Computer

Fires From Asteroid May Have Spared Some Regions

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 16, 2002   View Article

About 65 million years ago a space rock slammed into Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and scattered high-velocity debris around Earth, igniting wildfires in North America, the Indian subcontinent, and most of the equatorial part of the world.

However, northern Asia, Europe, Antarctica and possibly much of Australia may have been spared the inferno, according to a new computer simulation of how the wildfires spread around the world.

Tyrannosaurus Rex Was a Slowpoke

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 27, 2002   View Article

That well-imagined nightmare in which a bloodthirsty Tyrannosaurus rex is chasing the family car down a lonely road in the red-rock desert as the children scream and the gas gauge hovers on empty and the dinosaur gnashes at the rear bumper is just that: a bad dream. T. rex was a slowpoke.

The most feared and revered of the dinosaurs did not have the leg strength to run very fast, if at all, according to a computer model developed by two experts in the mechanical movements of living creatures.

Satellites Aid Sustainable Land Use in Amazon

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 31, 2001   View Article

Computers and satellites are being successfully harnessed to the problem of biodiversity conservation in the Amazon rain forest.

Scientists believe that at least half of the world’s animal, plant, and insect species reside in the rain forest, an area half the size of the continental United States.

Does Racking in Packs Offer an Unfair Advantage

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 1, 2001   View Article

In cycling, triathlons, and other races, the leader of the pack may not be out ahead in terms of innate talent.

The “bunching” that often occurs in such events gives some racers an advantage that masks their individual ability. As a result, the person who crosses the finish line first isn’t necessarily the most physically and mentally fit competitor in the race.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach