Some Random Science Links

In case anybody is curious, I’m trying to clear my blogging slate tonight. Maybe it’s the Sudafed kicking in, but I am on a roll tonight. I got a pile of stories that accumulated during the past week, and I want to mention them before they get too stale. So bear with me while I toss up some brief, yet interesting science related links

  • Japanese researchers announced the discovery of plankton found in the depths of the Marianas Trench, just off of Guam’s coastline. The plankton survive by ingest the organic detritus that filters down to the abyssal depths, over 35,000 feet below sea level.
  • Geologists now say the mammoth earthquake that caused Decembers catastrophic tsunamis was three times stronger than originally reported. No, that doesn’t mean it was a magnitude 27.0 earthquake, the temblor was upgraded to 9.3 magnitude. After further analysis they have a theory on the propagation of the killer tsunamis as well, only one third of the slip fault experienced a rapid, powerful earthquake. The remaining two thirds of the fault affected went through a ‘slow slip’ that generated the enormously powerful waves.
  • Check out the new Turing Cluster supercomputer at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. It’s constructed out of 640 Apple Xserve G5’s. Cool.
  • Here’s a ridiculous story about how random number generators can forecast the future, or telepathy, or some other such nonsense. To say I am skeptical is an understatement. It’s like nobody wants to understand mathematics, probability or cause and effect.
  • Finally, here’s a really cool image taken by the Cassini probe in orbit around Saturn. The colors are true to life and show the pale blue atmosphere of Saturn’s northern hemisphere. The black arcs are the shadows of the diaphanous rings around Saturn. As an added bonus, mysterious Mimas passes in the foreground between the probe and the gas giant. Very cool photo. Check out the detail in the full size photo, it is simply amazing.
    Blue Saturn with Mimas

Okay, that’s it for tonight. I’m going to take some cold medicine and hit the sack.

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