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SETI Science – “Another recent SETI “innovation” was to assume that ET might be interested in looking for life elsewhere in the galaxy. They might start by looking for planets around other systems, and planets like earth would be easiest to detect from a direction in the plane of our system. Therefore, to those observers the earth would eclipse the sun and that is one way they could detect it. It might be more likely, therefore, that such civilizations are broadcasting at us, because they know we are here, or at least life might be here. Perhaps, then, SETI should focus its efforts by looking at stars in the plane of our system…”

The Science of Finding a Face in the Crowd – “As we walk along a city street, it takes no effort to recognize the face of a friend in the crowd. But the ease of the feat masks its cognitive complexity—all faces have eyes, noses and mouths in the same relative place and can bear an array of emotional expressions. For decades, scientists have debated the basis for our facility with faces: either human brains evolved specialized face-processing machinery, distinct from regions that deal with other objects, or they process all objects using an expansive, multipurpose network, merely developing an expertise for faces. Two experiments have now clarified this perennial dispute by uncovering a distinct network that is indeed dedicated to faces…”

Swiss Nanotech Fabric Promises Water-proof Clothing – “A material recently invented by Swiss scientists promises to lead to the first waterproof swimsuits, reducing current drag by almost 20%…”

Southern California Edison’s 180,000 Mile Li-Ion Battery – “Southern California Edison (SCE) demonstrated a lithium-ion battery capable of staying within operating parameters for over 180,000 miles. A series of tests at the company’s Electric Vehicle Technical Center in California proved this conclusion…”

How aerobic exercise suppresses appetite – “Those of you who run, bike, swim, or otherwise engage in aerobic exercise have probably noticed that in spite of burning scads of calories during your chosen activity, the last thing you feel when you’re finished is hungry. Now, researchers at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom may have discovered exactly why this is…”

Top 100 Stories of 2008 (Science stoies from Discover Magazine)

Time: Different from space – “I’ve often heard it said—including by physicists who presumably know better—that “time is just a fourth dimension,” that it’s no different from the usual three dimensions of space, and indeed that this is a central fact that Einstein proved (or exploited? or clarified?) with relativity. Usually, this assertion comes packaged with the distinct but related assertion that the “passage of time” has been revealed as a psychological illusion: for if it makes no sense to talk about the “flow” of x, y, or z, why talk about the flow of t? Why not just look down (if that’s the right word) on the entire universe as a fixed 4-dimensional crystalline structure?”

What’s Behind Internet Conspiracy Empires? – “As Conspiracy Communities Grow, Mental Health Docs Are Left With Big Questions…”

Amish gene ‘limits heart disease’ – “A gene mutation which protects the heart against a high-fat diet has been found in the Amish population…”

Alien from earth – “Archeologists on the island of Flores, Indonesia, make a discovery that rocks the world of paleoanthropology—the skeleton of a three-foot-tall, 18,000-year-old adult that might represent a wholly new species of human…”

Experts say koalas will die out without urgent action – ” The population in the southeast Queensland area known as the Koala Coast has fallen by at least 26 percent to 4,611 animals since a 1996-1999 survey as development encroached on their natural habitats, she said…”

Study concludes: Eat fast! Eat until full! Get fatter! – “Published in the British Medical Journal, the researchers examined whether eating quickly or eating until one is full (or both) can lead to more risk of being overweight or obese…”

The Laser to End All Lasers – “Two researchers head into the target chamber at the National Ignition Facility in Livermore, California, where the world’s largest laser is being completed…”

Hack of the Clones: Why Apple Can’t Stop the Copies – “it’s getting harder and harder for Apple to guard the most precious jewel at the core of its success: The Mac operating system…”

Self-Healing Paint Is Full of Magical Tiny Caulk Crystals – “Autonomic Materials plans to bring self-healing paint to market in less than four months. The paint is designed to protect cars, bridges, and boats from corrosion, but don’t get too excited just yet…”

10 useful iPhone tips & tricks – “Even our team members that I showed the draft of this post to (people I consider iPhone experts), all picked up at least a tip or two that they weren’t already aware of. So I’ll bet there’s something for everyone here…”

Genetic Programming: Evolution of Mona Lisa – “Could you paint a replica of the Mona Lisa using only 50 semi transparent polygons?”

2008′s top three touchscreen phones – “Following last year’s iPhone launch, there was a rush to release handsets based around touchscreens rather than buttons. That led to a profusion of offerings this year — but which ones tapped the right spot?”

Unlocking iPhone 3Gs–the Vietnamese way – “Here I witnessed a brand new iPhone 3G getting its hardware unlocked and was really impressed. This is how it happened…”

IBM, Harvard Use Distributed Computing to Make Ultra-Powerful Solar Cells – “Researchers at IBM and Harvard are using the power of community to create cheap, efficient solar cells. The Clean Energy Project will use small amounts of computing power from volunteers— like in the SETI project— to run calculations on compounds in the hopes of finding a combination of organic materials that can be used to make cheap, flexible plastic solar cells…”

Additive May Boost Air Conditioning Efficiency 25% – “Thomas says his secret is an exciting synthetic catalyst, branded “Get Cold,” that can be added to a central HVAC system’s refrigerant. Thomas says he tells customers they can easily expect to see energy savings of 10% on cooling costs as a result, but that he’s seen as high as 45%, with an average of 25%…”

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