Animal Kingdom

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…
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Technology

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.…
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Space

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.
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Medical

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 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…
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Animal Kingdom

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…
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Space

Meet Solar Impulse 2- the solar powered airplane that hopes to fly around the world

See the big, shiny covering on top of the wings of this airplane? Those are solar panels and yes, this is a solar powered plane. If the inventors got it right, this plane will be able to fly around the world using nothing more than solar energy it collects during its travels. The Solar Impulse 2, has a wingspan close to that of a huge 747 airplane yet, it weighs just about as much as a car (5,000 lbs.). It has a comfortable pilot seat which doubles as a toilet and folds down flat into a bed (so you can poop lying down?). And in case you’re wondering, yes, the plane also carries a parachute and life raft.  The inventors say they did not want…
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Plants

Wonderful garden in sealed bottle has not been watered in over 40 years!

David Latimer has created a most unusual garden, one that seems to mimic the ecosystem of Earth – in a sealed bottle! On Easter Sunday in 1960, David placed compost in a large round bottle and used a wire to carefully lower a Spiderworts seedling into the mix. He then added a pint of water and sealed the bottle up tight with a plastic cork. He placed the bottle in a sunny corner and viola – the magic of photosynthesis did its thing. Through photosynthesis, the plant acquires energy by absorbing sunlight. The plant stores part of this energy which it needs to grow. Some of the energy is used to remove electrons from water in the soil that it absorbs through the plant’s roots.…
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Medical

Scientists replace man’s lost arm with robotic drumming arm – meet the world’s first human-cyborg drummer!

No replacement for a lost body part is going to be as good as the original (at least not yet), but in special cases, such as with professional drummer Jason Barnes, scientists can come pretty close. Jason lost his arm after an accident at his job and afterward found that, although he could still play his drums, it just wasn't quite the same as before. Jason had long dreamt of being accepted to the Atlanta Institute of Music and despite his unfortunate accident, refused to give up his dream of being a professional drummer. After talking to a few friends about his problem, he was put in touch with the Atlanta Institute of Music and Media who set to work on not only getting Jason…
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Weather

Hate to bum you out but guess what? Global warming may be worse than we thought.

Here’s a call to all little scientists out there – we need to find a reasonable way to stop or slow the global warming trend occurring around the planet and today, that call just got a little louder. Scientists at Florida State University have found that global warming, believed to be caused by large quantities of “greenhouse gases” that have been released into the air, is getting increasingly worse because of, eh, global warming. Researchers found that the warming of the planet is thawing out the permafrost, the soil in the polar areas that used to remain frozen all year long (before Mother Nature got mad and decided to fight back). Specifically, what they found was that as the permafrost thaws, the organic material (dead…
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Space

How big is space? New facts from NASA about the El Gordo galaxy cluster blow our mind.

A visitor to the lab once asked Reeko how big space was and the lab tour had to be cancelled. In short, Reeko answered with “really, really, really big” but what he really did was add a bunch of “reallys” to make the point that space was “really big”. There were so many “reallys” that after about 20 minutes, the visitors got anxious (one thought Reeko was having a “spell”) and the entire tour had to be called off for the day. For kids that have visited the lab, this explains why the sign at the entrance says “Be curious – ask any question you want (except for how big space is)”. Fact is, space is really, really big with about oh, one thousand “reallys”…
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