Archive for February, 2009

Oldest Human Footprints With Modern Anatomy Found

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 26, 2009   View Article

About 1.5 million years ago, human ancestors walked upright with a spring in their steps just as modern humans do today, suggests an analysis of ancient footprints found in northern Kenya.

The prints are the oldest known to show modern foot anatomy.

The discovery also helps round out the picture of a cooling and drying episode in Africa that compelled tree-dwelling human ancestors to venture into the open landscape for food, said John Harris, a paleoanthropologist at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

10 steps in the evolution of portable computing

Publication:   Date: February 18, 2009   View Article

The laptop computer of today is a far cry from the clunky the Osborne 1, a clunky machine some experts consider the world’s first successful portable computer. Discover how portable, digital computers have evolved over the years.

10 shipwrecks that capture our imaginations

Publication:   Date: February 17, 2009   View Article

The Titanic, the 46,000-ton “unsinkable” ocean liner that struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage in 1912 and sank within hours to the bottom of the North Atlantic, is the world’s most famous shipwreck. But it’s not the only wrecked ship steeped in history – if not treasure – discovered on the bottom of the sea. Learn about nine more shipwrecks that have enriched our imagination.

Seven signs of evolution in action

Publication:   Date: February 11, 2009   View Article

Scientists around the world are celebrating the 200th birthday of British naturalist Charles Darwin, who was born on Feb. 12, 1809. Darwin’s groundbreaking 1859 book, “The Origin of Species,” proposed the theory that species evolve over time through the process of natural selection. Check out seven signs of evolution in action.

Valentine’s Day Facts: Gifts, History, and Love Science

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 11, 2009   View Article

Where did Valentine’s Day come from? (Think naked Romans, paganism, and whips.) What does it cost? And why do we fall for it, year after year? Read on.

Future Tech May Reduce Bird-Plane Collisions

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 7, 2009   View Article

To protect future flights, scientists are hard at work on ways to keep birds away from planes.

Most of today’s anti-bird-strike efforts are ground-based, focusing on making airports less inviting to birds by removing ponds, exterminating the bugs birds eat, firing noise cannons, installing artificial owls, and so on.

But the next frontier in bird-strike prevention is the sky.

Bird-disturbing radar, pulsing lights, and reflective coatings may someday make aircraft more visible to birds, so they have time to dodge oncoming planes.

10 peeks at sex in the wild

Publication:   Date: February 6, 2009   View Article

Birds do it, bees do it. Even female jumping spiders do it — dangerously. Check out ten ways animals get do it in the wild.

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