Month: April 2014

Lowly cheetah hides its head in shame – it may no longer be the fastest animal on earth

Never run behind a car (you’ll get “exhausted”). And it goes without saying that you should never run in front of a car either (you’ll get “tired”). And if you think you can outrun a car, Reeko has news for you – you’re not as fast as you think – and neither is the speedy cheetah who, depending on your definition of “fast”, may have just lost its throne as the fastest animal on earth. Using high-speed cameras to capture it in motion, scientists in California have discovered a tiny little mite, called Paratarsotomus macropalpis, that they say holds the record for the fastest land animal. This little guy is able to run 322 body lengths per second. If you were to scale this up to human

Don’t worry kids – it’s only a huge venomous snake that attacks you while you sleep

Reeko doesn’t want to make any kids have bad dreams but figures most people would like to know that the Australian mulga snake has been found to attack people in their sleep. Besides, most kids don’t live in Australia, where this sneaky snake lives, and for the Australian kids, well, Reeko figures Australians are so tough their parents will probably use this news as a bedtime story to help their little ones fall asleep. The Australian mulga snake is one of the longest venomous snakes in the world and can grow up to 10 feet in length. The mulga, also known as “Pilbara cobra” or the “king brown” lives in woodlands, grasslands, and sandy deserts – just about everywhere except for the rainforest. It not only

Do animals use tools? Dolphins do. They use sponges gripped in their mouth to catch fish.

Long known to be among the smartest members of the animal kingdom, researchers have discovered that dolphins, like people, use tools to help them hunt and capture their food. Researchers studying dolphins in Shark Bay off the coast of Australia, noticed that more than half of the dolphins hunted for food while holding sponges in their mouth. After capturing a sample collection of dolphins to study, they found that dolphins who used sponges to hunt for food had different diet profiles than dolphins who hunted the good old fashioned way (with bows and arrows). Apparently the dolphins prod the ocean floor with the sponge in order to stir up special types of fish. “We were blown away as to how strong the differences between tool users

European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) – Scientists create the world’s largest telescope on top of a mountain

Once they finish building it, the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) will be more powerful than any telescope on earth. Its huge mirror, which is used to gather the faint light of faraway galaxies, stars, and planets (allows astronomers to see further than ever), will measure 129 feet (39.3 meters or 1,547 inches) and require microscopic precision to align the 800 hexagon-shaped pieces of mirror it will take to construct the telescope. E-ELT will be more than three times larger than any telescope on the planet!  To get an idea of how big E-ELT will be, take a look at the picture above and find the pickup truck to compare its size to the size of the E-ELT telescope.  Wow! E-ELT will be built on top

What causes the breathtaking bluish turquoise color of the Rio Celeste river?

The Rio Celeste is one of Costa Rica’s most spectacular rivers. Its breathtaking light bluish turquoise color is wonderfully unique making it a favorite visiting place for tourists and locals alike. Locals will playfully explain the origin of its beautiful color like this: “When God finished painting the sky, he washed his brushes in the Rio Celeste”. How the Rio Celeste gets its unique color is a phenomenon caused by an unusual chemical reaction made possible by its proximity to a volcano and natural hot springs. The Rio Celeste is found in the Tenorio Volcano National Park, a 32,000 acre park that is home to a large number of Costa Rica’s natural wildlife (most of Costa Rica’s feline species can be found here including jaguars, cougars, ocelots, and margays). The

Huge 17-foot great white shark photographed and tagged by brave scientists

Brave scientists in Australia captured this picture of one of the largest great white sharks ever tagged. The shark was tagged by the brave scientists after less-brave swimmers complained about the 17-foot shark hanging around their beach (presumably it was feeding off of a dead whale that had beached itself). While the brave scientists tagged the shark and the less-brave swimmers hid on the beach with their hands covering their eyes, the city of Albany (in Western Australia) closed the beach and had the whale carcass removed. Once the scientists determined that the shark was not a species that would respond to the command “roll over”, they hooked the great white and flipped it on its back. This paralyzes the shark by putting it into a

ASIMO (the robot) has learned some new amazing tricks!

ASIMO is a remarkable humanoid robot built by Honda that  looks a bit like a kid in a spacesuit.  He is often shown off at trade shows in order to convince people that robots will not revolt and take over the world. So far, ASIMO can run (meaning he can chase you down!), climb stairs (meaning there’s nowhere you can hide!) and screw the lid off of a bottle (meaning he can twist your neck!). And he can kick a soccer ball and dance. What ASIMO can do Scientists at Honda started making the ASIMO robot in 1986 and have been working on him for over 25 years. They began by teaching him how to listen to commands and slowly added new features over time. Today, ASIMO

Oh how cute! Saturn just made an itty-biddy baby moon (named “Peggy”)

Saturn has more than 60 moons and researchers said yesterday that they think they may have captured a photo of Saturn giving birth to another itty-biddy moon (which they named "Peggy"). NASA’s Cassini space probe took the picture in April 2013 which shows a bright arc about 750 miles wide at the edge of Saturn’s outermost ring (see bottom left-hand side of picture above). Scientists think the arc and strange bumps located near it were probably created by the gravity of a small, icy object – possibly a newborn moon. Scientists think that most of Saturn’s moons are made of ice that broke out of Saturn’s rings (which are also made mostly of water ice) when the rings were much, much bigger.

Is your phone, TV, or computer melting your brain?

EMFs, EMRs, and other scary stuff You may not have known this but every day you are holding a high-powered microwave transmitter (cellphone) directly against the side of your head. If you feel like this is making you smarter or promoting the growth of superpowers – don’t. Cell phones generate electromagnetic fields (EMF) and emit electromagnetic radiation (EMR) which may be bad for your health (OMG). WARNING, WARNING, WARNING But wait, before we begin... Reeko warning: Please, read this entire article in its entirety. Do not make any rash decisions until this article has been read thoroughly, thought about, and then read again. We repeat, do not throw your cellphone across the room and do not attempt to use your little brother or sister as a shield against

Killer sponges from the deep sea – they’re real and growing in numbers!

It was only about 20 years ago that scientists discovered that some sponges are carnivorous, meaning – they eat other animals! Since then, scientists have identified about a half-dozen of the squishy little slayers. Today, we add four new species to the list. The newly discovered carnivorous sponges live on the deep seafloor in the Pacific around California. At the moment of discovery, the scientist attributed with the amazing new find, was reported to have said, with great excitement and zeal, "Where's my finger?!?" Sponges are usually filter feeders, meaning they live off of bacteria and other single-celled organisms that are found in the water. They trap the little critters using bazillions of special cells called Choancytes. Choancytes have whip-like tails which swirl the water around