New Security Scanner Sees Through Clothes, But With Modesty

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 27, 2007   View Article

A new sensor technology under development promises to give security screeners a peek through clothing without revealing the naked details, a scientist says.

Virgin Galactic, NASA Team Up to Develop Space-Plane Travel

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 20, 2007   View Article

Virgin Galactic, the space tourism venture of billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, is the first step toward hypersonic travel between Earth-based cities, according to a company executive.

Airline Passengers, Relax: Turbulence Detectors Are on the Way

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 22, 2007   View Article

Wouldn’t it be nice if airline pilots turned on the “fasten seat belt” sign before the person standing in the aisle toppled onto your lap because of turbulence?

NASA researchers are on the job. They are developing a pair of technologies that will give pilots several minutes’ warning so they can steer clear of the erratic, gusty winds.

Europe’s Largest Minority Gaining Recognition, Expert Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 4, 2007   View Article

Awareness of the centuries of discrimination against the Roma—the ethnic group often mistakenly called Gypsies—is on the rise in Eastern Europe, according to a leading scholar.

The people’s plight has been one of neglect and discrimination since arriving in Eastern Europe in the 1300s, said Carol Silverman, an anthropologist at the University of Oregon in Eugene who studies the Roma.

Hawaiian New Year a Melting Pot of Traditions

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 28, 2006   View Article

The New Year will arrive on the Hawaiian Islands with loads of bang, food, and good luck, according to local experts.

The Pacific Ocean islands are home to a culturally and ethnically diverse group of people that have created a unique set of New Year’s traditions, explained DeSoto Brown, the collection manager of the Bishop Museum archives in Honolulu.

Christmas Eve Bonfires Light Up Louisiana Levees

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 21, 2006   View Article

Santa Claus and churchgoers traveling to midnight mass should have no trouble finding their way along Louisiana’s levees this Christmas Eve.

More than a hundred towering bonfires will light the way, as they have every year for at least a century.

Google-Earth Based Quiz Tests Kids’ Africa IQ

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 12, 2006   View Article

What’s the most populous city in Africa? Are the Mbuti a pygmy group? Which river, the Zambezi or the Nile, empties into the Mediterranean Sea?

Just a few years ago such an onslaught of questions would have sent students scrambling for an atlas and encyclopedia set.

Today anyone with a computer can launch a layer on the desktop globe Google Earth and virtually fly over Africa as they search for the correct answers.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach