the atmosphere, and instead explode when they reach the ground and produce a crater,”

Dr Falco added: “We are still determining the geochronology of the impact site, but the crater is certainly less than ten thousand years old and potentially less than a few thousand.

“The impact may even have been observed by humans, and archaeological investigations at nearby ancient settlements may help fix the date,”

The European Space Agency, which helped fund the expedition, said: “The data gathered during the expedition will be very useful to ESA’s Space Situational Awareness programme’s activities for risk assessment of small asteroids with orbits that approach Earth, a category to which the Kamil impactor originally belonged.”

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We all remember Ben Franklin as a pretty bright guy who discovered some pretty important stuff. The real question is, what didn’t this polymath genius invent?

1742: Observing the wasteful use of firewood in inefficient colonial fireplaces, he designed the Franklin Stove, which used its iron body to diffuse a much larger proportion of the heat. The stove enabled poor families to save money and be warmer in the winter.
1749: Noticing that lightning was attracted to metal and tall objects, Franklin hit on the idea of attaching vertical metal rods to the tops of tall buildings to attract the lightning, thus sparing the roof a direct hit.
1752: To prove that lightning was static electricity, Franklin carried out his famous kite experiment with the help of his young son William (nobody ever said he was a responsible parent). He conducted an electrical charge from a key along a wire into a primitive battery. Franklin and son were lucky to survive; in following years, a number of scientists who tried to replicate Franklin’s experiment were killed by lightning.

1752: To allow his brother to urinate while suffering from kidney stones, Franklin invented the first flexible urinary catheter used in North America.

1763: Franklin, who had been appointed postmaster of Philadelphia in 1737, came up with the odometer. The complicated device composed of three interlocking gears was attached to the wheel of postal carriages in order to figure out the distances traveled by postal officers.

1770: He named and described the “Gulf Stream”— the giant Atlantic current circulating between the Gulf of Mexico and the west coast of Ireland— and correctly identified it as the reason the voyage from Britain to America took longer along certain routes. British admirals ignored his findings and then came up with the same answer several de cades later.

1784: Troubled by being both near- and far- sighted at the age of 78, Franklin improved spectacles by inventing the “bifocal.”

1786: To reach merchandise on high shelves, he invented a pole with a claw at one end operated by handles at the other— a device still used at corner bodegas everywhere.

1787: Although he never actually built them, during one of his eight Atlantic crossings, Franklin came up with a design for watertight bulkheads that would help limit flooding below deck if a ship’s hull was breached.

Along the way, he also helped develop America’s first fire department, the first library, and the concept of daylight saving time. But perhaps the most remarkable thing about Ben Franklin the inventor was his refusal to patent any of his ideas, so that the widest possible number of people could benefit from them.

Looking for more fabulous content like this? You’re in luck – The Mental Floss History of the United States hits bookshelves near you on October 5th! If you pre-order, you’ll get three free issues of mental_floss magazine. Get all of the details over here[1].
References

1. (www.mentalfloss.com) http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/68599

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Sodium gets a bad rap for contributing to hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Now biologists at Tufts University’s School of Arts and Sciences have discovered that sodium also plays a key role in initiating a regenerative response after severe injury. The Tufts scientists have found a way to regenerate injured spinal cord and muscle by using small molecule drugs to trigger an influx of sodium ions into injured cells.

The approach breaks new ground in the field of biomedicine because it requires no gene therapy; can be administered after an injury has occurred and even after the wound has healed over; and is bioelectric, rather than chemically based.

In a paper appearing as the cover story of the September 29, 2010, issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, the Tufts team reported that a localized increase in sodium ions was necessary for young Xenopus laevis tadpoles to regenerate their tails – complex appendages containing spinal cord, muscle and other tissue.

More here

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Peugeot EX1 – Concept

If the BMW 6 Series Concept was basically an early look at an upcoming production model, the Peugeot EX1 ($TBA) is the polar opposite: a wild creation that lets the car’s designers stretch their imaginations with out worrying about pesky topics like actual production cost or real-world feasibility. Still, the EX1 is every bit as intriguing, with its open-cockpit mix of car and motorcycle, it’s world-class acceleration, dual electric motors cranking out the equivalent of 340 hp, and its all-time four wheel drive. Just don’t expect it in dealerships any time soon.

Check it out – here

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Awesome! 🙂
Some great tips here. lol I like the Benny Hill theme song to it also tehehe

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Part skateboard, part Segway, part tank, the DTV Shredder ($TBA) is one of the craziest contraptions we’ve seen this year. It features a normal skateboard deck and trucks, which are mounted to a powerful motor, and two tank threads — mounted below and to the sides of the deck — capable of going over snow, sand, dirt, ice, and nearly any other non-paved surface you can think of at speeds of up to 30 mph, or plenty fast enough to give you some gnarly injuries should you happen to shred a bit too hard.

Check it out – here

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